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, September 28, 2015


Holstein 1864 Scott 18 1 1/4s blue & rose
Quick History
The Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were located between Denmark and Germany on the southern Jutland peninsula. The area served as an important  transfer point for goods and materials between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.

As one can imagine, there developed conflict between the two nations over "ownership" of the lands.

The Jutland Peninsula
Holstein (yellow); Schleswig (brown & red)
(This map additionally shows the 1920 Plebiscite results for Schleswig)
Both the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were, for centuries, fiefdoms of the Danish Monarchy. They also came under the administration of Danish government officials.

But, in 1815, Holstein joined the German Confederation (1815-66), and hence the "Schleswig-Holstein Question" arose about the tangled relationship.

In 1850, Holstein introduced a two stamp issue.

Danish Troops return to Copenhagen, 1849 - by Otto Bache
First War of Schleswig
Meanwhile, Denmark and Prussia fought the "First War of Schleswig" between 1848-1851, and, surprisingly, Denmark was victorious. Consequently, Stamps of Denmark were used in the lands between 1851-1863.

Boundary changes after the Second Schleswig War
Treaty of Vienna October 30, 1864
But the friction between Danish and German nationalism continued to grow, which lead to the 1864 "Second Schleswig War" with Denmark vs Prussia and Austria as combatants. Defeated, Denmark gave up control of the Schleswig and Holstein Duchies.

According to the Treaty of Vienna, Prussia would administer Schleswig, while Austria would administer Holstein.

Stamps were issued for Schleswig (1864-1867), Holstein (1864-1866), and Schleswig-Holstein (1865).

But conflicts arose between Prussia and Austria, leading to the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. Prussia was the victor, and all of Schleswig-Holstein was annexed into the North German Confederation (under heavy Prussian leadership) on January 1, 1868.

With the North German Confederation stamp issues, production of Schleswig-Holstein stamps ceased. 

The Danish/German conflict did not end there, of course. My prior post covered the Schleswig Plebiscite of 1920 (after WW I), in which the northern section of Schleswig reverted to Denmark. The border changes between Denmark and Germany remain the same today.

For a look at all the philatelic and historical changes to Schleswig-Holstein in diagram form, check out the fine Stamp World History website.

Schleswig 1865 Scott 10 1/2s green
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for 1850-1866 Schleswig-Holstein, 25 major descriptive numbers. Of those, the least expensive are two @ CV $10+ and five @ CV $20+. Clearly, Schleswig-Holstein stamps are costly, but a representative selection should be possible for the WW collector.

The 1850 "Coat of Arms" stamps for Holstein are quite expensive @ CV $300+-$500+ unused, and it is unlikely that a general WW collector will have them (I don't ;-), so I will say no more about them.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
16 Schillings = 1 Mark
Schleswig-Holstein 1865 Scott 4 1 1/4s green
The Schleswig-Holstein typographic issues tend to be rather functional in appearance with a large numeral in the center.

The "Schleswig-Holstein" labeled issue was produced in 1865, and had five denomination stamps. It is rouletted 11 1/2. CV is $10+-$60+, and is less expensive unused.

Schleswig 1865 Scott 11 1 1/4s red lilac
In 1864 and 1865, seven stamps were released for Schleswig with a similar design. These are also rouletted. The CV varies from $20+-$30+.

Note "Herzogth"?  Herzogth is an abbreviation of the German "Herzogthum" meaning "duchy". 

Holstein 1865 Scott 20 1 1/4s
Holstein had an 1864 imperforate lithographic square shaped blue & gray 1 1/4s stamp issued that has three types of lettering: hence has three major Scott numbers. I don't have any to show, but the CV for two types is $40+-$50+.

I can show (heading the post blog) the 1864 Scott 18 1 1/4s blue & rose square shaped stamp.

Shown here (above) is the more typical design for Holstein issued in 1865 on three stamps. CV is $40+-$60+.

