Friday, March 21, 2014

Fishing Flies

These 15 stamps, 5 each on these three first day covers, issued from 1981 to 1983 must surely be a delight to the angling fraternity. The stamps are beautiful, and the flies depicted on them cater to the taste of most fish I am sure!

Short history of the official Transkei Fishing Fly Postage Stamp series... 
In 1976 Barry Kent and partners, in co-operation with the Republic of Transkei Development Corporation, Southern Africa, established a fishing fly manufacturing plant at Butterworth, Transkei, Southern Africa. The company was named HIGH FLIES (PTY) LIMITED.  The pricing, quality and marketing of the flies produced there proved very successful.  By 1979 High Flies was employing 360 local people, producing in excess of 1000 dozen flies per day and exporting to all parts of the Globe. 
    It was at this time that the Transkei postal authorities and the Philatelic Services of Southern Africa became interested in the idea of depicting fishing flies on postage stamps. The outcome was a five year series of 25 fishing fly stamps.  Five new designs were issued each year from 1980 to 1984. 
     Art direction for this series was by Barry Kent and the artwork was executed by a prominent South African stamp artist, Mr A. H. (Barry) Barrett. 
    Since the day of each issue, these stamps have greatly increased in value. The 1980 first day cover envelope is catalogued at over 80 times the day of issue price and the value continues to increase.  All 5 years of the fishing fly stamps were produced in sheets of 25 se-tenant. 

    In 1980 only the top four rows of stamps were used on first day envelope issues.  A major error was discovered when the 1981 (second issue) first day envelope was issued on 15 January, 1981. The bottom (control strip) set of stamps was accidentally used on +-6% of the first day envelopes issued. This envelope is now called “The Wickham’s Fancy First Day Envelope”.  The day of issue price of the Wickham’s Fancy envelope was 74c. They are now catalogued at over $100 each. 

Thank you Maria.

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