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, June 30, 2011

Missing C's-Colombian States

Antioquia 1893 Scott 95 5c vermilion
Quick History
The United States of Colombia (1862-85) consisted of nine original States: Antioquia, Bolivar, Boyaca, Cundinamarca, Panama, Santander, Cauca*, Magdalena*, and Tolima. Naturally, all of them  issued stamps as early as 1863. After a new constitution was adopted in 1886, the States became Departments, losing their sovereignty. But the Departments retained some rights, including issuing stamps as late as 1904. It should be noted that Panama left the Republic in 1903.
* Cauca and Magdalena did issue "stamps", but they are not presently listed in Scott.

Cundinamarca 1904 Scott 23 1c orange
Big Blue Picture
Imagine collecting the Union of South Africa stamps without being interested in  the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange River Colony issues? Or how about collecting Canada, while ignoring Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland stamps? Wouldn't make any philatelic sense, would it?
So the collector of Colombia should clearly be interested in the Colombian States/Department issues.

Unfortunately, Big Blue dropped coverage of the Colombian States with the '69 edition. Ironic, as these issues are quite inexpensive, and have been offered even in beginner/intermediate Scott albums for a long time. Scott's "The Modern Postage Stamp Album", my Father's album copyright 1933, had 3 1/2 pages and 122 spaces reserved for these issues!

So what should a compleat Big Blue collector do? If one has a '69 edition or later, adding several supplemental pages for these issues, or even pirating the pages from an earlier edition is recommended.

Well,  what does the '47 and earlier editions offer for Colombian States?

Big Blue '47, on six pages, has 69 spaces for Antioquia, 8 spaces for Cundinamarca, 34 spaces for Bolivar, 7 spaces for Boyaca, 58 spaces for Santander, and 25 spaces for Tolima; for a total of  201 spaces. But the 2011 Scott Classic catalogue has dropped 38 of the listings for Santander ( and the city of Cucuta), leaving 20 "recognized"spaces for Santander, and a total of  163 spaces. More about that later.

The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 156 descriptions for Antioquia (44%), 35 descriptions for Cundinamarca (23%), 103 descriptions for Bolivar ( 33%), 18 descriptions for Boyaca ( 39%), 35 descriptions for Santander ( 57%), and 67 description for Tolima ( 30%), for a total of 414 major stamp descriptions.
Overall coverage by Big Blue is 39%. Each State/Department percentage coverage by BB is indicated above.

 Big Blue '47 gives a nice representational selection of the Colombian States. I find the stamps quite attractive, and to boot, very inexpensive!

The selection, though,  is marred by 38 stamp spaces in Santander which Scott has now removed from their catalogue. The City of Cucuta's stamps with and without surcharges are believed by Scott to have been produced without government authorization. But I did find the Scott numbers in my '47 catalogue for these stamps if one still would like to fill the spaces.

Naturally, there are a LOT of additional inexpensive Colombian States the BB collector could add on supplemental pages. I list them below.

Additionals.... (132 stamps)
Antioquia (49 stamps)
5,6,7,8,9,12,16,17,20,21,22,27,29,30,32,35,37,39,40,41,43,57,58,59,61,62,63,66,67,68,71,76,77,79,80,81,84,85,109,110,130B,141,142,143,153,154,155,156,157, (<$1-$2+)

Cuninamarca (6 stamps)

Bolivar (36 stamps)

Boyaca (4 stamps)
1,6,8,9, (<$1-$2+)

Santander (13 stamps)

Tolima (24 stamps)

Tolima 1879 Scott 15 10c blue
Big Blue Checklist ('47 & '41 editions)
1886-88 "Coat of Arms"




Two blank spaces: suggest 107,108,($1+)



Two blank spaces: suggest 130,130A,(<$1)


Blank space: suggest 152(<$1)

Registration stamp

Acknowledgement of Receipt Stamps

Too Late Stamps (Late Fee)

Blank space: suggest 29(<$1)

Registration stamp

11 or 15, 12 or 16($1+), 13 or 17, (<$1 eN)
Note: Scott 15-17 is bluish laid paper.
eN=except noted

1880 Dated "1880"
19 or 25, 20 or 26($2+), 21 or 27,(<$1 eN)
Blank space: suggest 23(<$1)
Note: Scott 25-27 is bluish laid paper.


1883 Dated "1883"
Blank space: suggest 41(<$1)

1884 dated "1884"

1885 dated "1885"
Blank space: suggest 53(<$1)


62 or 70($1+), (<$1 eN)
1p(illust): 65 or 66($1+) or 73($2+) or 74($5+),(<$1 eN)
Blank Space: suggest 67(<$1)
Note: Scott 62,65,66,67,is Imperf; Scott 70,73,74, is Sewing Machine Perf.

89,90,91 or 92, 93,94($1+),95($1+),(<$1 eN)
Blank space: suggest 73 or 74($2+)

1903 Imperf "Coat of Arms"

1903 Perf
10,11,12 or 13($2+), 14,(<$1)













*Note BB's illustration is for Scott 16  50c green/bluish, an 1879 issue.




1903-04 Sewing Machine Perf/Perf 12
*Note 82a is 50c black/buff, while 82 is black/rose

1903-04 Imperf 
Note: Scott catalogue now has these as minor numbers.

These stamps below are not currently recognized/listed by Scott. The catalogue used is the 1947 Scott. No prices are included, as no current listing.
1907 (Stamps of 1904-05 Surcharged)

Issued in Cucuta, a city in Santander

1907 (Cucuta stamps of 1904-05 surcharged)
Cucuta 140 or Santander 39*, Cucuta 135 or Santander 44 *
*Note: BB specifies "Medio Cvo" (type "b") surcharge "on 50c yellow", and "on 50c red violet" respectively.
As Bob Skinner of Filling Spaces Blog fame points out in the comment section, these descriptions fit exactly the Santander issues Scott 39 & 44. (Prior Comment "But there is already a space for these numbers in the Santander section."- Not true! The OP is actually Type "a", and should be Scott 38 & 43. I changed the Santander 1907 (Stamps of 1904-05 Surcharged) checklist today (11-13-2015) from 30 & 44 to 38 & 43 for the first two stamp spaces.
So I am giving a choice here. One could substitute the Cucuta issues Scott 140  "Medio Cvo" (type "b") surcharge "on 50c carmine/yellow", and Scott 135 "Medio Cvo" (type "b") surcharge "on 50c violet" for the spaces. Or one could put in the Santander 39 & 44 stamps. Your choice.

