A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Bosnia & Herzegovina Pt B - a closer look

1910 Scott 58 50h dull violet "Postal Car"
Birthday Jubilee Issue Emperor Franz Josef
Into the Deep Blue
Austrian designed Bosnia & Herzegovina stamps are delightful, even if the pictorials are a little heavy on the arabesque frames. This is a continuation (Part B) of a review of B&H stamps during the classical era (1879-1918) until its absorption into Yugoslavia.

Bosnia & Herzegovina Pt A - a closer look
Bosnia & Herzegovina & BB Checklist

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Heller = 1 Krone (1900)
1910 Scott 54 30h green "Donkey Post"
Birthday Jubilee Issue Emperor Franz Josef
The thirteen stamp 1910 engraved  "Birthday Jubilee Issue" for the 80th birthday of Emperor Franz Josef, was quite similar in appearance (in color and pictorials) as the 1906 issue, except a "1810-1930" label is found at the bottom.

Since the 1906 issue was a highlight for B&H issues, a repeat is certainly not minded. ;-)

But, unlike the 1906 issue, one doesn't need to be aware of various perforations (if that is your thing), as only Perf 12 11/2 was used.

CV ranges from <$1 to $10+.

1912 Scott 64 72h carmine "Vishegrad"
Scenic Type of 1906
In 1912, three additional denominations and scenes were released in the style of the 1906 issue.

Vishegrad is in the eastern part of the country at the confluence of the Drina and Rzav river.

Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge on the River Drina
The bridge,  built between 1571 and 1577, fortunately still exists, unlike the historic bridge at Mostar, which was destroyed in 1993 during the civil war. (See the "Out of the Blue" section header with the 1910 20h dark brown stamp depicting the "Old Bridge Mostar".)

1912-14 Emperor Franz Josef Issue
Scott 80 72h dark blue
Between 1912-14, a twenty-one stamp engraved issue was released. All the stamps show the Austrian Emperor. There are four frame designs, and two portraits used.

Note these are Military Post stamps.

CV is <$1-$20 for twenty stamps.

1912-14 Scott 82 2k dark gray/blue
"Emperor Franz Josef"
The higher denominations are on colored paper, and in larger format. The 2k and the 10k stamps have this design.

1916-17 Scott 103 4k carmine/green
"Emperor Franz Josef"
Then in 1916-17, another designed Military Post set was released showing the Emperor. The set consisted of eighteen engraved stamps, and two designs.

Franz Josef died on November 21, 1916.

1917 Scott 120 3k green/blue
"Emperor Karl I"
Franz Josef was succeeded by his grandnephew Charles I. That state of affairs did not last long. With the defeat of the Empire on November 11, 1918, Charles I proved to be the last reigning monarch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

An eighteen stamp engraved set was released in 1917 depicting the new emperor.

CV is <$1-$20+.

I should mention there is also a fourteen stamp set showing Charles I, but never released in B&H because of the defeat of the Empire. However, the stamps were available for a few days at the Vienna Post Office after the Armistice in 1918. They are listed in the catalogue only as unused, and most at CV $10+. (I don't have any.)

1918 Scott 126 2h violet "View of Mostar"
Overprinted in Red
In 1918, the prior issued stamps ( the Scott 47 2h violet & the Scott 66 2h bright blue) were overprinted "1918" in red.

CV is $1+.
1914 Scott B2 12h on 10h carmine "Vrbas Valley"
Looking at semi-postals, in 1914, the 1906 issue Scott 33 5h dark green & Scott 35 10h carmine were surcharged in red.

CV is <$1 for the major numbers.

Vrbus River and Valley
The 146 mile long (235 km) Vrbus river is located in western Bosnia & Herzegovina, and is a right tributary of the Sava river. This is a scene near Banja Luka, the major city on the Vrbus.

"4" in "1914" OP is Type I
Of interest, the "4" of the red overprint "1914" comes in three types. I have two of them in my collection.

This is a close-up of Type I.

1914 Scott B1a 7h on 5h dark green 
"Narenta Pass and Prenj River"
Here is the 5h dark green which shows the Type II overprint.

