Mozambique Company: Railway Thematic Stamps & Postal Stationery

Beautifully engraved, these stamps have long been favourites among collectors. Whilst not complex issues, they do have a few variations in production which may cause confusion, so we have listed below all the railway thematic stamps of this 'country'.

'Country', however, is not strictly the correct nomenclature. The Mozambique Company, a trading organization, was granted a 50-year charter in 1891 by the colonial power, Portugal, to administer the region, and, from 1892, it had the right to issue its own stamps. Mozambique Company stamps became obsolete in January 1942 when the region was incorporated into Mozambique.

All the stamps listed below were recess-printed by Waterlow & Sons, except where otherwise stated. SG numbers are provided, as we use these in our sales lists.

Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique 1918 Perf 12½ Sisal Caminho de Ferro Railway Steam Locomotive
Scan shows the stamps in Perf 12½

1918 (Perf 14) :Local Scenes with centres in Black:
5c Dark Blue : Perf 14 : Beira Harbour, Railway Trucks, rail-mounted steam crane (SG 206A) [ ... ]
10c Bright Scarlet : Perf 14 : Sisal Plantation (SG 210A) [ ... ]
15c Deep Lake : Perf 14 : Steam Train (SG 211A) [ ... ]

Corroborative evidence for the rail-mounted steam crane on the 5c stamp appears further down.

1924 (Perf 12½) : With centres in Black: Although not chronological, listed here for convenience.
5c Blue : Perf 12½ : Beira Harbour, Railway Trucks, rail-mounted steam crane (SG 206B) [ ... ]
10c Scarlet
** : Perf 12½ : Sisal Plantation (SG 210B) [ ... ]
15c Deep Lake : Perf 12½ : Steam Train (SG 211B) [ ... ]

** There are small variations in the intensity of the scarlet. More importantly, this 1924 stamp in Perf 12½ is often confused with the not too dissimilar 1925 colour change to brownish-red. See scan immediately below.

Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique 1924 10c Sisal Scarlet 1925 10c Sisal Brownish-Red  Perf 12½
Left: 1924 Scarlet; Right: 1925 Brownish-Red. When seen alongside each other, the 1924 stamp has a deep bright rose-red appearance against the brownish-red of the 1925 issue (SG 240), which is listed lower down.

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique 1920 Surcharge  um e meio Centavo

1920 : Surcharged in Bluish Violet on SG 206A.
1½ c / 5c Beira Harbour (Perf 14) (SG 220) [ ... ]

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique 1923 1924 Perf 12½ Sisal Caminho de Ferro Railway Steam Locomotive
Scan shows the stamps in Perf 12½

1923 : Additional Values in the 1918 perforation (Perf 14) :
7c Blue (centre in black) Perf 14 Steam Train (SG 228A) [ ... ]
80c Blue (centre in brown) Perf 14 Sisal Plantation (SG 231A) [ ... ]
2E Carmine-Rose (centre in violet) Perf 14 Beira Harbour (SG 232A) [ ... ]

1924 : Additional Values in the 1924 perforation (Perf 12½) :
7c Blue (centre in black) Perf 12½ Steam Train (SG 228B) [ ... ]
80c Blue (centre in brown) Perf 12½ Sisal Plantation (SG 231B) [ ... ]
2E Bright Lake (centre in violet) Perf 12½ Beira Harbour (SG 232B) [ ... ]

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique 1923 1924 Perf 12½ Sisal Caminho de Ferro Railway Steam Locomotive
1925 : The previous designs in new colours (Perf 12½ only): Centres in Black
10c Brownish-Red : Sisal Plantation (SG 240) [ ... ]
15c Rose-Red : Steam Train (SG 242) [ ... ]
80c Deep Rose-Carmine : Sisal Plantation (SG 248) [ ... ]
2E Pale Lilac (to mauve, shades) : Beira Harbour (SG 250) [ ... ]

The 10c in brownish-red is compared to the 1924 issue higher up. Note the major variation in shades of the 2 Escudos.

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique 1925-31 Bradbury Wilkinson Beira Port & Steam Train

1925-31 : New Design. Now printed by Bradbury Wilkinson : Perf 12 :
25c Brown (centre in blue) Beira Harbour and Steam Train (SG 252) (1925) [ ... ]
1E40 Blue (centre in black) Beira Harbour and Steam Train (SG 254) (1931) [ ... ]

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique 1935 1937 Ponte sobre o Zambeze Zambezi River Bridge & Steam Train

1935: Opening of Zambezi Railway Bridge Design with coat of arms at top left: Perf 12½
1E Blue (centre in Black) Steam Train on Bridge (SG 260) [ ... ]

1937 : Zambezi Railway Bridge . Without coat of arms : Perf 12½
5E Brown (centre in Blue) Steam Train on Bridge (SG 302) [ ... ]

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Waterlow Salesman's Sample Specimen Stamps : MOZAMBIQUE COMPANY

Explained very briefly, Waterlow & Sons Ltd produced a number of specimen stamps in unissued colours, initially for incorporation into sample books of their stamp production, which were carried by their salesmen. In the early 1950s, further samples were made both from the plates of normal sheet stamps and in the form of small sheetlets, typically of 9 stamps.

