A series of four stamps issued by the Gambia on the occasion of the London 1980 International stamp exhibition, depicting various ships (Scott: 408–11, Michel: 406–09). The floating head is by Dawda Jawara (1924–2019), who served as the country’s first president from 1970 to 1994. A former British Crown colony, the Gambia gained independence in 1965 and became a republic within the Commonwealth in 1970. The nominal value is given in dalasi (and its subunit bututs), which was adopted in 1971 as the national currency. The country’s name and the value is shown in tightly spaced Antique Olive, while the ship names are in all-caps Helvetica. Just like the ships weren’t built in the Gambia (see the caption for “Mansa Kila Ba”), the stamps weren’t produced domestically either, but made by Harrison & Sons, England. Not to mention the typefaces, which are French and Swiss in origin.
TSCMY “Mansa Kila Ba” was completed in 1913 on Rennie Forrest’s yard in Wivenhoe, England. The luxurious yacht was built for the Governor of Gambia and burnt in 1970 in a revolutionary arson attack. [shipstamps.co.uk]