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...

Monday, October 29, 2018

British Honduras Pt A - a closer look

1884 Scott 14 1p rose "Victoria"
Wmk 2
Into the Deep Blue


English speaking Belize, despite its location just south of Mexico on the Caribbean Sea, is mostly unknown to Americans, unless one likes to snorkel (Belize Barrier Reef), is intrigued with Mayan culture, or have an interest in Mahogany.

British Honduras (yellow) -1892 Map
Unfortunately, it also has a high violent crime rate (notorious drug smuggling routes), and is still beset by a border dispute with Guatemala. Perhaps my opinion is colored by the fact that a friend's son, who was doing Jesuit Volunteer Corps work there, was mugged in broad daylight in his apartment in Belize City. On the other hand, I've been to next door Guatemala and Guatemala City, also racked by a high crime rate, and personally never felt threatened, and enjoyed very much the warm Guatemalan culture. I'm sure it is the same for Belize. One just needs to be careful.

Well, before Belize was Belize (renamed 1973) , it was British Honduras, a crown colony (1862-1973, Independent 1981).

For this post (Part A), and the next one (Part B), the historical focus will be through whatever the classical era stamp issues reveal.

British Honduras Blog Post & BB Checklist

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (1888)
1884 Scott 14 1p rose "Victoria"
Wmk 2
In 1862, British Honduras became a colony, but under Jamaica until 1884.

However, in 1866, this rather striking "Queen Victoria" De la Rue stamp design for British Honduras was introduced. The design, found unwatermarked (1866), with Wmk 1 (1872-79), and with Wmk 2 (1882-87), was used on all typographic stamp issues between 1866-1887 (seventeen major Scott numbers).

CV is $5+ to $30 for eight stamps.

Wmk 2; Wmk 3
Wmk 4
We might as well get out of the way any concern about remembering British Colonial watermarks, as they figure prominently in the stamp issues of British Honduras.

Wmk 1 "Crown and C C" (Not shown)
Wmk 2 "Crown and C A"
Wmk 3 "Multiple Crown and C A"
Wmk 4 "Multiple Crown and Script C A"

1888 Scott 28 2c on 1p rose
Surcharged in Black
The reality of being located in the Western hemisphere close to the United States meant that, in 1888, the currency was changed from Pence/Shillings into Cents/British Honduras Dollar. That resulted in the previous Queen Victoria Pence/Shilling  issues of 1872-1887 then being locally surcharged "cents" from 1888  to 1891 on nineteen stamps.

The 1888-89 issue of five surcharged stamps using the "c" type surcharge, specifically the 2c on 1p rose, is shown above. CV is <$1-$10+ for four stamps.

1891 Scott 34 6c (red) on 10c on 4p violet
1888 Scott 30 with additional surcharge
The 1888-89 surcharged issue was further surcharged.

In 1891, the 1888 10c on 4p violet was surcharged "6c" using two colors: black, and red (red illustrated). CV is only $1+-$2+ for the two varieties.

1891 Scott 35 5c on 3c on 3p brown
1888 Scott 29 with additional surcharge in black
Also, in 1891, the 1888 3c on 3p brown was surcharged "Five", as shown. CV is $1+.

1891 Scott 40 3c brown "Victoria"
Wmk 2
Beginning in 1891, and continuing until 1898, a new Victorian nine stamp issue denominated in "cents" was printed by De la Rue for British Honduras.

Note the "Postage...Postage" side panels.

CV ranges from <$1 to $10+ for eight stamps.

1899 Scott 48 5c ultramarine
Overprint 12 mm long
Regular Issue overprinted in black
In 1899, three stamps from the preceding 1891-98 issue, as well as one stamp from the 1888 surcharged issue, were overprinted "Revenue" in black. I suppose this was done so the stamps could also be used for fiscal purposes. In fact, all the subsequent issues from 1899-1933 have "Postage...Revenue" on the side panels.

Note that the Scott major numbers are for overprinted "Revenue" that is 12 mm long. If 11 mm long, then the stamp is a minor number.

There are a number of printing errors known which increase the CV substantially.

