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...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Portuguese India

1882-83 Scott 168 8t orange "Portuguese Crown"
Quick History
Portugal and India have been interacting with each other ever since Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut on the Malabar Coast in 1498. Portuguese India ( Estado da India Portuguesa), a colonial state, was founded in 1505, and the capital was Cochin through 1530, then Nova Goa.

Note Portuguese India settlements: Calicut (1498), Cochin (1500),
Goa (1510), Diu (1535), Daman (1558)
Goa (1510) became the most important settlement; and , in fact, "Portuguese India" was often referred to as "Goa". A post office was opened in Goa in 1854, and stamps for local use within the colony were issued in 1871.

Population for the colony was 624,000 in 1940.

1893 Map of India
Note Portuguese Indies label along the West Coast of the Indian Peninsula
By the 19th and 20th century, "Portuguese India" consisted of Goa, Daman, and Diu (See map). Portugal, however, did not get the hint that the colonial era was over, and finally India invaded these territories. The Governor of Portuguese India signed the Surrender Document on December 19, 1961, ending 450 years of Portuguese rule.

Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Goa, founded in 1540
Although Goa (Today Panjim) is now part of India, the city still has a remarkable Portuguese flavor, with the red tiled roofs, cobbled streets, and church architecture.

1902 Scott 209 1t carmine rose "King Carlos"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Portuguese India 1871-1938, 501 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 202 are CV <$1-$1+, or 40.3%. The earlier 1871-1883 Scott 1-161 are rather expensive for the WW classical collector. The rest of the issues tend to be less expensive (66% @ <$1-$1+). Clearly, a nice accumulation of Portuguese India can be had for little CV. Now, one just needs to find a dealer that has them. ;-)  I, for one, could significantly strengthen my collection.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Reis = 1 Milreis
12 Reis = 1 Tanga (1881-820
(Real = singular of Reis)
16 Tangas = 1 Rupia
1873 Scott 25 20r vermilion "Numeral of Value"
Re-issues; Thin Bluish Toned Paper
The earlier Issues (1871-1877) were handstamped from a single die, and were intended for local use in the colony. They were rather crudely done, and the perforations are often rough. They can be found on various papers and perforations.The inscriptions are "Servico Postal", and "India Post". The CV is generally in the Tens- Hundreds range. The 1873 issue (six stamps) on thin bluish toned paper - and illustrated here- is actually a re-issue.

1882-83 Scott 164 6r green "Portuguese Crown'
The "Portuguese Crown" design was used for a 1877-81 issue- 14 major numbers. Scott lists 25 bolded minor numbers for thin/medium paper and different perforations.

The design was used again in 1882-83 for a seven stamp set- which is illustrated above.

These "Portuguese Crown" stamps were reprinted on very white paper in 1885 and 1905.

1886 Scott 176 6r deep green "King Luiz"
A seven stamp set with "King Luiz" was issued in 1886. CV is $1+-$4+.

1895-96 Scott 181 1 1/2r black "King Carlos'
A "King Carlos" eight stamp issue was produced in 1895-96. CV is <$1-$3. Note the "Nova-Goa" postmark.

 1898 Scott 189 1 1/2r blue green "Fleet Departing"
The omnibus 1898 Vasco da Gama issue naturally is found for Portuguese India, and is especially relevant, as it depicts the discovery voyage to India.

1902 Scott 200 2r orange "King Carlos"
The 1898-1903 "King Carlos" issue, some 25 stamps, has a CV ranging from <$1-$10+.

This particular example is an argument in favor of a nice cancelled specimen.

1911 Scott 250 6r gray green
Stamps of 1898-1903 Overprinted in Lisbon in Carmine or Green
The October 5, 1910 revolution in Portugal is reflected in the 16 stamp "Republica" overprinted issue of 1911. Note this overprint was applied in Lisbon. There are other issues (1913-15), where the overprint was applied locally.

1912-13 Scott 260C 1r on 2r orange
Perforated Vertically through the Middle 
Each Half Surcharged with New Value
This flawed example is shown to illustrate the interesting 1912-13 thirty-two stamp issue, where the stamp is vertically bisected in the middle with perforations, and each side is surcharged.

1913 Scott 296 4t orange brown "Flagship San Gabriel"
The change in government created an overprinted Vasco da Gama issue in 1913 on eight stamps.

1913-21 Scott 358 1 1/2r yellow green "Ceres"
Between 1913-21, a 19 stamp "Ceres" set was issued.  CV ranges from <$1-$10+.

