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...

Sunday, February 16, 2014


1877 Scott 6 25r rose "Portuguese crown"
Quick History
The Portuguese East Africa Colony, or Mozambique Colony, was located along the coast of southeast Africa.

The Capital City was Lourenco Marques ( now called Maputo), and the population was 5,000,000 in 1940.

( I've already discussed the situation within the Mozambique colony with my Lourenco Marques post, so I've "borrowed" the information from that post to present here.)

The reality was that, within the Mozambique Colony, settlements were scattered, and these outposts by necessity had their own stamps. Besides Mozambique (1877), one can find issues for Lourenco Marques (1895), Inhambane (1895), Zambezia (1894), Quelimane (1913), Tete (1913), Mozambique Company (1892), and Nyassa Company (1898), for the Portuguese East Africa lands. Eventually, the stamps of Mozambique were exclusively used.

Michael, author of the Dead Country Stamp website has a fine Mozambique Area Transition Chart which should help to clear confusion.  Thanks Michael!

Portuguese East Africa 1922 ( Mozambique)
One will find on this 1922 map "Lourenzo Marques" (now the Capital city Maputo) in the southern portion of Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique Colony). One can also find the geographical location of Inhambane, Mozambique Company, "Quilimane", Tete, "Nyasa Company", and the off shore island of Mozambique.


The modern map of Mozambique has Maputo (Name changed from Lourenco Marques in 1976 after independence from Portugal ), and the Inhambane, Zambezia, Tete, and Niassa regions.

The permanent town of Lourenco Marques dates from about 1850. Because of the growing importance and settlement of nearby Transvaal, the town flourished.  A railroad was built to Pretoria, Transvaal in 1895.

In fact, Lourenco Marques became the capital of Mozambique in 1898. Prior, the island of Mozambique (just offshore in northern Mozambique) had been the capital. (This explains why the Portuguese East Africa lands were referred to, early on, as "Mozambique".)

Let's now take a closer look at Mozambique and its stamp issues....

1903 Scott 65 130r brown/straw "King Carlos I"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Mozambique 1877-1939, 430 major stamp descriptions. Of those, 269 are CV <$1-$1+, or 62.5%  As is typical for many Portuguese colonies, the stamps are generally quite affordable.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
1000 Reis = 1 Milreis
100 Centavos = 1 Escudo (1913)
1881 Scott 10r green "Portuguese Crown"
Between 1877-85, a fourteen stamp issue with the "Portuguese Crown", as shown, was released. Ten of these stamps have a value of <$1-$2. Reprints were printed with Perforation 13 1/2, although the original issue also had Perforation 13 1/2, as well as 12 1/2. See the Scott catalogue for more specifics.

1886 Scott 21 100r yellow brown "King Luiz"
The "King Luiz" nine stamp set was issued in 1886. The value of of all the stamps in the set is $2 or less. The Perforation 12 1/2 are considered major numbers, while the perforation 13 1/2 stamps are given minor numbers by Scott.

1894 Scott 29 50r light blue "King Carlos I"
In 1894, a twelve stamp set with "King Carlos I" portrait was released. Nine of these stamps have a value <$1-$1+.

1903 Scott 59 65r dull blue "Carlos I"
The familiar- for Portuguese colonies- "King Carlos I" visage issue- some 23 stamps- was released between 1898-1903. Thirteen stamps are <$1-$1+ value.

1902 Scott 78 130r on 300r orange
On stamps of 1886
In 1902, nine of the 1886 "King Luiz" stamps were surcharged, as illustrated. Eight of the stamps range in value between <$1-$4.

1902 Scott 91 400r on 80r yellow green
On stamps of 1894
Also in 1902, twelve of the 1894 "King Carlos I" stamps were likewise surcharged. The stamps are valued between $1+-$5.

1902 Scott 95 25r sea green 
On stamps of 1898
Four of the 1898 "King Carlos I" stamps were overprinted, as shown, in 1902. 

1911 Scott 102 15r gray green
Stamps of 1898-1903 overprinted in carmine or green
With the 1910 revolution from a Monarchy to a Republic in Portugal, the stamps of the colonies were overprinted "Republica". Here, the "Carlos I" 1898-1903 stamps were overprinted in carmine or green.

1912 Scott 119 50r deep blue "King Manuel II"
Overprinted in carmine or green
The recently issued 1910 "King Manuel II" type design stamps were likewise overprinted in 1912. This issue - some 11 stamps-was never released in Mozambique without the overprint.

1913 Scott 140 15c on 150r bister  "Vasco da Gama"
On stamps of Portuguese Africa
In 1913, the eight stamp common design type Vasco Da Gama issues for Macao, Portuguese Africa, and Timor, were surcharged for use in Mozambique. The stamps range in value from $1+-$3.

