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. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Cape of Good Hope - a closer look

1855 Scott 4 4p blue "Hope" Seated
White Paper
Into the Deep Blue
The iconic Cape Hope triangles I remember from enticing stamp dealer ads in magazines when I was a kid. All one had to do was find one in the attic attached to old correspondence. Of course, I never found one, and they were too expensive for a kid budget.

But, as a WW collector, I've managed to snag one or two. Cape of Good Hope stamps still have that exotic thrill.

Read on...
Cape of Good Hope 1899
From Gerben Van Gelder's Stamp World History Site
The best new original classical era maps I know of comes from Gerben van Gelder's site - at the time of constructing this post not active. I saved his maps (and have had general permission from him to use them), but I really hope his great contribution goes back on-line. 

The original Cape of Good Hope blog post and BB checklist is here.

A closer look
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
1857 Scott 3 1p rose "Hope" Seated
White Paper
Printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co.; Wmk 15-Double Lined Anchor
The imperforate Triangles of Cape of Good Hope were printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co. (1853- blued paper, 1855-58- white paper); Saul Solomon & Co. (1861- "Wood Block" local provisional issue,  Laid paper - unwmked); and De La Rue & Co. (1863-64 ). The Perkins and De La Rue stamps are on watermarked paper (Wmk 15).

Of the twelve major Scott numbers (and many minor numbers - mostly shade color variations), one will need to determine the type of paper, the watermark (if any), the color shade, and the ink impression. Needless to say, this is specialist territory (consult the philatelic literature and Stanley-Gibbons catalogues), and the stamps are expensive (CV $80+-$3,000). However, the Cape Triangles are fascinating, and if the WW collector is so inclined, a modest grouping at a somewhat immodest price might be accumulated.

Top - Wmk 15 - Double-Lined Anchor
Bottom - Wmk 16 - Single-Lined Anchor
Note the double-lined anchor watermark seen on the Cape triangles (Wmk 15): upper center of this specimen.

The single-lined anchor watermark (Wmk 16) appears later on the 1884-1904 issues.

1864 Scott 18 6p bright violet 
"Hope" and Symbols of Colony
Frame Line around Stamp (A3 Design) ; Wmk 1
Although the Cape triangles are iconic, the WW collector more likely will have stamps of this general design:"Hope" and Symbols of Colony. They are a bit tricky.

The first typographic issue of this design was released between 1864-77 on four denominations.

These stamps have the British Colonial and Crown Agents watermark 1 - "Crown and C C".

CV is $1+-$40+.
Close-up: 1864 Scott 18 6p bright violet 
Frame Line around Stamp
These stamps (1864-77 issue) have a frame line around the entire stamp. Note the horizontal frame line under the "postage" tablet, and the outer vertical frame line along the side of the stamp. The outer frame line around the stamp distinguishes this issue from subsequent issues.

1872 Scott 24 1p rose
"Hope" and Symbols of Colony
Without Frame Line around Stamp (A6 Design); Wmk 1
The 1871-81 issue, with Wmk1, is identical to the 1864-77 issue EXCEPT there is no outer frame line around the stamp.

There are six denomination stamps, and the CV ranges from <$1 to $40+. 

Close-up: 1872 Scott 24 1p rose
Without Frame Line around Stamp
A close-up shows no outer frame line around the 1871-81 issue (Wmk 1).

1882 Scott 35 2p bister
"Hope" and Symbols of Colony
Without Frame Line around Stamp; Wmk 2
The issue of 1882-83 of six stamps also does not have an outer frame line, but the watermark is the  British Colonial and Crown Agents watermark 2 - "Crown and C A".

CV is $1-$3+.
Top - Wmk 1 "Crown & C C"
Bottom - Wmk 2 "Crown & C A"
To refresh the memory, here are examples of the British Colonial and Crown Agents watermarks 1 & 2.

1884-98 Issue "Hope" and Symbols of Colony
Wmk 16: Single-lined Anchor
Between 1884-98, there was another issue of 14 stamps. CV ranges from <$1 to $9+. As one can tell from the CV, used examples are quite common. 

