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. Interested? So into the Blues...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Panama

1903 Scott 69 5c blue
Bar in Similar Color to Stamp
Overprinted in Carmine
Quick History
Panama, located on a narrow strip of land in Central America, was a Department of the Republic of Colombia until 1903, when, with the significant help from the United States, it became independent.

Panama was part of the Spanish Empire (1538-1821)
And part of Colombia since 1819
Panama was a member of Gran Colombia (1819-1831), Republic of New Granada (1831-1858), Granadine Confederation (1858-1863), United States of Colombia (1863-1886), and the Republic of Colombia (1886-1903). 

Why, then, was the United States interested in Panama? 

Geography!!

Vasco Nunez de Balboa first crossed the Isthmus in 1513 from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Gold and Silver from Peru was offloaded from ships, and then hauled overland across the isthmus via the "Camino de Cruces",  then reloaded on ships bound for Spain beginning in 1707. Hard physical work.

Canal Zone
Clearly, a ship canal would work so much better. The French tried and failed. The U.S. then signed an agreement with Colombia (Hay-Herran Treaty) to construct the Panama Canal, but it was rejected by the Colombian congress! Subsequently, the independent Republic of Panama was declared on November 3, 1903, with the significant backing (Warships!) of the United States. Work on the Panama Canal preceded from 1904-1914. (Colombia belatedly recognized the independence of Panama in 1921, after receiving $25 million in compensation, and an apology from the US Congress for having interfered  in the Panama- Colombia conflict.)

The 52 mile ( 83 km) canal, with a land strip 10 miles wide (16 km), was administered and controlled by the U.S. from 1903-1979, and then was returned to Panama.

The Panama Canal Zone issued its own stamps from 1904-1978. See the Canal Zone blog post.

Panama
The Capital is Panama City, and the population was 635,000 in 1940.

The stamps of Panama follow the history as outlined here. Stamps for the Sovereign State of  Panama under Colombian Dominion were issued in 1878. Stamp issues of Colombia for use in the Department of Panama ( the "Map of Panama" stamps) were produced between 1887-1896. Then, beginning with the independent Panama Republic, the overprinted Colombian map stamps were initially used.

For the purposes of this blog, I will be focusing on the interesting earlier 1887-1918 issues.

1903-04 Scott 130 5c blue, Carmine overprint
On Stamp of 1892
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Panama 1878-1940, 383 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 240 or 63% are CV <$1-$1+. Clearly, Panama is an inexpensive country for the WW classical collector who desires a representative selection. The problem, then, is being able to find them.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centavos = 1 Peso
100 Centesimos = 1 Balboa (1904)
1887 Scott 12 20c black/lilac
"Map of Panama"
The 1887-88 "Map of Panama" issue consists of six stamps, and all are inexpensive.  These are actually issues of Colombia for use in the Department of Panama.

1904 Forgery of 1888 50c brown, Perf 12 3/4
The issue is fraught with reprint-forgeries and forgeries. 

Forgeries appeared in Europe about 1904, and the above example is one. The red arrow points to two upper row horizontal dots (Forgery), while the genuine has a a horizontal dash there. Moreover, this Forgery is Perf 12 3/4, while the genuine is Perf 13 1/4. ( Note: the Scott catalogue has Perf 13 1/2 for all the stamps in the issue, which Tyler (Focus on Forgeries-2000) states is incorrect.)

Another set of forgeries, known as the "Reprint-Forgeries", were prepared by Michelsen and Curtis, and exist in a wide variety of shade colors from the original. These "Reprint-Forgeries" are 13 1/4 X 13 Perf. I do not have examples, but Tyler illustrates the differences in his "Focus on Forgeries" book.

1896 Scott 21 1p lake "Map of Panama"
Between 1892-96, a new map issue design was released on seven stamps. CV is quite inexpensive.

1894 Scott 27 10c on 50c brown, Red surcharge
In 1894, nine surcharged stamps were released, in black or red surcharge colors, and with some on pelure paper. Note this example is a surcharged genuine 1888 50c brown with a horizontal dash- contrast with the 1904 forgery specimen shown earlier.

1903 Scott 53 5c blue, "rose handstamp"
With the November 3, 1903 Declaration of Independence for Panama, overprinted handstamped issues began to appear in the City of Panama November 16, 1903. These can be found either in rose overprint (seven stamps), or blue-black overprint (seven stamps).

Very worn handstamp printings are reprints.

1903 Scott 72 2c rose, Red overprint
In 1903, there was a six stamp overprinted issue with the upper horizontal bar in a similar color to the stamp. The "Panama" overprint was in black, gray-black, or carmine. The overprint reads up on the left, and down on the right of the stamp. An example is shown at the blog post header above the "Quick History" section.

Also in 1903, five stamps were overprinted in red, and an example is shown above. The "Panama" overprint reads up on both the left and the right side of the stamp.

1904-05 Scott 79 10c yellow, Red overprint
Then, between 1904-05, another seven stamp set was overprinted in red, but the right "Panama" overprint now reads down.

There are some additional 38 stamps with various overprints issued in 1904-04. Consult Scott for details.

1905 Scott 179 1c green 
"Declaration of Independence" November 3, 1903
Finally, on February 4, 1905, engraved designs for Panama proper appeared. The two stamp issue shows the map of Panama and the date of independence from Colombia.

1906-07 Scott 189 5c blue & black
"Justo Arosemena"
A  nine stamp engraved bi-colored set was released 1906-07 honoring various patriots. Justo Arosemena Quesada is considered the father of Panamanian nationality.

