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, June 4, 2014

New Zealand

1864 Scott 36a 6p brown "Victoria"
Quick History
New Zealand, comprising North Island and South Island, is located in the south Pacific Ocean 900 miles east of Australia, and 600 miles south of New Caledonia. The Polynesian Māoris inhabited the lands circa 1300. New Zealand became a British Crown Colony in 1840 with the Treaty of Waitangi.

Map of New Zealand
Immigration from the United Kingdom rose sharply, and stamps were introduced in 1855. The colony became self-governing in 1856, and was proclaimed a Dominion within the British Empire in 1907.

The Capital is Wellington, and the population was 1,600,000 in 1942.

Land of the Kiwis, "Hobbits and Lord of the Rings", Sir Edmund Hillary, and Peter Snell ( Whom I have played Table Tennis with ;-) , New Zealand is viewed by many today as a temperate Shangri- La.

1895 Scott 67A 1/2p black "Victoria"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized album has for New Zealand 1855-1952, 286 regular, and 219 other category stamps. Total = 505  (I did not include postal-fiscal stamps.)

Of those, 157 are CV <$1-$1+, or 31%.. As one would expect, 19th century New Zealand is moderately to quite expensive for the WW classical collector.

For the purposes of this blog, we will be concentrating on the issues up to 1919, where more of the confusion can arise for the collector.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1864 Scott 32 2p blue "Victoria"
Perf 12 1/2, Wmk 6 "Large Star"
The "Chalon Head" image of Queen Victoria, based on the portrait of the Queen on her coronation in 1837 by Alfred Chalon, was used from 1855-1873 on the first 50 Scott numbers. Generally expensive, with many variations in perforation, the WW classical collector may need to be content with a few representative stamps. The stamp is either found unwatermarked, or with watermark 6 "Large Star".

1874 Scott 54 4p claret "Victoria"
Wmk 62 "N Z and Small Star Wide Apart"
In 1874, the more conventional  side view of the queen was used on six stamps, each with a unique frame design. CV ranges from $7+-$75.  The watermark is Wmk 62 "N Z and Small Star Wide Apart".

Left Top: Wmk 6 "Large Star"
Right Top: Wmk 62 "N Z and Small Star Wide Apart"
Left Bottom: Wmk 63 "Double Lined N Z and Star"
Right Bottom: Wmk 61 "N Z and Star Close Together"
Perhaps we should review the watermarks found for the stamps in this blog post.  Some stamp series are also found unwatermarked.

1882 Scott 62 2p violet "Victoria"
Wmk 62 "N Z and Small Star Wide Apart"
In 1882, another seven stamp issue (Scott 61-67), all with different frames, was produced. CV is <$1-$10 for 5 stamps.

But something interesting happened to this issue in 1893, as well as to Scott 68-69.

1893 Advertisements on backs of Scott 61-69
Advertising on the back of the stamp! It is a treasure hunt turning over stamps of this era in old albums, and discover one with an advertisement. 

1891 Scott 68 2 1/2p ultramarine "Victoria"
Some updated image of the queen was issued on the 2 1/2p ultramarine on the 1891 (above), and the 1/2p black of 1895 (shown elsewhere on the post). One has to give credit to New Zealand for giving an unvarnished portrait of the queen in her old age. ;-)

1898 Scott 71 1p yellow brown & blue 
"Lake Taupo"
A large 14 stamp pictorial issue was produced in 1898 on unwatermarked paper. The perforations are 12 to 16.

Lake Taupo, on the North Island, is the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand.

1899 Scott 89 3p orange brown "Huia, Sacred Birds"
Perf 11, Unwmk, Thick Soft Wove Paper
In 1899-1900, another issue of 15 stamps based on the designs of 1898, was produced. Some stamps are in different colors, and the lower denominations are wmk 63, while the higher denominations are unwatermarked. But the consistent marker is that the perforations are 11.

The Huia bird was considered sacred, and it was reserved only for Māori of high rank to wear the plumes.

But they were hunted by the new arrivals for their skins and tail feathers, and they were easy to capture. Now extinct, the last confirmed sighting of the Huia was on December 28, 1907.

1900 Scott 85 1p carmine rose 
"White Terrace, Rotomahana"
Wmk 63 "Double Lined N Z and Star"
A few of the designs of 1900 are new, including an image of the White Terraces on the north end of Lake Rotomahana.

White Terraces
The Terraces were formed from precipitation from geysers. An eruption of Mount Tarawera in June 9-10, 1886, "destroyed" the terraces, and a new lake bed formed. In June 2011, part of the White Terraces was found intact on the lake floor!

1902 Scott 111 2 1/2p blue 
"Mt. Earnslaw, Lake Wakatipu"
Wmk 61 "N Z and Star Close Together"
Between 1902-07, another 14 stamps were issued based on the preceding designs. These stamps are characterized by wmk 61.

Mount Earnslaw (Pikirakatahi in Maori) is a 9000+ foot mountain on the South Island. It is located about 15 miles north of Lake Wakatipu. Part of The Lord of the Rings was filmed in this vicinity.

