Transvaal Stamps


Whenever one thinks of the philatelic aspects of the Transvaal, it is almost inevitable that the first thing that comes to mind is the word “forgery”. In the late-nineteenth century, the classic stamps of the “First Republic” and the “First British Occupation” were avidly collected by the leading philatelists of the day – and this attracted the attention of the forgers. The stamps of the “Second Republic” and the “Anglo-Boer War” were dealt a cruel blow with the clandestine production of masses of reprints. Now, after over forty years of collective philatelic research published quarterly in The Transvaal Philatelist, the Transvaal Study Circle is at the forefront of differentiating the genuine from the forged or the reprinted. The Study Circle also examines the historical context within which the stamps and postal history were produced. This dimension is important in understanding why various stamps were produced, and what the significance is of a particular piece of postal history.



First Republic 1850s to 1877

Borrius printing on Yardley paper 'C'. ©

One penny fine roulette printed by Borrius on Yardley paper C.


First British Occupation 1877 to 1881

Wide Roulette postage stamp ©

A new printing from the First Republic’s 3d plate overprinted ‘V. R. Transvaal’, wide roulette with misplaced overprint.
Printing flaws and damaged overprinting type confirm it was printed from the left plate, position 16.


Second Republic 1881 to 1900

One shilling Tęte-bęche

First Republic printing plates were used again in 1883. The tęte-bęche one shilling duty is from the right plate.



British Occupation 1900 to 1902

The Second Republic five shilling stamp overprinted V.R.I. (Victoria Regina Imperatrix) and handstamped 'SPECIMEN'.



Edwardian Period 1902 to 1910

5d Revenue due stamp

The 5d Revenue Due stamp is from the bottom right corner of the pane, and can be identified by the inverted ‘P.’ for the ‘d.’ of ‘5d.’.


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