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, June 10, 2014

Nicaragua

1929 Scott C6 1cor orange red 
"Airplanes over Mt. Momotombo"
Quick History
The largest of the Central American countries, Nicaragua became independent from Spain in 1821, and issued the first stamp in 1862.

One of the more bizarre episodes in Nicaragua's history occurred when an U.S. adventurer named William Walker set himself up as president of Nicaragua in 1856. He was driven out, and the Conservatives then ruled for the next 30 years.
Nicaragua
Nicaragua was one of the Central American countries that agreed to let Nicholas Frederick Seebeck and the Hamilton Bank Note Company print their stamps in exchange for unlimited reprinting rights.

From 1890-99, regular, postage due and official stamp sets were printed yearly. Even today, most of these stamps can be had  "mint" for pennies.

The good news for classical WW collectors is most stamps of Nicaragua are inexpensive even today- if you can find them. ;-)

The military dictatorship that lasted longest was the Somoza family that ruled for 43 years (1927-1979).

The  Somozas were deposed by the Sandinistas in 1979.

The Capital is Managua, and the population was 1,000,000 in 1941.

1933 Scott C86 50c rose 
"Flag of the Race Issue"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has for Nicaragua 735 regular, 253 air post, 36 air post official, 48 postage due, 384 official, 58 postal tax, 126 Province of Zelaya, and 75 Cabo Gracias a Dios major descriptive numbers. Total = 1715.

Of those, 592 out of 735 regular issues or 81%, are CV <$1-$1+. Clearly, Nicaragua is an inexpensive country to collect. But there are a lot of stamps! And, like the rest of Central American countries, the non Seebeck era stamps, especially the surcharged ones, are not that easy to find in feeder albums.

1898 Scott 99 1c brown 
"Coat of Arms of Republic of Central America"
Seebeck Issue- Wmk 117
I am not going to focus on the Seebeck era for this blog post, but a few words are in order.

For the WW classical collector, and non expert in Nicaragua, another word for Seebeck is MESS.

Consider the 1898 "Coat of Arms of Republic of Central America" Seebeck issue...
• It is either found with watermark 117 "Liberty Cap" or unwatermarked.
• The unwatermarked specimens are on slightly thicker paper than the watermarked specimens.
• Reprints on thicker porous paper are found for both watermarked and unwatermarked specimens.
• The watermarks are placed sideways for the reprints. (Example below)
• Originals have CV of <$1-$25, while reprints are valued @ 15 cents each. 

Watermark 117 "Liberty Cap"
Top Row- wmk horizontal
Right side up, and upside down examples
Bottom Row- wmk sideways
Running up and running down examples
The watermark pic above shows, for the top row, the horizontal watermarks for "genuine" stamps, either right side up or upside down.

The bottom row shows the reprint watermarks, which are sideways, either running up or running down.

So what should a WW classical era collector do?

My advice is don't spend a lot of money on these issues, because the chances are great that a dealer or another collector will not pay you a premium anyway. ;-)

Go for reprints if possible, and be done with it. ;-)

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centavos = 1 Peso
100 Centavos = 1 Cordoba (1913)

Nicaragua has a lot of classical era stamps. A through coverage would require 6-8 blog posts. Rather, I have elected to cover a sampling of the Air Post issues in this post and the next post.

1929 Scott C1 25c orange 
Regular issue of 1914-28 Overprinted in Red
The first air post issue used the regular issue of 1914-28, and has the overprint on three stamps as shown. I should say at the outset that Scott has a warning about counterfeit overprints on the more valuable stamps for C1-C66. The CV for these stamps, though, is a modest <$1-$2+.

1930 Scott C7 15c on 25c olive black 
Red Surcharge on C4
In 1929, a three stamp set was produced by the American Bank Note Company showing airplanes over Mt. Momotombo. This basic design, often with additional overprints or surcharges, was used on many stamps through 1937. Here a 1930 25c olive black is surcharged "red"- but looks red- violet in color to me.

