British East Africa is the area of present-day Kenya which was controlled by Great Britain during the period from 1895. It became the colony of Kenya in 1920. The colony of Kenya remained through the period from 1920 to 1963 when it gained independence.
The first stamps of British East Africa were surcharge and ‘British East Africa Company” overprints on Queen Victoria (QV) issues of the period. The set of three stamps (Scott #1to #3) is very rare and sought after. They each catalog in the range of $300 to $600 Mint and slightly less for Used. The overprinted denominations read HALF ANNA, 1 ANNA, and 4 ANNAS.
The first set was followed between 1890 and 1894 with a set of seventeen stamps (Scott #14 to #30) in the Light and Liberty theme showing the Sun and Crown Symbolical in a very simple single color design. The set catalogs in the $700 range for Mint and around $950 for Used. A number of varieties from this set including surcharge and British East Africa overprint variations dominated the scene during the period till 1896.
Queen Victoria and British Lions design with British East Africa and denomination printed as key types replaced the previous QV issues during the period between 1896 and 1903. The first set (Scott #72 to #87) featured sixteen stamps in different colors and denominations and they catalog in the $500 range for Mint and $350 for Used. The key types were supplemented with British East Africa overprints on certain Zanzibar key types also appeared during the period and they are also very much sought after and rare. A sister set (Scott #102a to #109) featuring higher values (1r to 50r) was also issued in 1898. Those catalog in the $1500 range for Mint and a little more for Used.
British East Africa stamps were replaced by Stamps of East Africa and Uganda Protectorate in 1904.
Numismatics and Collectible Memorabilia:
Coins of Mombasa (the capital) from the late 1800s and EastAfrica from the early 1900s are both very collectible and sought after in better grades.
Original photographs,postcards, etc depicting life in the area from the period is a good collectible item of the area.
Last Updated: 12/2015.