Of note regarding the Scott 20 1 1/4s stamp above: it appears to be a brown color, but Scott has the color listed as "red lilac".  ?? (chemical changeling?)

Holstein 1865 Scott 23 1 1/3s carmine
In 1865-66, Holstein additionally had a four stamp issue that was quite similar in appearance to the Schleswig 1865 stamps. The Holstein rouletted stamps had two designs: Note here the "duchy" word ("Herzogthum") is not abbreviated. ;-)

These "duchy" issues for Schleswig-Holstein were replaced by those of the North German Confederation on January 1, 1868.

Deep Blue
Holstein 1864-66 Issues in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has two pages for the stamps of Schleswig-Holstein. All of the major Scott numbers have a space.

Schleswig-Holstein in the Minkus Supreme
Big Blue
I wasn't planning to have a blog post about Schleswig-Holstein, because the Duchies have never been given a space in any edition of Big Blue. (True, the Schleswig plebiscite stamps have spaces, but that was after the duchy era.)

But I've made exceptions before (Annam & Tonkin), and there is no reason that the Duchies should not have been included in BB - their stamps are no more expensive than other German States.

Instead, I am showing here what the Minkus Supreme Global 1840-1952 pages offers: Three spaces- two blank & one illustrating 1865 Scott 3 @ CV $30+.

The Supreme coverage is brutally efficient and brief: for all the German States, two pages are provided with many blank spaces to use. BB does provide more elegant coverage of the German States, but that is a moot point for Schleswig-Holstein. ;-)

Holstein 1866 Scott 22 1 1/4s red lilac
Out of the Blue
It is unclear why BB never included the Schleswig-Holstein duchies stamps. Certainly, they are as deserving as the other German States that were given a space in the 1940s editions. (But as we know, many of the German States then lost their spaces in the '69 edition.)

Note: Maps and Otto Brache painting image appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


1920 Scott 25 1k dark brown "View of Schleswig"
Types of 1920 Overprinted in Blue: 
"Hadersleben" Postmark: June 2, 1920
Quick History
As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, Schleswig , comprising the southern Jutland Peninsula lands of the former Duchy of Schleswig, was offered a plebiscite after WW I.

The Jutland Penisula: Denmark (terracotta);
Northern Schleswig (red); Southern Schleswig (brown); Holstein (yellow)
The reason for the plebiscite was the majority Danish population in northern Schleswig, and the Danes had long advocated for that portion to be formally annexed to Denmark. After WW I, their arguments fell on the sympathetic ears of the French, and hence the plebiscite was organized and monitored by a commission with members from France, Great Britain, Norway and Sweden.

Plebiscite vote: Zone I (Northern Schleswig) to Denmark
Plebiscite vote: Zone II (Central part of Southern Schleswig) to Germany
Zone III (Southern part of Southern Schleswig) to Germany
To publicize the referendum, fourteen stamps were issued January 25, 1920, denominated in Pfennig/Mark.

There was actually two plebiscite votes: one in Zone I, the other in Zone II. No doubt the "zones" were set up to make the results clear, if one wants to be cynical about the process.

The northern portion (Zone I) voted on February 10, 1920 to accept Danish rule (75%). The central part (Zone II) of the southern portion voted on March 14, 1920 for Germany (80%). The south part (Zone III) of the southern portion did not vote, as the forgone conclusion was they wished to remain with Germany.

On May 20, 1920, there was another fourteen stamp issue intended for use in Zone I, and now denominated in Ore/Krone.

Zone I (Southern Jutland) was transferred to Denmark on June 15, 1920.

On a side note, although the Zone II voting results were overwhelmingly for Germany, some Danish nationalists still wanted Zone II to become part of Denmark. Christian X, the Danish King, sided with the nationalists, and dismissed the government, leading to the "Easter crisis of 1920". But by 1920, there was a strong Danish tradition that the monarchy played no role in politics. The King was forced to reverse course. Since that time, no Danish king or queen has intervened in politics. 

