Rhodesian Philately to 1924

By Brian Trotter RDP FRPSL, Colin Hoffman RDPSA FRPSL and Pat Flanagan RDPSA FRPSL

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This book is primarily a book about philately – but including elements of social history to help set the philately in context. The book provides an overview of the philately of Rhodesia during the period of the British South Africa Company administration. This includes a section on early British Central African philately when it was using stamps and stationery incorporating the British South Africa Company Coat of Arms. The book also offers fresh insights and a considerable amount of new information.
A considerable amount has been published on the philately of Rhodesia, especially the early postal history of Mashonaland. However, if any part of Rhodesian philatelic writing has been less well served, it is the stamp issues of the British South Africa Company bearing the Company’s Coat of Arms.
The first part of the book reviews the early mails and the establishment of a postal system in Mashonaland in 1892. Much of the rest of the book has the focus on the so-called Arms stamp issues, dealing with the evolution of the stamps, the printing and the usage of these stamps.
For the usage, the main letter and postcard postage rates and other regulations are touched upon to better describe how and why these stamps and postal stationery were issued. Similarly the usage to pay the revenue (or fiscal) tariffs that were applied.
In summary, the first part of the book is an introduction to the early postal and social history of the territory, but the main thrust of the book is the Arms issue stamps of Rhodesia.
Since the period goes to 1924, it incorporates the Matabele Rebellion and the provisional stamps of the Cape of Good Hope overprinted for emergency use, as well as the 1905 Victoria Falls issue. The stamp issues conclude with the advent of the much studied and much written about “Double Head” and “Admiral” issues. 
The social and postal history aspects include not just the occupation of Mashonaland, the Matabele War, the subsequent Matabele and Mashona Rebellions, but also the advent of the railways, along with the Anglo Boer War and the World War I.
The final part of the book has the focus on the stamps used for their alternative duty, for the payment of fiscal charges.

