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...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

British Solomon Islands

"War Canoe"
Quick History
The British Solomon Islands consist of 10 large islands and additional small islands in the west Pacific Ocean east of Papua. A Protectorate, the population was 94,000 in 1931, with the seat of government in Tulagi, although the Capital is now Honiara. The Solomon Islands achieved independence in 1978.

Cultural Interest: The Papuan speaking settlers are believed to have arrived around 30,000 BC; while the Austronesian speakers arrived around 4000 BC bringing the outrigger canoe.

Big Blue Picture
Big Blue ('97) on two pages has 34 stamp spaces for 1907-39. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 76 major number descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue is 45%.

Big Blue starts off with the "war canoe" Scott 1 & 2 ($10+-$20+) a highly attractive design. Yes they are fairly expensive, but I believe definitely worth the inclusion.

Many British Solomon Island stamps are a bit pricey; but I did find another 8 stamps for $2+-$5+. Also, Big Blue does not include the 1935 Silver jubilee issue; and those additional four stamps are $1+-$10+.

I will now say a "little" here about British territories watermarks. As many of you know, there were four watermarks used prior to 1940 on many British colony stamps ( named wmk 1, wmk 2, wmk 3, wmk 4 obviously!). Although Big Blue deliberately ignores watermarks to telescope several Scott numbers into one space, the Big Blue collector still has to be familiar with these watermarks to know "which" stamp the collector is putting  into the space. After all, one doesn't want to give away a "duplicate" for pennies, when it might be worth dollars. :-)

The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized on 39A has an illustration of the four watermarks ( plus more that were issued after 1940); and no doubt one can find them illustrated in other Scott catalogues too. It behooves the Big Blue collector to become  familiar with these watermarks, as they occur so commonly over so many different British colony issues.

Now the good news: they are generally easy to spot! Just turn the stamp over on a black surface, and there they are!

As an introduction; here is watermark 4 commonly used around the years 1921-1952. It shows a "multiple crown" and a script "C A". "CA" means "Crown Agents". The crown design is unique for wmk 4, and the "scriptive" as opposed to "printed" reversed "C A" is a dead giveaway.

Here is how wmk 4  looks...
Wmk 4: A crown is visible to the right, left, and below the "No 230"; while the reverse script "C A" can be seen above the "No 230", and below the right crown. Click on the image to make it larger.

Finally, there is a bit of a puzzler in Big Blue's stamp space layout that might confuse. The 1913 King George V issue is inscribed "postage-postage" and is wmk 3. No problem there. Then Big Blue presents the 1914-31 King George V issue inscribed "postage-revenue", wmk 4. But take a look at Scott 23  1/1/2p scarlet: yes it is wmk 4, BUT it is inscribed "postage-postage". There is no alert in Big Blue that the "postage-revenue" design for the spaces does not include the 1 1/2p scarlet. Now you know.


1908-11 "war canoe"



1935 Silver jubilee


Postage Due

The 1914-31 King George V issue: The Scott 45 1p violet is inscribed "postage-revenue" as expected, while the Scott 23 1 1/2p scarlet is inscribed "postage-postage"!
Big Blue Checklist
1907-11 "war canoe"
1 ($10+)
One blank space: suggest 2 ($20+)

1913 George V (Inscribed "postage-postage"-wmk 3)
One blank space: suggest 22 ($5+)

1914-31 George V (Inscribed "postage-revenue"-wmk 4)
1/2p green 28 or 43 ($1+-<$1)
1p scarlet 29 or 44 ($1+-$10+)
1p violet 45($1+)
1 1/2p scarlet 23(<$1) Note: Inscribed "postage-postage"-wmk 4
2p gray 30 or 46 ($2+-$5+)
2 1/2p ultramarine 31($2+)
3p Ultramarine 47(<$1)
4p black and red on yellow 33 or 48 ($2+)
4 1/2p red-brown 49 ($2+)
5p dull violet 34 or 50($20+-$2+)
6p dull violet and red violet 35 or 51 ($5+-$2+)
1s "black on emerald green" 36 or 52 ($5+) Note: Scott catalogue has 36 "black on green'; while 52 is "black on emerald".
Note:1914-23 Scott 28-36 is wmk 3, while 1922-31 Scott 43-52 is wmk 4.

1937 Coronation

68,73($3+),74,(<$1 except noted)
70,71($1+),72,(<$1 except noted)

Kinds of Blue
The 1997,1969,1947 and 1941 editions are identical for content.

"Policeman and Chief"
Big Blue Bottom Line

Classic outrigger "war canoe" design for 1908-11; what's not to like?  :-)

Finially, almost all the British colonies issued  a lengthy pictorial series around 1938-39 depicting "native"scenes, flora, fauna or geography. These are highly attractive stamps, and usually not that expensive.

