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Cautious Mauritius

This Indian Ocean island is not without its share of perfinned Jubilees, particularly amongst banks and insurance companies. Some of the most frequently found are those of the………..

Mauritius Commercial Bank

These have the letters “MCB” over “M” which have been noted in various aspects, including 90 degree rotation which, in view of the format of the colonial Jubilee issue, might suggest use of a single setting of the perfin perforator.

This thought is perhaps reinforced by the skewed examples of the perfin in the strip of three shown here.

Presumably, any mint examples, let alone a strip of three, shouldn’t exist outside the bank.

Neil Donen’s site reports that at the end of 1935, the bank put surplus perfinned stocks into store and that these were drawn out for use during the second world war, when there was a stamp shortage. The cover to Switzerland, shown below, appears to anticipate the war by 4 days.

Blyth Brothers & Company

A trading company established as far back as 1830, its perfins have the letters “BB” over “& Co” which have been noted on the 5c and 20c and in at least the four sideways configurations.

Mercantile Bank of India Ltd

Also missing from some listings are the perfins of this bank which show the letters “M.B.I.” over “Ltd”.

This cover, though no doubt highly philatelic, has a number of interesting aspects. It boasts a denomination which, on its own, is almost a stranger to envelopes. It bears a reversed upright example of the Bank of India’s perfin, which is cancelled by a last day of issue cds of Tamarin, (a village on the west coast in the Black River district).

AJA - April 2010, augmented June 2010

These scans of registered covers to Switzerland (perfinned 5c x8) and Czechoslovakia (perfinned 20c x2) are courtesy of John Cooper. (Registration is 20c and foreign letter rate is 20c).

This stamp to the left and the cover above confirm that the 20 cent value was perfinned MCB/M which is noted as missing from some listings.

Mauritius Fire Insurance Company

Not a furniture seller, the “MFI” over “Co Ld” refers to the Mauritius Fire Insurance, a company founded from local funds in 1854.

It would have become the Colonial Fire Insurance Company Limited well before the Jubilee but they would seem to have retained the old perfin jig.

This 20c example, (with perhaps a fiscal cancel), is kindly provided by Peter Maybury.


Somewhat of a conundrum is this 5c. Judging by the coincidence of some pinholes, it might have received a double impression.

Perhaps the reader can decipher it.

Well, someone did. Jeff Turnbull writes: “ I am sure that the Curious Mauritius perfin at the bottom of page is a double "MCB/M"  there are a few pins missing from the MCB but the lower "M" is quite clear and doubled.”