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...

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bud's Big Blue- An Introduction and Index

Completed Big Blue - A View that Inspires
Bud's Big Blue
Note: For the Index and links to posted countries - updated frequently- , scroll down.
Jim‘s request for scans of my completed Big Blue to post in his blog came as a welcome surprise. Images of filled pages, he reckoned, would appropriately illustrate his posting for each country. I agree and am pleased to comply.

The album used for these scans is the widely popular 1969 edition of

BB Title Page
Postings follow an alphabetical listing of countries, as is the case in Jim’s blog, rather than the order of countries in the album (see album index page below). Countries with many stamps require more than one posting. Five to ten posts will appear each month. USA pages are last.  A section for Jim’s and my remarks follows each country’s images, as well as an interactive section for viewer comments and suggestions. 

BB Country Table of Contents
(Click image to enlarge)
About this Collection
Stamp collections in albums are prone to idiosyncrasies. Mine is no exception. So, as a caution against other collectors viewing these scans as definitive of what a completed BB ought to look like, I’ll describe the approaches I have more or less followed during 60 years of compiling (accreting? hoarding? heaping up?) this collection.

Until I bought my BB in 1970 as a graduation present to myself, scavenged business-size envelopes housed the collection, one for each country. The envelopes were fast filling up with the stamps torn off such old letters and international correspondence as I had access to. Once hinged in the new album, the stamps looked skimpy indeed.

I never expected to fill my BB, but I did want more stamps. I settled on a strategy: buying albums at household auctions, picking a few that I wanted, then selling the albums at different auctions. I rarely bought individual stamps or sets. I have continued buying albums up to the present time. Sometimes I made money in this process, sometimes lots of money, and the collection grew. A disadvantage to this approach is that I often incorporated placement errors made by the albums’ previous owners into my BB. More important, though, I began developing preferences for which stamps I wanted to keep and which to replace. And, when I found I had made errors, they were usually easily corrected. . In addition, the collection has benefited greatly from the help of a wholesale stamp dealer who, despite my urging to the contrary, wishes to remain anonymous.

All Scott-elect stamps are acceptable for my BB, but I give preference in the following order:

1.Cancelled stamps with historical or artistic merit, even if happenstance; for example, a stamp cancelled on 9-11-2001 in New York City would qualify, were there a space for it.  These are working stamps with, say, highly commendable résumés.

2.Clear date and place cancels; small town cancels; socked-on-the-nose and fancy cancels; otherwise collectible cancels, for example, “Zug” on Germany stamps. Résumés for these are interesting but not as spectacular.

3.Mint well-centered with light or no hinging; “specimen” overprints. These are non-working stamps with no résumés, but they’re getting ready.

4.Ordinary light cancels, clean and well centered, including philatelically-inspired cancels. These are attractive and unpretentious working stamps.

5.Mint or used stamps with poor centering; heavy cancels or hinges; CTOs; grubby or toned stamps; fiscal cancels; stamps with small defects; hand written cancels unless they qualify for category 1 or 2 above. These are generally hardworking, but with weak résumés (they don’t look good on paper).

6.Major defects (overworked stamps), forgeries, counterfeits, reprints (official or unofficial), printed but never put into use (non-working stamps). I prefer not to have these even though BB actually includes spaces for a few of them.  But, lacking anything better, they’re in, at least for now.

As opportunities came, I traded upward on the above scale. Two additional categories, though, are unacceptable. If you find any of these on the scanned pages (there are no doubt some), let me know! I’ll replace them, then banish them to the supplementary pages where they can hobnob with other BB outcasts.

7.Technical misfits--stamps of the same or very similar design to the Scott-elect, but not quite one of them. Perhaps they were issued outside the specified date range. Or they might differ in perfs, color shades, overprints, watermarks, or minor wording.

8.Outright interlopers, weeds -- these are unauthorized stamps that occupy spaces Scott reserved for the elect. Resenting not being among the chosen, I suspect, they sneak in, hoping to remain unnoticed. BB blank spaces are vulnerable to such intrusions.

Interlopers and weeds, however, are in their own right worthy of being collected. Many of the excluded have stories to tell, some have high CVs. Everyone who builds collections by pilfering through old albums will, as I have, accumulate many such stamps. So, what’s to be done with them? You’ll see two strategies in the scans. Some are tipped in partly beneath the particular Scott-elect stamps to which they most closely relate. Others are found in the supplement pages. Supplement pages may also display interesting duplicates, small covers, fiscal and local stamps, proofs, freaks and anomalies, etiquettes, cheeky frauds, and even the occasional Cinderella, all of which relate to the classic era of philately.