I've said little here about the earlier history of the Duchy of Schleswig, and Schleswig-Holstein, as that will be the focus of the next blog post!

1920 Scott 9 40pf violet "Arms"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Schleswig 1920, 42 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 24 are CV <$1-$1+, or 57%. Clearly, a nice sampling can be acquired by the WW collector for not much expense.

There were three issues in the catalogue for this 1920 plebiscite era.

Issue One- January 25, 1920 - (Denominated in Pfennig/Mark)- 14 stamps. All are CV inexpensive, except for the 10m red, which is only CV $2+.

Issue Two- May 20, 1920- (Denominated in Ore/Krone)- 14 stamps. Eleven are inexpensive, and the 2k, 5k, and 10k are CV $3-$8.

Issue Three- Official stamps overprinted "C-I'S' on Issue One- 14 stamps. "C-I-S" are the initials for "Commission Interalliee Slesvig", the commission under which the plebiscite took place. All of these stamps are quite expensive (CV $40+-$500), and Scott reports that counterfeit overprints exist. I don't have any, and so I will say no more about them.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Pfennig = 1 Mark
100 Ore = 1 Krone
1920 Scott 4 10pf deep rose "Arms"
The Plebiscite issue of January 25, 1920 had ten of the "Arms" design typographic stamps. The paper has Wmk 114 "Multiple Crosses", a Danish watermark, so clearly the stamps were printed in Denmark. Note the Denomination is in Pfenning/Mark, as the lands had been part of Germany before the plebiscite. However, the "Slesvig" and "Plebiscit" spelling is Danish in origin.

"Used" is modestly more expensive than "unused", but all stamps in the issue are CV <$1-$3+. Clearly, there was philatelic interest in the plebiscite, and, consequently, stamps are still quite plentiful.

Duchy of Schleswig
Coat of Arms
The Duchy of Schleswig was a fiefdom of the Danish Crown from 1058-1866, until the Prussian victories of 1864 and 1866. So, by using the "Arms" symbol, the design should appeal to the nationalistic sentiment of the Danish people. It apparently didn't hurt, based on the 75% vote for Denmark in Danish majority Zone I of the plebiscite. !!!.

1920 Scott 7 25pf orange "Arms"
As mentioned, "used" has a somewhat higher CV than "unused". Here,"Tondern" is on the southern edge of Zone I, and it appears from the voting map that most of the votes went the German way in this town.  Of note, the date of the postmark, March 14, 1920, is when the Zone II plebiscite occurred. I suspect most of the postmarks found on "used" are philatelically inspired.

1920 Scott 12 2m deep blue "View of Schleswig"
The four higher denominations for the first issue has a "View of Schleswig" design with the "Arms" motif added. I note that the CV for the 2m deep blue is <$1, but $60 on cover. The lesson: rather than soaking off all those stamps from covers, our Grandparents and Great-Grandparents should have left them on. ;-)

1920 Scott 16 5o green "Arms"
The second issue (14 stamps) during the plebiscite era was a type of the earlier 1920 issue, but overprinted in Blue "I Zone", with the denomination in Ore/Krone. This was a celebratory issue intended for use in Zone I. The Issue release was May 20, 1920, and the stamps were valid to the end of June, although the handover to Denmark occurred June 15, 1920. Stamps of Denmark were subsequently used in northern Schleswig (Southern  Jutland), while stamps of Germany were exclusively used in southern Schleswig.

1920 Scott 27 5k green "View of Schleswig"
Type of 1920 Overprinted in Blue
CV for the issue ranges from <$1-$8 for unused, and $1+-$80+ for used. But, don't pay more than the baseline "unused" price for suspect "CTO" postmarks. ;-)

Deep Blue
Schleswig "Zone 1" Issue in Deep Blue
"Aabenraa" postmarks: 6-30-1920 - last day of valid use
Deep Blue (Steiner) has two pages for the 1920 stamp issues of Schleswig, and naturally has a space for every major Scott number.

1920 Scott 14 10m red "View of Schleswig"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on three lines of one page (shared with Senegambia & Niger, and the beginning of St. Vincent), has 21 spaces. Coverage is 50%.

The 40s BB editions have the same coverage, except the coverage is located after Sarawak, and on the same page as Sardinia and Saseno.

All of the coverage is for the first two issues (The official issue, which is not covered by BB, is quite expensive). BB is missing three stamps from the second issue with CV <$1.

There are no expensive stamps: In fact, the most expensive space is for the Scott 13 5m green @ CV $1+. !




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None

1920 Scott 24 75o greenish blue "Arms"
Types of 1920 Overprinted in Blue
Out of the Blue
Well, the 19th century "Schleswig-Holstein" problem, with half  Danish and half German populations, was finally solved by splitting the former Duchy of Schleswig in two!

And the border established between Denmark and Germany in 1920 is still the same today.

Note: Maps appear to be in the common domain.

Comments appreciated!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


1851 Scott 8 3ng black/yellow
Frederick Augustus II
Quick History
The Kingdom of Saxony lasted between 1806 and 1918, although the Kingdom existed as a more slender state after 1815 (Prussia took the rest), and then joined the German Empire in 1871.

The Kingdom of Saxony after 1815 (Green)
Territories annexed in 1815 by Prussia (Light Green & Blue)
King Frederick Augustus I almost lost his throne in 1815, as he had the Saxons aligned with the French rather than the Prussians. But Prussia decided to take only 40% of the Kingdom, including Lutherstadt Wittenberg, home of the Protestant Reformation, and left the King to rule the rest, which did include Dresden (the capital) and Leipzig.

Population was about 2,500,000.

A stamp was introduced in 1850, and it looks quite similar in design to the early "Numeral" stamps of Bavaria. I won't be showing this one as the CV is north of $7000. ;-)

Other designs (1851- 1863) show the "Coat of Arms", and the Kings Frederick Augustus II and John I. We will see more of these presently.

The German Empire 1871: Saxony (Brown) is in the lower center
Of interest, during the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, Saxony allied with Austria. Perhaps, as recompense, the Kingdom joined the Prussian dominated North German Confederation in 1867.

Stamps of Saxony were replaced by those of the North German Confederation on January 1, 1868.

Subsequently, the Confederation was reorganized in 1871 into the German Empire , under the leadership  of Prussian Wilhelm I (Emperor) and Otto von Bismarck.

However, the King of Saxony (John I at the time) still retained some prerogatives, including establishing diplomatic liaisons with other countries.

A historical tidbit... Because the Kings of Saxony accepted the crown of Poland in 1697 (This lasted until 1763), they remained Roman Catholic, although the citizens of Saxony were 95% Protestant.

1865 Scott 11 2ng black/dark blue
King John I
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Saxony 1850-1863, twenty major number descriptions. Of those, eight are CV $1+-$9+, or 40%. Three more can be picked up for CV $10+. The stamp issues consist of imperforate (1850:1, 1851:1, 1851-52:5, 1855-60:6), and perforate 13 and embossed (1863:6). Many of the stamps also come as minor numbers in variant colors.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
10 Pfennings = 1 Neu-Groschen
30 Neu-Groschen = 1 Thaler
1851 Scott 5 1ng black/rose
Frederick  Augustus II
The first 3pf  brick red stamp, issued in 1850, has a "Numeral" design, and is very expensive (CV $ 7,000+). I will say no more about it.

There  was also an 1851 3pg green issue stamp with a "Coat of Arms" design (CV $90+).

The 1851-52 issue (illustrated above) has five stamps, and shows King Frederick Augustus II in the vignette. Three of the stamps have a modest (for Saxony) CV of $9+-$20+.

Frederick Augustus II of Saxony
Frederick Augustus ruled from 1836 to 1854.

He was an intelligent King and ruled wisely.

In 1844, he was a guest of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and he purchased in England an ichthyosaur reptile skeleton for his natural history collection.

