Southern Rhodesia 1953 Part 1
Southern Rhodesia was a self-governing British colony now known as Zimbabwe. Over the years it has undergone numerous name changes. For more information click HERE
On 31 August 1953 Southern Rhodesia issued its first Queen Elizabeth II definitives. And what a beautiful set it was!! This set consisted of 14 stamps, on unwatermarked paper. This series was recess-printed by Bradbury Wilkinson & Co (except the 4d stamp, which had a typography vignette).
In Part 1 we shall study the first two stamps in this delightful set. Both stamps are perforated 14 x 13½. Both stamps were issued on 31 August 1953.
The first stamp in the series is the ½d grey-green and claret. The focus of this stamp is the sable antelope. The sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) lives in the wooded savannah areas of East Africa, and in the southern parts of Africa. The sable antelope is a large species. They can grow as tall as 1.4m. They have impressive antlers that can grow as high as 1.1m. Sadly, their lovely antlers have become prized trophies for hunters. This combined with the sable antelope's habitat being slowly eaten by farming has reduced their numbers considerably.
The second stamp in the series is the 1d green and brown. The focus of this stamp is the industry of tobacco growing. According to an article in Economic Geographic (July 1952 vol. 28, no. 3) the tobacco industry in Southern Rhodesia boomed after WWII. By 1950, a few years before this series was issued, tobacco had surpassed gold as the premier export of Southern Rhodesia. It is, therefore, quite appropriate that the tobacco industry be depicted on a stamp of the region...
In Part 2 we shall discover where the name 'Rhodesia' originated. And more! Until then...
Stay Stamp Crazy!