Although every space in my BB is filled, the activity of collecting goes on. Preening, that is replacing stamps lower in my preference list with stamps higher up, will continue indefinitely. Supplement pages will, no doubt, mushroom.

Recently a friend gave me a stamp that summarizes my collecting philosophy well. It is Scott USA no. 340 with a cancel that reads BUD. The accompanying cert says it is normal, used and genuine. And it’s cheap. I rank it as a #1 preference. 



Bud Cert.
A Note from Jim
I am more than pleased that Bud has agreed to present his 100%! filled Big Blue country pages here. And, clearly, it makes sense, considering the purpose of this blog.

The WW collector is in for a treat, as, to my knowledge, no 100% filled BB has ever been shown for all to see. Hopefully, if one uses Big Blue, or another album, or even stock pages/ books for one's WW collection, the view will inspire.

The pages shown are the '69 BB edition, but be aware that all BB editions from the "69 to the present provide fundamentally the same coverage, except for some page shifting.

Remember to click on a scan page image if one is interested in examining the stamps/issues more closely. That will enlarge the page image. The pages were scanned originally @ 300 dpi resolution, which should provide good detail.

If the scan page image is still not large enough for close examination within the browser window, one does have the option to download the image and examine in the original size.

And, I have also elected to present the page scan images from Big Blue as close-up horizontal page scan strips. As an example, the Afghanistan page 1 scan is followed by three horizontal strip close-up scans of page 1 - labeled 1a, 1b, and 1c. Clicking and enlarging the horizontal strip scan images into the lightbox/gallery viewer should give a much larger enhanced view, suitable for stamp detail identification.

Note that the close-up scan views will be presented for the Big Blue pages only. Bud's supplementary pages will not get the same treatment.

I expect we will publish 1-3 countries of Bud's BB over a three day period. A six day block is reserved for my own posts. The overall cycle will be nine days, then Bud's BB posts will appear again. (Obviously, this cycle plan will vary from time to time.)

An Index to the countries will be added to this BB Introduction post as soon as the country posts begin. There will be a readily accessible index link on the left side of the blog page if one wishes to review Bud's BB country posts.

If one does the mathematics, one can expect this will be a several year project. Yes, eventually we want the whole filled album published, but the journey... let's savor it!

And if a reader has questions or comments, please submit the observation in the "comments" section at the end of every post - including this one!, and either Bud or myself or both! will answer.

Yes, Enjoy!


Index to Countries in Bud's Big Blue
(If the BB scan pages for a country have been posted, there will be a link.)


Chad, Chile, China, Cochin China, Colombia, Confederate States of America












Saar, St. Christopher, St. Helena, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia
Ste. Marie de Madagasgar, St. Pierre and Miquelon, St. Thomas and Prince Islands
St. Vincent , El Salvador, Samoa , San Marino, Sarawak, Sardinia, Saxony, 
Schleswig, Senegal, Senegambia & Niger, Serbia , Seychelles, Shanghai
Sierra Leone, Somalia (Italian Somaliland), Somali Coast (French Somaliland)
Somaliland Prot. (British Somaliland), Union of South Africa , South Australia
Southern Nigeria, Southern Rhodesia, South Russia, South West Africa
Spain, Spanish Guinea, Spanish Morocco, Spanish Sahara, Straits Settlements
Sudan, Surinam , Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria

Tahiti, Tanganyika, Tannu-Tuva, Tasmania, Tete, Thailand (Siam), Thrace
Thurn and Taxis, Tibet, Timor, Tobago, Togo, Tonga, Transcaucasian F.,
Transvaal, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago, Tripolitania, Tunisia, Turkey,
Turkey in Asia, Turks and Caicos I., Turks I.,

Ubangi, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Upper Senegal and Niger,
Upper Silesia, Upper Volta, Uruguay,

Vatican City, Venezuela, Victoria, Virgin I.,
Wallis and Futuna I., Western  Australia, Western Ukraine,Wurttemberg,


Zambezia, Zanzibar, Zululand,

Comments appreciated!


  1. Congratulations to Bud for completing the Volume One and sharing his experiences. And to Jim and Bud for scanning and hosting the images.

