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, December 10, 2014


1910 Scott 42 1p carmine "Lakatoi"
Center in Black, Large "PAPUA"
Quick History
The Territory of Papua was in the southeastern portion of New Guinea island, and existed as a British Protectorate ( "British New Guinea") from 1884 to 1905, and an Australian Protectorate ("Papua") from 1906-1949.

British New Guinea (orange), German New Guinea (red)
While British New Guinea occupied the southeastern portion, the Germans claimed the northeastern portion since 1884 as German New Guinea (Kaiser-Wilhelmsland).

1935 Map of Papua and Territory of New Guinea
With the administrative Australian takeover in 1906, "British New Guinea" was renamed "Papua". Then with the outbreak of WW I, the Australians occupied German New Guinea, and it came under Australian rule as the Territory of New Guinea.

(The western portion of the island of New Guinea was originally part of Dutch New Guinea under the Dutch Indies.  Then, in 1962, it became a  a province (called "Papua") of Indonesia.)

The Capital of Papua was Port Moresby, and the population was 276,000 in 1940.

The country of Papua New Guinea today
After WW II, the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea were united as the Territory of Papua and New Guinea in 1949.

The combined Territory became the independent nation of Papua New Guinea in 1975.

1931 Scott 88 2p on 1 1/2p yellow brown & gray blue
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Papua 1901-1941, 126 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 21 are CV <$1-$1+, or 17%. If one raises the bar to CV $10, then 87 (69%) are eligible. Clearly, one will need to pay more for a representative collection of Papua.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = ! Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1901 Scott 3 2p violet, center in black, "Lakatoi"
British New Guinea
The only stamps inscribed "British New Guinea" were issued in 1901. The eight stamps in the set were bi-colored, engraved, of rather large size, and are really lovely! The CV is a hefty $5+-$40 for six stamps.

A Lakatoi is a Papuan native dugout double canoe.

With the takeover of the Australians from the British, the 1901 issue was overprinted "Papua" in a large overprint ( 1906- eight stamps) and a small overprint ( 1907- eight stamps). I don't have any examples to show, but the CV is moderately expensive ( $4-$20+ for eight stamps).

1907 Scott 31 4p black brown, center in black
Small "PAPUA", Wmk 13
In 1907-08, a "Papua" inscribed Lakatoi issue of six stamps was issued, using lithography.. The "Papua" script is 1.5 mm tall, and the watermark is "Crown and Double-Lined A".

1909 Scott 39 6p dark green, center in black
Small "PAPUA", Wmk 13 sideways
The 1907-08 set was repeated in 1909-10, (with the addition of a 1/2p yellow green), except the watermark is now sideways.

Upper- Wmk 13- "Crown and Double-Lined A"
Lower- Wmk 13 Sideways
Here is a pic of the watermarks. The upright Wmk 13 is somewhat difficult to see- but there; while the sideways Wmk 13 is obvious. Both orientations are given major numbers in Scott.

1910 Scott 47 1sh orange
Large "PAPUA", Wmk 13
In 1910, a new eight stamp set was issued with the "PAPUA" script 2 mm tall. The watermark is the "Crown and Double-Lined A".

1915 Scott 1p light red, Wmk 74
Then in 1911, a single color issue of eight stamps was produced with typography. An additional 1p light red was issued in 1915, and this example is illustrated above.

The watermark was "Crown and Single-Lined A-Sideways".

Wmk 74- "Crown and Single Lined A Sideways"
Here is an pic of the watermark.

1919 Scott 63 2p red violet & violet brown
Redrawn- Sky and Water much darker
Between 1915-31, a fourteen stamp issue was produced of the Lakatoi design, but was redrawn, with much darker lines for the sky and water. 

1917 Scott 74 1p on 1/2p yellow green
Stamps of 1911 Surcharged
In 1917, six stamps were surcharged "one penny". CV ranges from $1+-$10+.

