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...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fernando Po - Bud's Big Blue

Fernão de Pó
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Fernando Poo’s (FP) stamps generally have low CVs, as Jim observes elsewhere in this blog, but they’re hard to find. So, unless you’re desperate to fill BB’s spaces, don’t pay the high prices that some dealers ask. Wait for lower prices or an online auction that attracts little attention. It may take a while.

Mother Spain didn’t listen well to FP’s need for particular stamps, hence the 5 centimos overprints on many other denominations (see supplement). I’ve arranged the supplement stamps in Scott Catalog order, but haven’t studied them closely.

Which is correct -- Po or Poo? If you go with the stamps’ inscription, it’s Poo. If you favor the name of the first Portuguese navigator to visit the island, as BB does, it’s Po. If your FP collection has a forgery in it, it’s a shampoo. (Sorry).

Census: 23 in BB spaces, four tip-ins, 69 on supplement pages.

Jim's Observations
Fernando Po ( now Bioko) is an island located 20  miles of the west coast of Africa by Cameroon in the Gulf of Guinea. The island was found by the Portuguese navigator Fernao do Po in 1472.  The island is about 45 miles long by 20 miles across. The Capital then was Santa Isabel, and the population was 20,000 in 1930. Of interest, the island was inhabited by the Bubi ethnic group, which speak a Bantu dialect.

Fernando Po stamps definitely appear inexpensive, with 42% of all stamp issues <$1.  BTW, all the inexpensive stamps, except for the 1929 issue, are of the "King Alfonso XIII" design types. But are they common in collections? No! Unless one specifically collects Spanish Colonies, which is unusual for a general WW classic collection, one will find not many of these "cheap" stamps around.

Fernando Po Blog Post and BB Checklist

Page 1 (Click and enlarge for examination.)

1a

1b

1c

Supplements
Page 1

Page 2

Comments appreciated!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

British Bechuanaland

1887 Scott 10 1/2p vermilion "Victoria"
Black Overprint on Great Britain Scott 111
Quick History
Although Bechuanaland Protectorate is in the Big Blue album, British Bechuanaland, the sister territory, never was, so here is a brief history.

British Bechuanaland existed between September 1, 1885 and November 16, 1895  as a Crown Colony, when it was absorbed by Cape of Good Hope Colony. The Capital was Vryburg. It had a population of approximately 84,000.

1885 Map - Bechuanaland Protectorate & Stellaland
Prior to creation of British Bechuanaland Crown Colony
In 1882, two secessionist Boer States, Stellaland and Goshen (Capitals Vryburg & Mafekeng respectively) were established. This upset the British public, and a force of 4,000 British regular & irregular troops, led by Sir Charles Warren, first occupied Vryburg, then Mafeking, by April 8, 1885. The Boer Republic of the United States of Stellaland (then including Goshen) collapsed without bloodshed.

By the way, the stamps of Stellaland ( 1884-85- six major Scott number stamps) are somewhat to very expensive CV wise ($20+-$4000), and I don't have any at the moment.

British Bechuanaland 1887
(Incorporates Stellaland)
Stellaland was absorbed into the new Crown Colony of British Bechuanaland, which had the Molopo River as the northern and western boundary.

Meanwhile the Bechuanaland Protectorate ,"at the request of the native chiefs", was set up by the British on March 31, 1885, and administered the lands north of the Molopo River, with Vryburg (until 1895), then Mafeking as the administrative headquarters. Both headquarters for Bechuanaland Protectorate were actually located in British Bechuanaland.

Of interest, the stamps of British Bechuanaland were also used in the Bechuanaland Protectorate from 1890 until 1897. This is because the Bechuanaland Protectorate and British Bechuanaland came under one postal administration in June, 1890. Consequently, one should look for postmarks from the Bechuanaland Protectorate area on British Bechuanaland stamps of that era.

For additional perspective on British Bechuanaland/ Bechuanaland Protectorate, see Stamp World History.

Into the Deep Blue
Stamps were introduced for British Bechuanaland on December 3, 1885. The 1885-87 eight stamp output consisted of overprinted 1871-85 Cape of Good Hope issues (CV $10+-$190).

Correspondingly, Bechuanaland Protectorate stamps were first issued/used on August 9, 1888. I will have more to say about the stamps of the Bechuanaland Protectorate with the next post.

The 2011 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for British Bechuanaland 1885-1897, 42 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 3 (or 7%) are CV $1+. Raising the CV bar to $10+, yields 23 stamps, or 55%. If the WW collector will spend more, a decent collection of British Bechuanaland can be obtained.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1887 Scott 10 1/2p vermilion "Victoria"
Black Overprint on Great Britain Scott 111
Note the barred oval numeral cancel No. 638? This was in use from the opening of the Mafeking Post Office in 1885 until absorption by Cape Colony in 1895.

