An exhibit in the Singapore Philatelic Museum

Photo by Joel Chua DY

Arguably one of the most important inventions of the 19th century, stamps as pre-postage payment provided a cheap means of sending letters and paved the way for 'mass communication'. These tiny pieces of paper are miniature pieces of art depicting significant events, history and cultures of a country. They record the past, as well as everyday life. They have become one of the most popular collectible items in the world's history.

The Singapore Philatelic Museum features postage stamps and related material from Singapore and other countries from the 1830s to present day. Presented in colourful, cosy and interactive exhibitions, the miniature pieces of art offer a window into Singapore and other parts of the world—with postage stamps featuring different aspects of history, culture, science and technology.

Different exhibits in the gallery of the Singapore Philatelic Museum

Photo by Joel Chua DY

At the permanent galleries, you can catch a glimpse of the world's first stamp, as well as some of the finest and most comprehensive collections of early Singapore from the 1830s to post-independence. A star piece is the only known cover in the world to bear a full set of the 1854 Indian stamps that were used in the Straits Settlements.

Standing outside the museum's historic colonial building is the only operational colonial posting box in Singapore today. The museum has a sub-post where you can buy stamps and post out your letters. You can even get your own personalized stamps made at the museum.

The experience will make you want to pick up a pen and paper and whisk off a correspondence to a loved one.