Southern Africa Philately
Pioneering South African Philately
This Page is devoted to the History of the
Philately of Southern Africa
, its Personalities, early Journals
fledgling Stamp Exhibitions

Local people such as Emil Tamsen, Mozes Booleman, Sallo Epstein,
Saul Klagsburn and in Britain Edward Nankivell and Bertram Poole
Edward Nankivell
The Transvaal Collectors’ Quarterly Review No 1
Emil Tamsen
Introduction and Articles published in Southern Africa Philately
First Issue September 2015, No 2 February 2016, No 3 June 2016, No 4 October 2016, No 5 February 2017 & No 6 June 2017
An ongoing series of articles is being published on Pioneering the Philately of South Africa by the people in question such as Emil Tamsen, Moses Booleman, Sallo Epstein and Saul Klagsburn.
British Pioneers include Edward James Nankivell (Transvaal) and Bertram William Henry Poole (South African War Provisionals & Stellaland)

Early fledgling Philatelic Societies were formed, only to peter out and re-started again at a later date. Attempts were made to publish Philatelic journals which in turn had a very short run. Pre-Union Philatelic exhibitions were also staged in Pretoria (December 1903 & 1906) and in Durban (August 1906).
The first Union Exhibition took place in Durban during June/July 1913, an article on the subject published in Southern Africa Philately Issue No 4 Octoner 2016

In November 1895 The South African Philatelist 1895 - 96 appeared and was edited by Klagsbrun and Epstein.
Typewritten, cost 6d per copy and enjoyed six issues only. Its last edition was in April 1896.

Please Note - Given that space on this website is not an issue additional information and illustrations have been added expanding on the original articles.
Emil Tamsen - The Transvaal Philatelic Society - The South African Philatelist (1895 - 96)
Prior to the turn of the 20th century it appears that interest in philately within South Africa was either sparked by immigrants or overseas personalities who had a fascination for the stamps of the various territories within Southern Africa.

British enthusiasts included the likes of Bertram Poole and Edward Nankivell.

In South Africa there are familiar names such as Emil Tamsen, Mozes Booleman, Sallo Epstein and Saul Klagsbrun.
They were either responsible or instrumental in the formation of fledgling Philatelic Societies or the foundation of the first South African Philatelic Journal. Events such as the 1895 - 96 Jameson raid followed by the 1899 - 1902 Boer War created a void for philately activity.

Tamsen wrote an article in The South African Philatelist (July 1928) entitled The Philatelic Press in South Africa...Of course one must remember that stamp collecting in South Africa is more or less of recent date, broadly speaking since 1900. Before then collectors were few and far between. I well remember in the early eighties being looked upon as a crank for collecting stamps and spending time and money on them...

Over the years an array of articles, reports and snippets of information regarding early pioneering philatelists, dealers, societies, journals and stamp exhibitions have appeared in The South African Philatelist, yet no-one appears to have done the entire subject justice. Pauw Steyl has written several interesting accounts, however one requires Afrikaans literacy to appreciate his work.
One such article appeared in the January/February 1992 SAP, being a well researched article on Moses Booleman.

Emil Tamsen (1861 - 1957)
I believe it is fair to say that Emil Tamsen is one of South Africa’s earliest astute and highly respected Philatelists.

In 1921 Tamsen was one of the original signatures to the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in Great Britain.

In 1932 he signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists of Southern Africa.

His Library was purchased by the Public Library in Johannesburg.

His obituary appeared in the September 1957 edition of The South African Philatelist page 132.

The Transvaal Philatelic Society
Came into being on 18 April 1894 and Tamsen, Booleman, Epstein and Klagsbrun were all founder members. The name was later modified to The Johannesburg Philatelic Society.

In November 1895 The South African Philatelist 1895 - 96 appeared and edited by Klagsbrun and Epstein. Typewritten, cost 6d per copy and enjoyed six issues only. The last edition was in April 1896. The Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal - 31 December 1895 edition commented...The work is certainly an interesting one and much information will be found in it...

  The South African Philatelist (1895 - 96)
Tamsen commented in the July 1928 SAP - The contents are solely South African and there are some good their final number the editors noted that ‘philatelists have not taken advantage of this medium of supplying them with local news.’ M.Z. Booleman & Co. (a Johannesburg stamp dealer) was the only advertiser.

November 1895 the First Philatelic Journal in South Africa
A contemporary article describing this journal appeared in the October 1910 edition of The Stamp Lover. Entitled The Philatelic Literature of South Africa by Herbert Clark.

