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, February 28, 2014

The Pictorials of Mozambique Company

1918 Scott 108 1/4c brown & yellow green
"Native and Village"
Quick History
The reality is the Mozambique Company did little to develop the (present) provinces of Manica and Sofala. But, through using forced labor (Chibalo system) for the plantations, and the right to tax, they persisted for the 50 year concession lease from 1891-1941. Rebellions occurred in 1902 and 1917, mainly because of resistance to forced labor, and required interventions by the Portuguese.

Manica and Sofala provinces,
Northern section of Gaza and Inhamban:
Former Mozambique Company lands
But the Mozambique Company did  produce unusually nice stamps for a Portuguese colony.  And that is where they left their mark for WW classical collectors. Mainly two issues, the 1918-31 37 stamp issue, and the 1937 19 stamp issue, are wonderful bi-color pictorials engraved in London, and available today for little financial outlay.

1918 Scott 115 2 1/2c lilac & black
"Buzi River Scene"
Into the Deep Blue
As we already covered the Mozambique Company in a general way in the preceding blog post, we are free to concentrate on the Pictorials of 1918-31 and 1937.

2018 Update: Reader Dave Humphreys has this comment (and offer!) about the MC Pictorials -

 "For Mozambique Company, I found that there were quite extensive perforation varieties listed in Gibbons. I was able to add varieties to the first 9 pages for that country, plus some postage dues. 

Scott has since added the Ceres perforation varieties for the Portuguese Colonies. The Company issues are still listed as one, as far as I know. It made sense for me to break them down, especially the first long pictorial issue, as the perforation changes were often accompanied by colour/shade changes."

So Dave has modified album pages to reflect the various perforations found for the MC pictorials. If the reader would like to obtain his modified pages (in PDF) for the MC pictorials, send him a request via email.

...and now some words to confuse email bots..

Because of copyright concerns, Dave requests that the reader have already bought a Stamp Albums Web (Steiner) CD and/or is a Stamp Albums Web (Steiner) subscription holder.

Thanks Dave!

A closer look at the stamps and issues
My commentary for these issues will, at times, range beyond the stamp pictorial itself to how the pictorial subject is connected to the Mozambique of today.

1918 Scott 110 1/2c black "Man and Ivory Tusks"
Beautiful stamp. Horrible subject. Even today, poaching is only a misdemeanor, and Mozambique, (along with Laos and Vietnam), do the least to control trading in animal parts. In 2011, a survey of the Niassa National Reserve found 2,667 elephant carcasses.

1918 Scott 112 1 1/2c black & green
"Tapping Rubber Tree"
Mozambique is still interested in planting rubber trees for economic development.

Tapping a Rubber tree
A recent picture of Rubber tree tapping in Mozambique is shown here.

1918 Scott 113 2c carmine & black
"Sugar Refinery"
The sugar industry in Mozambique today employs 35,000 people, and accounts for 25% of the total agricultural exports.
1923 Scott 115 3c ocher & black "Corn"
Based on the pictorial image, the corn (maize) must be 12 feet high. ;-)

1921 Scott 117 4c green & brown "Tobacco Field"
The cultivation of tobacco is still ongoing in Mozambique. In fact, a recent concern is the replacement by farmers of food crops for tobacco crops.

1925 Scott 122 6c lilac & black
"Coffee Plantation"
Living in the Pacific Northwest, I am partial to good coffee. ;-) Although there may be some coffee beans grown in Mozambique, my internet research only yielded the use of instant coffee with the addition of some chicory.
1923 Scott 123 7c ultramarine & black
"Scene on Beira Railroad"
The Beira Railroad established a link to Salisbury (Harare) in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1899.

Steam Engine- Beira Railway
Here is a pic of the Class F2 two foot rail gauge steam locomotive of the Beira railway.

1918 Scott 124 7 1/2c orange & green
"Orange Tree"
The 1918-31 thirty-seven  stamp issue was engraved/produced in London. I'm not sure which printing firm- although the 1937 set was produced by Waterlow & Sons.

1923 Scott 128 12c brown & black"Cotton Field"
About 8% of the world's cotton is produced in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of it is grown by smallholder farmers. One can help by buying "Cotton made in Africa"- An Aid by Trade Foundation Initiative.

1918 Scott 132 30c red brown & black
"Coconut Palm"
Copra is the dried meat of the coconut. Coconut oil is extracted from it, and the remaining coconut-oil cake is mostly used for livestock feed.

