J. Barnard was a watchmaker and engraver who lived in Port Louis, Mauritius. He engraved the two first stamps of Mauritius in 1847. Barnard engraved one copy of each value on the back of a small copper plate which had been used for a visting card. Reprints exist of this original, two-stamp plate.
Legend has it that Barnard didn't know he had to include the words 'POST PAID' and instead opted for 'POST OFFICE'. However, seeing that the wording 'post office' had already been in use on Mauritius' handstruck stamps for nearly two decades, one may wonder whether Barnard's use was indeed so erroneous.
Mauritius, 'Post Office' definitives
Mauritius, 'Post Paid' definitives
- The Encyclopaedia of British Empire Postage Stamps, Volume II, The Empire in Africa - Robson Lowe (1949)