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...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eritrea


1924 2c on 1b brown "Elephant" & 25c on 2 1/2a blue "Lion"
 Italian Somaliland stamps overprinted in red or blue
There also exists a 1922 issue with overprinting in black
Quick History
This Italian colony of Eritrea in northeast Africa on the Red Sea ultimately became part of Italian East Africa in 1936. The Capital of Eritrea is Asmara, and the population was 60,000 in 1930.

Eritrea (or Italian Eritrea) was the first colony of the Kingdom of Italy. The colony began in 1890 with the first Italian overprinted stamps issued in 1892.  During WWII, the Italians were defeated in Eritrea, and the British occupied the land in 1941. With the Peace treaty of 1947, Eritrea was no longer an Italian colony, and the Ethiopians took control. After many years of conflict with Ethiopian rule, Eritrea finally gained Independence in 1993.

1930 15c dark green & black "Lineman" & 35c red brown & black "Lancer" 
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on nine pages, has 128 regular, 29 semi-postal, 8 air post, 4 special delivery, 6 postage due, and 6 parcel post spaces for a total of 181 stamp spaces. The 2011 Scott Classic specialized catalogue has 313 major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue is 58%.

Comments....
A) Expensive! I cringed after seeing the prices for a stamp issue in BB; and then the next issue I cringed again. It never stopped! The supply/demand is clearly tilting to the demand side here. Perhaps that is why there are not a lot of Eritrea stamps in most BB albums I've seen. It's not as if one is paying for great engraved unique stamps of Eritrea prior to 1930: No, every one is an overprinted Italian stamp, excepting  two overprinted Somalian issues.

The binned prices I use for stamp values in the catalogue often tilted towards the high end of the "bin" also. For Eritrea, if listed $2+, probably $4.50, if listed $5+, probably $9.25, if listed $10, probably $18, and so forth.

Some countries will have inexpensive stamps, but still have some "most expensive" candidates. Other countries ARE expensive, and yield a significant number of "most expensive" stamps. Eritrea is definitely in the latter category. Here is the list...


1930  Scott B32 semi-postal is 5 lira + 1.50 lira indigo & green ($85 mint)- overprinted type "f"
(on 1929 Italian semi-postal stamp)
1928-29 Scott 106 is 50c bright violet ($55 mint)-overprint type "a" on Italian stamp
1925 Scott 31 is 2 lira dark green & orange ($52.50 mint)- overprint type "a" on Italian stamp

1928 Scott 32 is 2.50 lira dark green & orange ($52.50)-overprint type "a" on Italian stamp
1916 Scott  42 is 40c brown ($37.50) -overprint type "a" on Italian stamp

B) Does all of this mean I find Eritrea not worth collecting? Not at all. :-) In fact, I like overprinted stamps, as they are generally more interesting than the plain variety. My wallet is the one that has problems. ;-)
And Eritrea does have some very nice stamps: the 1922/1924 Somalian overprinted issues, the 1930 "Lancer et al" issue, the 1934 "Camel et al" issue, the 1934 "Grant's gazelle" issue ( very large stamps!), and the 1934 Air Post issue ( Again, very large stamps).

C) Big Blue throws a few puzzlers for convoluted stamp spaces for Eritrea. First, we are dealing with Italian stamps that are not illustrated either in BB or in the Scott catalogue under Eritrea. All one sees in BB is just a series of overprint images for the spaces. One will have to look up the stamp design in "Italy" to be sure what stamp goes in which specific stamp space. O.K., fair enough. But then BB has some curveballs:

1) The  "1928-29" stamp spaces
105($10+),39($2+),106($50+),28($10+),30($10+),32($50+)
All over the Scott catalogue map! Scott 105 and 106 have the King Victor Emmanuel III "A86" design; Scott 28,30,32 have the "A46" King designs; Scott 39 has the "A49" King design. The only thing this group has in common is the type "a" ("Colonia Eritrea") overprint!

2) The "1908-21' stamp spaces
Here even the overprints are different!...and with NO warning. ;-)
35,36,37($10+),53($2+),(<$1 eN)
Scott 53 is 20c brown orange, and has a different design ("A50") and a different overprint type ("f") than Scott 35,36,37,("A48" design") (overprint type "a").
One of the real "gotcha" spaces in BB. But now you know. :-)

3) One of the best stamp issue(s) in BB for Eritrea are the surcharged Italian Somaliland varieties for 1922-25 with an "Elephant" or a "Lion" design.. Although BB only gives one space, the stamp space is compatible with the 1922 issue (Scott 58-64) with black overprint, or the 1924 issue (Scott 81-87) with red or blue overprint. They are different enough, and gorgeous enough, that one might want to split out the two issues.

4) Additionals. Reflecting the high cost of Eritrean stamps, I only found four regular stamps (<$5) that could be added by the BB collector. ;-) There were a few more semi-postals, air post and postage dues that could be added for a total of 25 stamps. Details follow.



Additionals.....
1892
3($10+)

1908-20
39

1925
93

(1930) Virgil
141,142,

semi-postal
1928
B24

1925
B9,B10,

1927
B17,B18,B19,B20,

Air Post
1936
C9,C10,C11,C12,C13,

Special Delivery
1927-35
E8

Postage due
1934
J15,J16,J17,J18,J19,J20,J21,J23,

Living together: 1928-29 Scott 39 20c lilac brown & Scott 106 50c bright violet
The "75c" space to the right has still another design
All six stamps in the row have the same "Colonia Eritrea" overprint
Big Blue Checklist
(Eritrea stamps all overprinted (mostly Italian) until 1930.)

1892 stamps of Italy overprinted 
1($5+),2($2+),4($10+)
Blank space: suggest 5($5+)

1895-99
12($5+),13($1+),14($1+)

1895-99 (continued)
15($1+),16($2+),17($2+)

1903
19,20,21,22,23($1+),(<$1 eN)
Two blank spaces: suggest 26($2+), and 29(<$1)
eN=except noted

1905
34($10+)

1908-21
35,36,37($10+),53*($2+),(<$1 eN)
*Note 53 is 20c brown orange, and has a different design and a different overprint type. One of BB "gotcha" spaces.

1908-20
40,42*($30+),43,44($20+).($2+ eN)
*Note 42 is 40c brown ($37.50); on the "most expensive" list.

1910 Government buildings at Massaua
47($20+),48($2+)

1914 Farmer plowing
49(<$1),50($2+)

1922
54,55,56,57,($1+)

1922-25 Somalian surcharged stamps overprinted; "Elephant" and "Lion" designs
58 or 81 ($5+-$10+)
59 or 82 ($5+-$10+)
60 or 83* ($2+-$5+)
61 or 84 ($2+-$5+)
62 or 85 ($2+-$5+)
63 or 86 ($10+-$5+)
64 or 87 ($10+-$5+)
Note: 1922 Scott 58-64 has black overprint; while 1924 Scott 81-87 has blue or red overprint.
*Note 83 is 10c on 1a "rose red "while BB wants 60 "claret"; but all the other denomination colors match, and it is within the dates, so I am including it as a choice.

(1922-25)
88,89($2+),90,($5+ eN)

(1922-25)
38,41,31*($50+), ($10+ eN)
*Note: 31 is 2 lira dark green & orange ($52.50); on "most expensive stamp" list.

1923 "Fascisti" issue overprinted
69,70,71,($5+)
Blank space: suggest 72($5+)

1925 "Victor Emmanuel" issue overprinted
91,92,($1+)

1924 "Manzoni" issue overprinted
75,76,($5+)

1927 "Volta" issue overprinted
102,103,104($10+),($5+ eN)

1926 "Saint Francis of Assisi" issue overprinted
94,95,96*,97,($2+)
*Note 96 is "red brown" in BB, "red violet" in Scott.

