As with so many of these promotions, you'll have to read all the way down for the twists in the story!
"A collection of 72 replica stamps depicting the great adventure of South African history."
These are arranged over twenty-four sheets, each of three transfers.
Back in 2010, adrianmunday put one the following two transfer sheets up for auction, & naturally it caught our eye.
It's entirely thanks to him that we know anything about this!
He told me that he had inherited an envelope full of about twenty of these sheets, & mostly he wanted to know what they were. I wasn't much help! I knew that Letraset had a branch in South Africa, but this was the first sign of any activity from that department. Presumably they were a promotion of some kind; possibly with breakfast cereal, but on the whole we came down on the side of a petrol station promotion — which seemed to ring a bell.
Adrian wasn't expecting me to bid, but when I did anyway & won the auction, he generously refunded my payment & sent me not only the one at auction but also another one which (as you can see) is slightly damaged — as a donation, he said, to our cause.
The only other evidence of this mystery promotion was this other photo which he supplied:
Eleven years went by, & then Susan Forlee of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, while searching for info regarding her stamps transfers came across this page & got in touch.
Susan went to a great deal of trouble to ensure we would be able to represent this promotion in its full glory; first she sent me dozens of photos, & then she went above & beyond — & arranged for a series of scans, with the result (as you can see below) that now we have an excellent view not only of many of the stamps, but also the six-page card on which they could be applied.
I was glad to see that our guess about this being a petrol station promotion was correct! And this is not an uncommon format for Shell promotions at the time, although definitely on the luxurious side.
Here's the 'outside' of the board, with the front cover on the right & the instructions & the details for each of the stamps on the left. (No need to squint just yet; you can read all this text more easily further down the page!)
And here's the 'inside' of the board, ready to be framed or otherwise displayed on your wall once complete. As with many of these promotions, it would be pretty difficult in practice to complete your board, since some of the twenty-four transfer sheets were considerably rarer than others. So unless you knew plenty of other collectors to swap with, that would be an awful lot of petrol to be consumed awfully quickly, before the promotion ended!
The instructions, which are fairly standard:
You'll note that the company running the promotion was called "Trident". Finally, here are the details for each of the stamps:
Thanks again, Susan: this has completely cleared up the mystery of the South African Stamps Transfers!
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives — adrianmunday — Susan Forlee
© Tom Vinelott 2021