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...

Friday, December 22, 2017

Barbados - A Closer Look - Part 1

1875 Scott 51b 1p gray blue "Britannia"
Into the Deep Blue
The original blog post and BB checklist for Barbados is here.

The purpose of this post (and the next) is to take a more in depth look at the classical era Barbados issues.

Location of Barbados
The 2017 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Barbados 1852-1952, 241 major number descriptions. Of those, 88 are CV <$1-$1+, or 36%. Noted is the less expensive stamps are skewed to the later issues: the "Britannia" stamps of 1852-1878 (57 major numbers) are mostly in the $tens-$hundreds category.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
4 Farthings = 1 Penny
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (1950)
1876 Scott 50 1/2p yellow green "Britannia"
Wmk 1
Unlike other colonies, Barbados did not use British stamps at any time. The colonial authorities took over the internal postal responsibilities in 1851, while the British continued to operate the Mail Packet Agency at Bridgetown until 1858 for mail overseas.

The "Britannia" general design for Barbados was shared by Mauritius and Trinidad. The design was based on a Henry Corbould watercolor. Corbould was also responsible for the sketch of Queen Victoria from which the penny black was derived.

The first engraved imperforate Perkins, Bacon & Co stamps were released April 15, 1852.

The "Britannia" issues can be found with blued paper, white paper, multiple shades,various perfs, and watermarked/unwatermarked. Clearly, these issues, because of complexity and expense, tend to be the province of the specialist.

After 1874, De La Rue printed further stamps from the plates.

My 1/2p yellow green example above is such a De La Rue printed stamp with perforation 14, and  British colonial "Crown and C C" (Wmk 1) watermark. Actually, the Perf 14 De La Rue seven stamp issue of 1875-78 is rather inexpensive: CV $1-$10+.

1882 4p slate "Victoria"
Wmk 2
The more generic conventional typographic "Victoria" issue of nine stamps was released between 1882-85. CV ranges from $1+ to $8+ for six stamps.

1892 Scott 69 1/2p on 4p brown "Victoria"
In July, 1892, the 4p brown, originally issued in 1885, was surcharged "half-penny" by the West Indian Press. Be aware that errors exist for the overprint, and are worth much more than the usual CV $2+.

1892 Scott 78 10p blue green & carmine
"Seal of Colony"; Wmk 2
Between 1892-1903, an eleven stamp typographic set was released featuring the "Seal of Colony".

Note the watermark is "Crown and C A" (Wmk 2). There will be a later issue with a different watermark (Wmk 3).

CV ranges from <$1 to $10 for nine stamps.

I might want to mention here a "Dag Hammarskjold invert" situation that happened to Barbados much earlier- in 1907.

Here is the story:

The sole 1907 semi-postal stamp for the classical era for Barbados used the underlying 1899 Scott 73 2p slate & orange of this 1892-1903 issue, and surcharged it in red "Kingston Relief Fund 1d".

 A sheet of inverted surcharges was found in the initial supply. In order to devalue for stamp collectors any inverted surcharge stamps, an entire large printing of inverted surcharge stamps was produced on Feb 25, 1907. They are now quite numerous, and, in fact, are less valuable CV wise than the upright surcharge ( $2 vs $7).

A version of the Barbados badge as published by the Admiralty
The seal or badge of the colony was designed in about 1880, and shows the ruler in a seahorse drawn car. The image was that of a crowned queen with orb and trident, obviously representing Victoria during her reign. The badge remained in use until 1966, when a new flag was adopted for independence.

1897 Scott 84 2 1/2p ultramarine
"Badge of Colony"; Wmk 2
Victoria Jubilee Issue
In 1897, for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, a nine stamp set was released.

CV is <$1-$1 for four stamps. The rest of the stamps are CV $20+-$60+.

There are also minor number bluish paper varieties extant.

1904 Scott 90 1f gray & carmine
"Seal of Colony"; Wmk 3
Badge Type of 1892-1903
Between 1904-1910, a "Badge type of 1892-1903"  twelve stamp issue was released. This issue was on watermarked "Multiple Crown and C A" (Wmk 3) paper. Since some of the stamps are identical in denomination/color to the 1892-1903 set, watermarking will need to be done for identification.

CV is <$1-$3+ for six stamps.

If one needs to review the watermarks, check Gibraltar or other British colony posts.

