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...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Caledonia

1924 Scott 131 1.25fr on 1fr deep blue, red surcharge, "Ship"
Quick History
New Caledonia, 750 miles east of Australia in the southwest Pacific Ocean, has been a formal possession of France since 1853. But, it was named by the British Captain James Cook in 1774, as the land reminded him of Scotland. The indigenous population was the Kanak society, which is clan and chief based, and had the fearsome reputation of eating their enemies in former years.The French established a penal colony, where some 22,000 prisoners were sent through 1897. Nickel was discovered in 1864, and New Caledonia has today 25% of the known nickel resources in the world.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia has the richest biodiversity in the world per square kilometer. Many birds and plants are unique.

The Capital is Noumea, and the population was 53,000 in 1936. 

Today, New Caledonia is still a dependent territory of France.

Stamps were introduced in 1859 with a portrait of Napoleon III. One will note the stamps often are inscribed "Nouvelle Caledonie et Dependances". The Dependencies are the Loyalty Islands, Isle of Pines, Huon Islands, and Chesterfield Islands.

1901 Scott 62 15c on 75c violet,orange
"Navigation and Commerce"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for New Caledonia 1859-1940, 266 major stamp descriptions. Of those, 103 are CV <$1-$1+, or 39%. The earlier issues (1859-1893, 35 stamps) are all rather expensive. And some later issues (1903 Jubilee stamps, 1932 Paris-Noumea Flight overprinted issue) are likewise not cheap. But, like many French colonies, the New Caledonia stamp output is blessed with two long pictorial issues (1905-28 issue- 29 stamps; 1928-40 issue, 42 stamps).

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
1900 Scott 44 5c yellow green
"Navigation and Commerce"
From 1881-1893, some 32 French Colony stamps were surcharged and/or overprinted with "N C E" or "Nlle Caledonie". Some ten are CV $10+-$20+: so perhaps, a representative sample could be accumulated by the WW collector. At the moment, though, I don't have any. ;-)

The well known "Navigation and Commerce" issue-  nineteen stamps- was released for New Caledonia between 1892-1904. Seven are CV $1+-$2+.

Then, between 1900-02, seven of the "Navigation and Commerce" issue was surcharged "N C E". An example is shown at the head of the "Into the Deep Blue" section.

1903 Scott 66 1c black/lilac blue with blue overprint
Jubilee Issue
For the 50th anniversary of French possession, a "Jubilee Issue" was released in 1903. The initial 15 stamp production was overprinted in blue, red, black or gold. An additional surcharge was applied on seven more stamps. Both examples are shown on the blog.

CV ranges from $1+-$4+ for nine stamps.

1905 Scott 90 4c blue/orange "Kagu"
Between 1905-28 a long 29 stamp series was produced with three designs The lower denominations show the "Kagu", an essentially flightless bird only found on New Caledonia.

1924 Scott 127 60c on 75c blue green, red surcharge, "Landscape"
Stamps of 1905 type surcharged in new values
During 1924-27, eleven of the 1905 issue were surcharged with new values and bars.  Here, the "Landscape" design is shown-lovely! The higher denominations show a "Ship" design, which is illustrated at the blog post header.

1928 Scott 143 25c dark green & dark brown
"Bay of Paletuviers Point"
The second major long issue, again with three designs, was released between 1928-40. The lower denominations show this placid scene.

1928 Scott 148 50c violet & brown 
"Landscape with Chief's House"
The middle values show a native Kanak chief hut and landscape. The French do pay attention to their surroundings. 

1928 Scott 172 3fr magenta & brown
"Admiral de Bougainville and Count de La Perouse"
The third design honors two explorers.

 Admiral de Bougainville was a contemporary of James Cook.  He helped first settle the Falkland Islands, "discovered" Tahiti, and had several further voyages into the Pacific Ocean.

Count de La Perouse's ships vanished without a trace in Oceania after visiting New Caledonia and Australia in 1788. This disappearance has been investigated by French sponsored expeditions as recently as 2008. The two ships are now known to have crashed on the coral atoll of Vanikoro, part of the Santa Cruz islands.

1938 Air Post Scott C1 65c deep violet
"Seaplane over Pacific Ocean"
Great illustration of a seaplane-No? Six stamps were produced for the first 1938-40 Air Post issue. CV is <$1-$3+. Of note, during WW II, New Caledonia supported the Free French government. And Noumea was the headquarters of the United States Navy and Army in the South Pacific.

1906 Postage Due Scott J9 5c ultramarine/azure
"Men Poling Boat"
The postage dues for the French colonies are often interesting, and New Caledonia doesn't disappoint.  The 1906 issue consists of eight stamps, and has this intriguing scene.

 1928 Scott J21 5c red orange & blue black
"Malayan Sambar"
The Malayan Sambar is a large deer found in southern Asia, the Malay Peninsula, and parts of Indonesia. I found no evidence it is native to New Caledonia. I wonder if it was introduced? At any rate, the thirteen stamp postage dues of 1928 feature a nice design of this deer. CV ranges from <$1-$3.

