Rhodesian
Specialist
Ormskirk
Stamps
COLLECTING SOUTHERN RHODESIA
An Informative Section on the
Philately of
Southern Rhodesia
This section of the website was previously under Southern Rhodesia and was perhaps overlooked by many and it has a more appropriate place in The Rhodesian Philatelist sector.

It is hoped that those of you who have an interest in Southern Rhodesia will take advantage of the information on offer
1924 Admirals set to 2s 6d Cancelled on the first Day of Issue 1 APR 24
1923 - 1924 Introduction to the Interim Period
I published the original version of this article in July 1993 in the first edition of my magazine The Rhodesian Philatelist

An edited account was published in ‘Gibbons Stamp Monthly’ in March & April 1998, I have recently completely revised and rewritten this article which will be published in due course What follows is very much an abbreviated account
The Interim Period - 1st October 1923 to 31st March 1924
The End of the British South Africa Company Era
Collections of Southern and Northern Rhodesia invariably start with their first definitives, issued on 1st April 1924 and 1925 respectively. What many Individuals do not take into account is that Southern Rhodesia was granted Self Government on 1st October 1923 and from the 1st April, 1924 Northern Rhodesia was administrated by the Imperial Government under the direction of the Colonial Office.
These two dates mark the end of the British South Africa Company's administration in the two territories.

Leading up to the above events the British South Africa Company wished to dispose of the remaining stocks of stamps held by the Company in London and as early as July 1923 they had approached certain dealers in England with the view to disposing of their holding. Stanley Gibbons acquired this stock and the first details of the transaction was disclosed in the Stamp Collector's Fortnightly dated 29th March, 1924. This was followed by an explanatory statement by Stanley Gibbons in their April edition of the Monthly Journal.

They stated that no remainders of the 1913-22 King's portrait were either offered or available for sale.

This is quite understandable as the Admiral issue was still required for postage and revenue purposes in Northern and Southern Rhodesia for an interim period from the end of the BSAC Administration until the issue of new definitives in each Territory.
In Southern Rhodesia that period was from 1st October, 1923 to 31st March 1924 and in Northern Rhodesia from
1st April, 1924 to 31st March, 1925.
Considerations by the Post Office leading up to Self Government
An extract from a letter dated 31st July, 1923 from the Postmaster General Alfred Ernest Holloway (P.M.G. 1921-28) to the Treasurer reads:
It is assumed that it will be desired to issue an entirely new set of stamps and to place that issue on sale locally as soon as possible after the 1st of October next. It is very doubtful if it would be feasible to put the new issue into circulation by that date owing to the short time available.
During the period which may elapse between the 1st of October and the introduction of the new issue I would suggest that the existing stamps be made use of in their present condition and without surcharge or overprinting of any description.
If this be decided on it will be necessary for the British South Africa Company to forward the whole of the remaining stocks held by their London Office to this country and that no more shall be printed except at the request of the local Administration, the requirements of Northern Rhodesia being met from here.
When the new issue has been placed on sale and the question of the stamps to be used in Northern Rhodesia after the 1st April next has been decided the whole of the remaining stamps of the present issue should be destroyed in the presence of senior officials of the Auditor General's and the Postal Departments who will certify accordingly. The existing dies should also be sent out and similarly treated, or a certificate of destruction be obtained from Messrs Waterlow and Sons.


The PMG’s letter goes on to provide details of the suggested denominations for postage and revenue stamps plus the postal stationery requirements and also suggested: As regards design I would suggest that it be as simple as possible and that the design at present in use would be quite suitable provided the words "British South Africa" be replaced by "Southern Rhodesia".
In the concluding sentence he wrote: ‘I may add that I agree most unreservedly with the opinion expressed in the letter from the Philatelic Society as to the extreme undesirability of sanctioning any surcharge or overprint if the temporary use of the existing issue is continued after the 30th September next.
The Interim Definitives of Southern Rhodesia
All stamps used between 1st October 1923 and 31st March 1924 may be described as Southern Rhodesia provisionals or forerunners and only examples with readable dates can be placed in such a category. The only stamps that I have encountered, used during the interim period, have been from the Admiral issue.