1902 Scott 108 1p carmine "Commerce"
1908 Scott 129 1p carmine, Redrawn
On January 1, 1901, a one penny universal postage stamp was introduced. However, the United States, France and Germany would not take them, as the rate was considered too low. But, contrary to fears, the New Zealand Post Office saw an increase in mail volume, which offset any loss of revenue.

The original 1901 1p carmine "Commerce" (unwatermarked) was issued again in 1901 (wmk 63, soft paper), 1901 (wmk 63, hard paper), 1902 (unwmk, hard paper), and 1902 (wmk 61- illustrated above).

The Type of 1902 was redrawn in 1908 (illustrated above). The lines in the globe are now diagonal, rather than vertical.

Then in 1909, the 1p "Commerce" was redesigned with "1p" scripts on either side of the stamp. (See an example heading the "Big Blue" section.)

"Edward VII"
1909 Scott 130 1/2p yellow green , Typographed
1909 Scott 139 8p deep blue, Engraved
An "Edward VII" design was issued in 1909. Eight of the stamps are engraved, while the 1/2p yellow green was typographed.

1919 Scott 164 3p chocolate "George V"
The 1915-22 "George V" issue is an interesting one for the WW classical collector. They come in typographic varieties and engraved varieties. (Total = 21 stamps)

The typographic variety has crossed dotted lines in the background around the vignette.

1916 Scott 160 1 1/2p gray black , Typographed, Local Printing
1916 Scott 161 1 1/2p gray black, Typographed
There are two varieties of the typographic 1 1/2p gray black. The first variety, a local printing, has a unique vignette of the king. Note the lines in the neck are diagonal rather than horizontal.

1915 Scott 154 6p carmine rose
The engraved version has a geometric lathe work background around the vignette.

1915 Scott 152 4 1/2p dark green
Note that the 4 1/2p script takes up more of the upper horizontal tablet than the 6p.

Although the backgrounds are different in the typographic and engraved varieties, one sometimes will need to carefully examine the background area, as the printing impression is not always clear- or obvious.

Deep Blue
1936-41 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 39 pages for the main categories of stamps found for New Zealand. All the major numbers have a space. In addition, there are 8 pages for postal-fiscal stamps. And then, there are 4 pages for the "Chalon Head" Queen Victoria minor number perforations/experimental separations.

1909 Scott 131 1p carmine "Commerce"
Big Blue
The '69 BB has six pages with 147 spaces. Coverage is 29%.

• There are thirty stamps with CV $10+: four ($35-$70) of which are in the "Most Expensive Stamp" category. See the "Comments" section for details.
• The 1855-74 two pence and six pence have 13 and 9 choices for the spaces respectively. !
• The 1898-1907 stamp spaces in BB often telescopes 3-6 choices per space. The stamp issues come unwatermarked, wmk 63 and wmk 61. Don't blame me. ;-)
• I don't have  problems with BB only offering 29% coverage, as New Zealand stamps are rather expensive in general. But one major omission is the lack of spaces for the 1935 Silver Jubilee issue.


Two pence illustration space*:
 2 or 8 or 12 or 17 or 22 or 26 or 28 or 28B or 28C or 32* or 43 or 46 or 48
Blank space*:
 ( 6 pence: 9 or 14 or 19 or 24 or 29 or 29B or 36* or 41 or 44)


67A*, 68,69,

101 or 109, 99 or 100 or 103 or 105 or 108, (85 or 86),

70 or 84 or 99B or 102 or 104 or 107,
71,72,75 or 89 or 112, 76, 78 or 92 or or 93 or 115,
79 or 94 or 116,81 or 96 or 118,
73*,74 or 88 or 111,77 or 91 or 114,80 or 95, 82 or 97 or 119,

Next Page









Next Page

185 or 203,186 or 186A or 204,187 or 205, 188 or 206, 190 or 208, 195* or 213, 196 or 214,
191 or 209, 194 or 212, 193 or 211, 189 or 207,192 or 210,





