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. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A Review of 2020: What I added to the collection August-December

Zanzibar 1936 Scott 213 10sh brown & green "Dhow"
 Into the Deep Blue

This post will review the stamps I added to my collection for August - December, 1920.

The last post looked at the January - July, 2020 time period.

Reviewing for the year and recapitulating what I said in the January-July post ....

I did achieve the goal of adding ~50 stamps roughly per month to my collection. The total for the year was 613 new stamps for Deep Blue (Steiner pages), with 85 of them also having a space in Big Blue.

For interest, here is the summary for 2019 and 2018.

As many of you know, I collect 1840-1940 WW & 1840-1952 British Commonwealth. I have some 51,000 stamps out of 83,000+ major number Scott catalogue possibilities for the era (61%). For specifics, see this post.

How did I do it? Because of COVID, little was done in the usual way (No stamp shows, club auctions etc).

And, rather than targeting missing stamps through want lists,  I mostly resorted to my old tried and true habit of obtaining country collections/accumulations/albums, and using them as feeders for my main collection.

To that end, let's look at what happened month by month for August - December.

August 55

(Colombia 22, Peru 12, Montenegro 11, South Africa 9, Great Britain 1)

The Colombia feeder album was highly successful with a total of 127 stamps added from May through August, with 22 of them in August. And Montenegro (11) and South Africa (9) were added from a WW stash picked up before COVID, and now being worked through.

But let's look at Peru...

My Peru additions are from a Peru feeder collection obtained just before the COVID lockdown from a dealer in Portland.

Dec 1858 Peru Scott 7 1d slate blue
The "Coat of Arms Un Dinero " lithographic stamps of 1858-1860 come in three designs ( 3 Scott major numbers). This specimen appears to be the Scott 7 December, 1858 (A5) design with large letters, double lined frame, and wavy lines in Spandrels (CV $45). Other issues are the Scott 3  March 1, 1858 stamp with small letters (A2) (CV $47+), and the Scott 9 1860 stamp (A7) with zigzag lines in spandrels (CV $10+ - I have this stamp).

1872 Peru Scott 15 1p orange 
"Coat of Arms" Embossed
The 1862 1d red  (A9) (CV $4+), the 1863 1p brown (A10) (CV $37+), and the 1872 1p orange (A10) (CV $55) are all embossed stamps. These stamps were printed in horizontal strips. Scott has a ominous note that "counterfeits exist" for the  A10 designs. I couldn't find enough information to tell if my specimen is genuine or not.

Peru 1937 Scott C33 1s red brown Photogravure
"Mines of Peru"
South American countries tend to issue a lot of air post stamps in the 1930s. The stamp above (CV <$1) is from a 1936-37 photogravure or engraved  issue of 24 stamps. It looks like Waterlow of London produced most of the air post stamps during this era.

Peru  1935 Scott J54 10c crimson "Pizarro"
Regular stamps of  1934-35 Overprinted in Black
For Peru, the postage due stamps of 1896-1936 sometimes used a  "deficit" overprint on regular issues.

September 50

(South Africa 3, Surinam 1, Trinidad & Tobago 1, Turkey 12, Zanzibar 4, Virgin Islands 6, Uruguay 8, 
British New Hebrides 1, Mozambique Company 1, Nicaragua 2, Norway 1, Tunisia 1, Thrace 6, Trinidad 3)

September's additions were all from the grouping of WW stamps I obtained from a local dealer prior to COVID. 

Lots of possible choices to feature here, but I chose exotic Zanzibar.

Zanzibar 1895-96 Scott  8 3a orange "Victoria"
Stamps of 1882-95 British India, Black Overprint
The first issues of Zanzibar used Indian stamps that were overprinted. The 1895-96 issue consisted of fourteen stamps, and were overprinted as shown. Note the overprinted 3a orange is CV $13+, but there are several overprinted misspellings recognized (Scott 8a "Zanzidar", Scott 8b "Zanizbar") with CV $1,150 and $7,500 respectively!

