"The South Seas are the Mediterranean of the Future"Bud's Big Blue
Germans were late entrants in the colonial land-grab race. While other European nations were claiming vast territories, Germany busied itself with German unification. Even in the 1880s Bismarck was engrossed with Europe and social reform, not Africa or the South Pacific. The above cartoon shows a contented Bismarck, his smoke blinding him to what’s happening south of the equator -- namely, representatives of other nations grabbing land. The caption reads “The South Seas are the Mediterranean of the Future.”
Procolonial interests eventually compelled the reluctant Bismarck to suit up and protect German shipping and trading. During 1884, the year the cartoon was published, Germany’s privately administered colonies, including New Guinea, hatched rapidly. Annexation by the German Empire followed when private arrangements failed.
German stamps with numerals and eagles were overprinted for use while the private German New Guinea Company held authority. The yacht stamps appeared after the German Empire took over, the Company having fizzled in 1899.
Authentic cancels are costly. The Stephansort cancel (8 March 1902, below) was struck at a trading post for German investors in the Bismarck Archipelago. Like Bismarck himself, Stephansort no longer exists, but the Archipelago ironically still bears his name.
Some yacht stamps are said to be forgeries, their identifying feature being connected serifs on the word “Guinea.” Fake “G.R.I.” overprints are common on British Occupation issues, but BB has no spaces for these. So far as I know, none on these scans are fakes.
Cartoon credit: Wilhelm Scholz, caricaturist. “Die Südsee ist das Mittelmeer der Zukunft,” Kladderadatsch, 13 July 1884, page 128.
Census: 14 in BB spaces, three tip-ins.
Big Blue,'69, on two lines of one page, provides four spaces for the 1897 issue, and ten spaces for the 1900 (actually 1901) issue. Coverage is 61%. A nice representative selection, marred only by no room for the 1914-19 issue. (One could stuff them into the spaces reserved for the "1900" issue, but that is a stretch.)
There are no "expensive" stamps, although the 1897 issue has three stamps in the $8-$9+ range.
German New Guinea Blog Post and BB Checklist