I should mention that Scott, since 2013, has begun to re-number and more finely parse the Ceres issues for Portugal and colonies based on perforation ( 12 X 11 1/2, 15 X 14) and ordinary/chalky/glazed paper. But my 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue still has the "old" numbers for Portuguese India.

Update: The Afinsa specialized catalogue for the Portuguese colonies has a further breakdown of the orientation of the stars on either side of the Ceres issue colony name. See the blog post for Portuguese Congo for specifics.

1914 Scott 384 1 1/2r on 4 1/2r red 
"Fleet Arriving at Calicut"
Surcharged in Black
In 1914, the Vasco da Gama issue was surcharged on six stamps as shown here.

1931 Scott 416 6r red violet "Image of St. Francis"
For the exposition of St. Francis Xavier at Goa, in December, 1931, a six stamp issue, each with a different design, was produced.  CV is from <$1-$4+.

1933 Scott 424 1r bister "Portugal"
A design showing "Portugal" and "San Gabriel", the flagship of Vasco da Gama, was used in 1933 on 15 stamps. CV is <$1 for 11 stamps of the issue.

Postage Due 1904 Scott J8 2t gray brown
A Portuguese functional "Postage Due" issue of 11 stamps was produced in 1904.

Postal Tax 1925 Scott RA2 6r rose & black
"Planning Reconstruction of Lisbon"
Pombal Issue
The "Common Design" Pombal three stamp issue for Postal Tax use is illustrated here.

Deep Blue
1914 Surcharged Vasco da Gama Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 30 pages for Portuguese India, and naturally includes a space for all the major Scott numbers. 

The 1877-81  "Portuguese Crown" stamps, which come in two perforations, and either thin or medium paper, have 25 bolded minor numbers in Scott. These are not given spaces in Steiner, and I will put any minor number specimens I accumulate on a separate quadrilled page.

1913-21 Scott 363 5r blue green "Ceres"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on five pages, has 155 spaces for Portuguese India. Total coverage is 30.9%. As BB does not cover the earlier more expensive 1871-1883 Scott 1-181 issues, the remaining coverage is 45+%, which is reasonable for a representative album.

There is only one stamp @ CV $10+, and that is for a blank space choice.

Of interest, Scott has a space for both the 1898-1903 "King Carlos" Scott 206 9r dull violet, and the minor number Scott 206a 9r gray lilac. Checking the '47 Scott catalogue, I note that both colors were then major numbers.  But the "Scott 207 1902 9r gray lilac" major number was subsequently dropped to a minor number in later catalogues.



169, (170),








Next Page

201,202,205,206a* ,209,211,(214),





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*2017 Update: The Ceres issue presented here below originally had the (now "old") numbers in the 2011 catalogue. By 2015, Scott had parsed the Ceres into 1914 Perf 15 X 14 chalky paper, 1916-20 Perf 15 X 14 ordinary paper, & 1921-23 Perf 12 X 11 1/2 ordinary paper, all with major numbers. I will present both here: "old" and "current" numbers.

1913-22 Ceres (Old Numbers)

1913-22 Ceres (New Numbers)
First row: 357 or 375A or 375J, 358 or 375B or 375K, 359 or 375C or 375L, 360 or 375D or 375K, 361 or 375E or 375M, 375N, 362 or 375F or 375O, 363 or 375P,
Second row: 364 or 375G or 375Q, 365 or 375K, 366 or 375S, 367 or 375H or 375T, 375U, 368 or 375I or 375V, 375W, 369 or 375X,
Third row: 370 or 375Y,





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Postage Due


Air Post

War Tax

Postal Tax

Postal Tax Due


A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1883 (Scott 170) 4 1/2r olive green ($10+)
B) (    ) around a number indicates a blank space choice
C) *206a- BB specifies the minor number color here 9r gray lilac. As there is already a space for 206- 9r dull violet- one will need to put the minor number color in here -See discussion..
D) *2017 Update: The Ceres issue presented here below originally had the (now "old") numbers in the 2011 catalogue. By 2015, Scott had parsed the Ceres into 1914 Perf 15 X 14 chalky paper, 1916-20 Perf 15 X 14 ordinary paper, & 1921-23 Perf 12 X 11 1/2 ordinary paper, all with major numbers. I will present both here: "old" and "current" numbers.

1938 Scott 444 1t bright red violet 
"Mousinho do Albuquerque"
Out of the Blue
If I ever get to India, I would like to visit Goa. ;-)

Note: Maps and Cathedral pic appear to be in the public domain.

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