Objective of the Book 
Scope and Structure
Time Period up to 1924
Place Names 
Value and Denomination 
Part 1 The Early Years to 1895
1.1 Overview
1.2 The Early Period
1.2.1 David Livingstone
1.2.2 Thomas Baines
1.2.3 Frank Oates
1.2.4 Emil Holub
1.2.5 The Tati District
1.2.6 The Concession from Lobengula 
1.2.7 The Royal Charter
1.3 The Matabeleland Mails
1.3.1 The “Missionary Road” Mail System
1.3.2 The Official Matabeleland Mail
1.3.3 The Gubulawayo Bechuanaland Canceller
1.4 The Pioneer Column and Mashonaland Mails
1.4.1 The Warren Expedition
1.4.2 The Pioneer Column 
1.4.3 The Pioneer Mails 
1.4.4 Sent from Mashonaland After the Arrival of the Column
1.4.5 The First Organised Mails from Mashonaland
1.4.6 Probably Sent from Mashonaland before 1892
1.4.7 Incoming Mail to Mashonaland Prior to 1892
1.5 The First BSA Co Stamp Issue 1890 to 1895
1.5.1 The First Arms Stamps 
1.5.2 The BSA Co Plates
1.5.3 The 1890 Presentation Cards, Colour Proofs and Specimens 
1.5.4 The First Issues 1890 to 1895 in Contemporary Catalogues
1.5.5 The Printings
1.5.6 The Papers and Watermarks
1.5.7 The 1891 Surcharges
1.5.8 The Number of Printings
1.5.9 Detail of the Printings 
1.5.10 Summary of Quantities Printed 
1.5.11 The Colours of the Stamps 
1.5.12 Varieties
1.5.13 The First Issue Stamps in Use 
1.5.14 The BSA Co Postal System in 1892
1.5.15 The Postal Routes and Rates
1.5.16 The Transvaal Route
1.5.17 The Bechuanaland Protectorate Route
1.5.18 The Bechuanaland Protectorate Route Incoming Mail
1.5.19 Mashonaland Postal Charges After 1 August 1892 
1.6 The Matabele War of 1893 ‒ 1894
1.6.1 Post Matabele War Mails
1.7 Postal Stationery Issues to 1895 
1.7.1 Postcards 
1.7.2 Registration Envelopes
1.8 Overview of Postal Routes and Rates to 1895
1.8.1 The Main Postal Routes
1.8.2 The Postage Rates
1.8.3 The Private Telegraph Service Post
Part 2 British Central Africa
2.1 The BSA Co and British Central Africa
2.2 The Overprinted Stamps of the BSA Co 
2.3 Provisional Overprint Surcharges
2.4 Specimen Stamps 
2.5 Stamp Usage
2.6 Postal Stationery
2.7 Overview of Postage Routes and Rates 
2.8 Revenue Stamps and Rates 
2.8.1 The Stamps
2.8.2 Revenue Stamp Usage
2.9 Nyasaland-Rhodesia Field Force 
Part 3 Development 1896 ‒ 1901
3.1 Overview
3.2 The First Large Arms Stamp Issue of 1896 
3.2.1 Introduction
3.2.2 The Perkins Bacon Records
3.2.3 The Evolution of the Stamp Design 
3.2.4 The Plates
3.2.5 The Numbers 
3.2.6 The Colours 
3.2.7 The Specimen Stamps
3.2.8 The Issued Stamps
3.2.9 Usage of the First Large Arms Stamps
3.3 Rebellion and the Provisional Stamps of 1896
3.3.1 The Matabele Rebellion 
3.3.2 The First Bulawayo Provisional Stamps 
3.3.3 The Varieties of the First Provisional Issues 
3.3.4 Forgeries of the First Provisionals 
3.3.5 The Second Bulawayo Provisional Stamps 
3.3.6 The 4d ‘company’ Omitted Error 
3.3.7 Forgeries of the Second Bulawayo Provisionals
3.3.8 Violet Ink Enigma
3.3.9 The Mashona Rebellion
3.3.10 Rebellion Related Mails
3.4 Development of the Railways 
3.5 The Second Large Arms Issue of 1897
3.5.1 Introduction
3.5.2 The Design
3.5.3 Plates for the Second Large Arms 
3.5.4 The Specimens
3.5.5 The Numbers Printed
3.5.6 The Colours
3.5.7 The Issued Stamps
3.5.8 The Second Large Arms Stamp Usage
3.6 The Small Arms Stamp Issue of 1898
3.6.1 Introduction 
3.6.2 The Design
3.6.3 The Die Proofs
3.6.4 The Plates
3.6.5 Coloured Die and Plate Proofs 
3.6.6 The File Copies and the Waterlow Archives
3.6.7 The Specimen Stamps
3.6.8 The Numbers Printed and Remaindered
3.6.9 The Colours 
3.6.10 The Varieties 
3.7 Postal Stationery Issues 
3.7.1 The Rhodesia Postcard Issue of 1896 
3.7.2 The Rhodesia Postcard Issue of 1899 
3.7.3 Postcard Usage
3.8 The Anglo Boer War
3.8.1 War Related Mail
3.8.2 Siege Mail from Mafeking
3.8.3 Anglo Boer War Mail Censorship
3.8.4 Currency Cards
3.9 Overview of Postal Routes and Rates
3.9.1 Postal Routes
