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...

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Cameroun 1897-1917 - a closer look

1915 Scott 58 3p on 30pf  orange & black/salmon
British Occupation: Black Surcharge; "Kaiser's Yacht"
Into the Deep Blue
Cameroun (Kamerun), on the west coast of Africa, provides the classical era WW collector with stamps of the German Protectorate (1897-1918), British occupation issues (1915), French occupation issues (1915-1917), Provisional French Mandate issues (1921-1925), and French Mandate issues (1925-1940).

From Gerben Van Gelder's Stamp World History Site
The best classical era Cameroon map I know of comes from Gerben van Gelder's site - at the time of constructing this post not active. I saved his maps (and have had general permission from him to use them), but I really hope his great contribution goes back on-line. 

The original Cameroon blog post and BB checklist is here.

This blog post will take a look at the 1897-1917 issues, while the next post will review the 1921-1940 issues.

A closer look 1897-1917
100 Pfennig = 1 Mark
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
1897 Scott 1 3pf yellow brown
Stamps of Germany Overprinted in Black
The first six stamp issue under German Dominion were released in 1897, and consisted of stamps of Germany overprinted "Kamerun" in black.

The Protectorate existed between 1884-1916.

The port city of Duala initially had a post office established February 1, 1887 in the area, using a "Kamerun" post mark. Stamps of Germany were initially used.

The postmark was then changed to "Duala/Kamerun" June 1, 1901, and the post office existed until September 27, 1914. The capital remained Duala until 1910, when it was moved to Buea.

Caroline Islands 1900 Scott 1 3pf dark brown
Stamps of Germany Overprinted in Black
Ha-ha! This Caroline Islands stamp slipped in by mistake. There is a minor number color change (dark brown) on the 3 pfennig for Cameroun noted by the catalogue, and I was paying close attention to the color rather than the overprint. ;-)

1897 Scott 5 25pf orange
Stamps of Germany Overprinted in Black
In today's catalogue, "used" is valued higher (CV $4+-$30+) than "unused" (CV $3+-$20).

1900 Scott 8 5pf green, unwmkd
"Kaiser's Yacht"
In 1900, the ubiquitous (for German colonies) "Kaiser's Yacht" design stamp issue was released for Kamerun.

This 5 pfennig green has a 12/27/1906 "Kribi" postmark. The post office was in operation between 8/10/1894 - 10/13/1914.

Kribi is located on the coast 93 miles (150 km) south of Duala.

1900 Scott 11 25pf orange & black/yellow
"Kaiser's Yacht"
CV for the unwatermarked nine stamp 3pf - 80pf denominations ranges from $1+-$2+- remarkably inexpensive.

I can't make out or locate the post mark - can you?

Note: OSSIDINGE, cancel used 17 Dec 1904 to 31 Dec 1914.- thanks hy-brasil!

1900 Scott 18 3m black violet
The engraved four stamp higher denominations have the iconic image of "Hohenzollern", the Kaiser's Yacht. CV ranges from $5 to $140.

"Hohenzollern II"
The stamp image shows the second edition of the Kaiser's yacht, in operation between 1893-1914. It was scrapped in 1923.

As far as I know, the yacht never actually visited any of the German colonies.

1914 Scott 23 20pf ultramarine, Wmk 125 "Lozenges"
"Kaiser's Yacht"
Between 1905-1918, a six stamp "Yacht" issue was produced, but this time on watermarked paper.

The 20pf stamp shown here was released in 1914, and is much less expensive unused (CV $3) compared to used (CV $125).

1919 Scott 24a 1m carmine, Wmk "Lozenges"
25 X 17 Perf holes; "Hohenzollern"
The 3pf and 1m denominations were never placed in use.

The 1m carmine exists with 26X17 perf holes or 25X17 perf holes. 

1915 Scott 55 1p on 10pf carmine, Blue Surcharge
C.E.F. = "Cameroons Expeditionary Force"
"Kaiser's Yacht"
In 1915, thirteen stamps of German Kamerun were surcharged "C.E.F." (Cameroon Expeditionary Force) in blue or black under British occupation.