Next Page


Next Page

Official Stamps


O41, O42 or O43, (O45),

Life Insurance Department
OY10, OY12 or OY13 or OY14, OY16, (OY19),

War Tax Stamp

Newspaper Stamp
P1 or P3 or P4,

Postage Due Stamps

J12 or J13 or J16, J17,J18,J19,

Air Post Stamps


Next Page

Semi-postal Stamps










A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1864 Scott 32 2p blue ($20+)
1864 Scott 36 6p red brown ($30+)
1874 Scott 53 3p brown ($70)
1874 Scott 55 6p blue ($10+)
1882 Scott 66 8p blue ($60)
1882 Scott 67 1sh red brown ($10+)
1891 Scott 69 5p olive gray ($20+)
1901 Scott 101 ($20)
1898 Scott 76 4p rose ($20+)
1902 Scott 116 8p deep blue ($10+)
1902 Scott 118 1sh scarlet ($10+)
1898 Scott 73 2 1/2p blue (Wakitipu) ($10+)
1899 Scott 91 5p red brown ($10)
1902 Scott 119 2sh blue green ($50)
1906 Scott 122 1/2p emerald ($20+)
1906 Scott 123 1p vermilion ($20)
1912 Scott 135 4p yellow ($10+)
1920 Scott 169 6p purple ($10+)
1920 Scott 168 3p black brown ($10+)
1920 Scott 170 1sh vermilion ($20+)
1926 Scott 182 2sh blue ($35)
1928 Scott J19 3p green & rose ($20+)
1931 Scott C1 3p chocolate ($20+)
1931 Scott C2 4p dark violet ($20+)
1931 Scott C3 7p orange ($20+)
1931 Scott C4 5p on 3p yellow green ($20+)
1930 Scott B2 1p + 1p scarlet ($30)
1934 Scott B7 1p + 1p dark carmine ($10+)
1932 Scott B5 1p + 1p carmine ($20+)
1933 Scott B6 1p + 1p carmine ($10+)
B) * Two pence illustration space- 13 choices!- *32 least expensive ($20+)
C) *Blank space: (6 pence)- 9 choices!-*36 least expensive ($30+)
D) (    ) around a number indicates a blank space choice
E) *67A- there is also a 86C (1900) not eligible in BB because of dates
F) *1898-1907 A mess. Three watermark types ( unwmk, wmk 61,wmk 63) are crammed into the spaces.
G) *73- 2 1/2p blue (Wakitpu) illustration, but not Scott 74 2 1/2p blue (Wakatipu) stamp($10)
H) *131 1p carmine- not eligible 1925 Scott 177
I) *1915-22- mixture of typographic and engraved specimens.
J) *160 is a local printing 1/2p - the illustration rules out 161 or 145
K) *1935- choices 1935 wmk 61 vs 1936-41 wmk 263
L) *195 or 213- 1941 Scott 244 or 245 not eligible
M) *1938- not eligible 226B or 228B- '41 issues

1923 Scott 175 1p carmine rose
"Map of New Zealand"
Out of the Blue
One of the more interesting countries for the WW classical collector, it deserves some effort. I, for one, need to increase my holdings for this fascinating country.

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

Have a comment?


  1. Thanks for another very interesting and well compiled post Jim. Early New Zealand is one of my favourite countries to collect. I especially find it hard to resist those early Chalons. Other British colonies also issued stamps with the Chalon portrait but for me the larger image in the New Zealand stamps makes the design especially beautiful. All the best. Peter

  2. I quite agree about the New Zealand Chalon Heads, Peter.

    I must say, New Zealand also produced, quite possibly, the least attractive portrait of the Queen also. ;-)

    1891 Scott 68 2 1/2p ultramarine "Victoria"

  3. Nice post. New Zealand also claims the first airmails. Those are the Pigeon Post stamps of 1898-99, Sanabria 1-8. The pigeons carried flimsies between Auckland and Great Barrier Island. I have one of the stamps in my collection at classicairmailcollection.com

    New Zealand's claim of the first airmails ignores the 1877 Buffalo balloon flight in the United States. That stamp is U.S. CL1.

    Ed Foster

  4. Nice Air Mail collection and website Ed! Thanks for the information and the link- I will keep an eye on your efforts.


  5. Good morning. Thank you for your amazing website. I am trying to differentiate between the 1 shilling Scott 81 and Scott 128. The Scott catalogue admits the size of the two stamps is different but states that heights are different. My two stamps are the same height but have different widths. I have scoured the catalogue but cannot find a third version. What am I missing?

    1. Glad you like the website. :-)

      Scott 81 is unwatermarked, and my stamp is 22 mm tall and 18 mm wide.

      Scott 118 is watermarked ( N Z and Star Close together) and my stamp is 22 mm tall and 18 mm wide.

      Scott 128 is watermarked likewise, and my stamp is clearly smaller- 21 mm tall, and 17.5 mm wide.

      The colors are somewhat different (81-dull red; 118 & 128 - orange red), but I consider colors to be a poor evaluation tool in general.

      First, make sure that your stamp has the proper watermark or is unwatermarked for identification.
      (81- unwatermarked; 118,128 watermarked)

      Even though there is a bit of difference in widths, I think the height measurement is easier to tell.

      There is a clear difference in height (21 mm-128; 22 mm - 118,81), and that is where one can tell that Scott 128 is indeed a reduced size.

  6. In the 1898-1907 section it should be 70 or 84 etc., not 94.


    1. Thanks for spotting the typo Joe. I posted this almost six years ago, and it took this long for a correction. ;-)

  7. I am a devoted reader of your blog, always finding something of interest. I've been collecting New Zealand classical stamps for awhile, and hope you'll consider treating at some point the latter portion of the classical period. I think there are plenty of challenges there (including coverage problems as well as the perf craziness that afflicts some issues) and some really beautiful stamps (particularly several of the 2nd pictorials). Best. Jim

    1. Jim - thanks! Well, it is possible - I like New Zealand and their stamps. I'm not a specialist in their stamps though, but it would be fun. Thanks for the idea. :-)

    2. انا من عندى نفس هذا طابع ازرق نيوزلندى اريد ابيعها وطابع ليس فى حالة جيدك

    3. I have the same New Zealand blue stamp I want to sell and the stamp is not in good condition (Translated from above)

    4. Thanks for the comment that I believe was in Arabic from Anon.