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...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Kionga - Bud's Big Blue

The Forerunners
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Kionga’s 1916 history provides, of course, an interesting context for these four rather ordinary stamps ( See Jim's blog post).  Portugal and Germany squabbling over boundaries of colonies that neither control today, battles fought in sweltering heat that neither side was equipped to handle, troops decimated by tropical and social diseases, Portugal’s eventual victory (it’s only territorial victory in WWI) -- all for a tiny sliver of African real estate that had about 4000 inhabitants (in 1910). Now part of the region of Cabo Delgado, Quionga village itself appears not to have grown much since then. Google “Kionga triangle” for rehashings of this history.

Another interesting aspect of these blue-on-blue stamps, however, relates to the stamps themselves. A grinning King Carlos gazes from them, although he was assassinated eight years before they were issued. The monarchy itself was overthrown six years before the issue. Lourenco Marques 100 ries stamps (Scott #44, 1898) were conscripted for Kionga usage, probably leftover stock from some postal warehouse. These were locally overprinted “Republica” in carmine for the provisional Lourenco Marques issue of 1916 (#149), then affixed with two additional overprints: the currency of 1913 and the “Kionga” designation. That’s five times through a printing press, counting two times for original #44.

King Carlos stamps, somewhat surprisingly, were never overprinted with the 1913 currency for use elsewhere in Mozambique. But they continued to be used with the original ries denominations and overprinted “Republica” until at least 1917, concurrently with the Ceres stamps denominated in centavos and escudos.

Authentic 1916 Kionga covers provide a collecting challenge. Deep pockets required. Censored mail sent by WWI soldiers in occupied territories (the bulk of surviving Kionga covers) is scarce and expensive. 

Census: only four, all in BB spaces. Kionga ties with Cochin China for the fewest stamps in the 1969 BB.

Jim's Observations
The border of German East Africa and Portuguese East Africa followed the Rovuma river. The exception was at the Rovuma river outlet to the Indian Ocean, where the Germans had established an outpost on the south side of the river.

This outpost was called Kionga (now Quionga), and had a population of 4,000 in 1910. This small area of 200 square miles (550 square kilometers) became known as the "Kionga Triangle" because of subsequent events that occurred during  WW I.

For more on this, see...

Kionga Blog Post & BB Checklist

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Comments appreciated!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Filling Deep Blue: France (Offices China), Mongolia, Germany additions

1872 Germany Scott 10 7kr ultramarine
Imperial Eagle with Small Shield
Into the Deep Blue
WW collectors love to peek at what other WW collectors are adding to their collections.

In my case, I have close to 50,000 of the 83,000 major number stamp possibilities for the classical 1840-1940 (-1952 British Commonwealth) era.

One would think that any additional stamps would be of interest, as they would appear to be toward the "uncommon" range of the availability distribution bell curve..

Want to take a look at what I added during February of this year?

France Offices in China additions
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
100 Cents = 1 Piaster
100 Cents = 1 Dollar
France Offices in China
1894-1900 Scott 9 50c carmine/rose, Type I 
Peace and Commerce Stamps of France, OP in Red, Carmine, or Black
I had a feeder collection of France that had some stamps in the "Offices in China" category that I did not have. What are "Offices in China" stamps? Well, before 1923 many of the major world powers maintained their own post offices in China for sending and receiving overseas mail.

Between 1904-1900, "Peace and Commerce" stamps of France were overprinted for use in China.

CV for the 13 major numbers range from $3 to $60. With this stamp, I have eight spaces filled.

France Offices in China
1907 Scott 59 6c on 15c pale red "Rights of Man"
Stamps of 1902-03 Surcharged in Black
In 1907, eight stamps of Indo-China 1902-03 were surcharged in black as shown. This one (CV $2+) I did not have yet, although I had four of the others.

France Offices in China
1907 Scott 62 20c on 50c bister brown & lavender
"Liberty and Peace"
Stamps of 1902-03 Surcharged in Black
I also added Scott 62 (CV $3+) for the 1907 issue.

Note that the CVs for the two stamps I added above under the "Offices in China" category are not that high. Still room to grow without necessarily spending $$$. !!!