1907 (Cucuta stamps of 1904-05 surcharged)
*Cucuta161 or Santander 57D,
*Santander 64 or Cucuta 157, 
*Note: more detail below.
Stamp space: "Blue surcharge: 2 Cvs (type L) on 5c green" : Cucuta issue Scott 161 "5c blue/yellow" or Santander issue 57D ('47 catalogue) "on 5c green"
Stamp space: "Blue surcharge: 2 Cvs (type L) on 20c brown violet" : Cucuta issue Scott 169 "2c on 20c gray green/yellow"
Stamp space: "Blue surcharge: 2 Cvs (type L) on 5p dark blue" : Santander Issue Scott 64 "2c on 5p blue" or Cucuta issue Scott 157 "2c on 5c blue/yellow"

*Note: A mess. BB describes Santander issues (Scott 57D, 60, 64) in the middle of the Cucuta issues. I elected to insert and "favor" Cucuta issues if they had the right ( L type) overprint on an appropriate denomination; and in one case, even an inappropriate denomination. ;-)  Naturally, these Cucuta issues will have a different color than BB specifies. I did include the Santander issues as choices; but not Scott 60 "on 20c brown violet", as there is already a space in the Santander section for this stamp. Then, BB specifies a 5p denomination, which doesn't exist for the Cucuta issues. I substituted ,as a shaky choice, the 5c Cucuta denomination (Scott 157).

Note: A big "Thank You" to Bob Skinner who found a way through these puzzlers. See his analysis under the Comment section.

Antioquia 1899 General Jose Maria Cordoba
2c "slate brown" & 5c "green"
Shades & Tints abound for Colombia issues.
Kinds of Blue
The '97 edition clearly does NOT have any Colombian States stamp spaces. I have two '69 editions, and NEITHER ONE has any Colombian states coverage.
The '47 and '41 editions are identical in coverage as outlined in the Big Blue Checklist section.

1824 Colombia Map
Big Blue Bottom Line
Unfortunately, the '47 and '41 editions include 38 stamp spaces in Santander which Scott's catalogue now states were not produced with government authorization, and the catalogue numbers have been withdrawn. So if one is using these pages, either leave them blank (163 spaces), or fill them anyway (201 spaces).

The good news is the Colombian States stamps are quite inexpensive. Also there are considerable additional stamps (132!) that could be added by the Big Blue collector. The reality is that the BB collector will need to provide spaces for these interesting stamps, as Big Blue ('97 &'69) does not. A pity.

Note: Map in public domain.

If you enjoyed this post, or have some information to share, or have some constructive criticism, please share your thoughts and reactions in the "comment" section. Thanks!

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


1910 Colombian Independence Centenary 2c scarlet
Quick History
Colombia is on the northwest coast of South America. The Capital is Bogota, and the population was 9,500,000 in 1942. The State of Greater Colombia was formed in 1810, gaining independence from Spain along with Venezuela and Ecuador. In 1832, the state split into Venezuela, Ecuador, and the Republic of New Granada. Subsequently, stamps were issued by the Granadine Confederation (1859-60), the United States of New Granada (1861), the United States of Colombia (1862-1886), and then the Republic of Colombia (1886-present). Of philatelic interest, the individual States as sovereign governments under the United States of Colombia, also issued their own stamps. Even after the Republic was formed in 1885, the individual States retained some rights; and stamps were issued by them as late as 1904.

1902 Scott 266 2c black on rose
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, with 7 pages covering regular, air post (Colombia government issues), and postal tax categories, has 206 stamp spaces. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 400 regular, 37 air post (Colombia government issues), and 13 postal tax major descriptions, for a total of 450 major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue for these categories is 46%.

With over 200 stamp spaces, one can hardly argue that the coverage is meager. But Big Blue ignores whole categories of stamps that any collector with a passing interest in Colombia should have. The most egregious absence are the Colombian States. I will say very little about it here, as I will have a separate blog about this category.
 But the other large area missing are non government issued, but government endorsed air post stamps produced from 1920-1932 by "SCADTA". This was a group of German and Colombian  businessmen that desired reliable air post service, and managed to obtain the monopoly, both domestically and internationally. This is a very interesting part of air mail philatelic history; yet Big Blue has no stamp spaces for SCADTA issues. The 2011 Scott Classic catalogue devotes over four pages to these issues! I found 36 stamps (<$1-$2+)-listed under "additionals" -that the Big Blue collector could add to their collection.

In addition, there are a LOT of inexpensive early Colombian stamps left out of Big Blue. Some 40 stamps from the 19th century are listed under "additionals".

Finally, Colombia has a lot of "Back of the Book" stamps and categories. Big Blue does carry some Postal Tax issues, but the '69 editors dropped Late Fee,City of Bogata, Registration, Acknowledgement of Receipt,and Special Delivery stamps. Actually, the '69 and '97 Big Blue collector might be grateful that the Special Delivery (E1) stamp was dropped, as the price is well north of $50.  :-)

The other curiosity is that many of the early Colombians through 1904 were issued in multiple perforation formats: imperforated, sewing machine perforation, and regular perforation. In fact Scott often, but not always, recognizes the Imperf variety as the major number; relegating the perforated and/or "sewing machine perf" to a minor number. For these issues, I will call your attention to the minor number varieties with a note indicating their existence and generally higher prices, but will concentrate on the major numbers and their cost.

Additionals... (69 regular, 45 air post, 49 BOB)
1865-68 Imperf
38,42,48,56, ($2+-$10+)

(1869-74) Imperf
59,62,63,66,67,68,69, ($1+-$10+)

1877 Imperf

1883 Imperf "redrawn"
112,113,114,115, ($1+-$2+)


1886-88 Perf
134,135,136,137, ($1+-$2+)

1892 Perf

1899 Perf

1900 Perf

1902 Imperf, sewing machine perf

(1904) Types of 1902 Pelure paper Imperf


1918 surcharged in red


1921 surcharged in red

1924 surcharged in red


1932 surcharged

1935 surcharged




Air Post
Issued by Sociedad Colombo-Alemania de Transportes Aeros (SCADTA)
Under government contract and sanction from 1920-32, SCADTA issued stamps and had Post Offices for both internal and international mail. The letters had to bear government stamps also.


C38,C39,C40,C41,C42,C44,C45,C47($2+), (<$1 eN)

C55,C56,C57,C58,C59,C60,C61,C62,C63($2+),C64($2+),(<$1 eN)

SCADTA-Consular overprints
To encourage foreign mail to Colombia, these stamps could be bought at Colombian consular offices and trade missions. One or two letter overprints were applied indicating the country of origin.

United States (E.U.)
1923 June 4

Belgium (B)
1923 Aug 1

Germany, Austria etc (A)
1923 June 4

Colombia Government Issues
1932 overprinted
C84,C85,C86,C87,C88,C89, (<$1-$2+)


Air Post registration stamps (issued by SCADTA)

Registration stamps

Acknowledgement of Receipt stamps

Late Fee stamps

Department stamps

Local stamps for the city of Bogota

Official stamps

1902 Medellin Issue Scott 257 1c green on straw
Big Blue Checklist
United States of Colombia
1865-68 Imperf
35($5+), 46($5+), 54($1+),55($1+), 57($10+)
Note: Three issues: 1856 Scott 35-42; 1866 Scott 45-52; 1868 Scott 53-57.

