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...

Friday, October 18, 2019

Lebanon - Bud's Big Blue

Baalbek by Joseph de La Nézière (ca 1930)
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
World War I -- the great begetter of stamps and filler of BB albums -- can claim yet another country for its philatelic posterity. In that piece of the defunct Ottoman Empire called Lebanon, the War’s aftermath brought forth first some overprinted French stamps, France being the holder of the League of Nations mandate for the territory. Then came the French designed scenic miniatures from the presses of Hélio-Vaugirard, France’s preferred stamp maker for its colonies. These, not being able to keep pace with rapid changes in Lebanon, were overprinted again and again -- a typical WWI aftereffect. The supplement pages (shown below) parade this overprint circus.

The miniatures were meant to attract tourists. They’re small, though, and it’s hard to make out the scenes, especially when obscured by cancels and overprints. The descriptive word or two in the lower border helps and Scott catalogs give even better clues about what the insets represent.

On the earlier stamps, notes at the bottom edges credit Joseph de La Nézière as the artist.

La Nézière, a noted Orientalist, was in the employ of the French Colonial Office and became their official artist. He received many commissions to design stamps for French North Africa and Middle East. Not surprisingly, he fell in love with the ruins of ancient Phoenicia -- as well as those of Greek, Roman and Crusader eras -- that remain in Lebanon. His credits also appear on stamps of Syria and French Morocco.

After the mid-1930s other artists’ names appear, such as Philippe Mourani, a painter and illustrator, and Henry Cheffer, a master engraver. They, too, were deeply involved with the Orientalist aesthetic movement and its fascination with ruins, but some of their miniatures also show Lebanon as a modern, desirable and beautiful place.

The stamp miniatures whisper what the Orientalists’ paintings shout: “Visit Lebanon, archive of eternity!”

Baalbek by Philippe Mourani (ca 1934)

Census: 83 in BB spaces, eight tip-ins, 119 on supplement pages.

Note: If you are looking for Latvia (alphabetical just before Lebanon), it will be published January 20, 2020.

Jim's Observations
Lebanon was a mostly Christian country at the time (Maronite, Greek Orthodox). But it also had areas with Muslims (including Druze). A Lebanese Republic (still under French mandate) with a constitution was established on May 25, 1926. The population was 860,000 (1935), and the capital was Beirut.

The first occupation stamps of France (1919-1924) with "T.E.O.", "O.M.F.", "Syrie- Grand Liban" overprints on French stamps are listed under Syria in the Scott catalogue.

"Grand Liban" overprints, beginning in 1924, are found under Lebanon in the catalogue.

Full independence for Lebanon occurred in 1943

 Lebanon Blog Post & BB Checklist

A few notes about Big Blue and Lebanon stamp spaces...

• There is only one stamp that has a CV > $10.

• On the other hand, there are many stamps in the CV $1+-$2+ category, so not expensive, but still not the cheapest to fill, as one would expect for a French Mandate country.

• There are some issues missing where some should have been included: 1924-25 Scott 22-44, with 16 stamps CV <$1-$2+.; 1928-29 Scott 86-106 with 13 stamps CV <$1-$2+.

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Comments appreciated!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Cape Verde 1877-1913 - a closer look

1886 Scott 19 40r chocolate "King Luiz"
Perf 12 1/2
Into the Deep Blue
Cape Verde, under Portuguese influence, has to be one of the more remote island spots on earth, some 500 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean west of Senegal.

Cape Verde
From StampWorldHistory
If you take a look at the....

Original Cape Verde Post & BB Checklist,

you will notice that it is heavy on information, but sparse on illustrating Cape Verde stamps, save for a few cropped photos.

As I have presently a nice collection of classical era Cape Verde (226 spaces filled in Deep Blue out of 287 total spaces (78%)), how about a revisit? This post will cover the 1877-1913 issues, while the next post will handle 1914-1938 & "back-of-the-book" issues.

One question a collector may ask is why I don't show more scans of the various issues (showing multiple stamps in my collection) rather than featuring a single stamp from the issue? Actually, I think it is more interesting and aesthetically more pleasing  to look at one (high resolution scan) stamp from an issue - a miniature piece of art! - rather than a scan of multiple stamps from the issue.

