Lot 191 Nigeria - Biafra SG#MS42var One Pound Multicoloured Pope Paul VI and Map of Africa, 1969 Christmas Overprints on Papal Visit Issue, A VFNH Souvenir Sheet Fewer Than 100,000 Printed
A VFNH souvenir sheet of the one pound multicoloured Pope Paul VI and Map of Africa from the 1969 Christmas Overprints on Papal Visit Issue, fewer than 100,000 printed.
Gibbons does not list this souvenir sheet Our estimate of the value, based on the scarcity, and what we have seen a similar sheet sell for in the past is $25. The souvenir sheet offered here grades 84 as follows:
Paper Freshness: 5/5
Absence of Visible Paper Flaws: 5/5
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.