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, October 18, 2012


1892-93 Scott 5 25r deep green "King Carlos"
Quick History
Horta was a Portuguese administrative district in the Azores, including the islands of Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo. The City and Capital was Horta, located on the island of Faial. The population of Faial was 22,000 in 1900.

Horta and Faial
Horta has existed a long time, with 2500 inhabitants noted in 1643. With the construction of a commercial port in 1876, and telegraph cables linking Lisbon, Horta became a more common transatlantic shipping stop.

Horta in 1842
Under Portuguese administration, Stamps were issued for Horta in 1892, and continued through 1905. Thereafter, stamps of Portugal were used.

1897-1905 Scott 13 2 1/2r gray "King Carlos"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic specialized catalogue has, from 1892-1905, 34 major stamp descriptions for Horta. Twenty-Four of the stamps are CV <$1-$3.

A closer look at the stamps and issues

1892-93 Scott 7 75r carmine "King Carlos"
The issue of 1892-93 had 12 stamps on chalk surfaced paper.  The image was of King Carlos, and is similar to other Portuguese colonies stamps. CV for 10 stamps is $1+-$10.

1892-93 Scott 6 50r blue "King Carlos"
Shown above is another stamp in the series, badly faded. Colors, blue particularly, I have found also in this condition on other Portuguese colony stamps. From soaking, or natural decomposition?

1897-1905 Scott 14 5r orange "King Carlos"
"Flamengos" settlement postmark almost SON
The second issue was of the familiar design ( to Portuguese colony collectors) shown above. The issue had 22 stamps, and has a CV of <$1-$1+ for sixteen stamps.

Of interest, the stamp has a fine postmark of "Flamengos", which one can locate on the illustrated map near Horta.

1897-05 Scott 221 50r blue
This series illustrated the Portuguese Empire's frugality, with the name of the colony and denomination applied to the basic design. I must say I don't find the stamps themselves very interesting, but the stamps are sometimes saved by an exotic Portuguese colony postmark. In other words, I generally prefer used to mint  for Portuguese colony stamps.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has two pages for Horta, one page for each series, and follows the Scott catalogue exactly.

1897-05 Scott 15 10r light green
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one line of one page (The page also includes Hejaz and Hatay), has seven stamp spaces. There are two spaces are for the 1892-93 issue, and five spaces are for the 1897 issue. I note that the '41/'47 editions have the same coverage.

Horta in Big Blue
Big Blue's coverage is 21%. Since 24 stamps (71% of  Horta) in the Scott catalogue are CV <$1-$3, BB could definitely have been more generous with their coverage. 



A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): none
B) (   ) around a number is a selected blank space choice.

1897-1905 Scott 24 75r rose "King Carlos"
Out of the Blue
I enjoy delving into the Portuguese colonies or administrative districts; not so much for the stamps themselves, but for the out of the way places they represent.

Horta - Bud's Big Blue

Note: Maps, images and pics appear to be in the public domain.

Comments? Would like to hear from you!

Horta on Faial


  1. Yet another example of the inexplicable omission of low-priced stamps in the Scott International. Maybe Scott believed the omitted stamps were too hard to find? Maybe they decided that only a few of these somewhat less-interesting stamps was more than enough? Whatever editorial decision went into this -- and there was at least that one moment when someone at Scott said "That's enough stamps from Horta, I think" -- you'd think Scott's editors might have added the rest of the stamps over the years.

    I'm sure the Azores are a very interesting place, but this Portuguese method of labeling standard stamps with their locations of use as a sort of rubber stamped name is really dull for collectors, as you've noted. I agree that collecting used stamps is clearly the way to go with stamps like this. And I bet no one you ever meet who isn't a stamp collector will know where Horta is. Another very odd one, for sure.

  2. Hi Drew

    Yes, the Horta allotment is one line, which I'm sure was a space decision by the editors. At least Horta was retained, a fate better than most of the Italian States received.

    What I do like about the Portuguese colonies are the generally out of the way locations they represent. As you mentioned, a nice cancelled stamp from one of them is interesting indeed.

  3. Much Like you, I love those obscure and forgotten, stamp-issuing entities. BTW, "Kionga" anyone?

    In regards to Portuguese colonies, Nyassa was certainly no slouch in issuing eye popping pictorials of African wildlife. Mozambique Company and Portuguese Guinea offers some nice issues too.

  4. This set of stamps has been anything from being boring. It represents three different perforations reflecting when the reprints were introduced. Then there are the bisected stamps over a one week period of which there are two unusual postmarks beyond that week. Then to, changes in stamp colour and denomination based upon decisions from the Universal Postal Union. There are different paper types as well. Further, there were early postmarks which were used prior to the issuance of the "
    Horta stamps. All which reflect a glimpse into postal history and thus make stamp collecting more interesting.

    1. I agree there is much to like as one dives deeper into the issue. Thanks Anonymous for pointing that out.