The South African Philatelist...The first number is dated November 1895, and the whole set consists of six numbers, the last or which is dated April 1896. The paper was published by M. Z. Booleman & Co., Philately House, Johannesburg, South African Republic and edited by Messrs. Klagsbrun and Epstein.

The paper consists of type-written sheets, of course printed on one side only, and sewn into a blue cover bearing the title of the paper and the publishers’ address, printed in an ornamented frame. The advertisements were typed on the front and back pages, and no outside advertisements were taken.

All six numbers are now scarce, and a complete set is decidedly rare. From the method of production it is evident that the number of copies issued must have been limited. Altogether, the set contains 50 numbered pages and covers.

The chief contents are articles on the stamps of British Bech-uanaland and Bechuanaland Protectorate, Natal, Orange Free State and Swaziland, Monthly Chat on current events in the philatelic world, New Issue column, and a series on South African Stamp Forgeries.

The paper was evidently appreciated by other philatelic editors for, turning over the pages of contemporary papers; one comes across extract after extract from it.

The articles on forgeries, in particular, were thus ‘lifted,’ and it is probable they were considerable service to the philatelic public.

In their valedictory remarks in the last number the editors are worth quoting. They say: - ‘This number ends the contract between us and our subscribers to whom we guaranteed six numbers. The task has been an arduous one. We had to battle not only against the discomforts caused by the political disturbances here, but also the unsympathetic non-support of philatelists in South Africa. We had literally to write every syllable contained in the six numbers ourselves’.

This does not say much for the state of philately in South Africa at the time, and was certainly very hard on the editors.

With commendable zea1the latter announced at the same time that they would issue a two-page paper, to be called the ‘South African Philatelist Monthly Bulletin’, but this never appeared.

Mozes Booleman and Sallo Epstein

Booleman hailed from Amsterdam and emigrated to South Africa in October 1892. On the voyage he met Epstein and as a result of their mutual interest in philately became friends.
In 1893 Booleman initially set up in business dealing in fancy goods and stamps and by 1896 he was listed only as a stamp dealer. He had a shop in Pritchard Street, Johannesburg called Philately House. Booleman & Co included Epstein and during late 1896 the firm went into liquidation.

According to Pauw Steyl (January/February 1992 SAP) - Who wrote a well researched article on Moses Booleman....
Epstein took over and Booleman returned to the Netherlands and set up a successful Stamp Auction, he passed away on 3 October 1915. The name of his company continued until 1964. Epstein operated a branch of his business in Durban during the Boer War.
On 2 June 1902 he advertised in the Transvaal Leader as Sallo Epstein, Philately House, Rissik street, PO Box 520, Johannesburg.

Envelope to Sallo Epstein, Philately House in Rissik Street
Posted during the Boer War from MOMBASA 20 DE 99.
Transit Zanzibar 26 DE 99 and OPENED UNDER MARTIAL LAW - STOPPED BY CENSOR - RETURN TO SENDER. Backstamped DURBAN FE 3 00 and single circle RETURN LETTER OFFICE NATAL 9 2 00. Finally backstamped ZANZIBAR 12 MR 00 transit and MOMBASA 14 MA 1900 arrival.

Based on Pauw Steyl’s remark that Epstein was in Durban during the Boer War, the above letter questions that statement. Yet there is sufficient evidence that Epstein certainly had a base in Durban after the Boer War.

Postcards by Sallo Epstein & Co. Durban
The firm produced picture postcards either with letters in a shield SE/C/D or inscribed Published by Sallo Epstein & Co. Durban. I have seen cards posted from 1904 to 1911 that were either sent from Potchefstroom, Pietermaritzburg or in the Cape.

View in Capetown Docks

Initialled Postcards are not numbered and either in colour or in black and white

The above was Published in Southern Africa Philately No 4 (October 2016)

Postcards by Sallo Epstein & Co. Durban

SECD - cards, all Cape Town scenes
View in Capetown Docks - In colour
The Fishing Jetty - In colour
The Vestibule Parliament House - In colour
New Somerset Hospital - In colour
Mansion House Chambers - In black & white
QueenVictoria Statue - In black & white
South African Museum - In black & white

In the Docks with the Clock Tower at right

Adderley Street Central

In the Docks - showing the Custom House

Strand Street

All Views Cape Town scenes - all in colour
Adderley Street Central
The South African College
In the Docks - showing the Custom House
In the Docks with the Clock Tower at right
A General View of Capetown Dock
Strand Street
Other Epstein Cards with Rhodesia Scenes
The Allan Wilson Memorial - Matoppos
Rhodes' Grave in the Matoppos
Edward James Nankivell (1848 - 1909) - The Transvaal Collectors’ Quarterly and Cape of Good Hope
Edward James Nankivell (1848 - 1909)
Born at Perranzabuloe in North Cornwall on 17 September 1848 and privately educated, mostly in Ireland. Took up shorthand and drifted into journalism.