 The British Solomon Island series is particularly nice. Their pictorials show "spears and shield", "policeman and chief", the "Island Malaita", "canoe house", "Roviana war canoe", "view of Munda point", "meeting house-reef islands", "coconut plantation", "breadfruit", "Tinakula volcano", "scrub fowl", and "Malaita canoe". Collect them all! :-)

British Solomon Islands - Bud's Big Blue

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Printing error on stamp space in '97 Big Blue

The Austrian 1922-24 Scott 292 200k dark violet . Printing error on stamp space in 1997 edition.

 One should be aware of a printing error in Austria in the latest Big Blue 1997 edition . Interesting, because the error only exists in the 1997 edition, and not in my 1969,1947 or 1941 editions. Very curious. It is found in the 1922-24 "Symbols of Art and Science" issue and involves the stamp space for the Scott 292 200k dark violet stamp. This stamp comes in no other color than dark violet. Yet the stamp space description runs thus: 200k "deep green". Of interest is the adjacent stamp space on the left for the Scott 291 100k deep green is correctly described as 100k "deep green". Somehow it appears the color description for the 100k stamp was also put in the 200k stamp space.

The '41,'47, and '69 Big Blues have the correct description for the 200K. Notice the larger Font.

The '97 Big Blue with the "Deep Green" descriptive error on the 200K space. Note the smaller Font.

A closer look reveals a change in the size of the Font in the '97 edition. Clearly there had to be some hand work/computer work done for the Font change in the '97, and an error was made. I'm not knowledgeable about printing set-up; perhaps someone has an opinion how this error occurred?

So the larger question: are there other "changeling's" out there in the '97 Big Blue?  :-)

Addendum 5-2-11: An even closer look reveals some font changes as outlined above, while other page fonts are the same with previous editions. In Austria, it appears the font is smaller in the '97 edition compared to previous ('69,'47,'41) editions for 1908-13,1916,1922-24, and the first page of the semi-postals in Austria. Most of the fonts though appear to be the same as previous editions.

Monday, April 25, 2011

British Honduras

1892 Scott 47 1c on 1p green
Type of 1866 Queen Victoria surcharged
Quick History
British Honduras, with the Capital Belmopan, is on the Caribbean adjacent to Guatemala and Mexico in Central America. It was a colony under Jamaica in 1862; and in 1884 it became an independent colony. Population was about 50,000 in 1931.  In 1981, Belize became fully independent, the last continental colony in the  Americas to do so from Great Britain.
Historical fact: The major export was mahogany, which required labor intensive logging. This lead to an increase in the importation of slaves, mainly from the British Caribbean colonies. Slavery was finally abolished in 1838.
1922 Scott 90 4c dark gray
"Seal of the Colony & George V"
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue( 1997), on three pages covering 1888-1938, has 63 spaces for regular, postage due, and war tax stamps. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 135 major descriptive numbers from 1866-1940. Coverage by Big Blue is 47%.
Big Blue's 63 stamp selection is reasonable with many <$1; and the most one would have to spend would be $5+.
I did find 10 additional British Honduras that could be had for $1+ to $10+ for a classic Scott 13 1884 1p blue. There are 7 more stamps (<$1-$2+) that can be picked up from the "choices" in the checklist.
1902-1910 Edward Vll
61($5+) and choices not picked up in Checklist.
1921 King George V
91 ($5+)
War Tax
Click on the image above to get a fine view of the Scott 87 5c 'Moire" overprint : A thin network pattern overprinted to prevent counterfeiting.
Big Blue Checklist
1888 Queen Victoria (stamps of 1872-87 surcharged in black)
28,29, (<$1-$1+)
1891 (surcharged)
33,35,34,47 ($1+-$1)
Two blank spaces: suggest 44 & 45 ($2+-$5+)
1899 (overprinted "Revenue")
48 or 48b ($2+-$10)
49,50, ($5+-$2+)
Blank space: suggest  48b($5+) or 52($2+-1900 issue) or 53($5+-1901 issue)
Note: "logical" next stamp for blank space is Scott 51 50c on 1sh gray for $230+!, hence alternative recommendations.
1902-10 King Edward Vll
59 or 63 (<$1)
60 or 64 or 73(<$1)
Three blank spaces: suggest choices above or 58($1+) or 65($5+) or 67($5+)
Note: different series together in BB with wmk 2 or wmk 3.
1913-17 King George V
75 or 85 ($1+-$2+)
78 or 87 ($1+-<$1)
Three blank spaces: suggest 79($2+), 80($1+), and 86(<$1)
Blank space: suggest 99($1+)
1935 silver jubilee
1937 coronation
Postage due
1923 design
War tax stamps
MR1,MR3,MR4,MR5 (<$1)
1918 War Tax MR4 1c green & MR5 3c orange
Kinds of Blue
The 1969 and 1997 editions are identical. The '69 ( and '97) editions has a significant 12 stamp upgrade in the classical era compared to the '47 and '41 editions. Specifically the upgrade includes:
1891-98 Queen Victoria
Scott 42 6c ultramarine
Space: suggest Scott 44 12c violet & green
Space: suggest Scott 45 24c yellow & blue
1899 overprinted "Revenue"
Scott 49 10c lilac&green
Scott 50 25c red brown & green
Space: suggest Scott 52 5c gray black7 ultra or Scott 53 10c violet&green
1902-10 King Edward Vll
Space; suggest Scott 58 1c gray green& green
Space: suggest Scott 65 10c violet&green
Space: suggest Scott 67 25c violet&orange
1913-17 King George V
Space: suggest Scott 79 10c dull violet& olive green
Space: suggest Scott 80 25c black& gray green
Space: suggest Scott 86 2c carmine
1938 Scott 120 10c brown & yellow green
"Mahogany Logs In River"
Big Blue Bottom Line
Attractive British colonies, not an expensive selection to fill Big Blue's spaces; what's not to like? :-)
British Honduras - Bud's Big Blue

