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...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


1924 Scott 71 50c violet "Victor Emmanuel III"
Italian stamps of 1901-20, overprinted
Quick History
Castellorizo is a Mediterranean island in the Dodecanese group off the Coast of Asia Minor about 60 miles east of Rhodes. The Island is 4 miles long and two miles wide, and had a  population of 2,200 in 1936.

Kastelorizo (Greek)
Castellorizo was a Turkish possession, but was occupied by the French in 1915, and ceded to Italy after WWI. There were stamp issues under the French occupation from 1920-22. Then Italian stamps were printed from 1922 through 1932. The British occupied the Island during WWII. After 1947, the Island became part of Greece. Kastelorizo (Greek name), is also now known as Megisti.

1922 Scott 53 15c slate
Italian stamps of 1906-20, overprinted
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on one page,  has Italian issues from 1923-1932. There are 20 stamp spaces. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue, beginning in 1920, has 36 major descriptions for French issues, and 49 descriptions for Italian issues after 1922. Overall, Big Blue has 24% coverage. If one excludes the French stamps (cheapest is $30+), the coverage for the Italian issues is 41%.

Like most small population island issues, the mint stamps are cheaper than genuine used stamps.

As noted the French issues (Scott1-38) from 1920-22 are expensive; the cheapest is Scott 14 ($30+).

1922 overprinted "castelrosso" Italian 1906-20 stamps
Note: This issue (Illustrated above), the first issued under Italian dominion, is not in BB, but offers five inexpensive stamps

1923 Map of Castellorizo; Flag of Italy
Note: The first four stamps in the series are in BB, so this completes the mint set.

1924 overprinted "castelrosso" on Italian stamps 1901-20
Note: The first eight stamps in the series are in BB, so this completes the mint set.

1930 Scott 76 25c dark green "Fabrizo Maramaldo Killing Ferrucci"
Red overprint; On stamps of  Ferrucci issue, Italy, 1930
Big Blue Checklist
1923 Map of Castellorizo; Flag of Italy
60,61,62,63, ($2+)

1924 overprinted "castelrosso" on Italian stamps 1901-20
65,66,67,68,69,70,71,72, ($2+)

1930 overprinted "castelrosso" on Italian stamps 1930 Ferrucci Issue
75,76,77,78, ($5+)

1930 overprinted Italian stamps "castelrosso" 1930 Ferrucci Issue
Scott 79 5l+2l deep carmine ($30+)

1932 overprinted "castelrosso" on Italian 1932 Garibaldi Issue
Blank space: suggest any of 82-89 ($20+)

1922 Scott 55 25c blue
Overprinted; On stamps of Italy, 1906-20
Kinds of Blue
The '41, '47, '69 and '97 editions are identical for content.
Note: the '41 and '47 editions have Castellorizo (and Caroline Islands) listed after Bolivia.

1924 Scott 72 60c carmine
Overprinted; On stamps of Italy, 1901-20
Big Blue Bottom Line
Of the 20 stamp spaces in Big Blue, one is $30+, three are $20+, and four are $5+. A bit expensive.

Scott 60-64 are all $2+ Mint, and Scott 65-74 are all $2+ Mint. Big Blue, though, chops both issues a stamp or two early. It would have been nice if BB had offered spaces for the whole issue, as often these mint issues are offered for sale as a complete set.

For an inexpensive addition, look for the first 1920 Italian Dominion issue, where five stamps can be added for $2+

Note: Map is public domain.



  1. It took me forever to acquire examples of three main overprints types for the French Occupation issues of 1920. Apparently, even the forgeries are hard to come by.

    1. Gina - Thanks for your story and the information!

    2. It is my pleasure to contribute a bit. The French had plenty of ephemeral, WW1 military occupational and post-war mandates through out the former Ottoman Empire (e.g. Latakia, Alexandretta, Hatay, Alaouites, Cilicia, etc.), and I find them all to be quite intriguing.