Monthly Archives: January 2018

How The Good Hope Triangle Put A Stamp On Postage History

Triangle Stamps, the first of them made for the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa now more commonly known as Cape Town.  The year 1853, 61 years after the first Post Office in South Africa opened,  marked the first triangular stamps put into production and circulation, made by Messrs Perkins, Bacon & Co in London.  The triangular shape was useful for the post office as it helped quickly identify the origin of the package and moreover for those that were illiterate to sort efficiently. Along with the specific colours and image of the women used the Cape stamps represented a picture of the British Colony to the rest of the world. The triangular shape was used until 1864, after which square stamps were adopted.  Since its inception, most if not all other countries have incorporated a triangular stamp. Today triangular stamps from South Africa dating from 1853 and later can cost anywhere from $100 – $40,000.