Went to London in 1871 and a member of the editorial staff of the Central News. Reported Disraeli’s great speech at Crystal Palace and later moved to the Pall Mall Gazette.

During his time there he took a report of Lord Carnarvon’s speech criticizing the course of Gladstone’s surrender to Kruger...Nankivell expressed an opinion there was to be a recurrence of the same trouble.

It is suggested that the above inspired an interest in the stamps of Transvaal and he proceeded to gather together an exceptional collection of the country. With his skill in journalism he edited and published a Transvaal journal.

1899 - The Transvaal Collectors’ Quarterly
Published in Croydon by Edward James Nankivell. Two editions January and April 1899. In his first Editorial he wrote - We send this Quarterly with a twofold object - to give and to receive information. Having collected and studied the adhesive postage stamps of the Transvaal for the past twenty years, we have acquired a great deal of information which may be
useful to our fellow collectors.
There is much, however that we desire to have cleared up and concerning which, especially those in the Transvaal, may help us our readers.
For some years we have been accumulating material for an exhaustive work on the ‘Adhesive Postage Stamps of the Transvaal’, but we have no intention of venturing upon its publication until we are able to write more definitely than we can at present as to the issues of the First Republic...

The first issue was a twenty page journal, included five adverts from
G. Hamilton-Smith & Co., William S. Lincoln, W.T. Wilson, W. Hadlow and Stanley Gibbons.

Volume I No 1 January 1899 - Content
Transvaals for Specialising, First Steps for Specialists, The Defective ‘Zes’, 1866 Mr Fred Jeppe - Postmaster of Potchefstroom, Occasional Notes, Novelties and Discoveries. Prices obtained by auctioneers Buhl & Co. on 22 and 23 November 1898 for the Pearce collection of Transvaal.

Concluding with two pages on The Market and advised...The collector of Transvaal will rarely find any copies of early issues in the stock of the ordinary dealer, for the simple reason that the general dealer, not understanding them, regards them as so much unsalable stock.

Volume I No 2 April 1899 - Content
The second number of the Nankivell’s journal only had 16 pages and includes 1879 Provisional ‘1 Penny’ on 6d, First Steps for Specialists, British Occupation, Occasional Notes, Novelties and Discoveries, Sale of the Pearce Collection - cont. Nankivell concluded with The Market and reviewed prices in the ‘new’ 1899 catalogue followed by a headline Red Surcharges.
Auction Prices above Catalogue

29 April 1899 - Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal
They wished his enterprise success, but expressed doubt of its success, concluding...whether the object of his devotion is fully worthy of such exclusive attention.

The anticipated July issue did not make an appearance.

Emil Tamsen's Comments on Nankivell's Journal
Tamsen wrote...He asked me to suggest some means of arousing more interest in his paper, and I suggested making it The African Philatelist and writing about ‘all’ African States Republics, French, German and Portuguese Colonies and not confining himself to British colonies alone. He did not like my idea and the result was that he had to cease publication and so it will always be when one caters for a limited section of the public.

Nankivell Transvaal collection sold to Stanley Gibbons
Reported in the January 1903 Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal
Assembled over a period of twenty three years in six volumes, Nankivell asking price was initially £6000 and the collection included four mint and used examples of each stamp, followed by strips and blocks. There were pages of varieties, including, Tete-beche, inverted surcharges and defective lettering. It was on offer intact for £5,250 and it is rumoured that Nankivell had accepted £3000 which bought him land and a house in Kent.

Nankivell’s Philatelic Career
Started in 1881 on the invitation of E.D. Bacon to join the Philatelic Society of London. Editor of Reporter’s Magazine, January 1896 Philatelic Record and Philatelic Journal of India.
Correspondent for American Journal of Philately, The Captain and The Connoisseur.
In January 1905 to September 1907 was the Editor of Gibbons Stamp Weekly.

After resigning and moving to the country Nankivell started the Postage Stamp in 1907 until his sudden death on 18 March 1909 at his residence in Tunbridge Wells. Fred Melville took over as editor of the Postage Stamp. Nankivell’s obituary appeared in Gibbons Stamp Weekly on 3 April 1909.

Nankivell wrote as Alfred Jingle, Sir Charge Wakatipu, O. Reginald Gum and
Cornelius Wrinkle.

