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...

Thursday, November 3, 2011


1918 Scott 4 70p olive green 
Simple classic design for the first issue of Estonia
Quick History
Estonia is located on the Baltic Sea by the Gulf of Finland between Latvia and Russia.

The Estonian language is closely related to Finnish

Estonia declared its independence from Russia in 1918, and existed as a stamp issuing country from 1918-1940 when it again was absorbed by the Soviet Union.  The Capital is Tallinn, and the population was 1,100,000 in 1941.

Estonia regained its independence in 1991, and presently has the highest GDP per person among former Soviet republics.

1920 Scott 35 5m yellow & black
Viking Ship
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on four pages, has 114 stamp spaces for regular, semi-postal, and air post categories. The 2011 Scott Classic specialized catalogue has 197 major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue is 58%.

This small country managed to become independent from Russia in 1918, and maintain its sovereignty for 22 years. Perhaps that has inspired me, as I am drawn to their stamp issues.

A) The 1928-35 "Arms" issue and others of that era have an interesting colored network design embedded on the paper, no doubt to prevent re-use or counterfeiting. I believe the 14 stamp "Arms" issue has at least nine different web colors. Nice!

B) The Estonian stamps found in BB are reasonably priced. The most expensive stamp space is for a triangular 1923 Air Post C3 (15m on 5m multi, a C1 surcharged in red) at $16; while the next most expensive is a 1939 Coat of Arms Semi-postal  B44  (50s + 50s brown lake) at $14.

C) During the years 1936-1940, Estonia issued a Semi-postal four stamp "Coat of Arms" each year consisting of the armorial bearings of various districts. All of the issues (except 1936) is in BB. They usually are in the $3-$8 price range. They are highly attractive stamps. Unfortunately, I don't have any, but plan to rectify that situation. ;-)

D) Although BB's coverage is reasonably good, I did find an additional 34 stamps that could be added by the BB collector. Details below.

1919 Imperf

1920-24 Imperf Skyline of Tallinn

1922-25 Imperf & Perf  Weaver/Blacksmith designs


1928 surcharged
Note: Issue not in BB

1928-29 Arms
Comment: BB left this series too early



1940 Carrier Pigeon & Plane
Note: this issue is in Scott Part II, but in the Scott Classic catalogue, so should be included in BB.

Semi-postal stamps

1936 Coat of Arms
Note: BB includes the 1937,'38,'39, & '40 Coat of Arms issues, but not the 1936.

1921 Scott 42 50p green on pelure paper
Skyline of Tallinn
Big Blue Checklist
1918 Imperf
1,2,3,4($1+),(<$1 eN)
eN=except noted

1919 Imperf
29, 28* or 30,31,32,33, (<$1)
*Note: 28 is perf

1920 Imperf Viking ship
34($1+) or 34a*, 35($2+) or 35a* ($1+), 36($2+),(<$1 eN)
*Note: 34a and 35a are on granite paper

1920-21 Imperf  surcharged

1920-24 Imperf Skyline of Tallinn

1922-25 Imperf & Perf  Weaver/Blacksmith designs
58($2+) or 65(<$1),
59($2+) or 66(<$1),
60($2+) or 67(<$1),
61($5+) or 68(<$1),
62($5+) or 70(<$1),
63($10+) or 71(<$1),
64($5+) or 72($1+),
Note: Scott 58-64 Imperf; Scott 65-72 perf

1928-29 Arms
Note: Paper has different colored network design embedded.

1928-29 (actually 1932 issues)
108,110($2+),109,111,(<$1 eN)
Note: Paper has different colored network design embedded.

1933 Ancient Bard playing
Note: Paper has different colored network design embedded.

1936-40  Pres. Konstantin Pats
117,118,119($5+),120,121,122,124*,125,(<$1 eN)
126($2+),127($5+),128,129*($1+),130($1+),132($1+),133*($5+),(<$1 eN)
*Note: 124 is "deep blue" BB."greenish blue" in Scott;
129 is "deep blue" in BB, "dark blue" in Scott;
133 is "magenta" in BB, "bright pink" in Scott.

(1936) St. Brigetta Convent
134,135,136($1+),137($1+),(<$1 eN)

(1938) Society of Estonian scholars

(1938) continued
141,142($1+),(<$1 eN)

(1939) Health resort at Parnu
144($1+),145,146($1+),147($1+),(<$1 eN)

Semi-postal stamps

B5 or B7, B6 or B8,($1+)
Note: Scott B5-B6 Imperf; Scott B7-B8 Perf

B15,B16,B17,B18($1+),B19($1+),(<$1 eN)

1931 Red Cross issue
B20,B21,B22,B23($10+),($5+ eN)

1933 (Fund to combat tuberculosis)

1933 (continued)

1937 Coat of Arms
B32($2+),B33,B34($5+),B35($5+),(<$1 eN)

1938 Coat of Arms
B36,B37,B38($5+),B39($5+),($2+ eN)

1939 Coat of Arms
B41,B42,B43($5+),B44*($10+),($2+ eN)
*Note: B44 is 50s + 50s brown lake; at $14, the second most expensive stamp in BB for Estonia.

1940 Coat of Arms
B46,B47,B48,B49($5+),($2+ eN)

Air post stamps
Note: All Estonian Air Post in BB are triangulars.


1923 Surcharged
*Note: The triangular C3 (15m on 5m multi), a C1 surcharged in red at $16 is the most expensive stamp in BB for Estonia.

1924 Monoplane in Flight (Imperf & Perf)
C9 or C14,,C10 or C15,C11 or C16,($1+)
C12or C17,C13 or C18,($1+)
Note: Paper has different colored network design embedded.
Note: 1924 Scott C9-C13 Imperf; 1925 Scott C14-C18 Perf
Note: The Perf "1925" issue I included as a choice.

1928 1s dark gray & 20s slate blue "Arms"
Note the blue & red network on the paper
Kinds of Blue
The '69 and '97 editions are identical in content.
The '47 and '41 editions are identical in content.

The '47 and '41 editions do not offer a space for the 1924 Scott 40 25p yellow (<$1)
A bit interesting, as the '47 and '41 editions label the date "1920-21" for the "Skyline of Tallinn" issue.
The 1924 Scott 40 was not added until after the '47 edition, when the date label was changed to "1920-24".

1920 Scott C1 5m yellow black & light green "Airplane"
All of the Air Post issues in BB are triangulars
Big Blue Bottom Line
Very attractive 1920-1940 "classic" issues with a slight "Finnish" flavor.

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!

Estonia today

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