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...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


1875-79 20o rose & gray & 25o gray & green, & 1902-04 50o brown & violet
These issues can vary by normal or inverted frame, watermarks, and perforations
Quick History
Denmark is a Scandinavian country with close language ties to Sweden and Norway. A constitutional monarchy since 1849, the Kingdom of Denmark consists of Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. The country is on the Jutland peninsula, and borders the Baltic and North Sea, while Germany borders to the south. The population was 4,000,000 in 1942, and the Capital is Copenhagen.

Denmark's stamp issues are quite popular in North America, as there are many Danish descendants here. The nicely engraved and designed classic era stamps are an attraction too.

Danish stamp history: The first two issues in 1851 had the burelage printed from a copper plate, giving a slight relief to the network. Subsequent classical issues had the burelage typographed. "Burelage" are fine lines printed over the paper background to prevent counterfeiting, or to  prevent reuse of the stamp.

1864-68 Scott 13 4s red 
"Royal Emblems"
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on nine pages, has 206 stamp spaces. The 2011 Scott Specialized Classic catalogue has 399 major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue is 52%.

Big Blue has a surfeit of pages for Denmark. The last five pages is "filled" with 8 semi-postal, 6 air post, 4 postage due, 4 official, and 8 newspaper spaces for a total of 30 stamp spaces. I found 40 more stamps for the last five pages; and a total of 76 additional stamps (<$5) that could be added by the BB collector. Lots of room, so no problem there. ;-)

But we have more interesting discussion items for Denmark then that.

A) Some countries can fill stamp pages in BB without crossing the "most expensive threshold.  Not Denmark. ;-)
Here is the Denmark list...

1851 Royal Emblems Imperf
2 4rs brown ($40+)

1853-57 (dotting in spandrels) Imperf
3 2s blue ($60+)

1864-65 Royal Emblems Perf 13
11 2s blue ($30+)

1870-79 Numerals

32* or 32a  25o gray & green ($40+)
33* or 33b  50o brown & violet ($30+)
34* or 34b  100o gray & orange ($60+)

1905-06 King Christian IX
68 50o dull violet ($100)

Air Post
1925-26 airplane & plowman
C3 25o scarlet (($40+)!

There are several others that come close to the $35 inclusion threshold.

B) There are eleven spaces in BB for the 1870-79 Numeral stamps. For each of these stamp spaces, one can find a normal or inverted frame candidate. ( I have an image of both frame types elsewhere on the blog.) Then there are a number of color variations for these stamps, adding to the possibilities. But we have seen this before as BB often telescopes several choices into one space: fair enough. What is disconcerting is by setting the "date" parameters to 1870-79, BB excludes the 1895-1901 and the 1902-04 Numeral re-issues. A number of these stamps are less expensive than the choices in BB. Many BB albums will have a healthy dose of 1895-1901, and 1902-04 stamps in these spaces for the good reason that they are more common and less expensive.

So a choice for BB collectors. ;-) Adhere strictly to the date requirements, fill the spaces with the (generally) more expensive 1870-79 issue, and put any "orphan" 1895-1901 and 1902-04 issues on supplemental pages.  OR change BB's dates to "1870-1901" or "1870-1904", and welcome the later issues into Big Blue.

If you do decide to keep the 1895-1901 and 1902-1904 out of BB's pages, there is a simple way to identify them. They all are perforation 13, while the 1870-79 issue is 14X 13 1/2. Now, if you elect to keep them in, then one will need to look at watermarks to separate the 1895-1901 issue (wmk 112- rounder Crown) from the 1902-04 issue (wmk 113-more narrow Crown).

In the Checklist, I list all the 1895-01 and 1902-04 stamps for you, so you can decide what to do with them.

C) There is a similar problem for the 1882-85 "Arms" issue. The subsequent 1895-01 and 1902-04 issues are left out of BB. If you wish to include these inexpensive choices, change the inclusive dates in Big Blue to 1882-1901, or 1882-1904.

D) Among the sea of thirty stamp spaces headed by the date "1913-22", and marked in the first space by a King Christian X illustration, are two puzzling stamp description spaces. The space just to the right of the King Christian stamp cut is for a "5o dark brown". Then down the row is a "10o green". I filled most of the 30 spaces with my copies of the various King Christian X denomination stamps, but I could not find stamps for those two spaces. I opened the catalogue the next day, and my eyes wandered up the page where ..Mon Dieu!, there were the stamp descriptions in the  re-engraved Numerals stamp section; Scott 89 & 94! I wonder how many BB collectors have been baffled by this? Big Blue gives no clue.

E) The Caravel's (Ship design) were issued in 1927, and then again in 1933-34 (Type I), and 1933-40 (Type II). The 1927 issue is straightforward, but the re-engraved varieties have two types. Type II has one column of squares between the sail and left frame edge, while Type I has two columns. Big Blue mostly favors the 1933-40 Type II issues, giving all ten of them a possible space choice, while only giving one firm choice to the seven Type I issue stamps. As the engraving differences are clear at a glance, one might want to find supplementary room for the Type I's. Illustrated on this blog are the engraving differences.

Finally, the illustrated stamp cut in the first space for the 1933-40 Caravel's is bizarre; a wildly out of place 1875-79 Scott 26 4o slate & blue! I first became aware of this printing error from Bob Skinner's "Filling Spaces" blog. One can imagine the confusion this illustration cut has caused since at least the '69 edition. Ignore, and put in a 238A 15o deep red, the first stamp of the redrawn Type II issues.

Additionals... ( 76 stamps) (<$1 -$2+)

Regular issues (36)
1870-79 Numerals
Remember, for the 1870-79 Numerals, there are Inverted Frame/color variations that can be added by the BB collector. See BB Checklist.

1895-1901 Numerals
Entire issue (Scott 41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,) is R/O by BB for dates, unless one changes BB's date restrictions. Even with expansion, Scott 43,45,48 are left out.

1902-04 Numerals
Entire issue (6 stamps) is R/O by BB for dates, unless one changes BB's date restrictions. Otherwise 43a,45a,48a can be added.

85,90,91,93,95,105,109,117,119, 176,182,183,184,185,187,189,190,232,233,234,235,

Semi-postal (1)
1939 Queen Alexandrine

Late Fee stamps (5)


Comment: The Late Fee stamps are not in BB, and are very inexpensive.

Postage Due (21)
1921 overprinted

1921-30 typographed

1921-30 engraved

Official stamps (9)


Four varieties of the 4o slate & blue
Inverted frame, normal fame 1895-1901; Inverted frame, normal frame 1875-79
Compare the left upper frame vertical arabesque branching
The horizontal perforations are 13 for the 1895-1901; while 14 for the 1875-79
Big Blue Checklist
1851 Royal Emblems Imperf
2 4rs brown ($40+)

1853-57 (dotting in spandrels) Imperf
3 2s blue ($60+)
4 4s brown ($10+)

1858-62 (wavy lines in spandrels) Imperf
7 4s yellow brown ($5+)
Note: 1863 Scott 9($10+) excluded by BB for date

1864-65 Royal Emblems Perf 13
11 2s blue ($30+)
13 4s red ($5+)

1870-79  Numerals wmk 112 (rounder crown) Perf 14 X 13 1/2
16 2s gray & ultra ($20+)
25* or 25c 3o "blue & gray" in BB, gray blue & gray in Scott ($10+)
18 4s gray & carmine ($10+)
26* or 26e 4o slate & blue (<$1)
28* or 28c  8o slate & carmine (<$1)
29* or 29c  12o slate & dull lake ($2+)

(next row)
30* or 30b  16o slate & brown ($2+)
31 or 31b 20o rose & gray ($30+)
32* or 32a  25o gray & green ($40+)
33* or 33b  50o brown & violet ($30+)
34* or 34b  100o gray & orange ($60+)
Note: minor numbers listed above are inverted frame varieties
Note: minor numbers exist also for different colors
*Note: 1895-1901 Scott Perf 13, wmk 112 issue stamps, and  1902-04 Perf 13, wmk 113 (wider crown) issue stamps are ruled out by BB for dates! Specifically...

41 3o blue & gray ($5+); 1895-01 issue, wmk 112, perf 13
41c 3o blue& gray ($2+); 1902-04 issue wmk 113, perf 13
42 4o slate & blue (<$1); 1895-01 issue, wmk 112, perf 13
42b 4o slate & blue ($10+); 1902-04 issue, wmk 113, perf 13
44 8o slate & carmine (<$1); 1895-01 issue; wmk 112, perf 13
44d 8o slate & carmine ($400+)!; 1902-04 issue, wmk 113, perf 13
46 12o slate & dull lake ($2+); 1895-01 issue,wmk 112, perf 13
(next row)
47 16o slate & brown ($2+); 1895-01 issue; wmk 112, perf 13
50 25o gray & green ($10+); 1895-01 issue; wmk 112,perf 13
50b 25o gray & green ($2+); 1902-04 issue; wmk 113, perf 13
51 50o brown & violet ($20+); 1895-01 issue,wmk 112,perf 13
51b 50o brown & violet ($20+); 1902-04 issue, wmk 113, perf 13
52* 100o slate & orange ($30+); 1895-01 issue,wmk 112, perf 13
52b* 100o slate & orange ($10+); 1902-04 issue,wmk 113,perf 13
*Note on 52 & 52b: not an exact color match; BB wants gray & orange
Note: The 1895-01 issue stamps almost all exist as minor number inverted frame varieties for about the same price. The 1902-04 inverted frame varieties catalogue for a much higher valuation.

Comment: If you wish to include these stamps in BB's spaces, change the inclusion dates in BB to 1870-1901, or 1870-1904. Because of cost, may be a good idea!

1882-85 "Arms" wmk 112 (rounder crown) Perf 14 X 13 1/2
35*($100+) or 38($2+) 5o green
39 10o carmine ($2+)
37($70+) or 40 ($5+) 20o blue
*Note 35: space is illustrated in BB with small numerals in corners which would argue for 35, a $100 stamp. But the date range is 1882-85; so 38, a larger corner numeral variety, and a $2+ stamp, is allowed.
Note: 1882 Scott 35,37 are small numerals in corners; while 1884-88 Scott 38-40 are large numerals.
Note: Again BB leaves out re-issues. Specifically...
1895-01 wmk 112 perf 13
43 5o green (<$1)
45 10o rose carmine ((<$1)
48 20o blue ($5+)

1902-04 wnk 113 perf 13
43a 5o green (<$1)
45a 10o rose carmine (<$1)
48a 20o blue ($2+)
Comment: If you wish to include these inexpensive choices, change the inclusive dates in Big Blue to 1882-1901, or 1882-1904. Be aware that the 10o rose carmine for these later issues does not match BB's "carmine" specification

1901-02 "Arms"
53 1o orange (<$1)
54 15o lilac (<$1)
49 24o brown ($5+)

1904 surcharged

1905-17 large numerals
57* 1o orange(<$1)
58 or 86 2o carmine (<$1)
59 or 87 3o gray (<$1)
60 or 88 (Illust): 4o dull blue or blue ((<$1)
61* 5o deep green (<$1)
62 10o deep rose (<$1)
63 15o lilac ($1+)
64 20o dark blue(<$1)
*Note 57: 85 1o(<$1) is deep orange, so R/O by color
*Note 61: 1930 Scott 90(<$1) light green R/O for date & color

1905-06 King Christian IX
70,65 or 71,66($2+),67($5+),68*($100+),69($10+),(<$1 eN)
*Note: 68 50o dull violet ($100) !
eN=except noted

1907-12 King Frederik VIII
72,73,74*,75($1+),76*($5+),77($5+),78($5+) (<$1 eN)
*Note 74 is "bright blue" in BB, indigo in Scott
*Note 76 is "orange" in BB, deep orange in Scott

1913-22 King Christian X (and two large Numerals*)
97,89*,98($2+),99($5+),100,94*,101($5+), 102,(<$1 eN)
103,104,108,106,107($5+),110**($20+),111($2+),112($1+),(<$1 eN)
114($5+),116($2+),118($1+),120($2+),121($1+),122,123a***($10+),124,(<$1 eN)
*Note 89 & 94 are 5o dark brown & 10o green large Numeral stamps respectively in a sea of Christian V stamps! I wonder how many BB collectors have been baffled by this? Big Blue gives no clue. In fact, the Christian V "1o" illustration cut is just to the left of the "5o dark brown" description. So now you know. ;-)
**Note 110 is 27o vermilion & black ($20+)
***Note 123a is 60o brown & ultra($10+), rather than 123 60o brown & blue ($2+). BB specifies the now minor number color.

1913-22 King Christian X
125,126($20+),127,132*($1+),128,133($5+)($2+ eN)
*Note: 132 Illust of 1k: put yellow brown 1k there; 128 is 1k brown & blue.

1920-21 Roskilde Cathedral

1920-26 surcharge
162,161,163($2+),181,($1+ eN)

1920-21 castles

1924 Christian X,Christian IV, etc

1924 (continued)

178,179,180($1+),(<$1 eN)

1927-33 Caravel (solid background)
192,193($2+),194,195,196($1+),197,(<$1 eN)

1930 Christian X

1930 Christian X (continued)
212,213,214,215($5+),216($1+),217($1+),218($2+),219($1+),(<$1 eN)

1935 Hans Christian Andersen "fairy tales"
246,247($1+),248,249,250($1+),251,(<$1 eN)

1936 Church Reformation anniversary
252,253($1+),254,255,256($1+),(<$1 eN)

262,264,265,266($1+),259,261($2+),(<$1 eN)

1933-40 large Numerals (redrawn)
*Note 230 10c violet in Scott is "purple" in BB

1933-40 (1927 Caravel redrawn) Type I & Type II
238A*,238B,238C,238D,238E,233*($20+),(<$1 eN)
238F or 236,238G,238H or 237,238I or 238,238J,(<$1)
Note: 1933-34 Scott 236-8 is Type I: two columns of squares between sail & left frame line.
1933-40 Scott 238A-238J is Type II:  one column of squares.
*Note: BB's biggest printing blunder so far: a 1875-79 Scott 26 4o slate & blue illust cut placed at the beginning of the redrawn 1933-40 caravel stamp spaces. Ignore, and put in a 238A 15o deep red, the first stamp of the redrawn Type II issues.
*Note 233 is Type I 25o blue for $25+; only firm choice for Type I in BB.

1934-41 King Christian X
239,240,240A*,241,242,243($2+),(<$1 eN)
*Note 240A is a '41 issue!

1937-40 overprinted

(stamps of 1937-40 surcharged)

Semi-postal stamps
1929 Crown & Staff of Aesculapius
B3($2+),B4($5+),B5 25o deep blue ($20+)

1937 H. Hannssen, statesman, Fund
B6,B7($2+),B8($2+),(<$1 eN)

1939 Queen Alexandrine

Air Post
1925-26 airplane & plowman
C1 10o yellow green ($20+)
C3 25o scarlet (($40+)!

1934 towers of Copenhagen
C6(<$1),C7,C8,($2+ eN)
Blank space: suggest C9($2+)

Postage Due
1921 typographed

Official stamps
4o illustration"(4o "blue"*) : O13,($2+) or O18($30+)
Three blank spaces*: suggest O11($1+),O12($1+),O14(<$1)
*Note blank spaces: For blank spaces, these stamps are eligible because of BB date criteria: 1899-02 O9A;1902-06 O11.O12,O13,O14,O15; 1914-23 O16,O17,O18,O19,O21,O23,O24. Here, the 1914-23 issues are limited to year 1920 issue or earlier.
*Note 4o illustration: 1899 O9B($2+) 4o blue ruled out for date; 1875 O7($2+) 4o greenish blue ruled out for date.

