Natal 1854 Crown Over Natal Datestamp Letter Paid to Cape


1854 Neat small format envelope endorsed "Paid to the Cape" to Leeds bearing an excellent greenish strike of Durban Crown over Natal datestamp of 5 MA. The rating mark reflects the ship letter postage of 8d per ½oz paid to the Cape only (It was not possible to prepay postage further from Natal). Backstampd on arrival JY 4. A lovely example of this early mail, scarce.
As Natal's postal markings developed it had become desirable to reflect date of handling within the implements. The first dated handstamp was this circular postmark containing a crown at top, NATAL at base and the date in the middle. It is accepted that this canceller type was only used at the Durban post office and introduced in late 1853.
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