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...

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Cape Verde 1914-1938 & BOB - A Closer Look

1926 Scott 183J 15c chocolate "Ceres"
1920-26 Issue; Perf 12 X 11 1/2
Into the Deep Blue
This is the second of two blog posts for Cape Verde.

Here are the posts for 1877-1938, and the original.

A closer look 1914-1938 & BOB
1000 Reis = 1 Milreis
100 Centavos = 1 Escudo (1913)
1914 Scott 156 30c brown/green "Ceres"
Perf 15 X 14; Chalky Paper
The Scott catalogue through 2011 simplified the typographic 1914-26 "Ceres" issue, lumping the perfs (15 X 14; 12 X 11 1/2) and paper varieties together.

But by 2014, the catalogue's listing for Cape Verde's "Ceres" issues was expanded. There are now "new" Scott numbers for the "Ceres" issues reflecting the more parsed listings.. That is what is presented here. My original Cape Verde post also lists the "old" numbers.

In 1914, the first issue of 16 stamps (Scott 144-159) was released. This issue is characterized by Perf 15 X 14, and chalky paper.

CV ranges from <$1 to $5.

1916 Scott 161 5c deep blue "Ceres"
Perf 15 X 14; Enamel-Surfaced Paper
In 1916, two stamps (1/4c olive brown, 5c deep blue) were issued as Perf 15 X 14, but now on enamel-surfaced paper (Scott 160-61). Both Perf 15 X 14 stamps can also be found with chalky paper. Yes, one will need to discern paper types! ;-)

CV is <$1.
1922 Scott 169 3c orange "Ceres"
Perf 15 X 14; Ordinary Paper
Then, to complicate things further, seven stamps (Scott 162-64, 166-68, 172) were issued in 1916 and four stamps (Scott 165, 169-71) were issued in 1922 on ordinary paper. All of these stamps are still Perf 15 X 14. Yes, there is overlap with Perf 15 X 14 stamps on other papers (chalky, enamel), so again, one will need to carefully check the paper type. Fun! ;-)

CV is <$1.
1922 Scott 183 5c bright blue "Ceres"
Perf 12 X 11 1/2; Ordinary Paper
The remaining issues (1920-26) are now on Perf 12 X 11 1/2, so an important distinction.

Between 1920-26, 27 stamps (Scott 173-183, 183A-183P) on ordinary paper, Perf 12 X 11 1/2 were issued. One does not need to check the paper, as the Perf 12 X 11 1/2 will distinguish for these denominations ( 1/4c-80c).

CV is <$1 to $2+.
1926 Scott 183R 1e deep blue "Ceres"
Perf 12 X 11 1/2; Glazed Paper
Finally, between 1922-26, six stamps (Scott 183Q-183V) were issued on glazed paper, and Perf 12 X 11 1/2. These stamps, though, are of higher denomination (1e-20e), and therefore do not overlap with the ordinary paper Perf 12 X 11 1/2 varieties of 1920-26.

CV is $1+ - $80.

In summary, the "Ceres" issues are definitely more complicated. The Perf separation into major numbers is welcome. The paper distinctions less so, only because I sometimes struggle with this. The good news is the Scott catalogue is now on par with the Portuguese Afinsa catalogue as far as parsing the "Ceres" issues.

1915 Scott 184 115r on 10r green  (11 1/2) "King Luiz"
Provisional Issue of 1902 Overprinted in Carmine
Ten stamps of the 1902 provisional issue (which are surcharged) were, in 1915, overprinted "Republica" in carmine, and issued. They were printed 11 /2, 12 1/2, 13 1/2 perf, and some are major numbers, others are minor numbers (Consult Scott). CV is <$1-$2.

1921 Scott 194 1/4c on 1c green; Perf 15 X 14
War Tax Stamps of Portuguese Africa Surcharged
War Tax stamps of Portuguese Africa were surcharged in 1921 for regular postal use. The three stamp denominations can be found Perf 15 X 14 or Perf 12 X 11 1/2. Each Perf type is given a major number. In addition, the Perf 12 X 11 /2 stamps can also be found on enameled paper. CV is <$1-$1.

1921 Scott 198 4c on 10c on 100r bister brown
On Scott 126 Portuguese Africa
Vasco da Gama Issue
Two stamps from the 1913 Vasco da Gama issue (Scott 126 & 127) were surcharged 2c and 4c respectively in 1921. CV is $1+-$2+.

1921 Scott 200 6c on 100r dark blue/blue "King Carlos"
1898 Scott 50 Surcharged
The 1898 Scott 50 was surcharged 6c in 1921. Although it is hard to see with this example, the "Republica" script has an accent over the "U". CV is $2+.

