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...

Thursday, September 22, 2016


1896 Scott 62 1a black (thick "1"), Typeset
Without Overprint, White Paper
Quick History
The British Uganda Protectorate existed from 1894 to 1962, but stamps from Uganda proper were only issued from 1895-1902.

1902 Uganda's boundaries and subsequent changes
In 1893, the British East Africa Company transferred the Buganda Kingdom territory to the British, and then the borders were expanded in 1894. A British Protectorate was declared on August 27, 1894.

The Uganda Agreement of 1900 gave the power to govern on a daily basis to the Protestant "Bakungu" chiefs, lead by Apolo Kagwa. The British administered initially with a light hand.

For a more complex interpretation of Ugandan history with fine maps, consult Stamp World History. Thanks Gerben!

Uganda Protectorate (green outline) circa 1920
Stamps from 1890 used in Uganda  were issues of  British East Africa.

Then Reverend Ernest Millar at Mengo of the Church Missionary Society produced stamps on his typewriter for internal postage use in Uganda from 1895-1896. These are some of the most crude and valuable pieces of paper ever issued (51 stamps: CV up to $80,000).

Typeset stamps, only slightly less crude and valuable (15 stamps: CV  to $37,000+), were issued in 1896.

Engraved "Victoria" stamps proper for Uganda were issued by London's De La Rue from 1898-1902. And, a two stamp set for 1902 consisted of British East Africa stamps that were overprinted "Uganda".

And so ends the short (but very expensive for collectors!) life of the Uganda Protectorate proper stamps.

Entebbe was the capital, and the population was 1,600,000 in 1903.

Stamps for the overall former territory of the British East Africa colony was then issued from 1903-1919  as "East Africa & Uganda Protectorates", consisting of the Uganda Protectorate and British East Africa (to 1920, later called Kenya Colony after 1920).

In the Scott catalogue, the remaining classical era stamp issues are found under "Kenya, Uganda, & Tanzania" from 1921-1954. They consist of "East Africa and Uganda Protectorates" (1921), "Kenya and Uganda" (1922-1927), and "Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika" (1935-1954).

Then in 1962, Uganda, at the birth of self-government and independence, again issued their own stamps, as well as joint issues from Kenya, Uganda, & Tanganyika (Tanzania) until 1977.

1898 Scott 72a 3a bluish gray "Queen Victoria"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Uganda 1895-1902, 76 major number descriptions. Of those, two are CV $1+, or 2%. !! Wow, let's take a closer look at the CV situation.

The earlier crude typewritten stamps and typeset stamps ( 1895-1896: 66 major numbers) are expensive to very expensive (CV $20+-$80,000), and really specialty territory. There are also forgeries to worry about with these crudely produced stamps.

The last ten major numbers (1898-1902) are the more typically engraved "Victoria" stamps. Of those, eight are CV $1+-$10+. For the WW collector, obtaining a sampling of the 1898-1902 stamps, and perhaps 1-2 of the 1896 typeset stamps might be a reasonable goal.

What is the story on the earlier crude stamps?

A Reverend Ernest Millar of the Church Missionary Society produced stamps for internal postage country use on his typewriter! ( For "overseas"destinations, the letters were franked with British East Africa issues upon arrival in Mombasa.) The 1895-96 stamps (51 major numbers) can be found with wide letters, narrow letters (Millar obtained a new typewriter later in 1895!), and in violet (a violet ribbon was inserted into the typewriter in late 1895).  All of these values can be found forged, and they carry a very expensive CV $225-$80,000). Naturally, I don't have any, and I suspect you do not either. ;-)

The 1896 designs on white or yellowish paper (15 stamps), either with or without an overprinted "L" in black, were typeset by the Reverend F. Rowling at Lubwa's in Usoga. They are still crude and plain, but less crude and expensive (CV $20+-$37,500) than Millar's typewritten stamps. I have an example that heads the blog post, and will show it again here....

A closer look at the stamps and issues
Cowries (50 = 4 Pence) (This is shell money!)
16 Annas = 1 Rupee (1896)
1896 Scott 62 1a black (thick "1"), Typeset
Without Overprint, White Paper
The WW collector might be interested in obtaining an example of the 1896 15 stamp typeset issue, illustrated above. It is found with a black overprinted "L", without overprint, and on yellowish and white paper. Five stamps have a CV of $20+-$40+, within many WW collector's budget.

