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Chalon Head Definitive
of 1864

Map of Natal

Natal got its name because it was discovered by Portugese mariners on Christmas Day (Natal in Portugese) in 1897. The first British settlement the area of eastern south Africa now known as Natal was established in 1825. Conflict with the Zulu and with Boer settlers culminated in the annexation of the area to the Cape Colony in 1844. In 1856 Natal became a separate British crown colony. It joined the Union of South Africa in 1910. The earliest postage stamps issued for use in Natal were colourless embossed crowns issued in 1857 and 1858. Starting in 1860 and continuing until 1867 the definitives used the "Chalon Head" portrait of Queen Victoria. These stamps were reissued with a variety of overprints and surcharges until 1895 although other basic Queen Victoria definitive designs had been introduced.

1864 Queen Victoria Definitive
1864 Queen Victoria Definitive

Alfred Edward Chalon (1780-1860)was born in Geneva to French parents. His father became an instructor at Sandhurst and in 1797 Chalon began attending the Royal Academy Schools. Admitted to the academy in 1816, his portraits were popular in fashionable circles and in the Royal Court. Queen Victoria asked him to paint her first visit to the House of Lords and he received a royal appointment as a watercolour painter. The "Chalon Head" portrait of the young Queen Victoria is featured on the definitive stamps of many British colonies.

Chalon Head
Frame of Natal Definitive Superimposed on Chalon Portrait of Queen Victoria


"Alfred Edward Chalon." All Things Victorian. AngelWeb, 1 Jan. 1997.
     Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Luscombe, Stephen. "Natal Colony." The British Empire. n.d.
     Web. 15 Mar. 2015.

"Natal." Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. 2008.

Rossiter, Stuart and John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald and Co., 1986.

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