Self Government took effect on Monday 1st October 1923 with Sir Charles Coghlan as the First Premier.
The interim period for B.S.A.C. Admirals was six months and Southern Rhodesia's first definitive was placed on sale Tuesday 1st April 1924. The Admirals were withdrawn on 31st March, 1924 and remained valid for postage for a further month until 30th April, 1924. A further five months of grace was allowed during which time the stamps of the old issue could be exchanged for those of the new issue.
UMTALI
30 SEP 23
Last day
BSAC Administration
WANKIES
1 OCT 1923
First day
Self Government
GUTU
31 MAR 1924
Last day
On Sale
GWANDA
1 APR 24
Day of
Withdrawal
Postal validity of the B.S.A.C. Admirals ended on Wednesday 30th April 1924
Late Usage is known on numerous singles, pairs, blocks and larger multiples all cancelled with a double ring MACHEKE 9 MAY 24, in my opinion they were almost certainly executed by favour.
Illustrated below at left is a 1½d Admiral on piece cancelled WILLOUGHBY’S HALT 13 MAY 1924 and this example appears to have passed through the system unnoticed as the normal policy was not to cancel invalid stamps
In Southern Rhodesia the Admirals were demonetized on 1st October, 1924
BSAC Postal Stationery used during the Interim Period
The B.S.A.C. Postal Stationery also remained in use during the interim period. It has not been established whether the same rules applied to the stationery regarding the dates of withdrawal, exchange and demonetization and the postal notices seen specifically refer to the stamps.
The vast majority of Stationery used during the interim period is of the type with the Admiral imprint with the exception of two items, both sent by
P. Falk, a 2½d Arms envelope H&G 3 used LALAPANZI 22 MAR 1924 & a 1d+1d Small Arms Post & Reply card H&G 12 used GWELO 10 DEC 1923.

Registered envelopes with Admiral Imprints do not exist.

The ½d Admiral Newspaper wrapper
, virtually all used examples seen are dated during the interim period and I have only encountered one cancelled prior to 1st October 1923, the date being DEC 1922.
The Southern Rhodesia Interim Period - Collecting possibilities
LALAPANZI
17 SEP 1923
SALISBURY
29 SEP 23
UMTALI - 30 SEP 23
Last day
BSAC Administration
WANKIES
1 OCT 1923
First day Self Government
VICTORIA FALLS
3 OCT 1923
BULAWAYO
on SG 279c
7 OCT 23
PLUMTREE
26 OCT 23
September 1923 - Last month of B.S.A.C. Administration - The 30th was a Sunday, thus it is a difficult date to find, thus a few late dates are desirable
1st October 1923 First Day of Self Government for Southern Rhodesia
A major challenge is finding 1st October; it is a very rare item, or try & find an early day in the month
A colourful trio fiscally used on 19/10/23
Oval handstamp
RAILWAY PASSENGERS ASSURANCE
JOHANNESBURG
1st October 1923 to 31st March 1924 There are 183 days which includes 26 Sundays and Christmas Day
Desirable dates would be Monday 31st December 1923, Tuesday 1st January 1924 and Friday 29th February 1924 (leap year)

I suggest Stamps, both postal & fiscally used, Covers, Stationery and Documents
Try finding items for every month with items dated either at the beginning, middle or end of each month

PLUMTREE
26 NOV 23

WANKIES
1 DEC 1923

LONELY MINE
12 JAN 1924

LONELY MINE
27 FEB 1924

UMTALI
27 MAR 1924

GUTU
31 MAR 1924
Day of Withdrawal
1st April 1924 Date of issue of Southern Rhodesia's First Definitive
A First day cancellation on an issued stamp is Very Rare and Covers are Extremely Rare

 
SALISBURY 1 APR 1924
First Day of issue


BULAWAYO - 23 MAY 23
A 1923 Date Error
 

April 1924 Last month of postal validity for B.S.A.C. Admirals
 


GWANDA
1 APR 24


SALISBURY
1 APR 24


SINOIA
7 APR 1924


MACHEKE
28 APR 24
 
Most desirable and valuable dates are Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 30th
 