He died accidentally in 1854 when he fell in front of a horse who stepped on his head.

1855 Scott 9 1/2ng black/gray "King John I"
As Frederick Augustus II had no legitimate issue, his brother, John (Johann) assumed the throne.

Between 1855-60, a six stamp issue was released with his portrait. CV ranges from $4-$10+ for four stamps.

King John I (1870 Portrait)
John's (Johann's) full name BTW was Johann Nepomuk Maria Joseph Anton Xaver Vincenz Aloys Franz de Paula Stanislaus Bernhard Paul Felix Damasus.

He remained as King until his death in 1873, two years after the Kingdom had become part of the German Empire.

Like his brother, he was intelligent and enlightened. He translated into German Dante's Divine Comedy.

1863 Scott 16 1/2ng orange "Arms Embossed- Design A5"
The next (and last) issue for the Kingdom of Saxony was an 1863 six stamp production with a "Coat of Arms" center design, which is embossed. CV is less expensive unused, and ranges from $1+-$4 for five stamps.

Two stamps have the "A5" frame design.

"Coat of Arms of Saxony"
The "Coat of Arms" for Saxony is from the House of Wettin, which was founded in the early 10th century. The House of Wettin was divided into two ruling branches in 1485 by the Treaty of Leipzig. The Saxony rulers, who also played a part in Polish history, were the Albertine branch.

1863 Scott 19 3ng red brown "Arms Embossed- Design A6"
1863 Scott 19a 3ng bister brown
The other frame design, found on four stamps for the 1863 issue, is shown here.

An aspect of Saxony stamps in the Scott catalogue are the not infrequent minor numbers for color varieties.

Shown above is the major number "red brown", and a minor number "bister brown" hues.

1863 Scott 20c 5ng slate
"Arms Embossed- Design A6"
Another example of a minor number color is the 5ng slate shown above. The major color in the Scott catalogue is dull violet.

Deep Blue
1855-60 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has two pages provided for Saxony, and have a space for all the major numbers.

Of interest, Deep Blue has the "King John I" stamps labeled as an 1855-57 issue, but the 2014 Scott 1840-1940 catalogue lists minor number color variants through 1860.

1863 Scott 15 3pf blue green
Arms Embossed
Big Blue
Big Blue '69 has Saxony on one line of one page, and includes eight spaces for the "1855-56" (3 spaces) and 1863 (5 spaces) issues. The 1940s editions have the same coverage. Total coverage is 40%. 

Saxony page in one of the 1940s editions
Actually, the "1/2ng" cut for the "1855-56" spaces is from the 1851 issue.  Therefore, for the "1855-56" issue, I include as choices stamps from the 1851-52 issue.

With the additional issue admitted, BB covers the inexpensive stamps well. However, the 1855 Scott 9 1/2ng black/gray (CV $4) is not given a space: for, as just mentioned, they show - by mistake? - the 1851 Scott 3 1/2ng black/gray cut (CV $10+). The only other moderately expensive stamp that was not included as a choice is the 1855 Scott 2ng black/dark blue @ CV $10+.

For the spaces in BB, there are only two that require CV $10+ stamps.


1855-56 (actually 1851-60*)
3,5 or 10,8 or 12,



A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1851 Scott 3 1/2ng black/gray ($10+)
1855 Scott 12 3ng black/yellow ($10+)
B) *1851-60 - See discussion above regarding the additional coverage.

1863 Scott 18 2ng blue "Arms Embossed"
Out of the Blue
Without a doubt, the "German" stamp sphere would be an interesting one in which to sub-specialize. But I can't let go of all the other classical WW areas. I guess I'm constituted to be a "generalist". ;-)

Note: Map images, King portrait images, and "Coat of Arms" image all appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?

Thursday, September 10, 2015


1923 Scott 7 60c carmine
Italian Stamps of 1901-22 Overprinted
Quick History
Saseno (Italian) or Sazan (Albanian) is an island, 3 miles long  by 1.7 miles wide, located between the lower Italian peninsula and present day Albania in the Strait of Otranto between the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea.

Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea
Between is the Strait of Otranto (Canale d'Otranto)
The island was ceded to Greece with the other Ionian islands by Britain in 1864. But Greece did not formally occupy the island until 1912 with the First Balkan War.

Saseno Island and the Strait of Otantro
After the end of the Second Balkan War in 1913, Greece evacuated Saseno and the southern parts of (now modern) Albania at the insistence of Italy and Austria-Hungary.

Italy then occupied the island on October 30, 1914. This was ratified in 1915 by the Treaty of London, and Albania ceded the island to Italy on September 2, 1920.

Saseno was part of Italy from 1920 until WW II. It had several Naval fortifications on the island, a lighthouse, and a few fisherman families as inhabitants.

In 1941, the island became part of Italian Dalmatia, and then was ceded to Albania on February 10, 1947.

Saseno (Sazan)
During the Italian period (1920- WW II), stamps of Italy were used on the island. But in 1923, a group of eight definitive Italian stamps, showing the visage of King Victor Emmanuel II, were overprinted "saseno" by the Saseno post office for use locally.

1923 Scott 1 10c claret
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Saseno 1923, eight major stamp descriptions. All of the stamps are CV $30 for unused. Clearly, Saseno overprinted stamps are not inexpensive. Scott has a note that the "used" CV value ($80+) are for genuinely postally used, not CTO.

A closer look at the stamps
100 Centesimi = 1 Lira
1923 Scott 2 15c slate
Italian Stamps of 1901-22 Overprinted
Only the 1923 issue of eight overprinted stamps of Italy are found in the catalogue under Saseno. Otherwise, regular stamps of Italy were used.

I get a little nervous when an overprinted stamp is worth more than the underlying non-overprinted stamp. In this case, the Scott 2 (illustrated above) is CV $30 unused, while the underlying 1919 non-overprinted Italian stamp is CV $3+.

As one can imagine, fraudulently overprinting a stamp is much easier than developing a new stamp forgery.

Now, I have no specific reason to suspect that these overprints are not genuine. They were bought from a reputable source- but that only goes so far.

Sending them in for certification would be a minimum of $25 per stamp.

And expert knowledge about overprint forgeries tends to be locked up- and not shared widely- among country specialists.

So what is a WW generalist to do- just be lambs to the slaughter?

Well, here are some strategies that can be used.....

* I know of one WW classical era collector with a very healthy collection that simply refuses to collect expensive overprinted stamps. 

* If the overprinted stamps are inexpensive, of course one can accumulate them- the potential damage is minimal.

* Get the overprinted stamps certified. (Only really works economically for quite expensive stamps.)

* Try to obtain the knowledge for oneself regarding overprint forgeries. Or, ask a specialist acquaintance or internet source for help.

Deep Blue
1923 Issue in Deep Blue
Of course, Deep Blue (Steiner) has all the spaces for the 1923 Saseno issue.

Saseno in the 1940s editions Big Blue
Big Blue
Saseno was one of those smaller stamp issuing territories that was eliminated by the 1969 editors of Big Blue. Although I am not in favor of dropping stamp issuing areas, the stamps are expensive @ CV $30 apiece.

The 1940s editions have six spaces for Saseno stamps- a very generous 75% coverage. 

The Saseno coverage is located (along with several other small countries) between Sarawak and Senegal.

Checklist (In 40s BBs)



A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1923 Scott 1 10c claret ($30)
1923 Scott 2 15c slate ($30)
1923 Scott 3 20c brown orange ($30)
1923 Scott 4 25c blue ($30)
1923 Scott 5 30c yellow brown ($30)
1923 Scott 6 50c violet ($30)

1923 Scott 6 50c violet
Out of the Blue
For a "Representative Album", Big Blue is inordinately fond of providing generous coverage of Italian sphere stamps. Unfortunately, many are also fairly expensive.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?