Wrybill with characteristic crooked beakBud's Big Blue
Queen Makea Takau (page one, rows one and two) looks sad, down in the mouth. She reminds me of my Aunt May who always looked dejected, although inwardly happy. I hope the same was true for the queen. By all accounts she was kind and generous, as well as regal in bearing. So was Aunt May. BB positioned Makea Takau so that wrybills swoop overhead. I wonder what political whim accounts for her and the birds’ appearances rather than Queen Victoria’s. Other protectorates feature British crowned heads on stamps. I’m glad for the exception.
Raratonga, in the southern group, serves as the Islands’ administrative center, hence the 1919 overprints on New Zealand stamps which were issued 18 years after the Islands became officially a part of that country. Nuie and Aitutaki are closely related philatelically.
If you choose to collect the early “tombstones”, which are not without charm, be sure to check references on forgeries that Jim lists in his post (under the comments section) on Cook Islands.
The Cook Island stamps are a little trickier than I expected. One may need the perforation gauge, watermark tray, and a keen eye for color to differentiate. Also there are no bargains to be had here.
I've really said nothing about the stamp designs themselves. Well, if one examines the Cook Island issues, one will immediately understand their popularity. ;-)
Cook Islands Blog Post and Checklist
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