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...

Monday, March 2, 2020

Ceylon 1903-1935 - a closer look

1903 Scott 169 5c dull lilac "Edward VII"; Wmk 2
 Postmark: site of Neboda Tea Co. of Ceylon Ltd (1898-1926)
Into the Deep Blue
This the second of three posts on the stamps of Ceylon: this one will feature the Edward VII and George V stamp period - 1903-1935.

Previous post: Ceylon 1861-1900 Victorian Era

A Closer Look 1903-1935
100 Cents = 1 Rupee (1872)
1903 Scott 166 2c orange brown "Edward VII"
Wmk 2
Between 1903-05, for the new King "Edward VII", a twelve stamp typographic issue using five designs, but all featuring the same side portrait, was released. The paper had a "Crown and C A" watermark (Wmk 2), which distinguishes this issue from the similar 1904-10 "Wmk 3" issue.

CV ranges from <$1 to $10+ for ten stamps.

1910 Scott 183 10c olive green & violet "Edward VII"
Wmk 3 "Multiple Crown and C A"
The next issue of 1904-10, consisting of nineteen stamps, used the same five designs of the preceding 1903-05 Wmk 2 issue, but on Wmk 3 paper. Some of the stamps of the issue appear identical to the 1903-05 issue, save that they are on Wmk 3 paper. Obviously, watermark checking is a must.

1904-10 "Edward VII" Wmk 3 Issue
Here is a scan of the 1904-10 "Wmk 3" issue, showing the various five frame designs (A36 - A40).

1908 Scott 197 5c deep red violet
"Edward VII"; Wmk 3
In 1908, there were two new frame designs (A41, A42) printed for the 5c (shown) and the 6c.

CV is <$1.

1911 Scott 199 3c green "Edward VII"
Wmk 3
In 1911, the 3c denomination was printed using the A40 design rather than the previous A37 design.

CV is <$1.

1912 Scott 202a & 202 deep green "George V", Wmk 3
Die I, Type I Small "c" after value; Die 1a, Type II Large "c"
Between 1912-25, a nineteen stamp issue (Wmk 3) of George V was released.

The 3c and 6c come in two types: small "c" after value, or large "c".

CV is <$1 - $4+ for twelve stamps. Some values, though, have a very high CV indeed.

There were some very high denomination values in the issue. Scott has a note that the 1912 Scott 217 500r gray green (CV $8,000) and the 1925 1000r violet red (CV $30,000), although they could have been used for postage, it is not probable, and they were used for fiscal purposes.

1918 Scott 223 1c on 5c red violet "George V"
No. 203 Surcharged
IN 1918, the 1912 Scott 203 5c red violet was surcharged "one cent" as shown.

Of interest, this overprint/surcharge is identical to the war stamp 1918 Scott MR4 (scroll down), but without the "War Stamp" overprint.

1921 Scott 239 30c green & violet "George V"
Chalky Paper; Wmk 4
Between 1921-33, another "George V" issue of twenty-three stamps was released on Wmk 4 paper. The higher denominations (beginning with the 30c - see above) were on chalky paper.

1921-33 "George V" Wmk 4 Issue
Here is a scan of the 1c-25c denomination 1921-33 Wmk 4 issue.

CV is <$1 to $3+ for sixteen stamps.

I should mention that, for the 1921-33 issue, most "George V" stamps are Die I (Also Die Ia, Die Ib), but some are Die II. There is a good illustration of the differences in Scott's 1840-1940 catalogue. Or, for basics, see Gold Coast.

1926 Scott 249 5c on 6c violet "George V"
No 231 Surcharged
In 1926, two stamps were surcharged: the 2c on 3c slate, the 5c on 6c violet (shown).

CV is <$1-$1+.

1935 Scott 262 20c blue & brown "George V"
"Silver Jubilee Issue"
The common design type "Silver Jubilee Issue" is not very often shown on this blog. (What is the point?)  But I like the postmark.

Havelock Town is now part of Colombo, Sri Lanka. For more on the interesting history of Havelock Town, click here.

1918 Scott MR4 1c on 5c; No 203 Overprinted
Shades: Purple & Red Violet = (SG: Bright Magenta)
The 1918 War Tax issue for Ceylon consisted of four overprinted/surcharged stamps.

Of interest, there are two shades in the catalogue for MR4.

CV ranges from <$1 to $3+.

Deep Blue
1912-25 "George V" Wmk 3 Issue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has four pages for the Edward VII and George V (1903-35) stamp era. All of the major Scott numbers have a space.

1918 Scott MR1 2c brown orange
No 201 Overprinted; Die I, Wmk 3
Out of the Blue
As I mentioned on the Victorian era Ceylon post, it would be fun to specialize in classical Ceylon

Comments appreciated!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks.

      You can see why I couldn't pass up a blog post on these issues. ;-)