1928-29
105($10+),39($2+),106*($50+),28($10+),30($10+),32*($50+)
Note: confusing as different stamp designs, but all have the type "a" overprint.
*Note 106 is 50c bright violet ($55); on "most expensive" list.
*Note 32 is 2.50 lira dark green & orange ($52.50); on "most expensive" list.

On Italian  stamp of 1927, Overprinted Type "f"
107A *($45)
*Note 107A is 1.75l deep brown ($45); on "most expensive" list.
*Note 107A: was left off initial checklist by mistake

1929 "Monte Cassino" issue overprinted
109,110,111,112,($5+)

1929 (continued)
113($10+)

1930 "royal wedding" issue overprinted
116,117,118,($1+)

1930-31 (not overprinted!) Lancer et al
119($2+),120($2+),121,122,123,124($10+),($1+ eN)
125($5+),126($10+)

(1930) Ferrucci
129,130,($5+)
131,132,($5+)

(1930) Virgil
134*,135,($1+)
136,137,138,($1+)
139,140,($1+)
*Note 134 is 15c violet black in Scott; but "black violet" in BB.

(1931)
143,144,($1+)
145,146,148,147,($1+)

(1930) Victor Emmanuel III
150*($1+),151($1+),152,153,154,155,156($2+),157($2+),(<$1 eN)
*Note 150 7 1/2c "bister brown" in BB is "olive brown" in Scott

1934 Camel et al
158($2+),159,160,161($1+),(<$1 eN)
162,163($5+),165($2+),164,(<$1 eN)

(1934) Camel et al special overprint
Four blank spaces: suggest 170($5+),171($5+),173($10+),174($10+),

(1934) Grant's Gazelle
175,176,177,178,($2+)
179,180,($2+)

Semi-postal stamps
1915-16
B1($2+),B2($20+),B3($2+)

1928 "Fascism and victory"
B21,B22,B23,($2+)

1925 Italian "holy year" overprinted
B5,B6,B7,B8,($2+)

1926 Colonial Institute Issue
B11,B12,B13,B14,B15,B16, ($1+)

1929
B25,B26,B27,B28,($2+)

1930
B29,B30,B31,B32*($80+),($20+ eN)
*Note B32 is 5 lira + 1.50 lira indigo & green ($85); on "most expensive" list.

(1930)  "Agriculture"
B33,B34,B35,B36($5+),B37($5+),($2+ eN)

Air Post
1934 "Desert Scene; Plane & Globe
C1,C2,C3,C4,($2+)

1934 (continued)
C5,C6,($2+)

1936
C7,C8,($2+)

Special Delivery
1907
E1*($20+)
*Note: "rose" in BB is "rose red" in Scott

1920
E3($2+)

1924
E4($2+),E5($10+)

Postage Due
1903
J1($20+),J2,J3,J4($20+),($10+ eN)
Two blank spaces: suggest J7($20+) and J8($10+)

Parcel Post
1907-29
Q9,Q10,Q11,($2+)
Q12,Q23,($2+)
Blank space: suggest Q13($5+)
Note: parcel post are two stamps: one on the parcel, one kept as receipt.

The 1908-21 row: yes the last stamp belongs there!
1921 Scott 53 20c brown orange
Kinds of Blue
The '41,'47,'69 and '97 are all identical in content.

1934 Scott C5 1 lira scarlet & olive green
Doesn't it look like the plane is headed for the moon...with propellers!
Big Blue Bottom Line
Expensive and Intriguing.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!

Eritrea today


2 comments:

  1. You've created a very interesting and useful blog. In fact, partly because of it, as well as "Filling Spaces", I've become much more active in worldwide collecting in the "classic" period.

    The effort you put into this obviously represents a labor of love and is much appreciated.

    Greg

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Greg. A comment like that really keeps me going. :-)

    All of the classical era is so fascinating,I literally enjoy every blog! :-)

    ReplyDelete