I should mention that when I give a ball park CV(s) for a stamp or an issue, it is for a used example. Unused commands a higher CV.

1877-1913 - A closer look
1000 Reis = 1 Milreis
100 Centavos = 1 Escudo (1913)
1877 Scott 8 200r orange "Crown of Portugal"
Perf 12 1/2
The first issue for Cape Verde was a nine stamp "Crown of Portugal" typographic issue, released in 1877.

Although the "Crown" design is common across many of the Portuguese colonies, for Cape Verde, the collector has to be aware of perforation differences.

Scott lists the Perf 12 1/2 as major numbers. In addition, there are some five minor numbers for color variations.

1877 Scott 1a 5r black "Crown of Portugal'
Perf 13 1/2
The Perf 13 1/2 stamps are given minor numbers. Of interest, the Perf 13 1/2 stamps have, not uncommonly, a lower CV than the Perf 12 1/2 major numbers.

The Perf 12 1/2 stamps range in CV from $1+ to $70+. The Perf 13 1/2 stamps have CVs from $1+ to $50. 

1881 Scott 14 50r blue "Crown of Portugal'
Perf 12 1/2
A change in color for five denominations was issued between 1881-85 for the "Crown" design. CVs are $1+-$4+.

I should mention there is an error for the 40r denomination (1887 40r blue; 1881 40r yellow buff): a Cliche of Mozambique in the Cape Verde plate - this can be identified if there are at least pairs attached. CV ranges from $110 to $1,500.

1886 Scott 18 25r violet "King Luiz"
Perf 12 1/2
The embossed "King Luiz" issue of 1886 has nine stamp denominations.

Again, look for differences in perforation. All denominations have a Perf 12 1/2 example.

1886 Scott 17a 20r carmine "King Luiz"
Perf 13 1/2
Some denominations can be found in Perf 13 1/2. They can be either major or minor numbers.

CV for major numbers for the "King Luiz" issue ranges from $3 to $10+. One will note that CV prices for Cape Verde in general tend to be modest.

1894 Scott 27 20r lavender "King Carlos"
Perf 11 1/2
The 1894-95 "King Carlos" typographic issue of twelve denominations actually is found with three possible perforations. Most (but not all) Perf 11 1/2 stamps (nine denominations) are major numbers

1894-95 Scott 32a 100r brown/buff "King Carlos"
Perf 12 1/2
Perf 12 1/2 (six denominations) are mostly minor numbers.

1895 Scott 33 150 carmine/rose "King Carlos"
Perf 13 1/2
Perf 13 1/2 is a mixture of major and minor numbers (five denominations).

CV for the 1894-95 issue (major numbers) range from $1+ to $20+.

1898 Scott 37 5r orange "King Carlos"
The quite large (23 stamp denominations) and well known "King Carlos" issue of 1898-1903 is only found Perf 11 1/2, save for the rare minor number 25r sea green Perf 12 1/2 (CV $180).

I chose this used 5r orange, as it shows a Sao Vicente island cancel for Cape Verde.

CV for the issue ranges from <$1 to $30.

1902 Scott 62 115r on 10r green "King Luiz"
On Issue of 1886
Surcharged in Red or Black
In 1902, a large number of previously issued stamps were surcharged.

Nine stamps from the issue of 1886 were utilized. CV is $2+-$3+.

1902 Scott 78 400r on 300r dark blue/salmon
"King Carlos" ; On Issue of 1894
Surcharged in Black
Eleven stamps form the issue of 1894 were surcharged also. (In addition, the Newspaper stamp of 1893 was surcharged.)

CV (major numbers) is $2 to $6+. Be aware that the surcharged issue can be found with Perf 11 1/2, 12 1/2, and 13 1/2. Some of the minor number perfs have a high CV ($300). Check Scott for details.

1903 Scott 83 75r rose "King Carlos"
Overprinted in Black
Between 1902-03, four stamps were overprinted "Provisorio" as shown. CV is $1+-2+.

1905 Scott 84 50r on 65r slate blue "King Carlos"
1903 Scott 46 Surcharged in Black 
On July 1, 1905, the 65r slate blue was surcharged and released as shown. CV is $3.

