Bechuanaland Protectorate - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Bechuanaland Protectorate was British Protectorate established in 1888. The provinces which include the Protectorate was the country of the Tswana people and was divided into two political entities – Bechuanaland Protectorate which formed the northern part and the crown colony of British Bechuanaland which was the southern part. The British Bechuanaland became part of South Africa in 1895 while the Bechuanaland Protectorate became the Republic of Botswana in 1966. The British government had a plan to turn over the administration of the protectorate to South Africa but Tswana opposition resulted in the status-quo under British rule for an extended period of time.

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamp of Bechuanaland Protectorate was a ‘British Bechuanaland Protectorate’ overprint on Britsh Queen Victoria (QV) Postage and Revenue issues. The stamp (Scott #52) was issued in 1888 and is fairly common cataloging in the $5 range for Mint and around $30 for Used. There are varieties of the same issue from 1990 and several error varieties. Those issues (Scott #51, #53, etc) fetch a premium well into the 100s.  The first issues with the ‘Bechuanaland Protectorate’ black overprints were on stamps of Great Britain from 1881 to 1887. The set (Scott #69 to #74) catalogs for around $65 Mint and around $45 Used and were issued in October 1897. King George V (KGV) overprints (vertical) debut in1904 with the issue of a set of four stamps (Scott #76 to #79) that were overprints on GB KGV issues of 1902. The set catalogs for around $60 Mint and around $160 Used.

Key types stated appearing around 1932 with the issue of a set (Scott #105 to #116) of twelve KGV key types issued on December 12, 1932. The set is sought after and catalgos in the $300 range for MNH and around $350 for Used. King George VI (KGVI) key types debut in 1938 with the issue of a set of eleven stamps (Scott #124 to #136) on April 1, 1938. The set catalogs for around $80 MNH and around $70 for Used. The most recognized set of the area is a set of three stamps which formed the Peace Issue of December 3, 1945 with alternate inscriptions in English and Afrikaans. The set (Scott #137a-b to#139a-b) is inexpensive and catalogs for a few dollars either MNH or Used.

The first Queen Elizabeth (QE) issues were a set of twelve stamps (Scott #154 to #165) that had a QE head design along with local fauna issued in 1955. The set catalogs for around $85 MNH and around $70 Used. The first original issues were a set of three stamps issued on January 21, 1960 to mark the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of the protectorate. The set (Scott #166 to #168) catalogs for around $2 MNH or Used. The design shows Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II bust portraits along with a water hole scene. QE issues dominated the scene until 1966 when it gained independence as the Republic of Botswana. Chief among them was a flora and fauna set of fourteen stamps (Scott #180 to #193) issued on October 2, 1961. The colorful set catalogs in the $65 range for MNH and around $40 for Used.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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