Monday, 21 November 2011

Ghana's Rarest Recent Stamp? A Postcard From South Sudan.


Of the recent Ghana definitives, the value that has proved most difficult to obtain is the C500 value featuring the seashell, Typanotomus Fuscatus, which the Stanley Gibbons West Africa catalogue dates to July 2003. Up until a fortnight ago I had never seen this stamp being offered for sale and it remained a glaring blank spot in my collection. Interestingly, the now retired and much missed Commonwealth stamp new issue dealers, M & N Haworth, who were second to none in obtaining obscure new issues from around The Commonwealth, were never able to obtain this particular stamp to put on sale and, despite frequent searching, I had never seen it for sale on E Bay or Delcampe. And then, whilst examining the photograph of some kiloware being offered for sale by auction on E Bay, I noticed this insignificant-looking, little stamp among the items included in a particular lot and, fortunately, for a very modest sum, was able to secure the lot and at long last that nasty blank spot in my collection has been filled by what I believe to be the rarest of recent Ghanaian stamps (at least until the recent production of various surcharged stamps, a number of which will probably be very difficult to obtain). Astonishingly, a few days after I had made my successful bid, I found another kiloware packet for sale which also included this particular stamp, from a completely different seller in a different country but up to now these are the only 2 specimens of this particular stamp which I have ever seen for sale (and both of them in a used condition). Incidentally, the current Gibbons Commonwealth West Africa Catalogue, 2009 edition, prices the used stamp at a mere 20p and a mint example at 50p, all I can say is, try getting hold of a copy.
  Meanwhile, I have also been delighted to add a postcard to my collection which was sent from the new country of South Sudan to Egypt which bears a pair of the 3.5 SSp value of the first stamp issue which depicts the leader of the independence struggle, John Garang. The stamps are cancelled by a circular date stamp from Juba, the capital, on 5 September 2011 - about 6 weeks after the stamps were issued - and there is an Egyptian cancellation applied to the card which is dated 11 October 2011; apparently the item took a month to arrive at its destinatio which suggests that the South Sudan postal service may not yet be in its optimal working state.

 I find it an exciting item to add to my 1897 to 1955 collection of Sudan stamps which contains some of the most interesting designs ever issued in The British Empire including the very exotic and romantic-looking Camel postman design which first appeared in 1898 and the spectacularly beautiful General Gordon 50th death anniversary set of 1935.


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