3.9.2 Postage Rates and Other Postal Charges
3.9.3 Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Part 4 Consolidation 1902 ‒ 1924
4.1 Overview
4.2 The Victoria Falls Bridge and Stamp Issue of 1905
4.2.1 The Victoria Falls Bridge
4.2.2 The 1905 Victoria Falls Stamp Issue 
4.2.3 The Design 
4.2.4 The Essays and Die Proofs 
4.2.5 The Plates 
4.2.6 Specimens and the Sample Sheet
4.2.7 The Orders and Quantities Delivered
4.2.8 Varieties
4.2.9 Stamp Usage
4.3 1908 Proposals and the 1909 “Rhodesia” Overprint Stamp Issue
4.3.1 Introduction
4.3.2 The 1908 Proposals 
4.3.3 The 1909 “Rhodesia” Overprinted and Surcharged Stamps
4.3.4 The Errors and Varieties of the Overprint 
4.3.5 The Forgeries 
4.3.6 Usage of the “Rhodesia” Overprints 
4.3.7 1910 Essays for UPU
4.4 The Double Head Stamp Issue of 1910 
4.4.1 Background
4.4.2 A Possible Commemorative Issue
4.4.3 Developments in 1912
4.4.4 The Essays, Die Proofs and Plates
4.4.5 The Specimens 
4.4.6 The Orders and Numbers Printed
4.4.7 States of the Headplates
4.4.8 The Colours
4.4.9 The Varieties
4.4.10 Usage of the Double Head Stamps
4.4.11 Forged Postmarks 
4.5 The Admiral Stamp Issue of 1913 to 1924 
4.5.1 Background
4.5.2 Essays, Proofs and Plates
4.5.3 The Specimen Stamps
4.5.5 The Headplates and the Die Types
4.5.6 The Colour Trials
4.5.7 Water Colour Retouch
4.5.8 The Colours
4.5.7 The Imperforate Varieties
4.5.8 The 1917 Livingstone Provisionals and War Tax
4.6 Postal Stationery Issues 
4.6.1 The ½d Postcard Issue of 1903 
4.6.2 Victoria Falls View Cards
4.6.3 Development of Other Postal Stationery
4.6.4 The Other Postal Stationery Issued in 1903 
4.6.5 The “Admiral” Postal Stationery Issues 
4.7 Overview of Postal Activities and Rates 1903 to 1924
4.7.1 Postal Activities
4.7.2 Postage Rates and Other Charges
4.8 The End of the BSA Co Era
4.8.1 The Stamp Remainders 
4.8.2 Transition to Southern Rhodesia Stamps 
Part 5 Revenue Stamps and Usage of the BSA Co
5.1 Introduction
5.2.1 Types of Revenue Stamps 
5.2.2 Adhesive Stamps Provisionally Surcharged for Revenue Use
5.2.3 Perkins Bacon Adhesive Stamps Specifically Inscribed “Revenue”
5.2.4 Waterlow Adhesive Stamps Specifically Inscribed “Revenue” 
5.2.5 The 1898 − 1908 High Value Stamps
5.2.6 Deliveries and Numbers Used
5.2.7 The “Revenue” Overprints
5.2.8 Usage of High Value Adhesive Stamps
5.3 Embossed Revenue Stamps
5.4 Other Revenue Stamps
5.5 Main Revenue Tariffs
5.5.1 Introduction
5.5.2 Land Grants and Quitrents
5.5.3 The BSA Co Licences
5.5.4 The Mining Regulations
5.5.5 All Other Revenue Tariffs 
5.5.6 Bogus Revenue Stamps on Document
Auction Catalogues

       Brian Trotter                                             Colin Hoffman                                   Patrick Flanagan

Brian Trotter, RDP, Hon. FRPSL

Brian has been awarded large gold medals at international exhibitions and is an accredited international philatelic juror.

Written numerous articles and three major philatelic books. He has been, amongst other things, the President of the Royal Philatelic Society London, Chairman of the British Philatelic Trust, and Chairman of the London

Colin Hoffman, RDPSA, FRPSL

Colin was born in Rhodesia and came to England to take up a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford in 1964. He was chairman of the Rhodesian Study Circle for 30 years and is now its Life President. He has written many articles on the early stamps of Rhodesia and won awards for displays of his collection.

Patrick Flanagan, RDPSA, FRPSL

Patrick has exhibited most aspects of the Rhodesias over 30 years and been awarded international large gold medals. He is the Chairman and a Life Vice President of the Rhodesia Study Circle and is a Director of the Philatelic Foundation of South Africa.

He is a Nationally and Internationally accredited judge and has written a number of articles on Rhodesian philately.

Sample pages (click one to enlarge)