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, April 8, 2017


1894 Scott 17 2 1/2p lilac & blue "Victoria"
Quick History
Zululand in Southern Africa was a Crown Colony of the British Empire from 1887-1897, but prior had been an independent Zulu Kingdom since 1816.

Expanding Zulu Empire 1816-1828
The rise of the Warrior Culture Zulu Empire under Shaka Zulu forced other Chiefdoms and Clans to flee the surrounding area, where they came into conflict with the Voortrekkers and the British Empire.

Zulu Village 1849
The Zulu population was 250,000 in 1828, and the capital was Bulawayo, then Ulundi. The currency was cattle.

Anglo-Zulu War 1879
Cetshwayo, King of the Zulu, under British Guard
The Zulus initially fought against the Voortrekkers (Boers) in 1838 (Battle of Blood River).

Then there was the inevitable clash with the British in 1878-79, lead by King Cetshwayo.

Battle of Isandlwana 1879
Painting 1885 by Charles Edwin Fripp (1854-1906)
At the Battle of Isandlwana, the Zulu 20,000 warriors killed over 1,300 British soldiers in hand to hand combat on a single day (January 22, 1879). This was the worst ever British Army defeat at the hands of an indigenous enemy.

Zululand 1879
But the Anglo-Zulu War turned to favor the British with the Siege of Ulundi in 1879, and the subsequent  defeat of the Zulu Kingdom.

Zululand 1885
The Zulus were divided into 13 "kinglets" or subkingdoms - and they began to have conflict with each other. The "Zulu Reserve" area was created. The Boers, who had helped Dinuzulu (son of Cetshwayo), fight one of the subkingdoms (Zibhebhu), were given much of the good farmland (Republic of Vryheld). 

Zululand 1890
This alarmed the British, and they annexed Zululand on May 18, 1887, and declared it a Crown Colony. The population was 230,000 (1900), and the capital was Eshowe.

Between May 1, 1888, and March, 1893, an eleven stamp issue was overprinted and released on British stamps.

A Zululand "Victoria" keyplate issue of ten stamps were released between 1894-96.

Zululand was absorbed into Natal on December 31, 1897. Stamps were withdrawn from sale for Zululand on June 30, 1898.

1894 Scott 16 1p lilac & rose "Victoria"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Zululand 1888-1896, 24 major number descriptions. Of those, none are CV <$1-$1+. Raising the bar to CV $3-$10, yields six stamps (12%). Clearly, Zululand is not a bargain for WW collectors, but a few stamps can form a small representative collection.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1888 Scott 1 1/2p vermilion 
Stamps of Great Britain, Overprinted
Between November, 1888- May, 1893, an eleven stamp overprinted Great Britain issue was released. CV is $3-$20+ for five stamps.

Not unexpectedly, prices for stamps on covers range from 20X - 100X the CV of the stamp.

On June 27, 1891, a 1p lilac overprinted Natal revenue stamp (not shown) was declared to be a postage stamp. The CV is only $3+, and there is a space in BB for the stamp.

1894 Scott 15 1/2p lilac & green "Victoria"
Between April, 1894 - February, 1896, a ten stamp keyplate "Victoria" issue was released. CV is $3-$20+ for five stamps.

The highest denomination was 5 pounds (CV $1,900), and Scott states that dangerous forgeries exist. There is also a Scott note that 14 of the 17 agencies/post offices used both violet or black cancellations, so a violet cancellation is not necessarily from revenue use.

Zululand was annexed to Natal in December, 1897. Separate Zululand stamps were discontinued by June 30, 1898.

Aden 1942 Scott 16 1/2a green "Aidrus Mosque"
Why am I showing the Aden 1/2a green here?

Zululand is the last "country" post.

Returning to the beginning, the Aden 1/2a green was the initial image for the Aden first post on February 12, 2011.

The "A to Z" publication of countries in BB is now finished. !!!!!

Zululand in '69 and later Editions of Big Blue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 1/2 page shared with Yemen (last page of BB!), has fourteen spaces, two of which are blank spaces.

Coverage is a rather generous 55%, and includes six spaces for the 1888-93 first issue (Great Britain stamps overprinted), the 1891 Scott 14 1p lilac (On Natal Revenue stamp), and the 1894-96 Victoria keyplate issue- seven spaces.

Because of the generous coverage for a rather expensive colony, there are five stamps with CV $20+, and two additional stamps over the "Most Expensive" threshold ($35+) @ $45 and (forced by a blank space choice) $90. !!

Of interest, the 1940s BB editions had much less generous coverage - one line with six spaces and no expensive stamps. As I mentioned in past blog posts, the common belief that the 1940s BB editions have "better" coverage is not, in fact, true for a number of countries.

