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 21, 2011

Missing A's- Annam & Tonkin

1888 Scott 3 5c on 10c black/lavender overprint with "A & T"
This stamp issuing French protectorate is truly missing, as I am unaware that Annam & Tonkin have ever been in Big Blue.

Quick History
Part of French Indo-China ( Protectorates of Annam, Tonkin, Cambodia, Laos, and the colony of Cochin-China), Annam & Tonkin has six stamps recognized by Scott with major numbers. Actually, only three stamps (those illustrated), and another set with a hyphen between the "A" and "T".

These stamps were issued in 1888, and handstamped surcharged "A&T" with the value on 1881-86 French colonies stamps. The protectorate had a population of 14 million in 1890.

100 Centimes = 1 Franc
1888 Scott 1 1c on 2c brown/buff overprint with "A & T"
Big Blue Picture
The least expensive stamp is valued at $35, which might explain why the protectorate never appeared in Big Blue.

Big Blue Checklist
1886 Map of Indo-China: Note Annam & Tonkin located in present day Northern Vietnam
Kinds of Blue
1888 Scott 2 1c on 4c claret/lavander overprint "A & T"
Big Blue Bottom Line
As Scott's Big Blue is the most popular "serious" international album in the U.S., nice to know when a stamp issuing entity is NOT there.  :-)

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.



  1. One of those countries I still don't have an example from> could probably get one online for less than $20 (a lot for me to pay for a single stamp), but I always assume I would be getting a forged overprint.

    1. For WW collectors, A&T tends to be an afterthought.

  2. Considering Annam & Tonkin and Cochinchina are precursor issues to the later stamps of French Indo-China, I find them quite interesting. For a modest price, I was quite pleased to have recently obtained an Annam & Tonkin Sc 1 CDS SON "“NAM-DINH, TONKIN – 1888” and Cochinchina Sc 2 CDS “SAIGON, COCHINCHINA - 1887". I love nice legibly postmarked stamps from the obscure forgotten corners of the globe and these nice stamps certainly fit the bill.

    Unsurprisingly, the French created the Protectorate of Tonkin (north Vietnam), Protectorate of Annam (central Vietnam), and the Colony of Cochinchina (south Vietnam) for their own colonial administrative purposes. After the First Indochina War, these entities (and their names) ceased to exist.

    1. Gina - I enjoy the obscure (and now dead) corners of the world also. Thanks for your comments.