Books by Edward Nankivell
A well known title published in 1902 Stamp Collecting as a Pastime. He also produced several booklets, some of them were published after his death by Fred Melville.
Sudan in 1904, Jamaica and Cayman Islands in (1908). Cape of Good Hope (1908) and Oil Rivers and Niger coast Protectorate (1909) The last three titles published by Melville who took over as Editor of the Journal The Postage Stamp Melville also used Nankivell's nom-de-plume as Cornelius Wrinkle.


The Transvaal Collectors’ Quarterly No 1

The Transvaal Collectors’ Quarterly No 2

Cape of Good Hope by Nankivell
Published by Fred Melville after the Author's death
Bertram William Henry Poole (1880 - 1957)
The West-End Philatelist’s Connection with Southern Africa
In 1904 the London Firm of David Field had their premises at 4 & 5 The Royal Arcade,
Old Bond Street and in March they launched their own publication, The West-End Philatelist edited by Bertram W.H. Poole. Poole wrote an article on Stellaland published during 1908 in the Stanley Gibbons’ Monthly Journal.
Poole's article was reprinted during 1937 in The South African Philatelist.

It occurred to me that it seemed strange that a man in the West End of London would have knowledge of a remote Republic in Southern Africa at the turn of the twentieth century.
Via a Google search, it transpires that Bertram Poole was a prominent philatelist of yester-year, not only that, he was sent to South Africa during the Boer War to go and source stamps for the British Stamp Trade. Thus while most people travelled to the Cape armed with rifles to fight a war, Poole went to South Africa with a bundle of cash to buy stamps!

Bertram William Henry Poole
Born on 22 March 1880 in England, died in California on 8 September 1957.
In 1921 Poole was one of the original signatures to the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, along with Emil Tamsen. Dealer, Author and Collector, in 1899 he joined H. L’Estrange Ewen who sent him to South Africa to obtain war provisionals and in 1901 he wrote a monograph on the subject.

Volume I No 8 - October 1902

In 1902 he launched his own magazine, Poole’s Monthly Philatelist and this publication was ‘incorporated’ into The West-End Philatelist in 1904 when he joined the staff of David Field. He had also been the Editor of the Philatelic Journal of Great Britain.

From 1912 to 1931 he edited his own publication Philatelic Opinion and in 1913 he served on the jury at International Philatelic Exhibition in New York and shortly afterward took up residence in the USA. Poole was soon thought of as an American Philatelist and between 1912 and 1923 he wrote a number of monographs on European and British colonial postage stamps which were published in Mekeels Handbook.

He contributed numerous articles to other philatelic journals and in 1917 he co-authored United States Virgin Islands with Julius (John) Murray Bartels.

Poole wrote handbooks on Bermuda, Belgium, British Honduras, Bulgaria, Cook Islands, Crete, Denmark, Dominica, Falkland Islands, German States, Germany & Colonies, Gold Coast, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Brunswick, Newfoundland (with HE Huber), Nova Scotia, Sarawak, Seychelles, Sierra Leone and Zululand. Poole was the Co-author with W.O. Wylie, of The Standard Philatelic Dictionary (1922). Poole was also a collector and he was regarded as a specialist of Haiti and Latin America. During the last year of his life his final publication was Pioneer Stamps of the British Empire (1957).


South African War Provisionals (1901) by Bertram Poole
Published in London, this little booklet includes 56 pages and was an important contribution to South African Philately at the start of the twentieth century.

The First Pre-Union Stamp Exhibitions held in South Africa
2 & 5 December 1903 Pretoria - First Stamp Exhibition in Transvaal
6 August 1906 Durban - First Stamp Exhibition in Natal
15 & 16 December 1906 Pretoria - A Second Exhibition in Transvaal
My initial intention was to document, as best I can, the early South African philatelic journals. By necessity it includes the personalities involved and that in turn draws attention to the attempts to establish Philatelic societies.
All the foregoing in a vast country that included four provinces that were, at the time, far from ‘United’.

Prior to the infancy of organized philately an ancillary activity to the above were fledgling stamp exhibitions which were non-competitive. They were more than likely low key events arranged by a small number of enthusiasts who sought public support for their venture.

Locating accurate information on such events can be difficult as there were no current philatelic journals in South Africa at that time. Thus any contemporary report is either in the local press or may be found in a British philatelic journal.

Certain reports conflict and were noted by individuals who relied on recall rather than fact. For instance in 1916 a writer initmates that the 1903 Pretoria was held a year later in 1904...there is proof that in 1904 the Pretoria Philatelic Society was in fact defunct.

