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...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ivory Coast ( Côte d'Ivoire )

1940 Scott 114 3c deep green "Baoulé Woman"
Quick History
French trading posts along the West African coast along the Gulf of Guinea, namely Assinie and Grand Bassam, were established in the 1840s, and the territory was put under a French protectorate. As part of the European "Scramble for Africa", the Ivory Coast became a colony in 1893.

Colonial Africa of 1914
To refresh the memory, here is how the colonial powers had carved up the map of Africa by 1914.
The Ivory Coast, between Liberia and the Gold Coast, was by that time an administrative member of French West Africa. But let's go back, beginning in the the 1880s....


French, British, and German controlled Territory
The "Scramble for Africa" 1880-1906
Note the French held a little coastal territory around Grand Bassam, and then spread along the Ivory Coast in 1891. The green arrows, representing French military contingent advancements, and the consequent development of outlying posts, sprung from Senegal to French Guinea, French Sudan, Upper Volta, and down to the Ivory Coast.
As mentioned, Côte d'Ivoire (the proper French name)  became a French Colony in 1892-93.  And the "Navigation and Commerce" design stamps were issued for the colony between 1892-1900.
But all the tenuous arrows and linkages shown on the map were administratively put together as "French West Africa" in 1904. French West Africa was actually administered by a single Governor based in Senegal who reported directly to the Minister of Overseas Affairs in Paris.

Map of French West Africa 1906
French settlers developed cocoa, coffee, and banana plantations in the Ivory Coast. The French colonists, who had first settled Grand Bassam, decided to move because of yellow fever epidemics. and Bingerville was the capital between 1909-1934.  But nearby Abidjan, a more economically important settlement since 1904, became the capital in 1934.

Population was 4,100,000 in 1941.
Ivory Coast Today
As mentioned, the Ivory Coast was part of the Federation of French West Africa from 1904-1958. Stamps of the Ivory Coast after 1904 have "Afrique Occidentale Francaise" inscribed on them, or the initials "AOF". 
The country became independent in 1960. The current capital since 1983 is Yamoussoukro. The leading export is cocoa and coffee.

Today the Ivorian population suffers because of civil war.

1913-35 Scott 60 45c red orange & chocolate "River Scene"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, from 1892-1944, 194 major stamp descriptions. Of those, 121 are CV <$1-$2 ( 62%). Clearly, a nice selection can be had for not much by the WW classical collector.
A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
1892 Scott 1 1c black/lilac blue with carmine colony name
"Navigation and Commerce"
Ivory Coast has the typical French colony 17 stamp "Navigation and Commerce" issue as the first production. Six stamps are CV $1+-$9+.
1906-07 Scott 22 2c chocolate
"General Louis Faidherbe"
Sharing the design with the other colonies of French West Africa, a 15 stamp issue was produced in 1906-07. CV is $1+-$6 for seven stamps. Faidherbe was the governor of Senegal.
1926 Scott 56 30c light blue & rose "River Scene"
Between 1913-35, a massive 33 stamp issue was produced. Mostly in bi-color in that inimitable French style, the only pictorial vignette shown was a "River Scene". CV is <$1-$1+ for 23 stamps.
1917 Scott 50 15c orange & rose
Postmarked "Abidjan"
Mint stamps are generally the same or higher for this series; but, for me, a nicely cancelled stamp from the Ivory Coast is inherently more interesting. ;-)
1927 Scott 57 30c dull green & green
Postmarked "Senegal"
Here is an interesting Senegal postmark on a French West Africa Ivory Coast inscribed stamp.
Could it be that the eight colonial territories that made up the Federation- Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan, French Guinea, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Dahomey, and Niger- could use each other's inscribed stamps for their own? Or was this simply a "Senegal" cancel obliterator that the Ivory Coast postal clerk happened to use?
Let's look at a more updated map of French West Africa....
Map of French West Africa 1936
Throughout the era of French West Africa, the various colonies and territories were reorganized a number of times. Its detailed philatelic history would be fun to sort out. ;-)
1922 Scott 46 5c chocolate & olive brown
A Tourist promotion slogan postmark
Among the postmarks is this one which suggests one should visit "Black Africa". Tourism is clearly an initiative here.
1924-27 Scott 85 25c on 5fr
Between 1924-27, eight of the preceding "River Scenes" stamps were overprinted. CV is $1+- for five stamps.
1933 Scott 97 4c black & yellow
Overprinted on Upper Volta, 1928
In 1933, a 16 stamp issue was produced by overprinting  1928 Upper Volta stamps. CV is <$1-$2+ for 14 stamps.
1937 Scott 156 90c red 
Paris International Exposition Issue Common Design Type
In 1937, many of the French colonies released a common design issue for the Paris International Exposition.
Ivory Coast has this 6 stamp issue (CV $1+). Ordinarily, I don't find the common design issues very interesting. Many were saved mint by stamp collectors, and a tidy profit was made by the postal service.
But ferreting out used specimens seems much more philatelically authentic to me.
1936-44 Scott 112 1c carmine rose "Baoulé Woman"
 From 1936-44, the Ivory Coast released a prodigious 41 stamp issue. The lower denominations (mostly) had the "Baoulé Woman" design, an absolutely stunning stamp. The French have a way with design, and this design particularly works well.
1936-44 Scott 119 20c ultramarine
"Mosque at Bobo-Dioulasso"
Muslims and Christians each make up about 35% of the population. The middle denomination stamps of the issue, some 9 stamps, featured the Mosque at Bobo-Dioulasso, built in 1880.
1936-44 Scott 120 25c copper red 
Postmarked "Abidjan", the economic center of the Ivory Coast
A particularly nice cancellation on a colony stamp enhances the appearance and interest. 

