Reviews and Everything
you ought to know about
Southern Africa Philately
When I constructed this website in January
2014 I included a ‘News Page’ as I anticipated
a reasonable amount of input from others.
That simply does not happen and the page was scrapped...I
realized that I often duplicate snippets of information
‘Home Page’ as well as at the top of
the ‘About Us’ page.
Thus I now introduce a ‘Philatelic Forum’
that may cover a multitude of subjects...anyone
is welcome to contribute...the theme is
‘Southern Africa Philately’,
thus it is not restricted to SACS members only...promoting
SA Philately on the internet is the way forward...
Do you have Something Interesting to add
to this Page?
on the New Bird page
am not a thematic collector. But as I go on safari
to Africa each year and have many bird photos;
I am seriously considering taking up S and E Africa
birds as a thematic having read this article
- Mike Moody
I am not a “birder” but some, I know,
might take up stamp collecting if they see this
- Uli Bantz
I found your bird
listing as being quite fantastic. I must congratulate
you on giving us collectors’ a marvelous web
site - Roy Ferguson
14 February 2018
- St Valentines News
Venda has been added to the Bird Page
Extensive article on the 1952 Cape Town Tercentenary
Stamp Exhibition underway
11 February 2018 -
part of the website has been quiet recently as I
have been scanning and cropping a large number of
birds on stamps for a new web page.
Perhaps Thematics is not everybody’s cup of
tea, but I regard it as a ‘fun page’
and it provides an insight to a different angle
Since the turn of the 21st Century the Philatelic
Bureau’s have certainly cashed in on the ‘World’s
most popular Thematic’ and
certain countries abound with ‘birds on stamps’.
Botswana, South African and Namibia all have a high
tally of birds...Angola, Lesotho and Mozambique
eclipse the foregoing numbers!
Union of South Africa Circa
1959 Privately Produced Christmas Labels
Eddie Bridges, Otto and Simon Peetoom
cover in English
seals in English
seals in Afrikaans
cover in Afrikaans
Produced Christmas Labels
above subject reared its head in the March 2012 edition
of The Springbok No 317. Eddie Bridges illustrated
the bilingual covers of a booklet plus two se-tenant
panes of six, one in English and the other in Afrikaans.
Eddie speculated that the foregoing booklet was perhaps
issued...as an alternative to the controversial
Christmas issue of 1958 where the labels with the
image of the Madonna and child were withdrawn due
to protests from the Dutch Reformed Church...
There was an appeal for dated examples on cover.
Springbok No 318 (May 2012) Simon
Peetoom responded with covers from the Burmeister
correspondence. Two examples posted from Stutterheim
and East London.
STUTTERHEIM 13 XII 60
8 XII 1961
and Late Usage of Private Christmas Seals
Several years have
passed since this subject received an airing. Otto
has a cover with one of the above seals (Illustrated
below) Posted from Pretoria with a machine cancel
19 XII 1959 which ‘ties’ the label to
Continued in next column
and Late Usage of Private Christmas Seals
Simon’s two covers prove that these private
Christmas seals remained in use for several years.
Another Version of Private Christmas Seal
Springbok No 318 Simon illustated
a cover with a different design, but with the same
caption (In English) posted East London 19 XII 1967
EAST LONDON 19 XII 1967
Then in The
Springbok No 339 (August
Simon illustrated another pane of six, which
includes the label on the 1967 cover, but the
captions are in Afrikaans.
Another feature worthy of note is that the first
batch of private seals are rouletted between
the labels and the pane at left is perforated.
Another Privately Produced
On a cover (illustrated below) posted PORT
ELIZABETH 30 IX 62 conveys (Christmas) ‘GREETINGS’
with a caption in the NE corner ‘PLEASE
Does anyone have the same or similar labels to share
with our Forum?
PRETORIA 19 XII 1959 |
PORT ELIZABETH 30 IX 62
Union of South Africa 1926 -
31 London Pictorials Bradbury Wilkinson
Archival sheets On
Ungummed Paper Courtesy Eddie Bridges
1 - Perforation 14 Printed 6/10/1926 left pane
Guideline visible at bottom right
1a - Perforation 14 Second printing 7/9/1927
left pane Guideline visible at bottom right
1b - Perforation 14 Third printing 28/5/1928
above information is from archival sheets and annotated
on the pages as they were bought
There are also slight differences in the dots etc
on the Imprint which differentiates the printings
2 - Perforation 14 x 13½
down printed 22/09/1929 Left pane guideline visible
3 - Perforation 14 x 13½ up printed
9/03/1931 Right pane
Union of South Africa 1927 -
28 London Pictorials Rarities
by Otto Peetoom
Imprint pairs on odd values are encountered, but a
complete set in Imprint pairs is rarely seen
1988 I acquired a comprehensive Union collection which
had been formed in the USA. There were numerous blocks
of four that had been carefully wrapped in glassine
paper before being hinged onto album pages.
