Bounty Title

Bounty miniature sheetThis stamp issue is dedicated to the HMAV Bounty. This small vessel is possibly one of the best-known ships in the world’s naval history, and has carried with it for over 200 years, a mystique that has fascinated marine enthusiasts, stamp collectors, Pitcairn followers and children all over the world.

Bounty 60cLife for the Bounty began as a coastal trader named Bethia, which underwent a refit for a voyage to collect breadfruit seedlings to deliver to the West Indies. The Bethia was only built two and a half years earlier at Hull. She was a three-masted, full-rigged, snub-nosed ship of only 215 tons. The Navy Board bought her for £1950 and, on the suggestion of Sir Joseph Banks, renamed her Bounty

Bounty 80cThe Bounty was only 90 feet long with a beam of 24 feet and a draft of 11 feet. She had no superstructures and all accommodations and facilities were below deck. Her three masts varied in height from 48 to 59 feet. Under the bowsprit there was a figurehead portraying a woman in a riding habit. The refitting was costly. The bottom of the hull was sheathed in copper plate to protect the ship from wood-boring worms. The great cabin aft, normally reserved for captain’s quarters, was extended to a third of the length of the ship in order to house the pots for the breadfruit plants. A large coal-fired heater was also installed so that the plants would not freeze when the ship was sailing in colder latitudes.

Bounty $1.00For armament the Bounty received four short-carriage four-pounders and ten half-pounder swivel guns. It appears that no expense was spared in preparing her for the voyage: the total bill for the refitting came to £4456, more than twice the purchase price.
Under her new look and new name, His Majesty’s Armed Vessel Bounty left England in 1787 and sailed into history.

Bounty $3.50The Bounty Replica

HMAV Bounty was built in 1979 for the movie "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson and cost US$ 5 million to construct in 1978.
She is a fully rigged 3-masted tall ship with an overall length of 42 metres and a displacement of 400 tonnes. The great timber masts, 35 metres in height, carry 18km of rope and she carries up to 19 sails, giving her an impressive 900 sq. metres of canvas.

Bounty Stamps FDCThe HMAV Bounty has sailed every ocean of the world and covered more miles than the original Bounty. Over the past five years, HMAV Bounty has been recognised for many tourism awards.

The stamps are available as sets and miniature sheets in mint or CTO with both able to be purchased on First Day Cover. The issue is on sale from 8 September, 2004 and is available from the Pitcairn Philatelic Bureau or Pitcairn’s appointed agents worldwide.

This issue has won a gold medal from the New Zealand Pride in Print Awards, which are held annually for the printing industry in New Zealand.

The printer was Southern Colour Print of Dunedin.

Please Note: All prices are in New Zealand Dollars
60c, 80c, $1.00, $3.50
Single Set


Gutter Pair


Block of 4


Miniature Sheet


Miniature Sheet FDC

Technical Details

Release Date : 08 September 2004
Designer: Denise Durkin, Wellington,  New Zealand
Mike Garner, Bounty Cruises, Sydney, Australia
Printer : Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand
Process : Offset Lithography
Perforation Gauge : 13.2 per 2cms
Stamp Size : 45.14 mm x 30.00 mm horizontal.
Mini Sheet Size:
100.0mm x 70.0mm horizontal.
Denomination (NZD) : 60c, 80c, $1.00 and $3.50
Paper : 104gsm, litho gummed stamp paper
Period of Sale :
8 September, 2004  for a period of 2 years.

Acknowledgements: The Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau would like to express its appreciation to Mike Garner of Bounty Cruises, Sydney and the Pitcairn Islands Study Centre for their kind assistance in making this issue possible.