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TRANSVAAL

Return To Catalogue - Transvaal 1879 Queen Victoria issue - 1885 issue - 1894 issue - Transvaal 1894-1910 - Miscellaneous - South Africa

Currency: 12 Pence - 1 Shilling; 20 Shillings = 1 Pound

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
contact me if you want to purchase them.


The South African Republic (Z. Afr. Republiek), founded by the Boers in 1860, was occupied by the British in 1877 and the name of the country changed to Transvaal. The republic was restored in 1884 and re-occupied in 1900 to become the British crown colony of Transvaal. It joined the Union of South Africa in 1910. The capital is Pretoria.

Transvaal is a difficult field for stamp collectors. Many 'reprints' are circulating, some of them made with the help of the original printers.


1869 Arms of Transvaal in a square, Imperforated or Perforated

3 p black on lilac 6 p blue with spreaded wings 6 p blue with folded wings 1 Sh green

  1 Penny red
  1 Penny black
  3 Penny lilac
  3 Penny red (1883, only perforated)
  3 Penny black on lilac (1883, only perforated)
  6 Penny blue (spreaded wings)
  6 Penny blue (folded wings)
  1 Shilling green


'Mecklenburg' or 'Otto' print


Viljoen printing (certified genuine); usually very badly printed


Borrius printing


Stamp Commision printing

Specialists distinguish between so-called Mecklenburg print (made by Otto in Germany) and the Pretoria print (made by Viljoen in the country itself). If I'm well informed further printings were made locally by Borrius and the 'Stamp Commission'.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
Imperforate (cheapest types)
1 p red RR RR  
1 p black RR RR Only Pretoria print
3 p lilac RR RR  
6 p RR RR  
1 Sh RR RR  
Rouletted (cheapest types)
1 p red RR RR  
1 p black RR RR  
3 p lilac RR RR  
6 p RR RR  
1 Sh RR RR  
Perforated 12
1 p red RR RR  
1 p black *** ***  
3 p lilac RR RR  
3 p red R ***  
3 p black on lilac R R  
6 p RR RR  
1 Sh R *** Exists tete-beche: RR
Surcharged

  'HALVE PENNY' on 3 p red
  'HALVE PENNY' on 1 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
Value Unused Used Remarks
Perforated 12
1/2 p on 3 p *** ***  
1/2 p on 1 Sh R R Exists tete-beche: RRR

Overprinted "V.R. Transvaal" or "V.R. TRANSVAAL" (1877)

"V.R. TRANSVAAL" (on imperforate or rouletted stamps;
  inverted overprints exist)

6 p blue on red with inverted overprint

  1 p red 
  3 p lilac (overprint in black or red)
  6 p blue (overprint in black or red)
  6 p blue on red
  1 Sh green (overprint in black or red)

Overprinted "V.R. Transvaal" ("V." and "R." far apart)
  on imperforate or rouletted stamps

Genuine

  1 p red on blue
  1 p red on orange
  3 p lilac on yellow
  3 p lilac on green
  6 p blue on green
  6 p blue on blue

Overprinted "V.R. Transvaal" ("V." and "R." closer)

  1 p red on blue
  3 p lilac on blue
  3 p lilac on green

Overprinted "V.R. Transvaal" ("V." and "R." inclined)

Genuine

  1 p red on orange
  3 p lilac on yellow
  3 p lilac on green
  6 p blue on blue

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
All 'V.R.TRANSVAAL'
or 'V.R. Transvaal' overprints
RR to RRR RR to RRR  

The first postmaster of the South African Republic was Mr. Fred. Jeppe (source the Philatelic Record February 1901, page 32). He was originally from Mecklenburg, Germany and contacted his brother to make stamps. His brother contacted Adoph Otto in Gustrow (Mecklenburg Schwerin) who finally printed the first stamps of Transvaal.

Cancels

A cancel consisting of 4 concentric rings only (no number in the center) was used from 1869 onwards.

The numeral cancels in concentric rings, the number (or letters) with its corresponding town was used from 1874 to 1879:

1: Pretoria
3: Rustenburg
4: Klerksdorp
5: Bloemhof
6: Christiana
8: Zeerust
9: Christiana (Heidelberg?)
10: M.W.Stroom
11: Utrecht
12: Middelburg
13: Lydenburg
14: Pilgrim's Rest
15: Nylstroom
16: Marabastad
18: The Grange
19: Bushman's Spruit
20: Standers Drift
21: Strydkraal
23: Emigratie
25: Steynsdorp (Komati)
26: Sterkfontein
27: Krugerspost
29: Makwassie
31: Kalekaleskop
32: Spelonken
36: Steelpoort
37: Linokana
40: Jakkalsfontein
'ZAR': Kaapsche Hoop (in two concentric rings?)