Thursday, April 21, 2011

British Guiana

1876-82 1c slate & 2c orange & 8c rose
Motto of the Colony: "Damus Petimus Que Vicissm"
"We give and expect in return"
Quick History
Located on the northeast coast of South America, this British Crown Colony had a population of 360,000 in the 1940's. The Capital was Georgetown. In 1814, three Dutch possessions were given over to Great Britain and consolidated into British Guiana in 1831. Guyana became independent in 1966.

British Guiana/ Guyana
Philatelic and Historical Memories
As a child with a stamp collection, who doesn't remember the image of the 1856 British Guiana 1c magenta, the "world's most famous stamp"? Imperforate with a sailing ship design, with the Latin inscription "Damus Petimus Que Vicissim" (We give and expect in return), one only needed to check the attic for similar treasures. Enticed by this vision of fabulous riches, one was then encouraged to send away for "approvals". Do you remember which Stamp company offered that?

The second memory, much more dark, was the 1978 murder/mass suicide of 918 Americans in Jonestown.

1934 Scott 212 3c carmine
"Alluvial Gold Mining"
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue (1997), on two pages, has 48 stamp spaces for the 1860-1938 issues. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 247 major stamp descriptions from 1850-1938. Coverage by Big Blue is 19%.

Big Blue's offerings, 48 stamps, range through a reasonable <$1-$10+. But the Big Blue collector, looking at the "Big Blue picture", gets short shrift. You see, there are 39 additional beautifully designed  British Guiana's available for <$1-$5+. Add seven more classic era stamps ($5+-$20+), and there is a doubling (46 total) of reasonably priced stamps that would attract the Big Blue collector.

Additional stamps...
33B 2c deep orange ($20+)
48 8c rose ($20+)
54 12c lilac ($20+)

1863-66 Seal of the Colony-sailing ship
68 24c yellow green ($5+)

77 12c lilac ($2+)
78 24c green ($2+)

1881 Official stamps surcharged with brush like pen lines (Interesting stamps-No spaces in BB)

109 4c ultra ($5+)
110 6c brown ($5+)

1889 "Inland revenue" overprint and surcharge (No spaces in Big Blue!)


131,140,141,142, (<$1-$2+)

1890 red surcharge



1905-10 chalky paper

1907 black overprint

1913-27 George V


235,236,238($2+),239 (<$1 unless noted)

Postage Due
J1,J2,J3,J4 (<$1-$5+)

War Tax
MR1 (<$1)

1913-37 2c deep violet & 4c brown & red violet
King George V: issued in colonial wmk 3 & 4
Big Blue Checklist
1860-75 Sailing ship
1c (illustrated) black 50($5+) or 58($5+) or 45($30+) or 29($20+) or 33A($50+) or brown-red 17($110+)
2c orange 51($5+) or 46($5+) or 59($10+) or 30($20+) or 19($50+)
4c blue 52 ($10+) or 60($110+)
Note: choices consist of different thickness paper and different perforations.

