Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Registered cover from South Africa

The cover that I want to show you today is a registered cover from South Africa. It does not come directly from a stamp collector through a cover circuit, but it is the cover used by an Ebay seller to send me an item I won. I’m always pleased when Ebay sellers take the care to send the items in a nice cover. As you will see, this one is stamped with a rather impressive number of stamps : eleven in total !

As you see the cover is a pre-stamped envelope for domestic mail, on which the sender has added stamps to cover the price of international mail and the price of the registration. The registration label (with the bar code) is actually on the reverse of the cover and therefore can not be seen on the scan.

Now to speak about the stamps I would like to start by the band of three, located of the bottom of the cover. This stamp is a part of a set of two, issued on the 15th of December 1980 to celebrate the centennial of the triumvirate government, the provisory government of the Transvaal during the first Boer war, which has led to the independence of this area from the British domination. The second stamp of the set pictures the Paardekraal monument built in 1891 to commemorate the funding of the government, but the stamp on the cover pictures the three men that were part of the triumvirate government in 1880 :

- Petrus Jacobus Joubert, also known as Piet Joubert (1834-1900). Left an orphan at an early age, Joubert became a successful farmer in Transvaal and started a political career. During the first British annexation of the Transvaal he took a leading part in creating and directing the agitation which led to the war of 1880-1881. He took part to the triumvirate government, but later failed to be elected as president of the Transvaal. During the second Boer war, he died from peritonitis. Piet Joubert is a direct descendant of Pierre Joubert who arrived at the Cape in 1688 from France. The Joubert name has retained its original spelling and is a common name among Afrikaans population.
- Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, better known as Paul Kruger (1825-1904), sometimes referred as Oom Paul (Afrikaans Uncle Paul). After his participation to the triumvirate government he succeeded to be elected as president of Transvaal, beating Joubert.
- Marthinus Wessel Pretorius (1819-1901) who has given his name to the famous city of Pretoria

The other stamps of the cover belong all to the set of definitive stamps issued on the 15th of November 2000. This very colourful set contains stamps picturing flowers, butterflies, fishes and birds. The cover contains all the stamps picturing flowers. These are flowers that can be found in South Africa :

Botterblom (Gazania krebsiana) :This sun-loving, fast growing flower occurs in a variety of bright warm colours mainly in the red, orange and yellow range. It is hardy and drought resistant, which makes it a popular garden flower. The botterblom occurs naturally in the Karoo, Namaqualand, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and the northern regions of the country, as well as in Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana.

Blue marguerite (Felicia amelloides) : This delightful indigenous flower, also known as the blue daisy or bush felicia, bears sky-blue daisy-like flowers with prominent yellow centres. They are happy in almost any setting and the name felicia is aptly derived from the Latin word "felix" meaning "happy". They occur naturally and abundantly from Namaqualand to Caledon in the Northern and Western

Karoo violet (Aptosimum procumbens) : A densely tufted perennial found mainly in dry areas, especially the Karoo and Namaqualand. The plant is an excellent ground cover and because it is so well-adapted to dry conditions, the deep blue flowers often adorn the bare veld during periods of drought.

Tree pelargonium (Pelargonium cucullatum : This attractive indigenous pelargonium with its brightly coloured pinkish-purple flowers, is well-suited to coastal gardens. They occur naturally along the south-western Cape coast, from Gordon's Bay in the west to Gans Bay in the east, with a few isolated populations on the Cape Peninsula

Black-eyed Suzy (or Susan) (Thunbergia alata) : Described as a "cheerful, happy-go-lucky indigenous climber", the Black-eyed Suzy with its small bright flowers and distinctive black "eye", is a very popular garden flower. They occur naturally in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Swaziland.

And the bird pictured on the last stamps is a White-fronted bee-eater (Merops bullockoides), which belongs to the family of bee-eaters, so called because they eat bees ;-) and other animals. They have the particularity to hit the bees against a hard surface to remove the sting before eating the insect !

One last word about the cancels that I find very nice. Neat and clean, and quite unusual with this rectangular shape !

1 comment:

Penspace said...

Nice article tracing the origins of the postal system and stamps.