VICTORIA FALLS
FEATURED ITEM
FEATURED ITEM

WATERLOW MASTER DIE PROOF / ESSAY printed in deep blue with blank value tablets. The proof was then adopted for use as an essay for the 2½d duty with ‘2½d.’ subsequently printed in black in each value tablet, each of which was then hand-painted in bright blue with touches of Chinese white. The position of the duty plates is slightly lower than on the issued stamps. Sunk-mounted on thick card (94x120mm) which has been endorsed ‘Approved / WEB / 12/4/05’ in black manuscript. This date is three months and a day prior to their issue in Salisbury, Rhodesia. A magnificent and most attractive proof. Unique. Ex ‘County’.
 
Note: although printed in a deeper shade of blue than the issued 2½d stamps, the finely printed impression gives the overall appearance of a paler blue shade.


WATERLOW DIE PROOF of the 1d duty printed in the close-to-issued colour, carmine (the issued stamp was printed in red). Sunk-mounted on thick card (98x69mm). Very rare and most attractive.
 
Note: the existence of sunken die proofs for the 1d and 2½d duties suggests there may be examples of the other duties. However, none have been recorded.

£15,000
£8,000
Recent acquisitions are numbered in blue. Last update: 15th September, 2013
EARLY POSTAL HISTORY AND BSAC PERIOD
VF1
THOMAS BAINES 1852 entire written and signed by Thomas Baines in the Cape of Good Hope. Addressed to his brother in England, the contents refer to financial hardship and more importantly to him, a need for more paints to be provided. With a fine example of the Cape Town undated letter stamp GENERAL POST OFFICE / (crown) / CAPE TOWN oval struck in black (type ULS3). Backstamped with London (16 Nov) transit and Lynn (16 Nov, struck in blue) arrival datestamps. Various rate endorsements including ‘1/-’ in manuscript on the front. The entire somewhat reduced on one side otherwise a fine and rare letter from this eminent early visitor to the Victoria Falls.
 
Note: Baines wrote this letter at the time of the ‘Frontier Wars’ in the Eastern Cape, an event recorded in his paintings. In 1858 Baines joined Livingstone in an expedition to the Zambezi, but left the party following a dispute and returned to Cape Town. The visit of Prince Alfred in 1860 provided Baines with the resources to join James Chapman’s 1861-62 expedition down the Zambezi. The journey took them from Cape Town to Walvis Bay by sea, by ox-wagon across the desert, then via Lake Ngami, taking l6 months to reach the Zambezi - on 23rd July, 1862.
 
Thomas Baines was the first artist to look upon and portray the grandeur of the Victoria Falls and produced a large folio of the Victoria Falls ‘on the spot’. The striking beauty of his canvases have enjoyed sustained popularity ever since. These were published in 1865 as a book which included 11 chromolithographs and 8 pages of descriptive text by the artist. These magnificent paintings gave the outside world their first pictorial impression of Darkest Africa’s great scenic secret.
 
Thomas Baines was born at King's Lynn in l820. He was a prolific painter though was equally well known as an explorer, cartographer, diarist and scientific observer of fauna and flora. He spent most of his adult life in southern Africa.


£1,500
VF4
CECIL JOHN RHODES A signed letter personally written by Rhodes to “Dear Lawley”. A. L. Lawley was an engineer and member of Pauling and Company Ltd. George Pauling’s company was a successful railway contractor which was responsible for the construction of the railway line from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls and beyond. Lawley was also in charge of building the Beira-Umtali section and, later, the extension through to the Congo border. A scarce handwritten letter from Rhodes in which he refers to the Victoria Falls.
 
Note: the subject of the letter was the Rev. Arthur Baldwin of the Methodist Missionary Society. Whilst travelling north, he and the Rev. Buckenham had an enforced wait at Kazangula from August 1890 until 1893 when King Lewanika of Barotseland finally granted them permission to proceed. They travelled to Nkala in what is today Zambia, arriving in late December 1893 where they subsequently established a mission station. Rhodes refers to Baldwin being about 158 miles north of the Victoria Falls and requests Lawley to “help him with his post”.

