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...

Thursday, August 4, 2011


1930 Scott 42 5l + 2l deep carmine "Francesco Ferrucci"
Overprinted, On stamps of Italy, 1930
Quick History
Cyrenaica , an Italian colony from 1919 -1934, is located on the North African coast on the Mediterranean Sea. The Capital was Bengazi, and the population in 1934 was 225,000.

A 1942 Map of the Italian Mediterranean with Benghazi noted on the north coast of Africa
The first stamps for Cyrenaica and Tripolitania were both issued in 1923 by the Italian government. In 1934, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan were united as the Italian colony of Libya. The Kingdom of Libya was declared in 1951. Finally, in 1969, the forces of Muammar al-Gaddafi  assumed control.

Map of Libya
Cyrenacia and the Bible: Simon of Cyrene, who the Romans demanded  help carry the cross of Jesus, is supposed to have come from Cyrenaica.

1926 Scott 23 1.25 dark blue "St. Francis' Death"
Overprinted, On stamps of Italy, 1926
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on four pages, has 93 stamp spaces for regular, semi-postal, and air post stamps. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 137 major descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue is 68%.

Many of the 1923-31 Cyrenaician issues are overprinted Italian stamps. Of Big Blue's coverage, almost all (90 stamps) are less expensive "mint". Prices generally for Cyrenaician stamps are a bit high; usually ranging in the $1+-$10 category. This might explain why I have few Cyrenaician stamps at the moment. :-) There is also a  "most expensive stamp" candidate, the $85 1930 B28 5L+1.50L semi-postal.

Big Blue, though, almost has "perfect" coverage, as I was only able to find only four additional stamps (<$5 CV) that could be added by the collector.

1925 "Holy Year" issue overprinted

1927 (1926 Italian semi-postals overprinted)

Air post
1926 Semi-postal Scott B9 20c + 5c blue green 
"Peace, substituting Spade for Sword"
Big Blue Checklist
1923 (1920 Italian "Fascisti issue" overprinted "CIRENAICA")

1925 Victor Emmanuel Issue overprinted

1926 St. Francis of Assisi overprinted

1927 Victor Emmanuael Issue overprinted (continued)

1927 Volta issue overprinted


29,30,31,32($10+),($5+ eN)
eN= except noted

1930 Royal wedding issue overprinted

1930 Ferucci issue overprinted

1930 Virgil issue overprinted

1931 St. Anthony of Padua issue overprinted

1934 "Carabineer"

1925 "Holy Year" issue overprinted
Blank space: suggest B4($2+)

1926 Colonial Institute issue 

1927 (1926 Italian semi-postals overprinted)

1928 "Allegory of Fasicism and Victory"

1928 "Allegory of Fasicism and Victory"-continued

1929 (1926 Italian semi-postals overprinted)

1930 (1926 Italian semi-postals overprinted)
B28 5L+1.50L indigo & green ($80+)!

(1930) "sower"

Air Post
1931 (air post stamps of Tripolitania 1931 overprinted)
C1(<$1 used),C2,C3,($2+ eN)

1932 "Arab on Camel"/"Airplane in Flight"
C6(<$1 used),C7,C8,($10+ eN)
C9(<$1 used),C10,C11,($10+ eN)

(Graft Zeppelin issue)
Type of 1932 overprinted & surcharged "Primo Volo Diretto"
One space: C20 or C21 or C22 or C23($5+) ($2+ eN)
Air Post semi-postal
'King Victor Emmanuel III" (Generic non-denominational illust & blank space)
Two spaces: CB1 or CB2 or CB3 or CB4 or CB5 or CB6($5+)
or CB7 or CB8 or CB9 or CB10 ($20+)

1934 "Transport Plane"/"Venus of Cyrene"
1932 Air Post Scott C6 50c purple
"Arab on Camel"
Kinds of Blue
The '97,'69,'47, and '41 editions are all identical in content.

1926 Scott 21 40c dark violet "Monastery of St. Damien"
Overprinted, On stamps of Italy, 1926
Big Blue Bottom Line
There is a lot more to Cyrenacian history then what is outlined in this post. The stamps themselves, almost all mint, are priced a bit on the high side.

Note: Maps, and 1928 image appear to be in the public domain.

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!

1928 image of "Littorio Palace", the Cyrenaica Parliament Building in Benghazi

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.

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