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Stamps - British South Africa Company, 1940, Southern Rhodesia

no number in katalog -
Years of issue: 03.06.1940
Signatures: no signature
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 1940
Material: Paper
Size (mm): 39 х 29
Printer: Waterlow and Sons Limited, London

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Stamps - British South Africa Company, 1940




Stamps - British South Africa Company, 1940

Sheet of South Rhodesian stamps of 1940. 1 sheet - 60 stamps / 1/2d (half penny) each.


On stamps are the coat of arms of the British South Africa Company.

The British South Africa Company (BSAC or BSACo) was established following the amalgamation of Cecil Rhodes' Central Search Association and the London-based Exploring Company Ltd which had originally competed to exploit the expected mineral wealth of Mashonaland but united because of common economic interests and to secure British government backing. The company received a Royal Charter in 1889 modelled on that of the British East India Company. Its first directors included the Duke of Abercorn, Rhodes himself and the South African financier Alfred Beit. Rhodes hoped BSAC would promote colonisation and economic exploitation across much of south-central Africa, as part of the "Scramble for Africa". However, his main focus was south of the Zambezi, in Mashonaland and the coastal areas to its east, from which he believed the Portuguese could be removed by payment or force, and in the Transvaal, which he hoped would return to British control.

It has been suggested that Rhodes' ambition was to create a zone of British commercial and political influence from "Cape to Cairo", but this was far beyond the resources of any commercial company to achieve and would not have given investors the financial returns they expected. The BSAC was created in the expectation that the gold fields of Mashonaland would provide funds for the development of other areas of Central Africa, including the mineral wealth of Katanga. When the expected wealth of Mashonaland did not materialise and Katanga was acquired by the Congo Free State, the company had little money left for significant development after building railways, particularly in areas north of the Zambezi. BSAC regarded its lands north of the Zambezi as territory to be held as cheaply as possible for future, rather than immediate, exploitation.

As part of administering Southern Rhodesia until 1923 and Northern Rhodesia until 1924, the BSAC formed what were originally paramilitary forces, but which later included more normal police functions. In addition to the administration of Southern and Northern Rhodesia, the BSAC claimed extensive landholdings and mineral rights in both the Rhodesias and, although its land claims in Southern Rhodesia were nullified in 1918, its land rights in Northern Rhodesia and its mineral rights in Southern Rhodesia had to be bought out in 1924 and 1933 respectively, and its mineral rights in Northern Rhodesia lasted until 1964. The BSAC also created the Rhodesian railway system and owned the railways there until 1947.

British South Africa Company

The Royal Charter establishing the BSAC was approved on 29 October 1889 by Queen Victoria. The blazon (10 May 1909) read:

Blazon: Gules, the chief semee of besants, the base semee of ears of wheat Or, a fesse wavy Argent between two bull passant in chief and an elephant passant in base all proper; the fesse charged with three galleys Sable.

Crest: A lion guardant passant Or, supporting with its dexter paw an ivory tusk erect proper.

Supporters: Two Springboks proper.

Motto: Justice, Commerce, Freedom.

The colour of the field is red, the same as that in the Arms of England. The besants (gold discs), in chief, refer to the gold abounding in Matebeleland, and the ears of wheat on the lower part of the shield refers to the rich agricultural potential of the area. The oxen refer to the beasts of burden employed there and to the abundance of cattle. The fesse wavy refers to the Zambezi, Limpopo and other rivers flowing through the territory administered by the Company. The galleys refer to shipping which can traverse the rivers. The supporters and the crest indicate the wild animals found in the area. The Lion also forms an allusion to the heraldic emblem of England, and the three galleys sable are from the Arms of the second Duke of Abercorn, the first President of the Company. (

British South Africa Company

On right side is soldier of the British South Africa Company, with horn.

British South Africa Company British South Africa Company

On left side is the warrior of Northern Ndebele.

e Northern Ndebele people (Northern Ndebele: amaNdebele) are a Bantu-speaking nation and ethnic group in Southern Africa, who share a common Ndebele culture and Ndebele language (isiNdebele). The Northern Ndebele were historically referred to as the Matabele which derives from the Sesotho expression thebele, indicating people who sheltered behind tall cowhide shields. The term Bathebele was applied to at least two Nguni-speaking groups who settled in the region later called the Transvaal, long before the Mfecane. Although the amaNdebele of Mzilikazi used the much smaller cowhide shields and short stabbing assegai of King Shaka’s army, they also were called Bathebele, which in isiNguni was rendered as amaNdebele.

The history of the Northern Ndebele began when a Nguni group split from King Shaka in the early XIX century under the leadership of Mzilikazi, a former chief in his kingdom and ally. Under his command the disgruntled abaNguni went on to conquer and rule the chiefdoms of the Southern Ndebele. This was where the name and identity of the eventual kingdom was adopted.

During a turbulent period in Nguni and Sotho-Tswana history known as the Mfecane or “the crushing’, Mzilikazi’s regiment, initially numbering 500 soldiers, moved west towards the present-day city of Pretoria, where they founded a settlement called Mhlahlandlela. The Great Trek in 1838 saw Mzilikazi defeated by the Voortrekkers at Vegkop after which he was exiled into present-day Zimbabwe where the Ndebele overwhelmed the local Lozvi, eventually carving out a home now called Matabeleland and encompassing the west and southwest region of the country. In the course of the migration, large numbers of conquered local clans and individuals were absorbed into the Ndebele nation, adopting the Ndebele language and culture. Historically the assimilated people came from the Southern Ndebele, Swazi, Sotho-Tswana, and amaLozwi ethnic groups.


Stamps - British South Africa Company, 1940

Uniface (white).


Designer: Mrs. L. E. Curtis.