1932 Scott 95 1p yellow green & black
"Steve, Son of Oala"
A wonderful Papuan themed 16 stamp engraved issue was produced in 1932. We can probably thank the Australians, as the British never were as imaginative with their issues.

1932 Scott 101 6p bister brown "Papuan Motherhood"
This design, art deco in appearance, looks like it should be part of a mural. Absolutely wonderful!

1934 Scott 111 2p red brown 
"Scene on H.M.S. Nelson at Port Moresby"
For the 50th anniversary of the British protectorate, a four stamp set was issued in 1934.

1930 Scott C4 1sh olive green & olive brown
Regular Issues of 1916-23 Overprinted in Red
I am attracted to the airplane overprint air post stamps of the world, and that would make a nice little subtopical collection.

1938 Scott C6 3p ultramarine "Port Moresby"
Although the territory became a protectorate in 1884, it was formally annexed as "British New Guinea" in 1888, and hence a 50th year five stamp air post issue was produced in 1938. CV is $2+-$10+.

Deep Blue
1935 Silver Jubilee Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 12 pages for Papua, and includes spaces for all the major Scott numbers.

1932 Scott 102 9p lilac & black "Shooting Fish"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on three pages, has 65 spaces for Papua, and includes 14 spaces for air post, and 5 spaces for official stamps. The pages are located between Penrhyn Island/ Prince Edward Island and Paraguay The 40s editions, which have the same coverage, is located between Panama/ Orange River Colony and Paraguay.

Coverage is 52%.

BB manages to only include five stamps @ CV $10+, but a number of other choices bump up close to the $10 mark.

As is typical, different watermark  major number stamps only have one space.

For the "Papua" overprinted 1906 (large OP) and 1907 (small OP) issues- BB is quite unclear.  BB illustrates the large OP (1906), but labels the section "1907" (which has the small OP).  I therefore include both the 1906 and 1907 issue as choices.

For the 1907-10 spaces - Both large and small "Papua" can be put in, based on BB's dates. The 1/2p illustration, though, shows a large Papua, so only Scott 41 can be put there. The 2 1/2p ultramarine color specification eliminates Scott 44. In addition, BB offers both Wmk 13 and Wmk 13-sideways as choices.



11 or 19, 12 or 20, 13 or 21,

41, 28 or 35 or 42, 29 or 36 or 43, 30 or 37,

50, 51, 52 (53),




Next Page

1933 (Actually 1932)




Next Page

Air Post



Official Stamps


A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1906 Scott 11 1/2p yellow green ($10)
1931 Scott 90 9p on 2sh6p ($10)
1932 Scott 102 9p lilac & black ($10+)
1934 Scott 113 5p violet brown ($10+)
1938 Scott C9 1sh violet ($10+)
B) *1907- BB illustrates the large OP (1906), but labels the section "1907" (which has the small OP). As BB is quite unclear, I include both the 1906 and 1907 issue as choices.
C) *1907-10- Both large and small "Papua" can be put in, based on BB's dates. The 1/2p illustration, though, shows a large Papua, so only Scott 41 can be put there. The 2 1/2p ultramarine color specification eliminates Scott 44. In addition, BB offers both Wmk 13 and Wmk 13-sideways as choices.
D) (    ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1935 Scott 116 3p light blue & black "Papuan Dandy"
Jubilee Issue
Out of the Blue
I have a personal family anecdote that took place in Port Moresby when my oldest daughter was there a few years ago. She is a Foreign Service officer, and, as part of her assignment, she was meeting with local government officials.  That evening, she was on a boat with a sizable group out of Port Moresby, when the engine quit. Fortunately, the sea was quite placid, but then it became dark. Eventually, she spotted a man with a flashlight coming in a small dingy to rescue them. She was quite grateful that  "women and children first" is still operative, as she was among the first to be taken back. ;-)

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated


  1. Interesting story Jim, and beautiful stamps!

  2. Thanks Chris and enjoy your 1840-1945 collection hunt!

  3. As Jim's daughter, I can add a little bit more local color to his personal anecdote: while never actually proved, many people on the boat believed that sorcery caused our boat to break down. One of my colleagues had been given a cake his neighbor, and the neighbor was a well-known practitioner of sorcery. Our local employees warned my colleague that the cake might be cursed, and advised him not to bring it on board the boat. Their prediction turned out to be surprisingly prescient as, only seconds after my colleague cut the cake, our engine died!

