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, June 28, 2018

Bermuda - A Closer Look 1936-1951

1936 Scott 106 1p carmine & black
"South Shore"
Into the Deep Blue
As most WW collectors know, the British colonies often provide two pictorial issues: towards the end of the George V reign (early 1930s), and then at the beginning of the George VI reign (1938 into the 1940s). The pictorial scenes are often duplicated with the two issues, but, for Bermuda, they are not.

As the engraved scenes, mixed with the bi-colored presentation, are quite attractive measured against the more usual staid definitive British colony stamps, I am going to present the 1936-1951 Bermudian examples here for everyone's enjoyment (Part B).

The Harbors, and places for ships to disembark:
Hamilton, St. George's and the Royal Naval Dockyard
Part A, the 1865-1934 stamps of Bermuda, is here.

The original blog post for Bermuda and the BB checklist is here.

A Closer Look 1936-1951
4 Farthings = 1 Penny
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1936 Scott 105 1/2p blue green
"Hamilton Harbor"
Fairly late in the game, on April 14, 1936 (after George V had already passed away), a nine stamp engraved pictorial set was released.  Of the six designs, two had an inset portrait of George V.

CV for the nine stamps released in 1936 range from <$1 to $4.

The lowest denomination (1/2p blue green) shows Hamilton Harbor.

Hamilton Harbor
A natural harbor, the port area serves the capital city of Hamilton. Bermuda is surrounded by reefs, and it wasn't until after U.S. Independence ( and the loss of Naval bases along the Atlantic seaboard), that the narrows area was discovered that allowed fairly large ships passage way to Hamilton.

Today, most large cruise ships moor at the (former) Royal Naval Dockyard, and passengers use ferries to get to Hamilton.

1936 Scott 107 1 1/2p chocolate & black
"South Shore"
The south shore of Bermuda is where rocks, sand, and water meet. Pink sand, turquoise water, outlying reefs, and the dark blue of the ocean create an idyllic scene indeed.

Warwick - Long Bay - South Shore
The beach sand is from the remains of shells, corals and clams. On the underside of Bermuda's coral reefs grows the dark red skeletal animals (Foraminifera) that give the sand that pink hue.

1936 Scott 108 2p light blue & black
Yacht "Lucie"
Briggs Cunningham won the Bermuda Gold Cup (Prince Edward VII Gold Cup) on the six meter yacht "Lucie", named after his first wife, Lucie Bedford Cunningham Warren, at the inaugural 1937 match racing event.

1938 Scott 109 2p brown black & turquoise blue
Yacht "Lucie"
The design was used three times! The second iteration, with brown black & turquoise blue, was issued January 20, 1938.

CV for this stamp is a rather high $10+.

1940 Scott 109A 2p red & ultramarine
Yacht "Lucie"
Then on November 8, 1940, a red & ultramarine version was issued.

Lucie is still going strong
"Lucie", the last (and best) six meter, designed by Clinton Crane in 1931, had an outstanding racing record, lasting over seventy-five years. She was restored in 2006, and current owner Matt Brooks of the St. Francis Yacht Club of San Francisco * raced her in the 2011 World Cup in Helsinki (6th of 45 boats). She has placed first in International 6 Metre World Cups ("Classic" division) as recently as

* My middle daughter's wedding reception was there. Sadly, my only personal link to this iconic yacht club. ;-)

1936 Scott 111 3p carmine & black
"Typical Cottage"
Scott calls the house scene on the 3p carmine & black "Typical Cottage", and no doubt it is, but Stanley Gibbons gives a discrete name: "Point House, Warwick Parish".

Old Style Bermudian Cottage
I couldn't find that particular house, but here is a still standing old style Bermudian cottage.

1936 Scott 112 6p violet & rose lake
"Scene at Par-la-Ville"
What a lovely scene indeed! Doesn't it evoke a quieter time? Actually Stanley Gibbons labels this "Gardener's Cottage, Par-la-Ville, Hamilton". Par-la-Ville was an area of Hamilton with a large park, now renamed Queen Elizabeth park to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

1936 Scott 113 1sh deep green
"Grape Bay" (Paget Parish)
"Grape Bay" is  a particular lovely pink sand beach area on the south shore, south of Hamilton.

Grape Bay Beach
Although the beach itself is part of the public seashore, it is difficult to get there now, because of private properties limiting access. I'm sure it was much more accessible in 1936 when the stamp was issued. ;-)

1938 Scott 118 1p red & black
"Hamilton Harbor"
Between 1938-1945, a new pictorial eight stamp series with George VI was issued.

CV is <$1 to $2+.

There were four designs, three of them new. The "Grape Bay" design, from the 1936-40 George V pictorials, was reused.

"Hamilton Harbor", on the 1p and 1 1/2p stamps, shows a new scene of the harbor.

1938 Scott 119 1 1/2p violet brown & blue
"Hamilton Harbor"
If one follows the Stanley Gibbons, the above stamp is parsed into three shades and dates.

SG 111 January 20, 1938 1 1/2p deep blue and purple brown
SG 111a March, 1943 1 1/2p blue and brown
SG 111b September, 1945 1 1/2p light blue and purple brown

I don't put much credence in stamp shades in general, as often stamps can show shades that have more to do with environment (changelings).

But if a stamp shade is clearly linked to an issue date (as the SG does), then game on!

1938 Scott 121 3p carmine & black
"St. David's Lighthouse"
There are two famous "tourist attraction" lighthouses in Bermuda: St. Davids (1879) on St. Davis's island, and Gibbs Hill (1846) on the main island.

St. David's Lighthouse
St. David's Lighthouse for many years has a red band day mark half way up the tower, but the lighthouse, built with local limestone, was originally painted white.

1941 Scott 121D 7 1/2p yellow green, blue & black
"Bermudian Water Scene and Yellow-billed Tropic Bird"
Lovely, lovely stamp! This is the scene that convinced me to do a blog post on the Bermudian pictorials!

White-Tailed Tropic Bird (Yellow-billed tropic Bird)
The Yellow-billed Tropic Bird nests in Bermuda about the first of May in holes along the shore line along the high rocky cliffs. Actually, there has been a name change, and it is now known as the White-Tailed Tropic Bird (Phaethon lepturus).

1938 Scott 125 5sh red & green/yellow
"King George VI", Perf 13
Between 1938-1951, the 2 shillings and higher denominations were represented by a large format "George VI" bi-color on colored paper. There were six stamps in the issue.  Revenue cancellations are also found on these stamps. CV is $8+-$70+.

1938 Scott 125 5 Shilling Close-up
Digital Microscope
If one looked carefully at the 5sh stamp, one will notice a fault. Using my digital  microscope, the tear is quite evident.

1942 Scott 121A 3p deep ultramarine & black
"St. David's Lighthouse"
Out of the Blue
It is fun, with these pictorials, to revel in the scenes, and perhaps learn more why they were chosen. This idle dalliance serves as a bit of a "vacation" from the more serious pursuit of philately. !! ;-)

Note: Map and pics appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!


  1. The 7.5 pence stamp is very interesting for being tri-colour. Could this be the first tri-colour stamp issued in the Empire?