2 & 5 December 1903 Pretoria - First Stamp Exhibition in Transvaal

Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal 30 January 1904

A Factual report submitted by the Pretoria Philatelic society

An Exhibition of Stamps was held, under the auspices of the Pretoria Society, in the Pretoria Museum, on the 2nd and 5th December 1903.

This was the first Exhibition of Stamps held in Pretoria and it was well supported by collectors both of Pretoria and outside towns.
The exhibition was a success in every way and the interest shown was very gratifying to the promoters.

The exhibits were too numerous to be described in detail, but the following may be mentioned: - Mr H.P. de Boom - A complete set of Vryburg in blocks of four (used) and several nice varieties in Pietersburg and Transvaal.

Mr J. Clark - A specialised collection of surcharged stamps of the later issues of Transvaal, including a complete set with VRI inverted (used). Also a complete set of Rustenburg, Mafeking and Schweizer Renecke (used).

As may be anticipated many of the collections included stamps of the four colonies plus the Boer War Provisionals.

Mr A. Faure - A very nice lot of Ceylon and Persia.

E.H.L. Gorges - A really superb show of triangular Capes. Very strong in Wood blocks, including a block of four 1d red on entire and several pairs of the 4d blue.

Mr J.J. Haupt
- A very fine collection of the First Transvaal Republic, used, unused and on entire; also a very fine show, almost complete, of all the varieties of the later surcharges.

Mr Otto Koch – A complete set of unused Pietersburg, showing all varieties; also some very fine specimens of Transvaal, including some rare errors.
The feature of this exhibit was undoubtedly the show of the stamps of the New Republic, which included blocks of several values Tête-Bêche and a couple of pairs in the same condition.

Mr M.L. Levitt - A specialized collection of British South Africa Company, showing many minor varieties and shades; also a very nice lot of Egyptian stamps, including the early issues.

Mr C.C. Maynard -
Full sheets of Transvaal of the later issues.

Mr W.E. Oldfield - Showed complete panes of ‘V.R.I.’, Orange River Colony, all values; also a block of nine of the 6d pink, the centre stamp showing the error ‘figure omitted’. The 1s brown and 6d blue also appeared in the same condition.

Mr K.H. Rentes - The feature of this exhibit was that the specimens shown were all in mint blocks of four and included the earlier issues of Transvaal and Orange Free State; amongst the best of the former being a block of four ‘Halve penny’ on 1s green, Tête-Bêche mint and a pair of the 2½ pence on 1s green, inverted surcharge showing the error ‘2½d’ for ‘2½’.
This exhibit also included a very nice lot of triangular Capes, used, unused and in pairs. Also very interesting were the reconstructed sheets of the Pietersburg issue, only a few of the values being incomplete.

Mr V. Yorke-Hart - A really fine lot of picked specimens of Swazieland, showing the double surcharge on ½d grey (pair), errors ‘Swazielan’ on ½d and 2d and a unique pair ½d grey overprinted in red, one stamp showing surcharge omitted (used).

Dr J.W.B. Gunning -
A really interesting and remarkably complete collection of British Colonials, dating from 1900 up to the present date. All were in mint condition and made a very nice show.

The report singled out Emil Tamsen, who had travelled down from Nylstroom...and brought with him what was, no doubt, one of the finest lots shown, representing as they did too many rarities to give in detail. The following may be specially picked out:-
Transvaal - 1s green ‘V.R. TRANSVAAL’ in red, no dot (mint)
A complete set of QV 1 penny on 6d with both black and red surcharges
A nice block of four Queen’s Head ‘Halve penny’ in red on 6d (mint)

Zululand - 5s (mint) and £1 and £5 (used) in splendid condition.

Swazieland -
10s (mint) and several of the rare inverted surcharges, including the error ‘Swazielan’ on 2d inverted (unused)

The foregoing has been published in Southern Africa Philately No's 2 on
page 82, the Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal report
on the 1903 Pretoria Exhibition has been expanded and quoted in full.

  Subsequent Reports on the 1903 Pretoria Exhibition
The Postage Stamp - 5 November 1910 (A British Stamp Journal)
In an article entitled Philately in South Africa by ‘Afrikander’ - the author wrote...A philatelic society was formed in Pretoria...This society held a highly successful exhibition on December 2nd and 5th, 1903, but since then it has been dormant. (Wednesday and Saturday)

The South African Stamp Collector November 1916 page 157
Pretoria, 2 December 1904 (A year later on a Friday) staged under the auspices of the Pretoria Philatelic Society, held in the (then) local Museum Buildings.