Deep Blue
1928-40 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has eighteen pages for New Caledonia, and a space for all the major Scott numbers.

1903 Scott 83 4c on 5c dark green/greenish
Blue surcharge on red overprinted 1903 Jubilee issue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on four pages, has 125 spaces. Coverage is 47%.

• There are only two "expensive" stamps @ $20+.
• For the long 1905-28 issue, BB has 24 spaces for the 29 stamps issued; for the long 1928-40 issue, BB has 37 spaces for the 42 stamps issued. Not bad.
• The '69 editors lopped off a page with 4 semi-postals and 17 postage dues. Pity. I included in the checklist these '41/'43/'47 edition stamps for those that have an interest.


12,11 or 13, 40,41,42,43,(45),(47),









Next Page







Next Page




Next Page



Air Post

End of "69 edition

In '41/'43/'47 editions




Postage  Due



A) Expensive stamps (Threshold $10):
1891 Scott 12 10c on 30c brown/bister ($20+)
1892 Scott 13 10c on 40c red/straw ($20+)
B) (  ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1931 Scott 178 90c red orange
Colonial Exposition Issue
Out of the Blue
My Daughter reminded me that she was in New Caledonia several years ago for a conference on the economic status of the South Pacific island countries. For her, New Caledonia had the best of both worlds: island beauty and languor and efficient French infrastructure. One perhaps can say the same thing about the stamp issues. ;-)

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?


  1. Hello,

    I really enjoyed your blog! I would like to start collecting the classic era of stamps, but what really bothers me is that the scott albums have MISSING SPACES. Do any other companies produce complete albums?


  2. Hello and welcome Daniel!

    As you probably figured out, Big Blue is a "representational' album- that is it picks and chooses what spaces to have for stamps, and is not complete. But one should not dismiss it out of hand- it's advantages include, compactness, and having spaces for the more common and inexpensive stamps- some 35,000 spaces for the 80,000+ possibilities for the 1840-1940 era. It is still quite a challenge for the WW classical collector. I am trying to "fill" a BB, and I have a long way to go. ;-)

    Another choice that does offer more coverage..is the Minkus Global Supreme (1840-1952) album -( Not the Minkus Global Master, which has less spaces than BB). It is sold in two very large binders.They are not as common used, but some come up on ebay, or one can buy it from Amos Advantage.

    It definitely has more coverage for each country than BB, but not complete coverage.

    If one wants complete coverage, the Steiner classic era pages- downloadable as PDF pages from Stamp Albums Web for ~$40 is by far the best choice, in my opinion. In fact, that is how I house my collection. It has a space for every major number in Scott 1840-1940, and covers the British commonwealth until 1952. But one needs to print out the pages on a printer, or have a printing shop do it for you. I have plenty of pics of the Steiner (what I call deep Blue) pages on the various blog entries.

    But be careful what one wishes for: compact it is not. The classic coverage has 6,500 one sided pages housed in ~ 44 (1 1/2") Binders- some 9+ feet of shelf space. ;-)

    Good luck, and hope to hear from you about your collection!


    1. Hello,

      Thanks for the fast reply! I see that this album thing is more complicated than it looks. I are the stamps "missing" only the rare ones, or are some common ones omitted too?

      Secondly, could you please point me to some ebay listings for the BB and the Minkus Supreme? I really have no idea of the relative price.

      In addition, I heard that Stanley Gibbons produces an international classic album. Where does that rank?


  3. Hi Daniel

    - More the rare (more expensive) ones, but unfortunately, some common ones also.

    -Ebay listings come and go- do a search for the albums under "stamps", and monitor.

    The SG international album, I believe, is hard bound- and a non starter for me. But if you use SG catalogues, perhaps you want to pursue it.

    Bottom line- there is no perfect choice- all of them are compromises in one way or another....


  4. Daniel's questions are excellent for a beginning classical collector to ask and, if anyone is serious about building such a collection, the matter of how to house and display is best raised as near as possible to the outset of collecting activity. That said, there are several ways to modify any limitations encountered along the way after a choice has been made. As one committed to Big Blue, I've made a couple such adaptations. For stamps that lack BB spaces, for instance, I've used high quality stock pages, which now house something over 10,000 stamps that lack BB spaces. I've also taken to inserting pages in BB for stamps that have unusual merit, sometime even covers. Recently cam across a early Tibet cover that I put in BB on a page of it's own. This means, of course, that my BB Vol1 require three separate covers instead of one. What I do not like is shoe horning stamps, for which there are no spaces, to fit onto a BB page. It looks sloppy. Regardless of what Daniel chooses, there are ways to adapt as he goes along.

    1. Very good solution to keep BB "viable".
      BB has so many good featured