I've also seen these numeral cancels being used on the 1879 Queen Victoria and later issues.

Cancels with townnames also exist in two types according to the book 'Les Falsifications du Transvaal'.


Heidelberg, Pretoria and Standerton cancels


"TE LAAT" (= too late) cancel.


Stamp with cancel consisting of squares.

The following cancels are to 'neat', they are probably forged cancels on Otto reprints:

3 p lilac
Forged cancels, probably printed on the stamps.

Bisected stamps

I have seen an envelope with a 3 p stamp black on lilac stamp with another diagonally bisected 3 p black on lilac stamp. They were cancelled in Nijlstroom (numeral cancel '15').

Forgeries, examples

Website on forgeries: https://transvaalstudycircle.org/a-guide-to-correct-identification-of-the-6d-arms-stamps-of-the-first-republic-by-lars-jorgensen/

Forgery!
(Forgery)

Reprint of Otto (Mecklenburg, Germany), the printer of the stamps. However, the center of the 1 p, 6 p and 1 Sh has been re-engraved, the eagle's head is different. I have heard that possibly the stamp dealer Julius Goldner and David Cohn were also involved in marketing these Otto reprints.


(Otto Reprint of the 1 p stamp, the 6 p is probably from the same source)

Several 'bogus' issues in various colours were printed on the request of some stamp dealers, example:


6 p brown bogus 'reprint'. This stamp was marketed by Otto as an 'official stamp'. Later this turned out to be bogus.

Some primitive forgeries:

Note that the eagle's head is very strange and that the carriage is lower at the back than at the front in the above forgeries. This forgery is also described in 'The Spud Papers'. The cancels (parallel straight lines or a dots pattern) was never used in Transvaal, genuine stamps are cancelled with concentric rings with a number, or a normal date cancel. I've seen the 3 p lilac forgery with a forged cancel consisting of concentric circles as well. I've also seen the 1 p forgery with a "..AHNDI 67"(?) cancel in two lines. The inscription in the banner has "EENDRACT" and "MACT" (with "C"s instead of "G"s). The genuine 3 p stamps have folded wings, in the above 3 p forgeries, the wings are spread.

1 Sh orange, bogus color
Other forgeries of the 3 p and 6 p values; most likely made by the forger Oneglia. On the 1 Sh the '1's in the upper corners are too small. Also note the typical cancel used on these forgeries. The top left of the "V" of the narrow "V.R." overprint is missing. The "S" of "SHILLING" in the 1 Sh values is very different from a genuine stamp.


Another forgery with the upper left '1' placed too low and too far to the right. It might belong to the above set.


Forged "VR TRANSVAAL" overprint on a Otto reprint


Page from the Fournier Album of Philatelic forgeries with some examples of Fournier's forged cancels and overprints. The "V.R. TRANSVAAL" (with large distance between "V" and "R") and the "HALVE PENNY" overprint were probably used on forged stamps of this issue.

with 'V' and 'R' far apart? Forgery?
Probably a forgery, either made by Otto or Fournier with the distance between the "V." and "R." too large (a misprint with a too large space between "VR" and "TRANSVAAL" does exist; source: Les Falsifications du Transvaal).

The stamp forger Peter Winter has forged an imperforate 1 Sh green tete-beche pair of stamps. Sorry, no picture available yet (if anybody has a picture, please contact me!).

Postal stationery in a similar design:


1874 Genuine 6 p lilac envelope with "ZES" in colour (made from the 3 p die with original value changed) produced by P. Davis & Son. 5000 envelopes were produced

If I'm well informed, 6 p blue (with letters as in the postage stamps) envelopes also exist. Forgeries exist of those.


Forgery of this envelope


Zoom-in of such an envelope


A sheetlet for the Teppex 1955 exhibition.

 

 

Click here for the issues of 1885 issue or Transvaal 1879 Queen Victoria issue.


Literature

"Transvaal Philately - The Stamps, Forgeries, Postal History and Miscellanea of the Transvaal Territories from inception to Union" (1986) editorship: Major Ian Mathews with contributions from co-authors Messrs Baker, Bowden, Crocker, Jonkers, Kaupe, van Zeyl and Wigmore, 291 pages.

"Les falsifications du Transvaal" by Léon de Raay (publisher N.Yaar & Co), 1909(?). Can be downloaded from http://www.archive.org.


Websites

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/terrace/ymw18/transvl/study%20circle/challnge.html; some history on collecting stamps of Transvaal with a selected bibliography list.


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer