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 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!


  1. I still have no Cochin China in spite of having received multiple APS Circuits for French colonies and two for China. The Scott #5 is one of those stamps which reminds me why stamp collecting is so interesting. Never officially issued, but you can find cancelled examples (a bisect on piece is for sale on eBay as I type this). These cancelled ones are presumably fake or philatelic favors. Even though pricey, a search last night came up with more than a dozen, mostly unused, #5s for sale on eBay and delCampe.

  2. Thanks Bob for your comments. I really enjoy your knowledge about "Blue", and your insights and perspective.

    Although Cochin China had a small stamp issue, some larger lessons - in my opinion- can be learned. :-)

    A) Big Blue's challenging areas are the corners and byways. Fascinating and fun. But truth be told- without looking for them very specifically, it will be a long time before I happen upon any Cochin China stamps.

    B) A popular area -here French Colonies- has a greater chance of retaining a dubious non issued stamp(Scott 5)in the catalogue then a stamp with a shaky pedigree from say - Armenia. Scott is aware of who butters their bread. Not that there is anything wrong with that. :-)

    C) Because it is worth the time to list them, expensive stamps can be found through a search of the major stamp auction internet sites. But if one is looking for, as Bob mentioned in one of his Blogs about a Dealer dismissing "little nothing" stamps, the hunt is on. ;-)

  3. Re, the Scott#5.... Interestingly it has a major number in Yvert as well.

    Michel notes it too, but has a lengthy note stating it was officially unissued (thus no major is number given).

    Both catalogs value/estimate to mint and used.

    A fascinating item.

  4. Thanks for the note Keijo.
    Regarding the catalogues Scott, Yvert, and Michel, and listing "Scott 5"; for a non issued stamp- it appears Michel has the most integrity in this case.

  5. "But truth be told- without looking for them very specifically, it will be a long time before I happen upon any Cochin China stamps."
    Jim J

    I did happen upon this Cochin China stamp that graces the blog pic, so I spoke way too soon. ;-)