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...

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Brunei - a closer look

1908 Scott 22 5c orange & black
"Scene on Brunei River"; Wmk 3
Into the Deep Blue
Brunei in the 2017 Scott 1849-1940 Classic catalogue has 123  major descriptive numbers for the years 1895-1952. Of those, 34 are CV <$1-$1+, or 28%. Raising the bar to CV $10+, yields 84 stamps, or 68%. Brunei is moderately expensive for the WW collector. There are some specialty/ expensive areas for Brunei - including an 1895 local issue (ten stamps), 1942-44 Japanese Occupation stamps (nineteen stamps), and a 1944 red surcharged Japanese Occupation stamp with CV $7,000+. Since I don't have examples of these, I will say no more about them here.

For more on Brunei, see my....

Brunei Blog Post & BB Checklist

Brunei - Map from Stamp World History Site (Gerben)
Since Brunei is rather obscure to most WW collectors, I am also adding here a map from Stamp World History (site not presently active or  available). This maps was put together by Gerben van Gelder. I received permission from him to display them (with proper acknowledgement), but I don't use that privilege very often - but will, in this case. It was an immense loss to WW philately when he passed away.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Cents (Sen) = 1 Dollar

I should mention that there was a local issue produced in 1895 - "Star and Local Scene" - on ten stamps (I don't have an examples). CV is $4-$9+ for seven stamps. They were valid in Brunei and Labuan. For overseas, the mail was sent to Labuan, where Labuan stamps were used. During the early years, the local issue was considered "bogus" by philatelists, and had no Scott numbers. My 1947 Scott catalogue does not include these stamps. Evidence was uncovered in 1933 that, although "philatelic" in nature, they were in fact also a genuine local issue. Presently, they have Scott A1...A10 assigned.

In addition, in 1906, a twelve stamp overprinted'surcharged "Brunei" issue was produced, using 1902-03 Labuan stamps. (Again, I have no examples.) They are rather expensive, with a CV of $6 to $125.

1911 Scott 14 1c green
"Scene on Brunei River"; Wmk 3
Between 1907-1921, an engraved (by De la Rue) twenty-seven stamp set was issued with the iconic "Scene on the Brunei River" on Wmk 3 paper.

1911 1c green
Type II: Dots removed from bottom line of water shading (Single Plate)
Of interest, the 1c green is found in Type I (1908) and Type II (1911).

The Type I shows the lowest line of water shading as a string of horizontal dots. (These shading dots can be seen, for example, on the 2c brown & black shown below.)

The Type II (illustrated above) has the dots removed from the bottom line of water shading.

There is a similar finding for the 3c carmine - Type I (1908) & Type II (1916).

1911 Scott 16 2c brown & black
"Scene on Brunei River"; Wmk 3
Most of the stamps of this 1907-1921 De la Rue engraved issue are actually bi-colors.


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

1924 Scott 47 4c claret brown
"Scene on Brunei River"; Wmk 4
Between 1924-1937, "types" - in different colors - of the 1907 issue were produced on Wmk 4 paper. The issue consisted of sixteen stamps.

1933 Scott 51 5c brown
"Scene on Brunei River"; Wmk 4
CV for the 1924-37 issue ranges from <$1 to $10+ for fourteen stamps.

1931 Scott 60 6c red 
"Dwellings in Town of Brunei"
In 1924 (6c black, 12c blue) and 1931 (6c red), three stamps were released with a scene of the dwellings in the town of Brunei.

Brunei Postcard circa 1960 showing stilt houses
Even in the 1960s one can see the prominence of stilt houses.

1947 Scott 63 2c gray
"Scene of Brunei River"; Wmk 4
Types of 1907-24
There was another  "types" fourteen stamp engraved issue - again in different colors- released between 1947-1951.

1947 Scott 72 50c black
"Scene of Brunei River"; Wmk 4
Types of 1907-24
CV is <$1-$2+ for twelve stamps.

Major numbers are Perf 14, while Perf 14 1/2 V 13 1/2 & Perf 13 are minor numbers.