1c slate 107 or 72 (<$1-$1+)
2c (illustrated) orange 108 or 73 (<$1-$2+)
8c rose 111 or 76 ($1+)
Note: choices consist of different watermarks (wmk1 and wmk2)

130 1c lilac & gray ($2+)
131A 1c "gray-green" ($2+) Note: BB specifies this more expensive stamp rather than 131 green (<$1)!
2c (illustrated): 132 lilac&orange or 133 lilac&rose (<$1)
134 2c violet&black,red (<$1)
135 4c lilac&ultra ($2+)
136 5c ultra (<$1)
139 8c "lilac&rose"($2+) Note: Big Blue specifies the expensive stamp rather than 140 lilac&black($1+)




1913-27  George V
178 or 191, 179,193,180,181($1+),195,182($1+),183 or 196 ($1+) (<$1 unless noted)

205($1+),206,207,208($2+) (<$1 unless noted)

210,211,($1+),212,213($2+),214($2+) (<$1 unless noted

1935 Silver Jubilee

1937 Coronation

1931 Scott 206  2c dark brown
"Indian Shooting Fish"
Kinds of Blue
The 1969 and 1997 editions are identical.
The "97 and "69 editions have more coverage of the classical era: specifically 1860-75 Scott 46 or 51 or 59 2c orange and Scott 52 4c blue; 1889-1903 Scott 136 5c ultramarine and Scott 139 8c lilac & rose. These stamps are NOT in the '47 and '41 editions.
The 1891 Scott 5c ultramarine-and three of it's brethren-are found in the '97 & '69 editions.
Big Blue Bottom Line
I really like the British Guiana designed stamps, so I wouldn't mind a few more.  ;-)

British Guiana - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

British East Africa

1890-94 1 anna blue green & 2 anna vermilion "Light and Liberty"
Quick History
The philatelic history of  British East Africa and the British East Africa Company activities are closely intertwined here. Essentially, British East Africa consisted of all the territory in East Africa under control of the British. The British East Africa Company issued stamps from 1890 through 1895.  Then India Stamps 1874-95 were overprinted "British East Africa" or surcharged in 1895. The "British East Africa Protectorate" stamps were issued in 1896 and 1898, while the stamps of Zanzibar were overprinted "British East Africa" in 1897.  Finally, the territory was incorporated as the East Africa and Uganda Protectorate. With Kenya, the area was known as the Kenya Colony. Got all that?

1890 Scott 14b 1/2a deep brown
"Sun and Symbol of "Light and Purity""
Into the Deep Blue
The 2017 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for British East Africa 1890-1901, 96 major number descriptions. Of those, 5 are CV <$1-$1+, or ~5%. Clearly, it is not a cheap philatelic country. Raising the bar to CV $5+, yields 15 stamps, or ~ 15%. British East Africa is more of a specialty "dead" country that requires resources and interest.

A closer look
16 Annas = 1 Rupee
1891 Scott 18 3a black/red
"Sun and Symbol of "Light and Purity""
A large lithographic issue of seventeen stamps (major numbers) was released between 1890-1894. 

They all have a design of the crown hovering over the sun.

1890 Scott 25 1r rose
"Sun and Symbol of "Light and Purity""
CV for the issue ranges from $1+ to $10+ for fourteen stamps.

There is a note in Scott that states stamps with natural straight edges are almost as common as fully perforated stamps. Values are about the same.

1896 Scott 76 2 1/2a dark blue
"Queen Victoria and British Lions"
Between 1896-1901, a sixteen stamp issue with the above design was released.

CV ranges from <$1 to $10+ for ten stamps.

Note that this issue has some stamps overprinted later with "Zanzibar". Scroll down for example.

1896-1903 1/2a yellow green & 1a carmine "Queen Victoria and British Lions"
Big Blue Picture

Big Blue (1997) has one line on one page with eight stamp spaces from 1890-1896. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 96 major stamp descriptions for 1890-1898. Big Blue's coverage is 8%.

Eight stamps are given a place by Big Blue at a quite reasonable <$1-$5+.

Big Blue does not cover the early (1890) Queen Victoria's ($230+ minimum), the handstamped 1891-95 surcharged stamps ($20+ minimum), the 1895 India overprinted/surcharged stamps ($2+minimum-I include some below), the 1897 Zanzibar overprinted issue ($20+ minimum), or the 1898 BCA Protectorate stamps ($40+ minimum) Obviously one could have a lot of fun with these issues, but the wallet would be thin.