1877 Imperf
73($2+) or 93($10+) or 80($60+)
74(<$1) or 94($2+) or 81($60+)
Note: 1877 Scott 73-74 wove paper; 1876-79 Scott 80-81 laid paper; 1881 Scott 93-94 blue wove paper.
Note : included 1876-79 and 1881 issues as choices, as only difference is type of paper.

1881 Imperf
103,104,106,107,108,109,110, ($1+-$2+)
Note: 1883 Scott 112-115 "redrawn" not included as choices. See "additionals"

1883 Perf
116,117,118,119,120,122, ($1+-$2+)
Blank space: suggest 123($1+)

Republic of Colombia
1886-88 Perf
129,133,130,131,141*, (<$1-$1+)
*Note: actually 1899

1890-97 Perf
Two blank spaces: suggest 147($2+), 155(<$1)

1892 Perf
148,149*($40+) or 150, 151,153,154,156, 157, (<$1)
*Note: 149 is 2c red/rose, while 150 is 2c green.

1899 Perf
Blank space: suggest 164 (<$1)

1901 purple & rose overprint Sewing machine Perf
185,186,187,188, ($1+)

1902 magenta overprint Sewing machine or regular Perf

1902-04 Barranquilla issues Imperf*
2c green: 194($1+)
2c dark blue*: 195($1+)
10c (Illustrated)* : 197 scarlet($1+) or 201 claret($1+) or 198 orange($10+) or 240 dark blue/lilac($5+) or 241 dark blue/bluish($2+) or 242 dark blue/brown($2+) or 243 dark blue/salmon($70+) or 244 dark blue/greenish blue($10+) or 245 dark blue/deep rose($2+)
10c rose: 199($1+)
10c maroon: 200($1+)
20c (Illustrated): 202 violet($2+) or 203 dull blue($5+) or 204 dull blue/pink($120+) or 205 carmine rose ($10+)
*Note: Imperf is the major number, but the issues also exist as sewing machine perf /perf 12 with minor numbers for generally higher values. See Scott for details.
*Note: 10c (Illustrated): BB's space could be filled by 18 stamp major/minor numbers! (Imperf or sewing machine perf/perf12). Also Scott 240-245 is laid paper.
*Note: "dark blue" specified for 2c; 196 2c rose ($20+) is ruled out for color.

(1902-04) Imperf*
209* or 210, 211* or 213 or 214, 212, 215, ($2+)
1p (Illustrated: 216 yellow brown($1+) or 217 rose($2+) or 218 blue($2+) or 219 violet($20+)
*Note Imperf: Also exists as minor number Perf 12 for higher values.
*Note: 209 is 5c blue, 210 is bister
*Note: 211 is 50c yellow, 213 is scarlet, 214 carmine.

1902-04 Medellin Issue Perf*
257,258,259,260,261,262($2+)(<$1 eN*)
Blank space: suggest 263($2+)
*Note Perf: Also exists as minor number Imperf for higher values.
* eN=except noted

1902 regular issue Imperf*
266,267,268,269,270,271* or 288,272,(<$1-$1+)
*Note Imperf: Also exists as minor number sewing machine perf & as perf 12 for higher values.
*Note 271 50c dark green/rose, 288 blue/rose

Types of 1902 Imperf*
*Note Imperf: Also exists as minor number sewing machine perf & as perf 12 for higher values.

(1904) Types of 1902 Pelure paper Imperf*
*Note Imperf: Also exists as minor number perf  for higher values.
*Note 304 is 1c "blue green" in Scott, "green" in BB.

1904-08 Perf*
314,315 or 326, 316,317 or 328, 318 or 329, 319,(<$1)
Blank space: suggest 320($2+)
Note: 1904 Scott 314-322 is perf 12 and imprint "Lit. J.L.Arango Medilin.Col"; 1908 Scott 325-330 is not perf 12, height of design is higher,and imprint "Lit. Nacional".
Note: 1908 issue: BB rules out some because of specified color.
*Note Perf: Scott 314-320 exists as Imperf with minor numbers for higher values; while Scott 314-319 also exists "redrawn" as a minor number. See Scott for details.

1910 "Bolivar demanding liberation of  Slaves" Perf
Blank space: suggest 335($2+)




360,361,362,363,364,365($1+),(<$1 eN)

1923-24 (type of 1917-21)


1925 surcharged/overprint
382 or 384($5+), 383 or 385, (<$1)
Note: 382-383 Waterlow & sons; 384-385 ABNC, perf 12.
Note: BB's illustration shows Waterlow & Sons, but I include ABNC also.

1926 Litho






1935 (III Olimpiada 1935)
*Note RA1: 1935 5c olive black & scarlet "Greatest Mother": Yes, a Postal Tax stamp space among the 1935 regular issues. RA1 also has a more appropriate space in BB's Postal tax section.

443,444,445,447*($20+),446,(<$1-$1+ eN)
*Note 447 1p black "runner": Most expensive stamp of the designated spaces for BB's Colombia.

450($5+),459,458,457,460,462($1+), (<$1 eN)


475,476,477,478($1+),480,(<$1 eN)


Air Post stamps
Colombian Government Issues
C96,C97,C98* or C99,C100,C101,(<$1)
C102,C103,C104($1+),C105,C106($1+),(<$1 eN)
*Note C98 15c blue green & violet black; C99 vermilion & violet black
*Note C110 5p gray black & emerald

1939-40 surcharged

Postal Tax stamps

*Note RA1: also space in 1935 regular stamp section. Required on all mail during Red Cross week in 1935 and 1936.


RA3*,RA4,RA5*,RA6,RA7($1+), (<$1 eN)
*Note RA3 1/4c deep blue; RA3A dark violet brown('45) not eligible by date and color.
*Note RA5 1c violet; RA5A yellow orange('45) not eligible by date and color.


1904 Scott 317 5c blue
Kinds of Blue
The '69 and '97 editions are identical in content. The '69 editors appeared to  DROP all coverage of the Colombian States. I have two '69 editions, and neither one has Colombian States.  They did not return in the '97 edition. I will have a separate blog about the Colombian States coverage in the '47 and '41 editions.

The "47 and "41 editions do NOT have five classical era stamps spaces
Missing from the album are 1881 Scott 108($1+), 1883 Scott 122($2+) and one blank space ( suggest 123($1+)), and 1890-97 two blank spaces (suggest 147($2+) and 155(<$1)).

Also missing from the "47 and '41 editions are Air Post C101,C107,C108 ,C109(<$1-$5+).

Interestingly, only in the '47 edition will one find the 1932 Air Post Registration overprinted stamp.CF4 20c carmine ($5+).