Thus all the stamps remained unmounted mint. The
collection included the 1927 - 28 pictorials in blocks
of four plus the following Imprint blocks of four.
It included 2d perforation 14, 14 x
13½ down & up, 3d perf 14
& 14 x 13½ down,
4d perf 14 & 14 x 13½ down,
14 x 13½ down and 5/- perf 14
- All UMM
It is the only example I have seen of a 5/- in an Imprint
block of four.
The illustration at right appeared
on the front of my Southern
Africa Pricelist No
20 in May 1988
Perforation 14 x 13½ Up
- Used Gutter Pair
The guide dot between
the ‘E’ and ‘S’
of ‘ESCOURT’ confirms
UHB (1986) 29cb and rated as 5x normal
A comment in the SACC reads ‘Used
gutter pairs are rare!’
This is the first 1/- gutter pair I have encountered
- 18 January 2018
So far it has
been hectic printing and posting three Journals which
Southern Africa Philately
8 - The Rhodesian Philatelist
43 and The Runner Post
The next edition of The
Springbok ought to be ready this month,
but the editor is recovering from a bout of flu
The event of the month was the
York Race Course
Stamp Fair Friday and Saturday 19 - 20
Riddle of Jan van Riebeeck
and his ship the Dromadaris
Posted 28 December 2017
By Otto Peetoom
In the July/August 1955 Edition of The
Springbok (Volume 3 No 4) an article
by Hilton Sydow caught my
The portrait on the 4½d stamp of the Van Riebeeck
Tercentenary issue of 1952 by the Union of South Africa
the 6 of April, 1652, Johan van Riebeeck landed
on the shore of Table Bay. On the 6 April, 1952
a set of five stamps was issued by the Union
of South Africa to commemorate the tercentenary
(1652-1952) of that landing.
On the 4½d denominated stamp of this
issue, the portrait of Johan van Riebeeck is
shown. Each denominated bank-note of the current
issue of the South African Reserve Bank depicts
a similar portrait. Is it a true likeness of
‘The portrait of Jan van Riebeeck
that appears on our bank is not, I believe,
a true likeness’, said Dr H.B. Thom,
editor of the next edition of Van Riebeeck’s
Diary, in an interview with a the Cape Times
‘The wrong portrait was
chosen when the bank-notes were printed. It is not
accepted by experts and has been removed from the
Rijksmuseum at Amsterdam. I am not going to use it
in the diary’.
‘Although I have not done first-hand research
on the matter myself - I do not believe it would be
possible to do it in this country - I accept the conclusions
of the Dutch historian, Godee Molsbergen, who has
shown that the portrait of Van Riebeeck painted in
Batavia about 1667 is probably the best likeness we
There were three pictures for which
the claim had been advanced that they were portraits
of Van Riebeeck, said Dr Thom. The first was the ‘Town
House’ portrait, which hangs in the City
Hall at Cape Town. The second, the portrait supposed
to have been done by the 17th century Dutch artist,
Dirk Craey, and which used to hang in the Rijksmuseum
at Amsterdam and the third, the ‘Batavia’
portrait. It is a copy of the Craey picture that appears
on South African bank-notes and of course on the 4½d
V.R. Tercentenary stamp.
The history of the three pictures
is briefly as follows: The ‘Town House’
picture is supposed to have been painted at the Cape
about 1660 by an unknown artist. The first mention
of it is in a diary kept by Johan van Riebeeck’s
grand-daughter who visited the Cape in 1710. It was
then in the possession of a Hollander. Van Riebeeck’s
grand-daughter described it as having already gone
In 1804 it was officially ‘discovered’
and presented to the Town. It was generally accepted
as a true portrait until 1884, when the publication
of the Craey portrait caused it to fall from favour.
‘It may be any other Governor’,
said Mr H.V.C. Leibrandt, former Keeper of the Colonial
Archives in 1892.
Later researches by Sir Percival David have made it
seem more probable that it was originally a portrait
of Van Riebeeck. But these researches have also shown
that the portrait has been modified and ‘improved’.
On the ‘Town House’ portrait,
Van Riebeeck wears a hat.
The Craey portrait is supposed to have
been painted in 1650, the year before Van Riebeeck
left for the Cape of Good Hope.
Godee Molsbergen has said of it: ‘It has
been over-painted so heavily that the Director of
the Rijksmuseum is not certain if it is an original
piece. In its present state it shows few, if any,
brush strokes from Craey’s hand.
This picture has since been removed from the Rijksmuseum.
The Batavia portrait, which has been
accepted by Dr Thom as authentic, was the one of a
large collection of family portraits that was presented
to the Rijksmuseum by a descendant of Van Riebeeck
The then Director of the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam
said there was ‘not the least reason to
doubt its authenticity’.
