Eynhallow is an uninhabited isle north of Scotland and part of the Orkney islands. The name of the isle originates from the old Norwegian name Eyin Helga: Holy Island. At the island there are remnants of a church from the 12th century, or maybe even older. Through the ages, the building structure did not only serve the spiritual needs of the islanders. The construction also had a residential function. Folk tales say that Eynhallow is the same island as Hildaland (Hidden Land). The summer retreat of the mysterious Finfolk. These creatures appear in the Orkney legends among others as feared shape shifters, abductors, and (jew’s) harp players.
No human habitation
In 1851 the last islanders left Eynhallow: four peasant families. Since that time the isle has no human habitation. Acheological finds of jew’s harps are – as far as I know – unknown. Though the Cinderella among the harps is (still) played at surrounding islands. Eynhallow has no regular connexion with other islands, neither with Scottish mainland.
Clive Harold Feigenbaum (1939–2007) was an influential British businessman involved in remarkable scandals in the world of postal stamp dealers and collectors. In 1970 his membership of The Philatelic Traders Society was withdrawn for trading images ‘that looked like postal stamps’, and hiding information that these images were no real postal stamps. In 1971 legal proceedings were taken against Feigenbaum among which 14 accusations of fencing and resale of stolen postal stamps from the British Museum, such as a rare series of Winston Churchill stamps. Feigenbaum denied all accusations and he was finally declared not guilty by the court.
Staffa affair & connection with the Eynhallow stamps
In 1979 Feigenbaum was involved in a U.S. Customs dispute about import duty applied to United States Bicentenary commemoration stamps of Staffa island. The island of Staffa is an uninhabited isle part of the Inner Hebrides, west of Scotland. The retail price of the Staffa stamps was worth over 5 million U.S dollars. Feigenbaum argued that as Staffa had a legitimate mail service, the stamps were not liable for duty. However, the mail service at Staffa, amounted to no more than a mail box on a mooring place. The mail service amounted to nothing more than a tourist curiosity. Feigenbaum had the right to produce stamps marked Staffa in return for a fee to the island’s owner. Stamps of Eynhallow and Staffa are commonly found together in collections today, indicating their probable common origin.
Postal stamp business has generated much money. Not only for state companies and private services. The lucrative trade has much to offer to traders and collectors. Also in the form of catalogues, thematic collections, first day covers, gift coupons and magazines. The mystery of the Eynhallow postal stamp remains. Anyway, there never was a local post service on the island, and certainly no printing company!