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...

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Fiji - Bud's Big Blue

1870-71 Fiji Times 1p black/pink
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Because Great Britain was slow in issuing stamps for Fiji, a newspaper stepped forward to fill the void (see above). The operation was quickly shut, but the stamps command high prices if they’re genuine. 

The blue one penny with the left corner void (top row page 1) is a known variety. Several early Fijian stamps have rosy asking prices on internet auctions, but they sell poorly. For optimistic dealers Fiji has become Fantasy Island.

Census: 52 in BB spaces, nine tip-ins.

Jim's Observations
The earlier issues are expensive. But more notably, except for two stamps, they do not show a portrait of Queen Victoria. Rather, they have a "Crown and C.R. (Cakobau Regina)" or a "Crown and V.R. (Victoria Regina)" design, or a "V.R." overprint.

There is a nice "Fijian Canoe" design  found on four stamps between 1893-96. 

After 1903 with the King Edward VII issue, Fijian stamps follow the more traditional British Colony patterns.

Fiji Blog Post and BB Checklist

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Note: Fiji Times header stamp from an Internet source appears to be public domain.

Comments appreciated!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Bechuanaland Protectorate - A closer look at the stamps

1897 Scott 72 3p violet/yellow
Stamps of GB 1881-87, Overprinted in Black
Into the Deep Blue
Bechuanaland Protectorate (white, with pink outline)
 and British Bechuanaland (pink) - 1887
The lands north of the Molopo River were proclaimed a British Protectorate on September 30, 1885, "at the request of the native Tswana chiefs". The sister lands south of the Molopo River became a crown colony, British Beuchuanaland. Both were administered out of British Beuchuanaland : Vryburg (to 1895), then Mafeking. In fact, one postal administration serviced both the Colony and the Protectorate after June, 1890. And, after 1890, stamps of British Bechuanaland were also used in the Protectorate until 1897.

The two sister territories eventually had much different fates, however. British Bechuanaland was absorbed into Cape Colony (1895), and then into South Africa. Bechuanaland Protectorate became independent Botswana in 1966.

The original Bechuanaland Protectorate blog post with BB checklist is here.

The 2017 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Bechuanaland Protectorate 1888-1949 (& two 1958 postage due stamps ), 103 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 30, or 29%, are CV <$1-$1+. The figure is misleading, however, as the earlier Protectorate stamps tend to be somewhat expensive to very expensive ($10+-$1000+).

BTW, the close historical linkage between British Bechuanaland and the Protectorate is evident in the Scott catalogue, as the Protectorate stamps begin with Scott number 51, while the Colony stamps have numbers 1-42. Clearly, at one time, the Scott catalogue had the two entities listed together.

Sketch Map of South Africa 1896
Showing Railways, Telegraphs, and Boundaries
The rudimentary Bechuanaland Protectorate postal system began in 1888, and used runners to go between villages - namely a 500 mile route from Mafeking to Bulawayo across the Protectorate. Stamps of British Bechuanaland (1887 Scott 10 1/2p vermilion) were overprinted "Protectorate" in black, and used between 1888-1890. These are rather expensive (CV $10+-$200+), and I don't have any.

The runner post was replaced a year later by a mule drawn cart service between the rail head at Vryburg and Shoshong  (Palapye) in the Protectorate.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1897 Scott 69 1/2p vermilion
Stamps of GB 1881-87, Overprinted in Black
In 1897, six 1881-87 stamps of Great Britain were overprinted as shown for use in the Protectorate.

The sixteen stamps issued prior between 1888-1890 are rather expensive to very expensive ($thousands), and probably divide the specialist from the WW collector. Since I'm a WW collector, I feel content beginning with the 1897 issue. ;-)

1897 Scott 71 2p green & catmine
Stamps of GB 1881-87, Overprinted in Black
CV for the six stamp issue ranges from <$1 to $10+ for four stamps.

One of the more interesting things to do with old colony or protectorate stamps is to identify the postmark. Alas, in this case, I haven't been able to do it.

1902 Scott 75 1/2p blue green
On GB Scott 125
On February 25, 1902,  a single stamp- the 1/2p blue green- was issued. CV is $1+ for unused.

1905 Scott 77 1p carmine "Edward VII"
Stamps of GB, 1902, Overprinted in Black
Between 1904-12, a a four stamp issue of "Edward VII" Great Britain was overprinted for the Protectorate. CV is <$1-$10+ for three stamps.