1931 Scott C18 15c deep violet
Momotombo Type of 1929
In 1931, two new denominations and colors were introduced for the Momtombo type- a 15c deep violet and a 20c deep green.

1932 Scott C24 1cor deep carmine
"Managua Post Office Before and After Earthquake"
An earthquake leveled the Managua post office on March 31, 1931, and a five stamp set was produced to mark the disaster. The stamps were only on sale on January 1, 1932, and the proceeds were for the reconstruction of the building and the improvement of the postal service.

The originals are on soft porous paper, while the reprints are on thin hard paper.

1932 Scott C28 40c on 1cor, black surcharge
In 1932, five additional stamps were surcharged as shown on the C5 50c black brown and the C6 1cor orange red. This color here is more a lemon yellow, wouldn't you say?

1932 Scott C50 2c on 3c light blue
Regular issue of 1914-32 Surcharged in Black
In 1932, a 14  stamp set was produced by surcharging in black the regular issue of 1914-32. CV ranges from <$1-$3. Note this issue was intended for interior air post.

1932 Scott C67 15c dark violet
"La Chocolata Cut"
Rivas Railroad Issue
For the inauguration of the railroad from San Jorge to to San Juan del Sur on December 18, 1932, a  five stamp air post and a five stamp regular issue was produced. This large (in physical size) stamp issue was lithographed- rather poorly for the attempted level of detail that is portrayed. These issues were only on sale on December 18, 1932. CV for the air post issue stamp is $20.

1932 Scott C74 25c dark brown "Malpaicillo Station"
Leon-Sauce Railroad Issue
A similar five stamp air post issue ( and five stamp regular issue) was produced for the new railroad line from Leon to El Sauce. These were only on sale December 30, 1932. Notice a pattern here? ;-) The CV is $20, and the genuine issue is on soft porous paper.

1933 Scott C87 1cor green 
"Flag of the Race Issue"
In 1933, an eleven stamp issue was produced for air post use ( a regular issue was produced as well). These stamps commemorate the symbolical raising of the "Flag of the Race". The flag shows three crosses for the three ships of Columbus.

1933 Scott C100 24c on 25c vermilion
Stamps and Types of 1928-31 Surcharged in Black
In 1933, a 14 stamp issue was created by surcharging in black as shown.

Note the control marks- facsimile signatures of the Minister of Public Works and the Postmaster General.

1933 Scott C109  55c on 1cor green
Type of Air Post Stamps of 1929 Surcharged in Black
In 1933, a four stamp set was produced with surcharges, and was based on the 1929 "Momotombo" design. But one will note the color is new for the denomination.

1934 Scott C110 10c on 20c green 
C19 Surcharged in Red
For air service to Central America in 1934, a surcharged 1931 C19 stamp was produced. 

1935-36 Scott C117 30c on 50c orange red
C106 overprinted in Blue
A blue vertical overprint "Resello 1935" was applied  here to an C106 "orange red". (appears more orange!). 

These stamps were issued in 1935, and the overprint was on nine stamps. The blue overprint was applied to 14 more air post stamps in 1936. (There are also regular issues with the same overprint.)

We will continue with the next post....

Deep Blue
1933 Air Post Surcharged Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 115! pages for Nicaragua, and covers all the major numbers. Nice!

1933 Scott C102 32c on 50c violet
Stamps and Types of 1928-31 Surcharged in Black
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on eighteen pages, has 568 spaces. The Scott album, minus the provincial stamps, has 1514 major stamp descriptions. Coverage is 38%. BB does a good job of covering the straight issues, but much less so with all the surcharged issues. And that is a pity, because the locally surcharged issues is where the philatelic interest lies. ;-)

Still, Nicaragua is number eight in total stamp spaces in BB,  getting edged out for seventh by Salvador. But if one can fill all the spaces, well, that is a challenge indeed!

Observations....
• Only two - yes two- stamps crossed the $10 threshold. ! None are in the $35 "Most Expensive category".
(But, read about the 1894 25c yellow green "Victory" stamp space below ;-)
• The Seebeck era (1890-99) offers choices between unwatermarked and watermark 117 "Liberty cap" stamps.

