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Africa Line : 1923

I am new to this forum. This one is requesting for Information.

I recently chanced upon the attached cover in my collection of Weimar Republic materials. It has military franking of Africa line with the Paquebot and a second Durban franking. (Scans of both sides are included in the PDF).

I would appreciate any information regarding this cover and the postage rates applicable in 1923 from Durban outward seamail to Germany adjusting (if applicable) with the inflation postal rates.

Thank you, Regards, Jeffery...

Uploaded files:

May I be the first to welcome you to the site.  Steve is probably still asleep but he will no doubt want to welcome you as well.  Regarding the item, not my line of expertise but I am onto it and will come back with something as soon as one of us has got some answers. 

Thanks again and more posts please!


Welcome on board, Jeffrey. Jamie is right. I have had to sleep on this reply!

Below is a postcard from GERMAN SOUTH WEST AFRICA, 1898, which I found on-line this morning on the Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries website. This 10pf unoverprinted Postal Card is cancelled by "Deutsche Seepost Linie Deutsch Sudwestafrika Capstad 11.6.98" oval datestamp. It has been sent to Frankfort (11.7 backstamp), Cape Town transit postmark, datelined Swakopmund. It is a fine, scarce and attractive item of maritime use. I display it only as a German colonial frame of reference to your later post-WW1 1923 Durban Paquebot Cover.

You can see similarities between your 1923 and the earlier 1898 German Seepost oval cancellers.

The web site of the modern Deutsch Afrika Line tells us that in 1924 ex-Imperial German Navy Officer John T Essberger started the privately owned Deutsche Afrika-Linien. It does not go into details but presumably he purchased all or some of the assets of the pre-WW1 Deutsche Seepost Linie, which after the war had possibly transitioned into the "AFRIKA LINE" or "LINIEN". It possibly explains why your cover has a canceller dated 1923. This was a tough time for Germany, the old order had collapsed and everything was changing and up for grabs.

Like Jamie, I am not an expert in this field. I welcome the input here of a southern African Maritime expert. However, I will suck my thumbs and stick my neck out here and say that your "military franking of Africa line" is not military nor naval but a post-WW1 maritime adaption of the earlier German Seepost mailship canceller. As Germany had lost its colonies in WW1, specifically GSWA and GEA, the German colony name has been removed from the oval datestamp and "AFRIKA LINE" inserted in its place. Your cover with Weimar Republic stamps was cancelled on board ship with this adapted datestamp on '19 1 23', the same day that it was received in Durban and stamped 'PAQUEBOT'.

Your cover is an attractive and desirable piece from a turbulent time in German history following the humiliating loss of its colonies and the punishing terms of the Versailles Treaty.

Uploaded files:
  • Deutsch-Seepost-Linie-GSWA-CT.jpg

Thank you Steve. Thank You Jamie

This is a wonderful input and great help as I have been accumulating inflation related material for some time, and this being one among many (from Africa) which I had doubts on.

I sincerely appreciate taking your time.

Kind Regards, Jeffery…


I think I have the answers for you.

Uploaded files:
  • SAPC250.jpg

We got two thumbs up!  Thank You!