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, April 30, 2017

Kimble's May Postmark Calendar

Kimble's May Calendar
Into the Deep Blue
As a collaborative project, Dan and I are presenting a postmark calendar for all 366 possible days of the year, represented by interesting appropriate date cancellation stamps from the Kimble collection.

We are publishing, during 2017, a monthly blog post with the date postmarks for that month for everyone's enjoyment.

The introduction, dedication, and links to the other months that have been published, is included with
the January post.

May Postmark Calendar

May 1
Austria 1908 Scott 111 2h blue violet
"Maria Thersea"

May 2
Great Britain 1881 Scott 89 1p lilac "Victoria"

May 3
Belgium 1900 Scott 66 10c bright rose "Leopold II"
Brussels Quittances Depot

May 4
Canada 1873 Scott 37 3c orange red "Victoria"
Peterborough, Ontario. Nickname is the "Electric City", is first town in Canada to use electric streetlights.

May 5
USA 1893 Scott 231 2c violet brown
Landing of Columbus"

May 6
USA 1918 Scott 525 1c gray green
"George Washington"

May 7
Belgium 1905 Scott 85 10c dull rose
"King Leopold"
Probably ANVERS (SUD). Thanks Axel for the identification.

May 8
USA 1918 Scott 525 1c gray green
"George Washington"
Grand Central Station, New York.

May 9
Austria 1875 Scott 56 5kr brose "Franz Josef"
Fine Print

May 10
USA 1948 Scott 961 3c blue
"Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge"
State College, Pennsylvania. Note the finely placed postmark? I suspect this ten year old stamp, at the time of mailing, was from correspondence of the American Philatelic Society, which was located in State College then.

May 11
Austria 1883 Scott 43 5kr rose 
"Coat of Arms"

May 12
Belgium 1905 Scott 85 10c dull rose
"King Leopold"
Ghent, Belgium

May 13
USA 1864 Scott R15 2c Internal Revenue orange

May 14
Costa Rica 1923 Scott 118 2c yellow
"Harvesting Coffee"
San Jose, Costa Rica

May 15
Great Britain 1881 Scott 89 1p lilac "Victoria"

May 16
Portugal 1882 Scott 60 25r brown
"King Luiz"

May 17
Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika 1935 Scott 49
15c red & black "Mount Kilimanjaro"
Tanga, on the north coast of Tanganyika. Thanks Gene for the identification.

May 18
Belgium 1884 Scott 52 10c rose/bluish
"King Leopold II"
Dison, Belgium is a small town, a Walloon municipality, in the province of Liege.

May 19
USA 1853-55 Scott 11A 3c dull red, Type II
"George Washington"
New York

May 20
USA 1913 Scott 424 1c green "Washington"

May 21
Austria 1863 Scott 19 5kr rose
"Coat of Arms"
"May 21st is about a postmark from Mödling, Austria - the capital of the Austrian district of the same name located approximately 14 km south of Vienna." - Thanks Catalin!

May 22
Great Britain 1881 Scott 89 1p lilac "Victoria"

May 23
Great Britain 1887 Scott 111 1/2p vermilion

May 24
Austria 1875 Scott 57 10kr blue "Franz Josef"
Fine Print
Rzeslow, Poland?

May 25
France 1892 Scott 103 15c blue, Quadrille paper
"Peace and Commerce"
Rue du Colombiers post office. Could be in Orleans, Tours, or Angers. Thanks Axel for the identification.

May 26
Guatemala 1945 Scott C128 5c deep rose
"Allegory of the Revolution" Type

May 27
New Zealand 1915 Scott 159 1sh vermilion
"George V"

May 28
Great Britain 1902 Scott 127 1/2p gray green "Edward VII"

May 29
Netherlands 1894 Scott 36 2c olive yellow
"Numeral of value"
Leiden, Netherlands

Of interest, Scott labels the "olive yellow" color (which this appears to be) to have been issued in 1894. The postmark, though, is May 29, 1893. ;-) The stamp was issued earlier (1876?) in a yellow color (Scott 36a). This stamp, then, was available in 1893, but what color in 1893, is what we see, unless there is a bit of chemical changeling going on - certainly possible.

May 30
Chile Revenue stamp

May 31
Belgium 1902 Scott Q36 50c pale rose & violet
"Winged Wheel"
Brussels. Post Office: Chaussee de Louvain (Road to Louvain). Thanks Axel for the identification.

Denmark  1927 Scott 195 30o ocher "Caravel"
Out of the Blue
Some of the postmarks are identified, others are not. Help from readers is appreciated. ;-)

Note: all of the stamps featured for the post are part of the Kimble collection.

