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Philatelic Collections: The Mosely Collection

This collection of British Africa issues to 1935 was formed by Dr Edward Mosely of Johannesburg, South Africa, and presented by his daughter, Mrs Kathleen Cunningham, in 1946 in memory of her parents.

The collection contains stamps from most of the former British territories and postal administrations in Africa, except for Basutoland, British East Africa, Cameroons, Egypt, Griqualand West, Madagascar, Somaliland, Stellaland, Sudan, Swaziland and Togo.
Dr Mosely attempted to make the collection as complete as possible, and all the issues from each of the countries concerned are well represented, including many rarities.

Some parts of the collection are also very specialised, including the Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, Rhodesia and the Orange Free State which contain selections of essays, proofs and specimens. The Cape of Good Hope and Mauritius sections also have good examples of pre-adhesive stamped covers.

Other important parts of the collection include Ascension Island, the use of British stamps prior to 1922, in British Bechuanaland there are various double overprints on the ½d slate of 1889, and the issues to 1895 are almost complete. The Bechuanaland Protectorate has all the issues from 1888 to 1935. The Cape of Good Hope triangular stamp section is outstanding, with die proofs of the 1d, 6d and 1/-, and a rare example of the 4d black. The ‘Woodblock’ issue of 1861 is very well represented with two copies each of the rare error of colours, the 1d blue and 4d red. The later issues of this colony are also complete. This part of the collection also contains stamps issued by Lord Baden-Powell in 1900 during the Siege of Mafeking. The issues for Gambia, Gold Coast and Lagos are complete, with a very fine range of the embossed Victorian stamps of Gambia, and the Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika section is also almost complete.

Mauritius contains reprinted proofs in black and colour from the original ‘Post Office’ plate of 1847, and there is an extensive selection of the locally produced ‘Post Paid’ issues including those engraved by Lapirot and Sherwin. Dardennes lithographs are also present. The later issues of Natal are complete, with an excellent range of the ‘Postage’ overprints of 1869-70. In Northern Nigeria there is an unused example of the rare 1904 £25, whilst in Nyasaland there are the 1907 2d and 4d values on Multiple Crown C.A. watermarked paper, also rare, and a number of the 1897 cheque provisionals with various rarities.

The Orange Free State has all the early surcharge rarities, and nearly all the V.R.I. overprints are present. In Rhodesia there is the 1896 Matabele Rebellion provisional three pence on 5/- yellow, block of nine with the ‘R’ inverted on the centre stamp. There is a fine selection of the ‘Doublehead’ issues, including the unauthorised rouletted types in unused blocks of four, and a block of twelve of the 1d which is imperforate vertically. The 5d purple-brown and ochre and the £1 scarlet and reddish mauve, error of colours, are also present. St Helena has some rare errors including the 1884-94 1/- yellow green with double surcharge. The Seychelles section is extensive, and in the Sierra Leone there is an unused example of the 1883 4d blue on C.A, watermarked paper. South Africa is complete with a number of rarities, and South West Africa is also extensive.

The Transvaal contains a good selection of the Second Republic and the British occupation of 1900-02. This section has several of the essays of the unissued President Kruger design, and some examples of the typewriter locals issued at Ermelo and Carolina in 1900. The King Edward VII group includes copies of the 1905 1d scarlet with the Cabled Anchor error of watermark, and the 1909 unissued 2d grey, and a second example overprinted ‘specimen’. From Mengo in Uganda are some of the Revd. E. Millar’s type-written stamps, and Zanzibar from 1896-1927 is very well represented as are the Zululand issues.

The Mosely Collection is currently on exhibition.


Philatelic Collections
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7635
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7780