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...

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Belgium Part B 1865-1912 Cancelled and Socked-on-the-Nose

1893 Scott 65 10c orange brown "Leopold"
Into the Deep Blue
As a WW collector, I have both unused and used stamps in my collection. Belgium stands out  as a country where the classical era stamps often have great looking cancels and socked on the nose stamps

As I mentioned in the first blog on this topic, for Belgium 1865-1912, I thought it would be interesting to focus on the cancelled stamps for this era in my collection..

Part I was published previously. This is Part II.

1911 Britannica Map of Belgium & Luxemburg
The original blog post for Belgium and Big Blue Checklist is here.

The blog post on the 1849-1866 Epaulettes and Medallions issues is here.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
1893 Scott 60 1c gray "Coat of Arms"
Between 1893-1900, a new sixteen stamp issue featuring the "Coat of Arms" for the lower denominations and "King Leopold" for the higher denominations was released.

There were five stamps with the "Coat of Arms" design.

1893 Scott 67 20c olive green
"King Leopold"
Eleven stamps showed "King Leopold II"

CV is <$1-$5 for twelve stamps.

There was a subset of the issue printed on very thin transparent paper in 1904-05. They have Scott minor numbers, and have a CV of about 10X the usual paper issue.

1893 Scott 69a 35c red brown "Leopold"
The design was actually quite similar to the 1884-85 & 1886-91 issues, except there was a label attached to the bottom of the stamp.


Well, Belgium delivered mail on Sunday.

For those of a devout nature, and who wished not to disturb the Sabbath with mail, the label was left on. The label instructed the carrier to NOT deliver the missive on Sunday.

For those not having that scruple, the label was removed, and the mail could be delivered on Sunday.

Of note, Scott values covers bearing stamps with labels attached at about twice those with no label.

1894 Scott 77 10c carmine/bluish
"Arms of Antwerp"
In 1894, for the Antwerp Exhibition, a three stamps set was published.

CV is $1-$3+.

Antwerp Universal Exhibition 1894
The exhibit was a World's Fair held in Antwerp. About 3 million attended. The United States was  a participating country.

"World's Fairs" were very popular,with the 1851-1938 era fairs focusing on technological advancements and inventions,

1896 Scott 80 10c orange brown
"St. Michael and Satan"
Another "World's Fair", the 1897 Brussels Exhibition, was publicized with an 1896-97 three stamp issue.

CV is <$1-$3+.

 1897 Brussels International Exhibition
The Brussels 1897 Expo had almost 8 million visitors, and the big draw was the colonial section showcasing King Leopold's infamous (in retrospect) personal property,The Congo Free State.

1907 Scott 84 5c green 
"Coat of Arms"
The 1905-11 issue also has the "Coat of Arms" design for the three lower denominations.  They can be distinguished from the 1893-1900 "Coat of Arms" stamps by the fact that there is only white (no design elements) between the stamp frame and the label. It is easy to confuse the two designs as evidenced that they are often misplaced in feeder albums.

1905 Scott 88 35c red brown "Leopold"
No label attached on this stamp
The seven upper denominations each have seven unique frame designs, but all the designs have the same vignette of King Leopold. The vignette with the white beard is different than the preceding issues.

Note here is a 35c red brown without the label attached.

CV is <$1-$4 for eight stamps of the 1905-11 issue.

1912 Scott 102 5fr plum "Albert I"
In 1909, King Albert I succeeded to the throne after his uncle Leopold II passed away.

The next issue with Albert I, replacing the "white beard" Leopold II issue of 1905-11, wasn't until April, 1912. The 1912 issue of eleven stamps had all new designs: "Numeral" (1c), "Lion" (2c, 5c), "Albert I" (rest of the denominations).

CV is <$1-$20+ for the eleven stamp issue.

The 5 Franc stamp shown above has at least five different forgeries. Checking Falschung's great forgery website, it appears this example is genuine.

1910 Scott B8 10c carmine
"St. Martin of Tours dividing His Cloak with a Beggar"
The first semi-postal issue for Belgium was the eight stamp two design release of June 1, 1910.

The stamps were sold at twice face value, except the 10c carmine, which sold for 15 Centimes.

The surtax funds were for fighting tuberculosis.

CV is <$1-$6+.

1911 Scott B15 5c peacock blue
Overprinted "1911" in Black
The issue was overprinted April 1, 1911 as shown.

CV is $5+ for four stamps and $10+-$40+ for four stamps.

1911 Scott B19 5c peacock blue
Overprinted "Charleroi 1911"
In June, 1911, another overprint issue as shown was released.

CV is $2+-$10.

To show the importance of the label attached, stamps without labels for these semi-postal stamps are worth 10% or less of CV.

1879 Scott Q1 10c violet brown
"Coat of Arms"
One of the unique features of Belgium collecting are the Parcel Post and Railway stamp issues.

They generally are found with railway cancellations. Postal cancellations sell for 2X CV.

From May 1, 1879 to 1882, a six stamp typographic issue was released.

CV is $5+-$50+ for the stamps in the issue.

1882 Scott Q11 50c carmine
Between 1882-94, a nine stamp issue with white numerals in the center surrounded by cherubs and a locomotive.was published. What an issue!

CV is <$1-$7+.

Counterfeits exist, printed in 1925. See Tyler's "Focus on Forgeries", or Falschung's site.

1895 Scott Q23 1fr lilac brown
Name of engraver below frame
In 1895-97, a nine stamp issue (mostly with black center numerals) was released, and in 1901-02, four more stamps with black center numerals was added.

The name of the engraver is below the inner frame.

CV is <$1-$10+.

Counterfeits also exist for this issue.

1906 Scott Q43 1.10fr rose & black
"Winged Wheel";  Without engraver's name
Between 1902-14, a twenty stamp issue was released with the iconic "Winged Wheel" design for the eight higher denominations.

The lower denominations have colored central denominations and no engraver name below the inner frame.

CV is <$1 for every stamp in the issue.

1907 Scott 84 5c green
"Coat of Arms"
Out of the Blue
If every country cancelled their classical era as beautifully as Belgium, what a wonderful world it would be for used stamps!

Note: Map and Exhibition poster scans appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!


  1. Very nice representative collection of cancelled stamps for the period from Belgium. Thanks for sharing them.

    1. Appreciate the nice comment, albumfilling!

  2. I have the 5 cent green coat of arms stamp but it is canceled in the year 1894. Do you know if there was an earlier version?

    1. I would think "1893" would be the earliest, as that was the year of issue.