A similar seven stamp set, but differing in design details, was issued between 1909-16. I show an example heading the "Big Blue" section.

1913 Scott 202 2 1/2c dark green & yellow green
"Balboa sighting Pacific Ocean"
The 400th anniversary of discovering the "South Sea" (Pacific Ocean) by Balboa was celebrated with this stamp release. His dog "Leonocico" is by his side.

His life as an explorer, governor, and conquistador is an interesting read. I had no idea he literally lost his head.

1915-16 Scott 208 2 1/2c scarlet & black
"Ruins of Cathedral of Old Panama"
In 1916-16, an eight stamp bi-color engraved issue was released celebrating the "Panama- Pacific Exposition". Some of the stamp designs show images of the Panama Canal that was completed in 1914. Was this in conjunction with the world's fair held in San Francisco in 1915 to honor of the building of the Panama Canal?

1918 Scott 215 15c bright blue & black
"S.S. Panama in Culebra Cut August 11, 1914"
In 1918, a three stamp issue was released depicting scenes along the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal cost 8.6 billion dollars to build ( in today's money), took 10 years, required 102 large railroad mounted steam shovels, and cost 5,600 lives. 

Deep Blue
1892-96 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 37 pages for Panama, and includes a space for all major Scott number stamps. Nice.

1909 Scott 197 1c dark green & black "Balboa"
Big Blue
The '69 BB edition has seven pages and 152 spaces covering the regular, air post, postage due, special delivery, and postal tax categories. Total coverage is 40%.

There are no stamps that cross the $10 threshold CV in BB. But many inexpensive Panama stamps are not common in general collections, so one may need to need to find them.

Checklist

1887-96
8,9,(10),15,16,17,

1903-04*
(1892-96 issue with various OP)
1c green -(71++)
2c rose- (72++)
5c blue -(69++)
(Blank space)- (73++)

1905
179,180,

1906
181,182,

1906-07
185,186,187,188,
189,(190),

1909-11
195,197,198,199,
200,201,

1915
204,205,206,

1915
208,209,210,211,

Next Page

1921
220,221,222,223,(224),225,

1923
233,

1924
234,235,236,237,238,240,

1926
244,245,246,247,248,249,(250),

1928
256,257,258,

1930
259,

1932
(260),(261),(262),(263),(264),(266),

1933
265,

1937
303,304,305,306,307,308,309,

Next Page

1934
268,269,270,272,273,
271,

1936-37
278,279,280,281,
282,313,314,283,
311,312,315,316,

Next Page

1938
317,318,
319,320,321,

1939
322,323,324,325,
326,327,328,

Next Page

Air Post
1930
C7,C8,C9,C10,C11,

1931
C15,

1934
C17 or C17A,

1936
C22,C23,

1936
C21,C24,

1937
C40,C41,C42,

1938
C43,C44,C45,C46,C47,
C49,C50,C51,

Next Page

Air Post
1939
C54,C55,C56,
C57,C58,C59,C60,

1940
C63,C64,C65,
C66,

Next Page

Postage Due
1915
J2,J1,J3,J4,

1930
J5,J6,J7,J8,

Special Delivery
1929
E3,E4,

Postal Tax
1939
RA1,RA2,RA3,RA4,

1941
RA6,RA7,RA8,RA9,

End

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice
C) * 1903-04- Lots of choices in the catalogue for the 1892-96 overprinted stamps.

1915-16 Scott 205 1c dark green & black
"Map of Panama Canal"
Out of the Blue
Panama's history (and stamps) was and is governed by its geography.

Sometimes it is good to be an isthmus.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Comments?

8 comments:

  1. I'm confused about the first set of forgeries. Were they perforated 12 3/4 or 13 1/4? Initially you state the former but in the follow-up paragraph o the forgeries you seem to be saying 13 1/4.

    Or is it just my age-addled mind at work?

    Dennis

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Dennis

    I'm actually talking about two separate forgeries- the "Forgeries of 1904", and the "Reprint-Forgeries" prepared by Michelsen and Curtis.

    The "Forgeries of 1904" are 12 3/4, the "Reprint-Forgeries" are 13 1/4 X 13, the genuines are 13 1/4.

    I illustrate an example of the "1904 Forgery", but not the "Reprint-Forgeries", as i do not have any.

    I cleaned up the language of the paragraph to make it more clear that there are two forgeries under discussion- thanks Dennis- if you were confused, others would be also.

    I should mention that Varro Tyler (Focus on Forgeries-c2000) devotes three pages to the "Reprint-Forgeries" (Which actually is a misnomer, as new stones were prepared), and one page to the "1904 forgeries".

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is the 1888 10 ¢ on 50 ¢ valuable

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Gerardo

    The 1894 10c on 50c brown (Scott 27) is CV $3.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi thanks for responding to my questions, I have a letter from 1894. Whit two stams both same value
    10¢ on 50¢ brown we'd Scott #27 and #28 both types differ for the position of the 10 centavos in relation to habilitado 1894, type f and type g on the same registered cover to Germany whit transits and
    arrival on the back of the letter is this has value

    ReplyDelete
  6. Stamps on intact historical envelopes usually are worth more. Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Can i send pictures of few stam, I have no knowledge about stamps can please help me

    ReplyDelete
  8. No, Sorry.

    If you are intent on this, I would suggest joining one of the stamp forums, and upload your picture for evaluation. The stamp forums are listed along the left column.

    ReplyDelete