Dr H.B. Thom is the Principal of the Stellenbosch
The ‘Cape Times’
- Dr Thom interview was supplemented
by three illustrations, namely the ‘Batavia’
portrait, the ‘Town House’ portrait,
and the ‘Craey’ portrait. The portrait
on the 4½d Van Riebeeck stamp resembles the
‘Craey’ portrait published by
the ‘Cape Times’ and referred
in next column
on the South African Bank-notes was engraved by Bradbury,
Wilkinson and Co., Limited, also resembles the ‘Craey’
portrait, but the hair to the right-hand side of the
head differs somewhat to that shown on the ‘Craey’
A portrait of Van Riebeeck appeared
in a supplement to the ‘Cape Times’
week-end edition of the 4 November
1950. This portrait is, as far as I am able to judge,
similar in all respects to the ‘Craey’
portrait, but it is captioned
‘A portrait of Jan Van Riebeeck by the Dutch
Further research in this connection will have to be
This supplement is in my Africana collection.
On page 6 in ‘The Hand-struck
Letter Stamps of the Cape of Good Hope from 1792 to
1853 and the Postmarks from 1853 to 1910’
by A.A. Jurgens, a portrait is shown and captioned
‘Johan van Riebeeck, 1st Commander, 1652
- 1662. Photo: Elliott Collection’. This
same portrait is also shown in a handbook published
by the well-known Cape Town firm
J.C. Juta and Company in 1910 and entitled ‘Souvenir
of the Historical Pageant of South Africa’.
This latter portrait is captioned ‘Jan Anthoniezoon
Van Riebeeck Copied from the original at Amsterdam
Riebeeck portrait included in the 1910
Pageant Booklet, front cover illustration
at the top of this page.
The name of its painter is not
mentioned. It is in the Arthur Elliott Collection
of historical photographs anent the Cape of
Good Hope. This collection was acquired by the
Union Government of South Africa. This handbook
is in my collection.
This portrait differs from the ‘Craey’
portrait published by the ‘Cape Times’
as mentioned afore.
Here again further research will have
to be made.
In 1952, the Netherlands also issued a ‘Jan
Van Riebeeck Tercentenary’ set of four
stamps. Each stamp depicted a portrait of Van Riebeeck.
Was this portrait adapted from an original painting
and by whom?
If, as Dr Thom states, the portrait
shown on the Bank-notes, and on the Van Riebeeck 4½d
stamp is not a true likeness of the first Commander
at the Cape, then it is entitled to be called as William
Shakespeare calls it i.e. the V.R. 4½d, ‘the
stamp of one defect’ - Hamlet
- Act I, Scene IV.
End of Sydow’s
following snippet of information was published
Southern Africa Philately
No 4 (October 2016 - page 130)
Africa’s 1d Ship Definitive
First issued in January 1926 and remained
in use until it was finally replaced during
1954 by the 1d Black Wildebeest.
The design of this ancient sailing vessel is
said to be the Dromedaris, being Van Riebeeck’s
ship on which he arrived at the Cape in 1652.
I recently found a report that disagrees with
Stamp Monthly August 1952
Mr C. Gonin has sent us a newspaper cutting,
which states that the model used for the design
of the current 1d stamp, was a 24-gun Dutch
man-of-war of a much later period than Van Riebeeck’s
ship, ‘Dromedaris’, which
it is meant to represent. The model ship was
found in a Dutch church and sent to President
Kruger, who forwarded it to the Transvaal Museum
for safe keeping, whence it went to the New
The Philatelic History of the Union of South Africa
has certainly provided ‘food for thought’
A picture of a man who is not Van Riebeeck
along with an image of a ship that he never set foot
on...as the American’s might say
...O well, that’s ‘Show-business’!
European bee eater
Eastern long-tailed shrike
Stamp Collecting and Thematics
By Otto Peetoom
Posted 27 December 2017
Anyone would intimates that they are a collector of
Thematics immediately brings to mind someone
who accumulates stamps with pretty pictures.
Yet a serious philatelist who perhaps specializes
in Postmarks, Postal History, Boer War or any other
specific topic is essentially interested in a certain
topic aka ‘Thematic’. Should we look at
the subject in that light then virtually every collector
is essentially a collector of a certain ‘Theme’.
The Most Popular Thematic
This is said to be ‘birds
on stamps’. The collectors
of Southern Africa ought to have a field day with
this particular theme as the Southern continent abounds
with bird life...there is however a slight problem...the
Union of South Africa
during fifty one years of stamp production
did not issue a single stamp which depicts a bird!
In neighbouring South West Africa
they at least came up with one value being the 1931
½d definitive depicting a Kori Bustard. Between
1931 and 1952 the same stamp is overprinted with three
types of ‘OFFICIAL/OFFISIEEL’.
