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...

Sunday, March 22, 2015


1914 Scott 34 10c orange brown "Ceres"
Quick History
Quelimane , a Portuguese port town since 1544, and a slave market trading site in the earlier years, was the capital of the Mozambique Zambezia province beginning in 1894, but also issued their own stamps in 1913-14.

It is located close to the Rio dos Bons Sinais ("River of Good Signs") - named by Vasco da Gama as a propitious omen on his voyage to India.

Although the Portuguese East African territory was generally known as Mozambique or Portuguese East Africa, the scattered settlements (and chartered companies) early on had their own stamps- hence Mozambique, Inhambane, Lourenco Marques, Quelimane, Tete, Zambezia, Mozambique Company, and Nyassa (Company) issues were produced.

It is rather complicated, and Michael Adkin's Dead Countries Mozambique Area Transition Chart might be helpful to review. Thanks Michael!

1922 Map of Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique)
Note the Settlement and Region of Quelimane in the upper center
Quelimane, as the capital, and the Zambezia province (which in 1894  included Tete), was the focus area of the Zambezia Company. The Zambezia Company was actually larger than the better known (because of their stamp issues) Mozambique or Nyassa Company. The Zambezia Company- as the others- exploited African labor to develop sugar, copra, and sisal plantations. Likewise the railways from Beira to the British South Africa Company territory and to British Nyasaland were built on the backs of local labor.

Quelimane Today
In 1920, Tete formed a separate province, and all three areas- Zambezia, Tete, Quelimane- then were exclusively covered by the stamps of Mozambique (Portuguese East Africa).

1914 Scott 29 2c carmine "Ceres"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Quelimane 1913-14, 40 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 9 or 22.5% are CV <$1-$1+. Raising the bar to CV $3 yields 33 or 82.5%. Clearly, Quelimane stamps are fairly inexpensive for the WW classical collector.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centavos = 1 Escudo
The short lived (1913-14) Quelimane issues consist of the surcharged (for Quelimane) Vasco da Gama stamps from Macao, Portuguese Africa, and Timor, and the 1914 "Ceres" issue. 

1913 Scott 5 5c on 8a dark blue 
"San Gabriel, da Gama and Camoens"
On stamps of Macao
The 1913 surcharged Vasco da Gama issue for Quelimane has "common design type" representatives from Macao (8 stamps), Portuguese Africa ( 8 stamps), and Timor (8 stamps). 

An example from Macao is shown here.

The CV for Macao is a bit more expensive ($3-$6) than the CV for Portuguese Africa and Timor ( $2-$4+).

1914 Scott 30 2 1/2c light violet "Ceres"
A 1914 "Ceres" issue with Perf 15 X 14 was released with 16 stamps.  CV ranges from <$1-$10+.

Deep Blue
1914 "Ceres" issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has four pages for the stamps of Quelimane, and includes a space for all the major Scott numbers.

1914 Scott 31 5c deep blue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 1/2 page, has 20 spaces for the stamps of Quelimane. Coverage is 50%.

The spaces are located after Queensland, and on the same page as Rio de Oro.

The spaces- and location in the album- are the same for the 1940s BB editions.

There are no stamps that reach the CV $10 threshold in BB.

In an arbitrary way, BB includes 8 spaces for the Vasco da Gama surcharged 1913 stamps of Macao, but ignores the identical surcharged issues from Portuguese Africa and Timor.


(Vasco da Gama Issue of Macao Surcharged)

1914 Ceres*
25 or 25B,26,27 or 27B,28,
29,30,31,32 or 32B,33,34 or 34B,35,(36 or 36B),
*Note- the 2014 catalogue split some stamps (The B suffix numbers) into chalky paper and
ordinary paper (B suffix numbers).

A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1914 Scott 32 7 1/2c yellow brown
Out of the Blue
Quelimane has one other distinction- at least for Big Blue album stamp collectors- it marks the three-quarters point for countries listed. Yes!

Note: Map, and  pics of Quelimane and Cathedral appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?

The old (1776) Cathedral in Quelimane


  1. Interesting, as always, and congratulations on reaching the 75% mark. You're moving much faster than I'm sure anyone thought you'd be able to. And, again, I'm hoping all this information can get saved (as permanently as possible) for later use whether on a CD or even paper. Great stuff I look at regularly. Thanks.

  2. Thanks Drew- much appreciated!

    Yes, the three-quarter mark is one to savor a bit. I figure another several years, but I purposefully haven't kept track as I am enjoying the moment.

  3. Jim, sounds like Drew didn't have much confidence in you :>)

    I second Drew's comment about the need to have this information permanently saved in some form. Perhaps something like an eBook like Lawrence Block did with his stamp columns?

  4. I agree some permanent form might be good, but I don't have any immediate plans. For one thing, the earlier blog posts need to be revised with editing and more stamp issue images.

    Thanks Chris!