Penny Black First Issues Collectors Club of stamps and philatelic material

Home - Catalog - Categories - Index - Journal - Exhibits - Auctions - Forgeries - Join

first issues > countries > belgian congo, congo republic, zaire

Belgian Congo,
Congo Republic,

1st January 1886

- Katanga - South Kasai

Belgian Congo (1886) became ↓
French Congo (1891) became ↓
Portuguese Congo (1894) was part of ↓
Congo Democratic Republic (1960) became ↓
Middle Congo (1904) became ↓
Angola (1870) which became ↓
Zaire (1971)
Congo DR again from 1997

  Belgian colony 1

Africa 24, 24b

  Sc1 to 5 xxx

perf 15, no wmk, typo
Printed by Malines, Belgium.

Description Design Scott SG Mi Y&T  
5 centimes green 1 1 1      
10c rose 1 2 2      
25c blue 2 3 3      
50c olive green 3 4 4      
5 francs lilac 1 5 5      
5 francs lilac, perf 14 1 5a 5a      

Gibbons [1] notes that, "numerous shades can be found in these issues" (and others up to 1915).

Belgian colony
Congo Democratic Republic
1908 Sc31 SG 1960 Sc323 SG360 1971 Sc750 SG788

There are three versions of these overprints of the issues for the independent state, handstamped locally, handstamped in Brussels and typographed: they have significant price variations and these are not consistent by type. Scott [2] lists the variants as suffixes (e.g. Sc31 is the 5c printed, Sc31a handstamped), Gibbons [1] nmbers them separately (e.g. SG36A is the 5c handstamped locally, SG36B hanstamped in Brussels, SG46 typographed).

Congo was founded as an independent state by Leopold II of Begium, but annexed as a Belgian colony in 1908. It became an independent republic in 1960 and changed its name to Zaire in 1971.

From 1997, stamps have again been issued in the name of the Congo Democratic Republic and Wikipedia (accessed 1st November 2016) gives that as its current name but the catalogues to hand list CDR stamps under Zaire. CDR has become a producer of wallpaper stamps and no specific issue is regarded as the first of CDR².

1960 Sc1 SG35


Scott [2] states, "Katanga province seceded from the Republic in July 1960, but established nations did not recognize it as an independent state. The UN declared the secession ended in Sept, 1961. The last troops surrendered Sept, 1963.
During the secession Katanga stamps were tolerated in the international mails, but the government authorizing them was not recognized."

Gibbons numbers the issues differently.

South Kasai
1961 Sc1

South Kasai

It was reported in the FICC Journal, Nov21-Jan22, Volume 29 Number 4 Page 6 that,

Volume 6A of the 2022 edition of Scott now lists stamps for South Kasai. This area was part of the Belgian Congo which gained independence in mid 1960 – becoming the Congo Democratic Republic. The South Kasai region decided to break away. Other nations did not officially recognize South Kasai (even though the South Kasai stamps were “tolerated” in the African mails). Ultimately, South Kasai became part of the Republic of Congo in October 1962.

Scott lists 29 stamps from this short-lived region. The first issue set consists of 13 stamps issued in 1961. These are the Belgian Congo flower stamps of 1952-53 overprinted “ETAT AUTONOME du SUD-KASAI”. Denominations ranged from 10c (centimes) to 10fr (francs). These are similar to the first stamps of the Congo Democratic Republic (Sc#323-338) which were overprinted “CONGO” on the same Belgian Congo flower stamps. The South Kasai Sc#1 is shown at right.

Sources: ScS [2], SGP4 [1], SGP14.

Images from ebay, colnect.

FI ref: 238, 660, 662, 662a, 704 Page credit: NB

Page created 23 Oct 2016 Page updated 30-Oct-2021