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 21, 2015

Southern Nigeria

1912 Scott 50 4p scarlet & black/yellow "George V"
Quick History
The British protectorate of Southern Nigeria was formed on January 1, 1900 along coastal Nigeria and the Niger River by combining the Niger Coast Protectorate with territories held below Lokaja on the Niger River by the Royal Niger Company.

"Southern Nigeria" stamps depicting Queen Victoria were issued in 1901.

Southern Nigeria Protectorate, 1913
(Other British colonial and protectorate lands in pink)
The British chartered Royal Niger Company had held the lands along the lower Niger beginning in 1879. This prevented the Germans under Bismarck from entering and controlling the lower Niger in the 1890s.

1898 Map showing location of Lagos and Royal Niger Company Lands
In 1906, Lagos colony was added, and the status was upgraded to Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria.

The capital was then Lagos, and the population was 7,800,000 in 1911.

Southern and Northern Nigeria, 1914
In 1914, Southern Nigeria and the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria were combined to form the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.

So ended the stamp issues of Southern Nigeria.

There were larger differences between the protectorates than their similar names and proximity would suggest.

Southern Nigeria had more economic development, western education was more prominent, and there was a large Christian missionary influence. 

The north was more isolated, had a majority Islamic culture, and had been governed through Emirs. 

In fact, in modern Nigeria, those differences persist, and continue to cause internal tension within the country.

1903 Scott 10 1/2p yellow green & black, Wmk 2, "Edward VII"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Southern Nigeria 1901-1912, 56 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 25 are CV <$1-$1+, or 45%. The higher denomination stamps are expensive, but the lower denominations have a reasonable CV for the WW classical collector.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1903 Scott 12 2p orange brown & black, Wmk 2, "Edward VII"
The first issue for Southern Nigeria was a 3/4 portrait of Queen Victoria in March, 1901 on nine stamps. Actually, the issues of the Niger Coast Protectorate were used in 1900, and again in 1902 (stamp shortage). Although five of the Queen Victoria stamps are a modest CV $1+-$4+, I happen not to have any. ;-)

The first "Edward VII" issue of eleven stamps was released between 1903-04 on Wmk 2 "Crown and C  A" paper. Five stamps are CV <$1-$3+.

1904 Scott 21 1/2p yellow green & black, Wmk 3, "Edward VII"
A second issue of twelve "Edward VII" stamps was produced between 1904-07, but on Wmk 3 "Multiple Crown and C  A" paper.

(If one needs a refresher on British Colonial watermarks, check the Gibraltar post.)

Five stamps are CV <$1-$1+.

Most of the stamps of this issue can either be found on ordinary paper or chalky paper. Scott doesn't catalogue the CV difference, but SG does.

The issue can also be found with two dies of the Head plate- dotted line on cheek five lines up from chin (Die A) vs solid line (Die B). As I have no clear examples to show, consult SG for an illustration.

1907 Scott 33 1p carmine "Edward VII"
"1d": thicker "1"; shorter "d"
The 1907-10 twelve stamp issue of "Edward VII" has different colors than the 1903-04 and 1904-07 issues. CV is <$1-$4+ for nine stamps.

The 1p carmine for this issue has a thicker "1" and a shorter "d" for the "1d" numeral inscription.

1907 Scott 33 1p carmine "Edward VII"
This is the same stamp, but with a nice "socked-on-the-nose" cancel. I must admit, I have a fondness for these SONs. ! I couldn't find a "Bende", but did find a "Bendi" on the 1914 map shown above.

1910 Scott 44 1p carmine "Edward VII"
"1d"; thinner "1"; taller, broader "d"
In 1910, the 1p carmine was redrawn. The "1d" now has a thinner "1" and a taller, broader "d".

Where is "Jebu"?

1912 Scott 48 2 1/2p ultramarine "George V"
In 1912, a twelve stamp issue was released with "George V".  The lower denominations are in one color.

1912 Scott 51 6p red violet & dull violet "George V"
The higher denominations are bicolored, and most of the bicolored stamps (not this one) are also on colored paper. CV for eight stamps is <$1-$3+.

In 1914, the stamps of Southern Nigeria were replaced by those of Nigeria.

Deep Blue
1912 "George V" Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has three pages for the stamps of 1901-1912 Southern Nigeria, and offers a space for all the major Scott numbers.

1908 Scott 32 1/2p green,"Edward VII"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on two lines of one page, has 14 spaces for the stamps of Southern Nigeria. Coverage is 25%.

The country coverage is located between Somali Coast and on the same page as Southern Rhodesia.

There are no required stamps crossing the CV $10 level.

Coverage could have been a little more generous, as I count eight stamps @ CV <$1-$1+ that could have been added- and, that does not include the stamps where only one stamp among several inexpensive (different watermarked) choices can be put into a space.

The "1902-07" spaces can take either wmk 2 or wmk 3 "Edward VII" stamps.



10 or 21, 11 or 22, (23),(24),




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *1902-07- either wmk 2 or wmk 3 stamps can be put into the spaces.

1912 Scott 49 3p violet/yellow "George V"
Out of the Blue
I can understand why British colony stamps are popular. They have a royal stately design that is the very definition of "classic". (I suppose one can argue, in their sameness, that they are also dull and monotonous- but, if so, why do they have appeal? ;-)

I especially like the British colonials that have a clear cancel from an exotic and forgotten location.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?


  1. The British colonials definitely have a royal elegance, something the French ones could never have since France was a Republic.

    At the same time though, the fact that most of the British colonial issues have a sameness speaks to two concepts I think. First, that the Empire was a unified whole, and all parts of the Empire were good loyal subjects of the ruling monarch.

    Second, and perhaps less charitable, is that the British colonial administrators were financial tightwads who looked for the cheapest solution to supply stamps to the colonies, and felt the cost of having unique designs for their respective colonies was too much of a luxury (and here it important to remember that colonies PAID for their own development, only receiving monies from London in extraordinary circumstances, so cost saving was a priority for British colonial administrations. The French tended to be a bit more...generous..towards their colonies on that score, especially after 1900)

    Happy holidays Jim and look forward to seeing you reach the finish line Zululand in 2016. Been an amazing philatelic adventure you have undertaken and the resource you have provided the international philatelic community is something you should definitely be proud of (and perhaps reward yourself with some new stamp purchases in the New Year! )

    Gene aka DJCMH

  2. Insightful comment.

    And yes, I've already rewarded myself with some nice additions. ;-)

    Happy Holidays to you Gene (DJCMH) !

  3. I only have 24 in my 1997 Big Blue, but I'm sure that Scott simply made a mistake again (as they did with my Ethiopia), and left out a page. as I have only the first page with a blank on the other side. I'd love to hear from another '97 owner to see if they ended up with both pages.
    Happy New Year, Jim!


    1. Joe- Interesting. So you don't have the full Southern Nigeria?

      Do you have the full Southern Rhodesia? Another collector has reported he doesn't in his 1997 edition.

      And Joe, you have a Happy New Year as well!


  4. Bendi and Bende are the same place.

    The Jebu Ode strike is from a spot 110km northeast of Lagos, by car, according to Wikipedia, now known as Ijebu Ode. Apparently, it was a longtime tribal capital.

    Another nice post.


    1. Thanks for tracking the "Jebu" postmark down CJD.

      I suspected Bendi and Bende were the same.

  5. Very nice display.

    1. Eddy
      Your site, although commercial, looks interesting enough that I let it be published. And you are from Nigeria, with interest in that area. Good luck!