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, March 6, 2014


1870 Scott 38 1p red "Queen Victoria"
Overprinted in Black
Quick History
Natal was a British crown colony in south-eastern Africa between 1843-1910. The Capital was Pietermartizburg, and the population was 1,200,000 in 1908.

South Africa region in 1884-Natal in yellow
The British had annexed the Boer colony of Natalia in 1843, not without some misgivings by the Boer settlers, and administered Natal from Cape Colony until 1856. Population growth was initially small, at least in part because of the powerful Zulu presence.

Stamps for Natal were issued from 1857-1909.

A sugar industry were established in Natal, and over 150,000 indentured Indians arrived in Durban harbor to work the plantations. When Mahatma Gandhi arrived in Durban in 1893, Whites were outnumbered by Indians in the colony.

For a good overview of the complexities of the South Africa area, I recommend the South Africa Area Transition Chart of the Dead Countries Stamps website. Thanks Michael!

In 1910, Natal was united with Cape of Good Hope, Orange Free State, and Transvaal to form the Union of South Africa.
1884 Scott 67 1p rose , wmk 2
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Natal 1857-1909, 132 major stamp descriptions. Of those, 13 are CV <$1-$1+ (10 %). Raising the bar to $5, yields 28 stamps, or 21%. Clearly, Natal is on the expensive side.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1862 Scott 12 3p blue "Queen Victoria"
Rough Perf 14 to 16
The first seven stamps of Natal (1857-58) are embossed and unique...and expensive.

Beginning in 1860, the image of Queen Victoria is seen, as shown above. The earlier issues (1860-62, seven stamps) are found with various perforations

1864 Scott 16 6p violet "Victoria"
Wmk 1
The 1864 issue has wmk 1- "Crown and C C". It is found as a 6p violet ( In the example above, the perfs were trimmed by scissors), and the 1p carmine red. The 1p will need to be distinguished from the 1862 wmk 5- "Small Star" 1p rose, and the previous unwmk varieties.

1870 Scott 43 1sh green
Overprinted "Postage" in green
Beginning in 1869, and continuing through 1875, some 44 stamps were overprinted "Postage" in various ways. Almost all are somewhat expensive to expensive.

Here, one can see a green overprint (CV $10+) on a 1sh green, issued in 1870. The overprint is also found in red (CV $4000+!) and black (CV $1,500+) on this stamp. 

1875 Scott 49 6p violet "Victoria"
Overprint 14 1/2 mm
The "Postage" overprint can be found vertical, horizontal, in various script, and length. Consult Scott for details, and be prepared to open the wallet. ;-)

1874 Scott 54 6p violet "Victoria"
Wmk 1, Perf 14
Between 1874-78, a eight stamp issue was produced with four "Victoria" designs. They are distinguished by wmk 1 ( Crown and C C), and various perforations.

1882 Scott 70 4p brown "Victoria"
Wmk 2, Perf 14
Then between 1882-89, four stamps were issued in the 1874-78 designs, but with wmk 2 ( Crown and C A),. The watermarking tray will be needed. ;-)

1887 Scott 74 2p olive green, Die B
(Two examples)
In 1887, a 2p olive green "Victoria" was issued (CV $1+). Of interest, this stamp is part of the British Colonial Die A/ Die B varieties. I though I had one of each, but on closer inspection, they appear to be both Die B varieties. ;-) The vertical color line will stop at the eighth line of shading of the neck ( Die B), rather than the sixth line ( Die A).

For a detailed review of the Die A/Die B differences, see the Cyprus blog post.

1888 Scott 76 1sh orange "Victoria"
Type of 1867 overprinted "Postage" in Red
Between 1877-1895, another group of stamps (12)  were overprinted "Postage" and/or surcharged. 

1895 Scott 80 1/2p on 1p rose, black surcharge
Wmk 2, perf 14
This 1895 issue (CV $2+) is part of the surcharge group.

1902-03 Scott 86 3p gray & red violet "Edward VII"
Wmk 2, Perf 14
Between 1902-03 a "King Edward VII" issue was produced. Thirteen stamps had the design, as illustrated, with wmk 2 ( Crown and C A). Another seven stamps for the higher denominations were in a larger format design, with wmk 1 ( Crown and C C).

1904-08 Scott 103 2p olive green & scarlet "Edward VII"
Wmk 3
Then, between 1904-08, another nine stamps were issued, as shown, but with wmk 3 ( Crown and multiple C A). One can never be very far from a watermarking tray with the British colonials. ;-)

Official 1904 Scott O1 1/2p blue green
Overprinted "Official", Wmk 3, Perf 14
In 1904, there was a six stamp Official issue produced. One will note the "official" overprint.

In 1910, the stamps of Natal were superceded with the issues of the Union of South Africa.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has nine pages, and all the major Scott numbers have a space.

1895 Scott 79 1/2p on 6p violet, red surcharge
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one page, has 25 spaces. Coverage is 19%.

Natal is located between Mozambique Company and Nauru. in the '69 BB.

Two stamps reach the $35 CV threshold.


One Penny (illustrated): 8 or 10($35) or 14 or 15
Blank space- ( 6p - 13 or 16 ($35)) or (3p-9 or 11 or 12 ($40))

64 or 65 or 66, 51 or 67, 52 or 68 or 69, 53 or 70, 54 or 71,



81 or 101,82 or 102,83,84 or 103,85,86,87 or 104,89,
110,(88 or 105),(90 or 106),

Official Stamps


A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1863 Scott 10 1p red ($35)
1864 (Scott 16 6p violet ($35))
B) (   ) around a space indicates a blank space choice
C) * 1874-89- choices include wmk 1 or wmk 2, and color
D) *1902-08- choices are wmk 2 or wmk 3

1902-03 Scott 89 6p maroon & blue green 
"Edward VII", wmk 2
Out of the Blue
All of the colonies of British South Africa are philatelically interesting, and Natal is certainly among the group. A representative collection can be developed by the WW classical collector, albeit with some holes, unless one is willing to devote more money, because of philatelic interest,  into the region.

Note: Permission was obtained from  Joaquin de Salas Vara de Rey  to use the 1884 South Africa Area map found at http://desalas.org/ . Thanks Joaquin!



  1. Ray McIntire, Springfield, TNFebruary 20, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    Hey Jim, nice to be home today, a paid day off for us State employees!

    For several other countries, you've mentioned if the '41 or '47 editions had additional entries, and there is an extra page in the '47 edition after everything else for some more Postal Tax Stamps. Funny, it goes Postal Tax Stamps, Postal Tax Due, Semi-Postal, then turn the page and it's back to Postal Tax Stamps again...it's kind of like Scott's had an afterthought. If you'd like to use them, here are the stamps included:

    Postal Tax Stamps




    Hope this is helpful!

  2. Ray- Appreciate the additional list that are included in the '47.
    I stopped formally comparing the "69 and later editions with the 40s editions after Ethiopia. I was having a hard enough time putting together one checklist without worrying about the variations. ;-)

    Obviously, there are plenty of collectors, though, that still use the 40s editions, so the information will be useful to them.