£1,100
VF6
REVEREND AUGUSTE COÏSSON 1899 (October), BSAC 1½d dull orange postal stationery card addressed to Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony. The message is headed ‘Victoria Falls via Bulawayo’ and is dated the 28th October 1899. The impressed stamp was cancelled with a very fine strike of the KAZUNGULA / RHODESIA double circle datestamp on the 9th June. At this time, Mafeking was besieged and the mail was routed via Salisbury to Beira and Durban. Backstamped with Bulawayo (22 Nov), Durban (13 Dec) and Port Elizabeth (19 Dec) transit / arrival datestamps. If this card entered the mail at Victoria Falls post office, which at this time was situated on the north bank of the Zambesi, then it represents the earliest record of the office.
 
Note: Reverend Auguste Coisson was a missionary with ‘Societe des Missions Évangéliques de Paris’ (Paris Evangelical Missionary Society)

£1,100
VF7
THEOPHILE VERDIER 1900 (November), BSAC 1½d dull orange postal stationery card addressed to Switzerland. The message is headed ‘Sefula’ and is dated the 23rd October 1900. The impressed stamp was cancelled with a fine strike of the SHESHEKE double circle datestamp on the 10th November and there is a second, very fine strike immediately below. Bulawayo (14 Dec) transit and Zurich (6 Jan 01) arrival datestamps on the front.
 
Note: Theophile Verdier was a worker with the Paris Missionaries. It is unclear which Post Office at the Victoria Falls would have handled this card, as the earliest recorded ‘Livingstone’ (a new office) postmark is dated 5th February 1900, whilst all the recorded ‘Victoria Falls’ (old office, prior to its move across the Zambezi) postmarks of the period are dated during 1901.

£850
VF8
REVEREND AUGUSTE COÏSSON 1901 (February), BSAC 1d red postal stationery card addressed to Italy. The message is headed ‘Mosi oa thunya. Victoria Falls / via Bulawayo. / S. A.’ and is dated the 15th January 1901. The impressed stamp was cancelled with a very fine strike of a FRANCESTOWN / S. AFRICA single circle datestamp on the 20th February. A wonderful early example of mail originating from the Victoria Falls.
 
Note: Reverend Auguste Coisson was a missionary with the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society. Although the railway had reached Bulawayo in 1897, a transit time of 36 days is difficult to explain. The old Panda-ma-Tenka runner route was scheduled to take between 18 and 25 days, so it is possible, though unlikely, that the old route was used

£950
VF9
REVEREND EMILE BOITEUX 1901 (May), BSAC 1d blue postal stationery card addressed to Switzerland and endorsed ‘Via England’. The message is headed ‘Senanga’, is dated the 10th April and informs his in-laws about the birth of his son ‘Georges Albert’. The card entered the postal system at SHESHEKE where a double circle datestamp was struck on the 3rd May. The impressed stamp was cancelled in transit at BULAWAYO on the 30th May and was received at Verrières on the 30th June, 81 days after being written.
 
Note: Reverend Emile Boiteux was a missionary with the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society. The mission station at Senanga was approximately 400km north-west of Livingstone and the Victoria Falls. The card would have passed through Livingstone / Victoria Falls on its way to Bulawayo.

£650
VF12
GEORGES VOLLA 1902 (July), BSAC 1d red postal stationery card addressed to Switzerland and endorsed ‘Via England’. The message is headed ‘Sesheke’ and is dated the 25th July 1902. The impressed stamp was cancelled with a SHESHEKE double circle datestamp on the 28th July. With Livingstone (6 Aug) and Bulawayo (17 Aug) transits and a Lausanne (14th Sep) arrival datestamp. The card was readdressed and despatched from Lausanne (16 Sep) to Neuchatel. There is an unclear final arrival postmark dated 17th September. The card with unobtrusive vertical crease, otherwise fine.
 
