This new 750 XPF stamp issue, designed and intaglio printed by André Lavergne, forms part of the OPT-NC series of stamps dedicated to historic New Caledonian mansions.
Château Escande, also known as Château de Muéo, was built by convict labour in 1882 as a country house for Alexandre Escande, a former army commander who had turned his talents to farming. Escande was born in the south of France and settled in New Caledonia in 1874.
Having witnessed the 1878 Kanak uprising, Escande decided to build a mansion along the same lines as the fortified manor house he owned in France, with a view to withstanding a possible siege. His new residence was austerely imposing and included two corner turrets. Wrought iron grills bearing the owner's initials, A and E, were added to protect the ground floor apertures. The window lintels were carved from large blocks of Acropora coral and the impressively massive original masonry bathtub can still be seen on the ground floor.
Château Escande then passed into the hands of Edouard Soulard, who converted the estate into a stockbreeding farm. The property was then purchased by Roy Hagen's Mueo Meat Company, which manufactured canned jellied beef.
In 1942, the Johnston family bought the land and property and, in 1947, founded the Muéo stockbreeding company. The historic mansion was restored to its former glory in 1984 at the behest of Tom Johnson.