1914 Scott 169 20c yellow green "Ceres"
Between 1914-26, the familiar "Ceres" stamps were produced for Mozambique. Some 43 stamps were eventually issued. One can see that this stamp was posted from the capital, Lourenco Marques.

1926 Scott 189 5e buff
The higher denomination "Ceres" stamps rarely are given a specific space in Big Blue. Perhaps it is because they (5e-20e) have a higher value ($2+-$10+)? I think there is another reason, also. If a stamp in a prolific multi-year issue is issued later- here 1926-, the BB editors tends to not give that stamp a space

1915 Scott 194 115r on 25r blue green
Overprinted locally (L)  or in Lisbon (R)
Stamps of 1902 and 1902-05 overprinted in carmine respectively
In 1915, the previously surcharged provisional stamps of 1902 were overprinted "Republica". But, they can be found with both a local overprint (9 stamps), and a Lisbon overprint (8 stamps). Note especially the difference in the "R" and "A". Both overprints are inexpensive (<$1), so both types can and will be found in a collection- and they are given different Scott numbers!

1919 Scott 225 1 1/2c on 5c red 
War Tax stamps of 1916-18 surcharged
The truth is, when one is dealing with a colony that has the same stamps as other colonies- except for the change in name- it is perhaps a trifle dull. Where the interest lies is in the surcharges! Here, a war tax stamp of 1918 is surcharged for regular mail use.

1920 Scott 229 6c on 5c red
War Tax stamp of 1918 surcharged in green
Another war tax stamp is surcharged in green. Nice!

1921 Scott 230 10c on 1/2c black, red surcharge
On Lourenco Marques stamp
This is interesting. Here, a Lourenco Marques stamps is surcharged in 1921, and the stamp could be used throughout Mozambique. (Recall that Lourenco Marques stamps were allowed until 1920, then the stamps of Mozambique were used.)

1921 Scott 233 30c on 1 1/2c brown, blue surcharge
A blue surcharge was applied to this 1 1/2c brown "Ceres" stamp in 1921.

1924 Scott 237 80c bright rose 
Overprinted in green
For the 4th centenary of the death of Vasco da Gama, a 80c bright rose "Ceres" stamp was overprinted. A commemorative on the cheap, wouldn't one say? ;-) 

1925 Scott 239 40c on 400r on 80r
Here we have a surcharge on a surcharge, with "Republica" overprinted for good measure.

1929 Scott 247 50c gray on 1917 postage due stamp
Overprinted in black with bars in red
A postage due design stamp was called to do regular postal duty in 1929. These are the kind of issues that can make Portuguese colony stamps a more interesting endeavor.

1931 Scott 250 1.40e on 2e dark violet
Finally, two "Ceres" stamps were surcharged in 1931.  All of these examples of surcharged specimens between 1918-31 are quite inexpensive.

1933 Scott 269 20e orange
"Portugal" holding volume of the "Lusiads"
Mozambique received their own definitive issue in 1933 with the 19 stamp "Lusiads"  set. This poem, written in a Homeric fashion in 1572, treats the Portuguese voyages of discovery during the 15th and 16th century in an epic style.

The entire issue is quite inexpensive @ <$1-$2. 

1938 Scott 285 5e olive green 
"Prince Henry the Navigator"
The "common design type" eighteen stamp issue of 1938, actually released for eight Portuguese colonies, is in large format, and is impressive, even if they have to be shared. ;-) Prince Henry the Navigator organized and financed the voyages of discovery that lead to the rounding of Africa, and establishing sea routes to the Indies.

1938 Scott 288 40c on 45c bright blue
Surcharged in black
Only one stamp of the "Lusiads" issue was surcharged, and the 1938 40c on 45c bright blue is shown here. Value is $1+.

1939 Scott 289 80c violet/pale rose
"Map of Africa"
With the Presidential visit of 1939, a four stamp set was released, as shown. The high denomination, the 20e brown/buff, has a value of $30- rather high certainly for the stamps of Mozambique.

Air Post 1938 Scott C9 10e magenta 
"Plane over Globe"
The 1938 Air Post issue ( nine stamps) likewise is a common design type in a large format. Quite inexpensive.

Postage due 1904 Scott J4 30r orange
Although Mozambique got by with the Air Post 1938 common design type stamps as their only (needed) issue, somehow Mozambique required a Postage Due set in 1904 (10 stamps), 1911 (10 stamps), 1916 (10 stamps), 1917 (10 stamps), 1918 (3 stamps), 1921 (5 stamps), and 1924 (2 stamps). There must have been a lot of letters with inadequate postage on them. ;-)

The 1904 issue- in Reis denomination- has 10 stamps, all inexpensive.

1911 Scott J19 200r carmine, green overprint
With the fall of the monarchy, the stamps were overprinted as shown in 1911. These are likewise very inexpensive.