France Offices in China
1907 Issue
Although I have a reasonably good collection of classic regular and semi-postal France, a reality check: I have 895 stamps out of 1932 possibilities. Most of the missing stamps are in the BOB categories.

Offices in China: Canton

Offices in China: 1901 Canton Scott 5
15c blue, quadrille paper, "Navigation & Commerce"
Stamps of Indo-China, 1892-1900, OP in Red
For Canton, in 1901, sixteen major number stamps were released, overprinted in red, on 1892-1900 Indo-China stamps. CV ranges from $2+ to $600! I have seven stamps in this issue with the addition of the 15c blue (CV $6+). Note the Chinese characters read "Canton".

Offices in China: Canton, Perf 14 X 13.5
1903-04 Scott 22 25c blue "Navigation & Commerce"
Surcharged in Black
In 1903-04, sixteen stamps of Indo-China were surcharged in black. The Chinese characters restate the denomination of the stamp.This Scott 22 is CV $7+.I have five other stamps filled for the issue.

Closeup- Navigation and Commerce
Genuine: Large Fruit well defined
OK, this is where it gets sticky forgery wise.

The 1896 French Colonies "Navigation and Commerce" issue was forged by the Swiss forger Charles Hirschburger (later sold through Panelli). The forgeries are sometimes mistakenly attributed to Fournier. The forgeries consist of essentially all of the French colonies "Navigation and Commerce" stamps, including most of the overprinted/surcharged stamps. Altogether, there are some 1400 forged unique stamps- a lot! What that means is essentially every "Navigation and Commerce" French colony stamp needs to be examined for this forgery.

Offices in China: Canton, Perf 13.5 X 14
"1903-04 Scott 16 2c brown/buff " "Navigation & Commerce"
Surcharged in Black
Hirschburger Forgery
Among my feeder album was this.

Closeup-Navigation and Commerce
Hirschburger Forgery: Large Fruit not well defined
There are lots of ways to tell if one has a forgery, as throughout the design the forged specimen is more crudely drawn. One way is to examine the fruit.

Mongolia additions
100 Cents = 1 Dollar
100 Mung = 1 Tugrik (1926)
1926-29 Scott 33 20m blue & black
Type I, 22 X 28 mm
Mongolia is exotic enough that any stamp addition is worthwhile. These stamps were found on the internet.

This lithographic 1926-29 type stamp ( 12 stamps in the issue) has a Type I design: the pearl above the crescent is solid. CV is $24..

1926-29 Scott 41 50m buff & black
Type II, 26 X 34 mm
The 50m buff & black is Type II: the pearl above the crescent is open and outlined in black.

CV is $6+.

North German Confederation or Germany additions
30 Groschen = 1 Thaler (Northern District, North German Confederation)
30 Silbergroschen or Groschen = 1 Thaler
60 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden
100 Pfennigs = 1 Mark (1875)
North German Confederation
1869 Scott 13 1/4gr lilac/ 1869 Scott 13a 1/4gr red violet
Most WW collectors who have been collecting awhile will have a very solid representation for Germany, as the stamps are plentiful in feeder collections, and dealer stocks. So any additions tend to be special.

So here, for the North German Confederation, I added a minor number color: a Scott 13a red violet. CV is $20.

1872 Germany Scott 11 18kr bister
Imperial Eagle with Small Shield
I already had most "Small Shield" 1872 Germany, missing only the 7kr ultramarine (CV $85) and the 18kr bister (CV $360). These were picked up through an exceptional feeder album.

1872 Scott 19 2 1/2gr orange brown
Imperial Eagle with Large Shield
The "Large Shield" 1872 Scott 19 was also added. CV is $60+.

1900 Scott 65A 5m slate & carmine, Type II
"Wilhelm II Speaking at Empire's 25th Anniversary Celebration"
This is the class of the Germany additionals: an unused Scott 65A. Lovely, lovely! CV is $375.

1902 Scott 76 2m gray blue
"Union of North and South Germany"
The 1902 2m gray blue was also picked up. CV (unused) is $80+.