Note: the year 1901 was an overlapping period between the office north of the Zambezi being named Victoria Falls and Livingstone, whilst it appears that by 1902, the post office at the Victoria Falls was named Livingstone, at least until 1904, when, with the arrival of the railway, an office was opened south of the Zambezi.

£550
VF13
REVEREND FRANCOIS COILLARD 1902 (September), BSAC 1d red postal stationery card addressed to Miss C Mackintosh in England. The message is headed ‘Sesheke’ and is dated the 17th August 1902. The card received a SHESHEKE (22 Aug) double circle datestamp when it entered the postal system though the impressed stamp was cancelled in transit at Bulawayo on the 21st September (with an additional strike alongside).
 
Note: Catherine Winkworth Mackintosh was Francois Coillard’s niece and biographer. ‘Coillard of the Zambesi’ was published in 1907. The year 1901 was an overlapping period between the office north of the Zambezi being named Victoria Falls and Livingstone, whilst it appears that by 1902, the post office at the Victoria Falls was named Livingstone, at least until 1904, when, with the arrival of the railway, an office was opened south of the Zambezi.

£450
VF14
REVEREND FRANCOIS COILLARD 1902 (November), BSAC 1d red postal stationery card addressed to Miss C Mackintosh in England. The message is headed ‘Lealuyi’ and is dated the 26th November 1902. The impressed stamp was cancelled with a NORTH WESTERN RHODESIA / LEALUI (27 Nov) double circle datestamp. With Livingstone (19 Dec) and Bulawayo (27 Dec) transit datestamps struck on the front. The card with vertical crease at right, otherwise fine used.
 
Note: Catherine Winkworth Mackintosh was Francois Coillard’s niece and biographer. ‘Coillard of the Zambesi’ was published in 1907. At this time, Livingstone Post Office still operated from its ‘shed’ near the Falls.

£400
VF15
1904 (November), BSAC 1½d green postal stationery card addressed to Bulawayo. The message is headed ‘P.O. / Victoria Falls / 15.11.04’ and the contents refer to the prospects for fishing ‘down the gorge’. The impressed stamp is cancelled with a very fine strike of the VICTORIA FALLS / S. RHODESIA (17 Nov) double circle datestamp with an additional strike alongside. With a Bulawayo (19 Nov) transit datestamp struck on the front.
 
Note: in 1904, a new Post Office was opened on the south bank of the Falls, and was named Victoria Falls Post Office. The earliest recorded date of a cancellation from the new office is 17th July 1904, so the office would likely have opened earlier. The railway reached the Victoria Falls on the 25th April 1904 and mail service commenced using the railway on 1st July 1904.

