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. Interested? So into the Blues...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

French Guinea

1904 French Guinea 1c black/yellow green "Fulah Shepard"
Quick History
In 1894, Dahomey, Cote-d'Ivoire, and the Colony of French Guinea (former name Rivieres du Sud) became "independent" colonies, although French Guinea was actually formed in 1891. In 1904, the Afrique Occidentale Française association was formed under the Governor General in Dakar with lieutenant governors for French Guinea, Dahomey, Senegal, Cote-d'Ivoire, and Upper Senegal and Niger.

French West Africa 1906

French Guinea was a colonial possession of France until 1958, when it became independent as "Guinea".
The Capital is Conakry, a port on the Atlantic Ocean, and the population was 2,000,000 in 1941.

Modern day Guinea: Has the same borders as French Guinea
Into the Deep Blue
The generic "Navigation and Commerce" stamps for the French colonies was the first issue for French Guinea beginning in 1892. The Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 212 descriptions for regular, semi-postal, air post, and postage due categories. Some are of generic "French Colonies" origin ("Navigation and Commerce"), some of common design type ("New York World's Fair" issue), some of common French West Africa type (1906-07 "General Faidherbé" issue, 1940 Air Post issue), and the rest unique to French Guinea (1904 Fulah Shepard issues, 1913-33 "Ford at Kitim" issues). Clearly, the stamps unique to French Guinea are, for me, the most interesting.

Of the 212 descriptions in Scott, 130 are valued at <$1-$1+, or 61%. So it should not be difficult to have a representative collection of French Guinea for not much outlay for the WW classic collector.

A closer look at the stamps and issues


1892-1900 4c claret/lavender "Navigation and Commerce"
As is not unusual for French Colonies, the first issue for French Guinea is the generic, but lovely, "Navigation and Commerce" design. This 17 stamp issue was produced between 1892-1900. Five are priced <$5, while the most expensive is $80+.

1904 4c carmine/blue "Fulah Shepard"
The Fulah people and language is found in Guinea, Senegambia, Cameroon and Sudan
The first indigenous stamp design had a "Fulah Shepard" on 15 stamps issued in 1904. There was also a "Fulah Woman" 1905 postage due design released. Five of the 1904 issue are $1+, with many in the $10-$30 range.

 1912 5c on 15c violet/rose "Fulah Shepard"
As has occurred with other French Colonies issues, in 1912 stamps were surcharged with a "05" or "10". In this case, not only were seven "Navigation and Commerce" stamps used, but the Fulah issue contributed eight stamps. Be aware that these stamps also exist as minor numbers with more spacing between the numerals, and for much greater valuation.

1906-07 5c green "General Louis Faidherbé"
Although each Colony is imprinted, this issue was generic to French West Africa
In 1904, the French West Africa group of Colonies was formed, and here is an example of the first generic issue for the association (Afrique Occidental Française). This consisted of 15 stamps issued in 1906-07 with Faiderbé, Oil Palm, and Dr. Ballay designs. General Faidherbé was the Governor of Senegal from 1854-61, and 1863-65.

1913 1c violet & blue "Ford at Kitim"
SON with "Conakry", the Capital of French Guinea
The next issue was monstrous, consisting of 42 stamps, all with the "Ford at Kitim" central vignette design. As is typical for the colonial French stamps of the era, they had one color for the border, and the other for the scene. The French seemed to use every color of the rainbow for their stamps. ;-) This stamp was issued in waves from 1913-1933. This particular example illustrated above has a nice SON cancel of Conakry, the main Atlantic ocean port town and Capital.

1925 85c on 75c rose & ultramarine "Ford at Kitim"
Ten stamps from the former series were surcharged with new values from 1924-27
New values were surcharged on the design during 1924-27, as this 1925 example illustrates.

1927 1.50fr on 1fr deep blue & light blue "Ford at Kitim"
What's with the cancel?
The above example is the same surcharged issue, but that is not the reason I'm illustrating the stamp. I was curious about the postmark, and asked fellow collectors on Stamp Community Forum (http://www.stampcommunity.org/default.asp ) for information. The cancel is a Ship cancel for the "Vulcanus", from the Holland West Africa Line, that used to have shipping lanes in West Africa.  

More about the Holland West Africa company here....

And here is a pic of the "Vulcanus".