The 1/2p Great Britain vermilion, from the 1887 Queen Victory Jubilee Issue, was overprinted as shown and released as a single stamp on January 19,1888. (Scott's "1887" attribution appears to be inaccurate.) CV is $1+.

I should mention that this overprinted 1/2p vermilion for British Bechuanaland was further overprinted "Protectorate", and introduced as the first stamps in 1888-90 for Bechuanaland Protectorate.

Prior, as mentioned earlier, there were eight stamps from 1885-87 released with overprints on the stamps of Cape of Good Hope ("Hope" seated). CV is $10+ for three stamps. I don't have any at the moment.

1887 Scott 16 1sh green "Victoria"
Also, on January 19, 1888 (not "1887" as Scott states), a twelve stamp issue was released using three designs. The second design for the five middle denominations is shown here. CV is $2+-$10 for six stamps.

If these designs look to you like they should be fiscal or revenue stamps, you are correct.

These stamps were produced by overprinting "Unappropriated Die" designs originally intended for use as Great Britain fiscal stamps.

Remember I said that British Bechuanaland  stamps can be found used in the Bechuanaland Protectorate between 1890-1897?

Well, the (MA)CLOUTSIE post office, which is the postmark on this stamp, was actually located in north-east Bechuanaland Protectorate, and was active from December, 1892-1893.

There is a great PDF file about the Macloutsie post office and the postmaster available at the www.bechuanalandphilately.com site. (This link downloads the PDF file.)

1895 Scott 39 2p bister 
On Cape of Good Hope  Scott 44 
Overprinted in Black, Reading Down
In December, 1893 to 1895, a two stamp overprinted issue - "Reading Down"- was released using the Cape of Good Hope Scott 43-44 1p rose & 2p bister stamps. CV is $3 for each.

Of note, the same stamps were earlier released in November, 1891 with the overprint "Reading Up". (CV $3+-$10+).

1891 Scott 33 1p lilac
Stamps of Great Britain, Overprinted in Black
Between December 1, 1891 and 1894, a five stamp issue was published using the stamps of Great Britain overprinted in black. The overprint is as shown.

1891 Scott 34 2p green & carmine
Stamps of Great Britain, Overprinted in Black
CV for the five stamp issue ranges from <$1 to $10+.

Of note, Cape Colony took over the responsibility for providing  postal service on April 1, 1893.

On November 16, 1895, British Bechuanaland was formally absorbed into Cape Colony. They ceased, then, to have their own stamps. But the stamps of British Bechuanaland continued to be in use in the Bechuanaland Protectorate until 1897.

At the same time, the Bechuanaland Protectorate was serviced postally by Cape Colony, then South Africa, until 1963.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner), for British Bechuanaland 1885-1897, has three pages, and all the major Scott numbers have a space.

1922 Map showing Bechuanaland Protectorate
& British Bechuanaland Area that has been annexed by 
Cape Colony, and then Union of South Africa
Out of the Blue
Wow, this area is quite interesting from both a postal and historical perspective!

The next post will look at the stamp issues of the Bechuanaland Protectorate.

For those interested in more, I suggest checking out The Bechuanalands and Botswana Society website- www.bechuanalandphilately.com .

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Links
Bechuanaland Protectorate - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Far Eastern Republic - Bud's Big Blue

Aleksandr Kolchak (1874-1920) anti-Bolshevik fighter
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
When stamps of the Far Eastern Republic (FER) speak, they tell tales of the Russian Revolution’s searing flames, of White Russia’s leaders being executed, of refugees running for their lives. They complain about being postal service in a hapless buffer state between Red Russia and the forces of Japan. They recount initial hopes that all Russians might get along, and how those hopes collapsed into bloody war. They chatter about why there were so many different stamp issues in so short a time. Some say they’re Bolsheviks, others claim a Cossack connection. Some whisper about their mysterious origins, secrets they’ve hidden to confound philatelists.

If you hear your FER stamps speaking, pay attention. Then call a psychiatrist.

Using the key word “Chita” will turn up fugitive FER stamps in internet auctionland. As might be expected, forgeries burgeon. Combine historical study of FER stamps with those of Japan in China.

Census: eight in BB spaces, 14 on supplement page. Six have been added since the scans were made.