1922 Scott 202 4c on 130r on 75r carmine "King Carlos"
On 1915 Scott 191 Surcharged
In 1922, the 1913-15 Scott 137 & 191-193 were surcharged 4c. A bit of a mess, don't you think? CV is <$1-$1+.

1925 Scott 206 40c on 400r on 2 1/2r brown
On 1902 Scott 79 Surcharged
Newspaper Stamp of 1893
In 1925, two stamps (1902 Scott 78-79) were surcharged 40c. CV is <$1.

1931 Scott 214 70c on 80c bright rose "Ceres"
On 1922 Scott 183P Surcharged
No surcharging of the Ceres stamp issue for Cape Verde was done except for this specimen: 1931 70c on 80c bright rose. CV is $2+.

1934 Scott 233 20e orange "Ceres"
A "new" Ceres issue (new design) was released in 1934 on nineteen stamps. CV is <$1-$20+.

1938 Scott 247 1.75e blue 
1938 Vasco da Gama Issue
This common four design Vasco da Gama issue was released for Cape Verde in 1938 on eighteen stamps. CV is <$1-$5.

Air Post 1938 Scott C9 10e magenta
Common Design Type
Likewise this 1938 air post issue (nine stamps) uses a common design. CV is <$1-$5.

Postage Due 1904 Scott J7 100r lilac
In 1904, a ten stamp postage due issue for Cape Verde was released. CV is <$1-$4+.

1911 Scott J15 50r gray brown
Overprinted in Carmine or Green
In 1911, the previous ten stamp PD issue was overprinted "Republica" in carmine and green. CV is <$1-$1+.

1921 Scott J28 13c dull blue
The 1921 PD issue featured this design on ten stamps.  I should mention that all the postage due issues (1904, 1911,1921) have a different color for each denomination. CV for the 1921 issue is <$1-$1+.

Newspaper Stamps 1893 Scott P1 2 1/2r brown
In 1893, a newspaper stamp for Cape Verde was released (as well as for many other Portuguese colonies). CV is <$1 for the major number Perf 11 1/2. There also exists Perfs 12 1/2 & 13 1/2.

1925 Scott RA3 15c dull violet & black
Pombal Issue; Common Design Types
Postal Tax Stamps
In 1925, three denomination postal tax stamps were released. As usual, this is a common design type. CV is $1+.

1925 Scott RAJ3 30c dull violet & black
Pombal Issue; Common Design Types
Postal Tax Due Stamps
Finally, also in 1925, three postal tax due stamps were issued. CV is <$1.

Deep Blue
1934 "Ceres" Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has ten pages for the 1914-1938 regular issues and the back-of-the-book issues.

All of the major Scott numbers have a space EXCEPT...

I have the older Steiner page layout for the Ceres issue, which reflects the older non-parsed numbers of Scott circa 2011. What I did was use some quadrilled pages to place extra stamps for the Ceres issue there.

1915 Scott 189 115r on 25r blue green "King Carlos"
Provisional Issue of 1902 Overprinted in Carmine
Out of the Blue
What is striking for this 1914-38 & BOB era is the remarkably low CV for the stamps. OTOH, there is a certain visual monotony to the issues, as many/most Portuguese colonies had a similar output. Nevertheless, an assiduous collector could sub-specialize in these issues (covers, philatelic history) for not much financial outlay.

Comments appreciated!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Leeward Islands - Bud's Big Blue

The Philatelic Journal of America
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
For amusement, I’ve recently taken to reading 19th century philatelic journals, especially the notices about “new” stamps. They represent the first commentary on the stamps that now populate our Big Blues.

Much was written, back then, about the federal Leeward Islands stamps (meant to replace the stamps of Antigua, Montserrat, St. Christopher, Nevis, the British VirginIslands, and Dominica).

The Philatelic Journal of America welcomes the Leewards’ 1890 key plate stamps. “The process that replaced the stamps of all the provinces of Canada by those of the Dominion alone and which substituted one issue for those of the many Leeward Islands, will certainly be many times repeated….”1 The author, identified only as Judex, predicts that colonies in Australia, South Africa, West and Central Africa, and Malaysia will also soon consolidate stamp production.  

Judex was right. He further observes that prices for the obsolete colonial stamps will rise “phenomenally.” Right again. Yea! Judex had his eye on value.
And he predicts, eventually “John Bull will give us but one set of British stamps for the whole world and, then after a few years, what prices his old-time colonials will bring.” Wrong. “Perhaps after many years,” his dreaming continues, there will be “adoption of universal postage stamps for the whole postal union.”2 Wrong again.

Judex did not foresee (I can’t blame him) that stamps for individual islands would re-emerge to coexist with the federal stamps, both in the Leewards and Malaysia. He didn’t understand the limits of federation -- it’s harder to pull off with islands than with mainlands like Canada and Australia where the federal stamp hegemony prevailed.