£425
VF206 1905 (5th June), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the full-size view entitled ‘VICTORIA FALLS, RHODESIA. IN FLOOD, SHOWING SPRAY MIST. NORTH BANK. Photo–F. W. Sykes.’ Addressed to Cape Town and cancelled with two strikes of the VICTORIA FALLS (5 Jun) double circle datestamp. Bulawayo (6 Jun) transit and Cape Town (12 Jun) arrival datestamps struck on the front. Small mounting marks and odd weak corner, otherwise fine used. SOLD
VF207 1905 (14th June), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the full-size vertical view entitled ‘VICTORIA FALLS, RHODESIA. PROFILE POINT, FROM S. BANK. Photo–F. W. Sykes.’ Addressed to Mafeking, Cape Colony, and cancelled with a VICTORIA FALLS (14th Jun) double circle datestamp. Mafeking (19 Jun) arrival struck on the front. Corner faults, otherwise fine used. £150
VF208 1905 (15th June), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the full-size vertical view entitled ‘VICTORIA FALLS, RHODESIA. PROFILE POINT, FROM S. BANK. Photo–F. W. Sykes.’ Addressed to Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony, and cancelled with a VICTORIA FALLS (15 Jun) double circle datestamp. Port Elizabeth (20 Jun) arrival struck on the front. Very fine used. £180
VF210 1905 (17th June), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the full-size vertical view entitled ‘VICTORIA FALLS, RHODESIA. VIEW FROM THE NORTH BANK. Photo–F. W. Sykes.’ Cancelled with BULAWAYO (17 Jun) double circle datestamp with a second strike alongside and addressed to Hermon, Cape Colony where it was re-addressed to Sea Point. Hermon (21 Jun) transit and Three Anchor Bay (21 Jun) arrival datestamps, all struck on the front. Very fine used. £180
VF212 1909 (7th January), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the full-size view entitled ‘RHODESIA RAILWAYS TRAIN-DE-LUXE. ON THE WAY TO THE VICTORIA FALLS.’ Addressed to Austria and cancelled with a VICTORIA FALLS (7 Jan, with ‘blank’ after ‘7’) double circle datestamp. Bulawayo (20 May) transit struck on the front. Corner crease, otherwise fine used. £180
VF213 1909 (14th January), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the full-size horizontal view entitled ‘VICTORIA FALLS, RHODESIA. IN FLOOD, SHOWING SPRAY MIST. NORTH BANK. Photo–F. W. Sykes.’ Addressed to Germany and cancelled with a VICTORIA FALLS (14 Jan) double circle datestamp. Some creasing, otherwise fine used. £180
VF214
1910 (27th June), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the full-size vertical view entitled ‘VICTORIA FALLS, RHODESIA. THE HIGHEST BRIDGE IN THE WORLD.’ Addressed to England and cancelled with light BROKEN HILL (27 Jun) double circle datestamp. Corner creases, otherwise fine used.
 
Note: the picture is unattributed and this view is recorded used as early as the 18th May 1905. The bridge was completed on the 1st April 1905 with the first train crossing in July (a light shunting engine named the ‘Jack Tar’ with two wagons) and the official opening was held on the 12th September 1905. It would have been impossible for a photograph of a passenger train crossing the bridge to reach London, for Waterlow’s to print the view on the 1d cards and despatch them to Rhodesia by this date. It therefore appears that the train (which looks out of proportion, being too small) and possibly all or part of the bridge has been added to a pre-1905 photograph. A wonderful early example of ‘photo-manipulation’.

£240
VF216 1911 (12th April), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the half-size view entitled ‘VICTORIA FALLS, RHODESIA. MAIN FALL, FROM CATARACT ISLAND. Photo–F. W. Sykes.’ Addressed to Paris and cancelled with a BROKEN HILL (12 Apr) double circle datestamp. With private rectangular cachet ‘J.A. DE BACKER / SAKANIA / KATANGA’ struck in purple at lower left. Very fine used. £240
VF217 1911 (12th April), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the full-size view entitled ‘VICTORIA FALLS, RHODESIA. THE ZAMBEZI ABOVE THE FALLS. Photo–F. W. Sykes.’ Addressed to Paris and cancelled with a BROKEN HILL (12 Apr) double circle datestamp. With private rectangular cachet ‘J.A. DE BACKER / SAKANIA / KATANGA’ struck in purple at lower left. Very fine used. £240
VF218 1913 (14th August), BSAC 1d Small Arms Pictorial Postal Stationery Card (H&G 11a). A used example of the full-size view entitled ‘VICTORIA FALLS, RHODESIA. GORGE BELOW FALLS, SHOWING SPRAY AT EXIT. Photo–F. W. Sykes.’ Addressed to the German Consulate in Johannesburg and cancelled with a LIVINGSTONE (14 Aug) double circle datestamp. Very fine used. £190
VF24
WATERLOW MASTER DIE PROOF / ESSAY printed in deep blue with blank value tablets. The proof was then adopted for use as an essay for the 2½d duty with ‘2½d.’ subsequently printed in black in each value tablet, each of which was then hand-painted in bright blue with touches of Chinese white. The position of the duty plates is slightly lower than on the issued stamps. Sunk-mounted on thick card (94x120mm) which has been endorsed ‘Approved / WEB / 12/4/05’ in black manuscript. This date is three months and a day prior to their issue in Salisbury, Rhodesia. A magnificent and most attractive proof. Unique. Ex ‘County’.
 