SG 74 ½d in a
pair making up the 9d Airmail rate to UK
Posted and cancelled WINDHOEK 13 IX 50
An ‘Early’ classic
Angola 1951 definitive issue of 24 values, a popular
and sought after set that eclipsed any other bird
theme for Southern Africa. Ten years later RSA, SWA
and Bechuanaland finally depicted some birds on their
Angola’s next set of birds appeared more than
30 years later in 1984.
Angola Birds (24 values)
20a Yellow-billed Hornbill, 10a Half-collared
5a Red-shouldered glossy starling, 40a Secretary
14 February 1961
First Decimal Definitive includes the Lesser
Flamingo in flight on the
3c value and on the ground on the 5c
Birds on Stamps are rated
as the most popular Thematic
What theme ought to take second
and third place?
Please email your opinion to
in next column
2 October 1961
This pictorial definitive includes eight low values
from 1c to 12½c depicting birds. When the country
became a Republic, the same stamps were overprinted
‘REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, and issued on 30 September
1966 and their first ‘proper’ definitives
of 14 values followed on 3 January 1967 all depicting
birds. 1c African golden oriole, 12½c Brown-hooded
Scarlet-chested sunbird, 5c Swallow-tailed
Botswana certainly took advantage
of the ‘bird
theme’ and used it on subsequent definitive
issues in 1978, 1982, 1997 and 2014.
issues (stamps and/or miniature sheets) also included
images of birds.
RSA 1966 Fifth Republic Anniversary
designs for this issue met with much public
criticism and the artist exaplained himself
in the June 1966 edition of The South African
...Perhaps the most controversial
of the series will be the 2½c stamp which was
designed to convey, ‘Freedom and the Future.’
Is there a better symbol of freedom than to be free
as a bird to fly? As the Spirit of Freedom glides
ever upwards towards the ideals of perfect nationhood
the obstructive forces restraining freedom diminish
revealing a limitless future which is symbolised by
the endless sky above. Here is a message of hope and
West Africa 1974 - 1975 Bird Issues
Other Birds on Stamps 1974 4c Bushmen
1979 Waterbirds (4v) 1982 25c Discovery (Kelp
gulls and Cormorants)
1985 Ostriches (4v) 1988 Birds (4v) To view
1974 Second Definitive - Six values with birds
Ernest de Jong
RSA Other Birds
on Stamps up to 1998
1990 Birds (4v) plus Foundation MS,
1991 Se-tenant strip of five, one stamp with racing
pigeons, 1993 Definitives (6v) plus new values 85c
1997 New values R1.20 & R1.70, 1998 SA Raptors
sheetlet of 10 plus same as a booklet pane. 1998 Post
Day MS, 1998 Redrawn definitives (8v)
Images of birds may also be found on the following
SG 632, 740, 743, 866, 1086, 1091 and 1155 - 1164
In due course this Presentation on Southern Africa
Birds will be expanded.
24 December 2017 By Otto Peetoom
The Homelands TBVC
In early November I started to systematically build
up a picture show of the Homelands on this website
and there are currently six pages reflecting a host
of material. However it is not as yet complete as
scanning, cropping and resizing images is a time consuming
Pictures are all very well, but in my opinion it ought
to be accompanied with some dialogue. Effectively
a series of articles is required for each Territory
and the subject matter needs to aim at being of interest
and hopefully ‘entertain’ the reader which
ought to encourage them to read subsequent articles.
‘The Homelands’ a poor relation
to South African Philately
I searched the index of The Springbok and
only found three references
(1980, 1983 and 1986) which relate to TBVC.
I gained sight of these punitive contributions which
are as follows:
(1980) Issue No 164 page 38, Venda
(one page) a map copied from the Venda Brochure published
by INTERSAPA (1979) plus a few paragraphs, also copied
from said brochure.
September 1983 Issue No 185
pages 107/108 Transkei Headdresses issue
(28 August 1981) by W.A. Page, a description of the
designs, the information is copied from the FDC inset...not
really ‘an article’!
March 1986 Issue No 200
A note by Reg Allen informing the reader that information
received from the SA Government Printings include
RSA, SWA and Homelands.
He does not wish to publish the info for SWA and TBVC
in The Springbok and passes that onto Tony
Chilton and Alec Page.
Anyone wishing to gain sight of the information ought
to contact the relevant party. According to RDA (Allen)...our
1983 survey found that only 17% of members collected
The Homelands ‘Wilderness’
The above represents the sum total of forty years
worth of Springbok Issues.
I suspect that the lack of articles is not necessarily
related to a lack of interest as any Philatelic Researcher
and Writer ought to be able to generate something
of interest that will divert the attention of a South
Africa collector from his study of flyspeck varieties
on the ½d Springbok and 1d Ship!