Eight additional  BCA stamps ($2+-$5+) that could be considered by the Big Blue collector...
1890-94 British East Africa Company
17 ($5+)

1895 (India stamps overprinted/surcharged)
54 (5+)
56 ($5+)
57 ($2+)
58 ($2+)

1896 British East Africa Protectorate  "Queen Victoria and British Lions"
78 ($2+)
80 ($5+)
82 ($5+)

Note: As I was uploading some camera pics of  British East Africa stamps, I noticed the pic showed a red "Zanzibar" overprint on the 1896-1903 2 1/2 anna dark blue!  ;-)  In my defense, these stamps were sold as a lot of British East Africa. Of course, I examined the stamp again, and yes one can see the overprint, but it is not obvious. The camera shows the overprint more clearly.  The image is directly below.
When is a 2 1/2a dark blue "British East Africa" not?
The camera reveals a red "Zanzibar" overprint!
Big Blue Checklist
1890-94 British East Africa Company
14   1/2a bister brown ($1+)
15   1a "green " ($5+)  Listed as 'blue-green" in Scott catalogue
16   2a vermillion ($2+)
18   3a black,red ($5+)

1896 British East Africa Protectorate  "Queen Victoria and British Lions"
72 ($1+) 1/2a yellow green
73(<$1) 1a carmine
75 ($5+) 2a chocolate
76($2+) 2 1/2a dark blue

Map of British East Africa
Kinds of Blue
The 1997,1969,1947 and 1941 editions are identical for content.

Big Blue Bottom Line

An interesting stamp history for the short time period (1890-98). If one would like to add a little spice to the collection, the India overprinted/surcharged stamps are reasonable.

Note: Map in Public Domain.
The "Into the Deep Blue' section was added in 2018.

Comments appreciated!

British Central Africa

1903-04 Scott 60 1p carmine & black "King Edward VII"
Quick History

Chartered from British South Africa, this British Territory in Central Africa was located on the western shore of Lake Nyassa, with the Capital Zomba. The population was 1,600,000. The name (and the stamps) was changed to Nyasaland Protectorate in 1907.

Big Blue Picture

British Central Africa is represented in Big Blue (1997) by one line on one page with 7 stamp spaces for 1891-1907. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue for the same time period has 73 major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue is 9+%.

"BCA" stamps are not found much in Big Blue collections. Why? The stamps in the Scott Classic catalogue tend to be expensive- from the $10's to $100's to 1891-95 Scott 17 ten pound red brown @ $4,000+! The seven "checklist" stamps are more reasonable at <$1-$10+. An additional  six stamps listed below can be had for $2+-$5+.

Additional stamps for the Big Blue collector...
2 ($2+)

33 ($5+)


63 ($2+)

Big Blue Checklist
1891 Stamps of Rhodesia 1890-94 overprinted in black "B.C.A."
Scott 1 1p black ($5+)

1895-96 Coat of Arms of the Protectorate
Scott 32 or 21  1p black ($2+-$10+)

Scott 43 1p ultra & black ($1+)
Scott 44 1p rose & violet (<$1)
Scott 45 2p yellow & black ($2+)

1903-07 King Edward VII
60 or 70 1p ($2+)
61 2p ($2+)

1895 map of British Central Africa Protectorate
Kinds of Blue
The 1997,1969,1947 and 1941 editions are identical for content.

Big Blue Bottom Line

I love smaller more obscure historical stamp issuing territories- I plan to add some to my collection.

Note: Map in public domain.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The "Orphan" 1920-41 Definitives of Brazil

The Orphanage

I have a mess on my hands. And there is enough blame to go around. Big Blue doesn't provide enough spaces, but I share the fault too. You see, I would like to collect the World, but not necessarily check every perforation or watermark. So Brazil has given me my "Waterloo".  ;-)

In three of the Big Blue's I've acquired , I've come across a huddled mass of 1920-41 Brazilian Definitives; no place to go, no place to hide. The Orphanage. 

How did this happen?

Well, Big Blue gives us, for the Brazilian definitives, under "1920-24" (ignoring the remaining 17 years of the series), 14 spaces, devoted, of course, to the early issues and colors. How many stamps in total were issued in the series?

 125. ......!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What results, as one would expect, is usually a sloppy mess:

Buddy, can you spare a space?

Placing wrong colors and designs and denominations  for the early issues wherever they will fit, and the use of every available space. Can you really blame the poor collector? And the rest gets moved into "The Orphanage".

So what is the Big Blue collector to do?

Well, lets first lay out the scope of the problem.

