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 by the blog author, Jim Jackson, 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...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thrace

1919 Scott N12 25s indigo & black - Issued under Allied Occupation
Bulgarian Stamps of 1911-19 Overprinted in Red or Black
Quick History
Thrace (known by that name since Grecian times) now comprises Southeastern Bulgaria (Northern Thrace), northeastern Greece (Western Thrace), and eastern Turkey (Eastern Thrace).

Thrace within present day Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey
During the Balkan Wars and WW I, there were many military and  political changes, which are too complicated for a Quick History. ;-)

For detail, refer to Dead Countries Stamps excellent posts...

Thrace Region
The history of Thrace is reflected, however, in the stamp issues, which are covered in the next section.

1920 Scott N18 15s violet
Bulgarian Stamps of 1919 Overprinted
Into the Deep Blue
Thrace went through many political changes during the Balkan Wars and WW I. It was ultimately divided between Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria. The Scott catalogue reflects the rather messy conditions.

All of the Scott numbers in the catalogue for Thrace are preceded by "N": indicating "occupation" stamp issues.

During the Second Balkan War, several cities (Dedeagatch, Giumulzina) came under Greek occupation. There are Giumulzina District Issues (30 stamps) during 1913 that are surcharged on Turkish stamps, Bulgarian Stamps, and Greek stamps. There was also a 1913 lithographic issue with Turkish inscriptions (5 stamps). These Giumulzina District stamps are rather expensive, specialist territory, and forgeries exist. I don't have any, and will say no more.

There were then Allied occupation stamps (handstamped or overprinted on Bulgarian stamps) for 1919-1920 (33 stamps total). Bulgaria was forced to withdraw, and the Allied forces moved in and occupied Western Thrace. At the conference of San Remo on April, 1920, it was agreed that Greece would then control Western Thrace.

There were also overprinted stamps issued under Greek occupation and control and annexation (May 20) of Western Thrace for 1920 using Greek stamps (58 stamps) and Turkish stamps (9 stamps).

Total major number descriptions for 1913-1920 Thrace: 135.

Of those, 56 are CV <$1-$1+, or 42%.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Lepta = 1 Drachma
40 Paras = 1 Piaster
100 Stotinki = 1  Leva (1919)
1919 Scott N7 1s black - Issued under Allied Occupation
Bulgarian Stamps of 1911-19 Overprinted in Red or Black
There were six Bulgarian stamps of 1915-19 handstamped "Thrace Interalliee" in violet blue issued in 1919 under the Allied occupation of Western Thrace (not shown).

There was also, in 1919, a nine stamp overprint ( in red or black) of Bulgarian stamps of 1911-19 released by the Allied occupation forces (shown above). CV ranges from <$1-$10.

1920 Scott N16 5s green
Bulgarian Stamps of 1919 Overprinted
More occupation stamps were released in 1920. A four stamp set with a vertical overprint on Bulgarian stamps of 1919 was issued. CV is <$1-$1+.

1920 Scott N23 25s deep blue
Bulgarian Stamps of 1919 Overprinted
Another six stamp set with a "Western Thrace" overprint was issued in 1920 on Bulgarian stamps of 1919 by the Allied occupation. CV is <$1-$1+.

1920 Scott N28 3 l vermilion
Greek Stamps of 1911-19 Overprinted
"Administration Western Thrace" in Greek
Greece was awarded Western Thrace, and hence an eleven stamp set of 1911-19  lithographic Greek stamps were overprinted as shown. There are an additional ten stamps from engraved Greek stamps overprinted and released. The collector may need to determine if the Greek overprinted stamp is lithographic or engraved to place it with the right Scott number.

I should mention that Scott has a note that all of the Greek occupation stamps can be found with counterfeit overprints. Caveat Emptor.

1920 Scott N56 2 l rose - Issued under Greek Occupation
Greek Stamps of 1911-19 Overprinted
"Administration Thrace" in Greek
In 1920, the Greek occupation also released twelve lithographic stamps and four engraved stamps overprinted "Administration Thrace" for use in either Western or Eastern Thrace. The engraved stamps have the same design and the same or very similar colors as the lithographic stamps. Therefore, the collector will need to determine the printing method. (With some aluminum foil over the stamp, I rub the area with a soft eraser. An imprint left on the foil indicates an engraved stamp; no imprint indicates a lithographic stamp.)