Jim's Observations
The Far Eastern Republic was basically set up as a buffer state between  the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (which largely controlled the Far Eastern Republic), and the territories occupied by Japan during the Russian Civil War. The Republic existed from April 1920 to November, 1922.  When the Civil War ended and the Japanese left Vladivostock, Soviet Russia then absorbed the territory.

Far Eastern Republic Blog Post and BB Checklist

Page 1 (click and enlarge for examination.)

Supplements
Page 1


Comments appreciated!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Bavaria 1849-1862 & the Mill Wheel Stamp Postmarks

1849 Scott 2 3kr blue "Numeral"
Broken Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Closed Mill Wheel Postmark (217)
Probable First Distribution - Munich
Into the Deep Blue
This blog post will look at the imperforate square shaped typographic issued Bavaria stamps from 1849 to 1862.

We will also examine the interesting Mill Wheel cancellations (Mühlradstempel) found on many of these stamps during this era.

Original Blog Post and Big Blue Checklist

The 2017 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Baden 1849-1862, fourteen major number descriptions.  Of those, some are fairly inexpensive for the classical era.

1849 Scott 2 3kr blue ($3+)
1850 Scott 4 1kr pink ($20+)
1850 Scott 5 6kr brown ($6+)
1850 Scott 6 9kr yellow green ($10+)
1862 Scott 9 1kr yellow ($20)
1862 Scott 10 3kr rose ($4)
1862 Scott 11 6kr blue ($10+)
1862 Scott 12 9kr bister ($10+)

Clearly, the WW collector should be able to collect and study these stamps without too much financial strain.

First Bavarian Postage Stamp November 1, 1849
(Not mine- scan from internet)
In contrast, the 1849 Scott 1 1kr black catalogs for $1,000 for November 1, 1849 plate 1 (rough impression, framelines around figure "1" broken or incomplete), and $2,600 for May, 1850 plate 2 (fine impression, framelines around "1" complete). I will say no more about the 1kr black here.

A closer look at the 1849-1862 "Numeral" stamps
60 Kreutzer = 1 Gulden
100 Pfennig = 1 Mark (1874)
1849 Scott 2b 3kr deep blue "Numeral"
Broken Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Closed Mill Wheel Postmark (547)
First Distribution (Dorfen) or Second Distribution (Vohenstrauss)
On November 1, 1849, three typographic stamps were issued by Bavaria: the now uber CV expensive 1kr black, a 6kr brown (CV $200+), and the 3kr blue (CV $3+), as shown above. Actually, the above stamp is a minor number shade - "deep blue".

Note the center circle surrounding the number is interrupted (broken) by the two side panels for the 3kr blue and the 6kr brown for this issue.

Note the dividing lines (always the same color as the stamp, here blue) between the stamps, a general feature of all the numeral issues, save the 1kr black. A full margin is considered 1mm.

There is also a closed Mill Wheel postmark with "547" in the middle - which identifies the towns- two possibilities in this case. We will have more to say about the Mill Wheel postmarks shortly.

Reverse of Numeral Stamp: Note vertical embedded Red Silk Thread
The Numeral stamps, save again the 1kr black, have a vertical thread embedded in the paper, which was an anticounterfeiting device.

Now, what about the Mill Wheel cancels?

"Closed" Mill Wheel Cancel
Sometimes called Type I
Note solid spokes radiating from circle
The so called "closed" mill wheel cancels were introduced on August 1, 1850. Each town was assigned alphabetically a number between 1 (Abensberg) to 402 (Zwiesel).  New towns were added later-, reaching to 603. These newly added towns were not alphabetical, except if the towns were added in batches, then within a batch they were alphabetical.

This "First Distribution" (all closed mill wheel cancels) were used between August 1, 1850 and November 20, 1856, and then withdrawn.

Between November 20, 1856 and November 30, 1856, only town cancels were used. (These are sought after by specialists.)

On December 1, 1856 the "Second Distribution" consisted of numbers 1 (Abbach)  to 606 (Zwiesel). The numbers were assigned to towns alphabetically, but the towns did not receive the same number as the first distribution. Later numbers assigned after 606 for new towns were not alphabetical.

The "Second Distribution" also had many"closed" mill wheel cancels. But some towns received rather a new replacement cancel, usually if the original "closed" mill wheel cancel was highly worn. The new replacement cancel consisted of an "open" mill wheel cancel. These "open" mill wheel cancels were also used for newly established post offices, with the numbers eventually reaching 920.

"Open" Mill Wheel Cancel
Sometimes called Type II
Note there are no solid spokes radiating out from inner circle
The outer portion of the cancel is more "open"
The visual difference between "closed" and "open" mill wheel cancels will become easily apparent - if it is not already-when we examine more stamps further in this blog posting.

