The first stamps of Tunisia appeared in 1888 while it was a French Protectorate. The set of eight features the coat of Arms of Tunisia. At the bottom the stamps were inscribed “Régence de Tunis” (Regency of Tunisia). A series of commemoratives issued between 1906-26 has several denominations featuring a Carthaginian galley ship. This relates to Tunisia’s early history. Ancient Carthage, settled by the seafaring Phoenicians several centuries before Christ, was located in present-day Tunisia. From this set on, until Tunisia’s independence from France in 1956, the letters RF (“République Français”) appear on its stamps. Tunisia’s stamps have a definite French look, with many beautifully engraved issues even after independence.