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Why Liberia?

Several long-time members have asked for more posts and discussion on the forum

here goes.

So why do each of us have an interest in Liberia stamps? Something I've always wondered

I mean, it's not the most obvious or well-known country for collectors (many people would find it difficult to even locate on a world atlas) and I'm not sure it's well-known in philatelic circles. And yet each of us has decided to focus on this country

In my case it's partly personal. I worked in Liberia for a few years in the early 1970s so got to know the country and some of its people and history.

When I came back to the UK I got interested again in collecting and decided to focus on the early Liberia stamps (from 1860 up to the year I left Liberia in 1973). 30 years later here I still am!

What about everyone else?


  • edited October 2015
    A couple of months ago I was asked the same question, and first I would like to repeat here what I said then:
    "I used to collect (mint) amphibian and reptile topicals, and I got
    hooked because some Liberian stamps I needed where really hard to
    find, despite their comparatively low catalog values. Of all the
    countries in the world Liberia proved to be a real challenge. Since
    then I've found many more reasons, of course,
    like the close connection between Liberia and Germany."

    So, in my case it's no personal connection with the country. Liberian philately has immanent traits that make it special. Many of them are probably a very early reaction to the demands of the philatelic market, like the interest in picturesque stamps from exotic places. Liberia was probably the first country to issue a long pictorial stamps set. Many other countries followed in her footsteps. Or the demand for varieties and errors. Think of all the inverted centers. It is hardly a coincidence that Liberia has the largest number of inverts of all countries (a fact I was told and didn't check myself, but I believe it). Then you have numerous overprints and "emergency issues", an eldorado for variety hunters, and so on.

    I started collecting Liberia about six years ago, and thanks to the Internet I think I have already compiled a very nice collection. Still, it feels like I have only just begun.

  • Manfred

    when I worked in Liberia I noticed the strong connections with Germany - German companies based there, German shipping and transport etc - but I never understood why the links had developed

    Any ideas why Germany is linked so closely?  
  • edited October 2015
    The close connections between Germany and Liberia definitely date back to the beginnings of the Woermann Line in the 19th century. Back then it was simply a matter of opportunity: Liberia as an independent country had just begun to exist, and it offered a new market that was not already occupied and protected by British, French, or other companies from any of the established colonial powers.German traders gradually intensified their business activities with Liberia over decades. Once established, it seems that not even two world wars were able to break these links. After WWII, when President Tubman finally got serious about an "open door policy" for Liberia and started looking for investors in Europe, the booming post-war Germany seemed like a natural partner.
  • Makes sense in terms of colonial history

    I remember when I was there, there was a big German presence linked to Bong Mine, a huge mountain of iron ore
  • My grandfather got me interested in stamp collecting many, many years ago.  I started out collecting U.S. then moved on to worldwide 1840-1940.  I eventually decided that I needed to specialize in a particular area or country and I ended up choosing Manchukuo.  Since the country was only in existence from 1932-1945, I thought it would be relatively easy.  I was wrong!  And not knowing how to read Chinese didn't help.  I spent a lot of time deciphering things.  

    So I decided I needed to specialize in a country that used English as their main language. I also wanted to collect something that everyone else wasn't collecting.  Liberia is the obvious choice! I have been collecting Liberia ever since and really enjoy it.  I do wish there the Liberia collecting community was more active.

  • Travis,

    the Liberian philatelic community is indeed very quiet, compared to other countries, almost as if it doesn't exist at all. It is frustrating to think what could be accomplished, how many questions (first days of issue, postal rates etc.) could easily be answered if collectors would work together. And, this doesn't happen just because of ... what? Dullness? Or a general lack of interest? At least that's what I am forced to think considering the number of people who have contacted me asking for the password to access the LPS back issues: exactly one!!!

    It is funny you brought up the language aspect. In part due to the lack of exchange of knowledge between collectors of Liberia I had started looking for another country I could collect, a second area of interest; and one with a more active community. I was happy when my final choice also meant I had to dig into French! Well, I had French in school, but I was really bad and got rid of it as soon as I could. Since then, I've forgotten more of that language than I ever new. But, I will try to fix this mistake now. Of course, French isn't Chinese - I may not understand what I am reading, but at least I can read it!

  • Hi

    I'm a new member and just started collecting Liberian stamps. I chose this country a number of reasons:

    1. Old Liberian stamps are very beautiful
    2. They have issued stamps for a long time
    3. They are cheap compared to most other countries
    4. It's an african country  

    My main interest in stamps are for cultural and historic reasons so I try to collect countries from different part af the world..

  • Welcome Korsbecker! Although we are a small group, there are some very knowledgeable people on this forum and I have learned a lot. Manfred has done a great job with this website. Feel free to join in any of the discussions.

  • If you have anything to post, please do. We need all we can get. Right now there is only a small number of us who seem to post info on Liberia. So please join us anytime. Manfred has done a lot of work on this site. We need a group to keep it going.
  • I have to pretty much agree with Korsbecker's reasons.  The many varieties, legit or no, are fascinating, even the forgeries keep one busy with interesting detective work.  The stamps are intriguing from every angle, and one can still find occasional old-time collections at reasonable prices, some of which have a good chance of providing something new or even another rabbit-trail to chase down. I collect a number of countries as specialties, probably too many, and Liberia is a long-time favorite, especially the revenues and postal stationery.

    This is my first post, I just found the site today and was blown away by the amount of information here.  Looking forward to continued involvement.
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