For the "open" mill wheel cancels, which were part of the "Second Distribution", the numbers range from 2 to 920 (there are many gaps between 2-605, where closed mill wheel cancels were being used).

One identification problem for the collector is, if a same number was used in both the First Distribution and the Second Distribution, then there might be two possibilities. For instance, "1" could be either Abensberg or Abbach.

However, if the stamp was issued after December 1, 1856, then it must be from the Second Distribution town.

And if the number is the same, but one cancel is 'closed", while the other cancel is "open", that solves the identification problem. The "closed" cancel would be from the First Distribution town, while the "open" cancel would be from the Second Distribution town.

Michel, in its Specialized German catalog, lumps the numbers into five groups of increasing CV, if one is interested in valuing the specific worth of a number.

Well, where can the collector find a table with the town numbers?

The http://www.briefmarken-universum.de/ site by Holger Reichert is excellent.

The numbers 1-606 are listed in two columns: one for the First Distribution town, and one for the Second Distribution town. If the Second Distribution town has an "open" Mill Wheel cancel, then it is listed with an "x".

The numbers 607-920 are all "open" Mill Wheel cancels.

Bavaria Mill Wheel Town Numbers 607-920

The Mill Wheel cancels were withdrawn March 9, 1869. After that, only town cancels were used.

1849 Scott 2 3kr blue "Numeral"
Broken Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Closed Mill Wheel Postmark (134)
First Distribution - Hochstadt (Hoechstadt)
Here is a closed Mill Wheel cancel on a 3kr blue.

The 3kr was printed using five plates (1-1849-50 (rare), 2-1850-54, 3-1854-58, 4-1856-62, 5-1858-62).

Colors can be dark blue, Prussian blue, gray blue, and green blue.

Hoechstadt, Bavaria on the river Aisch
The "134" is from Hoechstadt (First Distribution) , and not from Frankenthal (Second Distribution), which used an open Mill Wheel cancel.

"Blue carp", "baked carp", and "pepper carp" are some of the regional specialty carp dishes around Hoechstadt.

1849 Scott 2 3kr blue "Numeral"
Broken Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Closed Mill Wheel Postmark (217)
First Distribution (Munich) or Second Distribution (Holzkirchen)
This 3kr blue could be from Munich or Holzkirchen.

Old Rathaus, Holzkirchen
If the "217" stamp had remained on an envelope, other postmark markings might very well have given good clues to which town origin.

1849 Scott 2 3kr blue "Numeral" (Stamp presented upside down)
Broken Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Open Mill Wheel Postmark (336?)
Second Distribution (Neuburg a.D.)
The 336 (probable) cancel is an open Mill Wheel variety, hence "Second Distribution", and hence Neuburg an der Donau.

Neuberg an der Donau
On the Danube river, the Neuburg Castle is spectacular. And a special treat awaits in old town: the "Birdland Jazz Club, Neuburg", one of the best Jazz venues in all of Germany..

1850 Scott 4 1kr pink
Complete Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Open Mill Wheel Postmark (22)
Second Distribution (Aschaffenburg)
The 1kr pink is part of a five stamp set released between July, 1850 to 1858. The set is characterized, in part, by the complete circle around the numeral (compare to the 3kr blue shown earlier).

Actually, the 1849 3kr blue "broken circle" stamp (plate 2-5) continued  to be issued, up to 1863

Note the open Mill Wheel cancel with "22". This is from Ashaffenburg.

Johannisburg Castle
Located on the river Main, the Johannisburg Castle in Ashaffenburg was heavily damaged in WW II, but then completely restored.

1850 Scott 5 6kr brown
Complete Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Open Mill Wheel Postmark (325)
Second Presentation (Munich)
The 1850 6kr brown, with the complete circle, has an open Mill Wheel cancel "325".

The 1850 "complete circle" 6kr brown (CV $6+) was printed from a new plate, and replaced the "broken circle" 1849 6kr brown (CV $240).

Bavarian National Museum, Munich
"325" is for Munich, and for circa 1860, the city was already well over 100,000 population.

1850 Scott 6 9kr yellow green
Complete Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Closed Mill Wheel Postmark (217)
First Distribution (Munich) or Second Distribution (Holzkirchen)
Here is another "217" closed Mill wheel cancel, this time on a 1850 9kr yellow green. Considering the large population difference, probably from Munich.

1850 Scott 6 9kr yellow green
Complete Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Open Mill Wheel Postmark (356)
This 9kr yellow green is from Nuernberg, the only possibility. (Recall that the open Mill Wheel cancels were only used during the Second Distribution.)

