Find Rare Stamps From South Africa

South Africa
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From the first Paleolithic settlements to the 20th century apartheid state and beyond, the political history of South Africa has been nothing short of byzantine. For serious stamp collectors, this has provided a rich selection of editions. We have gained some historical perspective on how colonialism and its various legacies have shaped the country over the years.

Pre-Independence Stamps

Prior to the country’s unification in 1910, what is now South Africa consisted of a number of independent states under British, Boer and independent rule. As early as 1853, these states were issuing their own postage, the most famous of which were the “Cape Triangulars” — they were printed in London by Messrs. Perkins, Bacon and Co. and remained in circulation until 1900.

The Boer Republic of Stellaland also issued its own stamps between 1882 and 1885, though the lack of cancelled issues on the market today calls into question whether or not these were ever put into use in the country’s short history.

Collecting “dead country” stamps — postage from political entities no longer in existence — is a subspecialty of philately which has gained popularity in recent years. For anyone interested in this type of collecting, the former territories which now make up South Africa provide more than enough information to occupy a serious collector for years.

The Boer War Era (1899-1902)

Many philatelists are also interested in the Second Boer War, fought between the British and the combined forces of the Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State. During this time, a number of cities issued their own stamps — these and other items related to this time period have been sought-after by collectors. Organizations such as the Anglo-Boer War Philatelic Society have even been dedicated to the preservation and promotion of this very specific field of stamp collecting.

Independence and Beyond

South Africa finally gained full independence from Britain in 1961, following a nationwide referendum on becoming a republic. During apartheid, quasi-independent Bantu homelands Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Transkei and Venda issued their own stamps, which are a fascinating area of collection in their own right.

Wherever your interests lie, Apfelbaum, Inc. can help you grow your collection. We regularly have rare stamps from South Africa and associated regions available for sale, both in our online stamp store, Buy It Now sales and our public auctions. Contact our office today to learn about upcoming sales, or to arrange an appraisal of your private collection.