"4"  in "1914" OP is Type II
A close-up of the "4" Type II.  The CV for this stamp is $3.

1915 Scott B6c 12h on 10h rose carmine "Franz Josef"
Blue Surcharge; Type III
In 1915, the 1912-14 issue Scott 68 5h green and Scott 70 10h rose carmine were surcharged in red or blue.

CV is <$1-$1+ for the major numbers.

But there is an interesting complication: the overprint is found in four types, depending on the length of the surcharge lines.

Type I: Date-18 mm; Denomination 14 mm
Type II: Date- 16 mm; Denomination 14 mm
Type III: Date- 18 mm; Denomination 16 mm
Type IV: Date- 16 mm; Denomination 16 mm

Some of the types have a CV up to $20+.

Turns out my example is a Type III (CV $1+ unused, $4+ used).

1918 Scott B20 40h violet 
"Emperor Karl I"
In 1918 a three stamp semi-postal was released, with each stamp sold at a 10h premium intended for "Karl's Fund". Note there was a similar three stamp semi-postal issue released for Austria, but labeled "Feldpost".

1904 Postage Due Scott J13 200h black, red & green
In 1904, a thirteen stamp postage due issue was printed for B&H. Major numbers in Scott have perf 12/1/2, but there are also seven more groupings (minor numbers) with various perfs in the catalogue.

The major number CV is <$1-$3, while the minor number (different perfs) CV can range up to $60+.

1916-18 Scott J26 3k dark blue
Between 1916-18, a new postage due set was released, consisting of thirteen stamps. Most of the stamps are red, but the higher values (illustrated here) are in blue.

CV ranges from <$1 to $30.

1916 Special Delivery Scott QE1 2h vermilion "Lightning"
Finally, a neat engraved "Lightning" (with Mercury depicted also) two stamp issue for special handling was released in 1916. CV is a very modest <$1.

Deep Blue
1916-17 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has fourteen pages for the 1879-1918 stamps of B&H. And, as mentioned in Part A, all the Scott major numbers have a space.

1910 Scott 52 20h dark brown
"Old Bridge Mostar"
Birthday Jubilee Issue Emperor Franz Josef
Out of the Blue
So completes a close up review of B&H stamps.

Regretfully, I didn't say much about the accompanying history. For a historical  review of the occupation by the Austro Hungarian Empire during 1898-1908, check out the Dead Countries Stamps entry. Thanks Michael!

Note: pics of the bridge at Vishegrad, and the Vrbus river appears to be in the public domain.


Comments appreciated!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

German New Guinea - Bud's Big Blue

"The South Seas are the Mediterranean of the Future"
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Germans were late entrants in the colonial land-grab race. While other European nations were claiming vast territories, Germany busied itself with German unification. Even in the 1880s Bismarck was engrossed with Europe and social reform, not Africa or the South Pacific. The above cartoon shows a contented Bismarck, his smoke blinding him to what’s happening south of the equator -- namely, representatives of other nations grabbing land. The caption reads “The South Seas are the Mediterranean of the Future.”

Procolonial interests eventually compelled the reluctant Bismarck to suit up and protect German shipping and trading. During 1884, the year the cartoon was published, Germany’s privately administered colonies, including New Guinea, hatched rapidly.  Annexation by the German Empire followed when private arrangements failed.

German stamps with numerals and eagles were overprinted for use while the private German New Guinea Company held authority. The yacht stamps appeared after the German Empire took over, the Company having fizzled in 1899.

Authentic cancels are costly. The Stephansort cancel (8 March 1902, below) was struck at a trading post for German investors in the Bismarck Archipelago. Like Bismarck himself, Stephansort no longer exists, but the Archipelago ironically still bears his name.

Some yacht stamps are said to be forgeries, their identifying feature being connected serifs on the word “Guinea.” Fake “G.R.I.” overprints are common on British Occupation issues, but BB has no spaces for these. So far as I know, none on these scans are fakes.

Cartoon credit: Wilhelm Scholz, caricaturist. “Die Südsee ist das Mittelmeer der Zukunft,” Kladderadatsch, 13 July 1884, page 128.