Zanzibar 1898 Scott  61A 7 1/2a lilac & red 
"Sultan Seyyid Hamed-bin-Thwain"
After 1896, the Sultans were represented on Zanzibar stamps, and the designs bear a resemblance to the Malay States stamps. (Zanzibar was a British Protectorate, not a colony.)

The engraved 1898 issue had ten stamps, and the CV of the 7 1/2 anna shown above is $20+ unused.

I should mention that, during this era, the Imperial powers traded the world's real estate as if it was a giant Monopoly board.  Specifically here, Great Britain and Germany solidified their holdings for themselves with the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty.

Zanzibar 1936 Scott 213 10sh brown & green "Dhow"
The 1936 engraved thirteen stamp issue, features, for the high denomination, this lovely 10sh brown & green "Dhow" design.  CV is $40 (unused). I must admit, these classic designs for the 1840-1940 WW period hooked me into collecting the era, and I don't regret it. !!

Zanzibar 1949 Scott 225 10sh light brown
Silver Wedding Issue - Common Design Type
Engraved: Name Typographed
I usually don't show the "common design type" for the 1948-49 Silver Wedding Issue, as some 61 British Commonwealth countries have them, and they are the same (save for different colors).

But obviously the 10 Shilling specimen was not collected as vigorously by collectors because of cost. Therefore the CV (unused) for this particular specimen is $29.

October 63

(Niue 47, Bechuanaland 10, Bechuanaland Protectorate 6)

Both the Nuie and Bechuanaland/ Bechuanaland Protectorate additions were from country collections obtained from an Oregon dealer just prior to COVID lockdown.

Let's look at Niue....

Niue 1902 Scott 4a 1p carmine "Commerce", Wmk 63, Perf 11X14
Stamps of New Zealand, Surcharged (Here Blue color)
Northeast of New Zealand, Niue (Savage Island) is located in the South Pacific Ocean. It was annexed to New Zealand, along with the Cook Islands, in 1901.

In 1902, stamps of New Zealand were surcharged in carmine, vermilion, or blue and released, resulting in six major numbers.

Wmk 63 "Double Lined N Z and Star"
The stamps can be found with Wmk 61 and Wmk 63, and unwatermarked. The example I am showing here is Wmk 63, Perf 11X14: Hence a Scott 4 variety. This variety shows no period after "PENI", and therefore Scott 4a (CV $50 (unused)). !! The ordinary Scott 4 is CV $2 unused.

Niue 1923 Scott 33 10sh red brown/blue overprint
Postal-Fiscal New Zealand stamps of 1906-15
Overprinted in Dark Blue or Red
This New Zealand postal-fiscal stamp overprinted for Niue  has a CV (unused) of $145. !!

An advantage of picking up a feeder collection is I can find unusual gems like this that I would never have put on a want list. 

Niue 1927 Scott 44 4p dull violet & black
"Avarua Harbor"
This stamp (CV $8 unused) is part of a four stamp engraved 1925-27 release. I am delighted, as this stamp also fills an empty space in Big Blue!

Niue 1935 Scott 69 6p dull orange & green "R.M.S. Monowai"
Silver Jubilee Issue - Types of 1932 Issue overprinted in Black or Red
Most Silver Jubilee issues (3 stamps) from the British Commonwealth are "common design" types. But Niue is one of the exceptions. Handsome issue! CV ranges from <$1-$6+.

Niue 1938 Scott 75 3sh yellow green & blue
"Coastal Scene with Canoe"
In 1938, a three stamp bi-color issue was released, and this lovely 3 shilling stamp (CV $22+) was included.  What a languorous image!

November 37

The dealer in Portland had broken down a very nice WW collection into country lots. I picked up a  South Australia collection which yielded 37 stamps for November, and 31 more for December.

(South Australia 37)

South Australia  October 1855 Scott 3 6p deep blue 
Wmk 6, "Victoria"
There were two engraved issues for South Australia that were imperforate: The 1855-56 "London print" (Perkins Bacon) of four stamps, and the 1856-59 "Local print" (Printer, of Stamps, Adelaide), using the Perkins Bacon plates, of five stamps. As near as I can tell, the stamps are recognized by their colors for which issue they are placed, as the printing plates were the same.