The '47 and '41 editions of course do not have the Postal Tax stamp RA1 in two places-an error introduced by the '69 editors. The "47 and '41 DO have RA1 located in the 1935 regular stamp spaces, but do NOT have another space in the Postal Tax section.

Now the '47 and '41 editions DO have 16 spaces for Late Fee, City of Bogata, Registration, Acknowledgement of Receipt, and Special Delivery categories. This stamps were removed by the '69 editors, and not restored in the '97 edition. By the way, the Special Delivery E1 is $50+! Here is the list.

IN '47 edition and '41 editions.
Late fee stamp

I2 or I3 ($2+)



For City of Bogata

Registration Stamp
F9* or F10 or F11 or F12, ($1+-$2+)
*Note F9,10,11,12: different colors

Acknowledgement of Receipt stamp
H1* or H2($2+)
H3 ($2+)


Special Delivery stamp
E1*($50+ mint)!
*Note E1: Most expensive Colombian stamp in BB for '47 and '41 editions.

The '41 edition is missing some additional Air Post - compared to the '47, '69, and '97 editions: C115, and Two blank spaces for C116 and C117.

Finally, the "41 has seven spaces for a "1940" Air Post issue (Four spaces illustrated: Scott C27-C30, and three blank spaces (could add C31-C33). But the issue didn't come out until 1941, so the spaces were subsequently removed from the '47 and later editions.

SCADTA Air Post 1923-28 30c blue "Plane over Magdalena"
Make room for these fascinating issues!
Big Blue Bottom Line
Big Blue printing error, Classic inexpensive stamps in three perforation varieties, Colombian States, SCATDA, and lots of BOB: Columbia has it all! I've found Colombia with the tremendous variety to be perhaps one of the best "collectable" countries in Big Blue. Go for it!

If you enjoyed this post, or have some information to share, or have some constructive criticism, please share your thoughts and reactions in the "comment" section. Thanks!

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cochin China

1886-87 Scott 3 5c on 25c yellow/straw
Quick History
A former French Colony from 1862 to 1954, and an administrative unit of French Indochina, the population was 4 million in 1940, and the Capital was Saigon. The territory of Cochin China is now the southern third of Vietnam. South Vietnam was created in 1954 by adding part of southern Annam to Cochin China.

Big Blue Picture
From 1886-88, Five stamps of French Colonies were surcharged in black and issued for Cochin China. Indochina stamps were used after 1892.

Big Blue '97, on one line of one page, has 4 stamp spaces. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 5 major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue is 80% for this small group.

Big Blue Checklist
5c on 25c yellow/straw with "b" overprint: Scott 3 ($20+)
5c on 2c brown/buff with "b" overprint: Scott 2 ($20+)
5c on 25c black/rose with "c" overprint: Scott 4 ($40+)!
15c on half of 30c brown/bister: Scott 5* ($70+)!
*Note: Scott 5 exists mint; was prepared, but never issued ! But it is in Scott. !?

Map of Cochin China
Kinds of Blue
The "97, '69, '47, and '41 editions are all the same in content. Cochin China is found in front of Brunei in the '69, and after Brunei in the '47 and '41. Curiously, I was unable to find Cochin China listed in the "Table of Contents" in the '69.

Big Blue Bottom Line
Four stamps in Big Blue, and two make the "Most Expensive" list. !!!!

Note: Map in public domain.

If you enjoyed this post, or have some information to share, or have some constructive criticism, please share your thoughts and reactions in the "comment" section. Thanks!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Missing C's- China: Offices Abroad (Provinces)

Manchuria Province 1927 4c olive green "For use in Ki-Hei District"
Quick History
Stamps of China were overprinted for various provinces beginning in 1915. My understanding is the overprinting was done to prevent the purchasing of stamps with the depreciated currency of a Province, and used elsewhere.

Big Blue Picture
Unfortunately, Big Blue removed the "China: Offices Abroad" page in the '69 edition, and the page was not restored in the '97 edition. The page had representation from  Offices in Tibet ( 2 spaces), the Sinkiang Province (13 spaces), the Yunnan province ( 8 spaces), and the Manchuria Province (8 spaces), for a total of 31 stamp spaces. The Szechwan Province was not represented. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 23 descriptions for Szechwan, 60 for Yunnan, 32 for Manchuria, 143 for Sinkiang, and 11 descriptions for the Offices in Tibet, for a total of 329 major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue "47 & '41 is 9%.

Reviewing the stamp selection in BB, there are some expensive varieties. The 1929 "Unification issue of China, 1928 overprinted in red" for the Sinkiang Province and the Manchuria Province has the $1 dark red for  $40+ and $50+. The" Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum issue of China overprinted in black" for the Sinkiang Province and the Manchuria Province has the $1 dark red stamps for $30+.

But there are 152! inexpensive "additionals"  if the Big Blue collector wishes to expand their China collection to the provincial overprints.

Sinkiang Province (84 stamps)
(6,7,9,10,11,13,23,24,27,30,31,32,33,39,40,43,44,47,48,49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 63 64 65, 70, 71, 72, 82, 83, 84, 85, 89, 9,0 91, 92, 93,93A,94,98,99,102,103,104,105,106,107,108,109,110,111,112,113,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122,123,127,129,130,131,132,133,134,136,137,138,139,C1,C2,) (<$1-$2+)

Yunnan Province  (27 stamps)
(8,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,21,22,29,30,31,32,37,45,46,47,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,57,) (<$1-$2+)

Manchuria Province (21 stamps)
(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,21,22,23,) (<$1-$2+)

Szechwan Province (20 stamps)
(1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,22,23,) (<$1-$2+)
Note: Scechwan Province has never been represented in BB.

The city of Shanghai , which has 192 major varieties in the Scott catalogue, IS represented in BB, so nothing more will be said about these interesting issues here.

The China Treaty Ports were ports opened up for foreign trade by the interestingly named "Unequal Treaties". These very interesting stamps were issued from 1893-1899. The stamp issues cover over 5 1/2 pages in the Classic specialized catalogue! Big Blue has no spaces for the Treaty Port issues. Admittedly, many of the ~440 stamp issues are $5+-$10+. But I will present  41 stamps (<$5) here for consideration...
1,2, J7,
Wei Hai Wei
Least expensive is 3($120+)!

Szechwan Province 1933-34 Sun Yat-sen 5c green
"For use in Szechwan Province exclusively"
Big Blue Checklist ('47 & '41)
Offices in Tibet
1,2, ($10+)

Sinkiang Province
1915-20 overprinted
1 or 17($1+), 2 or 18($1+), 19($2+), 3 or 20($1+), 4 or 21, (<$1 eN)
Note: Scott 1-16 is 1915 issue, while Scott 17-38 is 1916-19 issue. BB's illustration is from the 1915 issue, but the 1 1/2 violet (Scott 19) is only found in the 1916-19 issue, and the "1915-29" date also covers; so I include 1916-19 issue as a choice.
Note: For the 1915 issue, the first character of the overprint is 1/2 mm out of alignment to the left.
eN=except noted

(Unification issue of China, 1928 overprinted in red)
77 $1 dark red ($40+)!
(Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum issue of China overprinted in black)
78,79,80, ($1+-$2+)
81 $1 dark red ($30+)!

