Stamp collecting book review: ZANZIBAR’S POSTAL HISTORY LEGACY by Gary A DuBro

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imports_CCGB_screen-shot-2014-03-21-at-17.01.31_78121.png Stamp collecting book review: ZANZIBAR’S POSTAL HISTORY LEGACY by Gary A DuBro
This splendid volume attempts to log all the pre-stamp postal history items which are known, especially the Kuhlmann correspondence to France in the 1850s, and some 44 other items between 1837 and 1875 showing route and other details, and also the individual provenance. ...
ZANZIBAR’S POSTAL HISTORY LEGACY by Gary A DuBro
ISBN 0-9542032-3-2; rrp £60

For a schoolboy collector, Zanzibar was one of those exotic countries almost at the back of the album, for which one rarely saw any stamps. They were not the sort of thing that turned up in packets or were swapped in the playground. Indeed it did not issue any of its own stamps until those of Sultan Seyyid Hamed-bin-Twain at the end of 1896.

Earlier, a British Post Office operated from 1865 using Indian stamps, only recognisable with Zanzibar postmarks; until an overprinted issue was made in 1895 when Zanzibar became a British Protectorate. French (1889-190) and German (1890-1901) post offices also operated during this period.

This splendid volume attempts to log all the pre-stamp postal history items which are known, especially the Kuhlmann correspondence to France in the 1850s, and some 44 other items between 1837 and 1875 showing route and other details, and also the individual provenance.

There is a census of 332 items posted in a twelve-month period at the German Post office between August 1890 and July 1891. The author has also compiled a comprehensive record of the philatelic literature of Zanzibar.

The book only deals with pre-stamp material and stamped items up to the end of World War One. Individual chapters include Early Postal History 1837-1875; Slave Patrol Postal History 1864-1896; the Indian, French and German Post Offices during their varying periods of operation; and the Zanzibar Post Office pre and during World War One.

Each chapter is further sub-divided. There are eight Appendixes and a comprehensive Index.

The authoritative and readable text provides a philatelic, social and postal history for the country during a period of great change; when the slave trade ceased, the Suez Canal opened, and East Africa itself went through political change. The whole is well illustrated with dozens of covers fully described, augmented by tables of postage rates and maps of routes.

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