A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Senegambia & Niger

1903 Scott 7 20c red/green "Navigation and Commerce"
A Hirschburger Forgery - for more on these forgeries, click here.
Quick History
Senegambia & Niger was a short lived administrative French possession territory in West Africa between 1902-04, when it was consolidated with a part of (earlier era) French Sudan territory to become Upper Senegal and Niger. (See clarifying note at the end of the blog post.)

French West Africa
Note "Upper Senegal and Niger", formed from..
"Senegambia & Niger", and parts of (then) French Sudan
Senegambia & Niger territory consisted of the upper basins of the Senegal river and the Niger river and parts east- somewhat ill-defined. The main settlement was Bammako on the Niger. This map shows the successor state (Upper Senegal & Niger), but is easy to read.

Senegambia & Niger
This period map shows the swath of land for "Senegambia et Niger". 

A German map of "French West Africa" territories
Note "Senegambien" for the Senegal and Gambia lands
"Senegambia" was an older term for the Senegal (French) and Gambia (British) lands that the French -especially- hoped to unite under their leadership. That never happened.

Senegambia & Niger administrative territory had one stamp issue: 1903 "Navigation and Commerce" stamps.

As mentioned, the administrative unit was changed to "Upper Senegal and Niger" after 1904. The French Colony of Upper Senegal and Niger, (capital Bamako), issued stamps from 1906-1921, when the name and postage stamps was changed to (later era) French Sudan.  

1903 Scott 1 1c black/lilac blue
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Senegambia & Niger 1903, thirteen major descriptions for the "Navigation and Commerce" issue. Of those, CV is $2+-$7+ for five stamps. It is possible to have a representative sampling for not too much expense.

A closer look at the stamps
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
1903 Scott 3 4c claret/lavender "Navigation and Commerce"
Senegambia & Niger stamp output is short and sweet: the "Navigation and Commerce" issue of thirteen stamps produced in 1903.

Since this design is found for virtually all of the French possessions, it is quite familiar indeed.

The issue is typographed, and the name of the colony is in either blue or carmine. Perforations are 14 X 13 1/2. Scott has a note that counterfeits can be found with perforation 13 1/2 X 14.

Deep Blue
1903 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has one page for the 1903 issue. Naturally, all the major Scott numbers have a space.

Senegambia & Niger coverage in Big Blue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, has eight spaces for the 1903 issue. Coverage is 62%.

Senegambia & Niger in the '69 edition is located after St. Thomas and Prince Islands, and on the same page as Schleswig and the beginning of the St. Vincent coverage.

The 40s editions have Senegambia & Niger located after Salvador.

All editions have the same coverage.

BB has spaces for Scott 1-8, and includes two spaces @ CV $10+, and one space @ CV $20+.




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1903 Scott 6 15c gray ($10+)
1903 Scott 7 20c red/green ($10+)
1903 Scott 8 25c blue ($20+)

1903 Scott 2 2c brown/buff
Out of the Blue
French West Africa colony boundaries changed often, as they were "administrative" colonies rather than true nation-states. But, at least for Senegambia & Niger, it exists on a map of the period, and had one stamp issue. ;-)

Note: Regarding the formation of Senegambia & Niger: When (earlier era) French Sudan administratively broke up in 1899, the French authorities apparently formed "Upper Senegal" and "Middle Niger" administrative colonies, which issued no stamps of their own, but continued to use (earlier era) French Sudan Stamps. In 1902, the two administrative colonies were combined into Senegambia & Niger. I've been unable to find a map showing these earlier nascent colonies, which, frankly existed more as administrative/military post entities, rather than "real" colonies, as far as I can tell. The French Delegue General (Administrator) was the same for "Haut Senegal et Moyen Niger" (1899-1902) and "Senegambia & Niger" (1902-04). His name was William Merlaud-Ponty, a civilian. (Thanks to Michael Adkins (Dead Countries Stamps website) and Gerben van Gelder (StampWorldHistory website) for digging into this.)

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain. I would like to thank Michael Adkins and Gerben van Gelder for locating the "Senegambia et Niger" map.

Have a comment?


  1. Great information. Thanks!

  2. Glad you found it useful Jerry!

  3. Thanks again for the reference. You dug up some nice maps yourself too here. I particularly like the German map with all the indigenous peoples and kingdoms. I'll probably be spending an afternoon sometime soon to check my maps against it.....

  4. My pleasure Gerben. :-)
    And thank you again for your help with this "country". ;-)

  5. Eu tenho um Senegâmbia na minha coleção.

    1. "I have a Senegambia in my collection"

      Good Ivson - they are not that common. :-)

  6. Lucky Ivson. Collecting for 40 years and I still don't have one.

  7. Please note that the 20c is a Hirschburger forgery; check it out. One additional thing about those is that the paper and ink colors are garishly bright and fresh-looking compared to the originals or the French Peace & Navigation (Type Sage) series.

    -- hy-brasil

    1. Indeed it is! I did a small review on Hirschburger forgeries recently - http://bigblue1840-1940.blogspot.com/2019/08/filling-deep-blue-france-offices-china.html

      I will note the forgery, and update the blog post. Thanks for picking this up --hy-brasil.

      BTW, would you be interested in perhaps doing some guest posts for us? I have been impressed with your comments/knowledge. If so, get in touch with me..


      and now some words to confuse bots..

      [AT] comcast.net

      All the best!
      Jim Jackson

  8. Ray McIntire, Springfield, TNNovember 8, 2020 at 9:47 PM

    Hi Jim, I found a lot on eBay from a dealer in Germany, and now Senegambia and Niger is complete! In 2 1/2 years, I only had the 4c stamp. Can cross that one off the list!
    Take care, be safe and healthy!! Ray

    1. Congratulations Ray! I checked my inventory, and I have only four out of the eight spaces filled - a way to go.