The British South Africa Company King George V Admiral Stamps 1913 to 1924


By David Spivack FRPSL & Stephen Reah-Johnson

Click here to buy our standard bound book

Retail price £58, Members Price £52 (standard binding).


David Spivack

Stephen Reah-Johnson



ISBN: 978 - 1 - 913015 - 16 - 9

This book provides in depth review and research on the British South Africa Company King George V Admiral series, 1913-1923, one of the most intriguing definitive series of the British Empire.
This work should appeal to philatelists interested in complex and long running definitive issues of King George V, specialists in the Admirals, and/or those seeking to understand the myriad of stamp production challenges during and following World War I.
In addition to exploring the development of the portrait, essays, die proofs, and colour trials, there is significant focus on the production issues that resulted in the many plates, states, and colours of the Admiral stamps over its 11 year history.
With an eye to unravelling the many enduring mysteries surrounding this issue the authors review the 100 year philatelic history and research on the Admirals leading to a detailed analysis of the plates, states, printings, colours, and flaws of the 19 duties that constitute the series. An understanding of the role of provenance and rarity is also included examining trends impacting selected Admiral rarities. In addition, a full review of the issued Admiral postal stationery is undertaken.
Completing the work is a specialised catalogue and rarity guide based on the detailed Admiral stamp and postal stationery listings outlined in the book.
In sum, the authors undertake a comprehensive approach to examining the complexity of the series and addressing many of the mysteries surrounding the British South Africa Company Admiral stamps.

David Spivack FRPSL
As a long-time member and Fellow of the Rhodesian Study Circle David has written extensively on the British South Africa Company Admiral issue and has received a national large gold medal for his Admiral exhibit. His other areas of interest include Bechuanaland, the Queen Victoria unappropriated dies, Southern Rhodesia stamps and revenue issues during the KGV reign, and the Great Britain Jubilees and their overprints.

Stephen Reah-Johnson
Stephen’s interests in the Admiral series began in the 1960s. He has been a member of the Rhodesian Study Circle for over 35 years and is also a Fellow. Since the 1990s he has written extensively not only about the British South Africa Company Admiral headplates and colours but also the Double Heads. His other collecting interests include Canada, the colonial issues during the KGVI reign, Falkland Islands, and Great Britain.

