In the mid-1970’s and late on to the mid-1980’s, Duvalierist Haiti was not only a realm of terror and imprisonment, but also of high-level corruption. Whereas corruption is not intrinsically connected to stamp trade, one of the ‘schemes’ pulled off by the close relations and circle of acolytes of Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier really involved stamps. Not just any stamps – but beautiful, colorful stamps depicting in 15 designs reproductions of Haitian-born ornithologist Jean-Jacques Audubon.
The stamps attracted worldwide philatelic attention in their year of issue, 1975. Not only were they so appealing, but since bird stamp collections were increasingly popular, they became a must-have for most collectors. How did it all start?