1923 Scott 242A 8th m on 30 pf
Wmk Network (126)
The Wmk Network 8th m on 30pf is hard to find. It has a CV of $20+(unused), compared to the Wmk Lozenges variety (CV $<1).

Germany Scott 242A back
Wmk Network (126)
Evidence that this is the Wmk Network version!

1927 Scott 365 25pf blue
One of my missing sets was the overprinted "I.A.A." three stamp release of October 10, 1927.

Scott 363-365 1927 Issue
The CV is $10+ unused. "I.A.A." stands for "Internationales Arbeitsamt", an agency of the League of Nations, that was meeting in Berlin.

1933 Scott 414 100pf orange & black "Hindenburg"
Wmk Network (126)
The 100pf orange & black "Hindenburg" (as well as other denominations) are more common in feeder collections with the "Swastikas" watermark (CV $3+) (1933-36 issue) than the "Network" watermark (CV $25) (1933 Issue).

1933 Scott 414 Back
Wmk Network (126)
Unfortunately, in feeder collections, stamps that are placed into the 1933 Hindenburg spaces often have the "Swastikas" watermark: which actually belongs to the 1933-36 issue.

But here is proof that the 100pf orange & black shown here has a "Network" watermark, a 1933 issue.

Mongolia 1926-29 Scott 39 25m yellow green & Black
Type II, 22 X 29 mm
Out of the Blue
O.K., end of this "Show & Tell". ;-)

To be continued with others in the future.

Comments appreciated!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Kenya - Bud's Big Blue

Kenya Postal Runner Embroidery Panel 1
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Many nations used postal runners to deliver mail to remote places. Rightly portrayed as heroes, relay runners risked brutal terrain, wild beasts and bandits, unwelcoming people and warring armies, all to make their appointed rounds. Their history traces to ancient times when cuneiform messages were incised on clay tablets. Only recently have the runners been entirely replaced by mail trucks, a water-shed change in postal communications history.2

Colonial Kenya had many such runners; some of the earlier stamps in our albums were probably carried by them, even if the cancellations read Nairobi or Mombasa. Postal running is not an ancient African occupation, however. The British introduced the job as the first railroad slithered3 its way from Mombasa, on the coast, inland to Nairobi, Eldoret and, eventually, Kampala. The “iron snake” carried the mail along this route. Runners were dispatched from post offices near the railroad then, after crisscrossing hostile territories, they made deliveries to remote white settlements and mission stations.

One such runner, shown at work in his British occupation, is portrayed on the above embroidery panel with cleft message stick and protective spear in hand. I’m unsure why the cleft stick was used; maybe so the runner wouldn’t touch the letter before offering it into white colonial hands? I hope not.

Closeup of runner
Forty-three different indigenous groups were bundled together in 1920 to form Kenya Colony. Some of them got along poorly with others, and still do. “It’s our turn to eat,” a Kenyan friend once said to me when a member of his ethnic group got elected to national office. Diversity increased further when the British brought workers from India to build bridges and railroads (see Jinja Bridge, KUT Scott #s 51 and 68, and dhows, #47).

As Jim wrote in the main part of this blog, “The stamps reflect the administrative reality of the British governance.” British drew and redrew boundaries in East Africa as they deemed convenient, taking into account few African realities. That’s true even more so for their various stamp issuing authorities. So, tracking East Africa stamps in BB is difficult, but Jim’s comments (KUT Post) make it easier.

Census for K&U: 15 in BB spaces, one tip-in, seven on the supplement page. For KU&T: 35 in BB spaces, three on the supplement page.

1 East Africa Women's League. They Made It Their Home. Nairobi, 1962. No page numbers, the above is the 30th image. Embroidery panels included herein, 50 of them, show the colonists’ understanding of history and tend to ignore history from indigenous African points of view. The panels depict not colonialization’s many exploitations of Africans but its blessings stemming from white settlers’ “energy…, faith and due humility”. Many years in the making, the embroidery project was completed in about 1960.

