France 1949 – polar scene and aurora

This stamp saluting French polar expeditions shows a sledging party with the curtain-like folds of an aurora looping overhead. The organization called Expéditions Polaires Françaises was founded in 1947 and two expeditions left from France in 1949, one bound for Greenland and the other for Adélie Land, part of Antarctica claimed by France. The Gibbons catalogue describes the colour of the stamp as blue, but it is such a dark navy that it appears almost black. The US Scott catalogue calls it indigo.

SG number
Face value
15 f