The 1920-41 Definitives consist of:
1920-22 Scott 218-230 Typo Perf 13 1/2X13, 13X13 1/2; Unwmk
1920-22 Scott 231-234 Engr Perf 11, 11 1/2; Wmk 100
1922-29 Scott 236-257 Typo Perf 13X13 1/2, 13X13 1/2; Wmk 100
1922 Scott 258,259, Perf 13X13 1/2; Unwmk
1924 Scott 265-271 Typo Perf 13X13 1/2; Wmk 193
Scott 273-281 Typo Perf 9 1/2 to 13 1/2, and compound; Wmk 101
1924-28 Scott 282-285 Engr Perf 9 1/2 to 13 1/2, and compound; Wmk 101
1929 Scott 302-311 Typo Perf 13 1/2X 12 1/2; Wmk 218
1930 Scott 316-322 Perf 13X 12 1/2; Wmk 221
1931-34 Scott 326-340 Perf 11, 13 1/2X 13, 13X 12 1/2; Wmk 222
1934-36 Scott 404-406 Engr Perf 9 1/2, 11,12,12X11;Wmk 236
1936-37 Scott 431-441 Typo  Perf 11, 11 1/2, and compound; Wmk 249
1938 Scott 458-460 Engr Perf 11, 12X11, 12X11 1/2, 12; Wmk 249
1938 Scott 461-463B Typo Perf 11; Wmk 245
1939 Scott 267-474 Typo Perf 11; Wmk 256
1940-41 Scott 488-494 Typo Perf 11; Wmk 264


17 issues, multiple different and overlapping perfs, unwatermarked and 11 different watermarks.

Good luck with that. ;-)

So do we throw up our hands, and be grateful for The Orphanage?
Do we start a watermark fluid sniffing marathon?
Or something in-between?

Lets not kid ourselves, the gold standard IS checking all those watermarks and perforations. I plan to do that....someday. :-)

I guess that means The Orphanage will need to remain, at least for now.

A76=Mercury 1000r turquoise-blue. Could be Scott 257, 311, 322, 340, 441, 474 or 494.

But there are two things we as conscientious Big Blue collectors can do.

1) Assure the correct stamp IS put in the measly 14 spaces provided by Big Blue. We will refer to these stamps as "The Chosen". Of course we know "The Chosen" simply were the first issues of the series, and are no better than "The Orphans" that came later. Big Blue simply never added space for the many collectible stamps in the series after 1925.

2) There are LOTS of collectible Orphans based on a change in design for the denomination, or a change in color. And there are Denominations that NEVER had a space in Big Blue, and they can be collected too. And the good news: one doesn't have to necessarily check the watermark or perforation to do this. :-)

So can one reliably collect by color?
In some cases yes when there is clearly an obvious color choice. But we all know that the earlier issues ( And  Brazil is certainly no exception), can have a palette of colors surrounding the "official" color. Do those 100r "turquoise-blue's" above all have the "same" color. They "should".

Then there is the matter of identifying the color......

Which one is Dull Blue, Blue, or Ultramarine; and are some of the tints  simply a color variation due to idiosyncratic production or the environment?

Very sobering. Perhaps checking Watermarks isn't so bad after all.  ;-)

So lets take a look at "The Chosen", and the collectible "Orphans", beginning with the 10r denomination, and ending with the 10,000r denomination.

A73=Railroad 10r "red-violet", and A75=Aviation 10r "deep brown" and "red-brown"

1) "Chosen": A73= Railroad 10r "red-violet". In Big Blue, the space is illustrated, but this "red-violet" is the only choice. Scott 218, 236, 265($5+), or 273. Produced on four issues; the last 1924.
2) "Orphan" A75=Aviation 10r "deep brown". Scott 326 and 431. Two issues between 1931-37.
3) "Orphan" A75 10r "red-brown". Scott 467 and 488. two issues between 1939-41.

The "same" stamp! A73 "red-violet"!

Parenthetically, speaking of color differences, the 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue illustrates a "red-violet" that looks like a combination of the two tints shown above. Another cautionary tale about using color as a criteria...

A73-Railroad 20r "olive-green", and A75=Aviation 10r "gray-violet"

1) "Chosen": A73=Railroad "olive-green". Big Blue stipulates "olive-green" Scott 219, 237 or 266($5+). Three issues through 1924.
2) "Orphan": A73 "olive-gray". Scott 274. One issue 1924-28.
3) "Orphan": A75=Aviation "gray-violet". Scott 238, 302,316 and 327. Four issues 1929-34.
4) "Orphan": A75 "dull violet". Scott 432,468 and 489. Three issues 1936-41.

1) "Chosen": A74=Industry "brown-violet". Scott 220, or 229. Two issues (within Big Blue's 1920-24 dates), issued 1920-22. In Big Blue, the space is illustrated, but the "brown-violet" color is the only choice. There is a third issue, Scott 328 "brown-violet" Wmk 222 issued in 1934.  This issue would have to be excluded ( by checking watermark) if one wishes to stay in Big Blue's 1920-24 year boundaries. The other choice is not checking the watermark, and including it in the 'brown-violet" color choice. I'm fine with that as Big Blue's specified dates are clearly arbitrary; and end prematurely.