In this case, the Six Pence denomination can be found in a "deep blue" shade ("London" 1855) or a "slate blue" shade  ("Local" 1857). The CVs are identical ($200 used). My stamp appears to be the "deep blue " shade (1855 Scott 3).

South Australia 1859 Scott 10 1p yellow green "Victoria"
Wmk 6, Rouletted
There was a rouletted issue of four stamps released in 1858-59. They have the same colors as the 1856-59 "Local print" imperforate issue. There was a second rouletted issue of fourteen stamps printed between 1860-69. These have different colors than the 1858-59 rouletted issue. OK, so the one penny rouletted stamp above could be a member of 1858-59 issue if "yellow green" (CV $70), or a member of the 1860-69 issue if "sage green" (CV $55). I'm placing this stamp with the 1858-59 issue because I think the color is "yellow green". What do you think?

South Australia 1865 Scott 20 dull blue "Victoria"
As mentioned, the 1860-69 rouletted issue of fourteen stamps is known by the characteristic colors. Actually the six pence for this issue has seven colors recognized by the Scott catalogue: dull blue, sky blue, Prussian blue, ultramarine, indigo blue,  violet blue, & violet ultramarine. (If it is "slate blue:, then a member of the 1858-59 issue.)

The problem for us WW collectors is we do not have enough experience with this issue and multiple stamp examples to be sure if we have accurately determined the right color. Is this "dull blue" (CV $7+)? I note that, perusing general on-line collections of South Australia for this issue, I have my doubts they are accurate with color either.

South Australia 1860 Scott 20h violet blue
Another example of a Six Pence color variation: this definite violet shade stamp (If Scott 20h, then CV $8).

I should mention that there also exists Perforation 11 1/2-12 1/2 X roulette stamps (eight major numbers) , issued between 1867-72. 

Although I am complaining a bit about determining an accurate color designation for these engraved 1855- 1872 "Victoria" stamps, if I had the time (and money), it would be great fun investigating these stamps further. 

December 49

(South Australia 31, New South Wales 18)

I also picked up a New South Wales collection from the Portland dealer.

The "View of Sydney Harbor" imperforate stamps of 1850-51 are a specialist's delight, quite expensive, and I don't have any. ;-)

Let's look at some imperforate 1851-55 "Queen Victoria Laureates" stamps, which were engraved in Sydney by John Carmichael or H.C. Jervis.

New South Wales 1852 Scott 13 1p red
Bluish or grayish wove paper
Hard to tell with this scan, but visual examination reveals this stamp is on bluish paper. That places this stamp as an 1852 Scott 13 one penny. Shades recognized include red (major number), carmine, scarlet, and brick red. CV for the 1p red is $200. Other one penny stamps issued include the 1851 carmine on yellowish wove paper (CV $400), and 1852 1p orange brown on bluish vertically aid paper (CV $600).

As one can surmise, it is important to identify the type of paper with the "Queen Victoria Laureates" issues.

New South Wales two pence blue 
Resembles 1852 Scott 14, but a Forgery
The "Two Pence" stamp adds another layer of complexity: Plate I on has a background of wavy lines; Plate II has stars in corners; Plate III has a background of crossed lines.

Unfortunately, there are also forgeries. Note the head rear bun consists of white triangles?

Also, Scott lists some six color shades for "blue": Good luck with that! ;-)

New South Wales 6p brown
Resembles 1852 Scott 18 or 19, but a forgery
The Six pence comes in some six color shades and two plates. Plate I shows a background of fine lines; Plate II shows a background of coarse lines.

And then there are forgeries, which this stamp is a member. Note the heavy prominent vertical background lines?

New South Wales 1854 Scott 23 1p orange
Wmk 49: Double Lined Numerals Corresponding to the Value
The 1854-55 imperforate issue of nine stamps is relatively easy to figure out: They have watermarks!

The one penny orange shown here has a "1" watermark, which is the value. CV is $57+.