And so ends the BB checklist survey. :-) !!!!






A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): 
1888 Scott 3 2p green & red ($20+)
1891 Scott 4 2 1/2p violet/blue ($20+)
1888 Scott 5 3p violet/yellow ($20+)
1888 (Scott 8) 6p violet/rose ($20)
1894 Scott 19 6p lilac & black ($20+)
1894 Scott 20 1sh green ($45)
1896 (Scott 21) 2sh6p green & black ($90)
B) (   ) around a number is a blank space choice.

1894 Scott 18 3p lilac & brown "Victoria"
Out of the Blue
Zululand is most noted for being the very last country listed in the Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue.

What a trip!

Note:Maps, sketches, and paintings in the "Quick History" section appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!


  1. "The "A to Z" publication of countries in BB is now finished. !!!!... What a trip!"

    Could not agree more... Kind of amazed how quickly you covered the world, but I guess time flies when having fun.

    Looking forward to round 2 ;)


    1. Yes, it only took six years and two months. ;-)

      Thanks a lot Keijo, you have been an inspiration to me.

  2. Pop the champagne! Ignite the fireworks! Start the ticker-tape parade! Call out the dancing girls!

    1. I might have some Petite Sirah later. ;-)

      It does feel good.

      Thanks for all of your support Bud!

  3. Congrats, congrats!
    At this point I don't work on my Big Blue without the proper country page (of yours) in front of me. An invaluable, irreplaceable resource. I'll raise my glass in your direction tonight!

    1. Thanks Joe! And thanks for your country count spreadsheet!

  4. Congratulations also from me, Jim! It was an interesting trip and what matters in the end is that your blog will be many years from now on an inspiration for future generations of philatelists. I look forward to the continuation of your blog, because I'm sure that what is good just now coming! Catalin

    1. Thanks for the nice words Catalin. Likewise, your blog postings will live on!

  5. Jim,
    Congratulations on finishing all the A-Z counties in Big Blue! What a great resource for worldwide collectors. I think you and Bob together have single-handedly reinvigorated classic WW stamp collecting (at least for a few of us). I know for me, I can remember back to around 2008 or 2009 after stumbling upon Bob's 'Filling Spaces' blog, I decided to dig out my old Scott Internationals again. And then, a few years later, I found your blog and have been following it ever since.

    Well done! I look forward to what's next.

    1. Thanks Chris- Its been a journey but worth it!

      I think there is indeed a bit more interest in WW the last several years.

  6. What a wonderful journey you have provided all of us with your postings Jim, so happy you made it to the very end!

    1. It does feel good!

      And thanks Gene for your insightful historical observation comments.

  7. I only discovered Big Blu recently and haven't read all of your entries but congrats to the work achieved.

    However does that mean the blog will end?

    Best regards


    1. Hi Axel

      No, the blog will not end- I'm having too much fun. ;-)

      There will be a blog post announcement about future directions in several weeks.

    2. Glad to hear and read Jim. Looking forward to the next instalments...


    3. Anon- There will be some pleasant surprises. ;-)

  8. Many congratulations on reaching the end of the alphabet! I started collecting again about six months before your first posting, and have really found it helpful at every stage...particularly such highlights as Brazil and early Greece. Looking forward to the new plans.

    1. James- glad your journey and my journey were almost in parallel! I think you will like the new planned blog posts.

  9. "The "A to Z" publication of countries in BB is now finished.

    Congratulations!!! A really extensive covering!!!

    1. Thanks Pablo!

      Also, I am going to add your fine "Album de Estampillas" blog to the "More Interesting blogs and websites" list I keep along the left column.


  10. What a terrific blog! I learned so much after grazing through these posts. Thank you for the time spent and the knowledge conveyed. I might just get back in the WW pre-1940 because of these fascinating posts. I realize how little I really knew while collecting as young person years ago.

    1. Thanks for the complements,John.

      I see you are an expert blogger on the automobile and American life. ! :-)

  11. Jim, I've been reading your blog for a few years now -- not from Aden or Afghanistan maybe (remember them?) but from somewhere near there. It has been consistently excellent both with its information about countries and their stamps and with its ability to help generate enthusiasm for worldwide collecting again after it seemed as if it had pretty much died out. The blog has been terrific, and I'm glad to hear it's not ending just yet. Thanks for all your work. I bet you're a little sad it's "over" now.

    1. Thanks for the kind comments, Drew - you have indeed been one of the most faithful readers.

      No, I'm not sad it is over, quite the contrary - I am elated! Now i can have even more fun with the posts. ;-)