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...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Guinea (Portuguese Guinea)

1881-85 Scott 20 200r orange
Stamps of Cape Verde 1877-85 overprinted
Quick History
Why is "Guinea" placed here when it is Portuguese Guinea?

And what's with all the "Guinea's"?

Confusing, No?  ;-)

Guinea (or Guiné in Portuguese) has been the traditional name for the colony. In fact, Big Blue has the country listed under "Guinea" in my 1941 & 1947 BB editions.

1947 edition Big Blue with "Guinea" as country name
So to honor the traditional name, I will discuss the country now. :-)

But what about all the "Guinea's" that seem to populate the classical era?

Here is a brief summary...
( "Guinea" stamp issuing entities underlined)

• Guinea (Portuguese Guinea); now known as Guinea-Bissau
Location: West Africa (Portuguese colonial heritage)

• French Guinea, also located in West Africa just south of Guinea (Portuguese Guinea).
Now the independent nation of....Guinea! (French colonial heritage)

• Equatorial Guinea, located on the west coast of Africa by Cameroon in the Gulf of Guinea is today a country made of the former Spanish Guinea, Fernando Po (now Bioko), and Elobey, Annobon, and Corisco. (Spanish colonial heritage)

• German New Guinea (Deutsch Neu-Guinea) was a German colony in the western Pacific, now part of independent Papua New Guinea.  (German colonial heritage)

• New Guinea is the world's second largest island. It is now divided politically into Indonesian owned western New Guinea (Provinces West Irian Jaya and Papua), and eastern New Guinea ( independent from 1975, as Papua New Guinea).

• New Guinea, on the northeastern part of the island with the same name, and formally German New Guinea, was an Australian mandate, and issued stamps beginning in 1925. (Australian mandate)

• British New Guinea (Territory of Papua) comprised the southeastern corner of New Guinea. It came under Australian jurisdiction in 1906, and, together with the former German New Guinea, became the Territory of Papua and New Guinea in 1949. (British, Australian colonial  heritage)

• Dutch New Guinea (Netherlands New Guinea), in the west Papua region, was under Dutch control until 1969, when it became part of Indonesia. It was part of the Dutch Indies until 1949, then a Dutch overseas territory until 1962. (Dutch colonial heritage)

A little less confusing but still....confusing.  :-)

Back to Guinea (Portuguese Guinea).....

Guinea is located on the west coast of Africa between Senegal and French Guinea. The Capital was Bissau, and the population was 350,000 in 1940. The colony was about 14,000 square miles in area, and included the Bijagoz archipelago and the island of Bolama.

Between 1877-81, the stamps of Cape Verde, as Guinea was an administrative dependency of the Cape Verde islands, were used.

But in 1879, Guinea became a colony. The reality is, although Portugal claimed considerable interior territory, only the ports of Cacheu and Bissau were actually under Portuguese control.

Then in 1881 overprinted "Guiné" Cape Verde stamps were produced; and so began Guinea's own philatelic history.

Present day Guinea-Bissau
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic catalogue has 313 major stamp descriptions from 1881-1940 for the regular, air post, postage due, war tax, newspaper, postal tax, and postal tax due categories. 214 stamps are CV <$4, a 68% "affordability" index.

Guinea's stamp issues follow the usual Portuguese colonial model, except the overprinted 1881-85 "Portuguese Crown" Cape Verde, and the 1886 "King Luiz" stamps offer perhaps a bit more individuality.

A closer look at the stamps and issues

1881-85 Scott 19 100r lilac "Portuguese Crown"
Stamps of Cape Verde, 1877-85 overprinted
In 1881, a crude overprinted "Guiné"  nine stamp set was issued from the stamps of Cape Verde. They are expensive (CV $200+-$800), and i don't have any. ;-)

Then, between 1881-85, a 14 stamp issue, illustrated above, was produced. They are found with both 12 1/2 and 13 1/2 perforations, and were also reprinted. See Scott for details.  CV ranges from $1+-$100+.

A nice set, and a little unusual for Portuguese colonies. ;-)

1886 Scott 23 10r green "King Luiz"
Then in 1886 a nice- just for Portuguese Guinea- issue was produced with a "King Luiz" portrait. This 10 stamps set has a CV range of $4-$30+.

This issue is also found with several perforations, and was reprinted in 1905 on thin white paper with 13 1/2 clean cut perforations.

1893-94 Scott 37 50r light blue "King Carlos"
A "King Carlos" 12 stamp set was issued in 1893-94, as shown above. The ink must not last 120 years, as often these stamps seem faded. CV is $1+-$10+.

1902 Scott 88 400r on 100r brown/bluff "King Carlos"
Surcharged on the 1893-94 issue
In 1902, a 12 stamp issue was overprinted from the 1893-94 set, as illustrated. CV ranges from $1+-$4+.
In general, the Portuguese colonies tend to have a number of surcharged or overprinted issues.

