Fernando Po Queen Isabella

Here is a curious little article, concerning the West African country of Fernando Po, which I discovered in a very early journal, The Stamp Collector’s Magazine (May 1, 1869). It is republished, with little correction, retaining its Victorian style.

Shades of the ever-memorable Dockwra, what next – and next? Shall we have to describe the first series for mythical Timbuctoo, or an emission for Juan Fernandez?

We had began to think that the age of new countries was past; that we should be forced to confine ourselves for the future to chronicling the emissions of states and countries already enrolled as stamp-patrons, and now we perceive news of the appearance of stamps or series from no less than four almost unheard of African settlements.

First came the Orange State, and now we have, in quick succession, the Transvaal Republic, Gambia, and, lastly, Fernando Po. There has been but one stamp emitted for this Spanish settlement, and that is already obsolete.

According to the information given by Mr. Moens (on whose authority alone we chronicle this novelty), it was issued in September last year, and was superseded on the first January of the present year by the current Cuban type, which is now to be used, so he says, in all the Spanish colonies.

We give an illustration (above) of this stamp, which is a fac-simile of the engraving in Le Timbre-Poste, from which it will be perceived the value is 20 centesimos d’escudo; the colour, according to M. Moens, is brown on white.

That it is, and will be, very rare, there can be no doubt; indeed, the fact that it was not heard of in Europe until after its suppression, proves how little it was used.