1925 Scott 136 40c greenish blue & black "Mangroves"
Mangrove swamps are found in the deltas of the Zambezi river.

1918 Scott 137 50c orange & black "Cattle"
Today there is about 1.2 million head of cattle in Mozambique. The northern provinces, though, are affected by the tsetse fly.
1925 Scott 141 80c carmine & black
"Sisal Plantation"
One can find Sisal fiber rugs from Mozambique with a little internet sleuthing.

Mozambique Sisal Fiber Rugs
Sisal is a a type of agave plant that yields a fiber that is used in making twine and rope.

1925 Scott 143 1e blue & black
"Company Arms"
The last pictorial that I will show for the 1918-31 issue has the Mozambique Company "Arms". The issue must have been readily available to the dealer trade, as all stamps are CV <$1.

1937 Scott 175 1c yellow green & violet "Giraffe"
An agreement to transfer some Giraffes from Kruger National Park in South Africa to just across the border into Limpopo National Park in Mozambique is helping to repopulate a wildlife area decimated by civil wars and poaching.
1937 Scott 176 5c blue & yellow green 
"Thatched huts"
A scene still found in Mozambique.

1937 Scott 177 10c vermilion & ultramarine "Dhow"
A Dhow (Arabic derivation)  is a vessel with lateen sails, and could be found in the Indian Ocean, and down the coast of East Africa.

1937 Scott 178 15c carmine & black
"St. Caetano Fortress, Sofala"
The Fortress was built in 1505 by the Portuguese on the Sofala Bank in the (now) Province of Sofala in Mozambique. 
The Sofala Fortress in 1666
The stones were imported from Europe, and were subsequently used to build the Beira Cathedral.

1937 Scott 179 20c green & ultramarine "Zebra"
The Plains zebra is found throughout East Africa in game reserves. What a beautiful stamp!

1937 Scott 182 45c blue & brown "Lion"
It is estimated that there are about 800-1,000 lions within the boundaries of the Niassa National Reserve.

1937 Scott 184 60c carmine & blue "Leopard"
About 50% of the Mozambique land area is suitable for leopard habitat. It is thought there is perhaps about 20,000 leopards in Mozambique.

1937 Scott 185 70c yellow brown & pale green
"Mozambique woman"
Most natives are of Bantu origin, and a number (>10!) of  Bantu languages are spoken.  (Portuguese is the official language, but only 40% of the population is fluent.)

1937 Scott 186 80c carmine & pale green
The rivers, specifically the Zambezi, have hippopotamus.

Distribution of the Hippopotamus in Africa
There are perhaps about 16,000 in Mozambique.

Deep Blue
1918-31 Views of Mozambique issue in Deep Blue
The pictorials in this blog are found spread over four pages in Deep Blue (Steiner).

925 Scott 145 2e lilac & black
"View of Beira"
Big Blue
Twenty-nine of the thirty-seven stamps of the 1918-31 issue, and twelve of the nineteen stamps of the 1937 Pictorial issue are found in BB. I suppose I should feel grateful. ;-)

1937 Scott 188 1e deep blue & black 
"Man in canoe"
Out of the Blue
Reviewing the classic pictorials of Mozambique Company- what fun!

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


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mozambique Company

1892 Scott 3 20r rose "King Luiz"
Overprinted in Carmine or Black
Quick History
The Mozambique Company had the concession from Portuguese government to administer (and extract wealth) from the central portion of Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). The exclusive concession began in 1891, and lasted 50 years until 1941, when it was not renewed.
Portuguese East Africa 1922
"Mozambique Company" in the center
The Capital was Beira and the population was 370,000 in 1939.

Among the rights of Mozambique Company, financed largely with British capital, was the ability to collect taxes, and use forced labor on its plantations. These two prerogatives, were, in fact, how the Company made its money. It did little to develop the lands, except for the Beira- Salisbury (now Harare) railway in 1899, and a Nyasaland line in 1922.
Manica and Sofala, site of Mozambique Colony 
One of the other rights? The production of stamps. ;-)

And produce they did, with some 275 stamps issued between 1892-1941. But not just any stamps- you know, the usual uninspired Portuguese colony fare- but bi-colored pictorials engraved in London beginning with the 1918 issue forward.

Wow!...as poor as their administration of the colony was, their stamps are magnificent- and cheap for WW classical collectors to own.

