The first European sighting of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is thought to have been in 1609, by Englishman Captain William Keeling of the East India Company. Soon after, the two atolls that comprise the islands started to appear on maps.
These stamps show details of various Italian, French, Dutch and English maps over 400 years from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Each stamp is composed of various maps from a particular century: 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th.
Maps used in the designs
A number of different maps and navigational charts have been used in the design of the four stamps, including:
- L’Arcano del Mare (Secrets of the Sea) (1646).
- Hémisphère oriental ou Ancien Monde (c. 1783)
- Karte von dem Morgenländischen Ocean oder dem Indischen Meere(1758)