And, last, but not least....
• There is an interesting 1894 "Victory"stamp space (25c yellow green) that might be quite difficult to fill. Perhaps, not quite at the level of Syria Scott 106c 25c on 10c green (error), but a challenge nevertheless.

1894 Scott "65B" 25c yellow green (Type A9)
Look for this illustrated 25c yellow green "Victory" stamp to fill a space in BB
There was an 1894  25c yellow green "Victory" stamp produced during the Seebeck era, but Scott now believes it only had telegraph duty, not postal duty. Therefore there is no Scott number now assigned to the stamp, although my '47 Scott has "65B" for it, and valued it in italics @ $5. Just based on inflation, that would be a value of $50 today.

And BB has a space designated for this stamp. Good luck! ;-)

Checklist

1862-71
3,1 or 4, 2 or 5, 6,7,
8,9,10,11,12,

1882
13,14,15,16,17,18,19,

(Seebeck era 1890-99: Caveat emptor)

1890
20,21,22,23,24,25,
26,27,28,29,

1891
30,31,32,33,34,35,

Next Page

1891
36,37,38,39,

1892
40,41,42,
43,44,45,46,47,48,49,

1893
51,52,53,54,55,56,
57,58,59,60,

1894
61,62,63,64,65,"25c yellow green"*,66,
67,68,69,70,

Next Page

1895
71,72,73,74,75,76,
77,78,79,80,

1896*
81 or 89A,82 or 89B,83 or 89C,84 or 89D,85 or 89E,86 or 89F,
87 or 89G,88 or 89H,89 or 89I,

1897*
90 or 98A,91 or 98B,92 or 98C,93 or 98D,
94 or 98E,95 or 98F,96 or 98G,97 or 98H,98 or 98I,

1898*
99 or 109A,100 or 109B,101 or 109D,102 or 109E,103 or 109G,104 or 109H,105 or 109I,

1899
110,111,112,113,114,115,116,

Next Page

1899
117,118,119,120,

1900-02
121,122,123,124,125 or 159,
127 or 161,128,129,(130),160,

1901-02
144,(145),162,(163),(146),

1901*
152,153,154,155,156,157,

1903-04
167,168,169,170,171,172,
173,174,

Next Page

1904-05
175,176,178,

1905-07
179 or 202,180,181,
182,183,184,185,186 or 206,187 or 207,(188),

1906-08
212,194,213,215,(196),197,(198),

1908
221,222,223,217,218,

1909
226,227,

1909
237,238,239,240,241,242,
243,244,245,246,247,248,

Next Page

1910
249,254,255,(250),

1910-11
256*,260,261,262,263,264,265,

1911
266,268,269,270,272,273,278,(276),
279,280,281,282,283,290,291,

1911
292,293,294,

1912
295,296,297,
298,299,300,301,302,303,304,

Next Page

1912
305,306,307,

1913
310,

1913
313,311,312,314,315,316,317,
318,320,321,322,323,324,
325,326,327,328,329,
330,331,333,334,335,336,337,

