The first postal services were the unofficial runners who carried mails from the missionary stations around the south of Lake Tanganyika and the north of Lake Nyasa. Carried on foot through Nyasaland to Lake Nyasa which was crossed by steamer, then again by runner to the Shire River where it was carried once again by steamer to Chinde. Nyasaland’s first stamps were the 1d to £10 values of Rhodesia issued on 20 July 1891 overprinted “B.C.A.”, we warn collectors against fiscally used examples of the expensive higher values with cancellations removed and possibly forged postmarks added. Always purchase these from a trusted source.
The rarest come from the unusual 1898 1d “Cheque stamp” series, printed in Blantyre the tall imperforate 1 penny stamps have a red embossed 1d cheque stamp impressed in the centre. Most bear a ‘control’ on the reverse, these colourless numbers were applied in order from 1 to 30 and can be found doubled or missing, however the rarest stamps of British Central Africa show either the red centre inverted, or totally missing in pair with normal. The last stamps of British Central Africa are the 1907 2d and 4d chalk- surfaced paper stamps which were not issued due to the Protectorates name being changed to Nyasaland Protectorate. These are rarities and at the time of writing catalogue £19,000 each.
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