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To celebrate the 75th birthday of His Highness, Sultan Khalifa bin Harub of Zanzibar, the Zanzibar Post Office issued an attractive set of five stamps showing him, on 26th August 1954.

Here for auction is a colour postcard showing the Sultan, and with one of the stamps affixed, and datestamped at Zanzibar on 27th January 2006. This type of card is commonly called a maxicard.


Sayyid Khalifa II bin Harub Al-Said (August 26, 1879 – October 9, 1960) was the ninth Sultan of Zanzibar. He ruled Zanzibar from December 9, 1911 to October 9, 1960.

The Sultanate of Zanzibar was created on 19th October 1856 after the death of Said bin Sultan, who had ruled Oman and Zanzibar as the Sultan of Oman since 1804.

In 1698, Zanzibar became part of the overseas holdings of Oman, falling under the control of the Sultan of Oman. In 1832, Said bin Sultan moved his capital from Muscat in Oman to Stone Town. He established a ruling Arab elite & encouraged the development of clove plantations, using the island's slave labour. Zanzibar's commerce fell increasingly into the hands of traders from the Indian subcontinent, whom Said encouraged to settle on the island. After his death in 1856, two of his sons, Majid and Thuwaini, struggled over the succession, so Zanzibar and Oman were divided into two separate principalities, & Majid became the first Sultan of Zanzibar. The third Sultan, Khalifa bin Said, furthered the country's progress toward abolishing slavery.

Until 1886, the Sultan of Zanzibar controlled a substantial portion of the east African coast. That year, the British and Germans secretly met and re-established the area under the Sultan's rule. Over the next few years, most of the Sultan's mainland possessions were taken by European powers. With the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty in 1890, Zanzibar became a British protectorate. In August 1896, Britain and Zanzibar fought a 38-minute war, the shortest in recorded history.

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  • Seller location: Auckland City, Auckland, NZ

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