3 Ancient Kikuyu and Maasai prophets foresaw an iron snake someday stretching from the salt sea (aka, the Indian Ocean) to the Great Lake (aka, Lake Victoria). A foreboding prediction, the vicious snake would wreak havoc, changing everything. The railroad, now commonly thought to be the predicted snake, cut apart the existing African nations and sewed them together according to British conveniences.

Iron snake shed skin4

Jim's Observations
Interesting part of Africa, interesting pictorials, and enough complications (watermarks, perforations) to keep a philatelist happy.

For a breakdown of all the name changes for Kenya, see...

Original Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania Blog Post & BB Checklist

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Comments appreciated!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Karelia - Bud's Big Blue

Coat of Arms
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
The defiant and defying message of Karelia’s stamps is clear: Beware of belligerent bears brandishing billhooks.

The Finnish nationalists of East Karelia spat this warning at the Soviets with whom, briefly in 1922, they were at war. Their separatist hopes were dashed after only a few weeks, but that was long enough to draw up a coat of arms (above) and issue stamps -- both hollow claims, as it turned out, to national identity and stability (for more of this history, click here). Wars seldom annihilate hope, though. The same angry bruin appears on a 1943 Finnish semi-postal stamp. Even now, nearly a hundred years later, many Karelian refugees still cherish the belligerent bear. Moreover, efforts to rehabilitate bear populations in Karelia are currently underway.

The bear on the stamp has broken the chain of Soviet oppression and, in its paws, wields the Karelian national chopper, a vesuri, elsewhere known as a billhook or machete. Normally a tool for clearing brush, it serves nicely as a brutal weapon. The jagged lines at the top of the stamps, usually thought to represent northern lights, look to me more like gnashing bear teeth.

Census: six in BB spaces, one tip-in (a forgery, see more by clicking here).

Belligerent Bear

Jim's Observations
The design shows the national coat of arms of the newly minted state of Karelia. An enraged bear is pictured, having just broken his chains, holding a blade called a billhook over his head, ready for any action.

Actually, the bear looks rather comical, and has been described by Varro Tyler and others as a "Dancing Bear, standing on a bicycle chain, swinging a golf club over his head". ;-)

The northern lights are represented by four zigzag lines over the bear.

The short history of Karelia is fascinating, and is discussed in my original post (link below).

Of more importance to WW collectors is how to distinguish the forgeries from the originals. That topic is looked at in my original post (link below).

Karelia Blog Post & BB Checklist

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Comments appreciated!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Cape Juby - a closer look

1919 Scott 16 50c slate blue "Alfonso XIII"
Stamps of Spain, 1876-1917, Overprinted in Red or Black
Into the Deep Blue
Cape Juby has to be one of the more obscure places that ever issued stamps.

Cape Juby Map
From StampWorldHistory
The population was less than 10,000 at the time, and how many of those were literate?

The basic history, overview, and BB checklist is included in my original blog...

Cape Juby

The purpose of this post is to illustrate more examples of Cape Juby's stamp issue output from 1916-1940.

A closer look
100 Centimos = 1 Peseta
I should mention that there is a 1916 six stamp issue on 1914 Rio de Oro stamps that is overprinted "Cabo Jubi" and surcharged. CV ranges from $10+ to $70+.

I was thinking of picking some up, but Scott has a note: "Fakes are plentiful". I think I will pass.

1919 Scott 7 1/4c blue green "Mural Crown"
On Spain 1876 Scott 221A, Imperforate
Overprinted in Red
This ubiquitous stamp was overprinted as shown in 1919 for Cape Juby.

1919 Scott 11 15c ocher "Alfonso XIII"
Black Overprint
On Stamps of Spain, 1876-1917,
Spanish stamps were overprinted for a 13 stamp issue for Cape Juby.

Note the black overprint.

CV is <$1 to $40+.

1919 Scott 13 25c deep blue "Alfonso XIII"
Red Overprint
On Stamps of Spain, 1876-1917
Note the red overprint. If one insists on well centered copies, one should probably not be collecting Cape Juby. ;-)

1929 Scott 37 1p blue black "Exposition Buildings'
On Stamps of Spain, 1929, OP in Red or Blue
The eleven stamp Spanish Seville-Barcelona Exposition Issue was overprinted in red or blue for Cape Juby in 1929. CV is <$1 to $20+.

