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The Unwatermarked Queen Victoria First Waterlow Issue of Niger Coast Protectorate Part One

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Today's post marks the beginning of a new series of posts devoted to the first of three issues that Waterlow and Sons produced for the Niger Coast Protectorate, before it became part of Southern Nigeria in 1900.

The first of these issues is unwatermarked and is unique in the sense that it is essentially an overprinted set in which the overprint has been incorporated into the design. The stamps were originally inscribed "Oil Rivers", which was the name previously given to the protectorate. However, by the time the stamp designs were ready for production, the name of the protectorate had changed to "The Niger Coast Protectorate". So, rather than produce completely new designs, the existing designs were altered to obliterate the words "Oil Rivers" and to add the words "Niger Coast". The alterations were done so well, that the stamps look as if they were originally designed this way.

This is a reasonably complicated issue, and so today's po…

The Overprinted Great Britain Issues Of Niger Coast Protectorate 1892-1894 Part Five

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This week will be my last post about the overprinted issues of Great Britain that were produced for use in the Niger Coast Protectorate. This week, I will look at some larger mint multiples of the overprinted issues, as well as the provisional surcharges that were issued at Old Calabar and Opobo between September and December 1893.

These surcharges together constitute one of the most elusive and expensive areas in all of British Commonwealth Philately. A staggering 38 basic provisional surcharges were produced, and some of these list in Gibbons for up to £140,000 each. In addition to the basic Gibbons listed numbers, most of these surcharges exist in different orientations from the normal setting, so vertical, inverted, diagonal etc., as well as doubled. Most of these are insanely rare, with fewer than a dozen examples known in most cases. The main reason for the immense rarity of these surcharges is that each stamp in a typical sheet of 60 received a slightly different surcharge, an…

The Overprinted Great Britain Issues Of Niger Coast Protectorate 1892-1894 Part Four

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This week, I will showcase a number of covers and postcards from the Niger Coast Protectorate that fall into the period covered by the overprinted Great Britain issues. Two of these covers were featured in my post last week, but I will show them again here.

Niger Company Territories

Before the formation of Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1901, the area north of the Oil Rivers Protectorate was known as the Niger Company Territories. Generally, prior to the issuance of the Oil Rivers stamps, stamps of Great Britain, or Postal Stationery items were used. The only way to identify them as Niger Company Territories is by the postmarks, which were generally violet boxed handstamps from Akassa, Burutu, Abutshi and Lokoja. Akassa and Burutu are the most common village names, but that being said, none of these are common by any means. Stamps with the postmarks are scarce enough, but covers and postcards are very scarce indeed.

Below are some stamps on piece, as well as some individual loose st…