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, July 15, 2013


1924 Scott 2 25c on 5c orange
Stamps of France 1900-21, Surcharged
Quick History
Lebanon, on the Mediterranean between Syria and Israel, was part of the Ottoman Empire until WW I. Then it came under French mandate after the Franco-Syrian War, and Greater Lebanon was established on September 1, 1920.

A mostly Christian country at the time (Maronite, Greek Orthodox), it also had areas with Muslims (including Druze). A Lebanese Republic (still under French mandate) with a constitution was established on May 25, 1926. The population was 860,000 (1935), and the capital was Beirut.

The first occupation stamps of France (1919-1924) with "T.E.O.", "O.M.F.", "Syrie- Grand Liban" overprints on French stamps are listed under Syria in the Scott catalogue.

"Grand Liban" overprints, beginning in 1924, are found under Lebanon in the catalogue.

Full independence for Lebanon occurred in 1943.

1928 Scott 103 2p on 1.25p deep green
Stamps of 1925 surcharged in red or black
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, from 1924-1940, 294 major descriptions in the regular, semi-postal, air post, and postage due categories. Of those, 129 are CV <$1-$1+, or 44%. Although not dirt cheap, an inexpensive representative selection can be accumulated by the WW classical era collector.

100 Centimes = 1 Piaster
100 Piasters = 1 Pound

A closer look at the stamps and issues
1924 Scott 5 1p on 20c red brown
Stamps of France 1900-21 Surcharged
The initial 1924 surcharged issue- 14 stamps- were on 1900-21 French stamps, and look as illustrated above. The "Grand Liban" inscribed stamps for this issue are CV $ 1+-$2+ for 9 stamps.

1923 Scott 15 50c on 10c green
The issue further included the 1923 French Pasteur design surcharged and the 1924 "Olympic Games" stamps. The four "Olympic games" stamps are rather expensive, but the three "Pasteur" stamps are CV $1+-$2+.

1924-25 Scott 23 25c on 5c orange
Stamps of France 1900-24, Surcharged
The 1924-25 surcharged issue (illustrated above) has Arabic inscriptions included. The 27 stamp production has a CV of <$1-$3+ for 19 stamps. Note this series is not in Big Blue.

1925 Scott 51 25c olive black "View of Beirut"
"Grand Liban" received their own designs in 1925 with a pictorial 13 stamp issue.

1925 Scott 53 75c brown orange "Beit-ed-Din Palace"
This classic design pictorial issue with heavy scrolled frame has a CV of <$1-$1+ for 11 stamps.

1927 Scott 74 1p magenta "Temple of Jupiter, Baalbek", overprinted
1928 Scott 88 1p magenta, with additional Arabic overprint
The previous issue was then overprinted for the new Lebanon Republic, beginning in 1927. A 9 stamp issue was produced, then a 12 stamp issue in 1928 with the added Arabic overprint.

1928-29 Scott 105 7.50p on 2.50p peacock blue "Ruins at Baalbek"
During 1928-29, five stamps were surcharged as above, either in red or black. CV is $1+-$2+ for 4 stamps. Note this series is not in Big Blue.

1930-35 Scott 125 4p orange brown "Ancient Bridge, Dog River"
Between 1930-35, the Lebanon Republic issued a lovely heavily framed pictorial issue of 21 stamps. What a  classic stamp illustrated here! CV is <$1-$1+ for 16 stamps.

1937-40 Scott 137 10c rose carmine "Cedar of Lebanon"
A further 15 stamps with three designs were issued between 1937-40. The iconic "Cedar of Lebanon" is found on 5 stamps.

1940 Scott 143C 50p dark violet "Dog River Panorama"
The pictorial design on seven stamps is shown above. CV is <$1-$2+ for the set.

1937-42 Scott 146 2 1/2p on 4p black brown
"President Emile Edde"
The last of the three designs from the 1937-40 issue features the President on three stamps (CV <$1) Then some of the stamps were surcharged as illustrated in 1937-42.

1940 Scott 155 5p greenish blue
Imprint: "Degorce" rather than "Helio Vaugirard"
The Bridge Type 1930-35 design was reissued as above in 1940 with a 5p greenish blue denomination and change in imprint as illustrated. A knockout!

1931 Air Post Scott C39 50c dark violet "Airplane over Racheya"
There were some 33 overprinted stamps for Air Post issued between 1924-1930. Many have a higher CV ($4-$12). Some have an interesting airplane overprint. There is an example of one at the "Big Blue" section header.

The above 1930-31 issue, 10 stamps with an illustration of an airplane over various areas of Lebanon, has a CV of <$1-$3+ for 8 stamps.

1936 Air Post Scott C52 3p yellow green "Bay of Jounie"
The 1936 issue of 8 stamps has airplanes drawn in the upper corners. This is considered the "Tourist Publicity Issue". The other design (not shown) features "Skiing in Lebanon". ! ;-)

 1928 Postage Due Scott J26 50c brown/yellow
"Ancient Bridge across Dog River"
The French inspired postage dues tend to be more interesting than other countries, as they often have a pictorial image. Here is an example of a postage due stamp of 1925, overprinted for the Lebanon Republic in 1927, and then overprinted again in red with Arabic script in 1928.

Deep Blue
1930-35 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 27 pages for classic Lebanon, and follows the Scott catalogue exactly. Sometimes collectors wonder if not having illustrations in the stamp spaces is confusing. It most definitely is not, as long as one numbers the spaces. And that is easy with the sequential following of Scott numbers by Steiner.

1929 Air Post Scott C37 50c on 75c, surcharged in blue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 4 pages, has 83 spaces for regular, air post, and postage due. Coverage is 28%.

• There is only one stamp that has a CV > $10.
• On the other hand, there are many stamps in the CV $1+-$2+ category, so not the cheapest to fill, as one would expect for a French Mandate country.
• There are some issues missing where some should have been included: 1924-25 Scott 22-44, with 16 stamps CV <$1-$2+.; 1928-29 Scott 86-106 with 13 stamps CV <$1-$2+.




Next Page





Next Page

Air Post
C9 or C13, C10 or C14,C11 or C15,
C12 or C16,


Next Page

Postage Due

A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1925 Scott 62 25p ultramarine ($10+)
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *119 is 1p deep green because of BB's date criteria rather than the '35 Scott 120 1p brown violet
D) *1925-26 Air Post- BB allows either the 1925 overprint with "Avion", or the 1926 airplane image overprint.

Air Post 1940 Scott C66 1p henna brown
"Arcade of Beit-ed-Din Palace" 
Out of the Blue
Lebanon is a country where I really would like to have more stamps. The history, the designs, the overprints, the surcharges make for an interesting collection. And to say nothing about Lebanon being a very fascinating country indeed! ;-)

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.

Bud's Big Blue - Lebanon


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