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ORANGE FREE STATE

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1868 Orange tree, inscription 'Oranje Vrij Staat'

  Half (1/2) p brown
  Half (1/2) p yellow
  Een (1) p brown
  Een (1) p violet
  Twee (2) p violet
  Drie (3) p blue
  Vier (4) p blue
  Zes (6) p red
  1 Sh orange
  1 Sh brown
  5 Sh green

These stamps have perforation 14.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1/2 p brown**1883
1/2 p yellow**1894?
1 p brown**** 
1 p violet*c1894?
2 p****1883
3 p******1883
4 pR***1878
6 p****** 
1 Sh orange***** 
1 Sh brown******1894?
5 ShRR1878

Surcharged

'2 1/2 d.' on 3 p blue

Certified genuine, image obtained from a Shreves auction

  '1/2 d' (6 types) on 3 p blue
  'Halve Penny' on 3 p blue
  '1/2 d' and bar on 5 Sh green
  '1 d' and bar (4 types) on 5 Sh green
  '1 d' on 3 p blue
  '1 d' on 4 p blue
  '2 d' on 3 p blue
  '2 1/2 d.' on 3 p blue
  '2 1/2' on 3 p blue
  '3 d' and bar (5 types) on 4 p blue
  '4' (4 types) on 6 p red (1877)

"Halve Penny" on 3 p blue "MISPRINT"
(Sometimes the bar has disappeared or been displaced on the "Halve Penny" on 3 p issue)

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
'1/2 d' on 3 p******All types
'Halve Penny' on 3 p ** 
1/2 p on 5 Sh****** 
1 p on 5 ShRRRAll types
1 p on 3 p***** 
1 p on 4 pRR*** 
2 p on 3 p****** 
'2 1/2 d.' on 3 p****** 
'2 1/2' on 3 p****** 
3 p on 4 pRRRRAll types
4 p on 6 pRRRRAll types

Surcharged 'VRI' and value (1900)

5 Sh green

  'VRI 1/2 d' on 1/2 p orange
  'VRI 1 d' on 1 p violet
  'VRI 2 d' on 2 p violet
  'VRI 2 1/2' on 3 p blue
  'VRI 3 d' on 3 p blue
  'VRI 4 d' on 4 p blue
  'VRI 6 d' on 6 p red
  'VRI 6 d' on 6 p blue
  'VRI 1 S' on 1 Sh brown
  'VRI 5 S' on 5 Sh green

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1/2 p** 
1 p** 
2 p** 
2 1/2 on 3 p ****** 
3 p**** 
4 p****** 
6 p on 6 p red RRRR 
6 p on 6 p blue ****** 
1 Sh***** 
5 Sh****** 
Further surcharged (1902)

  '4 d' and bar (red) on 'VRI 6 d' on 6 p blue
  'One Shilling'on VRI 5 Sh on 5 Sh green

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
4 p on 6 p**** 
1 Sh on 5 Sh****** 
Overprinted 'ERI'
  'ERI 6 d' on 6 p blue

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
6 p on 6 p ****** 

These stamps overprinted 'TELEGRAAF' or 'TF' were used as telegraph stamps, examples:

Five types of the overprint 'TF' exist. Futhermore stamps with overprint 'V.R.I. AT', these were also used for telegraphic purposes. Fiscal stamps also exist with overprint 'TELEGRAAF' or 'TF'.

I have also seen stamps overprinted with 'BW', this overprint stands for 'BANK WISSEL' (=bank draft). I've also seen stamps with 'B.D.' overprint.

Typical cancels:


(Reduced size)

The 6 p blue was never issued without overprint:

Postcards:


Postcard, as postage stamp, inscription 'BRIEF KAART'

Postcards were also made with postage stamps, overprinted with the arms of Orange Free State (see pictures above).

 

Forgeries:

Several forgeries exist: A good overview of this and other forgeries can be found at http://www.ymw18.dial.pipex.com/ofs/catalog/forged/forger.html. Especially the forged overprints on genuine stamps are very dangerous!