Does Anyone Write About the Homelands?
There is a small group of TBVC enthusiasts
in South Africa.
Instigated in 2009 by the late Rev Cassie Carstens,
a small group of people meet in Pretoria once a month.
A boxed advetisement in the back of The South
African Philatelist invites the reader to join
their group and to contact, either the Chairperson
Jan de Jong or the secretary Eugene du Plooy.
All very well, I sent an email to Eugene, only to
find that his email address is no longer current.
I made contact with Jan de Jong, but what their exact
object is seems a bit vague. On the one hand, whatever
they are writing is only available to a handful of
individuals and that is not going to generate a general
interest in TBVC Philately.
in next column
Study Group continued
Another member of the above group is Heinz Wirz who
informed me that he is writing a ‘book’
on each of the TBVC territories.
Recent TBVC Publication, a
‘book’ versus a ‘catalogue’
The Bophuthatswana (226 pages) and
Ciskei (299 pages) ‘books’ were
reviewed in The South African Philatelist
(June 2016 and August 2017)
What is confusing is that the review refers to each
‘book’ as a ‘catalogue’.
In early December, courtesy of Ian Frith, I gained
sight of both ‘books’.
Beautifully illustrated, but not a great deal of dialogue...at
best I can describe them as extremely complicated
‘catalogues’ that would confuse the majority
and is probably only understood by the author. Even
the pagnation is confusion as each coded section is
numbered seperately...thus the SAP Ciskei
review states there are 299 pages and my count is
Another pitfall of Philatelic publishing is when a
collector attempts to ‘price’ the items.
Heinz introduced a complicated system of 16 ‘colour
coded’ prices ranging from R5 to ‘over
R1000’ Thus for ‘common’ material
the range is R5, R10, R15, R20, R25, R35, R50, R75,
R100. Converted to GBP it is effectively in 25 pence
steps up to £5.
The Universal yardstick for cheap and/or common material
is EBay. Basically the minimum price for any junk
is £1 and usually on top of that there is a
minimum P+P charge of £1. It takes the colour
code system six steps to reach the £2 mark...my
advice on pricing is to leave it to the Stamp Trade.
Back to the ‘Who writes’ question
Having published my own Philatelic journal since mid-1993,
it has gradually escalated to being the editor of
three journals and I currently write around 200+ pages
per year. My aim is often to choose a subject and/or
aspect that very few people have ever considered...by
doing something ‘different’...it hopefully
finds an audience...to this end I have written three
four page articles on the Homelands in the past few
The first is a review of the allocated cylinder numbers
used for the Transkei stamp issues supported by a
host of colourful illustrations. The foregoing will
appear in the January 2018 issue of The
Springbok and these four pages exceed the
sum total on Homelands in the journal for the past
Artists/Designers of Stamps
As I pointed out in my previous ‘post’
on 20 December,
very few people pay attention to the designers and
that has now cumulated into two four page articles
on the Artists/Designers of Transkei and Bophuthatswana
A subject like this tends to have a knock-on
effect as the same artists that did work for the South
African Post Office also designed stamps for RSA,
SWA and then for Namibia. Thus there are other potential
articles on the stamp designers for RSA & SWA.
For almost twenty years the Government Printer and
INTERSAPA were onboard a ‘gravy train’,
producing stamp issues for South Africa, SWA, Transkei,
Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei.
Perhaps the 21st Century Philatelists do not have
an interest in the above and prefer to collect ‘other
things’ but they can at least take the time
to read articles on the ‘modern matreial’
that will come on offer SOON!
RSA - Homelands - SWA - Namibia
By Otto Peetoom Posted 20 December
Although the Stanley Gibbons Catalogues include the
names of the designers/artists (when available) I
doubt that many collectors take notice of this information.
Not merely their names, but who they are and whether
or not they are ‘all round’ artists or
specialists in a particular field.
I have a number of hand painted essays
of SWA (1980 - 88) that are posted on this website
and I present a brief resume of the various SWA
Recently I gained access to the artwork of the stamps
of the Ciskei and noted the names of the artists.
This exercise snowballed and I expanded it to include
all the Territories.
I now have a general overview of the people involved
and the next step is to write up the various personalities
which will be a lenghty task.
Names of Artists on Stamps
A new policy was introduced by the Government Printer
in Pretoria on the March 1972 Opening of the Verwoerd
4c C. Bridgeford
5c & 10c Clive Lindsay
includes the name of the artist in the margin
below the design. At a later date their names
were sometimes included in the actual design.
If space was at a premium only their
initials appeared. In general the name appeared on
each design, but another variation is to only include
it on one stamp of a commemorative issue of perhaps
in next column
each set was generated by one person, although several
sets were designed by more than one artist.