Post Offices and Agencies in Southern Rhodesia
September 1923 last month of B.S.A.C. Administration
Postal Notice 17/1923 TARN ESTATE closed 11th September 1923.
New offices opened 11th September 1923 JENKINSTOWN, MAPUNGA and WATSOMBA
There were 115 Post Offices and Agencies Open at Commencement of Self Government 1st October 1923

The above are all listed in my article


Offices opened during interim period 1st October 1923 and 31st March 1924
CHRISTMAS PASS Open 11th February 1924 (PN5/1924) closed 1.3.34.
ZAKA Opened by 31st December, 1923. Opening confirmed by P.N.5/1924.
1924 - 31 Admiral Issue SG 1 - 14




 
The Mono-coloured Low Values
 




 
The Bi-coloured Stamps
 
Introduction
A New Self Governing Southern Rhodesia issued their First Definitives on 1 April 1924 and they remained in use for seven years. The Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth Catalogue lists it as SG 1 to 14, suggesting it is a dull and straight forward set of stamps. The truth is far from that, with sixty six plus printings it offers the specialist the challenge to seek all the various shades. Some items are great rarities, for instance the 1927 1d Rosine, difficult used and virtually impossible mint; I have only had one example of it.

The 1928 5/-, only four sheets, 240 stamps printed specifically for the Stamp Trade and distributed in ordinary sets to collectors. Many of them are still part of ordinary collections with the owners oblivious to the fact that they possess a rare stamp. Only recently a friend informed me that he had bought a set of fourteen stamps from a dealer in Canada as he suspected that the top value was indeed the rare 1928 printing. After seeking verification, it proved to be so.

In 1929 a 1d coil stamp was issued and very few distributed via the vending machines as they would not work properly. It is very common mint and very scarce used and to locate a copy on cover a challenge of a lifetime.

Part Imperforates and imperforate between varieties abound, the former being beyond the scope of the SG catalogue and the listing of the imperforate between varieties is incomplete.

During the period that the Admirals were for sale several small Postal Agencies opened and/or closed. The foregoing means that there are some Extremely Rare Postmarks worth looking for on this particular issue.

In our Magazine The Rhodesian Philatelist I have published several articles on the 1924 - 31 Admirals
In issue No 22 - September 2002 I published an extensive article on the printings & shades of the Admirals

A brief summary of the foregoing follows
From the evidence in the Waterlow archives we know that there were several printings for each value and that in turn provides numerous shades worthy of collecting and study

The Archives indicate a total of 66 printings for the set of 14 values being
½d (7) 1d (7) 1½d (3) 2d (6) 3d (6) 4d (4) 6d (5) 8d (3) 10d (3) 1/- (7) 1/6 (3) 2/- (5) 2/6 (5) & 5/- (2)

It is believed that the archival record is incomplete & that there were more printings than suggested
My research has proven that there were at least three to four 5/- printings rather than only the two found in the archives
Bridger & Kay created a superb archival record for the Admirals by using the file sheets of 66 printings
Single perforated proofs were hinged onto an album page in sequence of value and the print order of each proof has a number in pencil on the reverse so that they cannot be mixed up should they be taken off their page.
These archival collections consist of 65 punch hole proofs mounted on two album Pages and each unit is accompanied by three tabulated pages that provide the details of Printing dates, quantities ordered and plate numbers used.
The 66th proof is the 1928 5/- printing which was mounted separately onto a presentation card

As early as 1932 a guide to the various shades was available in a Harris Publications booklet compiled by a Committee of the Philatelic Society of Rhodesia entitled The Postage Stamps of Southern Rhodesia - An Official Checklist
In this booklet there is a listing from two to five different shades for each value and the foregoing was later incorporated into the 1965 Mashonaland Guide

Considering the number of printings for this issue, it is disappointing that this very interesting definitive has not been listed by its shades in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue
The only catalogue that did list different shades for the values was the
1980 Five Reign Commonwealth catalogue

Published by Bridger & Kay

It is the only publication to list the rare 1928 5/- shade as G14b - Then priced at £1750 mint & quite correctly did not price it used and in my opinion it does not exist in a used state.
The February 1928 5/- was for a total of four sheets only prepared specifically for the stamp trade & it is thought that Ewen's New Issue service distributed this printing.

1924-31 Admirals - A Summary of Shades
The dates noted are either the month of issue (April 1924) or approximate printing dates
My information has been gleaned from issued stamps that match up with a particular proof
In the Bridger & Kay collection
Therefore please do not regard these dates as being beyond dispute, they are merely my opinion

SG

Value

 

Date

SG

Value

 

Date

1

d

Blue green

 

7

6d

Black & deep mauve

03-29

 
.

Deep blue green

     

Black & lilac

 
 
.

Yellow green

 

8

8d

Violet & blue green

04-24

 
.

Deep yellow green

     

Violet & sage green

10-24

2

1d

Red

     

Purple & pale green

02-28

 
.

Scarlet (shades)

 

9

10d

Blue & rose red

04-24

 
.

Rosine 1927

     

Blue & brown rose

10-24

 
.

Vermilion 1928

     

Ultramarine & rose

02-28

2c

1d

Coil red 1929

     

Deep ultramarine & rose

 
 
.

Scarlet

 

10

1/-

Black & blue

 

3

1d

Bistre

     

Black & light blue

 
 
.

Bistre brown

09-24

   

Black & deep blue

 
 
.

Yellow bistre

     

Black & bluish green

 
 
.

Pale bistre

     

Black & milky blue

 

4

2d

Black & purple grey

     

Black & turquoise blue

 
 
.

Black & brown purple

     

Grey Black & light blue

 
 
.

Black & slate purple

 

11

1/6

Black & yellow

04-24

5

3d

Deep blue

     

Black & yellow chrome

05-26

 
.

Pale blue

09-24

   

Black & orange chrome

04-27

 
.

Prussian blue

05-26

12

2/-

Black & yellow brown

 
 
.

Ultramarine

03-27

   

Black & purple brown

 
 
.

Deep blue

02-28

   

Black & brown

 
 
.

Deep ultramarine

03-29

13

2/6

Ultramarine & sepia

 
 
.

Blue

     

Dull blue & drab

 
 
.

Milky blue

     

Ultramarine & drab

 

6

4d

Black & orange red

     

Ultramarine & grey brown

 
 
.

Black & deep orange red

12-25

14

5/-

Blue & turquoise green

 

7

6d

Black & mauve

04-24

   

Ultramarine & blue green

 
 
.

Black & pale mauve

     

Light blue & dull blue green

 
 
.

Black & purple

08-24

 

1928

Deep blue & deep green

02-28

 
.

Black & rosy mauve

03-27

   

OR

 
 
.

Black & red violet

02-28

   

Deep blue & deep blue green

 

 

5/- Admiral The so called 'Error of Colour'
The 5/- Former Error of Colour The 5/- ‘Error of colour’ was first listed in the 1927 Stanley Gibbons catalogue as SG 14a blue and light blue. Remained unpriced until 1934 when it was deleted. Still unpriced, it was reinstated in 1937 and
was finally quoted at £18 in the 1940 edition.

W.G. Nodder in the 26 August 150 ‘Stamp Mirror’ had this to say about this variation:
Chemically manufactured error - The 5/- value is also catalogued blue and light blue and is described as “an error of colour” of which only two sheets. i.e. 120 stamps were printed, but this error has been chemically “manufactured” and it, behoves all collectors to seek expert advice before purchasing what purports to be a genuine specimen. Many specialists contend that this stamp should never be chronicled as an “error” but merely as a separate shade variety.

It last appeared in the 1978 catalogue, by which time it had reached £1000 and the reason it was deleted is as follows: In the April 1977 edition of The Philatelist Robson Lowe wrote -
Nearly fifty years later the opportunity arose for me to examine the file proof sheets kept by the printer and in the top row of the imperforate registration sheet was a single copy which had been cut out and replaced after treatment, showing that the printers had been approached at the time and proved that the light blue stamp was a fake.

