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...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


1860 Scott 11A 3p green
"Rose, Thistle and Shamrock"
Quick History
The British colony of Newfoundland became self governing in 1855, and achieved dominion status (along with New Zealand) in 1907. The Dominion included the island of Newfoundland off the eastern coast of North America, and Labrador on the mainland.

The Capital is St. John's, and the population was 320,000 in 1945. (FYI: Labrador's permanent population was more like 6,000.)
Newfoundland in 1912
Newfoundlanders are self reliant, many making a living through fishing (cod, herring, lobster). But the Depression hit Newfoundland hard, and they ceded self governance back to London in 1934. Yet, the reluctance to join Canada as one of the provinces continued until 1949: and even then, 48% voted no on the referendum.

What that means for the stamp collector is a long run of fascinating issues from 1857-1949 on the topics of native animals and nature, an extractive economy, and royalty. This is a tall order to do in one blog post, and, to boot, one of my favorite countries. So I won't. ;-)

This blog post will be a general overview. The next post will cover the myriad British royalty on Newfoundland stamps. The final blog will take a closer look at the many wonderful pictorials of Newfoundland.
1894 Scott 29 12c brown/ white "Queen Victoria"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Newfoundland 1857-1949, 258 regular, 19 air post, 7 postage dues, and 1 post office seal stamp. Total = 285.

Of those, 81 descriptive numbers are CV <$1-$1+, or a low 28%. Why? Besides being naturally attractive issues- I would submit they may be the most intriguing stamps in toto within the British Empire sphere- they are also collected avidly by three powerful groups: Canadian, U.S., and British Empire collectors.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (1866)
1861 Scott 19 5p reddish brown
"Crown of Great Britain and Heraldic Flowers of the United Kingdom"
The early issues of Newfoundland are classic indeed, and a bit difficult to separate. The above design- quite the homage to the British crown- was issued in 1857 and 1861-62 for the 1 pence, and in 1857, 1860, and 1861-62 for the 5 pence. The stamps are differentiated by the thickness of the wove paper, mesh/no mesh, and by (subtle) color. There might be a subtle difference in size as well. For the classical WW generalist, some help from a "Newfie'" specialist is advisable.

1861 Scott 20 6p rose "Rose"
The "Rose" design, albeit each denomination with their own unique frame and vignette, is found for the 1/2p, 2p, 4p, 6p, 8p, and 1sh values. Again, for the 1857, 1860, and 1861-62 issues, paper thickness, mesh, and color are all factors for identification.

"1861 Scott 18 4p rose"
Spiro Forgery
What to make of this rough 4p with the bright rose color in my collection? A little investigation revealed that it is a Spiro forgery.


(Update: Alas, William Claghorn's forgery site no longer appears to be extant.)

....for specifics.

Philip Spiro was head of a Hamburg printing company that, between 1864-1880, produced about 500 lithographic stamp "reproductions". They still reside in collections, as I now know first hand. ;-)

1887 Scott 56 1/2 c rose red "Newfoundland Dog"
1896 Scott 57 1/2 c orange red
The Newfoundland Dog was bred to be working dogs for fishermen, and are excellent at water rescue. A "gentle giant" at 150 pounds, their love for mud and constant drooling- to say nothing about the food bill- might give one pause, though, as a family dog.

Between 1887-1896, Newfoundland issued three stamps featuring the Newfoundland Dog: a black stamp and the above examples. Look for the "orange red" in your collection- issued in 1896- as it has considerably more value ($70+ unused). 

1897 Scott 62 2c carmine lake "Cabot?"
In 1897, hopping to emulate the success of the U.S. 1893 Columbus issue, the Newfoundland postal authorities issued a 14 stamp set (with plenty of pictorials) for John Cabot's discovery of the island 400 years previously. (In addition, 1897 was the Jubilee date for Queen Victoria.)

"John Cabot" , actually a Venetian, Zuan Chabotto, under commission of England's Henry VII, was the first European to "discover" the North American mainland in 1497. Actually, archaeological results support Lief Ericsson and the Vikings reaching Newfoundland circa 1000.

