A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, February 23, 2018

Bechuanaland Protectorate - A closer look at the stamps

1897 Scott 72 3p violet/yellow
Stamps of GB 1881-87, Overprinted in Black
Into the Deep Blue
Bechuanaland Protectorate (white, with pink outline)
 and British Bechuanaland (pink) - 1887
The lands north of the Molopo River were proclaimed a British Protectorate on September 30, 1885, "at the request of the native Tswana chiefs". The sister lands south of the Molopo River became a crown colony, British Beuchuanaland. Both were administered out of British Beuchuanaland : Vryburg (to 1895), then Mafeking. In fact, one postal administration serviced both the Colony and the Protectorate after June, 1890. And, after 1890, stamps of British Bechuanaland were also used in the Protectorate until 1897.

The two sister territories eventually had much different fates, however. British Bechuanaland was absorbed into Cape Colony (1895), and then into South Africa. Bechuanaland Protectorate became independent Botswana in 1966.

The original Bechuanaland Protectorate blog post with BB checklist is here.

The 2017 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Bechuanaland Protectorate 1888-1949 (& two 1958 postage due stamps ), 103 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 30, or 29%, are CV <$1-$1+. The figure is misleading, however, as the earlier Protectorate stamps tend to be somewhat expensive to very expensive ($10+-$1000+).

BTW, the close historical linkage between British Bechuanaland and the Protectorate is evident in the Scott catalogue, as the Protectorate stamps begin with Scott number 51, while the Colony stamps have numbers 1-42. Clearly, at one time, the Scott catalogue had the two entities listed together.

Sketch Map of South Africa 1896
Showing Railways, Telegraphs, and Boundaries
The rudimentary Bechuanaland Protectorate postal system began in 1888, and used runners to go between villages - namely a 500 mile route from Mafeking to Bulawayo across the Protectorate. Stamps of British Bechuanaland (1887 Scott 10 1/2p vermilion) were overprinted "Protectorate" in black, and used between 1888-1890. These are rather expensive (CV $10+-$200+), and I don't have any.

The runner post was replaced a year later by a mule drawn cart service between the rail head at Vryburg and Shoshong  (Palapye) in the Protectorate.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1897 Scott 69 1/2p vermilion
Stamps of GB 1881-87, Overprinted in Black
In 1897, six 1881-87 stamps of Great Britain were overprinted as shown for use in the Protectorate.

The sixteen stamps issued prior between 1888-1890 are rather expensive to very expensive ($thousands), and probably divide the specialist from the WW collector. Since I'm a WW collector, I feel content beginning with the 1897 issue. ;-)

1897 Scott 71 2p green & catmine
Stamps of GB 1881-87, Overprinted in Black
CV for the six stamp issue ranges from <$1 to $10+ for four stamps.

One of the more interesting things to do with old colony or protectorate stamps is to identify the postmark. Alas, in this case, I haven't been able to do it.

1902 Scott 75 1/2p blue green
On GB Scott 125
On February 25, 1902,  a single stamp- the 1/2p blue green- was issued. CV is $1+ for unused.

1905 Scott 77 1p carmine "Edward VII"
Stamps of GB, 1902, Overprinted in Black
Between 1904-12, a a four stamp issue of "Edward VII" Great Britain was overprinted for the Protectorate. CV is <$1-$10+ for three stamps.

Lobatsi (now Lobatse) north of Mafeking
The postmark above is from Lobatsi (now Lobatse), north of Mafeking.

1912 Scott 82 1p scarlet "George V"
GB Scott 154 Overprinted
In 1912, the "George V" GB Scott 154 was overprinted for the Protectorate.

This is a clear February 2, 1915 date usage, although the town is not clear 

1915 Scott 84 1p scarlet "George V"
Between 1913-24, nine GB stamps of 1912-13 were overprinted as shown.  CV is <$1-$10 for eight stamps.

Pitsani is on the north bank of the Molopo river. One of the subsidized schools for Europeans was located there. Postal services were open 1898-99, and then after 3-1-1920.

BTW, circa 1920, the population of the Protectorate was  125,350, of which 1,692 are Europeans.

1924 Scott 86b 2p orange 
It is tough figuring out the postmark, but I believe  this is Pilane (Station), which was established  May, 1928. It was a  Postal agency under Mafeking, used to be called Mochudi Station

1926 Scott 102 4p slate green
Between 1925-27, seven stamps of 1924 GB were overprinted as shown. CV is $1+-$10+ for six stamps.

1932 Scott 107 2p red brown
George V, Cattle and Baobab Tree
In 1932 a twelve stamp set was released, all with this design, showing George V, cattle drinking, and a Baobab tree.

Baobab trees can be found anywhere in present day Botswana, north of the Tropic of Capricorn (north of 23 degrees south equatorial latitude), about the upper two-thirds of the country.

This stamp has a Lobatsi postmark.

1932 Scott 108 3p ultramarine
CV for the twelve stamp set is <$1-$3+ for seven stamps. The five higher denominations have a CV of $20+-$300.

1938 Scott 125 1p rose carmine
George VI, Cattle and Baobab Tree
The same Cattle-Baobab Tree design was used for the 1938 eleven stamp set, except George VI visage was inserted.

The postmark is probably  Palapye (Palapye Station, Palachwe (earlier cancellations exist, but had a post office from March, 1937).

Palapye to Francistown
This map shows the north-south route from Mahalapye to Palapye to Francistown.

1938 Scott 126 1 1/2p light blue
And here is a Francistown postmark.

1938 Scott 130 6p rose violet
Ramotsa (Ramoutsa) postmark. Ramotsa is a village south west of Gaberones, now Botswana's capital. The Lobatsi map presented earlier also shows the location of Ramotsa (Ramoutsa).

1938 Scott 133 2sh6p black & carmine
CV for the eleven stamp set is <$1-$20+. Note the design resembles somewhat the "Nile Crocodile - Mountains" stamps of Basutoland.

1926 Scott J2 1/2p emerald
PD stamps of GB Overprinted
In 1926, a two stamp issue for postage due purposes was released. These are overprinted on GB postage due stamps. CV is $10+.

1932 Scott J4 1/2p olive green
In 1932, a three stamp postage due issue was released.  Note one can see Wmk 4 ("Multiple Crown and Script C A ") watermark on the white oval background.

1958 Scott J5a 1p carmine
Chalky Paper
Of interest, in 1958, the 1p carmine and the 2p violet of this 1932 design was released on chalk surfaced paper. They are given bolded minor numbers in Scott. CV is $1+.

Deep Blue
1938 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has ten pages for the 1888-1949 stamps of Bechuanaland Protectorate. All of the major Scott numbers have a space.

1906 Scott 76 1/2p gray green "Edward VII"
Stamps of GB, 1902, Overprinted in Black
Out of the Blue
This area of colonial Africa (British Bechuanaland, Bechuanaland Protectorate) is surprisingly rewarding for WW collectors.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

British Bechuanaland
Bechuanaland Protectorate - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

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