Orange River Colony
or Orange Free State
1st January 1868
perf 14, no watermark, typographed
Printed by De La Rue, London
|½ penny red brown||1883||1||48|
|½d orange||1897||2||84, 85|
|1d brown||1868||3||1, 2, 3||Gibbons: pale brown, red-brown, deep brown|
|2d violet||1883||5||49, 50||SG49 pale mauve; SG50 bight mauve|
|6d carmine rose||1890||8||6||SG5 6d rose (1871)|
|6d rose||1868||8a||4||SG7 6d bright carmine (1894)|
|6d ultra||1900||8b||only issued with a surcharge|
|1 shilling orange||1868||10||9|
|1s orange buff||1868||10a||8|
As suggested by the catalogue numbers, Gibbons' granularity greatly exceeds Scott's.
While from 1852 until 1902 Orange Free State was an independent sovereign state, its proximity to Cape Colony resulted in considerable British influence, more so than the Boer republic of Transvaal and thus OFS turned to London for their stamps. From 1856 a series of hand-struck stamps inscribed 'BETAALD' (paid) were used at post offices, but when adhesive stamps were considered, De La Rue were asked to quote in 1865 and again two years later. Initially, 1 and 6 penny and 1 shilling stamps were introduced featuring an orange tree, the emblem of the state. The design remained in use until 1903 when, after the Boer War, the state was redesignated the Orange River Colony.
[Adapted from JM1 .]
Changes of Administration
Crown Colony, CoGH o/p
|double overprint variant
1900 Sc44h SG101h
|1900 Sc55 SG135||1903 Sc62 SG140|
The stamps were overprinted 'V.R.I.' during the 1900 British occupation and, later that year, as a crown colony, Cape of Good Hope stamps overprinted 'ORANGE RIVER COLONY'. In 1903, the first dedicated Orange River Colony set was issued showing Edward VII, a springbok and a gnu.