A few examples are: 1972 Wool definitives
4c Kobus Esterhuysen and 25c by Heinrich Botha. 1973
ESCOM 4c Johan Hoekstra, 5c and 15c Michael
Barratt. 1973 UNISA 4c & 5c by
Hannes Meiring and 15c Pierre de Wet.
1992 Water Fowl
Set of eight is designed by three artists e.g.
Martin Goetz (3 values)
G. McIlleron (1 value)
Dr E.A. Zaloumis (4 values)
Was the CEO of the iSimangaliso
Wetland Park, around lake St Lucia,
South of the Swaziland border for some twenty
years and retired in 2017
Stamp Issues without Specific
In certain instances the designs are taken from photographs,
thus there is no need to attribute it to any particular
Another variation is when art has been employed
as the theme in which case the individual names are
reflected on each stamp, for example:
Bophuthatswana 1989 Child Art
13 years old
12 years old
10 years old
13 years old
No More Names on Stamps
Circa 1997 the policy to include the names ended suddenly
and the reason might be because the issues were produced
overseas as against the traditional printer in Pretoria.
Continued on the 24
December Post above
Southern Africa Philately
By Otto Peetoom
Posted 16 December 2017
Promoting Southern Africa Philately
started after I constructed two websites for Philatelic
Societies. Many similar sites may have a reasonable
amount of interesting information, but are often dormant
and gradually stagnate.
Once my sites were in place, I thought
what do I do next?
The obvious answer being to add items of interest
such as a picture show of artwork, stamps, covers,
By inserting key words into Google I soon became aware
what was not on the internet.
EBay and Dealers
If there is nothing of interest the above is all that
is present and that hardly promotes the philately
of any particular area.
Images alone are not sufficient and added dialogue
makes ones picture show ‘more interesting’.
Modern Aspects of South African
Many serious collectors show no interest in modern
As a result they have little or no knowledge of the
I am perhaps more fortunate in as much that as a professional
dealer I may have handled some of the moderns.
In order to post images on the internet,
I require jpeg scans and the most practical method
is to buy the stamps...easier said than done. Attempting
to acquire a complete run of modern stamps from inception
to date is a challenge. It took a year to complete
Botswana, almost as long for RSA Commemoratives.
In November 2017 I acquired a collection
of South African Homelands,
said to be complete, but it is not. Finding the missing
items is difficult...EBay fills a few gaps...several
collectors promise to provide what is missing, but
they do not send any scans and eventually I give up.
The Journal Southern Africa
Launched in September 2015, its aim is to provide
articles on all aspects.
It complements the efforts made on the internet and
once I complete the web pages, the data gathered,
provides the inspiration for several write-ups on
an array of themes.
After I completed Botswana
I reviewed fifty years of stamp production which was
published in Gibbons Stamp Monthly and also
in The Runner Post.
Republic of South Africa Commemoratives
led to reviews of the stamps plus an article on major
Other Republican projects are ongoing, such as the
history of the South African Foundation Fund
and its associated MS (To be published next year)
Philatelic Displays and Past
The foregoing provides more material for the websites
or future articles in journals such as The Springbok,
The Rhodesian Philatelist, Southern Africa
and/or The Runner Post.
Examples are the 1910 Cape Town Pageant,
South African WWII
labels, Victoria Falls,
SWA Hand Painted
Philately page has been revamped and modified on Saturday
16 December 2017. It is more condensed and the Maxi
cards feature with each relevant issue.
Continued in next column
and Past Articles continued
1910 Cape Town Pageant Programme
left WWI ‘Big Push’ label
Above Victoria Falls
Promoting Southern Africa
Philately is Fun
This project is ongoing, I am not bogged down with
a few limited interests.
For some thirty years I concentrated my writing on
all aspects of Rhodesia
from the 19th Century to arround 1990. I have always
had an interest in other related South and Central
African Philately. I spent many years collating information
on the major South African Varieties.
Besides an array of articles the previous groundwork
was extremely helpful in assembling a page on South
Africa the Ten Rarest
SWA 1981 Fish River Canyon by A.H. Barrett
Work in Progress
are not yet complete. When time permits I revamp previous
pages. Nambia is waiting on the sideline.
No doubt 2018 ought to be just as rewarding as 2017
2017 Website Report
Additions etc is posted at the foot of this page.
13 December 2017
The Publications page
on the website has been somewhat sparse for sometime
and efforts are underway to remedy the situation
Two fairly recent books by Beck and Loteryman are
SWA Tribal Taxes and the Overprints on
the Third Nambia Definitive
I have emailed the Authors and hope
to glean further information from them.
Two books on Bophuthatswana and Ciskei by Heinz Wirz
have also recently been received and will soon feature
on our website
Reviews of the above Books is published in The
South African Philatelist and further details
1965 R1 Sterlizia watermark RSA
Variety ‘Watermark Inverted’ SG A251w
Posted 9 December 2017
In the November 2017 Edition of The Springbok
No 340 the following is published...Does it
exist - A R1 Inverted Watermark?