About the portrait of "Cabot" on the stamp? It is thought to be a Holbein painting of his son, Sebastian. 

1908 Scott 86 2c rose carmine
"Map of Newfoundland"
A wonderful stamp showing a map of the island of Newfoundland was issued by itself in 1908.

1911 Scott 98 6c brown violet "Lord Bacon"
Engraved, Perforation 14
For the 300th anniversary of the colonization of Newfoundland by John Guy and others, an eleven stamp lithographed issue, perforation 12,was released in 1910.  In 1911, six of the preceding images were engraved, and released in the same, or slightly different colors. The 1911 engraved issue is perforation 14.

1920 Scott 128 3c on 15c scarlet, Type I
1920 Scott 129 3c on 15c scarlet, Type II
What a difference 3mm makes! In 1920, the 15c "Seals" stamp from 1897 was surcharged "three cents" between horizontal bars. If the bars are 13 1/2 mm apart (Type II), the CV is $10+. If the bars are 10 1/2 mm apart (Type I), the CV is $200+.  !!

1932 "Wayzata Airmail Stamp"
Contract cancelled, not valid for prepayment of postage
St. John's afforded one of the shortest distances between North America and Europe, and therefore, it was a popular departure point for transatlantic flights. In 1932, a "Wayzata Airmail" stamp was produced by Aerial World Tours to fund their historic flight attempt. The expedition would sell 300,000 stamps @ $1,- to raise funds for the Sikorsky- and the Newfoundland Post office would sell 100,000 stamps (plus receive 20% of the profits on the other 300,000), thus giving legitimacy to the issue.

What happened? In my Newfoundland feeder album, is a note explaining the history of the "Wayzata Airmail" stamp...  (Click, and enlarge to read.)

The history of the "Wayzata Airmail Stamp"
Bottom line- It is a Cinderella. Scott values it @ $30+.

1931 Scott C6 15c brown 
"Dog Sled and Airplane"
In 1931 and 1932, a particularly attractive large format three stamp air post issue was released, both unwatermarked, and watermarked "Coat of Arms". The 15c brown shows a plane flying overhead below a dog sled team. What a sight! I need to put on a sweater just looking at the scene. ;-)

1931 Scott C7 50c green
"First Transatlantic Mail Airplane and Packet Ship"
John Adcock and Arthur Brown, with a modified WW I Vickers Vimy, made the first nonstop transatlantic flight in June 1919 from St. John's to Country Galway, Ireland.
Adcock and Brown
"We have mail!"
A bit of mail was also carried across, making it the first transatlantic airmail flight. For their troubles, the British aviators were awarded the Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by George V.
1931 Scott C8 $1 blue
"Routes of Historic Transatlantic Flights"
The last stamp in the series, a $1 blue, outlines the historic transatlantic flights, many departing St. John's. But it also shows the 1927 Lindbergh New York to Paris flight. I can imagine that "Lucky Lindy" mania made this a popular stamp indeed. Today, the CV for the unwmked unused example is $70.

Deep Blue
The 1933 Air Mail Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 20 pages for Newfoundland. The spaces follow the major number sequence of the Scott catalogue, and therefore offer little difficulty with identification.

1887 Scott 59 10c black "Schooner"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on five pages, has 153 spaces. Coverage is 54%. I really can't find fault with BB's coverage, as the stamps, while attractive, tend to be rather expensive.

How expensive? Well, I count 27 stamps with CV $10-$30, and another 10 stamps in the "Most Expensive" category @ CV $35-$120. !! The details are found in the "Comments" section after the checklist.


