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OIL RIVERS (NIGER COAST) 1893-1899 and cancels

Return To Catalogue - Oil Rivers 1892

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In 1891 postoffices were established in Calabar, Benin, Bonny, Brass, Opobo and Warri. At first stamps of Great Britain were used. In 1892 (July) the stamps of Great Britain were overprinted with "BRITISH PROTECTORATE OIL RIVERS". More postoffices were opened in 1892-93 in Bakana, Qua Iboe, Sombreiro and Buguma.

 

1893 Queen Victoria inscription "OIL RIVERS", however this text is barred and the stamps overprinted with "NIGER COAST" on top

2 p green 5 p grey

  1/2 p red
  1 p blue
  2 p green
  2 1/2 p red
  5 p grey
  1 Sh black

Surcharged and bisected

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com

  '1/2' (red) on half of 1 p blue

These stamps have perforation 14.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1/2 p *** ***  
1 p *** ***  
2 p RR RR  
2 1/2 p *** ***  
5 p *** ***  
1 Sh RR RR  
1/2 on half of 1 p RRR RR  

 

1894 Queen Victoria, inscription "NIGER COAST PROTECTORATE"

1 p red 2 p red 2 Sh 6 p yellow

  1/2 p green
  1 p red
  2 p red
  2 1/2 p blue
  5 p violet
  6 p brown
  1 Sh black
  2 Sh 6 p yellow
  10 Sh violet

Surcharged

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com

  'ONE HALF PENNY' on 2 1/2 p blue

Surcharged and bisected

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com
Images reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com

  '1/2' (black, violet or blue) on half of 1 p red

These stamps have perforation 14.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
No watermark (1894)
1/2 p ** **  
1 p *** ***  
2 p *** ***  
2 1/2 p *** ***  
5 p *** ***  
1 Sh *** ***  
1/2 on 2 1/2 p RR RR  
1/2 on half of 1 p RRR RRR  
Watermark 'CA Crown' (1897)
1/2 p * *  
1 p * *  
2 p *** ***  
2 1/2 p *** ***  
5 p *** ***  
6 p *** ***  
1 Sh *** ***  
2 Sh 6 p RR RR  
10 Sh RR RR  

In 1898 some of these stamps were overprinted 'CONSULAR' to serve as fiscal stamps. The value 1 Sh either with an overprinted or a handstamp. All other values (1/2 p, 1 p, 2 1/2 p, 6 p, 2 Sh 6 p and 10 Sh) only with an overprint:


"CONSULAR" overprint

If my information is correct, so-called Bournemouth forgeries exist, where a combination of genuine stamps of Niger Coast and Southern Nigeria were pasted on pieces of letters with a forged 'SAPELE A JY 20 04' cancel applied to it.

 

The stamps of Niger Coast were replaced by those of Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria in 1899.


Postal Stationary


Cancels


"OPOBO RIVER" on a unsurcharged Great Britain stamp.


Circular cancels: "BONNY RIVER", 'BRASS RIVER", "FORCADOS RIVER", "OLD CALABAR RIVER" and "OPOBO - RIVER"


"BAKANA" cancel

"BRASS" cancel in violet "WARRI" cancel "WARRI" and "BONNNY" cancels
In 1894 new square cancels were introduced, the word "RIVER" was omitted from every townname. I've seen "BENIN", "BONNY", "BRASS", "OLD CALABAR", "OPOBO" and "WARRI".

With BRASS cancel
Double ringed parcel cancel of "BRASS" (split-ring cancel) apparently initially intended for parcels, but later also used to cancel normal mail. Next to it a red "BENIN" cancel.


Purple elliptical registration cancel.


Black elliptical registration cancels "FORCADOS" and "OLD CALABAR"


"PAID LIVERPOOL BR.PACKET" and date. I've seen this cancel on red on a cover to Great Britain (but the cancel was not applied to the stamps).


"BENIN RIVER C NO 16 93" cancel in red (the usual color used in Benin for cancels). Next to it exactly the same cancels with the same date This is probably a favour cancel (cancelled to order).


Two bisected stamps with the same "OPOBO RIVERS A OC 29 94" cancel (most likely cancelled to order)


Rectangular violet cancel "THE ROYAL NIGER COMPANY CHARTERED & LIMITED", date and "POST OFFICE BURUTU." on stamps of Great Britain. I've seen a similar cancel with "AKASSA." If I'm well informed the company also had offices in Abutshi and Lokoja. Next to it a letter with the same cancel and two additional "PAID LIVERPOOL BR.PACKET" and date cancels.


Stamps - Timbres-Poste - Briefmarken

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer