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...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

French Sudan

1931-40 1c dark red & black "Sudanese Woman"
Quick History
French Sudan ( Soudan Français) was a colony that was part of French West Africa. The population was 3,800,000 in 1941, and the Capital was Bamako.

The colony first existed from 1890-99. The "Navigation and Commerce" issues were produced for French Sudan during 1894-1900. Then in 1899 the colony was split up and divided between Dahomey, French Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Senegambia and Niger. From 1906-21, part of the territory was known as  Upper Senegal and Niger.

The colony was reborn in 1921. Issues for French Sudan (under French West Africa administration) were resumed in 1921 with overprinted Upper Senegal and Niger stamps.

1936 map of French West Africa
Note "Soudan Français"
French Sudan persisted under the French realm until 1960, when the Republic of Mali gained independence.

French Sudan (green)
French West Africa (light green)
Other French Possessions (dark gray)
Now for a collector reality check. According to John Apfelbaum's blog ( BTW- a great read), French Sudan existed essentially on the maps in the Foreign Office in Paris rather then as a "real" nation state. Finding  postally used cancelled stamps from this country is unusual.
http://johnapfelbaum.blogspot.com/2011/09/french-sudan.html

Note: The new (2015) excellent website StampWorldHistory has a very nice review and map of the twists and turns of the changing border of French Sudan.

1894-1900 1c black/lilac blue "Soudan Français" in carmine
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic catalogue has 147 descriptions from 1894-1900 and 1921-40 for regular, semi-postal, air post, and postage due categories. Of those, 105, or 71%  are <$1-$1+ : so rather inexpensive to collect. Scott values "used" the same as "mint", although postally used copies are actually rare.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
As mentioned, there is a 1894-1900 seventeen stamp "Navigation & Commerce" design ranging in valuation from $1+-$50+. Then there was a 21 year hiatus.

1927 15c orange brown & violet "Camel and Rider"
Overprinted "Soudan Français" on Upper Senegal and Niger stamps
From 1921-30, a 29 stamp bi-colored issue was produced, all with the "Camel and Rider" design. These were actually overprinted Upper Senegal and Niger issues. The above stamp is "used", but I haven't been able to identify the postmark.

1931-40 5c indigo & green "Sudanese Woman"
Design found on nine lower denomination series stamps
A second large issue with 41 stamps was produced from 1931-40 using three local portraits/scenes. "Sudanese Woman" is illustrated above; rather nice, don't you think?

1931-40 3fr Prussian green & brown "Sudanese Boatman"
Part of a 41 stamp issue
The "Sudanese Boatman" design is found on fourteen higher denomination stamps. The stamps in this issue are valued for no more than $2+.

1921 postage due 5c green "numerals" overprinted
Twenty-two postage due stamps were issued for French Sudan: primarily an 1921 overprinted eight stamp issue, and a 1931 ten stamp issue. Illustrated above is an overprinted 1921 Upper Senegal and Niger stamp.

Deep Blue
The Steiner files provides twelve pages for French Sudan. No surprises, as follows the Scott catalogue exactly.

1921-30 4c black & blue "Camel and Rider"
Stamps of Upper Senegal and Niger overprinted
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on six pages, has 107 spaces for regular, semi-postal, air post and postage due categories. Coverage is 73%. Clearly, BB provides room for a nice representative collection.


Simple Checklist

1894-1900
3,4,5,6,9,(8),(13),

1921-30
21,22,23,24,25,26,
27,28,29,30,31,33,34,
39,40,41,42,44,(32),(36),

1925-27
51,52,53,54,55,56,57,

Next Page

1930-38
61,62,64,65,66,67,
68,69,70,72,73,74,
76,77,79,81,82,83,
85,86,88,91,93,94,
95,98,

Next Page

1937
106,109,
107,108,110,111,

1939
113,114,115,

1939
116,117,

1939-40
63,71,75,78,80,84,

Next Page

1939-40
87,89,92,
96,97,

Semi-Postal
1939
B1

Postage Due
1921
J1,J2,J3,J4,
J5,J6,J7,J8,

1927
J9,J10,

1931
J11,J12,J13,J14,J15,
J16,J17,J18,

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

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ( $10 Threshold)
Semi-Postal
1938
B1 1.75fr + 50c bright ultra “Curie Issue” >$10

B) ( ) around number is suggested stamp for a blank space.


1931 postage due 10c rose "numerals"
Out of the Blue
Interesting appropriate designs marred by overly long stamp series obviously intended as a revenue source. 

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Comments are appreciated!

5 comments:

  1. Hi Jim
    Per your request, I am putting together a transition chart for the French West Africa Area. I have posted a draft on the Stamp Community Family Forum and hopefully will have it up and live at DCStamps in a week or so. I would value your input. By the way, French Sudan is one of the more complicated in the area because it disappears and re-appears again and you described it perfectly. As always, I enjoy your entries.
    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is great news Michael! I look forward to the transition chart.

    You are of course right about the complicated nature of here today- gone tomorrow- French West Africa countries.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jim

    Thanks for yet another reference to StampWorldHistory. Much appreciated! Not just because it generates traffic but also as a personal encouragement.
    Actually I checked in just to let you know I have now posted a profile with an overview of all of French West Africa. If you're interested and when you have the time you may want to check it out. I certainly would be interested in any comments you may have. As the complexity of the area is staggering an 'expert review' would be much appreciated.

    Regards
    Gerben

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  4. Gerben- yes, I already checked your French West Africa, and it is full of information indeed!

    I am not an expert however. ;-)

    Jack of all trades, and a master of none. ;-)

    Thanks for the histories and maps - what a nice contribution and addition to the philatelic knowledge base.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim

      You have a way with words:

      Quote: Jack of all trades, and a master of none. ;-)

      Isn't that exactly the beauty of worldwide collecting ?!!!!

      Gerben

      Delete