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 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...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Missing C's- China: Offices Abroad (Provinces)

Manchuria Province 1927 4c olive green "For use in Ki-Hei District"
Quick History
Stamps of China were overprinted for various provinces beginning in 1915. My understanding is the overprinting was done to prevent the purchasing of stamps with the depreciated currency of a Province, and used elsewhere.

Big Blue Picture
Unfortunately, Big Blue removed the "China: Offices Abroad" page in the '69 edition, and the page was not restored in the '97 edition. The page had representation from  Offices in Tibet ( 2 spaces), the Sinkiang Province (13 spaces), the Yunnan province ( 8 spaces), and the Manchuria Province (8 spaces), for a total of 31 stamp spaces. The Szechwan Province was not represented. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 23 descriptions for Szechwan, 60 for Yunnan, 32 for Manchuria, 143 for Sinkiang, and 11 descriptions for the Offices in Tibet, for a total of 329 major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue "47 & '41 is 9%.

Reviewing the stamp selection in BB, there are some expensive varieties. The 1929 "Unification issue of China, 1928 overprinted in red" for the Sinkiang Province and the Manchuria Province has the $1 dark red for  $40+ and $50+. The" Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum issue of China overprinted in black" for the Sinkiang Province and the Manchuria Province has the $1 dark red stamps for $30+.

But there are 152! inexpensive "additionals"  if the Big Blue collector wishes to expand their China collection to the provincial overprints.

Sinkiang Province (84 stamps)
(6,7,9,10,11,13,23,24,27,30,31,32,33,39,40,43,44,47,48,49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 63 64 65, 70, 71, 72, 82, 83, 84, 85, 89, 9,0 91, 92, 93,93A,94,98,99,102,103,104,105,106,107,108,109,110,111,112,113,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122,123,127,129,130,131,132,133,134,136,137,138,139,C1,C2,) (<$1-$2+)

Yunnan Province  (27 stamps)
(8,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,21,22,29,30,31,32,37,45,46,47,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,57,) (<$1-$2+)

Manchuria Province (21 stamps)
(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,21,22,23,) (<$1-$2+)

Szechwan Province (20 stamps)
(1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,22,23,) (<$1-$2+)
Note: Scechwan Province has never been represented in BB.

The city of Shanghai , which has 192 major varieties in the Scott catalogue, IS represented in BB, so nothing more will be said about these interesting issues here.

The China Treaty Ports were ports opened up for foreign trade by the interestingly named "Unequal Treaties". These very interesting stamps were issued from 1893-1899. The stamp issues cover over 5 1/2 pages in the Classic specialized catalogue! Big Blue has no spaces for the Treaty Port issues. Admittedly, many of the ~440 stamp issues are $5+-$10+. But I will present  41 stamps (<$5) here for consideration...
1,2, J7,
Wei Hai Wei
Least expensive is 3($120+)!

Szechwan Province 1933-34 Sun Yat-sen 5c green
"For use in Szechwan Province exclusively"
Big Blue Checklist ('47 & '41)
Offices in Tibet
1,2, ($10+)

Sinkiang Province
1915-20 overprinted
1 or 17($1+), 2 or 18($1+), 19($2+), 3 or 20($1+), 4 or 21, (<$1 eN)
Note: Scott 1-16 is 1915 issue, while Scott 17-38 is 1916-19 issue. BB's illustration is from the 1915 issue, but the 1 1/2 violet (Scott 19) is only found in the 1916-19 issue, and the "1915-29" date also covers; so I include 1916-19 issue as a choice.
Note: For the 1915 issue, the first character of the overprint is 1/2 mm out of alignment to the left.
eN=except noted

(Unification issue of China, 1928 overprinted in red)
77 $1 dark red ($40+)!
(Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum issue of China overprinted in black)
78,79,80, ($1+-$2+)
81 $1 dark red ($30+)!

Yunnan Province
1925 overprinted
1,2,3($2+),4,5,6,7,9($1+),(<$1 eN)

Manchuria Province
(Unification issue of China, 1928 overprinted in red)
28 $1 dark red ($50+)!
(Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum issue of China overprinted in black)
32 $1 dark red ($30+)!

Szechwan Province 1933 Martyrs Issue
 1c orange "Ch'en Ying-shih" & 10c dull violet "Sung Chiao-jen"
Kinds of Blue
As noted, the overprinted Chinese provincial stamp coverage on one page was removed in the '69 edition, and did not return in the '97. The 31 stamp selection available in the "47 and '41 editions is outlined above.

Big Blue Bottom Line
I will include the Chinese Province stamps in my Big Blue album, either on a separate page, or perhaps by inserting the '47 page. I might very well expand the collection to include some of the 'additionals". The China Treaty Port stamps are quite interesting. Perhaps I will find some room for some of those also. :-)

If you enjoyed this post, or have some information to share, or have some constructive criticism, please share your thoughts and reactions in the "comment" section. Thanks!

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.


  1. I've never sorted the Chinese provincial overprints and Treaty Port issues accumulated in my collection. A daunting task, it seems to me. Your article may push me out of lethargy.

  2. Bud-

    What is nice is the overprint varieties tend to be inexpensive. Now the Treaty Ports...well, that is a different story.