Congo Free State
10c River Scene on the Congo invert error single. 10c River Scene on the Congo single.
This 1895 stamp features Stanley Falls (now Boyoma Falls), a famous natural wonder. A single sheet of 100 stamps was printed with the waterfall inverted. Of those 100 stamps, only about 40 survive today.
6m Millennium of Al Azhar Mosque essay, 1942. 10m Millennium of Al Azhar Mosque essay, 1942.
15m Millennium of Al Azhar Mosque essay, 1942. 20m Millennium of Al Azhar Mosque essay, 1942.
These are essays (trial designs) for stamps that were never issued. The stamps were intended to honor the millennium of Cairo’s first mosque, Al-Azhar Mosque. Formerly in the collection of Egypt’s King Farouk, the essays were seized and sold during the 1952 revolution that deposed him.
Direct Airmail Connection
50c surcharge on 1c airmail single, 1941. 50c surcharge on 20c airmail single, 1941.
In 1941 Pan American Airways announced the first direct airmail service between Liberia (which was founded by freed American slaves) and the United States. To celebrate the inaugural flight, the Liberian Post Office overprinted existing stamps. Then, at the last minute, Pan Am postponed the flight until 1942.
Impressions of Queen Victoria
2p Queen Victoria single, 1848. 1p Queen Victoria single, 1848. 2p Queen Victoria "Penoe" error single, 1848.
In 1848 Mauritius, then a British colony, issued stamps showing Queen Victoria at age 18. The soft copper plates wore down quickly, resulting in the changes visible in this group of early to late impressions. Some stamps contain an engraver’s error: “PENOE” instead of “PENCE.”
1p Seated Hope single, 1861. 4p Seated Hope single, 1861.
When stamps from Great Britain ran out in 1861, the Cape of Good Hope colony issued these provisional stamps. Within a few years, they were scarce. In 1863 E. Stanley Gibbons of England acquired a quantity of the stamps and used them to build one of the world’s largest stamp dealerships.