Newspaper stamps
P1($2+) or P11($2+)
P2($10+) or P12($10+)
(next row)
P4($2+) or P15($2+)
P5($1+) or P16($2+)
P6($1+) or P18($150+)!
Note: 1907 Scott P1-P6 wmk 113, Perf 13 (narrow crown); 1914-15 Scott P11-P18 wmk 114( multiple crosses), perf 14X14 1/2

In a sea of 1913-22 "King Christian X" (28 stamps)
There is room for a 5o dark brown & a 10o green wavy line Numerals
Don't be afraid to put them there!
Kinds of Blue
The '97 and '69 editions are identical in content, except the 5 page layout in the '69 has been stretched to 9 pages in the '97.

Huge difference, though, between the '97/'69 and '47/'41 editions.
Missing from the '47/'41 editions are the 1933-40 definitives/overprints; 40 stamps & one whole page!
Specifically, the ...

1933-40 large Numerals (redrawn)
(Only exception: 229 10o light brown space is on the preceding page of the '47/'41)

1933-40 (1927 Caravel redrawn) Type I & Type II
236,238G,238H or 237,238I or 238,238J,(<$1)

1934-41 King Christian X
239,240,240A,241,242,243($2+),(<$1 eN)

1937-40 overprinted

(stamps of 1937-40 surcharged)

Fortunately, these large omissions were rectified by the '69 edition.

The Caravel's: 1933-40, 1933-34, & 1927 issues
Type II: one column of squares between sail and left frame; Type I: two columns
The 1927 issue has no columns (solid color)
Big Blue Bottom Line
Definitely a challenge, especially the 1870-1904 Numerals with their perforation, watermark,color,and frame variations. You know what? I like it. ;-)

Note: stamp prices are loosely binned. For specific valuations, consult a Scott catelogue

Note: If you enjoyed this blog, or can add to the discussion, or have constructive criticism, please post your comments below. Thanks!


  1. You are right about Denmark, this is tricky country to collect. What in the world the post office was thinking when they designed asymmetrical framing, nobody will ever know. Obviously the printers themselves had difficulty telling whether the stamp frames were inverted, otherwise there wouldn't be so many of them.

    1. danish bicolored stamps are some of the most collectable stamps if you're into plating. there are endless amounts of plateflaws in the frames and ovals. and people have been working to put together recontructions for almost 100years. and still there are new discoveries made almost daily.. the creator of the stamp naturally didn't intend for it to be asymmetrically, but be thankful he didn't. and also thank HH Thiele for the printing, because they did as they did alot of collectable stamps came from their work... and also some very funny stories can be drawn from the recontruction work - like how he skimmed the money from the danish King... he asked for money to get 120 "cliches" made, but now we can see that he never got that many made because we can trace the reuse of older clichés and that would mean that he most likely put that money right into his pockets :)

  2. also another thing... is the 50øre stamp on the first picture for sale?..

    i can supply you with anything you need in the bicolored section as i have pretty much everything in numbers. (i plate)

  3. I'm still in the acquisition mode rather than the sell mode. ;-)

    I agree that early Denmark is fascinating indeed.

    1. well i can offer you a replacement and add some others you might miss?
      the reason i'm interested in it is that the oval is somewhat to the south, and since i plate these i also like the oddities that might appear.
      for us platers it's always wonderful to ask questions like, was it just the one oval in the sheet, or was it some or maybe the entire sheet that turned out like this.

      so i hope we can come to some kind of arrangement.

  4. O.K., I see.

    The stamp in question is a Scott 1902-04 51b 50o brown & violet with watermark 113- "Taller Crown" CV used $20 , Perforation 13.

    If you are interested in a trade, send me an email at..


    ...Some words to confuse email scoopers....

    ...and then add @Comcast.net.

    Perhaps we can figure something out.... ;-)

    Jim J

  5. Hi Jim:

    Are you planning on doing a write-up on the Faroe Islands, or am I just not seeing the link?

    I love your site! Keep it going, brother!!

    Best Regards,


    1. Thanks for the nice words Eric.

      I didn't cover the Faroe Islands for several reasons.
      - It is not in Big Blue, which is where my main coverage derives from.
      - There is very little output during the "classical era" 1840-1940. (six stamps in Scott)
      - The stamps are expensive - $20+ being the least.

      Having said that, it is possible (but realistically not probable) that it could be covered in a future post. :-)

      All the best! Jim