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, November 18, 2020

Cook Islands - a closer look

1902 Scott 30 1/2p green "Wrybill (Torea)"
Perf 11, Wmk 61
Into the Deep Blue
The Cook Islands (fifteen islands, but mainly Rarotonga) are a Dependency of New Zealand.

The original Blog Post and BB Checklist is here....


Here is a map, courtesy of the late Gerben van Gelder....

What the original blog post lacked was few pics/scans of the stamps themselves. So, now, let's take a closer look...

A Closer Look
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1902 Scott 30 1/2p green "Wrybill"
Perf 11, Wmk 61
Between 1892-1919, there were really only three designs among the 44 Scott numbers, with the "Wrybill" accounting for twelve of them. The typographic "Wrybill" stamps can be found with various perfs, and  Wmk 62, Wmk 61, and unwatermarked. These are New Zealand watermarks, and I show them with the New Zealand post, and down below.

Left Top: Wmk 6 "Large Star"
Right Top: Wmk 62 "N Z and Small Star Wide Apart"
Left Bottom: Wmk 63 "Double Lined N Z and Star"
Right Bottom: Wmk 61 "N Z and Star Close Together"

The "Wrybill" stamps have a CV from $3+ to $100+.

A pic of the Wrybill, with a bill that is bent sideways (hence the name), was shown by Bud for his blog post on the Cook Islands...

1919 Issue
New Zealand Stamps of 1909-19 Surcharged
In 1919, thirteen stamps of 1909-19 New Zealand were surcharged in deep blue or red for Rarotonga. The surcharge, which is in Polynesian, repeats the English denomination.

1919 Scott 49 1p carmine 
Here is an up-close of the 1p carmine with the "tai pene" denomination.

1919 Scott 53 2 1/2p dull blue
Red Surcharge
In red, the Polynesian surcharge denomination is shown for this stamp.  CV for the issue varies from <$1 to $3+ (unused).

1920 Scott 63 1 1/2p blue & black
"Capt. James Cook"
In 1920, an engraved six design six stamp issue for Rarotonga was released. Actually, any stamp printed  or overprinted "Raratonga" could be used throughout the Cook Islands.

This stamp shows the ubiquitous explorer James Cook

CV for the issue ranges from $2+ to $10.

1932 Scott 87 2 1/2p dark ultramarine
"View of  Avarua Harbor"
An engraved unwatermarked seven stamp seven design issue was released in 1932. Note the "Cook Islands" labeling. This issue replaced the Aitutaki, Penrhyn, and Rarotonga specific issues.

CV is $3+ - $20+.

BTW, there are some inverted centers found, but are considered printers waste, except for the inverted 1p brown lake - black center (CV $9,000+).

1936 Scott 93 2p brown & black
"Double Canoe"
The 1936 issue (seven stamps) is the same design wise as the 1932 issue, but on Wmk 61 paper.

CV is <$1-$20+.

1935 Scott 100 6p dull orange & green
"R.M.S. Monowai"; Silver Jubilee Issue
For the Silver Jubilee of King George V, the Cook Islands eschewed the common design, and overprinted three stamps as Types (different colors)  from the 1932 issue. CV is <$1-$7.

1940 Scott 115 3p on 1 1/2p violet & black
"Mt. Ikurangi behind Avaruna"
This 1940 stamp with the above design was only released surcharged.

Really lovely.

1944 Scott 122 1sh deep violet & black "George VI"
Types of 1932-38
In 1938, a three stamp, three design, high value (1sh, 2sh, 3sh) issue was released with Wmk 61. These stamps were reissued in 1944-46 as part of a 1932-38 "Types" issue. For the 1sh, 2sh, & 3sh denominations, the stamps are on Wmk 253 paper.

1949 Scott 133 2p carmine & brown
"Rev. John Williams, his ship Messenger of Peace, 
and map of Rarotonga"
In 1949, an engraved ten stamp ten design multicolored historical pictorial issue was published.

Very nice!

The 2p carmine & brown displays a Rarotonga map, and John Williams, first missionary in Rarotonga -1823.

1936 Scott 93 2p brown & black
"Double Canoe"
Out of the Blue
Early classical Cook Islands stamps - especially the engraved varieties - are spectacular!

Comments appreciated!

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