Stamp issued in 1977 by the Central African Empire to commemorate Jean-Bedel Bokassa's coronation as Emperor. No expenses were spared in the production of this stamp, which includes expensive processes such as gold foiling and full-color embossing. Despite much color enhancement, the above photograph is a poor representation of the lustrous object meant to project the splendor and power the newly-crowned emperor desired.
The stamp displays a portrait of the crowned emperor commissioned from German artist Hans Linus; in the background is the flag of Centrafrica. At the top are the words "4.12.1977 COURONNEMENT DE S.M.I. BOKASSA Ier EMPEREUR DE CENTRAFRIQUE" and at the bottom, in larger font size is "EMPIRE CENTRAFRICAIN." The denomination is 2500 F (Francs). In a very small font, on the upper right is written "POSTE AERIENNE."
In addition to the crown he is wearing, Emperor Bokassa ordered a complete set of coronation regalia at a cost of $5 million from Parisian jewelers Arthus-Bertrand, including a scepter, a crown of laurel leaves (similar to Napoleon I's); a ceremonial sword; medals, and a grand collar; and Empress Catherine's jeweled tiara and crown of golden feathers.
Medium & Techniques
Offset lithography, gold foil, embossing and adhesive on paper