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India cover Foreign Postboxes in our collection

Overseas Boxes

British made and British designed post boxes crop up all over the former British Empire. Here welook at some unusual additions to the collection from outside the UK.


The first is from just over the border, in the Republic of Ireland. Until 1922, Eire was part of the UK and standard British boxes were in use here. There are many interesting and two unique early boxes in the Republic. Our example is by Jessop Davis of Enniscorthy and shows how, post-1922, the Provisional Government continued the traditional British design under the aegis of Post & Telecom Eiran (P7T). It is still possible to see British boxes in the Republic although many of the ciphers have been removed. The south side of Dublin is particularly good for VR, EviiR and GR pillars while Bray used to sport two green Penfolds and some superb VR wall boxes.


Our second non-UK boxis the ILB 9, a simplified version of the standard UK mainland lamp letter box for use either as a private posting box or in the Republic and abroad. There is no cast cipher and the words "Post Office" are omitted. Whilst most examples in the Republic are by Carron Company, this one is dated 1960 inside and is by W T Allen. It is now fitted with a modern An Post collection plate.

There are still plenty of pre-1922 British boxes in the Republic of Ireland. Representing them in our collection is this pretty LB204 with a Gaelic plate. The box itself spent some time in France before repatriation in 2010.

Hong Kong G5R pillar

The next entry under this category is actually the property of the Letter Box Study Group and is on long-term loan to the Museum. It is a locally made George V pillar box from Hong Kong. It was donated to the group in 2000 following removal by Hong Kong Post before the 1997 handover to China. There are no surviving examples of this type of box in the former colony, and very few "colonial" boxes at all follwing a mass cull of the type after the handover. The cipher of George V on these boxes is unique to Hong Kong. A very different cipher was also used for George VI, completely different to the UK boxes. You can see an example in the BPMA collection.


One of two French boxes in our collection. This one was made by Dejoie in 1977

and would typically be wall-mounted. The second box is much older and will be added here when restoration is complete.


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