A79=Agriculture 40r "orange-brown", and A79 80r "greenish-blue"

1) "Orphan": A79=Agriculture 40r "orange-brown". Scott 258,267,and 275. Three issues between 1922-28. NOT in Big Blue.

1) "Chosen" A79 80r "greenish-blue". Scott 259, issued 1922. The only choice.

A74=Industry 50r "blue-green", and A75=Aviation 50r "blue-green"

1) "Chosen": A74= Industry 50r "blue-green". Scott 221 or 240($4+). Two issues between 1920-24. Because of Big Blue's date specification, and because this was the early issue, the A75 "blue-green", an orphan, should NOT be put into this space.
2) "Orphan": A75=Aviation 50r "blue-green". Scott 330,433, 461($1+),469 and 489A($1+). Five issues between 1931-41.

A74=Industry 50r "orange-brown", and A75=Aviation 50r "red-brown"

1) "Chosen": A74 50r "orange-brown". Scott 222, 241,268($10) and 276. Three issues between 1922-24. Big Blue specifies "orange-brown" color.
2) "Orphan": A75 50r "red-brown". Scott 303, 317 and 331. Three issues between 1929-1934.

A75=Aviation 100r "rose-red", and A75 100r "turquoise-blue"

1) "Chosen": A75 100r "rose-red". Scott 223 or 242. Two issues, between 1920-22. Big Blue has an illustration, and because of the early dates of this issue, this should be put in.
2) "Orphan": A75 100r "turquoise-green" Scott 244. One issue in 1928.
3) "Orphan": A75 100r "turquoise-blue" Scott 304 and 318. two issues between 1929-30.

A75=Aviation 100r "orange", and A75 100r "yellow-orange"

1) "Chosen": A75 100r "orange". Scott 224 or 243 or 269, three issues between 1922-24. There are actually three more issues ( Scott 332,434,462) between 1931-38 that are 'orange". If you want to exclude them ( because of Big Blue's date criteria), you will need to watermark the "oranges".
2) "Orphan": A75 100r "red orange" Scott 277 1924-28.
3) "Orphan" A75 100r "yellow-orange" Scott 470 and 490, two issues 1939-41. You can see from the above photo that the "yellow-orange" is a Perf 11, which is a necessary, but not sufficient constraint.  I would need to watermark the stamp for absolute confirmation.

A75=Aviation 150r "violet"

1) "Chosen": A75 150r "violet". Scott 225 or 245, two issues 1921-22. Only choice available.

A75=Aviation 200r "blue", and A75 200r "rose-red", and A75 200r "olive-green"

1) "Chosen": A75 200r "blue". Scott 226 or 246($10+), two issues 1920-22. Big Blue specifies "blue".
2) "Orphan" A75 200r "rose-red". Scott 227 and 247, two issues in 1922. Since Big Blue does not provide a space for this otherwise eligible (by date) issue, an Orphan it is!
3) "Orphan": A75 200r "rose" Scott 270 and 278, two issues 1924-28.
4) "Orphan": A75 200r "deep carmine". Scott 334, one issue 1931-34.
5) "Orphan" A75 200r "olive-green". Scott 248, 305 and 319, three issues between 1928-1930.

A116=Allegory:Faith and Energy 200r "dark violet"

1) "Orphan": A116 200r "dark violet". Scott 435 and 471, two issues between 1936-39. Note: The 1933 Scott 385 issue is identical, save for watermark.  Big Blue has a space for Scott 385.
2) "Orphan" A116 200r "violet". Scott 491, one issue 1940-41.

A76=Mercury 300r "olive-gray", and A76 300r "rose-red", and A76 300r "olive-green"

1) "Chosen": A76=Mercury 300r "olive-gray". Scott 228 or 249 and 279?. Scott 228 and 279 were issued in  1920-22. Scott 279 was issued in 1925, so misses Big Blue's date "cutoff"by one year.  But I think the stamp should be included. If you don't agree, then you will need to watermark (Wmk 101) the 1925 stamp to exclude it. Big Blue has an illustration for this space; but based on dates, this is the color Mercury stamp that should go in.
2) "Orphan": A76 300r "rose-red". Scott 250 ,306 and 320, three issues between 1929-1930.
3) "Orphan": A76 300r "olive-green". Scott 335, 436 and 463, three issues between 1931-38.

A76 400r "blue", and A76 400r "orange", and A76 400r "ultramarine"

1) "Orphan": Big Blue has no space for the 400r denomination. A76 400r "blue". Scott 251,271 and 280, three issues from 1922-1924.
2) "Orphan" A76 400r "dull blue". Scott 229, one issue in 1922.
3) "Orphan": A76 400r "orange". Scott 252 and 307, two issues in 1929.
4) "Orphan": A76 "ultramarine". Scott 336,437,463A($150!),472 and 492; five issues from 1931-41.

