by Melvyn Gallagher
Trading in Mafeking postage stamps and banknotes began during the siege ad adverts for them appeared in the “Mafeking Mail” by entrepreneurs wanting to make a fast buck. The “Mail” of May 18th, the first day of freedom contained an advert for an auction including “At 11 o’clock will be sold a set of SIEGE STAMPS No Reserve”.
After the siege ended there was even more interest shown and a list of current prices for the stamps was published in the “Mail” on June 22nd, 1900 with some very high prices indeed. The Government Gazette Notice 441 of 1st November, 1900 cancelled the validity of all the siege stamps - not that this affected their market value to collectors.
Amongst other souvenirs of the siege were postcards
illustrating the siege stamps still popular years later - this example posted on 11th March, 1907. One enterprising person with the initials E.B.S.M. Produced a number of postcard sized photographs the copyrighted designs of Siege stamps and banknotes together with scraps, verses and patriotic sentiments and references to
B-P penned in a fancy script. It would be nice to know the identity of E.B.S.M.