Census: 14 in BB spaces, three tip-ins.

Jim's Observations
Big Blue,'69, on two lines of one page, provides four spaces for the 1897 issue, and ten spaces for the 1900 (actually 1901) issue. Coverage is 61%. A nice representative selection, marred only by no room for the 1914-19 issue. (One could stuff them into the spaces reserved for the "1900" issue, but that is a stretch.)

There are no "expensive" stamps, although the 1897 issue has three stamps in the $8-$9+ range.

German New Guinea Blog Post and BB Checklist

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Comments appreciated!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Bosnia & Herzegovina Pt A - a closer look

1916 Scott B9 5h (+2h) green
"Wounded Soldier"
Into the Deep Blue
Bosnia & Herzegovina, first occupied (1879-1908), then absorbed as provinces of Austria-Hungary (1908-1918), was at the epicenter of the onset of WW I with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at Sarajevo.

Bosnia & Herzegovina 1878
For more on the history, and the BB checklist, go to the original blog post.

For a nice overall map of the Austro- Hungarian Empire up to 1918, check out  Stamp World History.

This blog post (and the next) will take a closer look at the 1879-1918 stamp issues of Bosnia & Herzegovina, all bearing a close design relationship with those of Austria-Hungary.

The 2017 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Bosnia & Herzegovina 1879-1918, 193 major number descriptions. Of those, 122 are CV <$1-$1+, or 63%. The earlier issues, of course, tend to be more expensive. Some of the later issues have a higher CV used than unused.

If you like perforation varieties, you will love B&H, because the earlier issues (1879-1906) have multiple minor number perforation varieties. My understanding is many of these perf varieties were manufactured for the philatelic trade. For me, then,, I find myself not really interested in pursuing  B&H perf varieties.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Novcica (Neukreuzer) = 1 Florin (Gulden)
100 Heller = 1  Krone (1900)
1879 Scott 6 5n rose red "Coat of Arms"
Lithographed; Type I; Perf 12 1/4
The first 1879-1898 design issue, depicting the Habsburg "Coat of Arms" for B&H, is a specialist's delight.

Note the stamp has no country text identification.

It was printed both lithographed and typographed.

It can be found with Perf 9 to 13 1/2 and Compound. The Michel Klassik Europa 1840-1900 lists 12 perf varieties for Type I. And for compound - 36 variations!

It can be found with Type I, Type II, & Type III design variations.

Scott gives the 1879-94 Type I* issue ( nine stamps) major numbers.

(*Note: the 1/2n doesn't exist as Type I: it is always Type II. )

The 1894-98 Type II issue (nine stamps) and the 1898 Type III 5n stamp are given minor numbers.

Surprisingly, the Scott Austria Specialty album only has one denomination space for the 1879-1898 B&H issue.. No breakdown by types. Terrible!

Meanwhile, Scott, for U.S. has the 1851-57 1c blue "Franklin" with types I, Ib, 1a, 1c, II, III, IIIa, IV, ALL with major numbers! Overkill for the U.S., and nothing for Bosnia & Herzegovina (Austria). !!

Fortunately, Deep Blue (Steiner) provides spaces for the types for this issue.

Type I Close-up
The three heraldic eaglets on the right escutcheon are blank
The eye of the lion is indicated by a very small dot (or no dot at all)
For the WW collector, a 10x loupe examination should be sufficient to differentiate types.

Note, for the nine stamp lithographic 1879-1894 issue, the center shield area of the "Coat of Arms" holds the clues for type I stamps. The three "eaglets" along the right side of the shield are blank inside. And the "eye" of the lion is marked by a small dot (or no dot at all).

Admittedly, there seems to not be a lot of good information (in English) on this issue. I noted, while checking the 'Bay, that there were multiple examples of type II stamps being sold as type I.

CV for the lithographic 1879-94 issue (Type I, except litho 1/2n is Type II) is <$1-$10+.

1894 Scott 7a 10n blue "Coat of Arms"
Typographed; Type II; Perf 10 1/2
Between 1894-1898, a nine stamp "Coat of Arms" issue was produced, using typography. These stamps also differ in design, being Type II. They can be founded perforated from 10 1/2 to 13 and compound.