If indeed the so called Error of colour was geniune, one would not anticipate it one different Printings
First Version Ultamarine
2nd Version Blue
3rd Version Thick Paper
Two Fakes used on Piece

Although the former Error of Colour proved to be a changling, it is still highly sought after and sells remarkably well in Auction and in the Ivy, Shreve & Mader SAMOS London sale 20 June 1991 - An example in lot 1245 sold for £500 - the buyer was the well known dealer and now the late Billy Lea.
1931 - 37 Definitives Field Marshall and Small Falls Issue
½d to 5/-
Field Marshall design printed by
Bradbury, Wilkinson
2d & 3d
Small Falls
printed by
Waterlow & Sons


On 30 April 1932 the 2d and 3d Small Falls stamps were withdrawn from sale but they remained valid for postage until 31 October 1932. (Postal notice No 13 of 1932)





Postal notice No 13 of 1931

SOUTHERN RHODESIA – Postage Stamps: New Issue.

It is hereby notified for public information that a new issue of postage and revenue stamps and stationery will be on sale at all post offices on 1st April next.
Stamps of the present issue will be valid for postal and revenue purposes until 30th September, 1931, after which date such stamps and stationery will become obsolete and will cease to be valid. Mail matter posted after the 30th September next which bears stamps of the obsolete issue will be surcharged.

The new issue comprises stamps and stationery of the following denominations and varieties:-
Stamps: ½d, 1d, 2d, 3d, 4d, 6d, 8d, 10d, 1s, 1s 6d, 2s, 2s 6d and 5s.
Post cards with ½d and 1½d stamp. Registered envelopes, large and small, with 4d stamp.
Embossed envelopes, large and small with ½d stamp. Embossed envelopes, small, with 1d stamp.
Newspaper wrappers with ½d stamp. Letter cards with 1d stamp.
Books of stamps containing ½d and 1d stamps, value 2s 6d each, will also be available.

J. COLLYER,
Postmaster-General.





The Field Marshal Printings including the Booklets

Order No & date

 

Details

Values

Sheet Nos

18109

10 March 1930

Original printings - Perforation 12

& 2/6 Booklet d & 1d panes of 6

Issued 1 April 1931 d, 1d, 4d,

6d, 8d, 10d, 1/-, 1/6, 2/-, 2/6 and 5/-

None

22054

26 January 1932

New value - Perforation 11

Sheets of 240 (4 panes x 60)

1d

50,000 sheets (12 million stamps)

To 500

Seen 027

22108

9 February 1932

 

Reprint - Perforation 12

 

8d, 10d, 1/6 and 2/6

To 500

Seen 008 & 068 

22371

21 March 1932

 

Reprint - Perforation 11

 

d and 1d

 

To 500

22372

21 March 1932

 

Reprint - Perforation 12

 

4d, 6d, 1/-, 2/- & 5/-

To 500

Seen 065

22375

31 March 1932

3/- booklet - Perforation 12

Issued 3 March 1933

 

d, 1d and 1d (SG 16c)

 

None

24469

10 April 1933

 

Reprint - Perforation 11

 

d, 1d, 6d, 10d, 2/- and 2/6

 

From 000

26194

2 February 1934

 

Reprint - Perforation 11

 

6d

 

1 to 500

26197

2 February 1934

 

Reprint - Perforation 11

 

d and 1d

 

1 to 500

26198

2 February 1934

 

Reprint - Perforation 11

 

4d, 8d, 10d, 1/-, 1/6, 2/- and 2/6

 

1 to 500

27187

11 July 1934

 

New value - Perforation 12

 

9d - In sheets of sixty 10 x 6

 

1 to 500

28683

8 March 1935

 

Reprint - Perforation 14

 

d and 1d

 

1 to 500

28684

8 March 1935

 

Reprint - Revert to perforation 12

 

4d, 6d, 8d, 9d, 1/-, 1/6, 2/- & 5/-

 

1 to 500

32134

13 August 1936

 

Reprint - Perforation 14

 

6d

 

From 000

34307

22 June 1937

 

Reprint - Perforation 14

 

d

 

1 to 500

34447

12 July 1937

 

Reprint - Perforation 14

 

1d

 

1 to 500

34448

12 July 1937

 

Reprint - Perforation 14

 

4d, 6d and 1/-

 

1 to 500


When comparing different archival collections some pencil notations conflict with each other: ¹ dates for 4d quoted as 26th or 28th March & 2/- 26th March ² Order No stated as 26198 ³ Sheet No’s may reflect 001 - 099 to 500
More to follow Soon