Today in Postal History


Natal Domestic Use
March 18, 1895

This cover was sent locally in Durban near 30 S
on the Indian Ocean in the east of present day South Africa.

Natal's first stamps were issued in 1857.
The need for a d. rate led to the first surcharge of regular stamps in 1877 (SG 85).
It was not until 1880 that the Crown Agents delivered a d. design (SG 96).
Apparently a shortage of d. stamps led to issuing a local surcharge on March 12, 1895, (see SG 114).

These locally surcharged stamps must have been in short supply, however, and
during the period of March 18 to March 23, 1895,
the postmaster in Durban accepted cash for the d. rate provisionally.

This cover was postmarked with a Durban double ring CDS.
The cover was endorsed "The half penny | received in | money"
and then the postmaster, J. W. Coleman, endorsed the cover
above a purple handstamp POSTMASTER OF DURBAN.

This is a first day cover for this provisional usage.

The cover had the corner card of a local firm of auctioneers,
Knipe & Co. and was addressed to a local storekeeper.


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