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 16, 2015


1882 Scott 69 6p yellow green "Victoria"
Quick History
"Queensland Day" is celebrated every year on June 6th, as that was when Queen Victoria in 1859 signed the Letters Patent separating Queensland from New South Wales. Queensland then became a founding state within the Federation of Australia on January 1, 1901.

The capital was Brisbane, and the population was 498,000 in 1901.

Map of Queensland
No longer part of New South Wales, stamps for Queensland proper were introduced on November 1, 1860. Stamps were issued through 1909, as the Australia 'Roo stamps did not begin until 1913.

Early on, Queensland had wars with the Aborigines- as there existed a larger indigenous population in Queensland than other sections of Australia. The 1857 Hornet Bank massacre of eleven Europeans on the upper Dawson River resulted in the entire extermination of the Yeeman tribe (300 Aborigines) in 1858.

Queensland is blessed with abundant natural beauty, and has six World Heritage listed areas. The Great Barrier Reef, in particular, has 70 bioregions. All three of my (adult) children have scuba dived off the reef.

Truth be told, Queensland has uncomfortably hot,sticky, and sultry summers along the coast. But with the advent of air conditioning, Queensland became, until recent times, the fastest growing State in Australia- presently 4,500,000.

1890 Scott 92 2 1/2p rose carmine
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Queensland 1860-1909, 164 major descriptive numbers (This does not include the 52 Postal Fiscal stamps in the catalogue). Of those, 31 or 19% are CV <$1-$3+. The earlier 1860-1881 issues (83 stamps) tend to be moderately expensive ($10+) to quite expensive ($100+), and the WW classical collector may only have a small representative collection for the era. I know I do. ;-)

Overall, Queensland stamps are fairly complicated with multiple watermarks, paper, perforation and printing types. Queensland stamps are a good realm for the specialist, less so for the generalist.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1871 Scott 25 1p orange
This rather tattered specimen shows an example of the Queen Victoria images on the earlier stamps of Queensland. As one would expect for a colony named after the Queen, all the stamp images for Queensland have some type of portrait of Victoria.

The fourteen major descriptive numbers for this 1868-74 issue have perf 13, perf 12 and perf 13 X 12.

Watermark 67 "short pointed star" is on this issue.

1876-78 Scott 46 2p blue
The perforations tend to cut into the design on earlier Queensland stamps, and this example is no exception.

1876-78 Scott 49 1sh violet, Perf 12
The 1868-75 engraved six stamp issue is perf 13, while the identical 1876-78 issue in denomination and color is perf 12. Both have watermark 68 "Crown and Q".

Upper Left: Wmk 67 "Short Pointed Star"
Upper Right: Wmk 68 "Crown and Q"
Lower Left: Wmk 69 "Large Crown and Q"
Lower Right: Wmk 12 "Crown and Single-lined A"
Here is a pic of some of the watermarks encountered on Queensland stamps. The crown is barely visible here on the "Large Crown and Q" stamp, but note the characteristic round "Q".

1879 Scott 58 2p gray blue
The 1879-81 five stamp issue was typographed, and the 2p gray blue is shown here.

1883 Scott 70 1sh violet
The 1882-83 five stamp issue has a somewhat different design compared to the 1879-81 issue. Note the "Queensland" script is larger, and the corner designs are different.

Also note the neck shading lines are drawn all the way through to the front of the neck. (The later redrawn version will show differences here.)

1886 Scott 79 2sh ultramarine
Thick paper, Wmk "Large Crown & Q"
The 1882-85 five stamp issue is on thin paper, and has wmk 68 "Crown and Q"

The similar 1886 five stamp issue (shown above) is on thick paper, and has wmk 69 "Large Crown and Q".

1890 Scott 90 1p orange red
The 1890-92 issue of eight stamps includes four stamps that are redrawn from previous designs.

The redrawn versions do not have neck shading lines that go through to the front of the neck, and the "one penny" denomination (shown here) does not have a period after the "one penny" value.

1890 Scott 91 2p gray blue
The redrawn two pence value clearly shows the lack of shading lines on the front of the neck.

1895 Scott 103 1/2p green
Wmk "Crown & Q"
The 1895 1/p green can be found in four versions:
* Unwmk, Moire blue band pattern on back
* Wmk 68 "Crown and Q"
* Wmk 69 "Large Crown and Q", thick paper
* Thin paper, with Crown and Q faintly impressed (embossed) on face of stamp

Are you familiar with the witticism coined by Ernest Rutherford?