1911 Scott 105 130r brown/straw "King Carlos"
The 1911 issue has "Republica" overprinted in red or green on the 1898-1903 set. The fifteen stamps are CV <$1-$3+. Note the overprinted name of the country (Guiné) and the value (130) on the stamp. Portugal printed most of their colonies' stamps with a "one size fits all" design.

1914-26 Scott 152 5c bright blue "Ceres"
The iconic "Ceres" design naturally is found also. This 40 stamp set has a CV that ranges from <$1-$30+, mostly of course towards the low end.

I would think that if I was specializing in the Portuguese colonies, I would pick the "Ceres" issues to study engraving changes, perforations, color, paper, postmarks, and postal history. What inexpensive and interesting fun that would be. ;-)

Update: The Afinsa specialized catalogue for the Portuguese colonies has a further breakdown of the orientation of the stars on either side of the Ceres issue colony name. See the blog post for Portuguese Congo for specifics.

1933 Scott 216 10c violet "Ceres"
The 1933 model "Ceres" for Guinea has 19 stamps with CV <$1-$20+, again most at the low end. Just looking at the image portrait, a handsome stamp indeed!  ;-)

1938 Scott 233 1c gray green "Vasco Da Gama"
Common design type issue
1938 saw the release for almost all the colonies of a common design type, the "Vasco Da Gama" issue. Guinea has 18 stamps with a CV of <$1-$4+.

I must say I don't find the "common design types" very interesting. And I'm not just picking on the Portuguese. For the British colonies, I rarely mention the 1937 Coronation Issue: Yawn. ;-)

Postage Due 1921 Scott J32  2c orange brown
They must have had a lot of mail without adequate postage in Guinea, as there are 39 postage due stamps issued between `1904-1921. ;-)

The above set, released in 1921, has 10 stamps with CV <$1.

But the 1919 overprinted "Republica" postage due (Scott J25) 60r red brown has a CV of $450! Scott has a note that the stamp was not regularly issued, but exists on genuine covers.

Newspaper 1893 Scott P1 2 1/2r brown
The one and only Newspaper stamp was issued in 1893, and has a CV <$1. Of interest, though, is the stamp was used for a surcharge in 1902 (Scott 89), and then Scott 89 was  overprinted "Republica" in 1915 (Scott 189).

Deep Blue

The Guinea Ceres stamps in Deep Blue

Deep Blue (Steiner) has 19 pages for the issues of Guinea. The format follows the Scott catalogue exactly.

A little quibble: It would have been nice to have spaces provided for the minor number perforation 13 1/2 1881-85 "Guiné" overprinted Cape Verde stamps, as well as spaces for reprints. But that is an argument that is better taken up with Scott, as Steiner merely follows the catalogue. ;-)

1893-94 Scott 32 5r yellow "King Carlos"
Note the "Bissau" postmark
Big Blue
As noted, both the 1941 and 1947 BB editions have the country labeled "Guinea", and hence I am presenting the blog under "G".

But my 1969 Big Blue has "Portuguese Guinea", and the Scott Classic catalogue also has the country under that name.

The 1969 Big Blue has, on five pages, 146 spaces for regular, air post, postage due, postal tax, postal tax due, and newspaper stamp categories. Coverage is 47%.


• BB generally does a good job of providing spaces for inexpensive stamps for the 1881-85 and 1886 issues. A CV of $6+, then no.

• Although BB does a "good" job of providing spaces generally for Guinea, naturally it could be improved.

Specifically, all the 1913 "Vasco Da Gama Issue of Various Portuguese Colonies surcharged" issue was not included: some 17 stamps with CV $1+. Also, the 1915 issue ("Republica" overprinted on 1902 Guinea issue) is missing 8 stamps with CV <$1-$1+.

Here is a list of 43 stamps not in BB with CV of <$1-$1+.....
1893-94: 35,36,($1+)
1898-1903: 58, ($1+)
1911: 107,108 ($1+)
1913: 116,117,118,119,120,124,125,126,127,128,130,132,133,134,135,136,138, ($1+)
1915: 182,183,184,185,186,187,188,189, (<$1-$1+)
1914-26: 172,176, ($1+)
1925: 203,204,205, (<$1)
1938: 247 ($1+)
1938: C6 (<$1)
1911: J18,J19,J20, ($1+)
1921`: J37,J38,J39, (<$1)


10,11,12,13,14,16,17 or 18,








Next Page

*Update: The Ceres issue presented here below originally had the (now "old") numbers in the 2011 catalogue. By 2015, Scott had parsed the Ceres into 1914 Perf 15 X 14 chalky paper, 1919-20 Perf 15 X 14 ordinary paper, 1921-26 Perf 12 X 11 1/2 ordinary paper, & 1922-25 Glazed paper issues, all with major numbers.
I will present both here: "old" and "current" numbers.

