“The Triangles of Cape Colony”, this title referred to the triangular stamps issued in the British Colony, Cape of Good Hope. They are first postage stamps issued in the Cape, it can even be marked as the first stamp issued in the African continent.
In the 1400s, the Cape of Good Hope attained an extreme importance amidst the seafarers of the world. Being a convenient harbour on the long, hard and dangerous sea voyage to the East, Cape of Good Hope welcomed a number of European Countries.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 followed by the Dutch and the British. Initially, packets of letters were left under postal stones inscribed in the French, Dutch and Danish, which became the first, unmanned, post offices of the Cape.
Later on, after 1814 Cape Town became a British Colony, a formal post office was opened and stamps were issued.The first stamps of Cape Colony were issued on 1st September 1853. These stamps were issued in the denominations like one penny in brick-red ink and four-pence in blue ink.
Its design depicts a female figure sitting on top of an anchor, which is resting on top of a rock, symbolizing the Cape. The stamp was designed by Surveyor General Charles Bell and printed by Messrs. Perkins, Bacon & Co.
Very rare copies of the stamp have survived today. The value of a single Cape of Good Hope stamp, in the Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue, is about US$40,000.
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