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting"

He was referring to the desultory accumulation and passive characterization of "collections", in his view, found in botany and other sciences. The remark, as said, did nothing to win friends for physics among other science practitioners.

But considering the complications of stamp collecting as exhibited here, perhaps we should reevaluate? ;-)

1895-96 Scott 109 1p red
The 1895-96 issue consisted of four stamps, and the 1p red design is shown here- CV <$1. But the 6p yellow green of the same design has a CV of $25,000! Only a few used examples are known (with a 1902 postmark).

Scott 111A 6p yellow green
Here is a scan from the internet-(See "Out of the Blue" section for specific source) of the 6p yellow green. Check your collections! ;-)

1897-1900 Scott 113 1p red
Between 1897-1900, an eleven stamps issue with six new designs was released. This issue has perf 12 1/2, 13, and watermark 68 "Crown and Q".

1899 Scott 124 1/2p blue green
A new "Queen Victoria" half penny was issued in 1899.

1907 Scott 134 3p pale brown
Between 1907-09, an eleven stamp issue, similar to the 1897-1900 issue, except for new colors on some stamps, was released with watermark 12 "Crown and single-lined A". The 1p, 4p, 6p, and 2sh values will need to be watermarked for identification.

Deep Blue
1895 Wmk "Crown & Q" issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 10 pages for Queensland, and includes a space for all the major Scott numbers. That should be O.K. for general WW collectors. But if one has a particular interest in Queensland, then the Stanley Gibbons should be used, as there is much more information in it. The 1840-1970 Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps catalogue covers all the classical era British colonial countries- highly recommended.

1897-1900 Scott 119 5p brown violet
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one page between Portuguese India and Quelimane, has 34 spaces. Coverage is 20.7%. But, considering the expensive nature of some Queensland stamps, and the fact that there are multiple stamp choices for many spaces, the coverage, although not generous, is O.K.

There are three expensive stamps, but none cross over into the "Most Expensive ($35)" category.

One will find multiple choices for a number of stamp spaces. I elaborate in the "comments" section after the checklist.


1860-79 (Three spaces)
One Penny (Illustrated)*: 1 or 4 or 6H or 7 or 12 or 13 or 18 or 21 or 21A or 25 or 32 or 36A or
38 or 39 or 44 or 45 or 49B or 49G
2p blue*: 6A or 8 or 19C or 26 or 33 or 40 or 46 or 49C
Blank Space: (48)


66 or 71, or 84 or 90 or 98, 67 or 72 or 85 or 91 or 99,

94,95,73* or 100, (66 or 84 or 90- choose one not already taken.)


101 or 103 or 106 or 107, 102 or 104 or 108,105 or 108A, 111*, 112,

124,109,113 or 123 or 131, 114 or 129 or 132 or 133,110,115 or 116,117,
118 or 135,136,119 or 129A or 137, 120 or 138,121 or 139,122 or 140, (134),

125 or 128,

A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1879 Scott 57 1p rose red ($10+)
1895 Scott 100 1sh pale violet ($10)
1907 Scott 140 2sh turquoise blue ($32+)
B) *One penny (Illustrated)- 18 choices!- Least expensive are Scott 25, 38,39,44 @ CV $8+-$10+.
C) *2p blue- 8 choices (Even more if one admits "deep blue" and "light blue"  colors as choices ;-)
-Least expensive are Scott 26, 40, 46 @ CV $2+-$5+.
D) *1882-95- a dilemma- BB's dates admit both original and redrawn versions, but the illustrations are for the original one penny (Scott 66 or 71) and the original two pence (Scott 67 or 72). I admitted all based on BB's dates- But you can choose otherwise. ;-)
E) *73 or 100 are 1sh pale violet, BB's criteria. That leaves out 70 1sh violet ($6+), which is less expensive than 100 pale violet ($10),
F) *111- I left out 111A @ CV $25,000 as a choice. ;-)
G) (    ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1909 Scott 136 4p gray black
Out of the Blue
At one time back in the 1980s, I thought of semi-specializing in the Australian colonies. The thought reoccurs from time to time. ;-)

Note: Scott 111A 6p yellow green scan is by permission of Rod Allan, and is from his submission on The Stamp Forum, but the scan originally appeared in Australian Stamp News June/July 2002. The map appears to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?


  1. What else can one say other than "me likey"... Absolutely fabulous designs.

  2. Agreed. :-)

    As I mentioned, in the 1980s, I was thinking of sub-specializing in the Australian colonies, which offer great quality in designs and stamps.