Out of the Blue
I hope you got something out of the parade of stamps illustrated here that were added during the 2020 year.

For next year (2021), I'm going to lower my goal to ~25 stamps added/ month. We will still be dealing with COVID restrictions for at least the first half of 2021, and I think some 25 stamps/month is more attainable. 

Comments appreciated!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Montserrat - Bud's Big Blue

Montserrat #s 75-77 -- green, red, and orange brown
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations

Rarely do stamp designs feature ghost towns. Even more rarely does a thriving city illustrated on a stamp, in subsequent years, slip into ghostdom.

Plymouth, Montserrat, provides the exception. Spry and bustling when in the 1932 series came out (see above), it was buried alive in 1995 and 1997 by a series of pyroclastic lava flows from a volcano that had lain dormant for 300 years. You can see the sleeping volcano, Chances Peak, on the stamps hovering over Plymouth.

#76, red, close-up
Note Clock Tower (partially obscured by cancel)

#76,red, close-up 2nd example
Note War Memorial Clock Tower

Magnification shows some of Plymouth’s landmarks. In the center is the War Memorial clock tower flanked by government buildings (partially obscured by cancel in the 1st example). Plymouth was Monserrat’s capital and sole port of entry. It still is the government’s official location, although no one lives or works there -- the world’s only phantom capital. Fire and ash rendered Plymouth uninhabitable. Thankfully, all residents evacuated safely then resettled in the northern part of the island or elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

Plymouth and Chances Peak during an eruption, from perspective similar to the 1932 series
Copyright © 2020 BBC

Plymouth’s War Memorial clock tower before and after devastation, a postcard

Phantom philately -- collecting stamps cancelled in ghost towns -- has a specialized following. They look for cancels from the likes of Sixteen, Montana and Thistle, Utah, or from towns with ghostly names such as Gnaw Bone, Indiana and Dead Woman Crossing, Oklahoma. In my locale, a large “haunting” of philatelists collect cancels from dead post offices (“haunting” is the collective noun for ghosts). Plymouth cancels struck during the eruptions should command high prices, if there are such, for the post office is now certainly dead.

Monserrat’s stamps remind me of another spooky matter -- a pernicious myth circulating on the internet about atrocities supposedly perpetrated against Monserrat’s early Irish immigrants. Yes, many of them were indentured servants. But allegations that equate their circumstances to horrors endured by African slaves are false, deceitful, and lacking in evidence, according to knowledgeable historians. Montserrat’s 1903 series (#s 12 thru 20) appropriately honors the island’s Irish heritage -- Erin, the female personification of Ireland holding a harp, clinging to a cross, and looking rather prosperous. The image was soon adopted as Monserrat’s coat of arms (1909).

Scott #12, green

I find the false aggrandizement of white indentured servants’ suffering disturbing, in a chilling sort of way, because some of my own ancestors were indentured servants. One of them married his master’s daughter -- a practice forbidden to African slaves. Although some indentured whites were ill-treated, reparations were commonly available once their servitude was completed. Not so for chattel slaves. For them, suffering was perpetual and hereditary.

 Census: 43 in BB spaces, 19 on supplement page.

Note: the BBC pic (above) is copyright, and is used here for educational purposes.

Jim's Observations
Montserrat (10 miles by 7 miles) was named by Christopher Columbus in November, 1893, after the Monastery of Montserrat in (now) Spain.

The English, though, had control of the island by 1632, and Montserrat became known as "The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean": partially for its lush greenery, but more because the Irish were transported there as slaves, servants, and prisoners.

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Comments appreciated!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

A Review of 2020: What I added to the collection January-July


Southern Rhodesia 1931 Scott 25 10p carmine & ultramarine
"George V"
Into the Deep Blue

The year 2020 was anything but normal as we all know. Frankly, I was distracted from the hobby for most of the period, with the disruption in our usual lives because of COVID. 

