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...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wallis & Futuna Islands

1920 Scott 3 4c blue/orange "Kagu"
New Caledonia Stamps of 1905-28 Overprinted
Quick History
Wallis & Futuna are island groups in the South Pacific Ocean,  northeast of Fiji.

During the classical era, they were considered a Dependency of the French Colony of New Caledonia.

Wallis & Futuna in the South Pacific
The population was 6,200 circa 1940, and the chief towns were Mata-Utu, Wallis Island, and Sigave on Futuna Island (also known as the Hoorn Islands).

The two island groups are 160  miles (260 km) apart. 

The highest point is Mont Puke on Futuna at 1,719 feet (524 metres).

Wallis & Futuna Islands
The Queen of Uvea on Wallis Island signed a treaty on April 5, 1887 establishing a French protectorate. Likewise, the Kings of Sigave and Alo of the islands of Futuna and Alofi signed a French protectorate treaty on February 16, 1888. They became a dependency of the French colony of New Caledonia.

The culture of the three Polynesian Kingdoms was and is quite similar to that of Samoa and Tonga.

In 1917, the three Polynesian kingdoms became the Colony of Wallis and Futuna, still as a dependency of New Caledonia.

Stamps were introduced in 1920, using overprinted New Caledonia stamps. In fact, all of the 1920-1940 issues for Wallis & Futuna Islands use overprinted New Caledonia stamps.

A pro-Vichy administration was operational during WW II, until a Free French warship from New Caledonia deposed the regime on May 26, 1942. 

In 1961, the islands became a French Overseas Territory.

The economy is somewhat limited, consisting of subsistence agriculture (coconuts, vegetables, pigs), and fishing.

Currently, more than 16,000 expatriates live in New Caledonia, more than the total population today of Wallis and Futuna.

1924 Scott 33 25c on 2fr carmine/blue "Ship"
Stamps and Types of 1920 Surcharged
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Wallis & Futuna Islands 1920-1940, 119 major number descriptions. Of those, 72 are CV <$1-$1+, or 61%. The WW collector should have no problem, finance wise, accumulating a representative collection.

Other than the common design types, all stamps of Wallis & Futuna during the classical era are overprinted stamps or types of New Caledonia.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
Note: I have more about these issues in the New Caledonia blog post.

1920 Scott 1 1c black/green "Kagu"
New Caledonia Stamps of 1905-28 Overprinted
The first 1920-28 issue for Wallis & Futuna consisted of 28 black or red overprinted stamps of 1905-28 New Caledonia.

1922 Scott 21 50c dark blue "Landscape"
CV for the 1920-28 issue is <$1-$2+ for 23 stamps.

1922 Scott 30 0.02c on 15c violet
Blue Surcharge
In 1922, the 1920 Scott 9 15c violet stamp was surcharged with four values and four colors (black, blue, green, red), creating a four stamp issue.

1924 Scott 34 25c on 5fr black/orange "Ship"
Stamps and Types of 1920 Surcharged in Black or Red
Between 1924-27, stamps and types of the 1920 issue were surcharged in black or red. The ten stamp issue is CV $1-$2+ for six stamps.

1930 Scott 44 2c dark brown & yellow green
"Bay of Paletuviers Point"
Stamps and Types of New Caledonia, 1928-40
Overprinted as in 1920
Released between 1930-40, a 42 stamp overprinted issue using New Caledonia stamps and types of 1928-40 was produced.

 1930 Scott 57 50c violet & brown 
"Landscape with Chief's House"
CV for the 42 stamp issue is <$1-$3+ for 38 stamps. Quite inexpensive.

1940 Scott 69 1fr brown red & green
"Admiral de Bougainville and Count de La Perouse"
The 42 stamp issue of 1930-40 has a couple of interesting twists if one follows them into the 1940s.

The Vichy government reissued six of the overprinted stamps in 1944 without the "RF". They were never placed on sale in Wallis & Futuna.

And, between 1941-43, 33 of the stamps had an additional "France Libre" applied.

1920 Scott J2 10c brown/buff
"Men Poling Boat"
Postage Due Stamps of New Caledonia, 1906
Overprinted in Black or Red
In 1920, the 1906 postage due stamps of New Caledonia, overprinted in black or red, were used for Wallis & Futuna on eight stamps. CV is $1+-$3+ for the issue.

1930 Scott J18 30c blue green & olive green
"Malayan Sambar"
Postage Due Stamps of New Caledonia, 1928
Overprinted as in 1920
Finally, in 1930, a thirteen stamp overprinted postage due issue was produced using the 1928 New Caledonia postage due issue. CV is <$1-$1+.

Deep Blue
1920-28 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has nine pages for the 1920-1940 stamps of Wallis & Futuna Islands. All major Scott numbers have a space.

1920 Scott J1 5c ultramarine/azure 
"Men Poling Boat"
Postage Due Stamps of New Caledonia, 1906
Overprinted in Black or Red
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on four pages, has 104 spaces for the stamps of Wallis & Futuna. Coverage is a remarkable 87%!

To wit, the 1930-40  stamp issue of 42 stamps is covered by Big Blue with 41 stamps, save the Scott 70 1.10fr deep green & brown (CV $30+). Very nice indeed!

There are only three spaces that require a CV $10+ stamp.




Next Page


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Postage Due





A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1928 Scott 28 5fr black/orange ($10+)
1927 Scott J9 2fr on 1fr bright violet ($10+)
1927 Scott J10 3fr on 1fr orange brown ($10+)

1930 Scott J12 4c brown red & blue green
"Malayan Sambar"
Postage Due Stamps of New Caledonia, 1928
Overprinted as in 1920
Out of the Blue
Like to get away? The island of Futuna has 12 miles of roads, none of which are paved. Leava, the chief village and administrative center of the chiefdom of Sigave on Futuna, has a current population of 480.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?


  1. Hi, Jim! These stamps could be a nice part of an ovp collection, with many pieces to study. By the way, you already reached the 'W' letter!? What will happen next? :) Catalin

    1. Hi Catalin

      In a way I will be starting over, but there will be a blog post that will be more specific. ;-)

  2. Hi Jim. Great post as usual. Given the small population and incredible number of classical issues for Wallis & Futuna, can I assume most of these French colony stamps were collector driven?

    I would've expected islands this small would've been a "two line" country rather than "four pages". :)


    1. Hi Mark

      Good observation.

      Wallis & Futuna is fairly typical in terms of the number of stamps produced..that is other French colonies likewise produced this number. But, yes, no doubt the majority of stamps were collector driven.

      "Used" is a bit more valuable CV wise than "unused" for most W & F stamps. But, considering how few were legitimately postally used, one would expect that "used" would have a much higher CV. Probably, this reflects collectors greater desire, in general, for unused.

      The saving grace for French colony stamps (compared to British colony) is they tend to be much reasonally priced CV wise.

  3. "In a way I will be starting over, but there will be a blog post that will be more specific. ;-)"

    Nice cryptic clue...can't wait to see what you have in mind next.

    1. Hi Chris

      Yes, that is all I want to say at the moment. ;-)