  2. Sounds like an awesome treat for all the worldwide collectors. Cannot wait to get the first bites :)


  3. Bob and Keijo: Thanks for your encouragement. I hope folks find the posts useful and entertaining.

  4. One issue that has already been raised is that the whole page scan image within the browser window, even when clicked and expanded, might not be large enough for some purposes.

    Unfortunately, within the confines of the blogger.com options that are available to me, I don't think I can present the page any larger without compromising the aesthetics of the page, or risk it not working in all browsers.

    However, there is a solution. One can always download the page scan image and examine it in the original (300dpi) size.

    I've edited the original post to reflect this additional option/solution.

  5. After some thinking and experimentation, I have also elected to present the page scan images from Big Blue as close-up horizontal page scan strips. As an example, the Afghanistan page 1 scan is followed by three horizontal strip close-up scans of page 1 - labeled 1a, 1b, and 1c. Clicking and enlarging the horizontal strip scan images into the lightbox/gallery viewer should give a much larger enhanced view, suitable for stamp detail identification.

    Note these scan close-ups will only be offered for the Big Blue pages. Bud's supplementary pages will not get the same treatment.

  6. That's a great deal of work, Jim. Thanks.

    1. I think it will definitely enhance the usefulness of the BB scan pages - that should make any extra work worthwhile.

  7. Wow. I waiver. I'm only 1+ years into my project. Seems so daunting. But to know that it has been done.

    1. Joseph- I know how much you have worked on your BB and the checklist, so if anybody can do it, it is you. !!

    2. Best of luck in your search. I'm surprised that I completed BB. And you can do it, too. More important that completing it, though, is enjoying the process of collecting.

  8. Bud, I've been thinking about your workflow. I like it. I hope to emulate it. But what is a household auction?

    1. Literally it is an auction at a house where the owner is selling the contents. If the owner is deceased, it's called an estate sale. Such auctions are common where I live, and widely advertised in newspapers. Auctioneers know I buy stamps, so they send me notices when something is coming up that I might like. Sometimes consignment auctions, where many people are selling things they no longer want, have stamps, too. Check on-line for auction houses near you. There are also some auction houses that specialize in stamp sales. Google "stamp auction" and you'll come up with a patch of them. On the whole, though, household auctions were best for me at the outset, but that was some years ago.

    2. I've never had much luck with auctions or estate sales. I've been to several estate sales and never saw a stamp collection; once saw a coin collection, but no stamps. And many collections I've seen on eBay have been way overpriced. Recently saw a pretty basic collection with mostly common, poor quality stamps listed for $50,000!

    3. No doubt auctions are better in some geographic areas than others. Auctions where I live are frequent, often have stamp collections, and are well advertised. I sometimes use AuctionZip, an online auction promotion site, to locate collections. Sometimes I have to drive 100 miles or so.

  9. Jim,
    I must of missed something...where will you be posting Bud's scans? Are you going to go back to each of your country posts and put them there or they will be part of this post or what? Also, I definitely hope you will be posting his "extra" pages in order to see how he handled all the extra stamps without a dedicated space in BB.

    1. Hi Chris.

      The first post for Bud's BB, Afghanistan, will be published on September 19th. His Aguera and Aitutaki posts will be published on Sept. 20th and 21st respectively. His new posts will be published over a three day window every nine days, and will be hard to miss, as they will be the featured posts during the three day window.

      The posts will indeed show scan images of his supplementary pages, the stamps in his collection that did not make it into BB.

      The Index in this post will be linked to his country posts when they are published, so a reader can check on any or all posts that Bud has published. This "Introduction and Index" post is already located toward the top of the left hand column (look for it), for easy access to the index.

      I hope Chris, this explanation clears up confusion. :-)

    2. Yes Jim, thanks for the clarification! I will look for the posts when they come out. A big thinks to Bud and you for doing this!

  10. Wow, this is very exciting. Congratulations Bud! Thank you for sharing the results of your adventure. And thanks for the hard work of scanning/formatting/posting Jim!


    1. Madbaker - thanks for the kind words.

      Actually, Bud does the major page scans @ 300, and then sends them to me for arranging and posting. So my role is minor - but vital - kind of like a midwife. ;-)

  11. "A 32,900 stamp filled BB , broken down into country lots, recently sold for $35,000 on e-bay."

    Wasn't that Bud's collection? Did he have two complete BigBlue collections?