The reader will note, though, that it didn't prevent Bud and I (Jim) from publishing some 60 blog posts this year. 😎

Still, I did achieve the goal of adding ~50 stamps roughly per month to my collection. The total for the year was 613 new stamps for Deep Blue (Steiner pages), with 85 of them also having a space in Big Blue.

For interest, here is the summary for 2019 and 2018.

Recall, I collect 1840-1940 WW & 1840-1952 British Commonwealth. The easy pickings are long over, as I have some 51,000 stamps out of 83,000+ major number Scott catalogue possibilities for the era (61%). For specifics, see this post.

How did I do it? Well, as you probably guessed, it was not though browsing Dealer's tables at stamp shows (The shows were cancelled), or through Club stamp auctions (No club meetings).

And, although my plan was to target missing stamps through want lists, I mostly didn't do that either, save for the first and second issues of Hungary

No, I mostly resorted to my tried and true habit of obtaining country collections/accumulations/albums, and using them as feeders for my main collection.

For fun, let's look at what happened month by month. As there too many stamp images to present in one blog post, I will cover January-July here, with the next post looking at August-December.

Let's begin...

January 51

(Hungary 18, Southern Rhodesia 24, Tripolitania 8, Japan 1)

The Hungary accumulation will be addressed next month. The majority of the stamps this month (Southern Rhodesia, Tripolitania) were from a selection I obtained from a local dealer a year ago, and now being worked up.

Southern Rhodesia 1924 Scott 13 2sh6p black brown & blue
"King George V"
This rather heavily cancelled stamp has a CV of $70 (used). I would most likely not target an expensive stamp like this for a want list. But here it is as part of the Dealer's offering.

Southern Rhodesia 1935 Scott 17 1p scarlet "George V"
Perf 14
The collector that previously had these Southern Rhodesia's stamps was fastidious. All Perfs were checked and labeled. This (above) yielded the main Scott number.

Southern Rhodesia 1933 Scott 17b 1p scarlet "George V"
Perf 11 1/2
And Perf 11 1/2 is a minor number.

Southern Rhodesia 1931 Scott 17c 1p scarlet "George V"
Perf 12
And so is Perf 12. In fact, based on issue dates, the Perf 12 was the first 1p scarlet in 1931.

Southern Rhodesia 1931 Scott 25 10p carmine & ultramarine
"George V"
These lovely engraved stamps of 1931-37 were produced by Waterlow and Sons, Ltd, London.

Southern Rhodesia 1937 Scott 54 5sh green & blue
"King George VI"
The 1937 issue (13 stamps) for George VI consisted of this design. CV (used) is <$1 to $8.

Southern Rhodesia 1951 Scott J1 1/2p emerald
GB Stamps 1938-51 Overprinted in Black
On Great Britain stamps, the 1951 overprinted six stamp postage due issue is as shown. CV (unused) is $2+-$3.

February 67

(Hungary 67)

March 56

(Hungary 45, Bermuda 4, USA 3, Australia 2, Barbados 2)

I picked up a loaded Hungarian collection from an Oregon dealer in January: at least it was prior to the COVID lockdown. 

Hungary 1874 Scott 17 20k greenish gray; Perf 13
"Crown of St Stephen"
Hungary is one of those countries where the WW collector probably has a lot of earlier stamps, as many are CV inexpensive. But there are many Perf variants and watermarks to sort out. Have you done that? I find it is helpful to recheck stamp identification as one obtains more feeder albums and develops a more sophisticated understanding.

This rather tired looking 1874-76 "A2" design 20k greenish gray filled a space (CV $10+). 

Hungary 1898 Scott 46 50k dull red & orange
"Crown of St Stephen"
The "A3" designs of 1888-1899 need parsing (Wmks, Perfs). A space was found for the 50k dull red and orange (CV $15).

Hungary 1908 Scott 83 5k violet brown
"Franz Josef Wearing Hungarian Crown"
Perf 15; Wmk 136
Another space filled (CV $7+). There are some five catalogue numbers (major and minor) for this design: check the Perf and Wmk.