Comments appreciated!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Big Blue Checklist is Completed! What is next?

Mascot stamp: Austria Offices in the Turkish Empire
1908 Scott 49 1 Piaster deep blue/blue "Franz Josef I"
The Big Blue Picture
On February 12, 2011, "Aden", the first country blog post and checklist, was published. Now, six plus years and 400 country posts and checklists later, the primary goal has been reached- The checklist for Big Blue (Scott International Part I 1840-1940) is complete!

< Author dancing a triple time jig, while Larme de Rouge (red port) awaits. >

Truthfully, this became a larger project than was anticipated at the outset.  I elected to do a more thorough review, with historical and philatelic information added for each country. And it was as fun as it appeared!

This might be a good time to download a copy of the checklist(s) for your personal use.

For comments about the use of the checklists and further links about the checklist, see the appendix at the end of this section.

And one more thing...

Author's copy of Big Blue Checklist
Spiral bound, 107 double-sided pages
Formatted by Chris Whitehouse
A special bonus for those that would like a compact BB checklist for their own use!

Wait! There is more! An Excel Spreadsheet Big Blue Country Collection Inventory!

Chris Whitehouse, a reader of this blog, and a user of the checklists, has graciously let myself and all readers have access to his compact checklist, and Excel BB Collection Inventory.

In his words...

Well, as promised, I wanted to provide you with a couple of "Big Blue Inventory" projects I have been working on.  I made these for my own use with my collection, but would be happy if you wanted to share them with your readers.

Big Blue Checklist Page - Formatted into three columns
Printed from a PDF File
First, is a consolidated Big Blue Checklist I put together in a PDF book format.  It is basically your checklist in a 3-column format that is 215 pages including the title page I made.  Of course, folks can do with it what they want, but it would be reasonable to send it to a printer and have it printed out and bound into a single volume book with plastic spiral binding.  Then one could simply use a pen/pencil or highlighter to mark off the stamps they own and easily see what they need, etc.  Would be nice and compact to carry to stamp shows, dealers, clubs, etc.

Big Blue Country Inventory 1997 Edition 
Joe Lill & Chris Whitehouse Enhanced Spreadsheet
Second, is an Excel spreadsheet Big Blue collection inventory.  Now, full disclosure, I started with the 1997 BB edition spreadsheet made by Joe Lill and provided by him on your blog some years ago.  So all the counts for the possible stamps for each country are his. However, I modified it in several ways.  I wanted to be able to capture all the "extra" stamps that we put either in the margins of the pages or on added blank pages, so I added a column for "Extras" that will be incorporated into the total count.  I also added a column that will give you the % completion for each country in addition to the total % completion.  Also, I "programmed in" a red/yellow/green color scheme to each % completion cell so that if you are below 20% = red; above 80% = green; between 20-80% = yellow.  That way, you can at a glance see the overall stasis of each country and the total collection.  I also added a "Summary Statistics" table at the end that will summarize all your data.

I plan on starting to use these for my general WW collection in Big Blue and hope they might be useful for others too.

Chris Whitehouse

The compact BB checklist in PDF format is available here.

The addendum compact BB checklist in PDF format for U.S.A. & Confederate States  is available here.

The Index (from Axel-thanks!) for the BB compact checklist in PDF format is available here.

(Errata update for The Index:
Bolivia is found on page 20.)

The compact BB checklist in Word format is available here.

(Errata Update on compact BB checklist:
For British Guiana, page 25, add..


1935 Silver Jubilee

1937 Coronation


The Excel Spreadsheet Big Blue Country Collection Inventory is available here.

(Errata Update on Excel BB Country Inventory spreadsheet: after downloading, change the total number of spaces for Philippines to 217, Southern Nigeria to 14, Southern Rhodesia to 51, and Wurttemberg to 180. Total should be 33933. Thanks to Joe Lill for checking.)

Wow! I am blown away - and I'm sure the readers are too - with the fine work and generosity of Chris! We are deeply grateful.

Canada 1929 Scott 158 50c dark blue
Schooner "Bluenose"
Valedictory observations....

I'm more convinced than ever that continuing with the BB checklist, even after I decided to use the Steiner PDF pages (Deep Blue) for my collection, was a good idea. It gave me and gives me a tangible and reachable goal for a country, and I feel better about leaving expensive spaces empty in Steiner. 

 And a most grateful thanks to the blog and website authors listed along the left column, - I learn a lot from them. And thanks specifically to Bob of "Filling Spaces" blog fame, who gave me the Big Blue checklist idea,.... Bob, look what you caused! 