Yunnan Province
1925 overprinted
1,2,3($2+),4,5,6,7,9($1+),(<$1 eN)

Manchuria Province
(Unification issue of China, 1928 overprinted in red)
28 $1 dark red ($50+)!
(Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum issue of China overprinted in black)
32 $1 dark red ($30+)!

Szechwan Province 1933 Martyrs Issue
 1c orange "Ch'en Ying-shih" & 10c dull violet "Sung Chiao-jen"
Kinds of Blue
As noted, the overprinted Chinese provincial stamp coverage on one page was removed in the '69 edition, and did not return in the '97. The 31 stamp selection available in the "47 and '41 editions is outlined above.

Big Blue Bottom Line
I will include the Chinese Province stamps in my Big Blue album, either on a separate page, or perhaps by inserting the '47 page. I might very well expand the collection to include some of the 'additionals". The China Treaty Port stamps are quite interesting. Perhaps I will find some room for some of those also. :-)

If you enjoyed this post, or have some information to share, or have some constructive criticism, please share your thoughts and reactions in the "comment" section. Thanks!

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


1900 "Chinese Imperial Post" 2c scarlet
Quick History
Located in eastern Asia, China is one of the oldest nations in the world.  China was an Empire until 1912, when it became a Republic. In 1936, the Capital was Nanking, and the population was 422,000,000. China's  relationship with the west has been ambivalent; more inward looking at times than outward "trade oriented". Consequently, China's stamp history is quite fascinating.

1/2c black brown "Junk": London, First & Second Peking printings 
Can you spot the differences? 
Hint: waves,sails,inner frame outline
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on seven pages, has 214 spaces for regular, air post, and postage due beginning in 1885.
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue, beginning in 1878 with issues of the Imperial Maritime Customs Post, has 580 spaces, not including Provinces or Treaty Ports.
Coverage by Big Blue is 37%.

A confession: I really like Chinese stamp issues. I remember as a young collector the Chinese "Junk" stamps; a window into an exotic world not known by a provincial Minnesota boy. Even now, this "sophisticated" world wise traveler finds them in the top 10 of all time best designs.

But if one wants to be successful evaluating the Chinese issues, better plan on using all of one's philatelic tools and skill. Challenging, to say the least. It is true that Big Blue generally requires very little of the collector as long as the space "fits". No problem- this is a hobby after all. :-) But if one would like to identify which stamp one has out of several possibilities, then use the magnifying glass for all the secret marks and re-engraving, the watermark tray, and the perforation gauge. It's actually a lot of fun!

Before we begin examining the stamps, what about cost? Well, many of the stamp issues are remarkably inexpensive. This includes the challenging 1913-24 "Junk" issues, the 1931-34 Dr Sun Yat-sen issues, the 1932-40 Martyrs issues, and the 1938-40 Dr Sun Yat-sen issues. So the thorny identification stamp issues are actually cheap. But the more classic "Imperial dragon" issues, and even more so the high value 1920's commemorative issues do cost a pretty penny. Here are the stamps that cross over the $35 threshold...

1928 Marshal Chang Tso-lin
279 $1 red ($50+)!

1929 President Chang Kai-shek
283 $1 dark red ($50+)!

But the most expensive stamp (not including U.S. or Canada) found so far belongs to.....China!
In 1897, China surcharged in black some Revenue stamps. One of them, the Scott 78 1c on 3c red, has been in Big Blue since at least 1941. The cost today? $240+!!!. Interestingly, the next stamp in the series, the Scott 79 2c on 3c red, was in Scott until 1969 when it was removed by the editors. Now the price is way north of $350. Scott still provides a blank space next to the designated 1c on 3c red  under a "1897" age date. Although one could argue that a surcharged Revenue stamp- such as the Scott 79 listed above-is the most appropriate to choose, it is not mandatory. Scott only lists"1897" as the limiting criteria. Fortunately, there were 60! regular issue surcharged stamps issued in 1897. The least expensive are $10+-$20+, and look very good by comparison.

Lets now look at some of the challenging series....

1913 -24 "Junk", "Reaping Rice", "Gateway-Hall of Classics"
This wonderful issue is fairly challenging. There are three printings, and they all differ from each other. Generally, the easiest to differentiate is the 1923 re-engraved second Peking printing. Examining the "Junk" stamp, it is clear that the shading lines at the top and sides of the picture have been removed. Above the top inscription, the shading lines have also been removed from the arabesques and pearls. The other two issues, the 1913 London printing, and the 1915 first Peking printing, require a closer examination. Look at the images I present here, look at your own collection, and review carefully Scott's discussion. The same goes for the "Reaping Rice" stamp and the "Gateway-Hall of Classics" stamp in the issue. Good luck!

1931-34 Dr Sun Yat-sen
The sun in the stamp image either has a double circle around the sun (Type I), or one darker circle(Type II). Easy.

1932-40 Martyrs Issue
Spaces consist of three issues: 1932-34 Scott 312-323 with perf 14; 1940-41 Scott 402-420 with secret mark and wmk 261, and Perf not 14; 1940-41 Scott 421-439 with secret mark and no wmk, and Perf not 14. So get out the perforation gauge, magnifying glass, and the watermark tray. Have fun!

1938-40 Dr Sun Yat-sen
Spaces consists of up to 6 issues!: Three original engraving types (Type I,II,III), a re-engraved issue, an issue with secret marks, and then different perforations, wmk 261 or no wmk.  Tools: a magnifying glass to check the engraving type (most common-Type III); a magnifying glass again to check for a re-engraved stamp, or for secret marks; a perforation gauge to narrow the choices; and finally if necessary a watermark tray. Actually, very satisfying.

Big Blue has presented a nice representative China collection. Naturally, there are additional stamps that can be added.  I found 64 stamps that would round out the collection.

Choices listed for the 1885,1897, and 1898 issues. (15 stamps)
(1912) issues NOT in BB: 146,147,148,149,150,151,152,153,155($2+),156($2+),157($2+),161,162($2+),($1+ eN)
(1912) Dr Sun Yat-sen: 181,182,183,($2+)
(1912) President Yuan Shih-kai: 194,195,197,($2+)
Postage due: J1,J2,J3,J4,J12,J13,J15,J25,J26,J27,J28,J30,J31,J67,J68,J69, J70,J71,J72,J73,J74,J75,J76,J77,J78,J79 (<$1-$2+)
Semi-postal: B1,B2,B3,($1+-$2+)
Special delivery:E10($2+)

"Reaping Rice": Upper row first Peking printing; lower row second printing
Did you find the differences?
Hint: Temple door, rows of pearls, top arabesques
Big Blue Checklist
Issues of the Imperial Maritime Customs Post
1885 Imperial Dragon
10 or 13 ($20+), 11* or 14 ($30+-$20+)
*Note 11 or 14: 3c "lilac" in Scott is "red lilac" in BB.
Note: Scott 10-11 is 1885; Scott 13-14 is 1888-vary by Perf.
Note: earlier Scott catalogues (1947) had all perf variations listed under 1885.

