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...

Friday, June 1, 2018

Belgium 1915-1922 King Albert I Issue & Types Part A

1915 Scott 108 1c orange "Albert I"
Type I
Into the Deep Blue
On October 15, 1915, Belgium issued 15 stamps, somewhat equally divided between a typographic mono-colored "King Albert I" design for the lower denominations, and gorgeous engraved pictorials, some bi-colored, for the upper denominations.

This is one of my very favorite sets, not just for Belgium, but for worldwide.

The engraved specimens will be shown in the Part B blog post for all of us to enjoy.

And for the "King Albert" stamps, it introduces delicious complications, for those of us that like to examine stamps closely.

Scott, in the Classic 1840-1940 catalogue, has a tantalizing note: "Two types each of the 1c, 10c, and 20c; three of the 2c and 15c; four of the 5c, differing in the top left corner".

And then Scott says no more....What???

Fortunately, in the internet era, and with country specialty catalogues (I have the 1998 Belgique: Catalogue Officiel de Timbres-Poste), one can decode the differences.

What I would like to do with this blog post is go over carefully the five! types found for the King Albert stamps, showing examples.  And then I will present "unknowns",  where you and I can then figure out which type it is.

Why are there five types?

Well, the typographic stamps were printed between 1915 and 1922, and each new major printing was a new Die, with differences in the left upper frame.

Here are the Die types, where and when the stamps were printed, and the stamps found with that type....

Type I October 15, 1915, London, Waterlow and Sons
1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 15, 20c, 25c

Type II 1919 London
1c, 2c, 5c, 15c

Type III 1920 London
2c, 5c, 10c, 15c

Type IV 1922 Malines
5c, 20c

Type V or Type IA 1918 London
5c

The 3c gray black was issued on December 30, 1920, and is not given a type in the specialty catalogues.

Let's begin!

A closer look at the stamp issues
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
Type I (Top to Bottom): Attached; Break; Short
Type I is determined by three signs found in the top left portion of the frame:
* A thin white line above and to the left of "Belgique", and a thick white arabesque line from below meet, and are attached.
* There is a break in the curly-cue portion of the white arabesque line.
* The white nubbin extending downwards along the frame side is short.

1915 Scott 111 5c green "Albert"
Type I; 1915 London Print
The 5c green can exist in all five types!

1915 Scott 111 5c green "Albert"
Close-up Type I; 1915 London Print
A close-up view shows attached, break, short nubbin: This is a Type I. CV (unused) is $1.

1915 Scott 113 15c purple "Albert"
Type I; 1915 London Print
The 15c purple has a bit of a crease, but what type is it?

1915 Scott 113 15c purple "Albert"
Close-up Type I; 1915 London Print
Attached, break, short nubbin: A type I.  This has the minimal CV of 25 cents.

1915 Scott 115 25c blue "Albert"
Type I; 1915 London Print
I show the 25c blue for completeness sake, as there is no mystery about types with this stamp. It exists only as Type I! CV (unused) is 50 cents.

1915 Scott 115 25c blue "Albert"
Close-up Type I; 1915 London Print
Attached, break, and a short nubbin: Yes, Type I.

1915 Scott 108 1c orange"Albert"
Type I; 1915 London Print
The 1c orange can exist as Type I or Type II.

1915 Scott 108 1c orange"Albert"
Close-up Type I; 1915 London Print
Attached, break, short nubbin: A type I.

Type II (Top to Bottom): Attached; No Break; Short
Type II is determined by three signs found in the top left portion of the frame: 
* A thin white line above and to the left of "Belgique", and a thick white arabesque line from below meet, and are attached.
* There is NO break in the curly-cue portion of the white arabesque line.
* The white nubbin extending downwards along the frame side is short.

5c green "Albert"
Type II: 1919 London print
The 5c green can be found as Type I, Type II, Type III., Type IV, or Type V.

