VICTORIA FALLS
FEATURED ITEM

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.

£5,500
Recent acquisitions are numbered in blue. Last update: 15th September, 2013
EARLY POSTAL HISTORY AND BSAC PERIOD
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”.

SOLD
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)

SOLD
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

SOLD
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.

£350
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.

£300
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.

SOLD
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.

£245
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
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. £200
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. SOLD
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.

£5,500
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 £375
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 £300
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 £70
VF54 1d block of ten being the left two columns of the sheet. Superb unmounted. SG 94 £80
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 £585
VF97 2/6 block of four positions 14-15 / 19-20. Very fine mint or unmounted. SG 98 £585
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 £600
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. £125
VF116 5/- block of four, positions 4-5 / 9-10. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £120
VF124 5/- block of four, positions 7-8 / 12-13. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £120
VF117 5/- block of four, positions 11-12 / 16-17. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £120
VF118 5/- block of four, positions 13-14 / 18-19. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £120
VF125 5/- block of four, positions 16-17 / 21-22. Superb CTO 'SALISBURY 29 JUN 06'. SG 99 £120
VF119 5/- block of four, positions 18-19 / 23-24. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £120
VF120 5/- block of four, positions 19-20 / 24-25. Superb CTO 'BULAWAYO 14 MAR 07'. SG 99 £120
VF123 5/- upper left corner vertical strip of four, 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 £200
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