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...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

German South West Africa

1906-19 Scott 28 10pf light rose "Kaiser's Yacht"
Postmark from Luderitzbucht
Quick History
German South West Africa was formed in 1884, all part of the "Scramble for Africa". But the Colony was disestablished in 1915 as it was invaded by the Union of South Africa ( part of the British Empire), and administered as South-West Africa. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 made the mandate official. The territory became independent from South Africa as Namibia in 1990.

German South West Africa was the only German colony where German immigrants in large numbers settled. The economic lure was farming, and diamond and copper mining. There were 2,600 Germans in 1902, and 12,000 Germans by 1914. The Capital was Windhoek (established 1891), and the overall population was 94,000 in 1913.

The inevitable conflict happened, and German settlers were killed by the Herero natives. The Schutztruppe arrived, colonial protection troops, and guarded every water source. Many Herero and Namaqua (called collectively "Hottentots") died of thirst. The systemic genocide of 1904-07 killed 10,000 Namaqua (50%  of the population), and 65,000 Hereros (80% of the population).

1910 Map German South West Africa
The Capital "Windhoek" can be found below the "GERMAN" label
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic specialized catalogue has from 1897-1919, 34 major stamp descriptions for regular postage. All are of German colonial origin. Eighteen are valued @ <$6. Twelve for $1+ or less. "Affordability" is 53%.

A closer look at the stamps and issues

1897 Scott 2 5pf green
Overprinted "Deutsch-/Sudwest-Afrika"
A six stamp overprinted ( Deutsch-/Sudwest-Afrika) German stamp issue was produced in 1897. Three stamps are valued between $4-$8. The 25pf and 50pf values (Scott 5 &6; $200+) were never sent to the colony.

1899 Scott 9 10pf carmine
Overprinted "Deutsch-/Sudwestafrika"
A five stamp overprinted ( Deutsch-/Sudwestafrica) German stamp issue was available in 1899. Three are valued @ $4 or less.

In 1900, the familiar "Hohenzollern" colonial design was produced. Of the thirteen stamps, Nine are $2+ or less.

1906-19 Scott 27 5pf green "Hohenzollern"
This issue has the "Lozenges" watermark
Between 1906-19, the watermark "Lozenges" "Hohenzollern" stamps were issued. Four of the nine stamps are $1+ or less. The 3m and 5m denominations were never placed in use.

Deep Blue
The Steiner has two pages, and provides a space for all the major numbers.

1909 Camel Rider's Patrol
Part of the Schutztruppe
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on two lines of one page, has 13 stamp spaces for "1897-99" and "1900-13" issues. Coverage is 38%.

BB  collapses the 1897 and 1899 issues into one space. A bit messy.

Similarly, the 1900 and 1906-19 "Hohenzollern" issues, but differing in watermarking, are telescoped into one space.

Details are noted in the "comment" section below the checklist.

One stamp (1897 Scott 3 10pf carmine) is valued @ $20 in Big Blue.

Overall, a reasonable representative selection by Big Blue. I just prefer a few more spaces. ;-)

Simple Checklist

1, 2 or 8, 3, 4 or 10, ( 7 or 9 or 12),

13 or 26, 14 or 27, 15, 16 or 29, 17, 18,19,20,

A) (  ) around number(s) indicate a blank space choice.

B) 1897-99 dates are for both 1897 and 1899 issues with different overprints. The "illustrated" spaces show the 1897 overprint. The "descriptive" spaces can be filled with either overprint.

C) 1900-13 dates are for both the 1900 and 1906-19 (Lozenges wmk) issues with watermark differences. Some spaces are defined by BB's specified color.

D) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1897 Scott 3 10pf carmine ($20)

German South West Africa (green) on African Map
Other German possessions are in gray
Out of the Blue
Investigating the "Scramble for Africa" and the subsequent colonization can uncover historical facts that are stark and uncomfortable: the genocide of  1904-07.

Note: Maps, photo appear to be in the public domain.

German South West Africa - Bud's Big Blue

Have a comment?


  1. I have 13 spaces for Big Blue.
    I'm up to Southern Rhodesia in my collation. I have counted all the rest of the Big Blue spaces, though. The final tally (so far; no US included) is 33,746. I imagine that I'm off by a few, as you've already corrected me a few times and you're only up to G.
    Have fun with Germany!

  2. Thanks Joe

    Joe, you may be the first person to accurately count every space in Big Blue. When you are done (including U.S.), perhaps Bob (of Filling Spaces blog fame) and certainly myself would be interested in publishing your count for each country, and the total.

    Nice accomplishment!


  3. Really interesting stamps ‘posted’ on here. I hope that they got there with 1st class delivery, whatever that may cost in their native country or at whatever moment in time. If you are ready to venture forth here is another stamp collector’s paradise!