1949 Scott 78 50c blue & black
"Sultan Ahmed and Pile Dwellings"
Brunei was always a protectorate, and was governed by sultans, although the administration was British.

For the 25th anniversary of the reign of Sultan Ahmed Tajudin Akhazul Khair Wad-en, a three stamp issue set was released September 22, 1949.

1952 Scott 84 2c red orange
"Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin"
In 1952, eleven stamps were issued with the portrait of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin, who reigned between 1950-1967.

So ends a brief introduction of the stamps of Brunei. I would recommend getting the Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth & British Empire 1840-1970 catalogue if one is interested in exploring further the stamps of Brunei.

Deep Blue
1924-37 Wmk 4 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has nine pages for the 1906-1952 stamps of Brunei. Included are spaces for the minor number perforation varieties of 1950-51 for the "Scene on Brunei River" stamps. 

On the other hand, My Steiner pages do not include the 1895 local issue, and the Japanese occupation WW II issues. I added quadrilled pages.

1926 Scott 43 1c black
"Scene on Brunei River"; Wmk 4
Out of the Blue
This is another country where specialized concentration could yield interesting "exhibit" pages.

I have really only scratched the surface of Brunei studies.

Note: Map is by permission of Gerben van Gelder (Stamps World History).
Scan pic of 1960 Town of Brunei appears to be in the public domain.


Comments appreciated!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Greece - Bud's Big Blue

Hermes (1)
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Hermes (Mercury) monopolizes the first 40 years of Greek stamps then, with the help of other Olympians and their lessers, continues to predominate through the end of the classical era, cresting with the spectacular airmails of 1933. 

It's not surprising. Known for his fancy footwork, Hermes traveled freely between the mortal and divine worlds as a luck-bringing messenger of the gods. He was conceived and born in a single day, then leaped from his crib to steal Apollo’s cattle. Apollo forgave him and, in trade for a lyre Hermes had fashioned, let him keep the cows. 

So, Hermes is thought to rule over trickery, trade, travelers, border crossings, and thieves -- all of which appertains to world-wide stamp collectors. He’s our guy.

The first supplement page shows an assortment of Hermes heads, organized by face value, awaiting proper identification according to the Hellas Catalogue. Their tribe has increased since the scan was made.

Hermes crosses many of Big Blue’s philatelic borders. His likeness appears on stamps of Hamburg, Australia, Brazil, Austria, Portugal, Liberia, and Uruguay, among others. His winged hat pops up on US E7, presumably to ensure prompt special deliveries.

Curiously, the stamp designs authorized by the Greek Republic, beginning in 1924 and continuing for about a decade, abandon the gods. More recent heroes were chosen instead -- Lord Byron, General Fabvier, three admirals, and the like. By 1933 the gods were returning, supremely so with the airmails mentioned above and the Pallas Athena 1937 3 cent.

Which reminds me of David Bowie’s “Pallas Athena,” the grim, ominous lyrics of which are:
God is on top of it all
That’s all

Holds true, it would seem, for early Greek stamps.

David Bowie, a modern Hermes commemorated on a 2017 UK stamp

Error alert: The first Health allegory on page 9 should be RA 49, not RA 52. The RA 52 has been swapped for the RA 49 showing in the supplement pages.

Census: 281 in BB spaces, three tip-ins, 181 on supplement pages, expanded to 249 since the scans were made. Additions are mostly BOB, Turkish occupation, etc., and Hermes heads
[1] In my collection. Bronze, after the antique, but older than the Hermes heads 

Jim's Observations
The first stamps for Greece were the large Hermes Heads, followed by the small Hermes Heads between 1886-1895, and then a pictorial series for the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896.

As one can imagine, the classic designs combined with ancient Greece classical motifs have made Greek stamps highly popular among philatelists right from the beginning.

For those puzzled by the complicated catalogue parsing for the large Hermes Heads, check out my "Hermes Heads" blog post (link below).

Greece Blog Posts & BB Checklist
Greece Hermes Heads
Greece 1896-1940
Greece: BOB, Balkan Wars

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Comments appreciated!