Hungary 1920 Scott 330 10k violet brown & red violet
Scott Nos 214-222 Overprinted in Black
I was lacking the 10k denomination (CV $9). Unfortunately, a review of Varro Tyler's "Focus on Forgeries" reveals that this overprint is a forgery. The genuine would have 5-7 very short horizontal shading lines placed between "1919" and the left edge of the frame around "1919".

That brings up the downside for Hungary: The numerous forgeries, especially with the overprinted examples.

Hungary 1936 Scott C44 5p dark blue "Airplane"
The 1936 Air Post issue of ten stamps has three designs, and shows a Fokker F VII airplane on all designs. CV varies between <$1 and $10+.

April 50

(Hungary 48, Burma 2)

May 50

(Hungary 47, Colombia 3)

Although I added a number of Hungarian stamps in other categories, a prime reason I obtained the collection was for the extensive Hungarian occupation issues. Let's take a look...

Issued under French Occupation: Arad Issue
1919 Scott 1N22 10f scarlet "Charles IV" (A11 design) , Blue Overprint
Overprinted on 1918 Issue
Now a MAJOR caveat.

Almost all of the overprinted occupation issues were overprint counterfeited. 

First Transylvania Issue - Romanian Occupation
Newspaper Stamp 1919 Scott 5NP1 2b orange 
The Scott catalogue states: "The overprints...have been extensively forged. Education plus working with knowledgeable dealers is mandatory in this collecting area"

Second Transylvania Issue - Romanian Occupation
1919 Scott 6N4 16b gray green "Turul and Crown of St Stephen"
On Stamps of 1913-16
In fact, any collection of Hungarian occupation issues that has not been expertised should be assumed to be mostly counterfeits.  That is reality.

So what should a collector do? For me, I am content to fill the spaces with (probable) overprint counterfeited stamps until..... at some point ( and perhaps never!) .... either I obtain the specialized knowledge, or get expertised stamps. !!!

Temesvar Issues - Under Serbian Occupation
1919 Scott 10NJ5 30f green & red
Postage Due stamps of 1914-15 Overprinted type "a" in Black
Yes, I would love to have the knowledge to tell, but I haven't seen where it is readily available. Life is too short, so I will fight, at this time, other easier counterfeit battles. ;-)

June 52

(Colombia 52)

July 50

(Colombia 50)

At the same time I picked up Hungary, I obtained a nice Colombia collection. (This was before the COVID lockdown.)

Actually, most of the Colombia collection was already discussed and published in 2020.


Colombia 1902-02 Scott 243 10c dark blue/salmon
Laid Paper; "Iron Quay at Sabanilla"
Barranquilla Issues
This is what I said about this issue..

"The 10c design was also issued between 1903-04 in dark blue on six different colored papers - each given a major number (Scott 240-245) for imperforate examples. There are also minor numbers for Perf 12 examples.

These stamps were on horizontally laid paper."

1918 Scott 353 1/2c on 20c gray black
On 1908 Scott 330 Surcharged in Red
Colombia, in my view, is in the top 2-3 counties in South America for philatelists. I sometimes regret collecting WW, as that limits me (time wise) when I have the desire to specialize - such as now. ;-)

1938 Scott 464 2c rose "Oil Wells"
Lithographed; Types of 1932
I show the 2c "Oil Wells" example, because it has three printings: the 1938 lithographic imprinted "Litografia Nacional Bogata" stamp (above); the 1932 engraved imprinted "Waterlow & Sons, Ltd, Londres" stamp, and the differently designed (but similar) 1935 engraved imprinted "American Bank Note Co." stamp. All inexpensive. All fascinating.

1921 Scott C25 5c orange yellow
"Plane over Magdalena River"
The 1921 eleven stamp air post issue (one of two designs shown above) and the 1923-28 thirteen stamp air post issue are a gateway into the extensive SCADTA - Consular overprints using these stamps. Of course, the SCADTA overprints are a major sub-specialty for Colombian philatelists.

Out of the Blue
Hope you enjoyed this little "show and tell' into the 2020 January - July stamp acquisitions.

The next post will look at August - December, 2020 additions. 

Comments appreciated!