In fact, because of the delightful cache of Mozambique Company pictorials to be found for this colony, we will divide the discussion into two blog posts.
• This post will cover the 1892-1941 years, with focus on the regular and some pictorial issues.
• The subsequent post will show the rest of the pictorials.

By the way, although Mozambique Company lost its exclusive rights in 1941, it continued as an ordinary company beginning in 1942.

1925 Scott 156 25c chocolate & ultramarine 
"View of Beira"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Mozambique Company 1892-1941, 275 major stamp descriptions. Of those, 234 are CV <$1-$1+, or 85%. Remarkable.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
1000 Reis = 1 Milreis
100 Centavos = 1 Escudo (1916)
1892 Scott 4 25r violet "King Luiz"
Overprinted on 1886 Mozambique issue
The first nine stamp issue for Mozambique Company began inauspiciously, as shown, with an overprinted 1886 Mozambique issue. The good news is the CV is <$1 for the stamps. The bad news is the stamps were reprinted in 1905 with white gum, clean cut perfs 13 1/2, and colors paler than the originals. The originals are perf 12 1/2  or 13 1/2. If one is fastidious, one will want to separate out the reprints.

1907 Scott 39 500r black & red /blue
"Company Coat of Arms"
Between 1895-1907, a large 33 stamp set was issued with the Mozambique Company "Coat of Arms" motif. The entire output can be found with value <$1-$2. No doubt much of the used is found CTO, as this example, no doubt, is.
1898 Scott 53 80r yellow green, green overprint
Stamps of 1895, overprinted various colors
For the 400th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's discovery of a route to India, thirteen of the 1895 issue stamps were overprinted in 1898, as shown. The colors of the overprints are in bister, orange, violet, green, black, or brown. This issue is more expensive than most, with CV ranging from $1+-$10.

1911 Scott 62 5r orange
Stamps of 1895- 1907 overprinted locally in green or carmine
In 1911, throughout the lands of the Portuguese colonies, stamps were overprinted with "Republica" to reflect the change in governance. Here, 15 stamps were overprinted locally. Note the shape of the "R" and "A" to distinguish them from the Lisbon printing.

1911 Scott 86 20r red lilac/pink
Overprinted in Lisbon in carmine or green
The Lisbon overprintings- some 15 stamps, also issued in 1911- can be easily differentiated by the shape of the "R" and "A". All of the 1911 overprinted local and Lisbon  stamps- save two- are value <$1.

1916 Scott 95 2 1/2c on 25r carmine
Stamps of 1911 (Lisbon printing) surcharged
In 1916, with the change in denomination value, 15 of the preceding 1911 Lisbon overprinted issue were surcharged. The CV is still a remarkable <$1. Mozambique Company stamps must have been plentiful to the philatelic trade.

1918 Scott 107 5c on 400r dull blue/yellow
In 1918, three of the highest denomination 1911 Lisbon overprinted issue stamps were surcharged with low denomination values: no doubt, lower value stamps were needed.

1920 Scott 150 2c on 2 1/2c , red surcharge
The 1918 pictorial issue will be covered in the next blog, but nine stamps from that issue were surcharged in 1920. The surcharge colors were red, blue, violet, or black. The CV is a little more, with $1+-$5+.

1925 Scott 155 24c ultramarine & black "Native"
In 1925, and continuing until 1931, a seven stamp pictorial issue was produced.  What is particularly interesting about the native portrayed is......he is smiling! I can't think of another stamp during the classical era which shows a smile. Can anybody give other examples?

1925 Scott 159 5e yellow brown & ultramarine
"Tapping Rubber Tree"
The same issue shows a rubber tree being tapped. It appears this job was given to women.

Of interest "Borracha" (-a" -female, -o"-male), at least in Spanish, means "drunk", or "intoxicated". But rubber was used to make waterskins, or "wineskin", so rubber was also called "borracha".

1925 Scott 160 10e rose & black 
"Picking Tea"
Looks like picking tea is a male job. Note the overseer? 

1925 Scott 161 20e green & black "Zambezi River"
The Zambezi river, 1,600 miles long, empties into the Indian Ocean from Mozambique.

Zambezi River
Victoria Falls is one of the noted sites- and sights- along the river.

1931 Scott 162 45c light blue 
"Ivory Tusks"
The Ivory trade ("Marfim"= Ivory) was active obviously on Mozambique Company lands. This stamp was issued in 1931.

Ivory Trade
Unfortunately, the desire for Ivory horn is still present even today- especially in parts of Asia.

