Southern Africa Philatelic Forum

News, Reviews and Everything
you ought to know about
Southern Africa Philately

When I constructed this website in January 2014 I included a ‘News Page’ as I anticipated a reasonable amount of input from others.
That simply does not happen and the page was scrapped...I realized that I often duplicate snippets of information on the
‘Home Page’ as well as at the top of the ‘About Us’ page.
Thus I now introduce a ‘Philatelic Forum’ that may cover a multitude of subjects...anyone is welcome to contribute...the theme is
Southern Africa Philately’, thus it is not restricted to SACS members only...promoting SA Philately on the internet is the way forward...

Do you have Something Interesting to add to this Page?

RSA 1965 R1 Sterlizia watermark RSA
Variety ‘Watermark Inverted’ SG A251w

Posted 9 December 2017

In the November 2017 Edition of The Springbok No 340 the following is published...Does it exist - A R1 Inverted Watermark?
By Otto Peetoom

The R1 Sterlizia (Redrawn) watermark RSA from cylinders G11 4 6 is listed by Stanley Gibbons as SG A251w and also by the South African Colour Catalogue as SACC 243a.

In both instances unpriced, I have never seen an example and neither has Mike Tonking. Question is does it exist?

An opinion ventured suggests that someone may have mistaken a R1 with a Tete-Beche watermark as having an inverted watermark. Stanley Gibbons Catalogue Editor, Hugh Jefferies has promised to look into the matter in due course.

Continued in next column


Roy Ross, the Editor of the SACS journal The Springbok submitted the following interesting and very useful observation regarding the alleged existence of this listed variety.

This at first glance looks like the inverted watermark that Otto mentioned in the last Springbok.
The watermark shown is from the front of the stamp and the right image is its position on the stamp. I have tried unsuccessfully to take a picture from the watermark machine.
Research confirms that it is not the stamp mentioned.

The supposed cylinders that this stamp is from, G11 4 6 has a matt finish and a white/blue back, Harrison paper, when viewed under an ultraviolet lamp.
This stamp has a semi matt finish and a dark back under the ultraviolet lamp. This confirms that it is Swiss paper and as it the only issue that does not have a fluorescent front and back it must come from cylinders 259 258 257, which has a tête-bêche watermark.
Without the aid of an ultraviolet lamp this could easily be mistaken for an inverted watermark as in all other appearances it does look like it comes from cylinders G11 4 6 with a single RSA watermark but as stated it is in actual fact a tête-bêche watermark. The rest of the watermark is not visible.

International & National Philatelic Exhibitions
TBVC Philately more material added on 9/10 December 2017


CAPEX 78 (9)


ESSEN 82 (S12)

WIEN ‘90

Posted 5 December 2017
South African Philatelic
The Errol van Greunen document (354 pages) is in the process of being split into more manageable sections. South African National Stamp Exhibitions is seperate and currently 126 pages. Overseas International Stamp Exhibitions is now 33 pages. In time I will reformate Errol’s work which ought to more than halve the number of pages.

Eric Sherwood Memorabilia
Searching though some boxes of jumble I came across a folded With Compliments card used by Eric.
It looks like it was used as a stiffener and on the reverse there are a few columns headed ‘Wants List’. I thought I ought to share this with our viewers.

Society Library Label
This is the first time I have seen this elborate design. Given that the late Edward Lauder was resposible for the original Springbok design for the front cover of the Society journal. I wonder if this was his work as well.

Ex Libris
Used as an inscription on a bookplate to show the
name of the book’s owner
Blasts from the Past - Posted 1 December 2017

Today the South African Collectors’ Society enjoys an extensive Library, kept in order and managed by Malcolm Ridsdale.
In The Springbok Issue No 1 in February 1953 said Library had a humble beginning as published on page 21 of that journal.

One of the original intentions when the Society was formed was to get together a library of books, catalogues, etc., all relevant to the Union of South Africa Philately. So far the following have been acquired and are available for free loan to members on receipt of postage.