* Where to go from here? Well, check the "Out of the Blue" section below!

USA 1847 Scott 2 10c black/bluish
"George Washington"

BB Checklist Comments....

* The checklist is intended for personal use only- no commercial use, or further publication by third parties. This is my work solely, and I have author rights.

* The Scott numbers are clearly copyrighted by Scott/Amos. and all Scott catalogue number rights- and restrictions -  in terms of use of the Scott catalogue numbers- reside with them.

* The general checklist(s) are stripped of all comments and specific valuations. Comments and observations regarding the checklist are found in the "Big Blue" section of each country post. And all valuations $10 or greater are noted there.

* Recall the checklist almost always follows the actual '69 edition BB exactly,  So some Scott numbers do not appear sequential, if in fact that is how the spaces are presented on the page. The advantage is the album page and the checklist should have a 1:1 correlation- very easy to check what you have or don't have.

 The later BB editions (example:1997)  also follow the checklist without major problems, except the edition may start a new page for a category. The '41/'43/'47 editions follow about 90% of the time - But the first page and the end of category sections may be different.

 This is not a spreadsheet,  but a checklist with spatial clues. 

However, there is a project afoot to put the BB checklist into an Excel format. For current information on that see..


And, as a "teaser", there will be an announcement regarding more BB checklist spreadsheets available by another contributor soon. !

* The checklist is "living", that is I actively correct the (fortunately few!) mistakes that have crept in as they are discovered, or are brought to my attention by readers. I have also gone back and added new active numbers (example: the Portuguese colonies "Ceres" issue Scott catalogue revision).

For further information on the checklists see:

Big Blue Checklist- How it is Done

Colombia States - 1880 Bolivar Scott 27
"Bolivar"; Bluish Laid Paper
Out of the Blue
Well, where do I- and the blog- go from here?

Admittedly, the primary goal - the reason for beginning the blog posts- is finished. The BB checklist(s) have been published for all the countries and spaces in Big Blue 1840-1940.

Here is what I have in mind...

* Bud's Big Blue - a scan of all the pages of Bud's completed! Big Blue album - will continue at least for several more years. Thanks Bud for sharing your wonderful full pages of BB!

* My internal standards for blog country posts have become a bit more exacting. I plan to return to the first one-third of countries in BB and expand the initial post, probably with an auxiliary post focusing on the country's stamp issues themselves. And I will substitute/improve the stamp scans for a number of posts.

* I have had to be single minded (goal oriented and time aware) with the blog, as I needed to publish some 400 posts to finish the BB checklist. That has been accomplished. I can now afford to wander in terms of topic, country, stamp issue, or contemporary observations about the current state of our hobby.

* Already in the hopper, ready to be published, are more in-depth articles. As "teaser" examples, there is a post about the myriad Argentina watermarks seen during the classical era, and five posts looking at the early issues of Austria. !

* I plan to keep it simple and fun for myself and the readers. Frankly, I see this as a hobby- nothing more, nothing less.

Comments about all of this are welcome!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Canal Zone - Bud's Big Blue

1924 Scott 74 & 1927 Scott 103 dark blue 
"Theodore Roosevelt"; Type A & Type B Overprint
A Man, a Plan, a Canal, Panama
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Bully for the Canal Zone!

One might have thought Teddy Roosevelt would have figured more prominently in early Canal Zone stamps than he has; there’s only one likeness of him among BB’s selections, and it’s an overprinted US definitive. True, there are two iterations (see above); different overprints.

Beginning in 1928 several lesser lights got immortalized on CZ stamps, some of whom have yet to earn even brief Wikipedia bios. Sad. Teddy had to wait until 1946 for proper commemoration. The US pre-depression political climate had shifted against him, probably rendering any postal recognition repugnant. No stamp glory. His cousin, a noted philatelist with the same last name, may have authorized the 1946 stamp.

So much for the rant.

I enjoy close study of the 1939 “before and after” anniversary series. It shows how the canal transformed Panama’s topography.

 I also like the classic palindrome.

Census: 104 in BB spaces, 1 tip-in, 18 on supplement page.

Jim's Observations
Interesting area and history; at least for the U.S. collector.

A bit on the expensive side also. The overprinted 1924-25 "Canal Zone" J14 U.S. 10c deep claret postage due is $50. 

On the other hand, Big Blue didn't include the 1933 and 1939 overprinted U.S. stamps (Scott 115 3c deep violet, Scott 118 1/2c red orange, Scott 119 1 1/2 bister brown ) for CV <$1. 

A curious omission for a U.S. customer based album.

Canal Zone Blog Post and Checklist

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