By Otto Peetoom
The R1 Sterlizia (Redrawn) watermark RSA from cylinders
G11 4 6 is listed by Stanley Gibbons as SG A251w and
also by the South African Colour Catalogue as SACC
In both instances
unpriced, I have never seen an example and neither
has Mike Tonking. Question is does it exist?
An opinion ventured suggests that
someone may have mistaken a R1 with a Tete-Beche watermark
as having an inverted watermark. Stanley Gibbons Catalogue
Editor, Hugh Jefferies has promised to look into the
matter in due course.
in next column
Ross, the Editor of the SACS journal The Springbok
submitted the following interesting and very useful
observation regarding the alleged existence of this
This at first glance looks like the
inverted watermark that Otto mentioned in the last
The watermark shown is from the front of the stamp
and the right image is its position on the stamp.
I have tried unsuccessfully to take a picture from
the watermark machine.
Research confirms that it is not the stamp mentioned.
The supposed cylinders that this stamp is from, G11
4 6 has a matt finish and a white/blue back, Harrison
paper, when viewed under an ultraviolet lamp.
This stamp has a semi matt finish and a dark back
under the ultraviolet lamp. This confirms that it
is Swiss paper and as it the only issue that does
not have a fluorescent front and back it must come
from cylinders 259 258 257, which has a tête-bêche
Without the aid of an ultraviolet lamp this could
easily be mistaken for an inverted watermark as in
all other appearances it does look like it comes from
cylinders G11 4 6 with a single RSA watermark but
as stated it is in actual fact a tête-bêche
watermark. The rest of the watermark is not visible.
5 December 2017
South African Philatelic Exhibitions
Errol van Greunen document (354 pages) is in the process
of being split into more manageable sections. South
African National Stamp Exhibitions is seperate and currently
126 pages. Overseas International Stamp Exhibitions
is now 33 pages. In time I will reformate Errol’s
work which ought to more than halve the number of pages.
Searching though some boxes of jumble I came across
a folded With Compliments card used by
It looks like it was used as a stiffener and on
the reverse there are a few columns headed ‘Wants
List’. I thought I ought to share this with
Society Library Label
This is the first time I have seen this
elborate design. Given that the late Edward Lauder
was resposible for the original Springbok design
for the front cover of the Society journal. I
wonder if this was his work as well.
Used as an inscription on a bookplate to show the
name of the book’s owner
from the Past - Posted 1 December 2017
Today the South African Collectors’
Society enjoys an extensive Library,
kept in order and managed by Malcolm Ridsdale.
In The Springbok Issue No
1 in February 1953 said Library had
a humble beginning as published on page 21 of that journal.
BOOKS, ETC AVAILABLE FROM THE LIBRARY
One of the original intentions when the Society
was formed was to get together a library of books, catalogues,
etc., all relevant to the Union of South Africa Philately.
So far the following have been acquired and are available
for free loan to members on receipt of postage.
Standard Catalogue 1930 Edition
Standard Catalogue 1946 Edition with Supplement
Handbook/Catalogue 1952 Edition
British Empire Encyclopaedia, Part II - Africa by Robson
The De La Rue Georgians of South Africa by H.E. Lobdell
Philately of the Anglo-Boer War by S.G. Rich
The Airposts of South Africa by L.A. Wyndham
The S.A. Provisional War Stamps by B.W.H. Poole
The 1949 Post Office Guide
The 1950 List of Post Offices in the Union of South
S.A. Tercentenary International Stamp Exhibition Magazine
Parts 1 and 2
S.A. Tercentenary International Stamp Exhibition Catalogue
The South African Philatelist from 1948 onwards
Continued in next column
The Adhesive Postage Stamps of the Union
of South Africa
by J. Ritchie
The Author notes (Incorporating Mr G.W. Reynolds’
Handbook of 1921)
The inside front cover of the above
booklet includes an advertisement by
J. Robertson, Editor and Publisher of The
South African Philatelist...
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED
in any South African stamps it will be to your advantage
to read The South African Philatelist
This monthly Journal makes a feature
of publishing original articles and researches by
well-known specialists on South African stamps1 generally,
special attention being given to the issues of the
Union of South Africa,
South-West Africa and Rhodesia.
Having wide-awake correspondents and
other facilities The South African Philatelist
is able to publish full details of varieties and impending
issues of South, Central, East and West Africa and
British Possessions abroad...
The South African Philatelist
is now nearly five years old and it has never missed
an Issue. It is the only British Colonial journal
which regularly illustrates new issues and varieties
of interest to its readers. It is splendidly produced,
being streets ahead of all other British Colonial
philatelic journals in the matter of production and
quality of contents.