And yet, despite the fact that this 1894-98 issue differs in design (Type II) and printing (typographed), they only have minor numbers in Scott ( 1a-10a). !!

Note one can get a clue that the above stamp was typographed, as the corners of the frame show a squeezing out of the ink.

CV for the typographic 1894-98 Type II issue is <$1-$10+.

Type II close-up
The three heraldic eaglets on the right escutcheon show a colored line
across the lowest eaglet, and sometimes on the middle eaglet
The eye of the lion is represented by a large dot that touches the head outline above it
Type IIs, when one knows what to look for, are fairly easy to determine.

The "eaglets" show a colored line in the lowest eaglet, and sometimes in the middle eaglet.

The "eye" of the lion is represented by a large dot, which touches the head outline above it.

1894 Scott 1a 1/2n black "Coat of Arms"
This stamp is typographed; Type II; Perf 10 1/2
(1/2n black stamps are only found as Type II: either 
(1st) printing lithographed (sub-type G), or (2nd) printing typographed ( sub-type H)
The 1/2n black represents a special case, as it was only produced as Type II.

One must then determine if the stamps was printed by lithography (1879-94 issue) or by typography (1894-98 issue).

Note here in the above example that the corner frames are squeezed out - probably typographed.

Type II close-up
The three heraldic eaglets on the right escutcheon show a colored line
across the lowest eaglet, and sometimes on the middle eaglet
The eye of the lion is represented by a large dot that touches the head outline above it
Note this stamp has the markings of a Type II: a line noted in the lower eaglet, and a large dot attached to the upper head outline for the "eye" of the lion.

But since all 1/2n stamps are Type II, this doesn't help much. ;-)

1/2 Novcica
There is a black dot on either side between the curved ends of the 
ornaments near the lower spandrels
Sub-type H: The dots stand clear of the curved lines - specifically the right dot, and 
stamps of this (2nd) printing are typographed
But fortunately, there is an additional sign to determine if the 1/2n black is a member of the 1879-94 lithographed issue (has the "G" sign), or a member of the 1894-98 typographed issue (has the "H" sign).

The "H" sign (illustrated here) has the right dot standing clear of the curved lines.

In contrast, for the "G" sign, the right dot would be attached to the curved line above.

1898 Scott 6b 5n rose red Type III; Perf 12 3/4
The eaglets and the eye of the lion are similar to Type I
The large eagle's feathers have two lines of shading
There is also a Type III, found only for the 5n rose red, and issued  in 1898.

Note this example has an 1898 cancel.

The large eagles's feathers also look different: cruder, with little cross hatching in the feathers ( compare with other examples shown for this blog post).

I believe this is a probable Type III, although, with the very crude large eagle feathers, I did entertain the notion if this stamp could be a forgery.

Type III is also supposed to have the same characteristics as Type I in the shield, and this stamp appears to have that.

The lowest feather does not touch the line below it
Another characteristic of Type III is the lowest feather of the large eagle does not touch the line below it. In this case, it does not. In contrast, in both Type I and Type II stamps, the lowest feather of the large eagle does touch the line below it.

CV for 1898 Scott 6b 5c rose red (Type III) is <$1.

1911 Reprint: lighter colors; very white paper; Perf 12 1/2
"Scott 5a 3n green"
Typographed; Characteristics of Type II
Another complication for the 1894-98 Type II stamps:  Typographic reprints issued in 1911!

The reprints are quite ubiquitous in feeder albums (CV for the nine stamp set: $30+).

They are on very white paper.

They were printed in lighter colors.

If one isn't sure if one has a reprint- check the perfs: they are always 12 1/2.

Reprint has Type II characteristics
And the reprints always have characteristics of Type II: a colored line within the lowest eaglet and sometimes the middle eaglet, and a large dot for the "eye" of the lion.

This doesn't exhaust the varieties for the 1879-98 "Coat of Arms" issue: there are differences in the numerals for "2", "3","10", "15". Check the Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue, or better yet, a Michel Specialized, or an Austrian Specialized catalogue.

