Cape of Good Hope - Postal History

         
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The Romance of the Cape of Good Hope

 
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The Cape of Good Hope has had an alluring past. For

 
 

collectors it's postal history and stamps are entrenched in mystery and romance. The mixture of explorers, travellers, wars, the birth of a nation and the birth of a new country make for a fascinating past.

My name is Dr Yannis Lazarides and South Africa has been my home for the last twenty six years. Since I was a child I was fascinated by the Cape of Good Hope, it's stamps - out of reach then and some of them out of reach now - and it's postal history.

I have put this collection of pages on the internet to promote the study of the Postal History of the Cape of Good Hope. The postal history images presented here are mostly based on my own collection. Here you will find a mixture of information on virtually every aspect of the Postal History of the Cape of Good Hope and to a large extend it's people and it's history.

The history of the Cape of Good Hope, starts with the discovery of the Cape by Portugese sailors, the settlements by the Dutch beginning with Jan van Riebeeck and the VOC Company. A string of commanders and VOC Governors ruled the Cape of Good Hope for almost 150 years. early correspondence is covered with some rare briefstock and VOC letters. The subsequent colonization by the British is covered by the First British Occupation and the Second British Occupation. This period saw the development of postal services and the introduction of various postmarks. Of particular interest are the crown-in-circle, the rare Port Elizabeth 'To-Pay' and 'Paid' handstamps including a photograph of the earliest known cover with the 'Paid' handstamp.

The Travelling Post Offices of the Cape of Good Hope are well represented here, I having been fortunate enough to obtain the majority of items belonging to the collection of the late Mr. Naylor. Naylor together with Hagen wrote two books on the postal history of the Travelling post offices. Interspensed within these pages you can follow the story of the Cape of Good Hope Railways. From the first lines,such as the Cape-Wellington line, the Western T.P.O., to items such as the Albany T.P.O and the Zwartkops Sorting Tender including a scan of the only known cover from this T.P.O.

Some unusual Postal History material is included, such as the Kimberley Exhibition postmarks, with the only known cover of one of the caches dated July 1892 and a postcard posted by a member of an Austrian band from the exhibition! You might also be interested in the Clanwilliam private stamp which was used by the Clanwilliam postmaster during the Anglo-boer war. The postal history of the Cape Ocean Post Office is decribed in detail with a unique example of the Armadale Ocean Post Office Postmark.

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Although stamps are not normally considered as part of Postal History collections the nature of the Cape of Good Hope stamps is such that I wouldn't have considered this work completed, if at least some mention was made of them. The triangular stamps are well represented with both the Perkins Bacon as well as the De La Rue Printings and the woodblocks. The rectangular stamps of the Cape of Good Hope present another aspect of the postal history of the Cape of Good Hope and have not been studied well.

Some of the material illustrated here has not been published or exhibited before. The study of the 'Table Mountain' issue is one of them. Here Postal History material belonging to Mr. E.M.Sturman -the designer of the stamps- is shown. This stamp created a bit of controversy at it's time, in that it was the first stamp that did not have the 'Hope' shown. A few cuttings from newspapers regarding this controversy are shown as well as a letter from the Treasury awarding a bonus to Mr. E.M.Sturman for his design. The earlier issues including the '3' on Three overprint with a study of errors and varieties. No complete sheets for this issue have been recorded and a possible re-construction is shown here. Other Cape of Good Hope stamps are listed separately as well as the rare stamp booklet issued during the reign of King Edward VII.

There are a lot of topics covered in these pages but I am sure there are as much still not covered fully or discovered. Your contribution in this respect would be most welcome. If you have any items in your collection that you think will benefit this project, please contact me and I will do so, giving you full credit.

 

 
     

 

 
THE PRE-STAMP PERIOD  DUTCH POSTS
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
THE CIRCULAR DATED POSTMARKS 1864-1903
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
THE GENERAL POST OFFICE POSTMARKS
   
   
MARITIME MAIL
   
   
   
THE EXPERIMENTAL HANDSTAMPS
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
THE MARKINGS OF THE ANCILLARY SERVICES
   
   
   
   
   
   

The Telephone  Office

   
   
   
THE TRAVELLING POST OFFICES
   
   
   
   
   
SPECIAL PURPOSE MARKINGS
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
THE ARMY POST OFFICE
   
   
The local Penny Post
   
Boer War
   
EXHIBITION AND SPECIAL POSTMARKS
   
   
   
The British Association for the Advancement of Science
   
PEN CANCELLATIONS
   
   
Bank and Fiscal Cancellations
   
THE MIER CAMEL POST
   
Mier Camel Post
   
GRIQUALAND WEST
   
   
   
STAMPS
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
LITERATURE
   
   
SELECTED DEALERS
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
     
   

 

 

   
   
     
If you wish to comment on this web site please send e-mail to mailto:webmaster@capepostalhistory.com
Copyright © 2004-05 Dr Y Lazarides
Last modified: April 21, 2006