The foregoing report re-appeared in The South African Philatelist in its October 1970 edition on page 236

RSA 1971 First Day Cover - A repetition of the 'Historical Year Error'

FDC Bi-lingual Inset ...Pretoria in 1904...

6 August 1906 Durban - First Stamp Exhibition in Natal

Published in the Stanley Gibbons Monthly 29 September 1906 and is a report from The Natal Mercury (7 August 1906)
The first ever promoted in the Colony was held yesterday, in the YMCA Buildings, under the auspices of the Durban and District Society and was attended by a very considerable measure of success, and, considering that it was the first attempt that has been made in this direction, the Committee and the members of the Society are to be congratulated on the fact that such a fine lot of stamps were got together, although they came from collections of comparatively few collectors...

...The Exhibition was opened yesterday by His Excellency Sir Henry McCallum, who it may be mentioned, is a collector himself... Much of the report is the speech by Sir Henry. What surprises me is that this exhibition was held on a Monday.

December 1906 Pretoria - A second Exhibition in Transvaal
Stated as held in Hotel Imperial on 15 and 16 December 1 being Saturday and Sunday. The 16th appears to me as a strange day for a stamp exhibition in Pretoria, in a highly religious city on a Sunday that includes Dingaan’s day?

The Pretoria Philatelic Society report for 1906 appeared in Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal 28 February 1907 and there is no mention of the above exhibition.

Comment on the Pre-Union Stamp Exhibitions
These isolated ‘Stamp shows’ appear to have lacked ‘National’ publicity. Given that there were no South African journals in circulation, unless these exhibitions received a ‘plug’ in the British journals, the remembrance that they actually took place soon faded. I make these remarks on the strength of a comment made by Tamsen in 1913.

South African Letter by Emil Tamsen, was effectively a ‘current philatelic affairs’ letter that appeared in Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal from time to time. In 1913 letters appeared in the January and August and for obvious reasons much was said about the June/July 1913 Durban Exhibition.
In his August missive Tamsen wrote...This South African Philatelic Exhibition is the second of its kind held in South Africa; the first was held in Pretoria in 1903, and was but a small affair compared with the one now held in Durban.

Thus Tamsen remembered 1903, because he attended, but omits the 1906 Durban and Pretoria affairs...the later requires further research, as current detail remains sketchy.

The West-End Philatelist Vol I No 2 March 1904
The South African Philatelist Issue No 3 (January 1911)
Transvaal KEVII Revenues 2/6 & 5/- with Inverted Centres
Transvaal KEVII 5s with Inverted Centre
The West-End Philatelist Volume 1 No 2 April 1904, on page 28 under
The Publisher’s Corner by D. Field, he wrote:

This month I am able to illustrate a 5s Transvaal stamp, which...has the King’s head inverted. This stamp is unique as being the first on which his Majesty’s portrait has been shown upside down, and it is not very likely that any similar errors will occur.

As my readers know, Messrs. De la Rue & Co., the printers of this and other Colonial stamps, exercise the greatest care in producing them, and before leaving their premises each sheet of stamps is carefully scrutinized, and any that are not perfect are immediately removed and destroyed.
It is, therefore, fairly evident that the chances are very much against more than one sheet of the error escaping the eagle eyes of the gentlemen who examine the sheets of stamps; indeed, the wonder is that this one was not detected.

This error was discovered by a Johannesburg solicitor, who bought two copies from the post office there in the ordinary course of business. Directly he noticed the mistake he went to try and buy the remainder of the sheet, but in the meantime the authorities had also seen the error and withdrew the balance from sale, and to get the solicitor to return the specimens he already had. This he refused to do, but sent them to a friend in England, from whom I purchased them, and I think there can be little doubt that these are the only two copies of the error in existence.

Sheets of the Transvaal 2s 6d and 5s 1902 KEVII Revenues with an inverted centre were printed in two panes of sixty.
The West-End Philatelist report may suggest that the 2s 6d KEVII revenue was possibly discovered at a later date. Given the numbers known today, it proves that the remainder of the 5s sheet was not destroyed and at some stage found its way onto the philatelic market.

As the 2s 6d inverted centre is encountered more often, the general consensus of opinion was, that there were perhaps two sheets of the 2s 6d value and only one of the 5s. See The Edwardian Stamps of the South African Colonies by Brian Trotter page 242

David Field’s 1904 explanation as to how the 5s inverted centre was discovered is important. It points to an unknown number of examples having been sold over the counter prior to the time that the Johannesburg solicitor noticed them. It is likely that the counter staff acquired the balance of the 5s inverted centre

The news of 5s error would more than likely trigger off a search in the Johannesburg post office, as well as in various other offices, to see whether or not their Revenue stock included inverted centres. It may be feasible that the 2s 6d inverted centre was possibly still intact when it was discovered.
The foregoing may be a good explanation why the 2s 6d inverted centre is more common than its 5s counterpart.

Transvaal KEVII 2/6 and 5s with Inverted Centre

The South African Philatelist
Issue No 3 (January 1911)

The West-End Philatelist
April 1904 reported the circumstances how the KEVII 5/- Revenue with inverted centre was first discovered.

M.P. Vallentine was a Johannesburg Stamp dealer trading from Pretoria Buildings, corner of Bree and Smal streets.
He advertised in the 1910-1912 editions of The South African Philatelist and in issue No 3 (January 1911) there is this note

...Mr Vallentine reports that he has just seen in Johannesburg a pane of the Transvaal Revenue 2/6 ‘with centre inverted’.

The 1904 UK and 1911 South Africa Reports place on recorded how both these two major varieties came to be. All the foregoing has been published in Southern Africa Philately No's 1 and 2, pages 41 and 78.

The Stamp Recorder and Collectors’ Exchange (1904 - 05)

THE STAMP RECORDER / and Collectors’ Exchange

Editor and Publisher (apparently)
W. E. Neave
- Charlestown Natal

Volume 1 No 1 - August 1904
No 2 Volume 1 - January 1905 - Grand Double Number

After the 1895-96 editions of The South African Philatelist this was the second attempt of producing a South African Philatelic journal.
Editor and Publisher W. E. Neave, Charlestown, Natal.
Two issues only, Vol. 1 No 1 - August 1904 and Vol. 1 No 2 January 1905. ‘Grand Double Number’.

Herbert Clark wrote in The Stamp Lover...The other paper, ‘The Stamp Recorder and Collectors’ Exchange’, appeared from Charlestown, Natal, in August 1904, but only three numbers appeared. This paper dealt with coin and curio collecting and picture postcards as well as stamps. It does not appear to contain matter of permanent interest except a page of philatelic terms.

Comment - From the above it appears that issue No 2 & 3 were combined into Neave’s Grand Double Number.

Tamsen in (SAP) July 1928 Article entitled The Philatelic Press in South Africa did not record this journal, but in an editorial note in the July 1928 The South African Philatelist it states that Neave moved to London and the editor wrote...We understand that they were very small papers of little real interest.

Alan MacGregor in Simonstown has copies of both editions and thanks to him I have been able to examine said journals.

The above was Published in Southern Africa Philately No 4 (October 2016)

More to Follow Soon
Section to be Revised in due course - Magazines & Journals
Early Pioneering South African Journals to 1923
The first edition of The South African Philatelist appeared in February 1923 and early editions of this well known magazine are not easy to acquire.
Philatelic Journalism had started much earlier than that and most of these titles may be unfamiliar to the majority

In the Jan/Mar 2007 edition of The Springbok Volume 55 No 1 - Whole No 297
Alan MacGregor published a list of old Journals that are in his possession and the first pre-dates the 1910 Union of South Africa
The South African Philatelic Advertiser
Published Monthly at Durban Natal - On inside facing page
Volume I No 1 - May 1911
Volume I No 2 - June 1911
Volume I No 3 - July 1911
Volume I No 6 - October 1911
Name alters to
The South African Philatelic Advertiser and Natal Philatelist
Official Organ of the Philatelic Society of Natal
Volume I No 7 - November 1911
Volume II No 9 - January 1912
Volume II No 10 - February 1912
Volume II No 11 - March 1912
Volume II No 12 - April 1912
Volume II No 13 - May 1912
The South African Stamp Collector
Edited by Cecil Mark Henderson - Printed in Kimberley
Official Organ of - The United Philatelic Society of Johannesburg, the Capetown Philatelic Society & Exchange Club. - Philatelic Society of Natal.
East London Philatelic Society. - Pretoria Philatelic Society - Also Johannesburg Junior Society by No. 7
Volume 1 No 3 - September 1916
Volume 1 No 4 - October 1916
Volume 2 No 7 - January 1917
Volume 2 No 8 - March-April 1917
The Union Philatelist
Editor and Proprietor J. Robertson
Volume I No 1 - February 1920
Volume I No 2 - March 1920
Volume I No 3 - April 1920
No. 3 to No. 8 all larger format
Volume I No 4 - May 1920
Volume I No 5 - June 1920
Volume I No 6 - July-August 1920
Volume I No 7 - September-October 1920
Volume I No 8 - November-December 1920 Final Issue
The Quarterly Review of Philately
Incorporating the UNION PHILATELIST
Editor and Publisher J. Robertson
Published Monthly at Durban Natal - On inside facing page
Volume I No 1 - March 15th 1921
Volume I No 2 - June 15th 1921
Volume I No 3 - September 15th 1921
Volume I No 4 - December 1921 Editor Harry Blom
Volume 2 No 5 - April 1922
Volume 2 No 6 - July 1922
Volume 2 No 7 - October 1922
From Volume 1 No 2 it states that it is the Official Organ of the Johannesburg United, Pretoria - Capetown - East London and Port Elizabeth Philatelic Societies - From Volume 2 No 7 it adds the South West Africa Philatelic Club and Cambridge Philatelic Society
The International Hobbyist
The OFFICIAL ORGAN of the International Card and Stamp Collectors’ Club
Edited by J. Robertson
Volume 1 No 1 - October 1920
Volume 1 No 4 - October 1921 - Whole No 4
Volume 3 No 1 - April 1923 - Whole No 7  
1923 - 1932  The South African Philatelist
A review by Otto Peetoom