Hangman Bridge, Nuremberg, Bavaria
Nuernberg, or Nuremberg is Bavaria's second largest city.

1850 Scott 6 9kr yellow green
Complete Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Closed Mill Wheel Postmark (281?)
First Distribution (Regensburg) or Second Distribution (Lechfeld)
The possibilities are double here.

1862 Scott 9 1kr yellow
Complete Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Nurnberg Cancel
Of course, not all Numeral stamps have the mill wheel cancels, although they tend to predominate, especially in the earlier years.

The 1kr yellow was part of an October, 1862 six stamp issue that had new colors for the denominations.

Also, save for the 3kr rose, all had a complete circle around the numeral.

1862 Scott 10a 3kr carmine (Stamp turned on side)
Broken Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Closed Mill Wheel Postmark (604)
 Second Distribution (Zusmarshausen)
The 1862 3kr stamp was the exception: it had a broken circle around the numeral.

The color of the 3kr stamp here appears to be carmine, which is a minor number shade.

Note that the mill wheel cancellation is "closed". If there were two possibilities for the "604" number, here it would have to be from the Second Distribution, as the stamp itself was not produced until 1862, and First Distribution numbers were only used until 1856. But that is a moot point for "604" anyway, as that number was only used for the Second Distribution.

Gasthof Adler in Zusmarshausen
Zumarshausen is a small district (pop 6,000 today) in the Augsburg, Bavaria region.

1862 Scott 10a 3kr carmine (Shade)
Broken Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Open Mill Wheel Postmark 
Here is another carmine shade for the 3kr. Note the open Mill Wheel cancel, but the number is not readable. The carmine shade is valued somewhat higher than the major number rose color ($6 vs $4).

1862 Scott 10 3kr rose 
Broken Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
OpenMill Wheel Postmark (356?)
 Second Distribution (Nuernberg)
Here is the rose color proper for the 1862 3kr.  As the 3kr rose was issued in 1862, only Second Distribution numbers were being used then. Again a bit of a moot point for this stamp, as the cancel is clearly an open Mill Wheel, which was only used during the Second Distribution.

The "356"  number is Nuernberg (Nuremberg).

1862 Scott 11 6kr blue
Open Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Munich Postmark
A non Mill Wheel cancel for Munich on this 1862 6kr blue.

Fournier Forgeries cancels for Bavaria
I should say something about forgeries. The 1849 1kr black, with a high CV, had many forgeries. In general, though, the other Bavarian stamps were not forged as much as some of the other German States. 

Francois Fournier of Geneva (1846-1917) was responsible for a forgeries of these issues, and here is an example of the cancels used on them.

1862 Scott 12 9kr bister
Open Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
This 1862 9kr bister has an open Mill Wheel cancel, but the number is not legible.

The CV for this stamp is $10+. If on cover- CV $50+. It is rather remarkable the relatively low CV for these classic stamps.

1862 Scott 13 12kr yellow green 
Open Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Open Mill Wheel Postmark (325)
 Second Distribution (Munich)
The 1862 12kr yellow green has an open Mill Wheel cancel - "325" - which is Munich. Certainly, going after lesser known and rarer town numbers would be an interesting activity for the collector.

The "Numeral" stamps were used until the introduction of the "Coat of Arms" issue in January 1, 1867.

1867 Scott 17 6kr ultramarine "Coat of Arms"-Embossed-Imperforate-
With silk Thread-Closed wheel Postmark (331)-Second Distribution (Naila)
The Mill Wheel cancels can also be found on the imperforate 1867-68 "Coat of Arms" issue, although not frequently.

The Mill Wheel cancels ceased on March 10, 1869.

Naila, Bavaria
Naila, on the Seibitz river, was a town of some 4,000 circa 1860, and is located 18 km from the city of Hof, Bavaria.

Deep Blue
1862 Issue in Deep Blue
Bavaria in Deep Blue (Steiner) has 24 pages (recall that Bavaria had stamp issues up to 1920). For the imperforate "Numerals", there is one page. All of the major Scott numbers have a space.

1850 Scott 5 6kr brown
Complete Circle-With Silk Thread-Dividing Line between Stamps
Open Mill Wheel Postmark
Out of the Blue
I've learned a lot more about the 1849-1862 Numeral issues, and the accompanying closed and open Mill Wheel cancels. A bonus was learning a bit about the Bavarian towns too. Isn't it fun? !!

Note: The 1849 1kr black stamp image is from the internet, and appears to be in the public domain.

The image of the Fournier Forgeries cancels appear to be in the public domain.

The pics of various German towns appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!