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Lot 190 Nigeria - Biafra SG#MS38var 10/- + One Pound Multicoloured Starving Children, 1970 Save Biafra Overprints, Two VFNH Perforated and Imperf Souvenir Sheets Fewer Than 100,000 Printed

Lot 190 Nigeria - Biafra SG#MS38var 10/- + One Pound Multicoloured Starving Children, 1970 Save Biafra Overprints, Two VFNH Perforated and Imperf Souvenir Sheets Fewer Than 100,000 Printed

Two VFNH perforated and imperf souvenir sheets of the 10/- + one pound multicoloured Starving Children from the 1970 Save Biafra Overprints, fewer than 100,000 printed Both sheets show some black offset on the gum which came from the black border overprints that were applied to the sheets. This is normal for these and does not in any way detract.

Gibbons does not list these souvenir sheets Our estimate of the value, based on the scarcity, and what we have seen similar sheets sell for in the past is $150. The souvenir sheets offered here grade 84 as follows:

Centering/Margins: 35/70

Paper Freshness: 5/5

Colour: 5/5

Impression: 5/5

Absence of Visible Paper Flaws: 5/5

Perforations: 10/10

The issues of Biafra were generally printed in either Portugal or Italy, and there are several that Gibbons does not list because they have not been able to find evidence that such issues were available in Biafra. However, this does not necessarily mean that those stamps were never issued there. Anyone familiar with the nature of the Biafran civil war and with the habits of Nigerian society would come away with the understanding that most paperwork is not retained. This is why local covers bearing low value stamps are very scarce - because most are thrown away. Most covers from Nigeria will be letters sent abroad. However, the extreme hardships suffered in Bifara during the war would have meant that very few stamps would have been used for anything other than local mail. Because of this and the attitudes towards preservation, or lack thereof, even if the questionable issues were issued in Biafra, there would be very little surviving evidence of this. Our estimates of value are based on the scarcity of these issues and what we have seen them sell for on sites like e-Bay, several years ago. The souvenir sheets all have 5 digit control numbers on the back, so in theory, there could have been as many as 99,999 issued. However, in practice we think the quantity actually issued was lower as most of the sheets we have seen have had control numbers that begin with a 0. For used stamps, Gibbons prices them with the Umuahia CTO CDS postmarks, with a note that genuine postal cancels are worth much more. In our estimation this premium should be in the 400-500% range.

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