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...

Saturday, June 15, 2013


1931-33 Scott 14 4p orange , overprinted
On stamp of Syria , Design A14 "Square at Damascus"
Quick History
Latakia is the major port city now in Syria, but after WW I it was part of the Syrian Mandate to France. Latakia became the capital of the territory, and then the State (1923) of the Alaouites (Alawites).

Alaouites (Alawite State) and Syria after WW I during French Mandate
The blog has already covered the Alaouites. The State of Alaouites (Alawite) became independent in 1924, but still under the French Mandate. In 1930, it was renamed Latakia, and the Latakia overprint (In French and Arabic) was then applied to Syrian stamps.

Map of present day Syria with Latakia on the coast
The population of Latakia proper was 24,000 in 1932, while the territory had 280,000.

Overprinted Latakia (Lattaquie) stamps were issued from 1931-33.

In 1937, the territory was absorbed fully into Syria, and stamps of Syria without overprint were subsequently used.

1931-33 Scott 3 20c dark blue, red overprint
On stamp of Syria, Design A7, "Great Mosque of Aleppo" 
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for 1931-33, 35 major number regular, air post and postage due category descriptions.

Of those, 17 are CV <$1-$4, or 48%. A modest collection can be had for not too much outlay.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Piaster
1931 Scott 1 10c red violet, overprinted
"View of Hama"
The 1931-33 issue has 22 stamps, and used Syrian stamps which are then overprinted as illustrated. The 10c red violet denomination (above) was also issued in a violet brown color in 1933.

1931-33 Scott 6 25c dark blue gray, red overprint
On stamp of Syria, Design A8, "View of Hama" 
Of interest, although the design above is clearly labeled "Syrie", and has an A8 designated design in Scott, I am unable to find a similar listed unoverprinted Stamp for Syria in the 2011 Scott Classic catalogue. The same situation is found for the Scott 14 4p orange (design A14) at the post header, and the Scott 3 (design A7) shown elsewhere on the post. And, to add to the mystery, the 2011 Scott Classic does not illustrate the A7, A8, and A14 designs for this Syria issue.

But the design and stamps actually do exist for Syria- I found them in my Syria collection. And my '47 Scott has the correct illustrated design for the stamps, and the correct design listing.

Conclusion: There is a mistake in several Syria design listings for this issue in the 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue. (It is certainly possible that this mistake exists in other recent year Scott Classic catalogues as well.) Please correct as follows...

What it states in Scott....
Syria 1930-36
Scott 210 A6 20c dark blue
Scott 211 A6 20c brown orange
Scott 212 A6 25c gray green
Scott 213 A6 25c dark blue gray
Scott 222 A10 4p yellow orange

What it should say in Scott...

Syria 1930-36
Scott 210 A7 20c dark blue
Scott 211 A7 20c brown orange
Scott 212 A8 25c gray green
Scott 213 A8 25c dark blue gray
Scott 222 A14 4p yellow orange

Note that the 2011 Scott Classic also does not illustrate the A7, A8, and A14 designs. I show them here, or consult an older correct Scott catalogue.

1931-33 Scott 9 1p green, red overprint
"Citadel at Aleppo"
As one can observe, the overprint was in either black or red.

Citadel at Aleppo 
The Citadel at Aleppo is a medieval fort and palace in the older portion of Aleppo.

1931-33 Scott 17 7.50p dull blue, red overprint
"Citadel at Aleppo"
The six higher denominations of the 1931-33 issue, beginning with 7.50p,  have an increasing CV of $4-$40+.

Air post 1931-33 Scott C1 50c ocher, overprinted
"Plane over Homs"
Eleven Air Post stamps were issued in 1931-33, and all have the same design with different colors.

Air post 1931-33 Scott C6 5p red violet, overprinted
On stamp of Syria, 1931
The CV for four stamps in the air post set is $1+-$3+.

Deep Blue
Latakia 1931-33 Air Post in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has Latakia on three pages with all the major Scott numbers having a space.

Air post 1933 Scott C2 50c black brown, red overprint
"Plane over Homs"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one page, has 25 spaces for the stamps of Latakia. Coverage is 72%.

• One cannot fault BB's coverage (72%).  The least expensive stamp left out is CV $5+.
• Two postage dues ($20+) and one regular issue ($10) are notable for expense.




Air Post


Postage Due

A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1931 Scott 19 15p deep green $10)
1931 Scott J1 8p black/gray blue ($20+)
1931 Scott J2 15p black/dull rose ($20+)

1931-33 Scott 5 25c gray green, red overprint
On stamps of Syria
Out of the Blue
The French mandate era in the Middle East following WW I resulted in some interesting overprinted issues. And obscure and short lived states- such as Latakia. Fascinating.

Note: Maps and pic appear to be in the public domain.

Latakia - Bud's Big Blue

I like comments!
Temple of Bacchus in Latakia


  1. Currently in the news as Alawites, for which, combined with Assad, one may profitably Google.

  2. And the Citadel of Aleppo as portrayed on the picture and the stamp here now disfigured,if not worse, by the recent fighting.

  3. Who says the classical stamps of "history" do not speak to us in the uncomfortable present? Thanks for the contemporary linkage HG!

  4. I see in a couple places you typed "Plane over Horns", but the city is actually "Homs". I only noticed this because of the recent sad events there.

  5. Thanks gauvain- I changed the name. I'm away from the Scott catalogue at the moment as I am away- what do they have in there for the name?

  6. The French Mandate period of post WW I certainly offers wonderfully obscure ephemeral states for the WW collectors. I find them quite fascinating, and still relevant to current events. BTW, under your "Out of the Blue" wrap, the reference to WW II should be corrected to WW I.

    1. Darn WW I/II gremlins! Fixed - thanks Gina.