This 1p on 10pf carmine stamp is postmarked "Duala" on July 7, 1915.

Kamerun 1914
Duala, the largest town, was surrendered to the allied forces on September 27, 1914.

1915 Scott 60 6p on 60pf purple & black/salmon
Black Surcharge; "Kaiser's Yacht"
CV ranges from $1 to $10+ for nine stamps. Unused is CV less than used. There are many overprint varieties.

1916 Scott 134 10c carmine & blue "Leopard"
Stamps of the Middle Congo of 1907, Overprinted
"Cameroun  Occupation Francaise"
In 1915, under French occupation, sixteen Gabon stamps were overprinted "Corps Expeditionnaire/ Franco-Anglais/Cameroun".  (Not shown.)

In addition, the French allied forces released a fourteen stamp overprinted issue in 1916 on 1907 issue stamps of the Middle Congo and 1900 issue stamps of the French Congo. The overprint read "Occupation Francaise du Cameroun". (Not shown.)

These two issues  are very CV expensive (generally $hundreds), and I don't have any.

But, between 1916-17, a seventeen stamp overprinted "Cameroon Occupation Francaise" issue was released under French occupation, using the 1907 issue of the Middle Congo. (Shown.)

1916 Scott 142 50c blue green & red "Bakalois Woman"
Stamps of the Middle Congo of 1907, Overprinted
"Cameroun  Occupation Francaise"
CV for the seventeen stamps range from <$1 to $10+ - quite inexpensive.

1916 Scott 143 75c brown & blue "Bakalois Woman"
Stamps of the Middle Congo of 1907, Overprinted
"Cameroun  Occupation Francaise"
For those that like to flyspeck overprints, there are nine stamps that can be found with no period after "Francaise", and ten stamps that can be found with the letter "s" of "Francaise" inverted. CV is usually $6-$8. Take a look at your collection.

1916 Scott 145 2fr violet & gray green "Coconut Grove"
Stamps of the Middle Congo of 1907, Overprinted
"Cameroun  Occupation Francaise"
The overprinted stamps show the three designs of the 1907 Middle Congo stamps.

1916 Scott 146 5fr blue & rose "Coconut Grove"
Stamps of the Middle Congo of 1907, Overprinted
"Cameroun  Occupation Francaise"
Of interest, the 1916-17 overprinted stamps are CV less than the original 1907 Middle Congo stamps. The overprinted 5fr blue & rose shown here is CV $10+, while the original non overprinted 1907 5fr is CV $40+.

Deep Blue
1900 "Kaiser's Yacht" Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has three pages for the 1897-1918 German Kamerun stamps, one page for the 1915 British occupation surcharged German stamps, and three pages for the French occupation stamps. All major numbers have a space.

1917 Scott 135 15c brown violet & rose "Leopard"
Stamps of the Middle Congo of 1907, Overprinted
"Cameroun  Occupation Francaise"
Out of the Blue
Cameroon stamps follow the changing WWI fortunes of the Germans, the British, and the French. Most are inexpensive, but the earlier French occupation issues are CV pricey indeed.

We will continue with the Cameroun story in the next installment.

Note: 1914 map and "Hohenzollern II" pics appear to be in the public domain.


Comments appreciated!


  1. The cancel on the 25pf yacht has the complete town name, OSSIDINGE, used 17 Dec 1904 to 31 Dec 1914.


  2. Thanks hy-brasil! Changed the post to reflect this.

  3. I truly appreciate you provide a listing of all the specific governmental changes for each country. My WW collection is predicated on obtaining good representative stamps for every country's governmental changes, military occupations, name changes, etc. and you do an excellent job of delineating the different stamp issuing entities for each country. Since I already have stamps that are labeled from all the postal entities of Cameroun, I can cross check what I have with your information. In this case, I needed to correct my German "Kameroun" entry from German Colony to German Protectorate. Thank you!

    1. Same here I collect one stamp per country for every political change that happened there.

  4. Whys there a 3 pf brown German Caroline Island stamp among the cameroun stamps

    1. Good one Arun! Neither I nor others noticed that until now. I fixed it. Thanks!