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V087

The so-called BULAWAYO (SC) cancel in violet has been the subject of much speculation. Genuine cancels exist in violet (some on cover and postcard) but they are scarce with dates from OC 5 96 to OC 8 96.

However, literally hundreds of the OC 8 96 violet cancels made their appearance on the philatelic scene in about 1935.  The cancel appears on a large cross-section of BSAC stamps issued up to that time.  The inking of the letters is invariably blurred. The color of the ink is typically a brighter hue of violet to that found with the genuine.

 

V088

We know that there was a munitions explosion near the Bulawayo Post Office on October 2nd, 1896, and that the Post Office sustained some damage (mostly fragmented window glass) - for which reason a purple ink-pad may have been appropriated from elsewhere.  

Others have suggested that the violet ink was used to commemorate the end of the Matabele Rebellion - a kind of victory 'souvenir'.  There is no evidence to suggest the former, and historical evidence seems to suggest that the Rebellion effectively and officially ended after Oct.14th.

V090c

My own take is that the cancel is genuine, but suspect that someone had some knowledge of the scarcity of the 'violet cancel' for the second week of October and thought to 'cash in' with an opportunistic attempt to provide the philatelic market with these 'rarities'. 

There would necessarily have been some collusion on the part of a postal clerk to advance the project with the necessary cancels.  Virtually all of the examples of this philatelic 'endeavor' are in pristine condition - i.e., they did not pass through the postal system.

The best way to understand them is perhaps to accept they are contrived 'philatelic' items for those who have an interest in such things.  Their value is certainly less than a postally-used equivalent.

V090a

A PS to the above:  Three Cape Overprints have recently been recorded with the BULAWAYO (SC) dated OC 7 96 in black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V090m

 

 

 

V091a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V091b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V089

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V091

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V091g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V091ga

 

 

 

 

 

 

V089a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1009kt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V093

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V101

 

The cancel is perhaps most common on the Cape of Good Hope overprints.

 

 

 

V101a

 

 

 

 

V102

 

 

 

 

V103

 

 

 

 

V104

 

 

 

 

V104a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V105

 

 

 

 

V106

 

 

 

 

V106a

 

 

 

 

V107

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V120