    1. Chris - perhaps Bud can add to the comment.

      Yes, that was a separate collection that Bud bought to use as a feeder album. The feeder album wasn't complete, but close. He removed some stamps for his own BB collection, and then sold the feeder album off on e-bay.

    2. Jim is correct. The stamps I kept from the one sold on eBay brought me to 383 blank spaces remaining.

  12. I've been enjoying the posts and scans so far - lovely work! I'm confused by what you mean by a 'tip in' though.

    Thought it was a second stamp placed behind, but for Albania it says there re 14 tip ins but I only see one behind.

    please enlighten me! :)


    1. Hi Mark,

      I'm glad you're enjoying the posts.

      By "tip-in" I mean any stamp placed on a regular BB page when there is no space designated for it. In Albania's case, twelve of these are on the last regular BB page at the bottom and two tucked under stamps on previous pages. While we're on Albania, I should reduce the number on supplement pages by one because of the note I inserted on page 1 where no logical stamps fits. So one stamp on the first supplement would have been placed where the note is if BB had provided the right size space for it. Confused? Me too.

  13. Thanks Bud! I didn't notice there was a whole extra row. That makes a lot of sense.

    I'm off to look at Albania in more detail. :)


  14. Let me know if you find something peculiar.

  15. Hi Jim,
    Your pages have helped me a great deal. I have had Volumes 1 & 2 for many years. I have recently started working on my collection again. I have some issues with my eye sight, as I am getting up there is age. Near 70 now. When I cannot find a stamp in Scott's Catalog, then I jump to your site. Fot the life of me I could not find Ponta Delgada, even in the index. It was there, but the tiny print help me miss it. Thanks again for a very useful stamp site!
    Jim in Virginia.

    1. Glad you have found the site useful Jim.
      I notice at my age I do appreciate larger print. ;-)

    2. Sorry we hadn't yet posted the BB Ponta Delgada filled page. We'll get there.

    3. I have a question. What do you do with stamps, that Scott didn't provide places for them, and there are a lot of them?
      JimMac in Virginia

    4. Jim Mac- You will get two answers for the price of one. ;-)

      I don't actually house my stamps in the Scott Big Blue, but rather Steiner pages (I call "Deep Blue"), which usually has a space for all stamps. I keep track of my stamps, based on the checklist, though, so I know how "full" my virtual Big Blue is. :-)

      I'm sure Bud will answer also.

    5. Hi Jim Mac,
      I will add my 2-cents here as well. Most people use blank quadrille pages for their extras. If you only have a few extras, of course, you could just put them in the margins. Big Blue typically has a far amount of extra space on their pages. If you have a lot of extra stamps, best to just use blank/quadrille pages. I've use various kinds of printed labels to label my blank pages, usually just labeling the country name and maybe year date ranges.

      Hope that helps.

  16. Hi again Jim Mac,

    ChrisW's advice is good. I use the plain blank pages (don't like the lines on the quadrilled) and insert them in the album following the standard pages for each country. You can see what it looks like because Jim is posting both my standard album pages and the supplementary pages. Check Chad, just posted, for an example. I kept these pages in a separate box for a long time because I wanted to take apart my album only once rather than every time I had a new page. Also I put in several blank pages if I thought I might get even more stamps that did not fit in BB. Good luck.

    1. I'm sure Bud meant to say to check Cape Juby, which has just been posted. ;-)

    2. I have never heard of the "Steiner pages". I will have to check them out. I am a retired printer, and still have some of equipment left, such as a paper cutter and drill, some paged wound not be too difficult to make. The big problem is trying to stuff all the extra pages into an already over stuff binder.Thanks for all the answers. a good deal of planning ahead.

    3. The Steiner pages are available at...


  17. Really enjoying the scans of the album! Bud and Jim, thank you so much for sharing them.

  18. Hello, excellent Blog. I am enjoying reading it. Please may I add you to my blog list on my own Blog cddstamps.blogspot.com I am Michael Dodd owner of cddstamps.com and perhaps you would add my blog to your list of Great Stamp blogs or the selected blogs list. whichever you think appropriate. my blog currently ranks 45 on blog.feedspot.com Thanks and have a good day Michael

    1. Sure, Michael, no problem.

      And your blog posts look quite interesting, so I will add you to the list!

      All the best!

      Jim Jackson

  19. FYI The French Morocco link above just returns to the home page. Also, what happened to Great Britain?

    1. Fixed. Also Gold Coast was missing. I think with the editing that is done with this page after every Bud entry, there were some mess-ups over time.