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Brixton Chrome

Lot 264 Nigeria - Biafra SG#14-d 5/ Multicolored Giraffes, 1965-1972 Wildlife Definitive Issue, A VFOG Specialized Group of Singles On Various Fluorescent Papers, Shiny Dex Gum With Biafra Overprint, In Both Brown and Brown Purple Shades

Lot 264 Nigeria - Biafra SG#14-d 5/ Multicolored Giraffes, 1965-1972 Wildlife Definitive Issue, A VFOG Specialized Group of Singles On Various Fluorescent Papers, Shiny Dex Gum With Biafra Overprint, In Both Brown and Brown Purple Shades

A VFOG specialized group of singles of the 5/ multicolored Giraffes from the 1965-1972 Wildlife Definitive Issue, on various fluorescent papers with shiny DEX gum with Biafra overprint, in both brown and brown purple shades.

Gibbons values the basic stamps at 11.25 pounds This is approximately $19.58. However, some of the less common varieties should be worth more. The stamps offered here grade between 75 and 84 as follows:

Centering/Margins: 54/70, 50/70 and 45/70

Paper Freshness: 5/5

Colour: 5/5

Impression: 5/5

Absence of Visible Paper Flaws: 5/5

Perforations: 10/10

The wildlife definitive issue that was in use between 1965 and 1973, when the new kobo-Naira currency was introduced is a wonderfully complex and interesting set to collect. Gibbons lists two sets: the first printed by the Belgian subsidiary of De La Rue (Delrieu) and Harrison and Sons, and the second by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSP&M) and Enschede. Apart from differences in the size of the imprints on the NSP&M printings, and one shade variation on the first 5/-, Gibbons does not list any other varieties. However, that is because the majority of the varieties that do exist can only be seen with an ultraviolet lamp. This issue is a real happy hunting ground for those who enjoy studying paper fluorescence, as well as the different chemical compositon of printing inks.

In terms of paper and ink the following observarions can be made:

1. The first issues printed by Delrieu are generally printed on fluorescent papers that contain varying quantities of brownish woodpulp flecks. These flecks have the effect of dampening the perceived fluorescence. The papers usually vary from LF to HF on the face and back, with the face occasionally appearing duller than the back. On some printings of the 4d, 6d, 1/-, 2/6d and 10/- the inks change colour under UV or fluoresce, as in the case of the 2/6d and 10/-.

2. The issues printed by Harrisons, being the 1d, 2d, 3d and 9d show a lot of variation on the back, from dead to HF-fl. The inks on some printings of the 4d, the inks fluoresce a bright pink or lilac, while on others they merely appear a darker shade of the normal colour.

3. The NSP&M Issues show considerable variation on all stamps with everything from LF to HB being possible. The 4d inks exhibit many of the same types of varieties as on the Harrison printings, and the 2/6d fluoresces orange brown.

4. The two Enschede printings of the 2d and 4d generally can be found either HF or HB.

In addition to paper fluorescence there are also collectible differences to be found in gum, paper weave and perforations. In this regard:

1. The Delrieu issues all have thick, shiny yellow dextrine gum that does not vary much. On the Biafran overprinted issues, this gum is almost always disturbed, due to the sheets sticking to the wax interleaving between post office sheets, due to the climate.

2. The Harrison prntings generally have a smooth gum Arabic that is somewhat streaky, but later printings made from 1966 and 1967 have crackly gum Arabic. Some printings of the 3d and 2d can be found with streaky PVA gum.

3. The NSP&M Printings generally have a smooth, shiny white dex gum, but occasionally this gum becomes quite dull, appearing almost like PVA gum. The paper of these printings can be completely smooth, but quite often shows very strong vertical or horizontal mesh, which can show up as ribbing on used examples. The perforation holes on these issues vary also, with some stamps having very large holes, resulting in narrow, sharp perforation teeth, while on other printings the perforations are very rough.

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