insights

Stamp Identifier: Orange River Colony

April 21, 2014 06:50 AM

  • Orange Free State

    1883 ½-penny red
    Orange Tree stamp
    Orange River Colony Scott 1

     

  • O.V.S. military stamp

    1899 Commando brief
    Orange Free State army stamp
    Orange River Colony Scott M1

     

Orange Free State

The first stamps of the Orange Free State independent republic, listed in the Scott catalog under Orange River Colony, were issued in 1868. Most of the 77 or so major stamp listings feature this Orange Tree design overprinted with various values. A 1900-02 set of three consists of stamps from Cape of Good Hope overprinted “Orange River Colony,” and a 1903-04 set of 13 shows King Edward VII with an “Orange River Colony” inscription.

O.V.S. military stamp

Members of the Orange Free State army were provided with a typeset black on bister yellow stamp during the Second Boer War to provide soldiers with free postage. The stamps were in use from October 1899 until the fall of Kroonstad in May 1900. The text-only stamp features the initials “O.V.S.” for “Oranje Vrij Staat” (“Orange Free State”). The Scott catalog warns that forgeries of the military stamp exist.