Lobatsi (now Lobatse) north of Mafeking
The postmark above is from Lobatsi (now Lobatse), north of Mafeking.

1912 Scott 82 1p scarlet "George V"
GB Scott 154 Overprinted
In 1912, the "George V" GB Scott 154 was overprinted for the Protectorate.

This is a clear February 2, 1915 date usage, although the town is not clear 

1915 Scott 84 1p scarlet "George V"
Between 1913-24, nine GB stamps of 1912-13 were overprinted as shown.  CV is <$1-$10 for eight stamps.

Pitsani is on the north bank of the Molopo river. One of the subsidized schools for Europeans was located there. Postal services were open 1898-99, and then after 3-1-1920.

BTW, circa 1920, the population of the Protectorate was  125,350, of which 1,692 are Europeans.

1924 Scott 86b 2p orange 
It is tough figuring out the postmark, but I believe  this is Pilane (Station), which was established  May, 1928. It was a  Postal agency under Mafeking, used to be called Mochudi Station

1926 Scott 102 4p slate green
Between 1925-27, seven stamps of 1924 GB were overprinted as shown. CV is $1+-$10+ for six stamps.

1932 Scott 107 2p red brown
George V, Cattle and Baobab Tree
In 1932 a twelve stamp set was released, all with this design, showing George V, cattle drinking, and a Baobab tree.

Baobab trees can be found anywhere in present day Botswana, north of the Tropic of Capricorn (north of 23 degrees south equatorial latitude), about the upper two-thirds of the country.

This stamp has a Lobatsi postmark.

1932 Scott 108 3p ultramarine
CV for the twelve stamp set is <$1-$3+ for seven stamps. The five higher denominations have a CV of $20+-$300.

1938 Scott 125 1p rose carmine
George VI, Cattle and Baobab Tree
The same Cattle-Baobab Tree design was used for the 1938 eleven stamp set, except George VI visage was inserted.

The postmark is probably  Palapye (Palapye Station, Palachwe (earlier cancellations exist, but had a post office from March, 1937).

Palapye to Francistown
This map shows the north-south route from Mahalapye to Palapye to Francistown.

1938 Scott 126 1 1/2p light blue
And here is a Francistown postmark.

1938 Scott 130 6p rose violet
Ramotsa (Ramoutsa) postmark. Ramotsa is a village south west of Gaberones, now Botswana's capital. The Lobatsi map presented earlier also shows the location of Ramotsa (Ramoutsa).

1938 Scott 133 2sh6p black & carmine
CV for the eleven stamp set is <$1-$20+. Note the design resembles somewhat the "Nile Crocodile - Mountains" stamps of Basutoland.

1926 Scott J2 1/2p emerald
PD stamps of GB Overprinted
In 1926, a two stamp issue for postage due purposes was released. These are overprinted on GB postage due stamps. CV is $10+.

1932 Scott J4 1/2p olive green
In 1932, a three stamp postage due issue was released.  Note one can see Wmk 4 ("Multiple Crown and Script C A ") watermark on the white oval background.

1958 Scott J5a 1p carmine
Chalky Paper
Of interest, in 1958, the 1p carmine and the 2p violet of this 1932 design was released on chalk surfaced paper. They are given bolded minor numbers in Scott. CV is $1+.

Deep Blue
1938 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has ten pages for the 1888-1949 stamps of Bechuanaland Protectorate. All of the major Scott numbers have a space.

1906 Scott 76 1/2p gray green "Edward VII"
Stamps of GB, 1902, Overprinted in Black
Out of the Blue
This area of colonial Africa (British Bechuanaland, Bechuanaland Protectorate) is surprisingly rewarding for WW collectors.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

British Bechuanaland
Bechuanaland Protectorate - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fernando Po - Bud's Big Blue

Fernão de Pó
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Fernando Poo’s (FP) stamps generally have low CVs, as Jim observes elsewhere in this blog, but they’re hard to find. So, unless you’re desperate to fill BB’s spaces, don’t pay the high prices that some dealers ask. Wait for lower prices or an online auction that attracts little attention. It may take a while.

Mother Spain didn’t listen well to FP’s need for particular stamps, hence the 5 centimos overprints on many other denominations (see supplement). I’ve arranged the supplement stamps in Scott Catalog order, but haven’t studied them closely.