1894 Lithographed in Shanghai
Note: 16 is 1c orange red; 18 is 3c orange

Issues of the Chinese Government Post
1897 surcharged
28,($20+) or 47($40+) or 38($700+)
Note: 28,47,38 is 1/2c on 3c orange

1897 Revenue stamps surcharged in black
78,($240+) !
Blank space: suggest 48 or 49 or 50 or 66 or 67 ($10+-$20+)
Note: BB designates "1c on 3c red" :Scott 78 $240+!
Note: There are 60! regular issue surcharged stamps ( in addition to the very expensive revenue stamps) issued in 1897. The least expensive are the blank space choices. See BB Picture for more discussion.

1897 "Imperial Chinese Post" Lithographed in Japan
*Note: 88 "orange" in Scott is "deep orange" in BB; 89 "brown" in Scott is "yellow brown" in BB; 90 "rose red" in Scott is "rose" in BB. BB's colors "were" the 1947 Scott catalogue colors.

1898 "Chinese Imperial Post" Engraved in London
98, 99 or 111, 100 or 112, 101 or 113, 102, 103, ($2+)
104 or 117($5+-$2+), 105($10+),106($10+),107* or 120($30+-$20+)
Blank space: Choices not taken, or 110,114,115,116,118,119,($2+)
Note: The 1900-06 Scott 110-120 is considered/included as only difference is no wmk vs wmk 103 for the 1898 issue.
Note: BB  R/O some of the 1900-06 issue for color designation.
*Note: (Illustrated)  $1 red & pale rose: 107 ($30+) or 120 ($20+)

1905-10 "Chinese Imperial Post" 
124,125,126,127,128($5+),129,130($10+), ($2+ eN)
eN=except noted

1909 Temple of Heaven, Peking

Issues of the Republic
1912 overprinted
163,164,165,166,167,168,169($20+),170($2+),($1+ eN)

(1912) Dr Sun Yat-sen
Blank space: suggest 189($2+)

(1912) President Yuan Shih-kai
Three  blank spaces: suggest 191,192,193,($1+)

1913 -24 Junk, Reaping Rice, Gateway-Hall of Classics
1/2c black brown (Illust): 202 or 221 or 248, (<$1)
1c orange: 203 or 222 or 249(<$1)
1 1/2c violet: 240 or 250 (<$1)
2c yellow green: 204 or 223 or 251(<$1)
3c blue green: 205 or 224 or 252 (<$1)
4c scarlet: 206 or 225(<$1)
4c gray: 253(<$1)
5c rose lake: 207 or 226(<$1)
5c claret: 254(<$1)
6c gray: 208 or 227(<$1)
6c red*: 255(<$1)
7c violet: 209($5+) or 228($2+) or 256(<$1)
8c brown orange: 210($2+) or 229(<$1) or 257*(<$1)
10c dark blue: 211 or 230 or 258* (<$1)
13c red brown: 241*(<$1)
13c brown: 259 (<$1)
15c brown (Illust): 212($5+) or 231($2+)
15c deep blue: 260(<$1)
16c olive green: 213($1+) or 232 or 261 (<$1 eN)
20c brown red: 214($2+) or 233 or 262 (<$1 eN)
30c brown violet: 215($1+) or 234 or 263* (<$1 eN)
50c deep green: 216* or 235* or 264 (<$1)
$1 ocher & black (Illust): 217($2+) or 236(<$1)
$1 orange brown & sepia: 265(<$1)
$2 dark blue & black: 218*($10+) or 237*($2+)
$2 blue & red brown: 266(<$1)
$5* red & slate: 267($2+)
*Note: plenty of color designation changes from BB/'47 catalogue and 2011 catalogue.
Specifically: 6c red now scarlet; 257 now orange; 258 now blue; 241 now brown; 263 now purple; 216 & 235 now green; 218 & 237 now blue & black.
Note: *$5 denomination has 219($90+) and 238($20+) scarlet & black not BB eligible for color designation.

1923 "2 Cts" surcharged(R)

1925 surcharged(R)

1930 surcharged(R)
288($1+) or 289(<$1)

1921 Yeh Kung-cho and others

1926-33 "Junk" types of 1923

1923 Temple of Heaven, Peiking

1928 Marshal Chang Tso-lin
279 $1 red ($50+)!

1929 President Chang Kai-shek
283 $1 dark red ($50+)!

1929 Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum
287 $1 dark red ($30+)!

1931-32 Dr Sun Yat-sen
290, 291 or 297, 292 or 298, 299*,300($1+),293*,303,(<$1)
Blank space: suggest pick up other choice from (291 or 297) or (292 or 298)
Note: 1931 Scott 290-296 is Type I; while 1931-37 Scott 297-306 is type II.
*Note: 299 is a '33 issue. See BB Picture for fuller discussion.

1931-34 Dr Sun Yat-sen
301,294 or 304, 295 or 305, 296 or 306, (<$1-$2+)
See BB picture for discussion.

1933 Tan Yuan-chang
329 $1 red ($30+)!

331,332,333,334($5+),(<$1 eN)

335,336,337,338($5+), (<$1 eN)

1933-37 surcharged
*Note: 339 "blue" in BB is "deep blue" in Scott.

1932-40 Martyrs Issue
1/2 c: 312 or 402 or 421(<$1)
1c: 313 or 403 or 422 (<$1)
2 1/2c: 314 or 405 or 424 (<$1)
3c "deep brown": 315(<$1)
3c "deep yellow brown": 406 or 425
8c "brown orange" (Illust): 316(<$1)
8c "deep orange": 409 or 428(<$1)
10c: 317 or 410 or 429(<$1)
13 "blue green": 318(<$1)
13c "deep yellow green": 411 or 430(<$1)
15c: 412 or 431(<$1)
17c: 319 or 413 or 432(<$1)
20c: 320(<$1)
25c: 414 or 433 (<$1)
30c (Illust): 321 or 418 or 437($2+) (<$1 eN)
40c: 322 or 419 or 438(<$1)
50c: 323 or 420 or 439(<$1)
Note: Spaces consist of three issues. See BB Picture for discussion.
Note: any '41 issues have been removed as choices.