1934 Scott 41 2c dark violet, Red Overprint
"Mosque of Alcazarquivir"
Stamps of Spanish Morocco, 1928-33, OP in Black or Red
Stamps of Spanish Morocco that are overprinted were used for the fourteen stamp 1934 issue. CV for eight stamps is <$1-$10+. The rest (six stamps) are CV $20+-$140+. !!

1935-36 Scott 55 5c magenta, Black OP
"Gate in Town Wall, Arzila
On Stamps of Spanish Morocco, 1933-35, OP in Black, Blue, or Red
Another issue for 1935-36: nine stamps of Spanish Morocco overprinted. Not cheap either: six @ $20+-$100. !!

1937 Scott 73 10c emerald, Black OP
"Moroccan Phalanx"
On Stamps of Spanish Morocco, 1937
First Year of Spanish Civil War
The 1937 issue (16 stamps) again used Spanish Moroccan stamps that were overprinted. The higher denominations (four stamps) are CV $80+ !, while the lower denominations (twelve stamps) are a reasonable CV <$1-$1+. !!

1939 Scott 89 20c bright blue, Photogravure
OP in black on types of Spanish Morocco, 1939
In 1939, four stamps were issued - yes, Spanish Morocco overprinted. CV is <$1.

1940 Scott 92 5c dark blue, Red OP
On Stamps of Spanish Morocco, 1940
The 1940 issue was 16 stamps, 11 of them CV <$1.

Semi-postal 1926 Scott B1 1c orange
"Princesses Maria Cristina and Beatrice"
Types of Semi-postal Stamps of Spain, 1926, Overprinted
The 1926 semi-postal issue of Spain (13 stamps) was also issued overprinted for Cape Juby, and in different colors (types).

CV is <$1-$10+.
1938 Scott C4 40c light blue
"Desert Tribesmen watching Plane"
Spanish Morocco, Nos C1-C10 Overprinted
On June 1, 1938 The 1938 Spanish Moroccan C1-C10 stamps were overprinted as shown to serve as air post stamps. CV is <$1-$7+.

1938 Scott C7 1p dark brown
"Arab Mailman, Plane Above"
Spanish Morocco, Nos C1-C10 Overprinted
It is much easier, it seems, to find unused Cape Juby stamps compared to used stamps in collections. Considering the small literate population, that is not too surprising. Scott values "used" at the same level as "unused" (or a little less in some cases). In terms of actual abundance, I'm sure that "unused" is much more common.

Well, here is a "used" example. Now, whether this is a "real" postally used example, a CTO, or a fake, is a question I cannot answer.

Special Delivery 1937 Scott E5 "Mounted Courier"
Special Delivery stamps were issued between 1919-1940 (six stamps).

The example I show here shows a mounted courier on an overprinted Spanish Morocco issue.

One would think this is how an "urgente" post would be delivered. CV is <$1.

Deep Blue
Cape Juby 1939 Issue
Spanish Morocco 1939 Issues Overprinted
Deep Blue (Steiner) has ten pages for the 1916-1940 stamps of Cape Juby. All of Scott's major numbers have a space.

1937 Scott 77 30c red orange, Black Overprint
"Mounted Trumpeters"
On stamps of Spanish Morocco, 1937
Out of the Blue
Four comments about Cape Juby...
* For the 1930s era, unless you are really into overprinted Cape Juby, just concentrate on collecting the stamps of Spanish Morocco: less expensive overall.

*As is true for most Spanish colonies, the stamps of Cape Juby (even the low CV ones) are not much available in feeder collections here in the U.S. You will have to look for them.

*And on the other end, the higher denominations in Cape Juby sets (especially during the 1930s) have a quite high CV.

*If you know anything about Cape Juby, you know more than 99.9999% of the population. Try to work comments about Cape Juby into a conversation for bonus points. ;-)

Cape Juby - Bud's Big Blue

Note: I used Gerben van Gelder's map of Cape Juby for this blog post. I had general permission from him to use his maps, and as his StampWorldHistory web site is not presently active, I have included it here.

Comments appreciated!