The polar bear from Gambia?!

Society president Derek Williams recounted his experiences in differentiating between colours whilst working on his George VI collection – specifically with stamps from Gambia.

Gambia is a West African country surrounded by Senegal. Gambia’s first stamps were issued in 1869. It was placed under the British Governor-General in Sierra Leone in 1821. It became a British Crown Colony from 1888 and eventually became self-governing in 1965 within the Commonwealth.

Derek’s interests lie in GVI from 1936 onwards to 1952; Gambia only issued one pictorial definitive set in 1938-46. All the stamps showed the same picture, same water mark and same perforations. Interestingly, the set of 16 stamps in total showed an elephant – curious because there are no elephants in Gambia – the last one was shot in 1913.

However, one of the stamps, the three half pence stamp, has 3 different colour variations. The original stamp was the SG152 1½d.brown-lake and bright carmine; there are two more – (i). SG152a lake brown and scarlet and (ii). SG152b brown-lake and vermilion. Derek thinks he has the SG152a and SG152b and so is a stamp short. The SG152 is catalogued at £275 but given the difficulty in recognising colours, Derek will not be spending any money without checking!

The other stamps issued in this George VI period were the Coronation1937, the Victory 1946, the Silver Wedding 1948 and the UPU anniversary which Derek already owns, so basically he is just one stamp short but which one?!

Ian Williams supplemented Derek’s tale with the following associated item extracted from Gibbon’s Stamp Monthly Nov 2019. I suspect members may believe this is more likely to be an early April edition! Enjoy!