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, October 30, 2012

Serbia's Death Mask Stamps, a Tale for the Eve of All Hallows

King Alexander's Death Mask: A Murder Most Foul
An Eve of All Hallows Tale

On this Eve of All Hallows, gather around boys and girls, and let me tell you a tale....

On this certain dark night of June 10, 1903 of the Gregorian calendar, King Alexander I and Queen Draga of Serbia were ruthlessly assassinated by a group of Army Officers.

Would you like to see what the young King Alexander looked like?

King Alexander 1894-96 Scott 41 10p carmine rose

Opening the gates at 2:00 AM, they searched the palace where they discovered the royal couple hiding inside a wardrobe cupboard. They shot them in the early morning hours of June 11,1903, then threw their bodies out the second story window of the palace.

The king was 26 years old, and this was the end of the House of Obrenovic, which had ruled Serbia for 50 years.

After the deed was done, the stamp issue about to be released was overprinted with the Arms of Serbia on the ill fated Head of King Alexander.

1903-04 Scott 70 10p carmine & black

Now you ask boys and girls why this conspiracy was carried out?

Because the throne now passed to the rival House of Karageorgevich.
Peter Karageorgevich ascended the throne as Peter I.

Stamps were issued with the image of Karageorge 1752-1817  (The founder of modern Serbia), and King Peter I.

Would you like to see the stamp?

1904 Scott 81 15p red violet "Karageorge and Peter I"

They celebrated wildly the coronation of King Peter, and the Centenary of the House of Karageorgevich.

But would there be a cry from beyond?

Would the deed most foul go unpunished?

1904 25p blue

Wait!... an image-.. if the stamps are turned on their head. Look attentively without focusing on details, boys and girls, at the two noses, the chin, and the hair on the right side of the upside-down double portrait.

Do you see what I see?

Perhaps you need to have it marked?

Is there no justice?...

You want a closer look?

An image- a face! - a cry from the grave...

The very likeness of King Alexander...

May He rest in Peace.


  1. Awesome! O.O

    I just check my copies, and in fact it is possible to clearly see a face!

    Excellent post!

  2. ;-)

    Rubens, do you celebrate Halloween in Brazil?

    In the U.S., it is a very big holiday for the children with all the candy they accumulate.

  3. Quite the ghost story!

    Been following your blog...awesome.

    I just purchased a used Scott International Volume I and Volume II in excellent condition (from around 1950?), and plan to continue where the previous owner left off. Will look to your blog as an indispensable point of reference.

  4. Great David!

    I have Part II (Volume II) also, and hope to tackle that after I am done with Part I.

  5. Nice recap of this classic stamp... Happy halloween !

  6. I'm 'afraid' Part I is already tackling me instead of vice versa! I plan to stick with it, though, thanks in part to your inspiration.

    My local stamp dealer (an ancient man who looks a lot like your avatar Franz Joseph I) said that he's only seen one completely filled in all his years as a dealer; paid $13k for it 30 years ago.

  7. David

    I hear you.

    Actually I'm sure it will be another 5 years before I could even think about part II. ;-)

    Yes filled Part I's are rare indeed. But one has just surfaced. See


  8. The date is remembered, but no parties like the U.S.

    Tomorrow, November 2nd, is a holiday (Day of the Deads)