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, September 22, 2015


1920 Scott 25 1k dark brown "View of Schleswig"
Types of 1920 Overprinted in Blue: 
"Hadersleben" Postmark: June 2, 1920
Quick History
As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, Schleswig , comprising the southern Jutland Peninsula lands of the former Duchy of Schleswig, was offered a plebiscite after WW I.

The Jutland Penisula: Denmark (terracotta);
Northern Schleswig (red); Southern Schleswig (brown); Holstein (yellow)
The reason for the plebiscite was the majority Danish population in northern Schleswig, and the Danes had long advocated for that portion to be formally annexed to Denmark. After WW I, their arguments fell on the sympathetic ears of the French, and hence the plebiscite was organized and monitored by a commission with members from France, Great Britain, Norway and Sweden.

Plebiscite vote: Zone I (Northern Schleswig) to Denmark
Plebiscite vote: Zone II (Central part of Southern Schleswig) to Germany
Zone III (Southern part of Southern Schleswig) to Germany
To publicize the referendum, fourteen stamps were issued January 25, 1920, denominated in Pfennig/Mark.

There was actually two plebiscite votes: one in Zone I, the other in Zone II. No doubt the "zones" were set up to make the results clear, if one wants to be cynical about the process.

The northern portion (Zone I) voted on February 10, 1920 to accept Danish rule (75%). The central part (Zone II) of the southern portion voted on March 14, 1920 for Germany (80%). The south part (Zone III) of the southern portion did not vote, as the forgone conclusion was they wished to remain with Germany.

On May 20, 1920, there was another fourteen stamp issue intended for use in Zone I, and now denominated in Ore/Krone.

Zone I (Southern Jutland) was transferred to Denmark on June 15, 1920.

On a side note, although the Zone II voting results were overwhelmingly for Germany, some Danish nationalists still wanted Zone II to become part of Denmark. Christian X, the Danish King, sided with the nationalists, and dismissed the government, leading to the "Easter crisis of 1920". But by 1920, there was a strong Danish tradition that the monarchy played no role in politics. The King was forced to reverse course. Since that time, no Danish king or queen has intervened in politics. 

I've said little here about the earlier history of the Duchy of Schleswig, and Schleswig-Holstein, as that will be the focus of the next blog post!

1920 Scott 9 40pf violet "Arms"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Schleswig 1920, 42 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 24 are CV <$1-$1+, or 57%. Clearly, a nice sampling can be acquired by the WW collector for not much expense.

There were three issues in the catalogue for this 1920 plebiscite era.

Issue One- January 25, 1920 - (Denominated in Pfennig/Mark)- 14 stamps. All are CV inexpensive, except for the 10m red, which is only CV $2+.

Issue Two- May 20, 1920- (Denominated in Ore/Krone)- 14 stamps. Eleven are inexpensive, and the 2k, 5k, and 10k are CV $3-$8.

Issue Three- Official stamps overprinted "C-I'S' on Issue One- 14 stamps. "C-I-S" are the initials for "Commission Interalliee Slesvig", the commission under which the plebiscite took place. All of these stamps are quite expensive (CV $40+-$500), and Scott reports that counterfeit overprints exist. I don't have any, and so I will say no more about them.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Pfennig = 1 Mark
100 Ore = 1 Krone
1920 Scott 4 10pf deep rose "Arms"
The Plebiscite issue of January 25, 1920 had ten of the "Arms" design typographic stamps. The paper has Wmk 114 "Multiple Crosses", a Danish watermark, so clearly the stamps were printed in Denmark. Note the Denomination is in Pfenning/Mark, as the lands had been part of Germany before the plebiscite. However, the "Slesvig" and "Plebiscit" spelling is Danish in origin.

"Used" is modestly more expensive than "unused", but all stamps in the issue are CV <$1-$3+. Clearly, there was philatelic interest in the plebiscite, and, consequently, stamps are still quite plentiful.

Duchy of Schleswig
Coat of Arms
The Duchy of Schleswig was a fiefdom of the Danish Crown from 1058-1866, until the Prussian victories of 1864 and 1866. So, by using the "Arms" symbol, the design should appeal to the nationalistic sentiment of the Danish people. It apparently didn't hurt, based on the 75% vote for Denmark in Danish majority Zone I of the plebiscite. !!!.

1920 Scott 7 25pf orange "Arms"
As mentioned, "used" has a somewhat higher CV than "unused". Here,"Tondern" is on the southern edge of Zone I, and it appears from the voting map that most of the votes went the German way in this town.  Of note, the date of the postmark, March 14, 1920, is when the Zone II plebiscite occurred. I suspect most of the postmarks found on "used" are philatelically inspired.

1920 Scott 12 2m deep blue "View of Schleswig"
The four higher denominations for the first issue has a "View of Schleswig" design with the "Arms" motif added. I note that the CV for the 2m deep blue is <$1, but $60 on cover. The lesson: rather than soaking off all those stamps from covers, our Grandparents and Great-Grandparents should have left them on. ;-)

1920 Scott 16 5o green "Arms"
The second issue (14 stamps) during the plebiscite era was a type of the earlier 1920 issue, but overprinted in Blue "I Zone", with the denomination in Ore/Krone. This was a celebratory issue intended for use in Zone I. The Issue release was May 20, 1920, and the stamps were valid to the end of June, although the handover to Denmark occurred June 15, 1920. Stamps of Denmark were subsequently used in northern Schleswig (Southern  Jutland), while stamps of Germany were exclusively used in southern Schleswig.

1920 Scott 27 5k green "View of Schleswig"
Type of 1920 Overprinted in Blue
CV for the issue ranges from <$1-$8 for unused, and $1+-$80+ for used. But, don't pay more than the baseline "unused" price for suspect "CTO" postmarks. ;-)

Deep Blue
Schleswig "Zone 1" Issue in Deep Blue
"Aabenraa" postmarks: 6-30-1920 - last day of valid use
Deep Blue (Steiner) has two pages for the 1920 stamp issues of Schleswig, and naturally has a space for every major Scott number.

1920 Scott 14 10m red "View of Schleswig"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on three lines of one page (shared with Senegambia & Niger, and the beginning of St. Vincent), has 21 spaces. Coverage is 50%.

The 40s BB editions have the same coverage, except the coverage is located after Sarawak, and on the same page as Sardinia and Saseno.

All of the coverage is for the first two issues (The official issue, which is not covered by BB, is quite expensive). BB is missing three stamps from the second issue with CV <$1.

There are no expensive stamps: In fact, the most expensive space is for the Scott 13 5m green @ CV $1+. !




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None

1920 Scott 24 75o greenish blue "Arms"
Types of 1920 Overprinted in Blue
Out of the Blue
Well, the 19th century "Schleswig-Holstein" problem, with half  Danish and half German populations, was finally solved by splitting the former Duchy of Schleswig in two!

And the border established between Denmark and Germany in 1920 is still the same today.

Note: Maps appear to be in the common domain.

Comments appreciated!

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