Incorporating The Union Philatelist and Quarterly Review of Philately
by G.W. Reynolds - Published by H. Blom
Volume 1 No 1 - February 1923    

Thus with the launch of The South African Philatelist it incorporated two of the previous titles published during 1920 - 1922

Editor G.W. Reynolds From February 1923 to August 1924 - Whole No's 1 to 19 - Published by H. Blom

In the September 1924 Editorial it was announced that Reynolds was moving from Johannesburg to Durban and handed the reins over to H. Blom who Edited and Published the Magazine from September 1924 to December 1924 -
Whole No's 20 to 23

In January 1925 J. Robertson took over as Editor & Publisher of The South African Philatelist and in his farewell Blom wrote:

The new editor Mr J. Robertson is known to all readers. The founder of the Union Philatelist and the Quarterly Review of Philately, the predecessors of the South African Philatelist, he has laboured much in the cause of philately in South Africa, and I have no hesitation in saying that under his able guidance this journal will continue to flourish.

J. Robertson continued as Editor and Publisher of The South African Philatelist from January 1925 until December 1928
Whole No's 24 to 71 and for reasons not known the S.A.P. was not published during 1929 and 1930

Publication resumed in February 1931 (Whole No 72) and there was no Journal in May Robertson continued in his roll until September 1932 (Whole No 90)

In October 1932 (Issue No 91) A.E. Basden took over as Editor.

In the December 1932 issue the following appeared:
Report of Meeting of Third Philatelic Congress of Southern Africa
Held in the Carlton Hotel, Johannesburg, Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October 1932 In the final Paragraph it states: S.A. PHILATELIST
The President, on behalf of the Permanent Executive, reported on the purchase of this paper for Congress, and Congress approved of the action of the Executive. Congress placed on record its appreciation of the work of Mr J. Robertson in maintaining the journal in the past.

The Format of the S.A.P. was less than an A5 size being 210 x 130 mm. The content included notes on new issues and varieties plus articles on Union and
Pre Union Philately

The new 1923 South West Africa overprints were another feature and there was a regular section for Society News - Overseas news on important auctions and what appeared in certain British philatelic magazines was also included

News of other African countries was another feature - For instance in the second edition there is a photograph of a complete sheet of the East Africa & Uganda 1919 4 cents on 6c overprint with almost half the sheet folded back that caused the Surcharge to be printed on the gummed side and omitted from the front

Rhodesia filled many of the pages during 1923 & 24 in a series of articles by J.E.M. Coch that commenced in April 1923
Several correspondents in Rhodesia made regular contributions to the Journal

In August 1923 there is a four page article by G.W. Reynolds on the Union's used high values and Telegraphic cancellations

During 1924 Rhodesia continued to feature and the were letters of shock, indignation and disapproval in connection with the British South African Company's sale of their remainder stock to the Stamp Trade

On the home front Reynolds submitted Notes on Plate numbers on Union stamps and was a frequent contributor on other Union matters.
Emil Tamsen wrote on The Stamps of East Griqualand that includes the history of the Mount Currie Express

The South West Africa overprints continued to receive considerable attention throughout 1924 and 1925

1925 Started with news on the Air Mails and the stamps, varieties and flown covers popped up frequently. there was strong disapproval that the Airmail remainders remained on sale under a title Government selling Stamps which cannot be used

1926 Opened with OUR NEW STAMPS and South West Africa Not Forgotten and is followed by Alan Cobham's Great Flight

Web design by Otto Peetoom