Objective of the Book 
Terms and Abbreviations 
Frequently Cited Auctions: 
Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 BSA History in Brief 
1.2 Waterlow
1.3 Key Resources 
1.4 Scope and Structure
Chapter 2 The Design, Portrait, Essays, and Die Proofs
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The Design
2.3 The Portrait 
2.4 The Essays 
2.5 Die Proofs 
2.6 Colour Trials
2.7 Waterlow Sample Stamps
Chapter 3 Production Process and Anomalies
3.1 Introduction
3.3 Requisitions and the File Sheets 
3.4 Specimens
3.5 Printer’s Marks
3.6 Water Colour Retouch
3.7 Paper, Gum, and Perforations
3.8 Decommission and Destruction of the Admirals
3.9 Southern Rhodesia Admirals 
Chapter 4 Bi-colour Literature Review and Significant Areas of Inquiry
4.1 The Admirals Announced – An Introduction to Chapters 4 and 5 
4.2 Bi-coloured Literature Highlights
4.3 Significant Areas of Inquiry – .Exploration, Controversy, and Exercises in
Chapter 5 Monocolour Literature Review and Significant Areas of Inquiry
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Monocolour Literature Highlights
5.3 Significant Areas of Inquiry – Exploration, Controversy, and Exercises in
Chapter 6 Cataloguing the Admirals – an Evolution
6.1 Initial Catalogue Listings
6.2 Proposals to Modify the SG Catalogue Admiral Listings 
6.3 SG Listings – Current State
6.4 SG Listing Additions, Deletions, and/or Changes Methodology
Chapter 7.1 The Bi-Colour Plates, States, and Colours
7.1.1 Introduction
7.1.2 Bi-Colour Dies and Plates Overview 
7.1.3 Plate 1 – A Revised Approach 
7.1.4 The Plates Described
7.1.5 Plate and State Identification Aides
7.1.6 Other Key Identification Factors 
7.1.7 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.1.8 Classification Questions
7.1.9 Appendices
7.1.10 Finally
Chapter 7.2 − The 2d
7.2.1 Introduction
7.2.2 The SG Catalogue Listings 
7.2.3 Die I 
7.2.4 Die II
7.2.5 Die IIIA
7.2.6 Die IIIB 
Chapter 7.3 − The 3d
7.3.1 Introduction
7.3.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.3.3 Die I 
7.3.4 Die II 
7.3.5 Die IIIA
7.3.6 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.4 − The 4d
7.4.1 Introduction
7.4.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.4.3 Die 1
7.4.4 Die II
7.4.5 Die IIIA 
7.4.6 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.5 − The 5d
7.5.1 Introduction
7.5.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.5.3 Die I 
7.5.4 Die II
7.5.5 Die IIIA
7.5.6 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.6 − The 6d
7.6.1 Introduction
7.6.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.6.3 Die I 
7.6.5 Die IIIA
7.6.6 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.7 − The 8d
7.7.1 Introduction
7.7.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.7.3 Die I 
7.7.4 Die II
7.7.5 Die IIIA 
7.7.6 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.8 − The 10d
7.8.1 − Introduction
7.8.2 SG Catalogue Listings
7.8.3 Die II
7.8.4 Die IIIB (Toned Paper)
7.8.5 Die IIIB (White Paper) New Frame Plate, No. 8043
Chapter 7.9 − The 1s
7.9.1 Introduction
7.9.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.9.3 Die II
7.9.4 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.10 − The 2s
7.10.1 Introduction
7.10.2 SG Catalogue Listings
7.10.3 Die I 
7.10.4 Die II
7.10.5 Die IIIA
7.10.6 Die IIIB 
Chapter 7.11 − The 2s6d
7.11.1 Introduction
7.11.2 The SG Catalogue
7.11.3 Die II
7.11.4 Die IIIA
7.11.5 Die IIIB
7.11.6 Die IIIB – White Paper Printings 
Chapter 7.12 − The 3s
7.12.1 Introduction
7.12.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.12.3 Die II
7.12.4 Die IIIA
7.12.5 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.13 − The 5s
7.13.1 Introduction
7.13.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.13.3 Die II
7.13.4 Die IIIA
7.13.5 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.14 − The 7s6d
7.14.1 Introduction
7.14.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.14.3 Die II
7.14.4 Die IIIA
7.14.5 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.15 − The 10s
7.15.1 Introduction
7.15.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.15.3 Die II
7.15.4 Die IIIA
7.15.5 Die IIIB
Chapter 7.16 − The £1
7.16.1 Introduction
7.16.2 The SG Catalogue Listings
7.16.3 Die II
7.16.4 Die IIIA 
7.16.5 Die IIIB
Chapter 8 The Monocoloured Admirals
Chapter 8.1 − Introduction
Chapter 8.2 − The Monocolour Die Proofs: The King’s Head Types in the Monocoloureds and the Development of the Surrounds
8.2.1 Introduction
8.2.2 The ½d, 1d, 2½d (4980, 4981, 4983)
8.2.3 The 1½d (No 5546)
Chapter 8.3 − The ½d
8.3.1 Introduction
8.3.2 ½d Proofs and Colour Trials 
8.3.3 Dies and Plates for the ½d 
8.3.4 The Printings and Colours
8.3.5 The SG Catalogue Listings
Chapter 8.4 - The 1d
8.4.1 Introduction
8.4.2 Preliminaries: Colour Trials and Proofs
8.4.3 The SG Catalogue Listings
8.4.4 The Printer’s File Copy Legacy
8.4.5 The Printings
8.4.6 Summary and Speculation
8.4.7 Appendix: Distribution of Roller Dies on the Plate 
Chapter 8.5 - The Printings and Colours of the 1.d Rhodesia Admiral
8.5.1 Introduction
8.5.2 The 1½d Master Die 
8.5.3 The Plates and Roller Dies for the 1½d
Chapter 8.6 - The Printings and Colours of the 2.d Rhodesia Admiral
8.6.1 Introduction 
8.6.2 The S.G Catalogue Listings
8.6.3 Statistical Factors 
8.6.4 The Printings
Chapter 9 Auctions, Rarity, and the Importance of Provenance
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Auctions/Sale of Major Collections
9.3 Provenance and Admiral Auctions
Chapter 10 Admiral Postal Stationery
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Postal Stationery Catalogue References
10.3 Postal Stationery Literature
10.4 Essays/Archival Material
10.5 The Printings
Chapter 11 The BSA Co Admiral Specialised Catalogue and Rarity Guide
11.1 Introduction
11.2 The Listing Methodology
11.3 An Explanation on Rarity 
11.4 Future Updates and Specialised Catalogue and Rarity Guide 
Appendix 1 − Stamp Requisitions
Appendix 2 − SG Catalogue Bi-Colour Listings 
Appendix 3 − Bi-Colour Duties - Colours, Plates, and States
Appendix 4 − Changes Made from Memoir 29
Appendix 5 − SG Catalogue Monocolour Listings
Appendix 6 − Monocolour Duties - Colours, Plates, and States
Appendix 7 − Precis of Admiral Postal History Literature

Sample pages (click one to enlarge)