1918 Scott J33 1c gray green 
War Tax stamps of 1916 overprinted diagonally
Three war tax stamps (two rouletted and one perforated) were overprinted for postage due use in 1918.

1917 Scott J41 13c deep blue
Type of 1904 issue with value in Centavos
The Postage Due issue of 1917- 10 stamps- were this time in Centavos denominations.

1921 Scott J47 20c on 2 1/2c violet, red surcharge
Five of the "Ceres" stamps- two from Lourenco Marques, three from Mozambique- were surcharged for postage due use in 1921. Inexpensive and interesting.

1924 Scott J49 20c on 30c olive green, black surcharge
In 1924, two more "Ceres" stamps were surcharged to be used as postage dues. Value is <$1.

War Tax 1918 Scott MR3 1c gray green, perforated
The War Tax stamps were first issued as rouletted 7 in 1916 ( 1c gray green, 5c rose). They were then reissued as perforated 11,12 in 1918. A perforated example is shown here.

Newspaper 1893 Scott P6 2 1/2r brown
If one can find the 1886 Scott 19 "King Luiz" 40r chocolate stamp with a "Journaes" overprint with surcharge, one has the fairly rare P1-P5 1893 newspaper stamps @ $10+-$90.

Scott P6, though is the more common Newspaper stamp found.

Postal Tax 1925 Scott RA5 40c slate & yellow, black surcharge
"Seal of the Local Red Cross Society"
There are some 47 Postal tax stamps issued between 1925-1931. Often, these stamps were obligatory to be used on certain dates, in order to raise funds for charitable causes.

Here illustrated is an example of the six stamp 1926 "Cross of the Orient Society" issue.

1933 Scott RA41 40c bister brown & carmine
"Mother and children"
Type of 1929 issue
Beginning in 1929, and continuing yearly until 1940, the "Mother and Children" stamp was issued in different colors each year. The 1933 issue is shown here.

Deep Blue
1933 "Lusiads" issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue ( Steiner) has 34 pages, and has a space for all the major Scott numbers.

1902  Scott 92 400r on 300r  blue/salmon 
On stamps of 1894, surcharged
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on four pages, has 137 spaces. Coverage is 32%. Clearly, BB could have provided more spaces considering Mozambique's relatively inexpensive stamps.

Mozambique is located in the album between Montserrat and Mozambique Company.


1, 2 or 3, 6,12,









Next Page

125 or 133 or 141, 126 or 134 or 142, 127 or 135 or 143, 131 or 147, 132 or 148,

Update: The Ceres issue presented here below originally had the (now "old") numbers in the 2011 catalogue. By 2014, Scott had parsed the Ceres into 1914 Perf 15 X 14 chalky paper, 1919-26 Perf 15 X 14 ordinary paper, and 1919-26 Perf 12 X 11 1/2 ordinary paper issues, all with major numbers.
I will present both here: "old" and "current" numbers.

Old numbers...

(1913-actually 1914) Ceres Issue

1921 Ceres Issue

1922 Ceres Issue


1926 Ceres Issue

Current numbers...

(1913-actually 1914) Ceres Issue

1921 Ceres Issue
172 or 189, 173 or 190, 174 or 191, 191A*, 191B, 191F, 191M,
*Note 191A "6c lilac" apparently. Apparently, because my 2014 catalogue has a listing error.
Lists "4 1/2c gray" twice for 191 & 191A. (Note: the error was corrected in the 2017 catalogue.)

1922 Ceres Issue


1926 Ceres Issue

Next Page



Air Post

Next Page

Newspaper Stamp

War Tax
MR1 or MR3, MR2 or MR4,

Postage Due
1903 (actually 1904)


Postal Tax

Postal Tax Due



A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice
C) *1913-  Surcharged with choices on Macao, Portuguese Africa, Timor stamps
D) *256 is slate gray in BB, blue-green! in Scott.

1939 Scott 290 1.75e blue/pale blue "Map of Africa"
Out of the Blue
Considering how "exotic" Mozambique appears and appeals to me, it would be easy to lament the Portuguese designs- reflecting none of the land, animals, or people of the colony. ( A hint of what could have been done will be demonstrated by the next blog post - Mozambique Company.)

But with the many local surcharges, they are still interesting stamps to collect. ;-)

Mozambique - Bud's Big Blue

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.



  1. Hi Jim, I think where you give 191S it should be 191Q. 191S is 80c and 191Q is 60c rose which is what my album shows. Kind regards, Troy

    1. Thanks Troy - you are correct! I changed the Ceres 1926 60c rose to 191Q (new number).

  2. Newspaper 1893 Scott P6
    40c on 400r on 2 1/2r brown chocolate stamp surcharge on a surcharge, with "Republica" overprinted.

    I have this stamp and interested on more info. Thanks

    1. Sorry, I can't find it in the catalogue. ??