The Dutch ship "Vulcanus" launched in 1907
Fascinating! Thanks to SCF members who unraveled the postmark mystery. BTW, the SCF has a quite active WW classic stamp forum.

1938-40 3c ultramarine  "Guinea Village"
In 1938, a new four design 33 stamp issue was produced which has all the élan of French designed stamps.  Six of the stamps have the illustration above, all for CV 25 cents. I think this wonderful stamp puts the lie to the old saying " You get what you pay for". ;-)

1938-40 50c red brown "Hausa Basket Workers"
The second design is on seven stamps, and all are available for <$1. The Hausa tribe today is 15 million strong, generally Islamic, and found in northern Nigeria.

1939 90c rose violet "Forest Waterfall"
Nine stamps are found with the "Forest waterfall" design, all less than $1+.

1938-40 20fr chocolate "Guinea Women"
The last design is on nine stamps, all with catalogue value of <$1-$1+, and features "Guinea Women", and a man too. Please enlarge this stamp and admire the image!

What a pleasure it is to be a world wide classic collector. :-)

Deep Blue
Deep Blue has 15 pages for French Guinea, and I have stamps on 12 of them.

Deep Blue's page layout for the 1913-33 "Ford at Kitim" issue
Here is an example pic of the nice aesthetic layout for French Guinea as provided by Deep Blue. One of the concerns when I switched over to Deep Blue was would I have many empty pages? Actually not so. Of course, naturally, the pages are not as full as Big Blue. But the aesthetic layout, and the certainty that every stamp I acquire will have a space is rewarding and comforting.

1905 postage due 5c blue "Fulah Woman"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on five pages, has 139 spaces. Coverage is 66%. BB '69 has 7 spaces for the 1892 "Navigation and Commerce", and 7 spaces for the 1904 "Fulah Shepard". It should cost no more than $8-$10 to fill these spaces with stamps. (Of interest, the '41/'47 editions truncates the spaces to 4 and 4 respectively.)

But three blank spaces among the 1906 set raises the costs considerably.

1906
“Dr Noel Eugene Ballay”
(Scott 45) 1fr black/azure  $20
(Scott 46)  2fr blue/pink $40 mint
(Scott 47)  5fr carmine/straw $60 mint

This yields two "Most expensive Stamps" for the ($35 threshold) list. Wow!


Simple Checklist

1892-1900
1,2,3,4,5,7,(10),

1904
18,19,20,21,22,23,(25),

1906
33,34,35,36,
37,(45),(46),(47),
38,39,(41),

1913-17
63,64,65,

Next Page

1913-17
66,68,71,74,83,84,
85,96,101,

1912
48,49,50,55,
56,57,58,59,

1922
67,69,78,
80,87,105,

1924
106,107,

1925
108,109,

1925-26
70,72,75,81,88,89,

Next Page

1925-26
90,92,94,

1926
111,

1927
110,112,
73,76,93,

1928-30
82,95,99,102,

1933
98,100,

1937
120,123,
121,122,124,125,

1938-40
128,129,130,131,

Next Page1938-40
132,133,134,135,136,137,138,139,
140,141,142,143,
144,145,146,147,
148,149,150,151,
152,153,154,155,(157),(158),

1939
161,162,163,

Next Page

1939
164,165,

Semi-postal
1915
B1,

1938
B2,

Air post
1940
C1,C2,
C3,C4,C5,

Postage Due
1905
J1,J2,J3,J4,

1914
J16,J17,J18,(J19),(J20),(J21),

1938
J26,J27,J28,(J29),(J30),

Comments
A) ( ) around a number indicates a suggested blank space choice.
B) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1904
(Scott 25 ) 25c blue “Fulah Shepard”  $10+

1906
“Dr Noel Eugene Ballay”
(Scott 45) 1fr black/azure  $20
(Scott 46)  2fr blue/pink $40 mint
(Scott 47)  5fr carmine/straw $60 mint

1938 postage due 15c green "Totem"
Out of the Blue
Just when I'm thinking I should perhaps limit myself to a sub-set of classic world-wide, I am faced with these fascinating and wonderfully designed stamps. How can one resist? :-)

Note: Maps are from worldatlas, or appear to be in the public domain. The photograph appears to be in the public domain.

Drop me a comment!

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