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, January 6, 2019

What stamps/countries were added in 2018 to my collection?

1908 Scott 61 1fr carmine & black "Annamite Woman'
Canton: Stamps of 1907 Indo-China, Surcharged
France Offices Abroad - Offices in China

Into the Deep Blue
A look back at what transpired during the past year for the 1840-1940 (-1952 British Commonwealth) WW collection...

Stamps added to the virtual Big Blue: 231
Total for the virtual Big Blue: 30,496 ( 87% filled)

Stamps added to Deep Blue: 1,021
Total for Deep Blue: 49,560 ( 59% filled)

For a deep dive into my classical era collection details, see the Status of My Big Blue & Deep Blue Collections post.

Comment: It is getting more difficult to add stamps for the 1840-1940 WW (-1952 British Commonwealth) era to my collection by my preferred approach the past several years - namely by harvesting acquired country collections. Compare with prior years - 2017, 2016, 2015.

Is it time to go for a more targeted want list approach? Probably, yes.

And the larger reason I acquired country collections the past several years was to expand the WW collection to ~1970+/-.

But I realize now that I have bit off more than I can chew.

See the recent My Worldwide Collecting: Back to 1840-1940 post.

So, although I love the 1940-1969 WW stamp era, I simply do not have the time to do it justice. And the effort takes away from the first love: the truly classical 1840-1940 era.

Expect a more focused interest in the 1840-1940 (-1952 British Commonwealth) for 2019.

OK, how did this past year look for the classical era?

Denmark 1858 Scott 8 8s green 
"Wavy Lines in Spandrels"
Top Ten Countries by Stamps Accumulated for 2018
1) Mexico +254
2) France + 121
3) Spain +81
4) Puerto Rico +77
5) Martinique +51
6) Belgian Congo +45
7) Saar +40
8) Spanish Guinea +36
9) Ruanda-Urundi +25
10) Fernando-Po +22
10) Queensland +22

Let's take a closer look at these countries, as well as a few others...

Mexico 1856 Scott 1 1/2r blue 
"Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla"
Handstamped with District Name
Mexico +254
I picked up a nice general Mexico collection housed in a Scott Specialty Country album locally from a part time dealer. I harvested 254 stamps I didn't have, bringing the Mexico collection to 859 stamps (66% filled) for 1840-1940.

Mexico is a popular country to collect for North Americans, and it is also somewhat complicated, lending itself to specialists. But the WW collector should be able to find suitable Mexican material if one looks around.

Mexico 1866 Scott 30 50c green
"Emperor Maximilian"
For Big Blue, 28 additional stamps were found. Today, 363 stamps out of 369 BB spaces are filled.

France Canton 1903 Scott 19 10c rose red
Stamps of Indo-China, 1892-1900, Surcharged in Black
France +121
For the "regular issue" France section, I already have most spaces filled. But there are plenty of "France Offices Abroad" stamps that were issued between 1894-1922. The France Scott Specialty album collection that I picked up from a Portland, Oregon dealer had most of the 121 new stamps for me from the "Offices in China" section.

France Canton 1908 Scott 60 75c vermilion & black, 
"Cambodian Woman", Blue Surcharge
Stamps of Indo-China, 1907
At present, I have 879 stamps (45% filled) in Deep Blue from France, and 593 stamps (79% filled) in Big Blue.

Spain 1852 Scott 15 5r yellowish green, Thick Paper
"Queen Isabella II"
Spain +81
Puerto Rico +77
Spanish Guinea +36
Fernando-Po +22
A "Spain and Colonies" collection I acquired provided these stamps/countries. More about the album in a bit...

The collection had $1,700 CV for Spain, and $2,100 CV for Colonies. I picked it up for mid-teens CV.

I harvested 81 classical era stamps from the Spain section, bringing my total to 703 (60% filled) in Steiner (Deep Blue) for the country.

Spain 1860 Scott 54 2r lilac/lilac "Isabella II"
I found 23 stamps that were added to Big Blue. Total is 499 stamps, but I still have 68 spaces to fill in BB.

Puerto Rico 1875 Scott 5 25c ultramarine
Stamps of Cuba Overprinted in Black 
For Puerto Rico, 77 new stamps were found. For Steiner (Deep Blue), 132 spaces are filled out of 195 (68%).

Of the 77 stamps, 53 had a space in Big Blue. BB total is 107 out of 121 spaces filled.

Spanish Guinea 1906 Scott 45 4c orange red
Stamps of Elobey, 1905, Overprinted in Violet or Blue
The Spanish Guinea section yielded 36 stamps for a total of 113 stamps (35% filled).

Of the 36, 12 found a virtual space in Big Blue. Now, 67 spaces, out of 104, have stamps.

Fernando Po 1907 Scott 165 4p violet
"King Alfonso XIII"
For Fernando Po, I found 22 stamps for Deep Blue (Steiner), bringing the total to 36 stamps ( 20% filled).

Big Blue added only one stamp. Of the 23 spaces, 12 have stamps in them.

Scott Specialty Album: Spain and Colonies
This album (above) furnished the Spanish sphere stamps for the 1840-1940 era. The stamps were removed and put into Deep Blue (Steiner) pages for 1840-1940. But the 1941- 1970 era stamps were left in the album. As said, I don't have time to do more.

In retrospect, if I had collected by gradually adding nicely filled Scott Specialty albums (such as "Spain and Colonies" above), it would have worked especially well for a WW collection to the 1970s +/- right from the beginning. The Scott Specialty albums (or Minkus Country albums) could then have been supplemented with Steiner pages for the WW collection for countries that the specialty albums do not cover.

Martinique 1891 Scott 23 05c on 15c black
French Colonies J5-J9 Surcharged
Martinique +51
I obtained a Martinique collection from a dealer in Salem, Oregon who was attending our local stamp show/bourse.

I have found that a great source for stamps and collections (as a WW collector) is to shop locally. By that, I mean to let the local area dealers and fellow stamp collectors know of your catholic tastes. ;-)

They will seek you out when they have a nice country collection.  If the price is right (mid teens % CV preferably to 30% for high grade material), it is a great way to find new stamps.

Martinique 1908 Scott 100 5fr orange red & brown
"Girl Bearing Pineapple in Cane Field"
I found 51 needed stamps, bringing the total to 166 ( 76% filled). My virtual Big Blue has 88 spaces out of 98 filled.

Belgian Congo 1886 Scott 5 5ft lilac "Leopold II"
Independent State
Belgian Congo +45
Ruanda-Urundi +25
I'm a sucker for the stamps of the Belgian Congo, and, although I had previously stripped  Belgian Congo collections, I couldn't resist when the Portland dealer had a Belgian Congo ( and Ruanda-Urundi) collection available for mid-teens % CV.

Belgian Congo 1910 Scott 57 5ft carmine & black
"Bangala Chief and Wife"
The collection yielded 45 new stamps. Deep Blue now has 187 spaces filled (70% of total).

The virtual Big Blue has 134 spaces filled out of 138.

Ruanda-Urundi 1931 Scott 54 20fr brown
"Urundi Prince"
For Ruanda-Urundi, 25 stamps were added. Total is 48 spaces filled (67%).

Ruanda-Urundi 1930 Scott B8 1.75fr + 75c deep blue (red overprint)
"Convalescent Area"
Belgian Congo B12-B20 Overprinted
Big Blue had an addition of nine stamps, bring the spaces filled to 26 out of 31.

Saar 1927 Scott B7 50c + 50c red orange
"Children getting Drink at Spring"
1926 B1-B4 Overprinted 
Saar +40
I thought I already had a decent Saar collection, but the Saar album I attained from a local dealer was filled with many semi-postals. The asking price was good.

Saar 1926 Scott B15 10fr (+ 10fr) dark brown
"Charity" by Raphael
Many of the Saar semi-postals have a high CV. Would you believe $360 CV for this one?

Saar 1931 Semi-Postal Issue in Deep Blue
For Deep Blue (Steiner), 224 spaces out of 237 are filled.

Five stamps were added to Big Blue. Total now is 132 spaces filled out of 133.

Queensland 1871 Scott 27 3p "Victoria"
(Shade SG 66 3d olive green)
Queensland +22
A black Hagner stock sheet had a small but significant assortment of early Queensland that had not been checked for watermarks or perforations. I bought it at the local stamp show/bourse.

After work-up, I had 22 additional early Queensland.

Japan 1876 Scott 59 5s brown
"Imperial Crest, Star, and Kiri Branches"
Japan +18
A local part time dealer offered me a Japan collection. The price was right.

Japan 1921 Scott 170 10s deep blue
"Battleships Katon and Kashima"
I added 18 stamps to my classical 1840-1940 era collection. 

Denmark 1857 Scott 6 15s gray lilac
"Dotting in Spandrels"
Denmark +18
A stamp collector friend of mine decided to sell his Scandinavia collection. I made an offer and he accepted.

Denmark 1912 Scott 80 35o on 20o
Dark Blue Surcharge
For Denmark, I added 18 stamps. My virtual Big Blue was already completed (206 spaces), but Deep Blue now has 346 out of 399 spaces filled.

Great Britain 1867 Scott 57 5sh rose "Victoria"
"Wmk 26 - Maltese Cross"
Great Britain +15
Sometimes a ratty in appearance collection can yield good stuff. I bought a rather unimpressive (at first glance) early GB collection at our local stamp club's "Buy,Sell,Trade" night.

On closer inspection, there were 15 stamps I didn't have!

This 5 shilling rose has a CV of $600!!!!

Great Britain 1883 Scott 96 2sh6p lilac
"Wmk 31 Anchor"
I still have a ways to go with GB, with 421 spaces filled in Deep Blue (46% of total).

Jamaica 1920 Scott 84 2sh brown &violet
"Memorial to Admiral Rodney"
Jamaica +15
I had a good collection of Jamaica, but the price was right, so I bought this Jamaica collection (all unused) from a local part time dealer. It yielded 15 stamps, but many more were swapped in because of better condition. Big Blue is complete and Deep Blue has 160 out of 170 spaces filled. Nice!

Mexico 1864 Scott 25 8r red (T IV) "Coat of Arms"
Out of the Blue
Essentially, all of the 1840-1940 (-1952 British Commonwealth) stamps that were added for 2018 were from collection/album purchases. And you may have noticed that this was all done locally. The approach has worked well for me up to now, but...

I am at the stage in my WW collection where I will need to change strategies, especially as I do  not have the time/energy to process the 1940-1970+/- era.

This year (2019) will see a more targeted "want list" approach.

Comments appreciated!


  1. Very impressive additions this year given that it gets harder to find and acquire stamps as you get close on filling the album. The virtual Big Blue additions are particularly nice and interesting to hear about given that it is my first love as collecting goes at this time as well. My acquisitions have slowed a bit as I am, also, running into time and energy issues with just incorporating purchases already made into the collection. Sounds like you have made some great purchases locally and I have been moving to more local purchases at least partly for relationship building in the past year as well.

    1. Thanks for the update albumfilling with your collection. Yes, local connections can yield surprising opportunities.

  2. Blimey, you are getting into some really nice stuff :) Those overprints for Canton area are VERY nice...