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...

Thursday, November 13, 2014


1947 Scott 14 1r brown & slate 
Stamps of India 1937-43, Overprinted
Quick History
The Dominion of Pakistan came into existence as a sovereign country on August 15, 1947, when it and the Dominion of  India were partitioned from British India. Both Pakistan and India then joined the British Commonwealth.

The borders of Pakistan separated out the Muslim majority in the northwest and east from Hindu India.

The Dominion of Pakistan 1947-1956
West Pakistan & East Pakistan
In the east, the province of Bengal was divided into East Bengal ( "East Pakistan"), and West Bengal, which remained in India.

In the northwest, the western portion of Punjab became part of Pakistan, while the east part remained with India.

The other provinces that joined as a federation within Pakistan included Balochistan, Sindh, and the North-West Frontier Province. The Native (Princely) States (including stamp issuing Bahawalpur) within the Provinces also joined the federation.

The Capital of the Dominion was Karachi. ( The Capital was moved to the planned city of Islamabad in 1960.)

The Dominion and the monarchy was abolished in 1956, with the development of an Islamic Republic. In 1971, after a bloody civil war,  East Pakistan left the Republic to become the country of Bangladesh.

So ends this rather too quick history. ( A deeper historical review by readers is encouraged.)

1947 Scott 4 1a carmine rose
Stamps of India 1937-43, Overprinted
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Pakistan 1947-49, 32 major descriptive numbers for the regular and official stamp categories. All of these stamps are "Pakistan" overprinted stamps of 1937-43 India. Of those, 20 ( 62%) are CV <$1-$1+.

Pakistan's own stamp designs, which were issued beginning in 1948, are not part of the Scott Classic catalogue. Therefore, I will  not include them here.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pies = 1 Anna
16 Annas - 1 Rupee
1947 Scott 6 2a scarlet
Stamps of India 1937-43, Overprinted
Beginning October 1, 1947 (Recall Pakistan came into existence August 15, 1947), 19 stamps of India were overprinted as shown for Pakistan. As Pakistan was a Dominion, the image of George VI was appropriate. The truth is, though, this issue ( and the 1947-49 Official issue) were the last to show a monarch, even though the Dominion lasted until 1956. Queen Elizabeth, as "Queen of Pakistan", never appeared on a Pakistan stamp during this era. The times were a changin'.

1947 Scott 11 8a blue violet
Thirteen stamps in the issue have a CV of <$1-$1+.

1947 Scott 15 2r dark brown & dark violet
The six higher denomination values were in a large stamp bi-color format.

1947 Scott O3 9p green
Official Stamps of India, 1939-43, Overprinted
Between 1947-49, thirteen Official stamps were issued by overprinting India "service" stamps.

1947 Scott O6 2a scarlet
Note the "Local" overprint
What do you make of this large overprint? The 2012 Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps 1840-1970 catalogue states: " Numerous provisional "Pakistan" overprints, both handstamped and machine-printed, in various sizes and colors, on Postage and Official stamps, also exist".

1947 Scott O11 2r dark brown & dark violet
CV for eight stamps in the Official issue range from <$1-$2.

Deep Blue
1947 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has two pages for the overprinted "Pakistan" stamps of 1937-43 India, and includes spaces for all the Scott major numbers.

1947 Scott 9 4a chocolate
Big Blue
Big Blue ( Part I 1840-1940) does not include Pakistan, as that country is covered in the Part II (1940-1949+) volume. Therefore, I will not include a checklist here.

I must admit, though, I am strongly tempted to actively collect the world's stamps of 1940-1949, as WW II and the aftermath create a highly interesting stamp era. ( I am already doing this with the 1940-52 George VI British Commonwealth countries.)

1947 Scott O9 8a blue violet
Out of the Blue
These transitional "Pakistan" overprinted stamps of India do little to exhibit the interesting stamps and history of this important country, which was birthed in 1947.

Note: Map images appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?


  1. Did you do a blog for Oman? Its first issues were in 1944 overprints on India issues icing remember right. DJCMHOH

  2. No I didn't.

    I'm somewhat inconsistent for countries that have their first stamp production in the 1940s.

    I cover all the countries found in Big Blue 1840-1940.

    If the classic Steiner has pages and the country is covered in Scott 1840-1940 catalogue, I might cover the country (Pakistan) , or I might not (Oman).

    Part depends if I have stamps for the country, part depends on level of interest.