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...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


1920 "old" Scott 274 40r red brown & orange
Prepared, but not issued as the National Republic collapsed
Quick History
Armenia is bordered by Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey. Armenia was a National Republic in 1919-20, when the 1902-19 Russian stamps were handstamped with the Armenian letter "H" for Hayasdan (Armenia).
The Soviet Eleventh Army invaded in 1920, and the National Republic collapsed. The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic issued stamps until 1923. These stamp issues where then replaced by those of the Transcaucasian Federation of Soviet Republics, consisting of Armenia, Azerbajian, and Georgia. Population of Armenia was about 1 million in the 1930s.

In 1991, the Soviet Union was breaking apart, and Armenia became the first non-Baltic republic to establish its independence.

Interesting Fact: Armenia has not only its own language, but its own alphabet.

1921 Scott 291 15,000r slate blue "Lake Sevan and Sevan Monastery"
Big Blue Picture
On one page, Big Blue (1969) has 27 stamp spaces.
The Scott Specialized catalogue 1840-1940 has about 400 major varieties listed.
Big Blue provides 7% coverage.

Actually the coverage appears better, because 265 varieties are during the Russian stamp "handstamp" era.

For me, the most interesting issue is the 1920 set of 10 stamps that were never used because they were overtaken by history. Let me explain. In 1920, the National Republic prepared a 10 stamp design. The printing was done in Paris, but a large quantity was lost on their way to Armenia. Before they could be used, the National Republic collapsed as the Soviet Eleventh Army entered Yerevan. The use of these stamps was prohibited, and the stamp issues of the new Soviet Republic were used.

Big Blue has illustrations for five of these stamps, but they no longer have active Scott numbers. The set was  used fiscally, but not for postage.  For myself, I'm going to be happy to fill the spaces with this issue. Stamp collecting really is more than stamp collecting; and here it gives us a  little tangible piece of significant history.

The other five stamps of the collapsing National Republic not represented in Big Blue are:
1r light brown "268"
15r violet "272"
50r blue & brown "275"
70r violet 7 brown "276"
100r dark red & brown "277"
Note:1947  Scott Standard catalogue numbers are used.

Additional stamps of the 1919-20 Russian stamp "Handstamp" Era
There are lots of additions possible, but if one would like to collect other denominations than those represented in Big Blue, here are some choices:

7k light blue: 37 or137 ($2+)
35k red brown & green; 41 or101 ($2+)
50k violet & green: 42 or102 ($1+)
60k on 1k orange: 1 or130 ($2+)
1 r pale brown, dark brown & orange: 44 or75 ($1+)
3 1/2r maroon & light green: 104 ($2+)

1922 ( not in Big Blue, but could be collected)
300,301,302,303,304,305,306,307,308,309 (<$1-$1+)

The rest of the 1922 issues ( 80 catalog varieties), are at least $5, and usually much more.

Big Blue Checklist (1969)
Russian Stamps of 1902-18 surcharged with various devices.
2K green: 31or 91 ($1+)
3K red: 63or 32 ($2+-)
4K carmine: 93or 6 ($2+)
5K claret: 34or 94 ($1+)
10K dark blue: 36or 67 ($2+)
15K red brown: 38or 98 ($1+)
20K blue: 39or 99 ($1+)
25K green & gray violet: 40or 100 ($1+)
Note all these stamps actually have at least 4-7 different varieties. I listed two of the least expensive varieties.

Set of 10 stamps prepared by the National Republic, but the government collapsed, and these stamps were not used for postage. Value of set-$10.
No Scott numbers listed ( withdrawn) in Scott Specialized catalogue. Scott numbers here are from the 1947 Standard catalogue.
3r green "269"
5r red "270"
10r black "271"
25r green & brown "273"
40r red-orange & brown "274"

Soviet Socialist Republic
278,279,280,281,282,283,284,285,286,287,288,289,291,292  (<$1-$1+)

Soviet Armenia 1920-22
Kinds of Blue
The 1997 edition and the 1969 edition are identical.
Compared to the 1969 edition, both the 1947 and 1941 editions are the same.

Big Blue Bottom Line
Really I find Armenia's stamps fascinating; perhaps because of its unique alphabet. The history as reflected in Armenia's stamps (until they were absorbed into the larger Soviet sphere) during  1919-1920 is likewise fascinating.

Note: Map in public domain courtesy of Armenia.org

Armenia 1919-22 stamps & Forgeries
Armenia - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

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