The triangular stamps of the Cape of Good Hope are among the earliest stamps ever issued and have always fascinated collectors. The shape, design and printing of these stamps, which were issued from 1853 onwards, have contributed significantly to their popularity, which remains unbroken to this day. So it is hardly surprising that almost all of the world's major stamp collectors also had a collection of "Cape triangles".
This also includes the owner of the collection documented in this new book in the EDITION SPÉCIALE series, who wishes to remain anonymous and who presents his Cape collection under the pseudonym "Besançon". He pursues a traditional collecting approach, not so much a postal history one. The book presents the individual series, beginning with rare proofs of the 1853 issue (1d. and 4d., each on blued paper in their many different colour shades), first printed by Perkins Bacon in England. The 1d., 4d., 6d. and 1s. values on cream-coloured to white paper followed In 1855/63, also again with many shades.
The so-called "woodblocks", which the local printer Paul Salomon produced with a simple design in 1861 due to a shortage of the 1d. and 4d. stamps, are well-known - they looked as if they had been produced from wooden printing blocks. Their errors of colour, which today are among the most famous in philately and are very rare, are almost legendary. All these issues can also be found in the "Besançon" collection, again in their various colour shades.
In 1863/64 the Perkins Bacon and Salomon printings were replaced by four values produced by the De La Rue printing company in England. Specimens of various kinds are documented in this collection as well as the various colour shades of these stamps, some of them differing quite markedly from the previous issues. The last part of the collection is devoted to an excellent documentation of the first rectangular series ("Hope Seated"), which was also produced by De La Rue from 1864/67 and a great variety of whose subtleties and rarities can be found in this collection - the design was used for various issues over a period of almost 30 years.
Although all the issues are only briefly described, the beauty of the stamps, all of which are in first-class condition, is what appeals to the observer. Some rare large multiples can be found as well as stamps in pristine condition with wide margins. In this form and with this kind of charisma, the sheer beauty of early classic stamps can come into its own.
— Wolfgang Maassen (AIJP)
128 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in English