The subscription is 5s per
year of twelve issues post free anywhere
Specimen copy free
J. ROBERTSON, P.O. Box 5826, Johannesburg
Events and News - Posted 30 November 2017
The Springbok (November 2017)
went to the printer recently, a PDF copy has been distributed
and hard copies will be posted in December.
The Springbok 2017 Index
- Posted on the relevant page
on 29 Nov 2017.
The Homelands The 6th
and final page went live on 30 November 2017
A complete picture show on the internet, each page is
already ranked No 1 on page one! So far the job has taken
a month and there is still much to add. There are some
2000+ images to view... Start from
Rarest Union and RSA Stamps
This page attracted a great amount of interest and the
viewing figure for this site soared...it has brought the
sort of response I had hoped for...previously it was claimed
that only one mint copy of the Union 5/- King’s
head with watermark inverted exists...Now there are two...thank
you Tony Raab in Canada...more of this soon...
RSA varieties - Previously unrecorded
modern varieties have been brought to my attention by
Ian Frith...some have already been added to the listing...more
The 16th Southern Africa Philatelic Conference
A successful and enjoyable weekend with over forty people
attending. Overseas enthusiasts included Peter Thy (Denmark/USA)
Lars Jørgensen from Belgium entertained us with
Transvaal, Alan MacGregor from Simon’s Town in South
Africa participated in a joint display of Bechuanaland
on the Saturday afternoon. Eddie Bridges & Carol Bomarito
came over from New York and hope to make it for the June
2018 Philatelic weekend.
Many of our regulars attended and I was delighted to see
Robert Johnson in good form. Bob Hill entertained the
audience on Sunday by carefully demonstrating that Kit-Kat
and Southern Africa Philately have much in common.
Lars Jorgensen won the cup (again)
for the best Saturday display.
Simon Peetoom (left) presents the cup to Lars
Unfortunately Paul van Zeyl from South Africa couldn’t
make it on this occasion, we all missed his ‘alternative
English’...Wat sê jy Boetie?
Chris Rainey and David Morrison brought a good selection
of Postal History and Mike Deverell is once more back
in the UK and also attended.
Friday and Saturday dinner was served in our Conference
room and John Shaw delivered his traditional After
Dinner Joke. As always there is not enough time to
do all the things one planned beforehand...I was actively
collecting 2018 subscriptions for the Southern Africa
Southern Africa Philately
The journal enters its third year of publication
and support for the venture goes from strength to strength.
Issue No 8 will go out in January 2018 and the content
may be viewed on the relevant webpage -
The above venture is not intended for profit, it has shown
a modest surplus and Southern Africa
Philately donated £250 towards
the cost of the 2017 Annual Southern
Africa Philatelic Conference.
in next column
books for Southern Africa
Postal History of the Orange Free State 1830-1900
by Robert Allison (Published
in 2015) Follow the link
Southern African Mails - Routes,
Rates and Regulations 1806 - 1916
by Brian Trotter (Published in 2016) See Review
Transvaal ‘Spread Wings’ 6d Stamps 1870-1878
by Lars Jørgensen (Published in 2017)
A review of the Transvaal book may be inspected
Officials of South Africa
by Ian Matheson
and Robert Hisey
Officials of South Africa
This long awaited ‘book’
does not come as a printed version but as a ‘credit
card flash drive’. Being somewhat
old fashioned I had no idea what I might receive. Could
I use it in a restaurant and buy my wife dinner e.g.
‘credit card’. Once I got hold of a copy
I pondered which slot in my computer might accommodate
said device and lo & behold it is merely a sophisticated
I anticipated chapter and verse on all
aspects of the Officials and had avoided writing any
more articles on the subject in case I might be accused
of reinventing the wheel! We may all rest assured that
is not the case, I gain the impression that it is more
or less a clinical listing of the issues and dialogue
is minimal. Being a Professional Philatelist and Researcher
I targeted the ‘difficult’ areas of the
Officials to see if I could learn something new and
must admit I am disappointed.
For instance the authors do not inform us on which set
of cylinders SG 035 is printed, nor do they take into
account the distinct difference in shade between SG
035 and the first overprint on the 1950 2d SG 045. The
inverted overprint SG 045a allegedly comes from ‘one
sheet only’, says who? I ought to know as I discovered
said variety and all I could go on was that I had a
One must commend the authors for their
efforts, but I did expect a bit more ‘meat on
the bones’...perhaps a ‘philatelic diet’
is a recommendation.
The plus of the ‘credit card flash drive’
is a PDF version of the 1986 UHB, but then I have also
been critical of that publication.
The above received a review in the August
2017 edition of The South African Philatelist.
A copy sells for ZAR 400
collections have been added
bringing the total to 33