Standard Catalogue 1930 Edition
Standard Catalogue 1946 Edition with Supplement
Handbook/Catalogue 1952 Edition
British Empire Encyclopaedia, Part II - Africa by Robson Lowe
The De La Rue Georgians of South Africa by H.E. Lobdell
Philately of the Anglo-Boer War by S.G. Rich
The Airposts of South Africa by L.A. Wyndham
The S.A. Provisional War Stamps by B.W.H. Poole
The 1949 Post Office Guide
The 1950 List of Post Offices in the Union of South Africa
S.A. Tercentenary International Stamp Exhibition Magazine Parts 1 and 2
S.A. Tercentenary International Stamp Exhibition Catalogue
The South African Philatelist from 1948 onwards

Continued in next column
  1926 The Adhesive Postage Stamps of the Union of South Africa
by J. Ritchie
The Author notes (Incorporating Mr G.W. Reynolds’ Handbook of 1921)

The inside front cover of the above booklet includes an advertisement by
J. Robertson, Editor and Publisher of The South African Philatelist...

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in any South African stamps it will be to your advantage to read The South African Philatelist

This monthly Journal makes a feature of publishing original articles and researches by well-known specialists on South African stamps1 generally, special attention being given to the issues of the Union of South Africa,
South-West Africa and Rhodesia.

Having wide-awake correspondents and other facilities The South African Philatelist is able to publish full details of varieties and impending issues of South, Central, East and West Africa and British Possessions abroad...

The South African Philatelist is now nearly five years old and it has never missed an Issue. It is the only British Colonial journal which regularly illustrates new issues and varieties of interest to its readers. It is splendidly produced, being streets ahead of all other British Colonial philatelic journals in the matter of production and quality of contents.

The subscription is 5s per year of twelve issues post free anywhere
Specimen copy free
J. ROBERTSON, P.O. Box 5826, Johannesburg

Recent Events and News - Posted 30 November 2017

The Springbok (November 2017) went to the printer recently, a PDF copy has been distributed and hard copies will be posted in December.

The Springbok 2017 Index - Posted on the relevant page on 29 Nov 2017.

The Homelands
The 6th and final page went live on 30 November 2017
A complete picture show on the internet, each page is already ranked No 1 on page one! So far the job has taken a month and there is still much to add. There are some 2000+ images to view... Start from

The ten Rarest Union and RSA Stamps
This page attracted a great amount of interest and the viewing figure for this site has brought the sort of response I had hoped for...previously it was claimed that only one mint copy of the Union 5/- King’s head with watermark inverted exists...Now there are two...thank you Tony Raab in Canada...more of this soon...

RSA varieties - Previously unrecorded modern varieties have been brought to my attention by Ian Frith...some have already been added to the listing...more to follow.

The 16th Southern Africa Philatelic Conference
(November 2017)
A successful and enjoyable weekend with over forty people attending. Overseas enthusiasts included Peter Thy (Denmark/USA) Lars Jørgensen from Belgium entertained us with Transvaal
, Alan MacGregor from Simon’s Town in South Africa participated in a joint display of Bechuanaland on the Saturday afternoon. Eddie Bridges & Carol Bomarito came over from New York and hope to make it for the June 2018 Philatelic weekend.

Many of our regulars attended and I was delighted to see Robert Johnson in good form. Bob Hill entertained the audience on Sunday by carefully demonstrating that Kit-Kat and Southern Africa Philately have much in common. Lars Jorgensen
won the cup (again) for the best Saturday display.

Simon Peetoom (left) presents the cup to Lars Jorgensen

Unfortunately Paul van Zeyl from South Africa couldn’t make it on this occasion, we all missed his‘alternative English’...Wat sê jy Boetie?

Chris Rainey and David Morrison brought a good selection of Postal History and Mike Deverell is once more back in the UK and also attended.

Friday and Saturday dinner was served in our Conference room and John Shaw delivered his traditional After Dinner Joke. As always there is not enough time to do all the things one planned beforehand...I was actively collecting 2018 subscriptions for the Southern Africa Philately journal.

