Month: September 2013

Ibadan, Nigeria, c. 1963

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Unusual example of a Great Britain stamp used abroad, in this case from Nigeria. The crimson 5-shilling stamp shows Queen Elizabeth II and Caernarfon Castle in Wales. The stamp was issued in 1955, but the presence of a ZIP Code in the address (60601) indicates that the envelope was mailed after 1963.


Koidu, Sierra Leone, c. 1965

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“Land of Iron & Diamonds” freeform, self-adhesive stamps of Sierra Leone advertising the jeweler Harry Winston commercially used on cover. In 1972, Winston paid $2.5 million for the 1000-carat Star of Sierra Leone diamond mined in Koidu, the town where this letter originated.

Umuahia, Nigeria, 1950

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“To the Mystic Perfume” — one of my favorite curiously addressed de Laurence covers. The company sold various perfumes, including the famous “Vale of Kashmar,” said to “possess wonderful power to attract the Good Spirits and banish the Evil Ones, and for this reason is now generally used in all invocations.” It was a fragrance imported by Vantine’s of New York and rebranded by de Laurence.