World Stamps

Classic engraved stamp set from Southern Rhodesia a good buy

Nov 12, 2020, 3 PM
The 80-year-old set of eight beautifully engraved Southern Rhodesia stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the British South Africa Co. (Scott 56-63) is surprisingly affordable in mint never-hinged condition.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

It never ceases to amaze how inexpensive some beautiful classic stamps can be. One such set of stamps was issued in 1940 by Southern Rhodesia.

The British South Africa Co. was founded by Cecil John Rhodes in 1889 to administer, colonize and exploit an area of south-central Africa that would eventually become Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Southern Rhodesia was established as a self-governing crown colony in 1923. In 1953 it was merged with Rhodesia and Nyasaland to become the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Ten years later, in 1963, the federation was dissolved and in 1965 Southern Rhodesia issued a unilateral declaration of independence and became the unrecognized state of Rhodesia. In 1980 it became the Republic of Zimbabwe.

On June 3, 1940, Southern Rhodesia issued a set of eight pictorial stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the British South Africa Co. (Scott 56-63).

The beautifully engraved bicolor stamps in this set feature such subjects as Fort Salisbury; a pioneer fort and mail coach; the Victoria Falls Bridge; Cecil John Rhodes; and Queen Victoria, King George VI and Lobengula’s Kraal and Government House.

This set is of interest to British Empire collectors, worldwide classic collectors and topical collectors.

The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values the set in mint never-hinged condition at only $9.50. A set in used condition is valued at $11.85 with the value in italics. When stamps and sets are more valuable in used condition than in mint condition, questions about used examples arise regarding correct usage in period.

This 80-year-old set of beautifully engraved stamps is a good buy in mint never-hinged condition at $7.50 up to full catalog value depending on how perfectly centered the stamps are. Sets in unused hinged condition sell for $2.50 to $4.

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