1900 Scott 11 1h gray black, Perf 12 1/2
New design; New denominations; Typographed
In 1900, there was a change in denomination to Heller/Krone, and consequently, a new "Coat of Arms" fourteen stamp issue was released, eleven which had the above design.

This issue wasn't as complicated as the preceding issue (no "types"), but can be found with Perf 10 1/2, 12 1/2, and compound. It also exists with ribbed paper.

CV is <$1-$10+.
1911 Reprint: "Scott 17 20h rose", Perf 10 1/2
Scott 17 (20h), Scott  19 (30h), Scott 20 (40h) were reprinted in 1911
Lighter colors, very white paper
Three of the stamps (20h, 30h, 40h) were reprinted in 1911 with lighter colors and on very white paper. The 20h and 30h are Perf 10 1/2, while the 40h is Perf 12 1/2 for the reprints.

The reprints have a CV of $5, which is less than the original stamps (CV $10+). For myself, I only have reprints of these stamps.

1900 Scott 22 1k dark rose "Coat of Arms'
The three higher denominations for the 1900 issue are in a larger format with the illustrated design.

CV is <$1-$3+.
1901 Scott 27 35h blue "Coat of Arms"
Numerals in Black, Perf 12 1/2
Between 1901-04, five stamps were added with the "Coat of Arms" motif, but with the numerals in black.

CV is <$1-$1.
1906 Scott 44 2k gray green "St. Luke's Campanile"
Engraved; Perf 12 1/2
On November 1, 1906, an iconic (with collectors) sixteen stamp engraved pictorial set was released.

The entire 1906 pictorial set is shown below under the "Deep Blue" section.

In Scott, the Perf 12 1/2 stamps are given major numbers.

CV is <$1-$8.
1906 Scott 40a 40h orange red "Mail Wagon"
Perf 9 1/4
The 1906 issue is famous (infamous?) for the variety of perfs one can find. As I mentioned earlier, many of these perf combinations were apparently "philatelically inspired".

Scott lists twelve (minor number) groupings in their catalogue with a certain defined perforation. All are given a CV (often high), so obviously there is demand. In total, there are some 178 minor numbers listed.

Although, I'm not into actively collecting perf variations for this issue, I do have a quadrilled page with various perf examples harvested from feeder albums.

1906 Scott 45 5k dull blue 
"Emperor Franz Josef'
"Demonetized" 1906 Issue
I have in the collection about ten stamps from the 1906 issue that are doubly hole punched. It turns out these are examples of the 1906 issue that were "demonetized' in 1912.

1916 Scott B10 2h (+2h) magenta 
"Blind Soldier"
Turning to some interesting semi-postals, there was a two stamp set issued on March 1, 1916 showing a blind soldier (illustrated above), and a wounded soldier (see the "Out of the Blue" header for the 1918 issue version).

If one ponders the scene, and the implications for that soldier (and his family), it is a profoundly moving and sobering reality depicted on the stamp

CV is <$1..
1913 Scott P1 2h ultramarine "Bosnian Girl'
Typographed Imperforate
The four stamp imperforate 1913 Newspaper stamp issue "Bosnian Girl" is lovely indeed.

CV is <$1-$3+.

But many of us may not see this detailed portrait. Why?

"1913 Scott P4 20h green"
Lithographed Forgery
Because of the very common forgeries found for this issue! Apparently made for the packet trade in Italy, Varro Tyler estimates that the forgeries outnumber genuine stamps in collections by about 5:1.

Note the overall blurry appearance. There is also a horizontal line found jutting out into the thin white space surrounding the portrait across from the left "20" numeral: characteristic for the forgery.

Yugoslavia 1918 Scott 1L19 10h rose "Bosnian Girl'
Typrographed; Perf  11 1/2
Be aware that the B&H 1913 Newspaper imperforate stamp set was subsequently perforated, and used as regular postage by Yugoslavia in 1918. Also be aware that the B&H imperforate "Bosnian Girl" forgeries were subsequently perforated, and passed off as these Yugoslavian stamps.