Which is correct -- Po or Poo? If you go with the stamps’ inscription, it’s Poo. If you favor the name of the first Portuguese navigator to visit the island, as BB does, it’s Po. If your FP collection has a forgery in it, it’s a shampoo. (Sorry).

Census: 23 in BB spaces, four tip-ins, 69 on supplement pages.

Jim's Observations
Fernando Po ( now Bioko) is an island located 20  miles of the west coast of Africa by Cameroon in the Gulf of Guinea. The island was found by the Portuguese navigator Fernao do Po in 1472.  The island is about 45 miles long by 20 miles across. The Capital then was Santa Isabel, and the population was 20,000 in 1930. Of interest, the island was inhabited by the Bubi ethnic group, which speak a Bantu dialect.

Fernando Po stamps definitely appear inexpensive, with 42% of all stamp issues <$1.  BTW, all the inexpensive stamps, except for the 1929 issue, are of the "King Alfonso XIII" design types. But are they common in collections? No! Unless one specifically collects Spanish Colonies, which is unusual for a general WW classic collection, one will find not many of these "cheap" stamps around.

Fernando Po Blog Post and BB Checklist

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Comments appreciated!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

British Bechuanaland

1887 Scott 10 1/2p vermilion "Victoria"
Black Overprint on Great Britain Scott 111
Quick History
Although Bechuanaland Protectorate is in the Big Blue album, British Bechuanaland, the sister territory, never was, so here is a brief history.

British Bechuanaland existed between September 1, 1885 and November 16, 1895  as a Crown Colony, when it was absorbed by Cape of Good Hope Colony. The Capital was Vryburg. It had a population of approximately 84,000.

1885 Map - Bechuanaland Protectorate & Stellaland
Prior to creation of British Bechuanaland Crown Colony
In 1882, two secessionist Boer States, Stellaland and Goshen (Capitals Vryburg & Mafekeng respectively) were established. This upset the British public, and a force of 4,000 British regular & irregular troops, led by Sir Charles Warren, first occupied Vryburg, then Mafeking, by April 8, 1885. The Boer Republic of the United States of Stellaland (then including Goshen) collapsed without bloodshed.

By the way, the stamps of Stellaland ( 1884-85- six major Scott number stamps) are somewhat to very expensive CV wise ($20+-$4000), and I don't have any at the moment.

British Bechuanaland 1887
(Incorporates Stellaland)
Stellaland was absorbed into the new Crown Colony of British Bechuanaland, which had the Molopo River as the northern and western boundary.

Meanwhile the Bechuanaland Protectorate ,"at the request of the native chiefs", was set up by the British on March 31, 1885, and administered the lands north of the Molopo River, with Vryburg (until 1895), then Mafeking as the administrative headquarters. Both headquarters for Bechuanaland Protectorate were actually located in British Bechuanaland.

Of interest, the stamps of British Bechuanaland were also used in the Bechuanaland Protectorate from 1890 until 1897. This is because the Bechuanaland Protectorate and British Bechuanaland came under one postal administration in June, 1890. Consequently, one should look for postmarks from the Bechuanaland Protectorate area on British Bechuanaland stamps of that era.

For additional perspective on British Bechuanaland/ Bechuanaland Protectorate, see Stamp World History.

Into the Deep Blue
Stamps were introduced for British Bechuanaland on December 3, 1885. The 1885-87 eight stamp output consisted of overprinted 1871-85 Cape of Good Hope issues (CV $10+-$190).

Correspondingly, Bechuanaland Protectorate stamps were first issued/used on August 9, 1888. I will have more to say about the stamps of the Bechuanaland Protectorate with the next post.

The 2011 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for British Bechuanaland 1885-1897, 42 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 3 (or 7%) are CV $1+. Raising the CV bar to $10+, yields 23 stamps, or 55%. If the WW collector will spend more, a decent collection of British Bechuanaland can be obtained.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1887 Scott 10 1/2p vermilion "Victoria"
Black Overprint on Great Britain Scott 111
Note the barred oval numeral cancel No. 638? This was in use from the opening of the Mafeking Post Office in 1885 until absorption by Cape Colony in 1895.

The 1/2p Great Britain vermilion, from the 1887 Queen Victory Jubilee Issue, was overprinted as shown and released as a single stamp on January 19,1888. (Scott's "1887" attribution appears to be inaccurate.) CV is $1+.

