West Africa Study Circle

Collecting The Gambia

After Independence, the same mixture of Gambian (upper picture) and international thematic interest continued for several years, though recently (see above), the bias has been towards American topical collectors and away from Gambian themes.

In recent issues there has been a clear trend towards more international, indeed more American, appeal; for example, Gibbons lists 24 stamps and 6 miniature sheets showing 101 Dalmatians; and SG 2319-35 show “Famous people of the Twentieth Century”, of whom 11 are Jacqueline Kennedy. Nevertheless these issues are pretty enough, and thematically attractive, and, despite the trend, there are plenty of issues which do have a Gambian focus, e.g. SG 480-3, 951-8, 1280-2, 2407-12. Some of the more recent issues seem to have been produced over-hastily, and there are >errors in the design (lower picture). A collection of these makes an amusing side-line. The red Gibbons catalogue mentions many, though by no means all, of these. SG 506 shows a Gambian river boat flying the Malian flag; SG 396, captioned “Long rowing-boat” shows the “rowers” paddling; and there are mistakes in the captions of SG 650, 1526, 2049, 2315 and others.

There have been several issues illustrating the wildlife of Abuko Nature reserve.
Birds, mammals, reptiles, frogs and here butterflies, have all been featured.
A non-Gambian, but popular, theme. Note the mis-spelling LARL for KARL.