Deep Blue
1906 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has fourteen pages for the 1879-1918 stamps of Bosnia & Herzegovina. All of the major Scott numbers have a space. In addition, the Steiner provides spaces for the Type I (major number), & Type II - Type III (minor number) stamps for the 1879-1898 "Coat of Arms" issue.

One will, no doubt, need to add a quadrilled page for the 1911 reprints of the 1894-98 & 1900 "Coat of Arms" issues. And additional quadrilled pages may be needed for the many perf variations (minor numbers) found among the 1879-1906 issues.

1918 Scott B17 15h (+10h) red brown 
"Wounded Soldier"
Out of the Blue
The 1879-1898 "Coat of Arms" stamps, with three design types, reprints, and multiple perf variations, would be a fascinating issue to study further.

There is more to come on B&H stamps in the next post. !!

Note: 1878 B&H map scan appears to be in the public domain.

Bosnia & Herzegovina - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

Monday, August 6, 2018

German East Africa - Bud's Big Blue

Post Office Building, Tanga, German East Africa, about 1905
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
German colonists frequently used Tanga, a city in the northeast close to the Kenya border, as their port of entry. A contemporary observer proclaimed Tanga to be more beautiful and prosperous than Dar es Salaam, the capital city; this because of coffee, sisal and cotton exports to Europe. 

No doubt, the Tanga cancel (23 May 1907, shown below) was struck in city’s bustling post office.

Notice in the above photo: 1) the line outside the post office, likely waiting mail carriers some of whom would be dispatched locally, some perhaps to the interior, 2) the characteristic German colonial architecture, 3) the signboard with the German eagle, 4) the telegraph pole, 5) the kerosene street lamp, and 6) the tram trundling along rails, powered by Africans but conveying a European who ogles the camera.

Colonists “devoured” any and all mail from home. One contemporary journaled “… for every white person in remote Africa, however monotonous or uniform his life may be, there is a recurring joyful moment when his pulse beats faster -- the unexpected appearance of a dust-covered mail carrier with a chest filled with mail from home -- even more so if the previous mail came long ago. Every little letter will be read with devotion, turned around, viewed upside down, then re-read. Every bit of newspaper, albeit months out of date, will be literally devoured and almost memorized.” The colonial stamps affixed to the replies now fill our BBs.

Note: Penciled-in “Rs” on a Bud’s Big Blue album pages indicate damaged placeholders. Here, two stamps have old cellophane tape stains. Sometimes defects don’t show up clearly on the scans. Hence, the Rs.

Sources for text: “Die Post im Innern Afrikas” Published 10 Oktober 2016 by Kunstdirektor http://kunstmuseum-hamburg.de/die-post-im-innern-afrika/. Kolonie und Heimat in Wort und Bild - 3. Jahrgang Nr. 11 - 1910-02-13 https://archive.org/stream/KolonieUndHeimatInWortUndBild. (My very free, summarized, and likely faulty translation).

Sources for text: “Die Post im Innern Afrikas” Published 10 Oktober 2016 by Kunstdirektor 

Kolonie und Heimat in Wort und Bild - 3. Jahrgang Nr. 11 - 1910-02-13 

Census: 33 in BB spaces, 1 tip-in, 12 on supplement page including three Nyasaland Protectorate stamps with “N.F.” overprints, these intended for Nyasaland military use in GEA during WWI.

Jim's Observations
The German colony of German East Africa, opposite Zanzibar, and bordering on the Indian Ocean, was established as a protectorate by the German government on March 3, 1885. When the Sultan of Zanzibar objected, five warships were sent by Otto von Bismark to the area. The British and the Germans divided the mainland among  themselves, and the Sultan had to agree.

In 1890, the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty was instituted between Germany and the British. Germany gained the islands of Heligoland in the North Sea ( A British possession since 1814), while the British were allowed to build a railway through parts of East Africa to Lake Victoria. And Germany agreed not to interfere with the British sphere of influence with the Zanzibar sultanate. 

Makes sense if one things of Africa as a Monopoly Board. ;-)

German Easy Africa Blog Post & BB Checklist

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Comments appreciated!