Gambia – The Sloping Label Varieties

The beautiful Cameo stamps of the Gambia have appealed to serious philatelists for generations, and the complex printing methods have intrigued the most scientific of minds.

Several progressive flaws are known on these issues, the most prominent being the “Sloping label”, found on the top row of stamps at positions 1 (sloping to left) and position 5 (sloping to right).

They first occur on the 6d blue imperforate printing of 1874, and continue throughout the perforated issues in blue, again in the range of green shades, until a new plate was produced in 1893. The flaw became more pronounced during the period of production.

Several theories as to how these striking varieties occurred have been put forward by specialists of these issues, but no conclusive answers have ever been found, and still remains a mystery after nearly 140 years!

Sandafayre have a lovely example of one of these issues.

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