Now the stamp itself- isn't it remarkably simple? When I saw the stamp in one of my feeder albums, I thought it was a cinderella or a label, not a postage stamp.

1898 Scott 71 2a brown "Queen Victoria"
Engraved by De la Rue
The eight stamp 1898-1902 "Victoria" issue, engraved by De La Rue, is as elaborate as the previous issues were simple and crude. Note the elephants on either side of the queen.

Actually all of the stamps, save one (1902 1a carmine rose), was issued in 1898. But, of interest, there were three stamps that were also issued in 1902 with a noticed shade change. The 3a gray was issued in a 3a bluish gray, the 8a olive gray was issued in a 8a gray green, and the 1r ultramarine was issued in a 1r bright blue shade. All of the 1902 shade changes have minor numbers in Scott. The 3a bluish gray that heads the "Into the Deep Blue" section appears to be one of these minor number 1902 stamps.

1898 Scott 73 4a dark green
CV for the eight stamp issue is $1+-$10+ for six stamps.

On April 1, 1901, the British East Africa and Uganda postal administrations were merged.

Consequently, the last two stamp issue for Uganda (not illustrated) in 1902 had "Uganda" overprinted in black or red on a 1/2a yellow green stamp and a 2 1/2a dark blue stamp on a 1896 British East Africa "Victoria and British Lions" design. CV is a modest $1+-$3+.

Besides the postal administrations merging, I note that the eastern province of Uganda was also transferred to British East Africa on April 1, 1902.

Deep Blue
1898-1902 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has four pages for the 1895-1902 stamps of Uganda. All the major numbers have a space except for Scott 9 10 on 30 (c) black, which @ CV $80,000, is unlikely to be missed by the average WW collector.  And the Scott 10-16 spaces @ CV $60,000-80,000 will probably not fill up fast either. ;-)

Uganda in 1991 Edition Big Blue
Big Blue
Big Blue, for all the editions 1969 or later, on one page, has ten spaces.  BB, in fact, gives a space to all ten of the 1898-1902 "Victoria" engraved issues. If one excludes the earlier 1895-1896 typewritten/typeset stamps (66 major numbers), which are expensive to very expensive, (and a "representative" album would have no business including), Big Blue actually provides 100% coverage! ;-)

The consequence of BB's generosity is that some of the spaces are rather expensive to fill.

Four spaces require $10+ stamps, while an 1898 Scott 75 1r ultramarine ($55)
and an 1898 Scott 76 5r brown ($90) are also needed.

Of interest, the 1940s editions only have four spaces, and there are no expensive ($10 threshold) stamps. This serves as a reminder, that, although the 1940s editions can have more extensive coverage, the 1969 and later editions sometimes have the better coverage. 




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1898 Scott 72 3a gray ($10+)
1898 Scott 73 4a dark green ($10+)
1898 Scott 74 8a olive gray ($10+)
1898 Scott 75 1r ultramarine ($55)
1898 Scott 76 5r brown ($90)

1898 Scott 74 8a olive green
Out of the Blue
Uganda (Protectorate) was one of those countries in Big Blue, that when I did an inventory last year, I had no stamps! Fortunately, BB does not include spaces for any of the expensive typewritten/typeset stamps. But, seemingly to compensate, ALL of the ten stamp "Victoria" issue is included in BB.

Since last year, I've picked up a few examples of Uganda Protectorates, but still have a way to go to fill all the spaces in Big Blue. ;-)

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?


  1. Jim

    I envy you for having one of the 1896 issues. Are they not just great!

  2. It's odd that Big Blue provides spaces for the (gorgeous) Rupee values with the lions as if they are the same size and design as the Anna values with the elephants. You'd imagine that they know better. They could have taken a quick peek into their own catalogue;-)
    My Steiner reduction here is just one page with #61-#78. Though ... I could make those first 53 if I purchase a typewriter and some old-looking paper I suppose...

    1. Arian - Thanks for the reminder that the space size for the Rupee/lion values is too small. If I had those Rupee/lion values, I would find some way to have them on the page - I agree, they are nice indeed!

      I would think facsimiles from old typewriters would look good - not that I suggest doing that. ;-)