Bechuanaland (British Bechuanaland) - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile


British Bechuanaland was a crown colony of the United Kingdom that was constituted on 30th September 1885 following the collapse of two Boer republics that seceded in 1882: Stellaland and Goshen. Prior to that, the area of Bechuanaland consisted of the Northern provinces which were administered as the Bechuanaland Protectorate and a Southern part that was administered as the crown colony of British Bechuanaland. British Bechuanaland became part of Cape Colony on 16th November 1895 and Cape of Good Hope in 1910 (Union of South Africa).

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of British Bechuanaland were a set of nine ‘British Bechuanaland’ overprints on Cape of Good Hope stamps from the 1871-1885 time period. The set (Scott #1 to #9) is sought after and catalogs in the $500 range for Mint and around half that for Used. There are a few “ritish” error and double overprint varieties that fetch a premium into the 1000s. Overprints on British stamps followed during the period from 1885 to 1887. Certain Postage & Revenue overprint high values (10sh and up) fetch into the 100s (Scott #20) and the poundage values (Scott #21 and #22) go into the 1000s. Certain surcharge overprints and reprints on the earlier issues dominated the British Bechuanaland stamp issues during the period till 1891.

A set of five stamps that were ‘British Bechuanaland’ overprints on British QV issues appeared during the period from 1891 to 1894. That set (Scott #33 to #37) is relatively affordable and catalogs in the $45 range for Mint and around half that for Used. A Specimen handstamped variety of this set exists and they catalog in the $200 range each. Half used on cover varieties of many of the higher denominations exist and they fetch a huge premium. Vertical ‘British Bechuanaland’ overprints (reading up and down respectively) on Cape of Good Hope issues were issued in a couple of sets: The first set (Scott #31 and #32) issued in 1891 catalogs for around $15 Mint and around the same for used. The second set (Scott #38 and#39) issued between 1893 and 1895 is even less expensive and catalogs in the $10 range for Mint or Used. Several error varieties of these two sets exist and they fetch well into the 100s and 1000s.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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