1911 Scott 91 50r brown "King Carlos"
Stamps of 1898-1903 Overprinted in Carmine or Green
In 1911, a fifteen stamp overprinted "Republica" issue was released, using the "King Carlos" issue of 1908-1903.

CV is <$1-$6.

1912 Scott 105 50r dark blue :King Manuel II"
Overprinted in Carmine or Green
The ill fated King Manuel II (the revolution caught up with him) had a twelve stamp "Republica" overprinted issue released in 1912.

CV is <$1 to $3+.

1913 Scott 116 5c on 8a dark blue 
"San Gabriel, da Gama and Camoens"
On Stamps of Macao; Vasco da Gama Issue
The "common issue" Vasco da Gama themed stamps were overprinted and surcharged for Cape Verde in 1913, first on the stamps of Macao (eight stamps).

1913 Scott 121 1/2c on 5r red 
"Fleet Arriving at Calicut"
On Stamps of Portuguese Africa; Vasco da Gama Issue
Then, on the stamps of Portuguese Africa (eight stamps)..

1913 Scott 131 2 1/2c on 4a yellow green
"Muse of History"
On Stamps of Timor; Vasco da Gama Issue
Finally, on the stamps of Timor (eight stamps).

Overall, CV ranges from <$1 to $6.

1914 Scott 139 75r rose "King Carlos"
Overprint on 1903 Scott 83 in Green
In 1914, the 75r rose "Provisorio" overprinted stamp of 1903 was green overprinted "Republica", as shown. CV is $3+.

So ends our first survey. We will pick it up again with the "Ceres" issue of 1914 with the next post.

Deep Blue
1912 "King Manuel II" Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner), for 1977-1913, has nine pages for Cape Verde. All of the major numbers have a space. However, if the collector has accumulated minor numbers ( mostly different perfs), then one will need to add them nearby on the issue page, or add blank pages to the binder.

1912 Scott 110 400r black & blue "King Manuel II"
Overprinted in Carmine or Green
Out of the Blue
Our Cape Verde odyssey is half done! To be continued...

Note: I used Gerben van Gelder's map of Cape Verde for this blog post. I had general permission from him to use his maps, and as his StampWorldHistory web site is not presently active, I have included it here.\

Cape Verde - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Latakia - Bud's Big Blue

Roman “Arch of Triumph” at Latakia, ca 183 CE
on Syria, regular issue, 1961
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
If Big Blue’s Latakia stamps seem familiar, there’s good reason. They’re Syrian stamps overprinted in French and Arabic, like the stamps of the Alaouites which preceded them, for postal service in the ancient city of Latakia (Laodicea ad Mare, الْلَاذِقِيَّة‎ al-Lādhiqīyah), now part of Syria.

The French overprint continues the saga of post-World War I reconstruction, a recurring theme in Big Blue and in my comments about its stamps.

The Ottoman Empire, of which Latakia was a miniscule part, had a long and glorious history. Reaching a peak around 1500 CE, it stretched from what is now Bulgaria, through Greece and Israel and Syria, and extended into much of Saudi Arabia and along the north coast of Africa. But, at least for 200 years before WWI, it had been declining both in influence and territory. The Ottomans were accommodating to modernity poorly. Then they sided with the Central European powers during WWI and, tragically, exterminated 1.5 million of their own citizens, the Armenians. When the war ended, the victors deemed the Ottoman Empire ripe for dissolution, which occurred formally in 1922.

The League of Nations assigned (mandated) France to establish order in the Syrian part of the Empire, including Latakia, an area populated mostly by Alawites (Alaouites). 

The Alawites and the French got along badly with each other, the former being highly factional and implacably separatist. As a concession in 1930, the French renamed the area Latakia. The Alaouites stamps, as a result, stopped and the Latakia stamps started, although they were in use only until 1936 when Latakia became part of Syria. The annexation displeased the Alawites but, weak and disorganized, they mounted little resistance.

So, for some collectors the stamps of Latakia become monuments to a lost cause while, for others, only scraps in the dustbin of WWI’s aftermath (aka Big Blue).

Census: 25 in BB spaces.

Jim's Observations
The French mandate era in the Middle East following WW II  resulted in some interesting overprinted issues. And obscure and short lived states- such as Latakia. Fascinating.

Latakia Blog Post & BB Checklist

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Comments appreciated!