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Showing posts from July, 2013

The First Six Postal History Items For My Exhibit..

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In an earlier post, I mentioned that I wanted to depart a bit from my practice of writing about definitive sets, and take you through the process by which I am actually approaching my study of Nigerian stamps and postal history. I had decided that since I would be presenting an Exhibit at the November 2013 meeting of the West Africa Study Circle in London, that I would devote the next several posts to showing you the covers and postcards that I have selected for my exhibit. Each item has been selected either because I feel that the frankings are especially spectacular, the covers have been to unusual destinations, or there is some other feature of the cover that makes it especially interesting. When one collects postal history from this country for a while one becomes aware of how common covers to the USA or the UK are after about 1930. Prior to that, all covers are scarce. So without further ado, I present the first 6 items that I have selected, all from Lagos, during the reigns of Q…

Here They Are: The Two Rarest Stamps of Lagos...

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As promised, I am posting the pictures of the used 5/- blue and 10/- brown stamps of Lagos that arrived last week:




I have read in several sources that there were no more than 480 or so of each of these two stamps printed. Given that these were printed in panes of 60, that means there were no more than eight sheets issued. They were issued in October 1886 and were in use for less than 6 months, before being replaced by the bi-coloured stamps in March 1887. How many of these have survived since then is anyone's guess. However, I will note that the vast majority of the stamps that I have seen offered for sale are mint. Used copies seem to be very rare, and when they are found, they generally are heavily cancelled - much more so than the 10 shilling value shown above. While it may not score top marks for eye appeal, it is a very sound and presentable example of this very rare stamp. 
So there you have them: the 5/- blue and 10/- brown Vickies of Lagos. 

Comments Settings Changed

I had kept wondering why no comments were appearing on my posts. My very astute girlfriend and I were discussing this the other day and she told me that my settings restrict people from posting comments, because she had tried on several occasions. I was surprised, because this was not my intention. So I have now changed my settings and you are all free to comment.

Total Shock - I did not Succeed in Purchasing the Mint 5/- and 10/- Lagos Stamps

The old adage, "don't count your chickens before they hatch" is such a tried, tested and true piece of wisdom, that I am amazed that I don't follow it more often. A few days ago, I proudly proclaimed that I had acquired both the mint and used examples of the 5/- and 10/- Lagos first issues. While it is true that I have actually bought the used stamps, I jumped the gun on the mint ones.

You see, a seller on e-bay had them listed for opening bids of $450 and $900 respectively. This is about 60% of their Scott value. Knowing their true rarity, I placed a bid of $1,000 on the 5/- and $2,000 on the 10/-. I was so sure that I would succeed in purchasing these at significantly less than these amounts, that I went ahead and announced that I had acquired them.

Up until an hour before closing I was indeed the high bidder. I went to the gym for my weekly workout, came back and to my shock, the 5/- sold for $1,025 and the 10/- for $2,025. Both stamps were purchased by a buyer,…

Comments Please...

Before I publish my next post I would like to call upon all of you to comment on my posts. This is a vast and complicated area of philately. While there is a considerable body of knowledge that exists, much if it resides either between the ears of many established philatelists, or has been published in newsletters or journals that are either out of print, or not widely available. If you go to any seller of philatelic handbooks, you will find very few reference sources for Nigeria. Those publications that do exist tend to focus on pre-1914 issues. Except for articles written by King George VI specialists, articles dealing with the King George V Keyplates and articles written by my esteemed colleagues Rob May and Jeremy Martin dealing with modern definitives, there are very few sources dealing with the issues of post 1914 Nigeria.

Therefore in the interests of increasing the existing body of knowledge, I think it is important to share our knowledge with one another. Commenting is one of…

The Hiatus in Posts

I keep starting all my posts of late with the same apology, where I mention how few posts I have been writing along with a renewed commitment to post more often, one or two posts, and then nothing. This has weighed heavily on my mind since my last post. The truth is, I have been struggling with the issue of how to go about presenting the fascinating topic of Nigerian philately to all of you interested collectors. I have been trying to avoid going into the level of detail that excites me, largely because I am afraid that to do so, without first properly introducing my subject, would bore too many of you. So with that in mind I have tried to stick to introducing you to the many stamp issues that this fascinating country has to offer. There are still so many more though, and it will take me many posts to show them all to you.  I must point out that I am studying the stamps of this country one issue at a time, going into as much detail as I can before I get tired of it and move on to som…