1906 Scott 106 2 1/2p ultramarine & black
"Lord Nelson Monument"; Wmk 1
For the centenary of Lord Nelson. a seven stamp engraved set was released in 1906, showing the first monument erected in Barbados to Nelson's memory in 1813.

Note the watermark is "Crown and C C" (wmk 1). A later similar issue will have a different watermark.

CV is <$1-$3 for four stamps.

Death of Nelson by Daniel Maclise (Houses of Parliament, London)
"England expects that every man will do his duty": Lord Nelson
Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson was a naval war hero, known especially for his exploits during the Napoleonic Wars. He was killed during his final victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. By his death, he became one of Britain's most heroic figures. His body was brought back to England for a state funeral.

1906 Scott 109 1p black,green & blue
The "Olive Blossom"
Tercentenary of  the 1st British landing
For the tercentenary of the first British landing in 1605*, a single engraved tri-color stamp was issued in 1906 by De la Rue of London. CV is <$1.

*Of interest, many historical accounts had an erroneous date for the 1st British landing: It was in fact 1625, not 1605.

Janet Klug, the well known prolific writer of articles for Linn's, believes, that, after the Canada 1929 Schooner Bluenose stamp, the "Olive Blossom" stamp might very well be the most striking.

The stamp was designed by Lady Gertrude Carter, an accomplished American artist, and the second wife of Sir Gilbert Thomas Carter, the governor of Barbados.

Her grandson, Nick Carter, became the president of the American Philatelic Society for 2007-08!

Well, what about the history that the stamp commemorates?

"The Olive Blossom",an English ship, landed in Barbados in 1625, and the ship's crew claimed the land in the name of King James I. Settlers arrived in 1627.  Barbados became, first, a prosperous sugar colony, then the regional center of the African slave trade, until slavery was outlawed in 1897.

1907 Scott 110 1f gray & black
"Lord Nelson Monument"; Wmk 3
Nelson Type of 1906
In 1907, a "Nelson Type of 1906" engraved issue of three stamps was released. Note the watermark is "Multiple Crown and C A" (Wmk 3).

CV is $6+-$10 for two stamps.

1912 Scott 123 6p violet & red violet
"George V & Seal of Colony"
With George V on the throne of Great Britain, a typographic eleven stamp issue with his visage and the seal of Barbados was released in 1912. There were actually three designs, with a larger format stamp for the higher denominations.

CV is <$1-$7 for seven stamps.

The definitive issues to come (1916-1947) did away with portraits of monarchs, and featured the "Seal of the Colony" design. This will be explored further in the next Barbados blog post.

1934 Scott J2 1p black
Between 1934-1947, a three stamp typographic postage due issue, very utilitarian, and similar to other British colonies, was issued for Barbados.

Be on the lookout for 1p bisects (for 1/2p usage), that were authorized for use between March, 1934-February,1935. Properly franked commercial covers have a CV of $2,500!

1950 Scott J4 1c green
With the currency change to Cents/Dollars in 1950, a new three stamp issue of postage dues was released in 1950.

CV is <$1-$1.

1917 Scott MR1 1p carmine
1912 Scott 118 Overprinted
War Tax Stamp
Finally, the sole "War Tax" stamp issued by Barbados is this one: a 1917 1p carmine. Contrast that with the Bahamas, which had 14 War Tax stamps!

Deep Blue
1935 Silver Jubilee Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 24 pages for the 1852-1952 stamps of Barbados. All the Scott major numbers have a space.

For the general WW collector, perhaps the Steiner pages are  a bit overkill for the earlier issues. My "Britannia" holdings only begin after three empty pages!

1892 Scott 79 2sh6p slate & orange
"Seal of Colony"
Out of the Blue
Do you think the 1907 "Olive Blossom" stamp is in the same league for beauty as the Bluenose?

I will continue with Part 2 for Barbados in the next blog post.

Note: "Death of Nelson" painting image, Barbados badge image, and map all appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!


  1. Excellent post. I've found that early Barbados stamps are more easily collected that many British colonies. Feeder albums often have a good selection. The Olive Blossom is great, and so are the seahorses.

    1. Good comments, Bud, and I agree.

      Here is a link to Bud's Big Blue for Barbados.


  2. While it has been a long time since I commented, I continue to be amazed by your work. What caught my eye is the misspelling of Ms. Klug's name. She deserves our respect for all her work.

    1. Well, that one missed the final screen for errors. I agree that Janet Klug is a treasure for WW collectors. Thanks for the alert actuary.