I should mention that this overprinted 1/2p vermilion for British Bechuanaland was further overprinted "Protectorate", and introduced as the first stamps in 1888-90 for Bechuanaland Protectorate.

Prior, as mentioned earlier, there were eight stamps from 1885-87 released with overprints on the stamps of Cape of Good Hope ("Hope" seated). CV is $10+ for three stamps. I don't have any at the moment.

1887 Scott 16 1sh green "Victoria"
Also, on January 19, 1888 (not "1887" as Scott states), a twelve stamp issue was released using three designs. The second design for the five middle denominations is shown here. CV is $2+-$10 for six stamps.

If these designs look to you like they should be fiscal or revenue stamps, you are correct.

These stamps were produced by overprinting "Unappropriated Die" designs originally intended for use as Great Britain fiscal stamps.

Remember I said that British Bechuanaland  stamps can be found used in the Bechuanaland Protectorate between 1890-1897?

Well, the (MA)CLOUTSIE post office, which is the postmark on this stamp, was actually located in north-east Bechuanaland Protectorate, and was active from December, 1892-1893.

There is a great PDF file about the Macloutsie post office and the postmaster available at the www.bechuanalandphilately.com site. (This link downloads the PDF file.)

1895 Scott 39 2p bister 
On Cape of Good Hope  Scott 44 
Overprinted in Black, Reading Down
In December, 1893 to 1895, a two stamp overprinted issue - "Reading Down"- was released using the Cape of Good Hope Scott 43-44 1p rose & 2p bister stamps. CV is $3 for each.

Of note, the same stamps were earlier released in November, 1891 with the overprint "Reading Up". (CV $3+-$10+).

1891 Scott 33 1p lilac
Stamps of Great Britain, Overprinted in Black
Between December 1, 1891 and 1894, a five stamp issue was published using the stamps of Great Britain overprinted in black. The overprint is as shown.

1891 Scott 34 2p green & carmine
Stamps of Great Britain, Overprinted in Black
CV for the five stamp issue ranges from <$1 to $10+.

Of note, Cape Colony took over the responsibility for providing  postal service on April 1, 1893.

On November 16, 1895, British Bechuanaland was formally absorbed into Cape Colony. They ceased, then, to have their own stamps. But the stamps of British Bechuanaland continued to be in use in the Bechuanaland Protectorate until 1897.

At the same time, the Bechuanaland Protectorate was serviced postally by Cape Colony, then South Africa, until 1963.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner), for British Bechuanaland 1885-1897, has three pages, and all the major Scott numbers have a space.

1922 Map showing Bechuanaland Protectorate
& British Bechuanaland Area that has been annexed by 
Cape Colony, and then Union of South Africa
Out of the Blue
Wow, this area is quite interesting from both a postal and historical perspective!

The next post will look at the stamp issues of the Bechuanaland Protectorate.

For those interested in more, I suggest checking out The Bechuanalands and Botswana Society website- www.bechuanalandphilately.com .

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Bechuanaland Protectorate - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Far Eastern Republic - Bud's Big Blue

Aleksandr Kolchak (1874-1920) anti-Bolshevik fighter
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
When stamps of the Far Eastern Republic (FER) speak, they tell tales of the Russian Revolution’s searing flames, of White Russia’s leaders being executed, of refugees running for their lives. They complain about being postal service in a hapless buffer state between Red Russia and the forces of Japan. They recount initial hopes that all Russians might get along, and how those hopes collapsed into bloody war. They chatter about why there were so many different stamp issues in so short a time. Some say they’re Bolsheviks, others claim a Cossack connection. Some whisper about their mysterious origins, secrets they’ve hidden to confound philatelists.

If you hear your FER stamps speaking, pay attention. Then call a psychiatrist.

Using the key word “Chita” will turn up fugitive FER stamps in internet auctionland. As might be expected, forgeries burgeon. Combine historical study of FER stamps with those of Japan in China.

Census: eight in BB spaces, 14 on supplement page. Six have been added since the scans were made.

Jim's Observations
The Far Eastern Republic was basically set up as a buffer state between  the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (which largely controlled the Far Eastern Republic), and the territories occupied by Japan during the Russian Civil War. The Republic existed from April 1920 to November, 1922.  When the Civil War ended and the Japanese left Vladivostock, Soviet Russia then absorbed the territory.

Far Eastern Republic Blog Post and BB Checklist

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Comments appreciated!