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The Day the Gibraltar Post Office Ran Out of Stamps

By Richard J M Garcia MBE, FRPSLFig
For eight and a half days in February 1891, Gibraltar ran out of its 5c. and 10c. stamps. This unprecedented occurrence not only had a drastic effect of Gibraltar but also the British Postal Agencies in Morocco that then used unoverprinted Gibraltar stamps. Richard Garcia explains why Gibraltar ended up in this embarrassing position and the temporary emergency measures put in place by the Post Office until new stocks of low values arrived. … [Read More] “The Day the Gibraltar Post Office Ran Out of Stamps”

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Stamp Hunting

Nimrod suggests some stamps worth looking for.

Kenya

We begin with the 1963 Independence issue (SG1/14). Although not to every collector’s taste, stylistically, supplies of this set in fine unmounted mint condition are starting to dwindle. The same is true of the 1966 Wildlife issue on chalk-surfaced paper (20/35), however it is the corresponding set on glazed, ordinary paper that is proving the more difficult to acquire, especially in fine used condition, with the 5s (33a) notably elusive.

Glazed, ordinary paper set stamps from the 1966 Wildlife issue are proving more diffi cult to acquire, especially fi ne used. Look out for the elusive 5s. … [Read More] “Stamp Hunting”

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The king who sold his queen so he could marry his mistress

King Carol II of Romania was exiled by the Nazis in 1940. He left on a train laden with Royal Treasures. This included paintings by Titian, Rubens and Rembrandt plus jewels and even the ceremonial armour. He also made sure that he gathered up his prized stamp collection.

Although a Nazi-financed death squad fired on the Royal Train, they failed to stop it. The King and his mistress lay on the floor and escaped injury from the bullets.

Later, when exiled in Mexico, he sold part of his famous stamp collection to raise funds for his marriage to his mistress. The collection including a famous stamp error from Jamaica that featured the statue of Queen Victoria.

Also included in the sale were rare British specimens that are widely acknowledged as amongst the finest collections in private hands today. The last time King Carol II’s former collection was on the open market was in 2011 when it sold for £36,650.

a famous stamp error from Jamaica that featured the statue of Queen Victoria
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The Bird Definitives of Niger

By Michael Round

With new additions, reprints and several changes of printers over a nearly 30-year period, the Bird Definitives of Niger can feel a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, especially when it comes to laying out an album page. Luckily Michael Round is here to help piece things together.

Firstly, an apology, or at least a warning, to collectors of ‘Birds on Stamps.’ Fascinating though all the featured birds may be, the emphasis here will be more philatelic than ornithological. Apologies, too, for any obsolete bird names. The English names I use were those current at the time of issue: many have since changed. Bird-lovers wanting more details may consult websites, or better still, the splendid articles by fellow GSM contributor P J Lanspeary (see the August 2017 issue for a sample). … [Read More] “The Bird Definitives of Niger”

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Guernsey releases Great War folder

Guernsey Post has produced 1918 limited edition souvenir folders as part of its Stories from the Great War stamp series. The folder includes the names of the 1500 Guernsey men and women who lost their lives during the War, along with a miniature replica of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Colours and an overview of each of the five stamp issues.Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post said: ‘Along with the penultimate issue in our … [Read More] “Guernsey releases Great War folder”

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