1913
338,339,

1914
340,341,342,343,344,346,

Next Page

1914-22
349,408,350,409,351,410,
352,411,353,354,356,

1918-21
366,367,368,370,372,
381,385,387,388,389,

1921
401,402,403,404,405,406,
407,

1924
422,423,424,425,

1928
453,454,455,456,457,458,

Next  Page

1928
483,484,485,486,487,488,
489,490,491,492,(494),

1930
525,526,527,528,529,530,

1931
540,541,542,543,544,545,
546,(548),515,518,(519),(520),

1933
587,588,589,590,
591,592,593,

Next Page

1937
652,653,654,655,656,657,
658,659,660,661,662,663,
665,666,667,668,669,
670,

1939
674,675,676,
677,678,679,680,
681,682,683,

Next Page

Air Post
1929-31
C18,C19,C4,

1932
C21,

1932-36
(C50),C49,C92,(C93),(C94),
C121,(C122),(C123),(C124),(C125),

1933
C77,C78,C79,C80,C81,

1937
C186,C187,C188,
C189,C190,C191,

Next Page

(Air Post)
1937
C193,C194,C195,C196,
C197,C198,C199,C200,
C201,C202,

C203,C204,C205,C206,
C207,C208,C209,C210,
C211,C212,

Next Page

(Air Post)
1937
C215,C216,
C217,C218,C219,
C220,C221,

1939
C222,C223,C224,C225,
C226,C227,C228,C236,
C237,C238,C239,C240,

Next Page

(Air Post)
1939-40
C229,C230,C231,C232,C233,
C234,C241,C242,C235,
C243,C244,C246,C247,
C245,C248,C250,C249,
C251,C253,C252,

Next Page

Postal Tax Stamps
1937
RA55,RA56,RA57,RA58,

Official Air Post Stamps
1939
CO30,CO31,CO32,CO33,CO34,
CO35,CO36,

Official Stamps
1890
O1,O2,O3,O4,O5,O6,
O7,O8,O9,O10,

Next Page

(Official Stamps)
1891
O11,O12,O13,O14,O15,O16,
O17,O18,O19,O20,

1892
O21,O22,O23,O24,O25,O26,
O27,O28,O29,O30,

1893
O31,O32,O33,O34,O35,O36,
O37,O38,O39,O40,O41,

Next Page

(Official Stamps)
O42,O43,O44,O45,O46,O47,
O48,O49,O50,O51,

1895*
O52 or O62,O53 or O63,O54 or O64,O55 or O65,O56 or O66,O57 or O67,
O58 or O68,O59 or O69,O60 or O70,O61 or O71,

1899
O129,O130,O131,O132,O133,O134,O135,
O136,O137,O138,O139,

1903
O150,O151,

1912
O245,O246,O247,O248,O249,O250,O251,

Next Page

(Official Stamps)
1907
O178,O179,O180,(O181),

1908
O204,O205,O206,

1915
O260,O261,O263,O264,(O262),(O265),

1926
O283,O284,O285,O286,O287,

1932
O301,O302,O303,O304,O305,

1933
O320,O321,O322,O323,O324,

1939
O377,O378,O379,O380,

End

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1897 Scott 97 2p claret ($10+)
1897 Scott 98 5p deep blue ($20)
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *25c yellow green (Type A9)- No current Scott number, 65B in '47 catalogue with $5 valuation. Now considered a telegraph denomination- never used for postal purposes.
D) *1896- unwmked vs wmk 117 "Liberty cap"
E) *1897 unwmked vs wmk 117
F) *1898  wmk 117 vs unwmked
G) *1901- not Scott 138-142!
H) *256- illustrates wide spaced surcharge, but asks for narrow spaced surcharge i.e. 256. The rest of the spaces are for wide spaced surcharge.
I) *1895 Official- unwmked vs wmk 117. Note "1896","1897","1898" dated officials are not in BB.

1935-36 Scott C112 15c deep violet 
"Airplanes over Mt. Momotombo"
Overprinted in Blue
Out of the Blue
Wow, for a little country, so many stamps- but interesting with all the surcharges. One does need to be aware of forgery overprints, and as for the Seebeck era- yuk!!!

But one could do worse than dive into Nicaragua and obtain the stamps cheaply before they are "discovered". ;-)

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!

2 comments:

  1. You've come up with something interesting with 1894 Scott "65B" / 25c yellow green.

    Michel says it's unissued, and assigns it with roman number (I). Catalog value of 20€ is given for MH, and naturally nothing for the used. Yvert assigns a major number for it with valuation of 14€ for mint... But neither mentions nothing about non-postal usage.

    So this would appear (yet another) classic case of contradicting catalog information. Sigh.

    -k-

    ReplyDelete
  2. Keijo- Thanks for the information from Michel and Yvert.

    Scott does state their evaluation is from "specialists" who have looked at the 25c yellow green stamp issue- FWIW.

    ReplyDelete