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Showing posts from August, 2013

Plate Block Collecting

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I am going to veer off the topic of the last couple of posts and show you another aspect of Nigerian philately that is particularly satisfying over the longer term: the collecting of plate blocks. Plate blocks for the colonies of the British Empire is not a prominent field largely due to the fact that the blocks are very scarce and because the standard catalogues do not list them - so collectors do not know what exists. Because of this, it is possible to obtain some very scarce material for a fraction of what they should be worth based on their scarcity.

As an example, I illustrate a 1/- orange Queen Victoria, crown CA plate block that I acquired several months ago on e-bay:


This stamp was issued in 1885 and represents the highest of what at the time were low-value definitives. So in North American terms, this would be the equivalent of a 10 cent stamp from that period. I have not seen any data on what the issue quantity was, but I do know from a German publication that the print quan…

Six More Interesting Covers...

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In this post, I will show you six interesting covers that I have recently acquired. I have not yet decided whether or not to enter all of them into my November exhibit, but I thought that I would show you all of them and see if any of you can offer any comments on them:



This first cover is my favourite. It features a complete souvenir sheet from the 1986 Insects issue, but with an added twist: the sheet is mis-perforated, with the horizontal perforations missing and the vertical perforations shifted in such a way as to bisect each stamp in the sheet. Most of the Nigerian stamps from the mid 1980's to the early 1990's exist mis-perforated and completely imperforate, from what were probably stocks of printers waste that somehow got out to the public. The backstamps indicate that the cover reached Vienna on July 8, 1992, which is just under six years after the issue came out. By western standards this is a very late usage that would almost certainly place the cover in the philate…

Technical Terms in My Posts

One reader has commented that I use a fair number of technical terms in my posts, which is true. What I had not considered, and perhaps I should have, is that many of you may be new to philately and have not had exposure to many of the technical terms.

As the next several posts are going to explore covers and postal history, I thought that it would be prudent to define some of the terms that will appear again and again in my posts:

Proud Type Such and Such:

Edward Proud is a prominent UK philatelist who has undertaken and completed a study of all known postmarks and cancellations for the entire British Empire up to Independence. This phenomenal undertaking has resulted in the publishing of a book for nearly every country in the Empire that lists, alphbetically all of the postmarks for every known post office. The listings are all fully illustrated and each mostmark is denoted by a alphanumeric type. So when I describe a postmark, I will generally refer to the type as listed in Proud…