  4. Hi Jim,
    I wonder if you would please make a blog post about your thoughts on sailing from the "Big Blue Lake" to the "Sea of Steiner". Now that you have over three years of experience in the vast expanse of the Steiner pages, I am curious to learn about your positives and negatives.

    For example, the Scott International pages exclude most of the very expensive stamps but are exasperating for their omission of many cheap stamps, the frequent uncertainty of which stamp fills a space, and the few errors that have persisted despite many editions. On the other hand, the Steiner has a space for every major Scott catalogue number, therefore, unless a collector is extremely wealthy, there will be many empty spaces for the expensive stamps. Filling a Big Blue is achievable whereas the Steiners... likely not.

    Do you sometimes yearn for the condensed approach of Big Blue? Or, are you less perturbed by the many empty spaces and sparsely filled pages of the Steiner versus having to make extra pages for the Big Blue? Is there anything that you would do differently if you were starting from scratch?

    I am currently anchored in the harbour between the Big Blue Lake and the Sea of Steiner, attempting to chart a course, so I would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you for your blog; I read it regularly and enjoy it very much.

  5. Hi Zenabi

    I will publish at the beginning of 2015 a "Status of my Collection" blog post, which will gives quantitative specifics of how full the Steiner and Big Blue are for each country with my collection.

    That may help to visualize how full/empty my Steiner pages are, and how full/empty my "Virtual Big Blue" would be if I put the stamps into them.

    I can say, like you, I am conflicted.

    My nature is to parse stamps based on watermark, perforation, paper, etc, so I would be fundamentally unhappy with the simplistic presentation in Big Blue. And, I admit I love the fact that there is a space waiting in Steiner for every major number stamp I acquire. But I do not like that my collection takes up 44 binders and 6,500 pages. That is a bit much, even for an obsessive like me. ;-)

    On the other hand, I am still trying to fill my "Virtual Big Blue", based on the checklists- I then produce a wantlist for the stamps I yet do not have- this makes for a difficult, but achievable goal.

    I like Bob Skinner's approach of collecting to the album for Big Blue. But I still would never go back to just a Big Blue,... the Steiner is great- except for the sheer largeness of it.

    As far as the future, I might very well concentrate on my favorite countries- that would reduce the number of "active" binders of Steiner pages to a more manageable level. But, then I am faced with picking favorite countries- and I seem to change my opinion every week! ;-)

  6. There are, in addition to very expensive stamps, many boring stamps omitted by Big Blue. I, for one, am glad for this. So, I decided to keep BB and insert blank pages for only the interesting stamps and curiosities left stranded by BB, the ones I can afford. I’ll shortly be moving to four binders for the augmented BB Vol. 1. Of course, many of your readers may never have seen a stamp they consider boring.

  7. I guess that would be considered an advantage- many boring stamps that one doesn't have to bother with as BB does not have a space for them ;-)

  8. The Aussies seems to have a bit of humor also... "Papuan Dandy", indeed.. :-)

    1. Perhaps a term that would not be used today. In the U.S., "Dude" is in the vernacular.

  9. Terimakasih atas informasi dan pelajaran yang begitu berharga.

    Apakah pada zaman itu telah diterbitkan perangko dari West Papua yang merupakan wilayah koloni Netherland

    Dan sekali lagi saya sampaikan terimakasih atas ilmu pengetahuan ini

    1. (Indonesian)
      "Thank you for the valuable information and lessons.

      At that time, stamps were issued from West Papua, a colony of the Netherlands

      And once again I thank you for this knowledge"

      Glad it was helpful. :-)