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...

Friday, January 17, 2014


1906 Scott 7 25c blue "Navigation and Commerce"
Quick History
Moheli is one of the Comoro islands, and is situated between Madagascar and Mozambique off the coast of east Africa in the Mozambique Channel. A (tiny) French colony, Moheli issued stamps between 1906-1912. Moheli had a population of 4,000, and the Capital was Fomboni.

 Moheli, Grand Comoro, Anjouan, Mayotte
The other French colonies in the grouping, -Grand Comoro, Ajouan, Mayotte-, have had blog posts. Now it is Moheli's turn. ;-)

The Sultanate of Mwali was established in 1830 over Moheli. But in 1886, France made the island a protectorate, under the French resident of Anjouan. French colonial stamps were issued between 1906-1912. The French abolished the sultanate in 1909, and Moheli was annexed.

The postal service was based on Mayotte, and although each colony had their own stamps, the postmark "Mayotte and dependencies" can be seen on used stamps.

The Comoro archipelago was administratively united with the Madagascar colony in 1912, and individual colony stamp production ceased.

1906 Scott 3 4c claret/lavender
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Moheli 1906-1912, 21 major stamp descriptions. Of those, none are CV <$1-$1+, although 11 are CV $2+-$4+. A modest collection is available for a modest price.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
1906 Scott 4 5c yellow green "Navigation and Commerce"
The familiar colony design "Navigation and Commerce" was, of course, used for Moheli. The sixteen stamp issue of 1906-07 has a CV of $1+-$7+ for eight stamps.

1906 Scott 10c carmine
The "Moheli" script can be found in carmine and blue. Note the "Mayotte et Dependances" cancellation?

1912 Scott 21 10c on 45c black/gray-green
Carmine Surcharge
In 1912, stamps were surcharged (5c & 10c) in black and carmine as shown. These stamps could be used throughout the Comoros and Madagascar. The six stamp production has a CV of $2-$4+ for each stamp. There are minor numbers also with wider spacing between the surcharged numbers- be on the lookout for them, as their CV is higher.

Of interest, from 1912-1950, stamps of Madagascar were used on the Comoros.

Deep Blue
Moheli in Deep Blue
The Deep Blue album (Steiner) has Moheli on one page, and includes all the major Scott numbers. If one has any of the minor number 1912 issue with a wider space between the surcharge figures, one will need a quadrilled page.
1906 Scott 1 1c black/lilac-blue
Big Blue
Update 1-2018: Moheli in the '69 BB is located on the bottom of the second page of Memel, across from the first page of Mexico. It is not listed in the '69 index, and therefore I missed it when I first published this blog post.
It is also located after Mexico and Modena in the 1940s editions.

Moheli in the '41 edition
The 1940s editions have one line for Moheli with five spaces for the 1906-07 issue, and three spaces for the 1912 issue. Coverage is 38%.

The coverage for Moheli is identical in the '69 BB, except the layout has two rows.

Coverage is fairly generous, and there are no expensive ($10 or higher) stamps. Since there is really no good reason why Moheli shouldn't be included, if one has a '69 or newer edition, perhaps an additional page might be in order. ;-)  I will add the Moheli checklist stamp numbers to the master Lebanon-Quelimane checklist.




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None

1906 Scott 2 2c brown/buff
Out of the Blue
Ask your non philatelic friends where Moheli (Mwali) is located. ;-)

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.



  1. Jim,
    The totals are fine, of course. You may want to tweak the third sentence under Big Blue, where you mention Modena instead of Moheli. I'm amazed it doesn't happen more often, as bleary-eyed as you must get!

  2. Thanks Joe- I see Modena is right next to Moheli (in BB), so I transposed.



  3. Update 1-2018
    There is an error statement I made in terms of the contents of the "69 BB album. Moheli is indeed in the '69 album, contrary to what I said before. Fortunately, the coverage is the same as the 1940s BBs, which I have listed. I've changed the blog posting to correct the error. Thanks to Bud for spotting this.