Rare Rhodesian stamp sells for $3.3k on eBay

On November 1, five stamps from Rhodesia - today known as Zimbabwe and Zambia - were sold on eBay.

They were an 8d, two 7s 6d and two 2s 6d stamps with King Edward VII and his wife Alexandra depicted beneath the logo of the British South Africa Company.

8d Rhodesian British South Africa Company
8d Rhodesian stamp

The stamp colours are black-on-brown for the 8d, red-on-blue for the 7/6 and black-on-red for the 2/6. None have ever been hinged.

They sold for $3,300.00, $1,197.22 and $2,800.00, $978.43 and $941.01 respectively. (The second 7/6 stamp is significantly fresher than the first.)

Last month, a 5d version of the stamp sold for £5,800 at Spink (pictured in the article).

Paul Fraser Collectibles currently has a very rare stamp of its own available: a Tyrian Plum, one of the rarest British stamps

The British South Africa Company was set up by Cecil Rhodes, and in 1889 was given a royal charter. It was intended to aid colonisation in southern Africa, and given a licence to distribute land, set up banks and even raise a police force.

In return it promised to respect local African laws and religion, and allow free trade - but its record on keeping these promises was notoriously patchy.

The company finally lost its charter in 1923, with Zimbabwe (South Rhodesia) becoming self-governing and Zambia (North Rhodesia) a protectorate.

The sale of the stamps shows that people are still happy to pay significant sums for quality stamps - though the rare 8d version is a relative bargain, and would no doubt have sold for more if advertised in advance in an auction catalogue.

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