1 or 15A or 16, 19, 3 or 11A, 4 or 12 or 18, 6 or 13 or 20, 9 or 15 or 23,

34,35,41 or 42, 49,38,53,





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145 or 163, 146 or 164 or 173, 147 or 165 or 174, 148 or 166 or 175, 155,
149 or 167 or 176, 150 or 168 or 177, 151 or 178, 153 or 169 or 179, 156 or 170 or 180,

157 or 171 or 181,





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Postage Due

Air Post
C8 or C9, C7 or C10, C8 or C11,



A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1857 Scott 1 1p brown violet ($120)
1861 Scott 19 5p reddish brown ($62+)
1860 Scott 11A 3p green ($77+)
1861 Scott 18 4p rose ($35)
1861 Scott 20 6p rose ($20+)
1861 Scott 23 1sh rose ($37+)
1873 Scott 34 3c blue ($75)
1870 Scott 35 6c dull rose ($10+)
1880 Scott 41 1c violet brown ($10+)
1879 Scott 38 2c green ($52+)
1880 Scott 53 5c pale blue ($10)
1887 Scott 59 10c black ($67+)
1894 Scott 29 12c brown/white ($45)
1894 Scott 36 6c carmine lake ($20+)
1897 Scott 75 1c on 3c gray lilac ($30)
1897 Scott 69 12c dark blue ($10+)
1897 Scott 67 8c red orange ($10)
1897 Scott 70 15c scarlet ($10)
1897 Scott 71 24c gray violet ($10+)
1910 Scott 90 4c dull violet ($10+)
1910 Scott 89 3c brown olive ($10+)
1911 Scott 106 3c red brown ($10+)
1911 Scott 107 4c violet ($10+)
1911 Scott 109 6c black ($20+)
1911 (Scott 111) 9c blue violet ($20)
1919 (Scott 121) 8c magenta ($10+)
1923 Scott 138 9c slate green ($20+)
1931 Scott 192 6c dull blue ($10+)
1931 Scott 198 30c ultramarine ($20+)
1933 Scott 221 14c black ($10+)
1933 Scott 222 15c claret ($10+)
1933  Scott 224 24c violet brown ($20+)
1933 Scott 223 20c deep green ($10)
1933 Scott 225 32c gray ($20+)
1931 Air Post Scott C7 50c green ($20+)
1931 Scott C8 $1 blue ($55)
1933 Scott C13 5c light brown ($10+)
1933 Scott C14 10c yellow ($10+)
1933 Scott C15 30c blue ($30)
B) (     ) around a number indicates a blank space choice
C) *1928- choices are 1928 original issue vs 1929-31 re-engraved issue unwmk vs 1931 re-engraved wmk 224 issue.
D) *190- is Die I by BB's image cut.
E) *191 is Die II
1928 Scott 156 15c dark blue 
"First Nonstop Transatlantic Flight, 1919"
Out of the Blue
If you are not impressed with Newfoundland stamps, well, I cannot help you. ;-)

We will continue the Newfoundland stamp odyssey- this time focusing on the "royals"- with the next post.

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

Comments are always appreciated.


  1. Lovely topsl schooner there in Scott C7--the backbone of the transatlantic mail (packet) service during the run-up to the postage stamp era after the War of 1812.

    The brig in Scott 59 can't hold a candle to C7's lovely lady. But that may mostly be because of the differing skills of the designer-engravers who created these two. The Scott 59 follows the more stylized, less realistic approach of 19thc maritime art, I think.


  2. I suppose no. 59 technically is a hermaphrodite brig or schooner brig; doesn't look to be square-rigged on the main mast. But perhaps someone more knowledgeable will comment!


  3. Not stamp-related (horrors!), but we've owned three Newfoundland dogs along the way. I have an affinity for Newfie stamps, too!

  4. Did you did you have to budget for the food bill? ;-)

    When I was a kid, I wanted a Newfoundland dog.

  5. Dennis- in regards to sail types, it won't be me. ;-)

  6. Jim, these are lovely, looks like you have a pretty advanced collection. Newfoundland has some of my favorite stamps. Michael

  7. Thanks Michael.

    Newfoundland is also one of my favorite countries- and I am lucky to have a nice selection.

  8. The last number in the 1898-99 row should be 85.