1931 Scott 163 70c yellow brown 
"Panning Gold"
Another stamp with the happier motif of panning for Gold was also issued in 1931.

1935 Scott 164 1e dark blue & black
"Zambezi Railroad Bridge"
Opening a new railroad bridge across the Zambezi river accounts for this stamp emission in 1935.

1935 Scott 168 20c yellow green & black
"Airplane over Beira"
To commemorate the opening of air service for Blantyre-Beira Salisbury, a 10 stamp regular issue was produced in the triangular shaped format in 1935. All stamps are value <$1.

Air Post 1935 Scott C14 10e carmine & black
"Airplane over Beira"
The same illustration was used for the Air Post fifteen stamp edition of 1935.

Postage Due 1911 Scott J13 20r yellow brown
Postage Due stamps of 1906 overprinted
A 10 stamp set for postage dues, identical to the 1906 set, save for the "Republica" overprint, was issued in 1911. Value is a modest <$1-$1.

1916 Scott J23 2c orange brown
With Value in Centavos in Black
With the change in denomination value in 1916, a new 10 stamp set was issued in centavos.

1919 Scott J32 1c slate "Company Arms"
Another 10 stamp postage due set was issued in 1919, featuring the "Company Arms" design: quite attractive. And the CV is <$1.

Postal Tax 1932 Scott RA1 2c on 3c orange & black "Corn"
The first Postal Tax issue for Mozambique Company used the 1923 regular 3c stamp, but surcharged for 2 centavos. Of interest, Scott labels the color for the 1932 postal tax stamp "orange & black", but the 1923 regular issue stamp is called "ocher & black".

1933 Scott RA2 2c magenta & black "Charity"
Finally, the 1933 postal tax stamp shows a mother with child, and an elderly and infirm man, with "Charity" providing assistance.

Deep Blue
1916 "Republica" overprinted surcharged issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 18 pages for Mozambique. All of the major numbers have spaces. Of interest, the "Classic" Steiner pages for Mozambique do not cover the 1941 "King John IV" issue that is in the Scott Classic Specilaized catalogue. I just added a quadrilled page, although I could have pulled the page from the Steiner general "WW" page PDF file.

1940 Scott 201 1.75e blue & light blue
"King Alfonso Henriques"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on four pages, has 122 spaces. Coverage is 44%. Considering how inexpensive Mozambique Company stamps are, the coverage could have been more generous.

Mozambique Company is located between Mozambique and Natal in the '69 BB album.





*Update: The 1894 & 1907 issue stamps (A2 - Company Coat of Arms) - was updated by the Scott catalogue between 2011 & 2021. With the 2011 catalogue, the listing consists of perf 11 1/2, 12/12 & 131/2 altogether under major numbers. 

With the 2020 catalogue, the listing is parsed into Enamel paper - Perf 11/2 (major numbers); Perf 12 1/2 (minor numbers); Perf 13 1`/2 (minor numbers), and then Chalky paper - Perf 11/2 ( minor & major numbers); Perf 12 1/2 (minor numbers); & perf 13 1/2 ( minor numbers). 

The new major number listing (2020) for 1894 & 1907 spaces are:
10 2 1/2 r olive yellow ( Enamel - 11 /2 perf), 11 5r orange (Enamel 11 1/2 perf), 12 10r red rose (Enamel - 11 1/2 perf)
13 15r red brown (Enamel - 11 1/2 perf), 14 20r gray blue (Enamel 11 1/2 perf), 15 25r green (Enamel 11 /2 perf), (16) 50r blue (Enamel - 11 /2 perf)

61F 2 1/2 gray (Chalky - Perf 1 1/2), 61G 10r yellow green (chalky- 11 /2 perf), 61H 15r dark green (chalky - 11 '2 perf)
61I 25r carmine (chalky- 11 /2 perf), 61J 50r brown (chalky - 11 /2 perf)

Note: Minor numbers and/or different perfs that work for the space can also be put in. The collector should probably also check the more recent Scott catalogue for other catalogue changes if one has additional stamps in this issue.

1911 (Lisbon OP)




Next Page




Next Page




Next Page

Air Post

Postal Tax


Postage Due




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice
C) *126- BB lists 10c "brown, orange and black"- there is no such color- I put in red orange and black

1941 Scott 203 50c dark violet & bright green 
"King John IV"
Out of the Blue
With 234 out of the 275 major issue stamp of Mozambique Colony at value <$1-$1+, the WW classical collector is in luck ;-)

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