Southern Africa Philately
The journal enters its third year of publication and support for the venture goes from strength to strength. Issue No 8 will go out in January 2018 and the content may be viewed on the relevant webpage - Go to

The above venture is not intended for profit, it has shown a modest surplus and Southern Africa Philately donated £250 towards the cost of the 2017 Annual Southern Africa Philatelic Conference.

 Continued in next column
  New books for Southern Africa

The Postal History of the Orange Free State 1830-1900
Robert Allison
(Published in 2015) Follow the link

Southern African Mails - Routes, Rates and Regulations 1806 - 1916
by Brian Trotter
(Published in 2016) See Review

The Transvaal ‘Spread Wings’ 6d Stamps 1870-1878
by Lars Jørgensen
(Published in 2017)
A review of the Transvaal book may be inspected

The Officials of South Africa

by Ian Matheson
and Robert Hisey

The Officials of South Africa
This long awaited ‘book’ does not come as a printed version but as a ‘credit card flash drive’. Being somewhat old fashioned I had no idea what I might receive. Could I use it in a restaurant and buy my wife dinner e.g. ‘credit card’. Once I got hold of a copy I pondered which slot in my computer might accommodate said device and lo & behold it is merely a sophisticated memory stick.

I anticipated chapter and verse on all aspects of the Officials and had avoided writing any more articles on the subject in case I might be accused of reinventing the wheel! We may all rest assured that is not the case, I gain the impression that it is more or less a clinical listing of the issues and dialogue is minimal. Being a Professional Philatelist and Researcher I targeted the ‘difficult’ areas of the Officials to see if I could learn something new and must admit I am disappointed.

For instance the authors do not inform us on which set of cylinders SG 035 is printed, nor do they take into account the distinct difference in shade between SG 035 and the first overprint on the 1950 2d SG 045. The inverted overprint SG 045a allegedly comes from ‘one sheet only’, says who? I ought to know as I discovered said variety and all I could go on was that I had a pair.

One must commend the authors for their efforts, but I did expect a bit more ‘meat on the bones’...perhaps a ‘philatelic diet’ is a recommendation.
The plus of the ‘credit card flash drive’ is a PDF version of the 1986 UHB, but then I have also been critical of that publication.

The above received a review in the August 2017 edition of The South African Philatelist. A copy sells for ZAR 400

Two new Study collections have been added
bringing the total to 33

2017 Activities on this Website - Posted 30 November 2017
Collect Southern Africa

October, November, December
New Page -
Southern Africa Philatelic Forum
New Page - South African Homelands (TBVC Philately)
New Page - South African Homelands (Postal Stationery)
New Page - South African Homelands (Ciskei)
New Page - South African Homelands (Venda)
New Page - South African Homelands (Bophuthatswana)
New Page -
South African Homelands (Transkei)
New Page - South Africa Ten Rarest Stamps
New Page - South African Philatelic Exhibitions
New Page - The history of the Manfred Weinstein Memorial Medallion and records its recipients since 1981
Union SG 1 - Pages revamped from six to one page

July, August, September 2017
A page celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Society has been added to the website. A Special Souvenir edition of The Springbok may be downloaded
Another page will follow soon which charts the history of the Manfred Wienstein Memorial Medallion and records its recipients since 1981

Continued in next column


March, April and May 2017
All the Primary Pages have been updated and/or revised - The Home Page has been modified allowing access to pages included under
Collect Southern Africa - Library Listing Updated - The Springbok & Publications have been subdivided into two separate pages

Two new pages have been added SWA Commemoratives (Work still in progress, currently we offer 1935 Silver Jubilee to 1977 Namib Desert)
and Pioneering South African Philately (Work still in progress)
Another addition to Articles & Research

1910 Cape Town Pageant page revised plus a new section of Envelopes and Postcards has been added - More to follow

The above took several hundred hours to achieve, so treat yourself and take a look please!

February 2017
RSA Commemoratives
A new page added covering all commemoratives from 2011 to the end of 2016, I started this mammoth task a year ago and at last it is complete.


Web design by Otto Peetoom