Spiro forgeries: the examples given below are made by Spiro (note the strange cancels and that the perforation is wrong). There are 4 values of these forgeries: 1 p brown, 6 p red, 4 p greyish (instead of blue), and 1 Sh orange. Other cancellations than the ones shown here exist (I've also seen dots in a square like pattern).

Spiro Forgeries!


(A full sheet of Spiro forgeries, reduced size)

I presume that the next forgery is a so-called Hialeah forgery, it was made recently with a computer scanner and printer. They were offered in large quantities on Ebay in 2003 and 2004. These forgeries are printed on modern paper, the design is very unclear and usually the size is wrong (though I don't know the size of this particular forgery):


(Hialeah forgery)

 

1900 Stamps of Cape of Good Hope overprinted 'ORANGE RIVER COLONY'

1/2 p green

  1/2 p green
  1 p red
  2 1/2 p blue

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1/2 p** 
1 p** 
2 1/2 p** 

 

1903 King Edward, Gnu and Antilope, inscription 'ORANGE RIVER COLONY'

  1/2 p green
  1 p red
  2 p brown
  2 1/2 p blue
  3 p lilac
  4 p green and red
  6 p lilac and red
  1 Sh brown and red
  5 Sh brown and blue

These stamps have perforation 14.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks

Watermark 'CA Crown' (1903)

1/2 p** 
1 p*c 
2 p***** 
2 1/2 p**** 
3 p***** 
4 p****** 
6 p***** 
1 ShR*** 
5 ShRRRR 
Watermark 'Multiple CA Crown' (1903)
1/2 p** 
1 p*c 
4 p****** 
1 ShRR*** 

I have seen the 1/2 p overprinted 'C.S.A.R.' (railway stamp?). The values 1 p, 2 p, 3 p, 4 p, 6 p and 1 Sh also seem to exist with this overprint. They are all very rare.


Fiscal stamps

Embossed stamps, issued from 1867 to 1876, inscription 'ZEGEL':

Other issues with King Edward inscription 'REVENUE REVENUE' (issued 1903):

More values exist ranging from 6 p to 20 Pounds (15 values in total)

1878 Arms

  6 p brown (different design)
  6 p grey (different design)
  1 Sh grey
  1 Sh brown
  1 Sh 6 p blue
  2 Sh lilac
  3 Sh brown
  4 Sh grey
  5 Sh red
  6 Sh green
  7 Sh violet
  10 Sh orange
  1 Pound lilac
  2 Pounds brown
  4 Pounds red
  5 Pounds green
  6 p on 4 Sh green
  6 p on 8 Sh yellow

These fiscal stamps were sometimes used as postal stamps. These fiscal stamps overprinted 'TELEGRAAF' or 'TF' were used as telegraph stamp


(6 p, overprinted 'V.R.I. 6d')


'O.V.S. Commando Brief' Censor stamps

1899 These stamps were issued during the boer war in South Africa by the army of the Orange Free State. Actually they are more labels than stamps. The inscription reads 'COMMANDO BRIEF O.V.S. FRANKO' and they were intended to be put on soldier letters to indicate that the contents were 'screened' by an army officer. They were printed in 5 types in sheets of 20 stamps (one row of 5 sheets were printed at a time). They are perforated 12 and were used from october 1899 to mars 1900. A total number of 10.000 stamps were printed.


Genuine, type 2

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
(-)R*** 

How to determine if a stamp is a forgery? There are 16 pearls in the upper and lower row of ornaments (there exists a first forgery with 17 pearls). The originals are perforated 12. There should be a dot behind 'FRANKO' and 'BRIEF' (a second forgery is perforated 11 1/2 and has no dots). The website http://www.ymw18.dial.pipex.com/ofs/catalog/commando/commando.html mentions also some more recent forgeries, also on the wrong colour of paper.

The five types have the following characteristics:

Example of a block of forgeries, there is no dot after 'BRIEF' and 'FRANKO' (furthermore they are imperforate):


(Forgeries!)

Non issued official stamp (?), inscription 'O.V.S. R.D.M. IN DIENST', (I've been told that this is a Police Frank Stamp issued in 1899):


(Reduced size)

Nice website on the Commando Brief stamps: http://www.ymw18.dial.pipex.com/ofs/catalog/commando/commando.html with information on forgeries.


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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