Issued today in 1954

Kenya Uganda Tanganyika. Definitives. Issued from 1 June 1954. The 15c was reissued 29 April 1959 with a dot under the ‘c’ of the value.

The issue is most famous for the 5c and 30c used examples with inverted vignette.  These are extremely scare with just one example of the 5c known and three of the 30c recorded. Despite exhaustive searches no other examples have surfaced. And to date there is still no consensus as to how the errors could have occurred, but it seems likely just one vignette was inverted (although correctly aligned) in relation to the others on the affected printing plates.

Another major error exists on the 20c. It is known imperforate and was first reported in the 15 March 1957 edition of Stamp Collecting. The source was traced to a Nairobi hotel employee who had purchased the stamps locally and used a quantity to post letters on behalf of guests. Around seven mint pairs and three used pairs exist.





KUT 1938 5c Dhow on Lake Victoria with double frame

Likely due to contact with a freshly printed sheet, a used example of the Kenya Uganda Tanganyika 5c Dhow on Lake Victoria, perf 13 x 11¾, has surfaced with a second (offset) impression of the frame. The spectacular variety (SG132var; SC67var) is ex Graham Cooper’s KGVI collection auctioned in December 2016 and is believed unique.

Offsets occur during stacking of freshly printed sheets. Virtually all are discovered on the gummed side due to the front of a sheet with undried ink coming into contact with the back of another sheet. The stacking of sheets face-to-face is unusual, but not unknown. A more recent example exists on Swaziland’s 40c/55c Zebra White issue of 17 December 1990 with the surcharge appearing twice – the second impression reversed and at an angle.

Discover other examples of offsets here.