1920 Scott N83 3d on 1pi deep blue
Turkish Stamps of 1916-18 Surcharged
in Blue, Black, or Red
Also in 1920, the Greek occupation surcharged Turkish stamps of 1916-20 in blue, black or red. These nine stamps were for use in either Western or Eastern Thrace. CV is <$1-$9+.

1919 Scott NJ1 5s emerald- Issued under Allied Occupation
Bulgarian Postage Due Stamps of 1919 Overprinted
The Allied  occupation of 1919-20 also overprinted Bulgarian postage due stamps of 1919 for use in Western Thrace. The three stamp set shown here is CV <$1-$2+.


Deep Blue
1920 Lithographed -Issued under Greek Occupation
Greek Stamps of 1911-19 Overprinted
"Administration Western Thrace" in Greek
Deep Blue (Steiner) has eleven pages for the stamps of 1913-20 Thrace. There has been an upgrade in Scott numbers, comparing the 2014 catalogue with the Steiner pages, as about a half dozen numbers do not have a space in my current Steiner pages. Not that I have the missing stamps. ;-)

I penciled in some spaces for these additional numbers.

1920 Scott N24 50s ocher
Bulgarian Stamps of 1919 Overprinted
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one page shared with Transcaucasian Federated Republic, has 22 spaces.

Coverage is 16%.

The 40s editions have the same coverage.

There are no expensive stamps, save for the 1920 Greek occupation 30 l rose space, which has a CV of $35. See the next paragraph for an explanation.


1920 30 L Rose Space
30 l rose space - "N33" or N39C - The lithographic 1920 Greek occupation "N33" 30 l rose
is no longer in the 2014 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue, although it was listed in the 1947 Scott catalogue. However, the engraved 1920 Scott N39C 30 l rose is listed in the 2014 Scott catalogue @ $35, but this stamp is not listed in the 1947 catalogue.

Checklist

1919
N7,N9,N10,N11,N12,N8,

1920
N20,N21,N22,N23,N24,

1920
N29,N30,N31,N32 or N39B, 30l rose- “N33” or N39C*,N34,N35,

1920

N76,N77,N78,N79,

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1920 Scott N29C 30 l rose ($35)
B) * 30 l rose - "N33" or N39C - The lithographic 1920 Greek occupation "N33" 30 l rose
is no longer in the 2014 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue, although it was listed in the 1947 Scott catalogue. However, the engraved 1920 Scott N39C 30 l rose is listed in the 2014 Scott catalogue @ $35, but is not listed in the 1947 catalogue.

1920 Scott N58 5 l green- Issued under Greek Occupation
Greek Stamps of 1911-19 Overprinted
"Administration Thrace" in Greek
Out of the Blue
I feel a bit out of my element with Thrace, with the complicated history, and the possibility that the overprints might be counterfeit. In my view, the entire stamp inventory for Thrace is really specialist's territory. Buried somewhere in the philatelic literature is, no doubt, help for the collector if one is truly interested in the overprinted issues.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?

4 comments:

  1. For a small geographic region Thrace has a very complicated history no small part due to its strategic location. I have been to Edirne (Adrianople) which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire until the capture of Constantinople in 1453, and for Turks the city is sacred as the burial place of some of the earliest sultans and the stunning imperial architecture designed by the architect Sinan. But walk just a couple miles west, and you are at the very-much still fortified borders with Greece and Bulgaria, and it can take HOURS to cross as border control agents on both sides meticulously check every document. And this was back in 2001, before 9/11 and before the current refugee crisis. Still an amazing, if often sadly tragic, corner of Europe.

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  2. Adrianople figures prominently as a subject on classical Turkey stamps- makes sense!

    Gene- nice observation about how history doesn't go away. ;-)

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  3. Hi Jim
    Nice write up on a complicated area, especially during a very tragic decade. With the Balkan Wars (1912-13), WW1 (1914-18) and the Greco Turkish War (1919-22), the people of Thrace experienced such tragedy and devastation as multitudes of armies fought or marched through the region.

    Collecting stamps from Thrace, can actually fun and interesting. With a huge variety of overprint doubles, triples, misspellings, misprints, etc. which are not that uncommon, one could build a very interesting collection. Also, with the exception of Autonomous Western Thrace, I am not aware of very many forged overprints.

    Also, thanks for the reference to DCStamps.
    Michael

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  4. Hi Michael

    Your comment about the relative lack of forged overprints for Thrace is heartening, and would certainly make me more interested in the area.

    And I appreciate indeed your DCstamps Thrace history, which is an excellent resource!

    Thank you Michael!

    Jim

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