Collect Southern Africa
Pre - Union Orange Free State
Orange Free State Postal Stationery
Displayed at 2011 Leamington Spa Weekend by
Mike Smith
Report by Otto Peetoom
This display is an in depth study of the subject that Mike divides into three: I Printed by De La Rue II Printed locally in Bloemfontein III The V.R.I. overprints
The Postal Stationery cards were based on an 1870 Great Britain design and their earliest known local use is 1 March 1884 (see image). Due to a shortage of cards they were printed locally in 1889 by Borckenhagen and Co. In 1891 the internal rate was reduced to ½d and cards were surcharged locally. ½d cards were not printed by D.L.R. until 1898. Many cards are rare, in particular in used condition. Mike’s collection includes a vast range of interesting examples that includes a registered postcard, one sent to Brazil and another to Norway with tax markings. Examples used during the Boer War included Service Suspended.

In 1891 locally printed cards were produced at the ½d rate and in 1892 for overseas use. An essay for a 1½d card was included. The 1900 British occupation had new cards with V.R.I. overprint printed by Curling and Co., ready within ten days and these included locally printed 1½d cards. Mike’s display was well received and appropriately includes a card written on 27 May 1900 being the last day of the Orange Free State and used on the 28 May, the first day of the Orange River Colony (see image). During the viewing of his display there was quite a debate over some of the items, including a card with three different T.P.O. markings.

Web design by Otto Peetoom