Identifying the South Africa KGV Pictorial Issues
SUIDAFRIKA with no Hyphen

Updated - January, 2015
 

The South Africa KGV pictorial issues were printed in two locations: London (Typography - better quality impression) and Pretoria (Rotogravure - coarser impression).
Sorting the stamps is done by determining the difference between the London and Pretoria printings. This article is intended to show a collector how to figure them out.

The catalog numbers are from the 2011 Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue (SG) and the 2011 Scott catalog (ST).

The images were saved in a larger size and at a higher resolution so you can more easily see the details used in sorting them. They are arranged on top of each other to allow comparison between the printings. Please be patient if it takes a few minutes for this page to load.

Please note - the scope of this web page is to identify the basic issues as described in the major catalogs. Tthere are additional color and perforation varieties to this issue. They have been left out in order to simplify the sorting process. Also, the original issues of the 1/2d, 1d, and 6d values were printed in both London and Pretoria using the same plates. For purposes of this site, we refer to both of them as London Printings. Please consult the South African Stamp Colour Catalogue for more detailed lisings.

Additional Clarification Comments supplied by Eddie Bridges in January, 2015

The small format pictorial stamps, 1/2d, 1d and 6d were initially typograph printed by Waterlow & Sons in London, later in Pretoria using the same plates and additional plates ordered by the Govt. Printer in Pretoria. After 1929 these were printed by Rotogravure or sometimes also known as photogravure.

The rectangular issues, 2d, 3d, 4d, 1/-, 2/6, 5/- and 10/- were recess not typograph, printed by Bradbury Wilkinson & Co in London. Later they were redrawn and printed Rotogravure in Pretoria.

 
Web Site with Larger Sized scans - will allow you to more clearly see the differences between printings for these stamps.
SG 30 - ST 23 - 1d London Typography Printing SG 42 - ST 33 - 1d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
Notice how the leg of the R is shaped in each printing. The The leg is longer and more curved in the London Printing, and shorter and straighter in the Pretoria Printing.
 
SG 126 - ST 23 - 1d London Typography Printing  
1948 economy printing to use up old stock of paper.
Note the Charcoal-Grey color.
 
 
SG 31 - ST 24 - 1d London Typography Printing SG 43 - ST 34 - 1d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
Notice how the leg of the R is shaped in each printing. The The leg is longer and more curved in the London Printing, and shorter and straighter in the Pretoria Printing.
 
    SG 43D - ST 35 - 1d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
    Notice the Rose color and Greyish center compared to SG 43.
   
SG 32 - ST 25 - 6d London Typography Printing SG 47 - ST 42 - 6d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
   
SG 34 - ST 26 - 2d London Typography Printing SG 44 - ST 36 - 2d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
Notice that there is a statue to the left of the 2d in the Pretoria Printing. Also, there is a significant color difference between the two stamps.
 
  SG 44D - ST 37 - 2d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing - Color change
   
SG 35 - ST 27 - 3d London Typography Printing SG 45 - ST 38 - 3d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
Notice the lines and shading at the top of the design. The London printing has more shading than the Pretoria printing.
 
  SG 45C - ST 39 - 3d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing - Color change
   
SG 35B - ST 28 - 4d London Typography Printing SG 46 - ST 40 - 4d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
Notice the scrollwork to the right of Posseel or Postage. There is more shading in the London Printing than the first Pretoria Printing.
 
  SG 46C - ST 41 - 4d Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
  Notice how the scrollwork is now differently shaped than the previous two issues on this printing. You will find a number of shades ranging from light brown to a deeper brown for this printing.
   
SG 36 - ST 29 - 1/ London Typography Printing SG 48 - ST 43 - 1/ Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
Notice the flowers around the frame. They are very well defined with more detail in the London Printing, and less defined in the Pretoria Printing.
You should also notice how well defined the frame around SUIDAFRIKA and SOUTH AFRICA are in the London Printing compared to the Pretoria Printing.
 
  SG 48AW - ST 43C - 1/ Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
  Notice the difference in color between SG 48 and SG 48AW.
You will also see that the watermark is inverted in this issue.
   
SG 37 - ST 30 - 2/6 London Typography Printing SG 49 - ST 44C, 44F, 44I- 2/6 Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
Notice the area around SUIDAFRIKA. It is much better defined and with less gaps in the London Printing than what you will see in the Pretoria Printings.
Also, if you observe the identification chart used by the Gibbons catalogue, it is the author's opinion that they have switched the 2/6 images.
The one shown under Typo really belongs under Roto, and vice versa. You can prove this by looking at SG49b (the stamp with the blue center).
It was not created in the London printing and yet it has the characteristics shown by Gibbons as Roto. You will find a number of shades of both the green and blue colors for the Brown and Green Pretoria Printing. The Scott catalog lists the green shades as Brown & Slate-Green, Chocolate & Deep Green and Red-Brown & Green
 
  SG 49B - ST 44 - 2/6 Pretoria Rotogravure Printing
   
SG 38 - ST 31 - 5/ London Typography Printing SG 39 - ST 32 - 10/ London Typography Printing
There was no Pretoria engraved plate for either of these two issues.
 

This article was written to help you identify your stamps. Please feel free to ask a question, or include a correction.

       
Comments or Questions feel free to write
       
South Africa Official Stamps for sale based on the identification from this article.
       
Index to KGVI Stamps Web Sites
       
Links to other British Colonial Stamp Sites