1900 Scott 52 5c gray black & ultramarine/blue
The 1899-1901 issue of six stamps change the design to "Postage...Revenue" on the side panels.

CV ranges from $3+ to $9 for two stamps.

1902 Scott 60 5c gray black & ultramarine/blue
"King Edward VII", Wmk 2
The "Baldies", the "Edward VII" stamps, were introduced for British Honduras with a four stamp, 1902-04 Wmk 2 issue. They are quite similar in design, except for swapping in the Edward VII vignette, to the preceding Victorian issue.

The 5c gray black & ultramarine/blue stamp was issued specifically on October 10, 1902. This was two months after Edward's coronation (August 9, 1902). I find it interesting that British Honduras manged to issue 16 "Baldies" between 1902-1911, while the preceding (alphabetical) British Colony, British Guiana, issued none, electing to go with their own "Ship- Seal of the Colony" design. Yes, British Colonies are siblings, but very different too.

1904 Scott 63 2c violet & black/red
"King Edward VII", Wmk 3, Chalky paper
Then, between 1904-06, an additional nine "Edward" chalky paper stamps with Wmk 3 were issued.

CV is <$1-$5+ for four stamps.

1909 Scott 70 2c carmine
"King Edward VII", Wmk 3, Ordinary paper
Between 1909-11, there were three stamps (2c, 5c, 25c) on ordinary paper in new colors released.

CV is <$1-$7+. This would prove to be the last of the "baldies".

1913 Scott 80 25c black/gray green
"George V", Wmk 3, Chalky paper
Beginning March 13, 1913, and continuing to 1917, ten "George V" denomination De la Rue printed stamps were issued on Wmk 3 paper. There are a number of minor number color varieties noted in both Scott and SG.

CV is <$1-$6+ for six stamps.

1915 Scott 87 5c ultramarine "George V"
With Moire Overprint in Violet
Now this is interesting, as one doesn't see moire overprint that often.

The moire overprint is found on "George V" three stamps (1c green, 2c carmine, 5c ultramarine) released between July 29, 2015 and June 6, 2016.

They were overprinted in violet.


Recall, this was during WWI.

According to SG, they were moire overprinted, so if they were seized by the enemy, they would be recognized, and declared invalid.

1921 Scott 91 1c green "George V"
Wmk 4
The last stamp released of this design (which was introduced in 1913) was on November 26, 1921, and consisted of a 1c green on Wmk 4 paper. Actually, this was the only stamp of this design released on Wmk 4 paper. All the other "George V" stamps of this design (13 stamps) are on Wmk 3 paper.

1922 Scott 90 4c dark gray
"Seal of the Colony and King George V"
Peace Commemorative Issue
Two engraved stamps by De la Rue were released for the Peace Commemorative Issue.

The Bahamas and some other British colonies had similar appearing stamps.

The two Peace Commemorative issue stamps for British Honduras differ slightly in design.

On April 28, 1921, a 2c carmine was issued.

On January 4, 1922, a 4c dark gray (shown above) was issued, but without the "Peace...Peace" on the ribbons on either side of the crown.

CV is $1-$1+.
1933 Scott 95 3c orange "George V"
Wmk 4
Between 1922-1933, thirteen typographic stamps of a redesigned "George V" was released.  They were all on Wmk 4 paper, except for the 25c black/emerald and the $5 black & violet/red which were on Wmk 3 paper.

CV is <$1-$8+ for ten stamps.

Deep Blue
1991-98 Victoria Issue in Deep Blue
British Honduras 1866-1951 is represented by eleven pages in Deep Blue (Steiner). All of the major numbers have a space. Nice!

1892 Scott 47 1c on 1p green "Victoria"
Type of 1866 Surcharged, Wmk 2
Out of the Blue
For those that love monarch vignettes on their stamps, British Honduras is all monarchs all the time. ;-)

I would think, though, that since British Honduras was a small country, that it might be an interesting choice to study postmarks and postal history without being too overwhelming.

The next post (Part B) will have some pictorials to break the trend.

Note: 1892 map appears to be in the public domain.


Comments appreciated!

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