The CV for the first two designs of the series is <$1.
1936-44 Scott 136 1fr dark green "Coastal Scene"
The middle-high denominations of the issue had this bucolic coastal scene. The 15 stamps have a CV of <$1-$1+ for 13 stamps.
1936-44 Scott 145 2fr ultramarine
"Rapids on Comoe River"
The high denominations, some 9 stamps, have a CV of <$1-$1+. The Komoé River in the northern Ivory Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today.
Semi-Postal 1915 Scott B1 10c on 5c
Many French colonies, the Ivory Coast here, had a semi-postal issue in 1915 in support of the Red Cross. CV for this stamp is $1+.
Air Post 1940 Scott C2 2.90fr dark red
In 1940, the first Air Post issue was released, some 5 stamps, in a common design type format. CV is <$1-$1+.
Postage Due 1914 Scott J15 60c orange
Postage Due stamps are found for the Ivory Coast also. Here the 1914 issue is shown. The issue had 8 stamps with a CV of <$1-$1+.

Deep Blue
River Scene 1913-35 in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 15 pages for all the categories covered here, and follow the Scott protocol.

Of interest, the Steiner also has two pages for the 1903 parcel post stamps. These issues are on French Colonies stamps and overprinted or surcharged with "Cote d'Ivorie". The CV ranges from $10+ to hundreds of dollars. Too rich and specialized for most WW classical collectors. ;-)
1940 Scott 129 60c carmine rose "Coastal Scene"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on six pages, has 110 regular, 2 semi-postal, 5 air post, and 11 postage due. Total= 128, or 65% of all major issue stamps.

Not much to fault in BB's coverage, save it is not complete. ;-)

There are no stamps reaching the $10 CV threshold.

I should mention it is much easier putting in the stamps in Deep Blue (Steiner), as the long stamp issues are all gathered together, and follow today's catalogue sequence. BB breaks up the issues by year, so the Scott numbers tend to be scattered in the album pages, compared to today's catalogue.

Checklist

1892
1,2,(3)

1912
37,38,39,(40),

1906-07
21,22,23,(24),

1913-17
42,43,44,45,
47,50,51,58,
59,60,67,71,

1922
46,48,53,55,

Next Page

1922
63,81,

1924
84,85,

1925
82,83,

1925-26
49,56,

1925-26
64,65,66,69,

1926
87,

1927
86,88,

1927-28
57,

1930
70,73,76,

1935
96,97,98,99,100,101,102,

Next Page

1933
103,104,105,106,107,110,111,

1933
108,109,

1934
61,68,

1934
78,79,80,

1935
74,

1936
112,113,115,116,117,118,
119,120,121,124,
125,127,130,132,

Next Page

1937
152,153,154,155,

1937
156,157,

1939
163,164,

1937
159,

1939
160,161,162,

1938-40
114,123,144,146,147,
122,126,128,129,

Next Page

1938-40
131,133,
135,137,138,
140,142,

Next Page

Semi-Postal
B1,B2,

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

Postage Due
1906-07
J1,J2,J3,

1914
J9,J10,J11,J12,J13,J14,J15,J16,

End

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) (  ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) BB breaks up the issues by year, so the Scott numbers tend to be scattered in the album pages, compared to today's catalogue.

Postage Due 1914 Scott J12 20c brown
Out of the Blue
The Ivory Coast has two nicely designed and prolific stamp issues featuring native peoples and scenes.....and inexpensive. :-)

And the colonial history presents a fascinating subtext.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?



2 comments:

  1. Jim,
    I had 128 for Ivory Coast. Our Italy numbers are different, but mostly because of the Parcel Post stamps. I count each as two due to how many of them for which I have one side. Counting them as half a stamp seems strange, so I don't.
    Joe

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joe,
    I corrected the number. I appreciate that, as I only count once -knowing if I miscount, I can rely on your figures.

    Thanks! :-)

    ReplyDelete