Note: although printed in a deeper shade of blue than the issued 2½d stamps, the finely printed impression gives the overall appearance of a paler blue shade.

£15,000
VF23
WATERLOW DIE PROOF of the 1d duty printed in the close-to-issued colour, carmine (the issued stamp was printed in red). Sunk-mounted on thick card (98x69mm). Very rare and most attractive.
 
Note: the existence of sunken die proofs for the 1d and 2½d duties suggests there may be examples of the other duties. However, none have been recorded.

£8,000
VF32 1d - 5/- complete set overprinted 'SPECIMEN' (Samuel Type R6). All showing second 'E' of 'SPECIMEN' comprising a '1' and a 'comma'. 1d without gum and the 2/6 with some short perfs. at top, otherwise very fine fresh mint and an uncommon plated set. SG 94s/96sa/99s £425
VF33 1d - 5/- complete set overprinted 'SPECIMEN' (Samuel Type R6). All showing broken left arm of the V of the 'M' of 'SPECIMEN'. 5d with faults otherwise fine to very fine fresh mint and an uncommon plated set. SG 94s/96sa/99s £350
VF56 1d compound perf. 15 x 14½. Very fine mint. SG 94a £15
VF52 1d upper right corner block of six, showing marginal corner fold prior to trimming, now folded out and unusually revealing the printer's guide cross. Superb and fresh unmounted. SG 94 £85
VF54 1d block of ten being the left two columns of the sheet. Superb unmounted. SG 94 £100
VF62 2½d lower left corner block of four, perf. 14. Hinged on margin stamps very fine unmounted. SG 95 £60
VF92 2/6 block of four positions 7-8 / 12-13. Very fine mint or unmounted. SG 98 £650
VF97 2/6 block of four positions 14-15 / 19-20. Very fine mint or unmounted. SG 98 £650
VF94 2/6 block of four positions 16-17 / 21-22, fine to very fine used cancelled 'REGISTERED BULAWAYO' single circle datestamps. A few short perfs., though a RARE multiple and may well be unique as a commercially used block. SG 98 £750
VF101 1908 (17th November), typewritten page from a legal document, bearing 2/6 and 6d Arms (SG 98, 83) date perfined and violet oval. Uncommon. £275
VF116 5/- block of four, positions 4-5 / 9-10. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £130
VF124 5/- block of four, positions 7-8 / 12-13. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £130
VF117 5/- block of four, positions 11-12 / 16-17. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £130
VF118 5/- block of four, positions 13-14 / 18-19. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £130
VF125 5/- block of four, positions 16-17 / 21-22. Superb CTO 'SALISBURY 29 JUN 06'. SG 99 £130
VF119 5/- block of four, positions 18-19 / 23-24. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £130
VF120 5/- block of four, positions 19-20 / 24-25. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £130
VF123 5/- upper left corner vertical strip of five, positions 1,6,11,16. On piece cut from a legal document and additionally bearing 1898 2d Arms pair plus 6d block of four, all date perfined '9 / 3 / 10' and violet oval datestamps. Lovely. SG 99, 79, 83 £275
VF121 1906 (16th January), cover bearing 5/- (SG 99), cancelled sc 'UMTALI 16 JA 06' datestamp, in addition with boxed black 'R / REGISTERED / UMTALI S. RHODESIA' strike over the stamp. Addressed locally. SOLD
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