The Issues of Niger Coast Protectorate - Part One - 1892-1894
There are only a handful of territories whose stamps differed in design from the standard Perkins Bacon Britannias and Chalons, or the De La Rue Queen Victoria Keyplates. One of these was the Oil Rivers Protectorate, which started off with Great Britain Jubilee issues that were overprinted, and then went on to feature beautiful Widow's Weeds designs, that were wonderfully executed by Waterlow and Sons, who during that era, had given Philatelists, absolutely wonderful stamps from Costa Rica, Uruguay, North Borneo and Labuan, to name just a few.
The overprinted issues of Great Britain, first appeared on July 20, 1892, and continued in use until the beginning of 1894. So they were in use for a little under a year and a half. There were five denominations: the 1/2d vermilion, the 1d lilac, the 2d grey-green and carmine, the 21/2d purple on blue, the 5d dull purple and blue, as well as the 1/- dull green. The overprint consisted of the words "British Protectorate" and "Oil Rivers" in three lines, with two appearing at the top of the design and the third line appearing at the base. The first five designs appear as follows: