click here to go the the stamp domain main index
South Africa Stamp Resource Page for the collector of South Africa Stamps

Resource Page for Collectors of South Africa Stamps and South African Postal History

South Africa

 

 South Africa

Cape Of Good Hope SG8
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
The first Europeans to reach the Cape of Good Hope were the Potuguese, led by the explorer Bartolomeu Dias, in 1488. In 1652 the Dutch East India Company established a supply camp in the area which later became Cape Town. In 1795 British forces invaded and took control of this area till 1803. In 1806 British forces returned and again occupied the territory. Under the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 the territory was ceeded to Britain. It then remained a British colony until it was incorporated into the Union of South Africa, as the Cape Province, on 31 May 1910.


The first stamps to be issued by the colony were the Cape of Good Hope Triangulars on 1 September 1853. From 19 August 1910 till 31 December 1937 stamps of Cape of Good Hope were valid for use in any part of the Union of South Africa.

GRIQUALAND WEST
Griqualand West was an area of some 40,000 square kilometres with Cape Colony on its south and the Orange Free State on its west. Sovereignty was disputed between the Orange Free State, Transvaal and the Griqua tribe which had settled there. Arbitration by the Lieutenant-Governor of Natal, R W Keate, gave the territory to the Griqua. The
Griqua Chief, Nicholas Waterboer, immediatly offered to place the territory under British administration and this offer was accepted on 27 October 1871. The Orange Free State was paid a sum of £90,000 as compensation. In 1873 Griqualand West became a separate British Colony and in 1880 it became part of Cape Colony.

At first stamps of Cape of Good Hope were used in Griqualand West. From September 1874 stamps of Cape of Good Hope overprinted "G. W." or "G" were issued for Griqualand West until it was absorbed by Cape Colony in 1880. Remainders of the stamps,
overprinted "G. W." or "G", were then used in Cape Colony as ordinary Cape stamps.

NATAL
A British settlement was founded in 1824 in what is now Durban (formerly D'Urban). In 1839 Afrikaans speaking Voortrekkers established the Natalia Republic in this area. On 4 May 1843 the territory was proclaimed as the British Colony of Natal. In 1897 Zululand was annexed to Natal. On 31 May 1910 Natal became a province in the Union of South Africa.

Natal stamps were first issued on 26 May 1857. From 19 August 1910 till 31 December 1937 stamps of Natal were valid for use in any part of the Union of South Africa.

NEW REPUBLIC
The New Republic (Nieuwe Republiek) was proclaimed on 16 August 1884 as an independent Boer republic by a group of British and Boer mercenaries. The mercenaries had been granted land rights by Dinzulu (son of Cetshwayo the Zulu king who had died) for thier help in the succession to the Zulu throne. Part of the land grant was annexed by the British while the remainder of the New Republic was recognised as an independent state on 22 October 1886. Because of difficulties on 21 July 1888 the New Republic united with Transvaal.

An organised postal service existed from December 1884 and the first stamps were issued on 7 January 1886. International mail was sent either through Transvaal of Natal. Neither of these administrations accepted New Republic stamps as valid so external mail had to have stamps of Natal or Transvaal in combination with those of the New Republic.

Orange Free State
ORANGE FREE STATE / ORANGE RIVER COLONY
On 3 February 1848 the area, later to be the Orange Free State, was proclaimed a British sovereignty by Sir Harry Smith and it was named the Orange River Sovereignty. On 23 February 1854 the Orange River Convention was signed. On 11 March 1854 the British left Bloemfontein and the Boer government took office and established the Orange Free State as a republic. In 1900 it was occupied by the British and named the Orange River Colony. In 1910 the colony joined the Union of South Africa as the Free State Province.

The
Orange Free State republic first issued stamps on 1 January 1868 and continued until it was occupied in 1900. The stamps were inscribed  "Oranje Vrij Staat". When the area became a Crown Colony new stamps were issued inscribed Orange River Colony. From 19 August 1910 till 31 December 1937 stamps of the Orange River Colony were valid for use in any part of the Union of South Africa.


TRANSVAAL
During the 1830's and 1840's the Boers of Voortrekkers moved into the area which later became the Transvaal and formed several small Boer republics. On 17 January 1852 Britain signed the Sand River Convention with the Boers in this territory recognising their independence. This paved the way to the formation of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (South African Republic) in December 1856. Conditions in the Transvaal detriorated so much that in 1877 the British occupied the territory and remained till 1882. In 1882 the republic was restored again. The second Boer War started in 1899, Pretoria was occupied by the British on 5 June 1900. When peace was concluded in 1902 Transvaal became a British Colony. In 1910 the colony joined the Union of South Africa as the Transvaal Province.

South African Republic stamps were first issued on 1 May 1870. During the British Occupation of 1877 to 1882 South African Republic stamps overprinted "V.R. TRANSVAAL" or stamps inscribed Transvaal were issued. With the restoration of the Republic new stamps were printed. When the territory was again occupied in 1900 by the British South African Republic stamps were overprinted "V.R.I." or "E.R.I." During the course of the 1900-2 Boer War local issues of stamps were authorised in Lydenburg, Rustenburg, Schweizer Renecke and Wolmaransstad. The government of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek retreated northward to Pietersburg, when supplies of stamps were exhuasted stamps were produced locally in Pietersburg. When Transvaal became a Crown Colony new stamps inscribed Transvaal were issue on 1 April 1902.
From 19 August 1910 till 31 December 1937 stamps of the Transvaal Colony were valid for use in any part of the Union of South Africa.

ZULULAND
Zululand was an independent kingdom from 1816. Following the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 the British exiled Cetshwayo and divided Zululand into 13 regions, each administered by a kinglet.  With continuous strife in the area the British decided to annexe the territory and declared it a Crown Colony on 19 May 1887. Zululand became part of Natal on 31 December 1897.

Stamps of Natal were used in Zululand from 1876 till 1 May 1888 when stamps were issued for the Colony.  When Zululand ws annexed by Natal Zululand stamps were withdrawn on 30 June 1898

UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
After 4 years of negotiating the Union of South Africa came into being on 31 May 1910 when the colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State became Province of the new dominion.

From 31 May 1910 each Province continued to use its own stamps. From 19 August 1910 till 31 December 1937 stamps of any of the former colonies were valid for use in any part of the Union of South Africa. Union of South Africa Stamps were first issued on 4 November 1910.

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Following a whites-only referendum on 5 October 1960 the Union of South Africa became a republic and left the Commonwealth on 31 May 1961. Following free democratic elections in 1994 the Republic of South Africa was reinstated as a member of the Commonwealth on 1 June 1994.

BOPHUTHATSWANA, CISKEI, TRANSKEI and VENDA
These 4 areas were first granted internal self-goverment at different times in the 1960's and 1970's and later independence. These independent "republics" were never recognised by the international community. They were all subsequently reincorporated into the Republic of South Africa on 27 April 1994.

During their brief period of independence these "republics" issued stamps. Although these "republics" did not have international recognition their stamps were accepted for international mail.


Philatelic Societies for collectors of South Africa

Anglo-Boer War Philatelic Society
Founded in 1957 the Society leads the study of the Postal History and Usages of the 2nd Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. It  holds regular meetings in London and Leamington, produces a quarterly journal and has published a number of handbooks on various aspects of the philately of the War. The extensive Society library is available to members.

The Cape & Natal Study Circle
Establihsed as the Natal & Zululand Study Circle, in 1956, to encourage the study of the postal history, postage stamps, revenue stamps and postal stationery of Natal and Zululand during the colonial period and the inter-provincial period which followed. In 2006 ait was decided to change to the Cape & Natal Study Circle. The objects of the society were extended to cover the Cape of Good Hope, Griqualand West, British Kaffraria and the Transkeian territories in addition to Natal and Zululand.

Orange Free State Study Circle
The whole range of the many philatelic aspects of the country, from 1848 to 1910, is studied including the postage stamps with their postmarks and the rates of postage, the stationery, the revenue and telegraph stamps and the story of the Anglo Boer War with its effect on the Orange Free State and later, the Orange River Colony.

The Philatelic Society for Greater Southern Africa
PSGSA focuses upon all philatelic areas related to the following past and present stamp-issuing entities and areas: Anglo-Boer War, the Bechuanalands, Botswana, British Central Africa, Cape of Good Hope, Griqualand East/West, the Homelands, the Interprovisional Period, Lesotho, Local Posts, Malawi, Namibia, Natal, New Republic, the Nyasalands, Orange Free State/Colony, the Pre-Adhesive Period, the Rhodesias, South West Africa (German & British Periods), Stellaland, Swaziland, Transvaal, Union/Republic of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Zululand.

South African Collectors' Society
Publication - The Springbok
Hon Secretary: Christopher Oliver, 16 Woodville Road, Ham, Richard-upon-Thames, Surrey TW10 7QN
Tel 01229 474077

Transvaal Study Circle
Founded in 1965 the Circle is devoted to the study of the stamps and postal history of the Transvaal / South African Republic which includes New Republic, Stellaland, Goshen, Pietersburg and early Swaziland.


New Issues of South Africa Stamps

South Africa Post
Get all the latest New Issues direct from South Africa

Selected Pages on South Africa Stamps and South African Postal History

Cape of Good Hope SG20

CAPE OF GOOD HOPE

The Army Post Office Corps (M Company 24th Middlesex Volunteers)  were mobilised and set sail for Cape Town on 14 September 1899 aboard the Dunnotar Castle. On arrival in Cape Town the Base Army Post Office was established in the newly built Cape Town Post Office building.


GRIQUALAND WEST


NATAL

TRANSVAAL (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek or ZAR)

Celliers and De Volksstem
by Garth Kruger
Printing of the first Stamp Commission issue of Transvaal

Stamps of the Transvaal
An interesting selection of Transvaal stamps including a Fournier Forgery 2s.6d. block of eight

Postmarks of Transvaal
by Robert S Cragg

The Millwood Gold Fields of the Cape Colony
by Dr JR Frank RDPSA FRPSL
A humble Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek cover bearing a 2d Vuurtheim 1887 stamp, postmarked Johannesburg March 19 1888, proves to be of considerable historical interest.

The Canadian Contingent for the South African Constabulary, 1901-1908
Dr J R Frank RDPSA FRPSL

ORANGE FREE STATE / ORANGE RIVER COLONY / ORANJE VRIJ STATT


SOUTH AFRICA


South Africa Postage Due error

ZULULAND

Postmarks from Zululand
by Robert S Cragg

Books on South Africa Stamps and South African Postal History

The Active Service Letter Cards, Air Mail Letter Cards and Air Letters of South Africa (1939-1945)
T M Mullins, 1999

The Aerogrammes of the Union of South Africa 1942-1961
Eddie Bridges, South African Collectors Society, 2005

Airmails of the Republic of South Africa 1961-1984, a chronological listing including flights in SWA
by Capt D J Uys, pub The Aerophilatelic Society of Southern Africa, c1982, 24pp
Details of all known first and special flights to or from or within South Africa from 1961 to 1984.

The Airposts of South Africa
by N C Baldwin and Milton F Stern, pub Aero Field, c1956, 24pp
Illustrated listing of South African Airmails.

The Airposts of South Africa
by L A Wyndham, pub Cape Times, 1936, 126pp

Bibliography of the Philately and Postal History of Natal and Zululand
by John Dickson, 1999, 24pp

British Maritime Postal History Volume 3: The Union Castle Ocean Post Offices
by P Cattell, 153 pp
Cancels, markings, services between South Africa & Europe 1876-1911, list of Cape mail contract sailings,  value guide.

Cape of Good Hope with Mafeking and Vryburg
by Fred J Melville, 1913, 96pp

The Censor Seals of the Anglo-Boer War 1899 to 1902
by Neil Snowden & D Hepworth, pub Anglo-Boer War Philatelic Society, 1987, 150pp

A Chronology of the Postal Slogans of South Africa
by S J Vermaak, 1979, 92pp

Early Union and Republic of South Africa Essays in the Post Office Archives
2001, 24pp
Full colour booklet which was "Presented to the Sponsors, Jury, Organising Committee, Advertisers and those who gave generously of their time to the Egoli 2001 National Stamp Exhibition."

