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Africa/All : South Africa Flying Boats

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mbo1142
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I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.
15 Jan 2017
10:53:30am
Found this in a collection I am breaking down. Little research found that, "Courtier left Durban on 31st May 1937 but only got as far as Lindi in Tanganyika before being ordered to return to Durban to pick up passengers for the first commercial flight to the UK. She finally left Durban on Sunday morning, June 6, carrying five passengers and 1032 pounds of mail"

According to the post mark, this cover was on that flight. 6 - VI- 37 - 6:00. Other that historical significance, is there any value?

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Bobstamp
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15 Jan 2017
02:21:16pm
re: South Africa Flying Boats

That's a great cover! I'm not a dealer, but if it were in my collecting area I'd probably pay up to U.S. $50 for it. Condition isn't the be all and the end all, but your cover is bright and clean and very attractive.

What I like about covers like this is that when it's in your hands, you're at just one remove from historical events. To put it another way, the cover that you're holding was posted by someone who was there in Durban, and it was loaded onto Courtier, an Empire class aircraft, by someone who either watched the plane take off or even flew on the plane. Perhaps my imagination works overtime, but when I "work" with a cover like that, I'm transported to its time and place and vicariously experience its story. Research into its story really enhances my experience, and often causes me to search for collateral items — baggage labels, postcards, photographs, maps, stamps picturing the airplanes, etc. This photograph of Courtier adds immeasurable meaning to your cover, in my opinion:

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The knowledge that Courtier crashed in Athens just four months later, killing three people, adds poignancy to the cover.

To me, the cover would be a worthwhile addition to my Battle of the Atlantic collection. From Wikipedia: "Based in part upon the S.23 Empire flying boat, the flagship of Imperial Airways, the S.25 was extensively re-engineered for military service. It was one of the most powerful and widely used flying boats throughout the Second World War, and was involved in countering the threat posed by German U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic."

So, yes, I think your cover has a great deal of intrinsic value. It could be the basis of an entire exhibit about the Empire class flying boats, and could certainly be included in a collection of South African airmail history.

Bob

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mbo1142
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I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.
16 Jan 2017
08:49:44am
re: South Africa Flying Boats

Bob,

Thank you for your response. Interesting information regarding the Courtier.

Mel

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Bobstamp
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20 Jan 2017
12:36:45pm
re: South Africa Flying Boats

The exhibit sheet shown below is part of my Battle of the Atlantic exhibit, displayed at VANPEX in 2013. The Sunderland flying boat shown on the postcard was based on the design of the S.23 flying boat, flagship of Imperial Airways in the late 1930s and 1940s.

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Bobstamp
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29 Jan 2017
11:18:29pm
re: South Africa Flying Boats

I had a pleasant surprise in my mailbox this week, with the arrival of this first flight cover:

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You'll recognize it if you have followed this thread. Mel (MBO1122) sent it to me as a gift. Once again, the generosity of Stamporama's members shines through the miasma of the daily news!

I went searching for more information about the cover, and came across this interesting information about the Afrikaans version of the 1/2d stamp on Steve Drewett's website.

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Like so many Commonwealth stamps, this one does double duty for both postage and revenue. Inkomse means "income" in Afrikaans. Here are detail images showing the error:

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My 2014 Scott values a normal pair of mint stamps at US$0.80 and used stamps at US$1.25, so I assume that the price of the pair offered by Steve Drewett reflects his or someone else's evaluation of the variety. Scott of course doesn't mention the variety. I don't have a Stanley Gibbons catalogue. Can someone please check to see what it says about the variety, if anything? Any other information would be welcome too, of course.

Bob


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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 300 categories
30 Jan 2017
06:01:00am
re: South Africa Flying Boats

My 2014 SG Commonwealth 1840-1970 shows no such variety listed. It does, however, list other varieties for other stamps in the series (such as the "mouse flaw" on the 1 1/2d and the hyphen omitted on the 1/-).

Roy

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"BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50- 7,500 new covers coming Thursday Sept. 16"

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Bobstamp
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30 Jan 2017
11:16:58am
re: South Africa Flying Boats

Thanks, Roy. That's curious. I think I'll write to Steve Drewett and ask him where his information came from, and perhaps ask him about the value of the stamp on cover.


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