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...

Monday, December 22, 2014

Penrhyn Island

1903 Scott 11 6p rose, Blue Surcharge
On Stamps of New Zealand 
Quick History
Penrhyn Island (Tongareva) is the largest atoll, and the most remote of the 15 Cook Islands. It consists of a 77 km or 48 mile (in diameter) coral ring with elevation no more than 5 meters. The coral ring has a center lagoon.
Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
The land area only consists of 2.4 acres, and there were 395 inhabitants in 1926. In 2011, there are only 213 inhabitants.

Penrhyn Island
There are two villages- Omoka, and Te Tautua. The island is named after the landing of the  Lady Penrhyn in 1788, which was part of the convict fleet heading for Australia.

The island was a British Protectorate from 1888-1900, then it was annexed by New Zealand. Stamps were produced between  1902-1929. The stamps of the Cook Islands were used in Penrhyn between 1932-1973.

Of interest, the United States claimed sovereignty over Penrhyn between 1856-1980, under the Guano Islands Act. That claim was never recognized by Britain, New Zealand, or the Cook Islands.

Penrhyn Island is a not uncommon stop for yachts crossing between Panama and New Zealand, as the lagoon provides safe harbor. Black Pearl farming occurs on the island. And the locally produced Rito hats, consisting of Coconut fiber, are also popular.

1917 Scott 18 1 1/2p gray black, red overprint
New Zealand  1915-19 stamps, Overprinted
Into the Deep Blue
The Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue, for Penrhyn Island 1902- 1929, has 30 major numbers. Of those, 5 are CV <$1-$1+, or 17%. Raising the bar to $10, yields 22 stamps (73%). Clearly, the stamps of the Penrhyn Islands are a bit expensive. And obviously, considering the small population, genuine used have a higher CV.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
1902 Scott 6 1p carmine, Blue Surcharge
On Stamps of New Zealand
Surcharged stamps of New Zealand were issued between 1902-1915. The initial 1902 issue had six stamps, and the surcharges can be found in carmine, vermilion, brown, or blue. The 1p carmine, shown above, has Wmk 61-"N Z and Star Close Together", or Wmk 63- "Double-lined N Z and Star".

(If one wishes to review the watermarks, see the New Zealand post. )

1902 Scott 8 2 1/2p blue, Carmine Surcharge
The 2 1/2p blue "Lake Wakatipu" stamp is found with either a carmine or vermilion colored surcharge.

1903 Scott 10 3p yellow brown, Blue Surcharge
In 1903, three stamps were surcharged, as illustrated by the 3p yellow brown.

1913 Scott 13 1/2p yellow green, carmine Surcharge
Between 1913-15, four New Zealand stamps, showing the Edward (now posthumous)VII visage, were surcharged in carmine, vermilion, and blue.

1920 Scott 17 1/2p yellow green, Red overpint
Between 1917-20, eight 1915-19 George V New Zealand stamps were overprinted in red or dark blue. A dark blue overprint specimen is shown heading the "Big Blue" section.

1920 Scott 25 1/2p emerald & black
"Landing of Captain Cook"
Penrhryn island received their own proper issue with a six stamp production in 1920. The designs, though, are the same as the Cook Islands stamps, save for the "Penrhyn" script and a color change.

Wmk 61- N Z and Star Close Together
Although the 1920 issue is unwatermarked, the 1928-29 two stamp issue (1/2p & 1p)- same in design, but differing in color- shows the Wmk 61.

1920 Scott 30 1sh dull blue & black
"Avarua Harbor"
The scenes and occurrences shown on the stamps are actually of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. But, with a population of only 400 max, Penrhyn Island is lucky to have any stamps at all. ;-)

1927 Scott 31 2 1/2p blue & red brown
"Rarotongan Chief (Te Po)
A nice bi-color engraved 2 1/2p was issued in 1927. The design is found also for Aitutaki and the Cook Islands.

1928-29 Scott 34 1p carmine rose & black
"Avarua Waterfront"
Type of 1920 Issue
In 1928-29, two stamps (the 1/2p and 1p) were issued in slightly different colors, and wmk 61, as mentioned earlier.

Deep Blue
1903 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has two pages for Penrhyn Island, and includes all major number Scott spaces.

1928-29 Scott 33 1/2p yellow green & black
Types of 1920 Issue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 1/2 page, has 19 spaces. Coverage is 63%. Considering the somewhat expensive CV for the stamps of the Penrhyn Islands, it is not surprising that four stamps are found with CV $10+-$20+.

The coverage is located on the same page as Price Edward Island, and is between Panama and Papua.


1 or 5, 2 or 6,, 8 or 9, 10, (11),

13 or 14, 15,




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1903 Scott 10 3p yellow brown ($10+)
1903 (Scott 11)  6p rose ($10+)
1914 Scott 15 6p carmine rose ($20+)
1920 Scott 30 1sh dull blue & black ($10+)
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1918 Scott 23 6p carmine rose, Blue overprint
New Zealand 1915-19 stamps, overprinted
Out of the Blue
I suspect only philatelists, Pacific ocean yacht owners, and assiduous National Geographic readers are aware of Penrhyn Island.  ;-)

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.


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