5c green "Albert"
Close-up Type II: 1919 London print
Attached, NO break, short nubbin: A Type II. In the Belgian country catalogue, Type II's appear to have a CV about twice a Type I.

15c purple "Albert"
Type II: 1919 London print
The 15c purple is found as Type I, Type II, and Type III.

15c purple "Albert"
Close-up Type II: 1919 London print
Attached, no break, short nubbin: a Type II. Type IIs were printed in London in 1919-1920. Specifically, the 15c purple Type II was issued Sept 25, 1919.

1920 Scott 110 3c gray black "Albert"
The 3c gray was not initially issued, along with all the other denominations in 1915, but on December 29, 1920. CV (used) is the minimal 25 cents.

1920 Scott 110 3c gray black "Albert"
Close-up
Although the Belgian catalogue does not give  a type for the 3c gray (no need), the upper left part of the stamp shows attached/no break/short nubbin, which is consistent with Type II.

Type III (Top to Bottom): Not Attached; Break; Short
Type III is determined by three signs found in the top left portion of the frame:
* A thin white line above and to the left of "Belgique", and a thick white arabesque line from below DO NOT meet, and are NOT attached.
* There is a break in the curly-cue portion of the white arabesque line.
* The white nubbin extending downwards along the frame side is short.

Type III can be found with the 2c chocolate, 5c green, 10c carmine, and 15c purple.
They were printed in London in 1920.

2c chocolate "Albert"
The 2c chocolate can be Type I, II, or III.

2c chocolate "Albert"
Close-up Type III: 1920 London print
NOT attached, break, short nubbin: a Type III. This is a really good example of a Type III. Sometimes the "not attached" sign is more subtle.

CV for Type III in the Belgian catalogue are at least 2X Type I.

Type IV (Top to Bottom): Attached; Break; Long
Type IV is determined by three signs found in the top left portion of the frame: 
* A thin white line above and to the left of "Belgique", and a thick white arabesque line from below meet, and are attached.
* There is a break in the curly-cue portion of the white arabesque line.
* The white nubbin extending downwards along the frame side is LONG.

20c red violet "Albert"
Type IV: 1922 Malines Print
Type IV stamps are found with the 5c green and the 20c red violet. They are most characterized by a LONG nubbin in the left upper portion of the stamp.

20c red violet "Albert"
Close-up Type IV: 1922 Malines Print
Attached, break, LONG nubbin: A Type IV. The long nubbin is partially obscured by a cancel, but I checked the stamp with a binocular microscope, and it is definitely a Type IV!

The Belgian catalogue assigns about 2X CV for Type IVs.

Type V or IA: Same as Type I AND...
the top portion of the "5" is closer to the tablet border AND..
the "C" is more closed (narrow gap)
There is one more type in the Belgian catalogue, and this type is not mentioned in the Scott catalogue. It is called Type V or Type IA, as it is actually a variation of Type I.

It is only found on the 5c green, printed in London starting November 11, 2018.

CV is much more robust: 20X-40X usual Type I values.

Type V (or Type IA) has the same characteristics as Type I in the upper left portion (attached, break, short nubbin).  But in addition, it has the above unique characteristics in the left lower part of the stamp.

1915  5c green "Albert"
Close-up Type I; 1915 London Print
Note top portion of "5" is farther from the table border AND
"C" is more open
I don;t have a copy of Type V (IA), but here is a Type I for comparison. The most striking thing with a Type V (IA) is the closed "C" compared to a normal Type I open "C".

Unknowns....
Well, now we will put our new found knowledge to the test with some "unknowns". Some of them initially fooled me when I evaluated them.

Try to determine the type before looking at my choice/guess.

2c chocolate 
O.K., here is a 2c chocolate. The possibilities are Type I, Type II, and Type III.

Close-up 2c chocolate 
Attached, break, short nubbin: What is it?

Yes, a Type I!

Type I stamps are, in my collection, the most common type.

