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, August 15, 2014

North West Pacific Islands

1919 Scott 33 9p violet, Wmk 10
Stamps of Australia, Overprinted
Quick History
During WWI, Australian Forces captured German holdings in the Pacific, and hence "N.W. Pacific Islands" overprinted Australian stamps were used by the inhabitants, primarily in German New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Nauru.

German New Guinea & the Bismarck Archipelago
At the onset of WWI, Australian Forces captured these lands
The Australian Military Government initially printed stamps for the territory in 1915, and these issues continued until 1922, when the League of Nations placed these lands under mandate to Australia. These 'temporary" issues ceased, and New Guinea, the Australian mandated country, subsequently issued stamps.

Another map view of the Bismarck Archipelago
(The island "Neu Pommern" was named "New Britain", and also had German New Guinea and Marshall Islands stamps overprinted "G.R.I." These issues are quite expensive, and I will say no more about them here. Consult the Scott catalogue. "New Britain" then became a part of the Australian mandated New Guinea.)

If interested, see my post about German New Guinea.

And, if interested, see my post about New Guinea and Nauru. Note- Do not confuse (Australian) New Guinea with "British New Guinea" (Papua), on the southeastern part of the very same island. ;-)

1918 Scott 44 2p orange, Wmk 9
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for North West Pacific Islands 1915-1923, 49 overprinted stamps of Australia listed. Of those, 11 ( 22%) are CV $4-$10. Although not cheap, the WW classical collector should be able to accumulate a few examples.

1915 Scott 2 2 1/2p dark blue, Wmk 8
The first issue of 1915-16 had 10 stamps with wmk 8 "Wide Crown & Wide A", and all featured an overprinted Australian Kangaroo stamp. The overprint was Type a: "P" of "Pacific" above "S" of "islands".

The CV is  a robust $10-$120+ for 8 stamps.

1915 Scott 12 1p carmine , Wmk 9
The remaining 11 stamps of the initial 1915-16 issue had wmk 9 "Wide Crown & Narrow A", and had both the Australian Kangaroo and George V designs. CV for six stamps is $5-$10+.

Wmk 8 "Wide Crown & Wide A"; Wmk 9 "Wide Crown & Narrow A"
Wmk 10 "Narrow Crown & Narrow A; Wmk 11 "Multiple Crown & A"
This might be a good time to review watermarks for the North West Pacific Islands stamps. It is important to check all the watermarks, as this is the primary way to differentiate issues.

1915 Scott 23 2p gray, Wmk 10
Also, a group of four wmk 10 stamps were released in 1915-16. Two stamps are CV $9.

1918 Scott 31 3p olive bister, Wmk 10
Ten stamps were issued between 1918-23 with wmk 10 and with a revised overprint. Note Type b: "P" of "Pacific" above space between "I" and "S" of "Islands". All of this issue are Australian overprinted Kangaroos. Four of the stamps have CV $10+.

1919 Scott 39 1/2p emerald, Wmk 11
A wmk 11 "George V" 1/2p emerald stamp was issued in 1919, and is shown here.

1922 Scott 43 1p violet, Wmk 9
Finally, another 1918-23 ten stamp issue with "George V" overprinted Australian stamps, and wmk 9 was produced. CV is $2-$10 for four stamps.

Note the "Rabaul" and "New Britain" postmark. The "N.W, Pacific Islands" overprinted stamps were mostly used on New Britain and Nauru during the 1915-22 period of use. ( The German New Guinea and Marshall Islands stamps overprinted "G.R.I." for use on New Britain were issued during the time period 1914-15.)

Also note the perforated "O S"?  This is an official stamp, yet Scott doesn't list that category for N.W. Pacific Islands.

Deep Blue
1918-23 Wmk 9 Issues in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has three pages for North West Pacific Islands, and includes spaces for all the descriptive major Scott numbers.

1922 Scott 45 2p red, Wmk 9
Big Blue
BB '69 has two lines of one page and seven spaces for North West Pacific Islands. The spaces are located on the same page as "Niger Coast Protectorate", just after "New Caledonia", and before "Newfoundland".

* Check the "comments" section for stamp specific observations
* Five stamps are CV $10-$30+, but none are in the "Most Expensive ($35+) category.
* BB does not include as choices the "George V" 1918-23 Scott 41-49 stamps: Four are a modest CV $2-$10.


1/2p emerald (green)*: (A4)-39 or 40
1p carmine*: (A4)-12
1p gray:(A1)-1 or 13 or 23 or 29
2 1/2p dark blue*: (A1)-30
3p olive bistre: (A1)-3 or 31
6p ultramarine: (A1)-4 or 18 or 32
9p violet: (A1)- 5 or 19 or 33

A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1915 Scott 12 1p carmine ($10)
1919 Scott 30 2 1/2p dark blue ($10)
1918 Scott 31 3p olive bistre ($30+)
1919 Scott 32 6p ultramarine ($10+)
1919 Scott 33 9p violet ($10+)
B) *1915-19- as BB doesn't specify any specific watermark, there are often several choices for a space. Also, I included if the stamp is an A4 design ("George V") or an A1 design ("Kangaroo".
C) * 1/2p emerald (green)- Scott only has "emerald" as a choice now.
D) * 1p carmine- BB's specification on color eliminates the carmine red and scarlet color choices.
E) *2 1/2p dark blue- the choice, a Scott 30, is a wmk 10 stamp. I did not include as a choice the wmk 9 Scott 14 stamp @ CV $17,500!

1922 Scott 47 2p violet, Wmk 9
Out of the Blue
A bit expensive for the WW collector, but who doesn't like Kangaroos? ;-)

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

I like comments!


  1. NWPI stamps, other kings and "roos exit with OS perforations. They are listed in Stanley Gibbons catalog.
    Also note these stamps were really not used as intended but we're restricted to south of the equator.