The Encyclopaedia of South African Post Offices and Postal Agencies
by Ralph F Putzel, 1986-90, 458pp 406pp 398pp 292pp, 4 vols

The handstruck letter stamps of the Cape of Good Hope from 1792 to 1853 and the postmarks from 1853 to 1910
by A A Jurgens, Cape Town, 1943, 140pp

The History of the Medical and Hospital Services of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902
by Peter Prime, pub Anglo-Boer War Philatelic Society, 1998, 190p

The history of the postage stamps of the Orange Free State and Orange River Colony from their origin to 1906
by Léon de Raay, 1907, 788pp

The History of the South African Army Postal Service
by Proud Bailey, 1989, 159pp

The Interprovincial Stamps and Postmarks of the Union of South Africa
by Dr T B Berry & S J Vermaak, pub Philatelic Federation of Southern Africa, 1965, 66pp

The Maritime Marks of South Africa
by R D Allen, undated, 281pp

The Maritime Marks of South Africa Including German, Italian and Dutch Usage
by R D Allen, 1975, 107pp

More about the postmarks of the Orange Free State and the Orange River Colony, 1868-1910
by Archibald George Mount Batten, 1973, 403pp

Orange Free State : postal and other markings, 1868-1910, an original study
by A Cecil Fenn, 1956, 54pp

Philately of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902
by Stephen G Rich, Chalmers Publishing Co, 1943, 226pp

Philately of the Boer & British POW Camps; Part A POW Camps in South Africa & the Burgher Camps
Anglo-Boer War PS, 1984, 80pp

Philately of the Boer & British POW Camps; Part B POW Camps Overseas
Anglo-Boer War PS, 1984, 67pp

The Postage Due Marks of South Africa
by R D Allen, c1974, self published, 59pp
The postage due marks and markings used to indicate the reason for the amount due. Union & Republic of South Africa

The Postal History of Swaziland & Zululand
by Edward Wilfrid Baxby Proud, pub Postal History Publications Co, c1996, 182pp

The Postal Markings of Natal
by W R Hart, B A Kantel and A Leslie Leon, 1977 168pp
A history of postal services and postal markings in Natal & Zululand, including a good deal on postmarks during the Anglo-Boer War.

Postal Stationery of Natal
by John Dickson and Keith Hanman, pub Cape and Natal Study Circle, 2001, 250pp

The Postal Stationery of South Africa. Part 1. Cape of Good Hope, Natal, New Republic, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Zululand
by W J Quik and Dr G H Jonkers, 1998, 158pp

The Postal Stationery of South Africa. Part 2. South Africa 1910-1997
by W J Quik, 1998, 353pp

Postmarks of the Cape of Good Hope : the postal history and markings of the Cape of Good Hope and Griqualand West, 1792-1910
Robert Goldblatt RDPSA, pub Reijger, 1984, 267pp

The Postmarks of the Orange Free State and the Orange River Colony 1868-1910
by Archibald George Mount Batten, 1972, 271pp

The Postmarks of South Africa and Former States and Colonies
by Ralph F Putzel, 1992-99, c2300pp, 7 vols

Proceedings of the Army Post Office Corps in South Africa 1899-1902
by Archibald George Mount Batten, pub Orange Free State Philatelic Society, 1983, 45pp

Railway Stamps of South Africa
by H S Hagen and S P Naylor, Philatelic Fed of SA, 1985, 150pp

Revenue Stamps of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Orange River Colony, Transvaal and the Union of South Africa
by Dodd, 1958, 20pp

The Revenue Stamps of South Africa
by Dodd, 1967, 23pp

Runner and Mailcoach, Postal History and Stamps of Southern Africa
by Eric Rosenthal & Eliezer Blum, 1969, 280pp

The Ship Penny
by O Sanford & K Ingen, pub California Collectors Club, 1984, 77pp

The Ship Penny of South Africa
by Gordon Ward, pub Sherwood, c1955, 80pp

South African Airmails, A Chronological Listing
by Capt M F Stern, pub The Aerophilatelic Society of Southern Africa, c1970, 92pp
Detailed descriptions of all first and special flights to, from and within South Africa also South West Africa.

South African Postmarks, A Synopsis of the Routine Handstruck Cancellations 1910-1966
by Dr T B Berry, pub Philatelic Federation of Southern Africa, c1967, 54pp

The South African Provisional War Stamps, A Complete History
by Bertram W H Poole, pub Field 1901, 56pp

The Special & Commemorative Postmarks, Cachets & Covers of South Africa 1892-1975
by Hasso O Reisener, 1975, 341pp

The Stampless Air Mail Letter Cards and Air Letters used by South African Troops - 1941–1945
by Tom Mullins, pub The Philatelic Federation of Southern Africa, 2001. 14pp
Identification of the various issues of stampless Air Mail Letter Cards and Air Letters used by South African troops in the course of World War II (1941-1945) in the Middle East & Mediterranean. Describes and shows all the various stampless air mail letter cards and air letters used.

The Stamps of Griqualand West
Lt Cdr Francis John Hamilton Scott Napier, 1906

The Stamps of the Orange Free State: Part 1, The Republican Era 1854 – 1900
by G D Buckley and W B Marriott, 1966

Stamps of South Africa
by W N Sheffield, Dr T B Berry, S J Hagger and Sam Legator, pub Collectors Mail, 1979, 454pp

Transvaal Philately, The Stamps, Forgeries, Postal History and Miscellanus of the Tranvaal Territories from Inception to Union
by Major Ian B Mathews et al, 1986, 291pp

The Triangular Stamps of the Cape of Good Hope
by D Alan Stevenson, publ H R Harmer Ltd, 1950, 142pp
Details the history of the production of the stamps by Perkins Bacon, the woodcuts and the De La Rue printings. Full details of the quantities printed, cancellations, essays and proofs, bibliography. The book was described as a "mine of information" in a review by Stanley Phillips in 1950. The author, David Alan Stevenson FICE, was awarded the Crawford Medal in 1951 for writing this book.

Union of South Africa Stamps
by Alec Kaplan, Sam Legator, William N Sheffield (Editors), publ The Philatelic Federation of Southern Africa, 1952, 326pp

World War II, Prisoner of War and Internment Camps in South Africa and their mail
by J B R Findley and Rory Ryan, 2003, 40pp


Items of interest

November 1940  prints from original woodblock plates, the prints are numbered on reverse

Cape of Good Hope 1940 print from original wood blocks
Barbara Jurgens was the daughter of Adrian Albert Jurgens author of "The handstruck letter stamps of the Cape of Good Hope from 1792 to 1853 and the postmarks from 1853 to 1910" and other philatelic books. The A A Jurgens - Cape of Good Hope, Barbara Jurgens Memorial Collection - Cape of Good Hope, is at the South African Cultural History Museum.


ARTICLES IN GIBBONS STAMP MONTHLY

January 1950 issue of GSM pp 51-52 - Inauguration of Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria

January 1950 issue of GSM p 59 - Flaw on the 2d 1945-6 Union Building

April 1950 issue of GSM pp 93-95
THE HUMBLE HALF-PENNY by S C Chantler
A survey of the South African ½d pictorial. 1926-1949.
The author describes the changes in the "Springbok Head" stamp. A total of nine different groups of printing of this stamp are identified and full details are given in this article.
GROUP 1 - Typographed stamps
(all the rest of the groups were printed Rotogravure)
GROUP 2 - SUIDAFRIKA without hyphen
GROUP 3 - SUID-AFRIKA with hyphen, vertical lines of shading at top and bottom
GROUP 4 - horizontal lines of shading, white oblique lines left to right, size 18.5 x 22.5 mm
GROUP 5 - size 18.25 x 22.25 mm
GROUP 6 - size 18 x 22 mm, cross hatching
GROUP 7 -
size 18 x 22 mm, screened frame
GROUP 8 -
size 18 x 22 mm, screened centre and frame
GROUP 9 - monocolour issue

April 1950 issue of GSM p 89 - Blunt 2 on ½d postage due stamp

May
1950 issue of GSM p 109 - South Africa, Screened Photogravure

June 1950 issue of GSM p127 - Cape Triangular Query by C P Rang (co-editor of Gibbons Stamp Monthly)
The author proposes a theory for the Perkins Bacon production of a master die and the production of the final plates.


Note  - I have acquired an almost complete run of Gibbons Stamp Monthly from January 1950 to May 2009. I will be working my way through these magazines and indexing them and adding notes in the same manner as above as I get to the articles.


Most of the items used to illustrate this page were in past Tony Lester Auctions

© Jan Kosniowski