1947/54 Screened Pictorial Definitives

The last set of pictorial definitives, easily identifiable with a glass because the designs are made up of small dots, not unlike a picture in a newspaper. There are various cylinder blocks available with some values having more than one cylinder number to collect. Other points of interest to look out for are the ½d comes with both the frame only screened and the vignette unscreened, as well as the entire design screened. Also, from a limited printing, the totally screened ½d (SG 114c) comes with a so-called “Charcoal” head, which is easily visible when held up to the light and the stamp is viewed across the paper.  What you see is the vignette stand out, as if standing out of the stamp. It really is quite a spectacular stamp when you know where to look!

The 2d is scarce used in pairs as it had a very short life of approximately one month before the small format 2d stamps were issued in April 1950.

A particularly dark shade of the 3d exists, called “Deep dark blue” in the Union Handbook; it is a much-misidentified stamp due to the existence of other quite dark shades of the 3d.  It was possibly issued right at the end of the Screened Definitives period. You should buy this stamp from a dealer who specialises in South Africa, or with a PFSA certificate, as many general dealers incorrectly identify it and some issuers of stamp certificates will have never seen the stamp in the correct shade.

There is a nice version of the 2s6d from the last issue, cylinder 51 5, with a “Heat wave” effect on the hills behind the Ox Wagon.