1897 Scott 45 2p chocolate brown
(A6 Design); Wmk 16
These stamps in this issue also are without an outer frame line (with two exceptions - see below). BUT they are distinguished from the previous issues by having a new watermark: The single-lined anchor watermark (Wmk 16)

Examples of Wmk 16 are shown earlier (scroll up a bit).

1884-98 Scott 49 6p violet
Note: The  6p violet has "Frame Line around Stamp" (A3 Design)
Wmk 16 - Anchor
The first exception for the 1884-98 issue is the 6p denomination DOES show the frame line around the stamp. 

The other exception is Scott 50 1sh dull bluish green which is an A3 design also. Additionally, the issue has Scott 51, a 1sh blue green, which is an A6 design.

Double check to make sure these A3 designs are Wmk 16. Otherwise, if Wmk 1, then they are part of the 1864-77 issue.

Confession: I misplaced some of these stamps myself, and only discovered it while double checking for this blog post. !! Tricky!

1884-98 Scott 49b  6p bright mauve (A3 Design)
Wmk 16 - Anchor
There are a number of minor number shades listed in Scott. Here is an example for 6p: bright mauve rather then violet.

1891 Scott 55 2 1/2p on 3p deep magenta
Type of 1871 Surcharged in Black
In 1891, a 1871 type (A6) 3p was surcharged as shown. CV is <$1.

I should mention that some 15 stamps (major numbers) of A3 & A6 designs were surcharged between 1868-1882.  Some are CV expensive ($180), some are CV inexpensive ($2+), but I alas have none of them. 

1896 Scott 57 2 1/2p ultramarine "Hope Seated"
Between 1892-96, a new "Hope Seated" design (A13) was issued for the 2 1/2p denomination in sage green (see header for "Out of the Blue" section), and in ultramarine (above).

CV is <$1.
1893 Scott 58 1p on 2p bister
Scott 44 Surcharged in Black
In 1893, the 2p bister (1894 Scott 44) was surcharged "One Penny" as shown. CV is <$1.

1898 Scott 59 1/2p green "Hope Standing"
Between 1898-1902, apparently tired of "Hope Seated", the design was changed to "Hope Standing" for a three stamp issue. CV is <$1-$3+.

1900 Scott 62 1p carmine rose 
"Table Mountain and Bay; Coat of Arms"
Abandoning the "Hope" motif altogether, the 1900 1p carmine rose is distinctive, and also common. CV is <$1.

1903 Scott 67 3p red violet "King Edward VII"
Wmk 16 - Single Lined Anchor
Finally, King Edward VII appears on a nine stamp issue between 1902-04. CV is <$1-$20+.

Cape of Good Hope became a province of  the Union of South Africa on May 31, 1910, and hence Cape's stamps ceased.

Deep Blue
1902-03 King Edward VII Issue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has seven pages for the stamps of the Cape of Good Hope. All Scott major numbers ( and some minor numbers) have a space. 

I should mention that included in the coverage are two Steiner pages for the CV expensive surcharged overprinted "Besieged" Mafeking issued stamps, and those issued in Vryburg under Boer occupation and British occupation. I have none of these, and there are many excellent forgeries. Either avoid this area (as I have done), or become a specialist.

1892 Scott 56 2 1/2p sage green "Hope Seated"
Out of the Blue
Cape of Good Hope has a well documented and fascinating history and philatelic history, and would be a real candidate for specialization. But as a WW collector, I must reluctantly move on.

Comments appreciated!


  1. Hi Jim - it occurred to me to run Stamp World History through the archive.org Wayback Machine, which archives webpages going back many years. Sure enough, it's pretty much all there - some of the images won't load in larger format, and the archive.org site will deliver the occasional server error message (refreshing sometimes helps), but it's good to know that the maps and descriptions live on for now!

    1. Hi Tom

      That is good to know. I did download from Gerben's site his maps when Gerben was still active. So, fortunately, I have the maps, but not the discussion.