1914-22 Ceres (Old Numbers)

1925-26 Ceres (Old Numbers)

1914-22 Ceres (Current Numbers)
First row: 140 or 156 or 160, 141 or 157 or 161, 142 or 158, 162, 143 or 163, 144 or 159 or 164, 145 or 166,
Second row: 167, 168, 169, 146, 170, 171, 172,
Third row: 147 or 173, 148 or 174, 149 or 175, 176, 177, 151 or 178, 179B,
Fourth row: 179C, 179E, (150), (153), (179I),

1925-26 Ceres (Current Numbers)
165, 179, 179A, 179D, 179F, (179H),


Next Page 



Next Page

Air Post

Next Page

Postage due



Postal Tax

RA5 or RA6

Postal tax due


A) Most expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None.

B) (   ) around a number is for a blank space choice.

C) BB appears to have mistakenly flipped the color descriptions for 1881-85 20R "carmine" (actually rose), and 25R "rose" (actually carmine).

D) See additional comments before checklist section.

E) *2017 Update: The Ceres issue presented here below originally had the (now "old") numbers in the 2011 catalogue. By 2015, Scott had parsed the Ceres into 1914 Perf 15 X 14 chalky paper, 1919-20 Perf 15 X 14 ordinary paper, 1921-26 Perf 12 X 11 1/2 ordinary paper, & 1922-25 Glazed paper issues, all with major numbers. I will present both here: "old" and "current" numbers. One will note that there are now many more choices for the spaces in BB for the Ceres issue.

1911 Scott 104 115r orange brown/pink "King Carlos"
Overprinted "Republica"
Out of the Blue
I specifically like the earlier 1881-85 and 1886 issues, as they are a bit more unique for Guinea. The "Ceres" stamps are always attractive.

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.

Appreciate comments!


  1. Nice writeup as usual :)

    I think we must have some psychic connection, as I just wrote a piece of one of the other Guineas (namely of stamps of 1970s Equatorial Guinea) on my blog...And yes, I find the naming of these bit confusing too.

  2. Thanks Keijo :-)

    I'm glad you are still following the blog.

    And Great write-up on Equatorial Guinea!

    Educational and entertaining at the same time.

  3. "I'm glad you are still following the blog."

    Actually I've been reading almost every post you have ever made. Besides Jim's Filling Spaces, this is one of the best blogs for general worldwide collectors. Don't you forget about that ;)

  4. Coming from you Keijo, I consider that a high complement indeed. :-)

    And Bob's blog is always good stuff.

    I think we are a three- way admiration society. ;-)


  5. At least four way since I read all three of you guys pretty regularly. All great stuff and the new face of stamp collecting, as well. Big Blue is first rate (as are 'Filling Spaces' and Keijo's 'Stamp Collecting Blog".

    I love Jim' country-by-country descriptions, the maps, stamp images, and the guidance which saves me a lot of research and appreciate all the work that goes into it. I 'm hoping there's some way to save it all (CD?) even if it costs some money -- to make sure I have it for reference. Worth considering as blogs do disappear. It's useful, interesting, and important.

    Has the mainstream stamp press (does such a thing still exist?) ever covered these three blogs, I wonder?

  6. Thanks for the nice comments Drew- you can join the club!

    I'm not expecting to go away from the Internet sphere anytime soon.

    But, for reference, You might want to copy and paste the blog posts into your own file folder.

    So far, I haven't heard from Linn's. ;-)

  7. I agree with Drews concern. Digital content seems to have relatively short lifespan if compared to print.

    I can say that I've been playing with possibility of producing some selected bits of my blog as DIY (photo)books. But the prices are quite staggering - a book with 100 pages on quality paper would cost nearly $100 to produce. That is way too much IMHO - especially if considering possibility for resale. Possibly I'll need to explore printers outside Finland for cheaper prices.

    As for publicity on mainstream stamp press... Dead water for me too (though I know several editors/magazines follow my blog, and are very likely aware of Jim and Bob too). Maybe they're expecting to receive a press release or invitation of some sorts :lol:

  8. Frankly, I'm too early in the process to have thought much about the end point. ;-)

    No doubt digital media often has a short life- just check some of the the links on "top stamp blog sites" from several years ago - dead ends!

    I agree publishing in book form is difficult to accomplish economically.

    I would think converting posts and images to PDF files, and putting on a site for downloading, or on a CD disc for distribution, might be feasible. Would have to think about it. ;-)

    An e-book would be another way to go, especially for interesting posts. I don't think it would work for me though. LOL

  9. Jim, I have 146 for this one. Your BOB count (35) is correct; I have 111 for the regular issues.

  10. Thanks Joe

    I corrected BB's count in this post from 147 to 146. I note I did have the correct figure in the stats page.


  11. Dear Sir ! I enjoyed the listing of "Guineas" precisely, geographically and historically and politically. It is perfect, helping everybody who feels confusing seeing the different stamps, locations, overpinted versions, French - Dutch - Deutsch - Portuguese - English scripts... Congratulations. Albert from Hungary.

    1. Thanks Albert. I made a list of the "Guineas" for my own education, and I'm glad it is helpful to others too.