A76 500r "red-brown", and A76 500r "ultramarine", and A76 500r "light-brown"

1) "Chosen": A76 500r "red-brown". Scott 230 , 253 and 281., three issues from 1920-1924. These issues satisfy the "date" criteria. But there is also a 500r "red-brown" Scott 337 and 463B from 1934-1938. One will need to watermark (Wmk 222 and 245) the "red-browns" to exclude these; or admit all "red-browns" into the Big Blue space.
2) "Orphan": A76 500r "ultramarine". Scott 254, 308 and 321; three issues from 1929-1930.
3) "Orphan" A76 500r "light-brown". Scott 438; one issue 1936-37. The "light-brown" in the photo above has the correct (Perf 11) perforation. Nevertheless, one should watermark (Wmk 249) this stamp for certainty.

A77=Navigation 600r "red-orange", and A76=Mercury 600r "brown-orange"

1) "Chosen": A77=Navigation 600r "red-orange". Big Blue has the illustration. Scott 231 and 282; two issues from 1920-1926. Yes the Scott 282 was issued in 1926; and one would need to exclude this stamp by watermarking (Wmk101), if Big Blue's dates are strictly kept. But recall these "dates" are because Big Blue never reformatted their initial page-space-date layout for the Brazilian definitives. It's arbitrary. It's in.
2) "Orphan": A76=Mercury 600r "brown-orange".  Scott 255,309,338 and 439; four issues ranging from 1929-1937.
3) "Orphan": A76 600r "dull orange". Scott 473 and 493; two issues 1939-41.

A76 700r "dull violet", and A76 700r "deep violet"

1) "Orphan" A76 700r "dull violet". Big Blue does not provide a space for the 700r denomination. Scott 256, one issue in 1929.
2) "Orphan": A76 700r "deep violet". Scott 310, 339 and 440; three issues from 1929-1937.

A77=Navigation 1000r "claret", and A76=Mercury 1000r "turquoise-blue"

1) "Chosen": A77 1000r "claret". Scott 232, issued in 1920. Big Blue specifies "claret"; clearly this is the stamp.
2) "Orphan": A76 100r "turquoise-blue". Scott 257,311,322,340,441,474 and 494, from 1929-1941. A Definitive with wide use, having had seven editions over 13 years, and Scott does not give it a space? This has to be a record. I guess I should be grateful since Big Blue does provide a whole page for the "postal tax" stamp. ;-)  (Obviously, I'm making a comment about misplaced priorities.)

1) "Orphan": A72=Education 2000r "dull violet". Scott 233 and 283; two issues from 1920-1926. No room for the 2000r in Big Blue, even with <$1 cost.
2) "Orphan" A72 2000r "violet" Scott 404; one issue in 1934.
3) "Orphan" A72  2000r "blue-violet". Scott 458; one issue in 1938.

A89=Ruy Barbosa 5000r "violet-blue"

1) "Orphan": A72=Education 5000r "brown. Scott 234($11) and 284(<$1); two issues from 1920-1926. No space in Big Blue for the 5000r issues, even though inexpensive.
2) "Orphan": A89=Ruy Barbosa 5000r "blue-violet". Scott 405($1+), one issue in 1936. Note: There is a 1929 issue Scott 300 ( Wmk 101) that would need to be excluded. 
3) "Orphan": A89 5000r "violet-blue". Scott 459, issued in 1938.

1) "Orphan": A72=Education 10000r "rose". Scott 285($1+); issued in 1924. Again, no space in Big Blue.
2) "Orphan": A72 10000r "claret". Scott 406 ($1+) in 1936.
3) "Orphan": A72 10000r "rose-lake". Scott 460 ($1+) in 1938.

So, how many "collectible" stamps are there in the 1920-41 definitives, even if perforations, and watermarks are not examined? I counted 53 stamp "types". Of course each stamp"type" might represent one to many Scott numbers, based on watermark and perforations. Big Blue provides a meager 14 spaces. Then, an additional 39 stamp "types" for these Brazilian definitives that can be added by the Big Blue Collector. All is not lost then; many of these stamps can be removed from the "Orphanage", and given their own space. But until one is willing to check all the "Orphanage" stamps- even so called 'duplicates"- for watermarks and perforations, one will need to keep the Orphanage open. :-)

Finally, the two photos below illustrate how Big Blue's "Chosen" stamps SHOULD look like on the album page. 


The Chosen

Jim Jackson