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...

Monday, February 14, 2011


1920 Scott 18 15pf dark violet
Overprinted "Traite De Versailles"
Quick History
In 1920, a plebiscite was held under the Versailles Treaty  to determine if Allenstein would join East Prussia or Poland.

Allenstein (in gray)
Retained by Germany following a vote (plebiscite)
These stamps issued in 1920 were part of the propaganda. Allenstein, population 500,000 then, did in fact become part of the German Republic that year. In 1945 after WWII, Allenstein (Olsztyn) became part of Poland.

1920 Scott 2 10pf carmine
Stamps of Germany 1906-1920, overprinted
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Allenstein 1920, 28 overprinted German stamps.  Of those, 23 are CV <$1-$1+, or 82%. Clearly, a representative collection can be gathered without high cost.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Pfenning = 1 Mark
1920 Scott 8 50pf purple & black/buff
First Overprinting
As Allenstein had both Polish and German inhabitants, a League of Nations plebiscite was to be  held on July 11, 1920 to determine if East Prussia or Poland would retain the territory.

In April, 1920 two types of overprints were applied to German stamps as propaganda/ publicity.

Shown above is the first type of overprint with Plebiscite/ Olsztyn/ Allenstein script. (Olsztyn is the Polish name for the district.)

1920 Scott 11 1.25m green, overprinted
On July 11, 1920, 97% voted for East Prussia. Apparently, some Poles boycotted the election, and other Poles voted for Germany in fear that Poland might fall to Soviet Russia.

1920 Scott 12 1.50 yellow brown, overprinted
But, the overwhelming 97% vote does seem "odd", considering that in 1910, 52% of the population was German, and 44% of the population was Polish.

1920 Scott 19 20pf blue violet
Second Overprinting
The second overprinting is shown here. The stamps were valid until August 30.

1920 Scott 23 75pf green & black, overprinted
All values have a reasonable CV, no doubt because there was interest among collectors at the time for these stamps. But, the 15pf violet brown was issued after the other stamps, and has a higher CV: $5+ & $20 for the two overprinted types.

1920 Scott 28 3m black violet, overprinted
Ultimately, after WW II, the territory was absorbed into Poland.

Deep Blue
1920 Allenstein Scott 1-14 issue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has two pages for Allenstein, and has a space for the major numbers. Of interest, Scott lists minor number color variations, and, if one wished to collect Allenstein at that level, additional pages would be needed.

1920 30pf orange & black and 40pf  lake & black
Overprinted "Plebiscite Olsztyn Allenstein"
Big Blue Picture
On one page, Big Blue (1969) has 28 stamp spaces.
The 2011 Scott Specialized catalogue has 28 stamp descriptions.
Big Blue has 100% coverage.

Nice! Big Blue came through!

Allenstein (Olsztyn), formerly in East Prussia, is now in Poland
Big Blue Checklist (1969 Big Blue edition)
Stamps of Germany, issues 1906-20. All stamps are mint

1920 overprinted "plebiscite"
Scott 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,12 (<$1)
Scott 4 ($5+)
Scott 10,11 ($1+)
Scott 13,14 ($2+)

1920 overprinted "Versailles Treaty"
Scott 15,16,17,19,20,21,22,23 (<$1)
Scott 18 ($20+)
Scott 24,25,26,28 ($1+)
Scott 27 ($2+)

2.50m lilac rose & 1m carmine rose
Allenstein voted to join Germany rather than Poland
Kinds of Blue
The 1997 edition and the 1969 edition are identical.
Compared to the 1969 edition, both the 1947 and 1941 editions have the same coverage.

1920 Scott 1 5pf green
Stamps of Germany 1906-20 Overprinted
Bottom Blue Line
Nice propaganda stamps, and 100% coverage including a $20 valuation (Scott 18). What is curious about Big Blue is the inconsistency from country to country. C'est la vie.

Note: Maps appears to be in public domain. I wish to acknowledge Dead Country Stamps website ( http://www.dcstamps.com/?p=217 ) as the source for the Allenstein plebiscite map.

Note: The "Into the Deep Blue" section and many of the scans were added March, 2014.

Allenstein - Bud's Big Blue

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