2c chocolate 
Another 2c chocolate -although the shade for this stamp looks like "milk chocolate", while the preceding stamp looked like a "dark chocolate" shade. Both shades are noted in the Belgian catalogue.

Close-up 2c chocolate ( What Type?)
What do you think? (Look carefully.)

I actually initially thought this was a T III with an attachment break, but the cancel is obscuring the attachment. I confirmed the attachment with the binocular microscope - therefore  Type I.

15c purple 
The 15c purple can be Type I, Type II, or Type III.

Close-up 15c purple 
Well, I find attached, no break, short nubbin. Do you agree?

What is it?

Yes, Type II. !!

This is another example of a cancel obscuring some characteristics.

5c green 
The 5c green, so all possibilities are open!

Close-up 5c green 
The most telling sign is the long nubbin...specifically, attached/break/long nubbin.

Yes, Type IV!
10c carmine 
The 10c carmine can be Type I or Type III.

But the cancel date on the stamp ( March 21, 1919?) would suggest this is Type I, as Type III was not issued until 1920.

Close-up 10 carmine 
Attached, break, short nubbin: sure, enough, this is Type I.

20c red violet 
This stamp is tough because the cancel obscures some of the signs.

The possibilities are Type I or Type IV.

Close-up 20c red violet 
Even though the attachment sign is difficult to determine because of the heavy cancel in that area, the long nubbin is quite obvious: This has to be Type IV. !!

Attached, break, long nubbin.

(Note: I put this stamp under a binocular microscope, and by using light shining both on (above) the stamp, and through (underneath) the stamp, I could see that it was attached, despite the heavy cancel in the area.)

10c bright carmine (112a- I)
This 10c is a variation on the color, a bright carmine, which is given a minor number in Scott.

Close-up 10c bright carmine (112a- I)
Attached, break, short nubbin:  a Type I.

20c red violet (I)
Finally, another 20c red violet, which can be Type I or Type IV.

But the cancel date appears to be January 8, 1916.

The Type IVs did not come out until 1922 so...

Close-up 20c red violet 
Attached, break, short nubbin: yes, a Type I.

5c green
The 5c green can be found in all types.

Close-uo 5c green
This one is tough.

Definitely a break, and a short nubbin, and it looks to me that it is unattached.

That would make it a Type III. I have it in the album as a probable-possible. Also, the cancel appears to be from 1920+

20c purple
The 20c purple can be found with Type I & IV.

 20c purple close-up
Attached (cancel obscures but is attached), break, and long nubbin - This is a Type IV. !!!

So ends the "unknown'" section. 

How did you do? 

1918 Scott B37 10c + 10c red "Albert"
Types of Regular Issue of 1915 Surcharged in Red
I should mention that the 1915 issue was reissued as semi-postals in 1918 with red surcharges. These are "types" of the 1915 issue, as some of the color shades are different for the Type I "King Albert", and the pictorials are in completely different colors.

Actually, Scott calls this color for the 10c + 10c "red", but it clearly is not. The Belgian catalogue has the color as "vermilion", which looks more correct.

1915 Scott 112a 10c bright carmine "Albert I"
Type I
Out of the Blue
I hope the reader has a better grasp of the myriad types for the 1915-22 "King Albert" stamps - I know I do.

The next post on this topic will feature the higher denomination engraved stamps, also issued in 1915. They are quite exquisite, as we shall see.

Note:The images of "Types" were scanned from the "Belgique: Catalogue Officiel de Timbres-Poste" catalogue for educational purposes.

Comments appreciated!

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Yet again I'll have to review my Belgium collection to take into account what you've posted here. Thanks, I think.

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    Replies
    1. It is a bit flyspecking, but I like it. ;-)

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  3. I know i did well to keep all my doubles of Albert stamps;-), although I have the COB, I don't read it like I read a book, but once in a while it would be go to actually read a whole catalog from start to finish.

    Anyway thanks a lot for the informative text, now only to find a day or so to keep me busy with these ones ;-)

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