 1938-40 Dr Sun Yat-sen
2c: 349 or 368 or 370(<$1)
5c: 351 or 371 or 381(<$1)
8c: 353 or 369 or 383(<$1)
15c: 355(<$1)
25c: 358(<$1)
30c: 385(<$1)
50c: 386(<$1)
$1(Illust): 344($10+) or 347 or 359 or 372($10+) or 376($5+) or 387(<$1 eN)
$2: 345($2+) or 348($2+) or 360(<$1) or 373($2+) or 377($5+)
$5: 346($10+) or 361(<$1) or 374($10+) or 378($5+)
$10: 362($1+) or 375($10+) or 379($10+) or 390($2+) or 400($10+)
$20: 363 ($40+) or 380($10+) or 391($2+) or 401($10+)
Note: spaces consist of up to 6 issues!  See BB Picture for discussion.

(1938-40) Regional surcharges on Dr Sun Yat-sen 5c Green*
Six blank spaces: These regional surcharges consist  of a 4c surcharge for Hong Kong, and 3c surcharge for Shanghai, Hunan, Kansu, Kiangsi, Eastern Szechwan, and Chekiang. The surcharge colors are carmine, black or red.  Some surcharged stamps have watermarks. *Big Blue specifies the 5c "green", but that is a mistake (in my opinion), and the 5c "olive green" should also be collected. The regional surcharges appear on the 5c "green" and 'olive green" Scott 440,441,442,443,444,445,446,447,448. So mix and match, and obtain a nice selection for the six spaces*. See Scott for details.
*Note: For a detailed analysis of how to maximize Provinces and surcharge colors, see Sniggy's suggestions in the Comment section below.

1939 Chinese & American Flag & Map of China
364,365,366($1+),367($2+),(<$1 eN)

Air Post
1921-29 Curtiss "Jenny" over Great Wall
C6(<$1) or C1($20+)
C7($2+) or C2($20+)
C8($5+) or C3($20+)
C9($5+) or C4($30+)
Note: Even though BB's illustration is from the '21 issue (C1-C4), I include the 1929 issue (C6-C9), as BB has "1921-29" for dates.

1932-40 Junkers F-13 over Great Wall
C11 or C21, C12, C13 or C23, C14, C15, C16, C17, C18, (<$1)
Two blank spaces: suggest C19(<$1) or (C20($3+) or C30($1+))
Note: Consists of three issues: 1932-37 Scott C11-C37; 1940-41 Scott C21-C30 with wmk 261 and secret marks; and 1940-41 Scott C31-C40 no wmk and secret marks. The C21-40 stamps are mostly ineligible because of a '41 date, and a few for a different color.

Postage due

1912 Overprinted(B)
J34 or J35, J36,J37,J38, (<$1-$2+)

J43 or J51, J44 or J52, J45($1+) or J53, J46 or J54, J47 or J55, J48 or J56, J49($5+) or J57($1+), J50 ($2+) or J58($2+),(<$1 eN)
Note: 1913 Scott J43-50 is engraved by Waterlow & Sons; while 1915 Scott J51-J58 has engraving differences from the Chinese Bureau of Engraving & Printing.

J59,J60,J61,J62,J63,J64,J65,J66, (<$1)

1931-37 Dr. Sun Yat-sen
Type I-sun double circle; Type II-sun darker circle
Kinds of Blue
The "97 and '69 editions are identical in content.

The'47 (and '41) have some significant differences compared to the '69 and '97.
The most obvious is the inclusion on one page of China Province stamps, or "China: Offices Abroad". This page was removed by the '69 editors, and did not return in the '97. I will have much more to say about this topic in a separate post.

There were some quite high value classic stamps that were removed by the '69 editors.
1885 Imperial Dragon (In '47 and '41)
3c greenish yellow: Scott 12 or 15 ($40+)

Issues of the Chinese Government Post
1897-1907 surcharge (In '47 and '41)
1c on 1c red orange: Scott 48($10+) or 66($10+) or 29($20+) or 39($170+) or 57($240+)
2c on 2c light green: Scott 49($10+) or 30($10+) or 67($20+) or 40($250+) or 58 ($3000!)

1897 Revenue stamps surcharged in black (In '47 and '41)
The '69 and '97 have a blank space, so I found some modestly expensive 1897 surcharged - but not the uber expensive revenue stamp variety-to put there. But the '47 (and '41) make their intentions clear. They specify the 2c on 3c red revenue stamp (Scott 79). The cost? $350+!!!!! Perhaps the '69 editors removed it for that reason.

1898 "Chinese Imperial Post" Engraved in London (Stamp switch)
The 5c "yellow" in the '47 and '41, rather than the 5c "salmon"(Scott 102) in the '69 and '97. The "yellow" is now minor number Scott 115a ($20+).

No Blank space in '47 and '41 for the 1898 series. Eliminates a large choice selection: "Choices not taken, or 110,114,115,116,118,119,($2+)" In the plus camp for the '69 and '97!

No other differences in the '47 compared to the '69 and '97.

The '41 has some major differences with the '47 ( and '69 and '97) In fact, because of a totally different layout for 1-2 pages, it became a headache correlating the editions. But here goes...

1931-34  Dr Sun Yat-sen  (missing four stamp spaces in '41)
301, 294 or 304, 295 or 305, 296 or 306 (<$1-$2+)

The '41 does have the three 1920 semi-postal stamps -B1,B2,B3 ($1+-$2+)- that I suggested under "additionals". So these were removed in the '47 and subsequent editions.

1933-37 surcharged ('41 missing three stamps)

1932-40 Martyrs Issue ('41 missing four stamps)
3c deep yellow brown: 406 or 425
8c deep orange: 409 or 428
13c deep yellow green: 411 or 430
15c brown carmine: 412 or 431

Other stamps missing in the '41 include:
1938-40 Dr Sun Yat-sen
2c:349 etc
50c dark blue:386 etc
$5: 346 etc
$10: 362 etc
$20: 363 etc
The '41 does have the 10c green -Scott 354(<$1)-that is missing (for no good reason!) from the '47 and subsequent editions. The '41 also has a space for the "50c green"-Scott 439(<$1) that disappeared in the '47 and subsequent editions. Looking at these "removal" decisions, they really make no sense from a philatelic point of view. :-)

1936 Scott 332 5c green "Emblem of New Life Movement"
Big Blue Bottom Line
Challenging: The 1938-40 Dr Sun Yat-sen issue.
Classic: "Imperial Dragon" design
Expensive: Scott  78 1c on 3c red ($240+)
Wonderful: 1913-24 Junk, Reaping Rice, Gateway-Hall of Classics issue
Why? Removal of Chinese Province stamps

You may have noticed another iteration in the Big Blue Checklist design, with the numbers in bold and the issue headings underlined. It did take more time to do, but China's complicated issues may be the reason for that.

If you enjoyed this post, or have some information to share, or have some constructive criticism, please share your thoughts and reactions in the "comment" section. Thanks!

