Postage stamps and postal history of German South West Africa

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Overprint with hyphen, 1897.
5-mark "Yacht", 1906.

German South West Africa was a German colony in Africa, established in 1884 with the protection of the area around Lüderitz and abandoned during World War I, when the area was taken over by the British.

The postal history of the colony started on 7 July 1888 at Otjimbingwe, when the regular postal service began using German postage stamps and postmarks reading OTYIMBINGUE. The service continued in this fashion for a number of years, eventually expanding to additional post offices in Windhoek (1891) and Swakopmund (1895).[1]

First stamps[edit]

The first stamp issue for the colony consisted of overprints applied to German stamps in May 1897, reading "Deutsch- / Südwest-Afrika" at an angle. On 15 November 1898, the overprint was changed to "Deutsch- / Südwestafrika" dropping the hyphen.

Yacht issue[edit]

In 1900, the omnibus Yacht issue included stamps for South West Africa, printed on watermarked paper after 1906. The last of these was a 3 Mark value, printed in 1919, but never put on sale in the colony. Some values, such as the 3 and 5 Pfennig Yachts, are readily available today, with prices of around US$1. The others range up to several hundred dollars. The high values of the watermarked Yachts saw very little usage before the colony was captured, and genuinely used stamps are up to 10 times more valuable; but many of the used stamps are known to have forged cancellations.

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Heinrich, Dirk (1 August 2012). "Vom einfachen Postläufer zu NamPost" [From simple postal messenger to NamPost]. Allgemeine Zeitung (in German).