One set of stamps for the entire postal union? Not in Judex’s lifetime. Nor in mine.

Another example: An unsigned notice in The American Journal of Philately (not to be confused with The Philatelic Journal of America) describes the Leewards’ newly released 1897 Jubilee issue, then concludes with this caution: “These stamps may be very interesting from the standpoint of loyalty, but we hope that collectors will close their purse strings against them.” 3 Queen Victoria’s hand stamped anniversary overprints were deemed unnecessary and were issued too sparingly to justify being collected. They’re merely a “pretty speculation.”

So, I’ve speculated on only one of them, currently the cheapest of the set (see right end of top row, supplement page).

1(1893, Vol. 10, whole no. 106, p163).
2(Ibid, emphasis added).
3(1897, Vol. 10, p417).

Census: 44 in BB spaces, one tip-in, 14 on the supplement page.

Jim's Observations
Composed of a group of quarrelsome sibling islands looking out for their own interest, the Leeward Islands Federation was only partially successful. They were rivals in selling their products (The sugar trade). St. Kitts and Nevis opposed sharing government funds with bankrupt Antigua and Montserrat. Unpopular though it was, "the one governor, one set of laws" for the Leeward Islands remained from 1871 until it was dissolved in 1956.

During 1890-1903, all of the islands were using the "Leeward Islands" stamps exclusively if my reading is correct. So, for this time period, the Leeward Islands stamps should be "abundant" and found (cancelled) for all the islands. Could make for an interesting postmark side collection. ;-)

Leeward Islands Blog Post & BB Checklist

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Comments appreciated!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Lebanon - Bud's Big Blue

Baalbek by Joseph de La Nézière (ca 1930)
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
World War I -- the great begetter of stamps and filler of BB albums -- can claim yet another country for its philatelic posterity. In that piece of the defunct Ottoman Empire called Lebanon, the War’s aftermath brought forth first some overprinted French stamps, France being the holder of the League of Nations mandate for the territory. Then came the French designed scenic miniatures from the presses of Hélio-Vaugirard, France’s preferred stamp maker for its colonies. These, not being able to keep pace with rapid changes in Lebanon, were overprinted again and again -- a typical WWI aftereffect. The supplement pages (shown below) parade this overprint circus.

The miniatures were meant to attract tourists. They’re small, though, and it’s hard to make out the scenes, especially when obscured by cancels and overprints. The descriptive word or two in the lower border helps and Scott catalogs give even better clues about what the insets represent.

On the earlier stamps, notes at the bottom edges credit Joseph de La Nézière as the artist.

La Nézière, a noted Orientalist, was in the employ of the French Colonial Office and became their official artist. He received many commissions to design stamps for French North Africa and Middle East. Not surprisingly, he fell in love with the ruins of ancient Phoenicia -- as well as those of Greek, Roman and Crusader eras -- that remain in Lebanon. His credits also appear on stamps of Syria and French Morocco.

After the mid-1930s other artists’ names appear, such as Philippe Mourani, a painter and illustrator, and Henry Cheffer, a master engraver. They, too, were deeply involved with the Orientalist aesthetic movement and its fascination with ruins, but some of their miniatures also show Lebanon as a modern, desirable and beautiful place.

The stamp miniatures whisper what the Orientalists’ paintings shout: “Visit Lebanon, archive of eternity!”

Baalbek by Philippe Mourani (ca 1934)

Census: 83 in BB spaces, eight tip-ins, 119 on supplement pages.

Note: If you are looking for Latvia (alphabetical just before Lebanon), it will be published January 20, 2020.

Jim's Observations
Lebanon was a mostly Christian country at the time (Maronite, Greek Orthodox). But it also had areas with Muslims (including Druze). A Lebanese Republic (still under French mandate) with a constitution was established on May 25, 1926. The population was 860,000 (1935), and the capital was Beirut.

The first occupation stamps of France (1919-1924) with "T.E.O.", "O.M.F.", "Syrie- Grand Liban" overprints on French stamps are listed under Syria in the Scott catalogue.

"Grand Liban" overprints, beginning in 1924, are found under Lebanon in the catalogue.

Full independence for Lebanon occurred in 1943

 Lebanon Blog Post & BB Checklist

A few notes about Big Blue and Lebanon stamp spaces...

• There is only one stamp that has a CV > $10.

• On the other hand, there are many stamps in the CV $1+-$2+ category, so not expensive, but still not the cheapest to fill, as one would expect for a French Mandate country.

• There are some issues missing where some should have been included: 1924-25 Scott 22-44, with 16 stamps CV <$1-$2+.; 1928-29 Scott 86-106 with 13 stamps CV <$1-$2+.

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Comments appreciated!