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...

Friday, November 16, 2018

British Solomon Islands - a closer look

1907 Scott 1 1/2p ultramarine "War Canoe"
Into the Deep Blue
British Solomon Islands (or just Solomon Islands in Scott) has, for 1907-1951 in the Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue, 92  major descriptions. Of those, 28 are CV <$1-$1+, or 38%. Raising the bar to CV $8+, yields 62, or 67%.

The original blog post is here....
British Solomon Islands Blog Post & BB Checklist

Solomon Islands
The location of the Solomon Islands aren't known very widely, even to philatelists. They are found in the West Pacific Ocean, east of Papua.

Perhaps more (in)famous, no doubt because of the grisly nature, is that Solomons's warriors traditionally practiced head hunting.

The British Solomon Islands were a British protectorate between 1893-1978.

The capital was Tulagi (1893-1952), then Honiara (1952-1978).

Population was 94,000 in 1931.

The Japanese occupied the islands in January, 1942

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1907 Scott 2 1p red "War Canoe"
On February 14, 1907, a seven stamp lithographic set was released for the protectorate. They were produced by W.E. Smith & Co., Sydney. The stamps were not valid for international postage until September, 1907. Prior, covers also had New South Wales stamps attached.

CV ranges from $10+ to $90+.

There are forgeries extant. The forgeries show the boat paddle touching the shore. Genuines have a gap between the paddle and the shore.

1908 Scott 8 1/2p green "War Canoe"
The "War Canoe" motif continued for the next 1908-11 issue, albeit the stamp format was reduced.

The eleven stamp set was engraved by De La Rue.

CV is $1+-$9+ for eight stamps.

1913 Scott 22 11p dull violet & red "George V"
Inscribed "Postage....Postage"; Wmk 3
Unfortunately, for those of us that like local flavor for our stamps, the issues between 1913-1939 reverted to the usual vignette of the British Monarch.

Between 1913-24, five typographic stamps were issued with the above 'Postage....Postage" design. The 1 1/2p carmine or scarlet was issued both with Type 3 and Type 4 watermarks, while the others in the issue are only found with Wmk 3 paper.

CV ranges from <$1 to $6+.

Upper left - Wmk 2: "Crown and C A"
Upper right - Wmk 3: "Multiple Crown and C A"
Lower = Wmk 4: "Multiple Crown and Script C A"
As is quite common for British colonies/protectorates, the stamps can be found with these watermarks.

1914 Scott 33 4p black & red/yellow "George V"
Inscribed "Postage...Revenue"; Wmk 3
Between 1914-33, fourteen stamps were issued with the "Postage....Revenue" script. These are on Wmk 3 paper. Note the 3p and up denominations are also on chalky paper.

CV is $1+-$8+ for seven stamps. Unused have a lesser CV than used.

1922 Scott 55 5sh green & red/yellow "George V"
Inscribed "Postage...Revenue"; Wmk 4
Then, between 1922-31, fourteen stamps of the "Postage....Revenue" script design were issued, but on Wmk 4 paper. Denomination values at 4p or above were on chalky paper. (The exception is the 4 1/2p denomination was on ordinary paper.)

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

1939 Scott 68 1p dark purple & chocolate
"Policeman and Chief"
Now comes the fun part for the British Solomon Islands. ;-)

The 1939-1951 George VI pictorials feature twelve local depictions/scenes on thirteen stamps.

CV is <$1-$3+ for eleven stamps.

1939 Scott 69 1 1/2p carmine & slate green
"Artificial Island, Malaita"
The reefs around the Solomon islands, specifically Malaita, have enabled the inhabitants to build artificial islands by adding stones and rocks.

Artificial Island, Malaita
There are some sixty artificial islands by Lau Lagoon, Malaita. They have existed for a long time, having been built by families as a safe haven from attack by warring factions. Also, the mosquitoes that infect the coastal swamps aren't as numerous.

1939 Scott 70 2p black & orange brown
"Canoe House, New Georgia"
New Georgia is a larger island in the Solomons, and for many centuries the inhabitants raided nearby islands for slaves and for the purpose of taking human heads. They used a large war canoe called a tomako.

Tamako Canoe Prow
Australian Museum
The Tomako war canoe was built of thin planks of timber - not a dugout canoe. The bow and stern was decorated with mother of pearl and a string of cowrie shells..

1939 Scott 71 2 1/2p olive green & rose violet
"Roviana War Canoe"
Here is a scene showing the Tomako war canoe.

The Tomako War Canoe
The Roviana predatory head hunting from the New Georgia area of the Solomon islands apparently existed for centuries.

Roviana Cultural Area on New Georgia
This map shows the Roviana cultural area of New Georgia where the predatory head hunting was most intense.

Head Hunting circa 1934
Well, since I'm talking about head hunting, I probably need to show a pic. ;-) This photo is from 1934, and I suspect is staged. I would think the head hunting was over by then - at least I hope so. ;-)

1939 Scott 72 3p ultramarine & black
"View of Munda Point"
Munda is one of the Solomon islands and Munda Point is a good place for shark (hammerheads) spotting. It was also where the significant Battle of Munda Point took place in 1943.

Munda July 23, 2014: Credit Russell Shakespheare
I chose rather this atmospheric photograph (almost like a painting) to illustrate Munda.

1939 Scott 73 4 1/2p dark brown & yellow green
"Meeting House, Reef Islands"
The Reef Islands are a loose association of 16 islands in the northwest part of the Solomon Islands.

Map of Reef Islands
These islands have also been called "Swallow Islands" and "Matema Islands". The population was several thousand, and a Polynesian and a separate Melanesian language are spoken on various islands, suggesting different origins.

1939 Scott 74 6p rose lilac & dark purple
"Coconut Plantation"
Large scale coconut plantations (along with the arrival of Christian missionaries) began in the early 20th century led by Australian and British companies (Levers Pacific Plantations Ltd.).

1939 Scott 75 1sh black & green
Breadfruit is native to New Guinea, and can be found now throughout the pacific islands. It is cultivated more as a home garden crop, and can be sold in local markets.

Has the reader ever eaten breadfruit? (I haven't.)

Deep Blue
1922-31 "George V" Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has, for British Solomon Islands 1907-1951, six pages. All the major Scott numbers have a space.

1939 Scott 67 1/2p deep green & ultramarine
"Spears and Shield"
Out of the Blue
I'm sure I will never visit the Solomon Islands, so a pleasant review of the classical era stamps will have to do.

Note: Maps, head hunting pic, Tamako Canoe pics, and artificial island pic appear to be in the public domain. The Munda July 23, 2014 pic: used with permission by Russell Shakesphere.


Comments appreciated!