The majority of stamps used in salesmen's sample books appear to have been imperforate, but perforated stamps are also found in them. Almost all stamps carry the overprint 'Waterlow & Sons Ltd / Specimen', usually in upper case letters and in a variety of styles. Perforated stamps usually have a small punch hole, whereas most imperforate samples do not. Whether produced for their salesmen or, mainly from the 1950s, for the philatelic market, they are very attractive and highly collectable stamps.

At the time of updating this article (Jan 2020), we are in the process of producing an all-world article on Waterlow sample stamps on a railway theme, which will provide a more detailed introduction to these stamps. You may wish to check periodically to see whether the Waterlow article has been published on this website. The section below has been copied from the draft of the Mozambique Company section of the proposed article. The overprint type-face ('Types') used in the Waterlow article have been retained below, even though they are neither explained nor described here, but they will be addressed in the Waterlow article in due course. Note that we do not include check-boxes for sheetlets of sample stamps at this time.

The draft Waterlow article illustrates the issued stamps alongside the Salesmen's samples (specimens) and we have used the same scans below, whilst only listing the Waterlow specimens.

Mozambique Company Beira Harbour Steam Cranes

Mozambique : Postcard view of Beira, Cais da Alfândega - Cranes on Rails, powered by steam from vertical boilers. The image detail shown below from the stamp suggests a different arrangement of boiler and crane, but is almost certainly a representation of a steam-powered crane on rails.

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Mozambique Company Waterlow 5c Specimen Stamps

Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Stamps, Beira, Cais da Alfândega Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Stamps

Above: Issued stamp in Deep Blue Perf 14; Waterlow Sample; Steam Crane detail from the stamp - superbly engraved.

Type Ia : 5c Beira Port Scene in Yellow-Orange & Black, with punch, perf. [ . ]
The stop after 'LTD' is very faint in many cases.
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Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Stamps

Mozambique Company Waterlow Salesman's Sample Stamps Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Stamps Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Stamps

Type I : 10c Sisal & Railway Tracks in Blue & Black, with punch, perf. [ . ]
Type ? : 10c Sisal & Railway Tracks in Blue & Black, No punch, IMPERF. (S.T. 884) [ . ]

We have only seen a poor scan of the Imperforate specimen stamp. It is probably with Type I overprint, but this is unclear.

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Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Steam Train sheetlet/9

The sheetlet/9 above appears to have archive markings, with the first stamp carrying a large manuscript X.

Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Stamps Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Stamps

Type I : 15c Steam Train in Deep Lake & Black , with punch, perf. [ . ]
Type I or II ? : 15c Steam Train in Black & Deep Green, with punch, perf. [ . ]
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Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Stamps

Type I : 1 Escudo Zambezi River Bridge & Train in Bright Magenta & Black, with punch, perf. [ . ]
Type I : 1 Escudo Zambezi River Bridge & Train in Reddish-Brown, with punch, perf. [ . ]
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Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Zambezi Bridge

Type I : 5 Escudos Zambezi River Bridge & Train in Blue & Brown, with punch, perf. [ . ]

The bridge in the stamps above, known as the Dona ana Bridge, was built solely to carry a railway, although it failed to provide a good return on investment. It opened in around 1934/35 and, at well over 2 miles in length, it was, when built, the longest railway bringe in Africa.

It was seriously damaged in the 1980s in the Mozambique Civil War. With foreign aid assistance, it was reopened as a single carriageway road. In 2006, the bridge was closed to road traffic and it reopened again, re-purposed once more for railway traffic, in 2009. Eight years later, it was adapted to include provision of a pedestrian pathway across the river.

Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Zambezi Bridge Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Zambezi Bridge
Mozambique Company Waterlow Specimen Zambezi Bridge

Views looking down the bridge in its railway and roadway phases, followed by a view from the river bank whilst in use as a road.
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Other Proofs / Archive Stamps
It is probably not possible to compile a complete listing of all known proofs and archive material of most countries. They are, of course, very collectable items, but we have simply illustrated below items that we have seen, without making any attempt to categorize of provide a listing.

Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique SPECIMEN stamps Railway Sisal Train Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique SPECIMEN stamps Railway Sisal Train Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique SPECIMEN stamps Railway Sisal Train

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Revenue / Fiscal Stamps

Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique SPECIMEN stamps Railway Sisal Train

The scan above is of the only revenue surcharge on a Mozambique Company railway thematic of which we are currently aware.

5c Revenue : Beira Docks : Black & Blue : Optd. in Red 'Imposto de Selo' [ . ]
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POSTAL STATIONERY

There were a number of postal stationery items of railway interest issued between 1904 and 1920, about half of them postcards and half letter-cards (sealable with perforated edges for opening). Many of the postcards exist as double-cards (message and reply halves). With the exception of the final item, which is stamped with the 5c Beira Port design, the thematic interest is in the pictorial images, steam trains, tramcars (or hand-propelled trollies) and tram tracks.

Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery 1904 Tram Tracks Beira

1904: Beira - Rue Conselheiro Ennes & Tram Tracks (with hand-propelled vehicle)
10 Reis : Bright Magenta : Postcard [ . ]
20 Reis : Lilac : Postcard [ . ]

10R + 10R : Bright Magenta : Double Postcard [ . ]
20R = 20R : Lilac : Double Postcard [ . ]

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery 1904 Tram Observatorio Beira

1904: Beira - Observatoro meteorolgico : Tramcar
10 Reis : Rose-Magenta : Postcard [ . ]
20 Reis : Lilac : Postcard [ . ]

10R + 10R : Rose-Magenta : Double Postcard [ . ]
20R = 20R : Lilac : Double Postcard [ . ]

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery 1904 Train on Railway Bridge

1904 : Steam Train on Bridge over the River Revué
10 Reis : Rose-Magenta : Postcard [ . ]

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery 1904 Hand Trolleys on Tram Tracks Beira

1904: Beira - Rue Conselheiro Ennes & Tram Tracks (with hand-propelled vehicle) - different view
10 Reis : Rose-Magenta : Postcard [ . ]
20 Reis : Lilac : Postcard [ . ]

10R + 10R : Rose-Magenta : Double Postcard [ . ]
20R = 20R : Lilac : Double Postcard [ . ]

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In the next three sets of 3 letter cards, the 25 Reis in each case appears to have been printed on yellow-buff card, whilst the 50 Reis and 65 Reis values are on very pale green card. We have only shown a full card for the first set/3, alongside its image; for the other two sets, we have simply shown the views.

Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery 1904 Beira Railway Station and Steam Locomotive Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery 1904 Beira Railway Station and Steam Locomotive

Beira : Estacao do Caminho de Ferro (Railway Station)
25 Reis : Deep Rose : Letter-Card [ . ]
50 Reis : Chestnut-Brown : Letter Card [ . ]
65 Reis : Prussian Blue : Letter Card [ . ]

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery 1904 Beira Railway Station and Steam Locomotive

Beira : Alfandega : Tracks, a hand-trolley & probably a crane on rails, possibly steam-powered.
25 Reis : Deep Rose : Letter-Card [ . ]
50 Reis : Chestnut-Brown : Letter Card [ . ]
65 Reis : Prussian Blue : Letter Card [ . ]

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery 1904 Beira Railway Station and Steam Locomotive

Beira : Rua Conselheiro Castilho : Tracks, two hand-trollies.
25 Reis : Deep Rose : Letter-Card [ . ]
50 Reis : Chestnut-Brown : Letter Card [ . ]
65 Reis : Prussian Blue : Letter Card [ . ]

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In 1911, five of the previous postcards or letter-cards were overprinted REPUBLICA in Green. We illustrate one example below.

Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery optd REPUBLICA 1904 Beira Railway Station and Steam Locomotive

Overprinted REPUBLICA in Green on previous issues.

20R + 20R : Lilac : Rue Conselheiro Ennes (first issue above) : Double Postcard [ . ]

20R + 20R : Lilac : Observatori0 meteorologico : Double Postcard [ . ]

50 Reis : Chestnut-Brown : Railway Station in Beira : Letter-Card [ . ]

50 Reis : Chestnut-Brown : Alfandenga : Letter-Card [ . ]

50 Reis : Chestnut-Brown : Rua Conselheiro Castilho : Letter-Card [ . ]

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Stamps Mozambique Company Companhia de Mocambique Postal Stationery optd REPUBLICA 1904 Beira Railway Station and Steam Locomotive
Our thanks to Hans Eriksson for providing this scan.

1920 : 5c Blue : Imprinted Stamp of the Beira Port & Steam-Crane design : Letter-Card [ . ]

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