“Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel on 1960 Rhodesia & Nyasaland Stamp

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Brit-Col
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“Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel on 1960 Rhodesia & Nyasaland Stamp

Post by Brit-Col »

Greetings all,

I have two examples of the 1960 Rhodesia and Nyasaland stamp issue with a slogan cancel “The Riddle of Zimbabwe.”

The term appears as far back as 1934, if not earlier, in press and archeological references to Great Zimbabwe, which are fascinating stone ruins of an ancient fortress and palace once believed to have been the site of King Solomon’s gold mines, but now believed to have been the capital of a sophisticated African society.

The question here is, what was the event or other reason why these cancels were used? Can anyone recommend any references or further reading on the subject?
IMG_3529.jpeg
Rhodesia and Nyasaland Stamp With “Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel
Rhodesia and Nyasaland Stamp With “Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel
Thanks in advance for any help and enlightenment.

BC
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bathurst stamper
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Re: “Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel on 1960 Rhodesia & Nyasaland Stamp

Post by bathurst stamper »

I wonder if it was a tourism slogan?

The Solomon's Mines angle is interesting. I thought they were at Sofala or Ophir, supposedly in modern day Mozambique?
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Re: “Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel on 1960 Rhodesia & Nyasaland Stamp

Post by AlanLogue »

no real answer to your question, but I visited Kariba and the Great Zimbabwe ruins in the mid 70's. The ruins were a photographic heaven - just so much to see and try to understand!
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Re: “Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel on 1960 Rhodesia & Nyasaland Stamp

Post by Brit-Col »

I’m quite sure related to tourism somehow. From Google I gather there have been some books and at least one film on the subject so I wonder if there was a promotional tie-in of some kind.

And yes, photographically fascinating.
Great Zimbabwe Tower, Image from Britannica.
Great Zimbabwe Tower, Image from Britannica.
Note the tower is depicted in the cancel.

As it happens, I visited the site in 1965 so I have a personal interest. I’d really like to find out the details.

BC

P.S. King Solomon may have got his gold from any number of sources. Who’s to say?
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Brit-Col
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Re: “Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel on 1960 Rhodesia & Nyasaland Stamp

Post by Brit-Col »

It doesn’t answer the question, but I found an image of a 1950s postcard that relates to the topic.
IMG_3540.jpeg
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Re: “Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel on 1960 Rhodesia & Nyasaland Stamp

Post by Brit-Col »

There was a Central African Trade Fair in Bulawayo that was opened 11 May, 1960, by Her Majesty, The Queen Mother.

This is not a definitive answer but that is the type of event and venue where such a slogan cancel might have been used.

BC
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Re: “Riddle of Zimbabwe” Cancel on 1960 Rhodesia & Nyasaland Stamp

Post by Phila-Tourist »

Almost certainly a tourism promotion slogan cancel. By 1960, mass tourism was a global phenomenon. Rhodesia surely wasn't as popular a destination as Italy or France, but not entirely off the beaten track either. The slogan was probably aimed primarily at South African visitors and at wealthy or adventurous Brits.

That assumption would be supported if we could document the use of this postmark over several years or at least months. Many European tourism promotion slogan cancels were near-permanent and remained in use at a post office for many years, unchanged.
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