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. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Saturday, February 12, 2011


1939 Scott 16 1/2a green "Aidrus Mosque"
Quick History
Aden is a city now in Yemen along the Gulf of Aden on the Red Sea. The area surrounding Aden was given to the British in 1838. The Aden settlement was part of British India until 1937, when it became a crown colony. Then the Indian rupees (divided into annas) were replaced by East African shilllings in Aden. The location made it a popular exchange point for mail between the Indian Ocean and Europe. Aden continued under British rule until 1967.

1951 Scott 43 1sh on 1r emerald green
"Adenese Dhow"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Aden 1937-1951, 46 major number descriptions. In addition, for the Sultanates of Kathiri and Quaiti, the catalogue has, for 1942-1951, 54 major number descriptions. For the Aden proper issues, 29 are CV <$1-$2+, or 63%.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pies = 1 Anna
16 Annas = 1 Rupee
1937 Scott 2 9p dark green "Dhow"
Prior to 1937, Aden used India stamps. The Scott catalogue lists many of these India stamps cancelled in Aden beginning in 1855. This, however, is the realm of the specialist, so I will say no more about them.

The first issue proper for Aden is illustrated above. This lovely engraved design is found on a 1937 twelve stamp issue. CV ranges from $1+-$500.

Note above the 9 Pies denomination, which is 3/4 Anna.

 1937 Scott 6 3a carmine rose "Dhow"
The 1937 issue is in somewhat large format (31mm X 24mm), and, as the first issue found alphabetically in the Scott Classic catalogue, serves as a wonderful introduction to the beauty of classical era stamps. 

1939 Scott 19 1 1/2a red "Adenese Dhow"
Between 1939-48, a six design pictorial thirteen stamp issue was produced. The "Adenese Dhow" is shown here.

1939 Scott 23 8a orange "Mukulla"
The harbor town of Mukulla is featured on the 8a orange stamp.

1945 Scott 23A 14a light blue & brown black
"Capture of Aden, 1839"
In 1839, the British East India Company landed Marines and capture Aden in order to prevent pirate attacks. The 14a stamp illustrates the scene.

1944 Scott 25 2r deep magenta & blue black
"Aden Harbor"
The higher denominations are bi-colored. CV for the issue ranges from <$1-$10+.
1951 Scott 37 10c on 2a sepia "Aidrus Mosque"
The Scott Classic catalogue lists the British Commonwealth and Empire stamps through the end of the George VI era. Here, illustrated, is a surcharged eleven stamp issue released in 1951.

The Aidrus Mosque was originally constructed in the early 16th century, and was rebuilt in 1859.

1942 Scott 1 1/2a dark green
"Sultan Ja'far bin Mansur al Kathiri"
"Kathiri State of Seiyun"
There were several sultanates within Aden that also issued stamps, and were valid throughout Aden. 

1946 Scott 12 1 1/2a dark carmine rose
"Victory of the Allied Nations in WW II"
The Sultanate of Kathiri issued 27 stamps between 1942-1951. The stamp shown here shows Seiyun, the Capital of Kathiri.

1942 Scott 2 3/4a copper brown
"Sultan Sir Salah  bin Ghalib al Qu'aiti"
"Quaiti State of Shihr and Mukalia"
The second sultanate that issued stamps, also between 1942-1951, was the Quaiti State of Shihr and Mukalia.

 1942 Scott 7 3a dark carmine rose & dull brown
"Outpost of Mukalla"
On the eastern edge of Aden on the Gulf of Aden is the port town of Mukalla, and the Capital of the Sultanate. Mukalla has been a fishing village since the 11th century.

1946 Scott 13 2 1/2a deep blue, carmine overprint
"Victory of the Allied Nations in WW II"
This stamp shows the buildings at Shibam, an old walled city from the 3rd Century A.D. with mud brick tower houses 5 to 11 stories high. It is now a UNESCO World heritage Site.

1951 Scott 20 5c on 1a, carmine surcharge
In 1951, eight stamps were surcharged with new values as shown.

1951 Scott 24 50c on 8a orange red
"View of Einat"
The Quaiti State of Shihr and Mukalla  had 27 stamps issued between 1942-51. 

Einat, now in Yemen (as is all of Aden), is famous for domed tombs.

Deep Blue
Aden 1939-45 issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 10 pages for Aden, and includes coverage of the sultanate issues as well. All the Scott major numbers are provided a space.

1939 Scott 22 3a rose carmine & dark brown
Capture of Aden, 1839"
The Big Blue Picture
One page total in Big Blue (1969) has 15 stamp spaces + 4 blank stamp spaces = 19 spaces
Scott Complete Specialized Catalog 1840-1940 has 27 stamp descriptions.
Big Blue offers 70% coverage.

Scott 17 3/4a red brown "Camel Corpsman"
Big Blue Checklist
5, (6),(7),(8 or 9),

1937 Coronation Issue

20,21,22, (23 or 24 or 25),

Shades available in Scott 16,17, &20. See Scott Specialized catalogue
No difference in Scott listed numbers for the 1947 Standard catalogue, except no shades listed.

Aden on the Gulf of Aden
Kinds of Blue
The 1997 edition and the 1969 edition are identical.
Compared to the 1969 edition, no changes in coverage for either the 1947 edition, or the 1941 "Junior" edition.

1937 Scott 5 2 1/2a blue "Dhow"
Bottom Blue Line
It is a British colony, so interest and hence expense remains a bit high for these stamps.

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.
Note: The "Into the Deep Blue" section, as well as many of the stamp illustrations were added to the blog post in February, 2014, and published as a fresh blog post addition September, 2014.

Aden - Bud's Big Blue



  1. Szép angol gyártású bélyegeik vannak.

    1. "They have nice English-made stamps." (Hungarian)

      Yes, they do! Thanks for the comment Csobla.