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...

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Burma Pt 1 - a closer look

1945 Scott 44 3a6p deep blue & bright blue
"Farmer Plowing Rice Field"
"Mily Admn" overprinted in black
Into the Deep Blue
Stamps of India were used in Burma from 1854 until April 1, 1937. It then became a self governing unit of the British Commonwealth with a constitution. It became totally independent in 1948.

The original blog post and BB checklist for Burma is here.

 Gerben van Gelder's Map of Burma
Stamp World History Site (Presently not available)
The stamp history is interesting enough that I will split the presentation into two parts.

Part 1 (this one) will look at the regular and official British Commonwealth issues of 1937-1940, and 1945-1947.

Part 2 will look at the interesting 1942 Burma Independence Army issues (under Japanese authorization), and the Japanese occupation stamps of 1942-1944. Then we will look at the issues of the independent Republic from 1948-1949.

A closer look
12 Pies = 1 Anna
10 Annas = 1 Rupee
1937 Scott 8 3a6p deep blue "George V"
Stamps of India 1926-36, Overprinted in Black
As noted, Burma came under British administration on April 1, 1937 after having had been a province of India since January 1, 1886.

An 18 stamp issue was released by overprinting "Burma" on 1926-36 stamps of India.

The overprint was on top of all stamps, save for the 3a carmine rose, where the overprint is on the bottom.

The small format 3p-12a denominations (12 stamps) have a modest <$1 CV for 11 stamps.

The 1r-25r denominations (6 stamps) are more CV expensive, ranging from $5+ to $550.

1937 Scott O5 2a vermilion
Official Issue - India 1926-34 OP in Black
Also, during April-June, 1937, officials - an issue of 14 stamps - were produced by using the 1926-1934 stamps of India. The "Burma" and "Service" overprints were either applied separately or together in one operation.

CV ranges from <$1 to $300.

1938 Scott 21 9p yellow green "George VI and Chinthes"
Burma received their own stamps ( with a George VI visage) on November 15, 1938.

The sixteen stamp issue was lithographed by Security Printing Press, Nasik. (Be aware that the 1a brown violet was also typographed: My 1a specimen appears to typographed.)

The eight stamps that were of (mostly) lower denominations had two local motif designs in the frames.

The one as above shows "Chinthes", a lion like creature that guards pagodas and temples.

1938 Scott 26 3a dark violet 
"Elephant Moving Teak Log"
The four middle denominations are pictorials, and in my opinion, the class of the lot.

Look at this image! I wish all British Commonwealth stamps were like this.

1938 Scott 30 1r bright ultramarine & dark violet
"George VI and Peacock"
The four higher denominations were bi-colored.

The 1r shows George VI enveloped in a peacock!

Official 1939 Scott O19 1 1/2a turquoise green
Regular Issue of 1938 overprinted in black
The Official stamps were made by taking stamps from the 1938 issue and overprinting them in black. This 1939 Official issue consists of 13 stamps.

Note the "Nagas", divine serpent beings of Buddhist mythology,  along the frame

1945 Scott 41 2a carmine "George VI and Nagas"
1928-40 Issue stamps overprinted "Mily Admn" in black
From May, 1942 until November 1, 1944, Japanese occupation occurred, with stamps issued by them or their surrogates.

The British Military began plans for liberation in 1943, with operations against the Japanese increasing toward the latter half of 1944.

Postal services for the civilian population started in April, 1945, with Mandalay (June 8) and Rangoon (June 16) opening on the dates noted.

The British Military Administration continued through the end of 1945. The stamp issues of 1938-40  (16 stamps) were overprinted in black "Mily Admn", and released in 1945.

1945 Scott 46 8a slate green 
"Sailboat on Irrawaddy River"
1928-40 Issue stamps overprinted "Mily Admn" in black
CV for the 16 stamp issue ranges from <$1 to $2+.

Irrawaddy River Map
The Irrawaddy flows North-South in Burma (Myanmar), and is still today a very important commercial waterway.

1946 Scott 53 9p dull green
Types of 1938
On January 1,1946,  a "Types of 1938" issue, namely in different colors than the 1938 issue but using the same designs, was released. The issue consisted of 14 lithographic stamps, with the 15th stamp (1a deep blue) printed using typography.

1946 Scott 58 3a blue violet "Burma Teak"
Types of 1938
The issue has a CV ranging from <$1 to $25.

Note the fabulous blue violet color on this three annas! Normally, I'm not much of a fan of lithography during the classical era compared to engraving (tends to lack detail,  have a dull washed out look, and subject to easy forging), but this design/execution/printing is great!

Official 1946 Scott O34 4a rose lilac
1946 "Types of 1938" regular issue
Overprinted in Black
Official stamp were produced using the 1946 regular issue by overprinting "service" in black.

A thirteen stamp Official issue was released in 1946.

Official 1946 Scott O38 8a deep magenta
1946 "Types of 1938" regular issue
Overprinted in Black
CV for the 1946 Official issue ranges from <$1 to $20.

1946 Scott 69 3a6p ultramarine
"Elephant Hauling Teak"
Victory of Allied Nations in WWII
On May 2, 1946, a four stamp issue was published celebrating the victory of the Allies.

This would prove to be the last issue for the British administration.

1947 Scott 74 1 1/2a salmon
1946 Issue Overprinted in Black
On October 1, 1947, a 15 stamp issue was released with a Burmese inscription overprint "Interim (Burmese) Government".

The overprint was applied to the 1936 regular issue.

1947 Scott 76 2a6p greenish blue "Royal Barge'
1946 Issue Overprinted in Black
CV ranges from <$1 to $8+.

1947 Scott 82 2r salmon & red brown
1946 Issue Overprinted in Black
The higher denominations still show George VI, but with an overprint applied.  British Rule had seen better days.

Official 1947 Scott O46 1a deep blue
Regular 1947 overprinted issue with
Additional "Service" OP in Black
Likewise, "Service" stamps were created.

Official 1947 Scott O55 10r dark violet & carmine
Regular 1947 overprinted issue with
Additional "Service" OP in Black
The 13 stamp Official issue of 1947 has a CV of <$1-$20+.

Note the "Nats" (Spirits), which are worshiped as part of Buddhism, depicted along the stamp frame here. Nats consist of 37 Great Nats (human beings who met violet death ("green death"), and the rest (spirit of trees, water etc).

Deep Blue
Burma 1946 Official Issue
Regular Issue of 1946 Overprinted
Deep Blue (Steiner)  has nine pages for the 1937-47 stamps issued by the British administration. All of the Scott major numbers have a space.


1946 Scott 59 3a6p ultramarine & gray black
"Farmer Plowing Rice Field"
Types of 1938
Out of the Blue
Burma (and Myanmar) are fascinating countries made more so by their self imposed isolation. The stamps likewise.

Next post: Burma Part 2 -  Japanese occupation stamps of 1942-1944, and the issues of the independent Republic from 1948-1949.

Note: "Irrawaddy" Map appears to be in the public domain.
Burma Map - Stamp World History: Through prior correspondence, I had obtained general permission from Gerben to use his maps.

Links
Burma - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

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