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


1857 5c dull reddish brown and 1856 10c bright blue 
Quick History
Chile is located in South America along a narrow coastal strip south of Peru. The Capital is Santiago, and the population was 5,100,000 in 1943.

Natural attractions: San Pedro de Atacama desert, Valley of the Moon, Parinacota Volcano, Isla Mocha, Patagonia, Easter Island, and Robinson  Crusoe Island.

Which stamp has a rearing horse with no mane and tail?
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on seven pages, has 166  spaces for regular, semipostal, air post, and postage due stamps. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 366 major stamp descriptions, including Official stamps. Coverage by Big Blue is 45% ( 53% without Official stamps).

 If you like the image of Christopher Columbus, you will love the stamps from 1853-1909. All Christopher Columbus. The one exception, the surcharged/overprinted 1904 Telegraph stamps, are highly amusing and entertaining. The rearing horse on the left side of the design sometimes has a mane and a tail, and sometimes not. ;-)  Fun!

Although Big Blue gives a nice selection, I did find an additional 119 stamps that were for the most part <$1-$1+. Many of these are Air Post, Postage dues and Officials (BB does not cover Officials).


Here are choices for those who love classic stamps, and don't mind spending more.
1853-65 Christopher Columbus (Imperf)
Scott 11 1c lemon yellow ($30+)
Scott 13 20c green ($60+)

1867 Christopher Columbus (Perf)
Scott 16 2c black ($30+)

As usual, Big Blue cuts off a series early before the costs go up much; so here is a selection.
(1878-99): 33($2+)
(1901-02): 56($2+)
(1905): 73($2+)
(1910 surcharged): 82($1+)
(1910 Independence Centenary Issue):92,93,($1+)
(1911-20): 109(<$1),110($1+)
(1915-25): 141($1+)
(1923 Pan-American Congress Building):151,152,(<$1)
(1936 Atacama Desert):196($2+)
(1938-40): 208,209,(<$1)

There are a number of definitives between 1928-31 that change printing (Center Engraved or Litho; Frame Litho or Typo), that is a specialist's dream. These are not in BB. If you are up to the challenge...
155,156,157,158,159,160,161($1+),162,163,164,165,166,167,168,169,170,171,172,173,(<$1 except noted)

Lots of inexpensive Air Post that can be picked up....
(Air post 1931): C28,C29,(<$1)
(Air post 1928-32):C6,C6A,C6B,C6C,C6D,C7($2+),C9,C10,C11($1+),C13($1+),C15,C16,C21($1+), (<$1 except noted)
(Air post 1933-38): C44,C45,CV46,C47,C48,C49,C50,(<$1)
(Air post 1940 surcharged): C51,C52,C53($1+), (<$1 except noted)

(Acknowledgement of receipt 1894): H1(<$1)

Also, many Postage Due are inexpensive..
(1924):J51,J52,J53,J54,J55,J56,J57($1+),J58($1+),(<$1 except noted)
(1894 Handstamped): J1,J2,J3,J4,J5,J6,J7,J8,J9,($2+)
(1895): J19,J20,J21,J22,J23,($1+)

There are Chile Official stamps that are not covered by Big Blue. Here is a selection...
1926 overprinted
1928 overprinted
O30,O31,O32,O33,O34,O35,O36,O37,O38,O39,O40, (<$1)

Surcharged 5c on 30c rose carmine & 10c on 30c orange
Big Blue Checklist
1853-65 Christopher Columbus (Imperf)
9($5+) or 14($10+) or 8($10+) or 3($60+) or 1($140) or 4($290+) or 7($300+)
Note: 5 centovos (illustrated): Scott 9 rose red  or 14 rose red  or 8 brown red or 3 pale red brown or 1 brown red  or 4 burnt sienna  or 7 pale brown colors!

Blank space: 12($10+) or 10($20+)?
Note: suggest Scott 12 10c bright blue or Scott 10 10c sky blue.

1867 Christopher Columbus (Perf)
1c orange: 15($20+)
5c red: 17($2+)
10c blue: 18($5+)
20c green: 19($2+)

1877 (rouletted)

1878-79 (rouletted)



1901-03 surcharged

1900-01 Columbus
39 or 46, 40*, 41 or 48, 42 or 49, (<$1)
*Note: 40 brown rose BB's choice, so 47 rose R/O for color
Note: 39-45  are type I, while 46-49 are type II

1901-01 Columbus

1904 telegraph stamps surcharged/overprinted
58, 59 or 62($2+), 64,60 or 65($5+), 61 or 66 ($5+),67 (<$1 eN)
Note: 59,60,61,are type I: horse at left has no mane or tail.
Note: 62,64,65,66, are type II: horse at left has mane and tail.
Note: eN= except noted

1905 Columbus

1910 surcharged

1910 Independence Centenary Issue
87,88($1+),89,90,91($1+), (<$1 eN)

129*,124, (<$1)
*Note: actually an '18 issue


113,114,115 or 125 or 126($2+),116,117,121,(<$1 eN)

127 or 143, 128, 144, 133,134,135,136,(<$1)
*Note: BB designates "vermilion & black", which is now a minor number(139a) in Scott, rather than major number 139 "red & black"(<$1).
Note: A tricky series; 133-136 are "rougher"(Frame Litho) in appearance than the same 1911 engraved Scott 104-107 stamps. Pay careful attention.

1923 Pan-American Congress Building
Blank space:150?(<$1)






1936 Atacama Desert



Air Post

Two blanks spaces: C18?,C19?,(<$1)


Postage Due

Blank space:  J50? (<$1)

 Air Post 20c brown orange & black
Kinds of Blue
The '97 and '69 editions are identical in content.

The '47 and '41 provide two less stamp spaces in the classical era.
Specifically, there is no blank space under the 1853-65 Imperf Heading.  That effectively leaves out Scott 12 10c bright blue ($10+) or Scott 10 10c sky blue ($20+).
Also, the 1867 Perf stamps do not have a designated space for Scott 20c green:($2+).
The two spaces were added by the '69 editors, and remain in the '97 edition.

Big Blue Bottom Line
The 1911-1930 definitives are quite tricky with many changes in impression, even from stamp to stamp! Would be fun to investigate further, but Big Blue treads lightly through this era ( missing 19 stamps), which is probably a good thing.

The surcharged/overprinted 1904 telegraph stamps and their absent or present  horse's mane and tail provide some amusing entertainment.

Finally, you may not have noticed, as it is a subtle improvement, but I changed the presentation in the Big Blue Checklist. I attempted to  put the numbers chosen for an issue free and clear of any "note" on the same line. Rather, I will "asterisk" a particular number, and put the "note" below the issue. Hopefully, that will make it easier to spot the numbers, and circle or cross out for inventory.

Chile- Bud's Big Blue

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