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, October 11, 2021

New South Wales - Bud's Big Blue

Scott #s 41, 38, 40, and 42
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations

New South Welsh (NSW) stamps have so many curious aspects that I don’t know how to condense them into a single coherent article. So, I’ve settled on a rambling list of thoughts that occurred to me as I reviewed the scans posted below. When you study your NSW collection, no doubt you’ll come up with observation that I never thought about. As/if/when you do, please post them in the comment box.

Random thought 1: The “New” prefix on country names (e.g., NSW, New Guinea, New Hebrides, etc.), occurs mostly in the South Pacific. Explorers must have been homesick by the time they got there. After a year or so at sea, any land must have reminded them of home; hence, “New” something or other. BB albums have a clump of “New” country stamps from countries that clump, well, mostly clump, together in the south seas.

Random thought 2: The British founded NSW in the late 18th Century as a penal colony. After the American Revolutionary War, the British could no longer discard crooks in Georgia. So, they exported them to NSW instead.  Thieves had little hope of returning home, ever. The flow of criminals continued until 1868. Some of the early NSW stamps in our albums may have carried their letters to loved ones back in England. 

Black-eyed Sue and Sweet Poll of Plymouth mourning their lovers transported to Botany Bay, NSW (1792)

Random thought 3: NSW developed a system of coded number cancels for post offices. The stamp with a “30” ray-type cancel (see above, Scott #40) was pinked in Camden, a historic village now a suburb of Sydney. Sydney had the largest concentration of prisoners, but Camden had some, too. Ian Willis has written a history of the Camden crooks titled “Convicts in the Cowpastures” (1).

Random thought 4: NSW stamps provide abundant challenges for specialists -- perfs, watermarks, dies­­­, color variations galore. Scott lists a medley of 200; Gibbons has 400. Probably neither list has exhausted the possibilities.

Random thought 5: NSW boasts an early embossed postal envelope (1838) that precedes Britain’s penny black. Sadly, I don’t have one.

Random thought 6: The two postage due “specimens” on the supplement page have different fonts for the overprints. I think they’re genuine, but more research is needed. The Newcastle (another “new”) etiquette probably was used after the Australian states unified. Newcastle, like its British namesake, is a coal producing region. I wonder why they didn’t name it New Newcastle.

Postage due specimens, registration etiquette

Random thought 7: When designed or printed locally, British colonial stamps often have a quaint folkart quality about them. Scott #s 100 and 104 provide examples. The queen wears a scarf secured by a small diamond crown, a widow’s weeds accessory she often wore after Prince Albert’s death (1861).

Scott #s 100, 108, 104

 Random thought 8: Early NSW issues were printed with almost no margins, making well-centered examples with no shaggy perf encroachment on the design difficult to find.

Perf encroachment, Scott #s 32, 33

Random thought 9: NSW issued two stamp designs with a female personification of Australia (#108 shown above), a common practice in the mid to late 19th century. I wonder, though, why Australia was personified on a NSW stamp and not NSW itself. NSW did have a cartoon personification, the “Little Boy from Manly”, but he never made it onto a stamp. The little boy was later adopted by the newly unified Australia.

Random thought 10: NSW issued a two-stamp series in 1888 to celebrate its centennial -- considered to be the first commemorative stamps. I have only one of them.

Scott #87

So much for my random thoughts.

Census: 52 in BB spaces, 2 tip-ins, 21 on supplement page.

(1)           https://camdenhistorynotes.com/2017/03/04/convicts-in-the-cowpastures-an-untold-story

Jim's Observations

To go along with Bud's "random thoughts", here is a very random observation...

I should say something about the rivalry of Sydney and New South Wales with Victoria and Melbourne during the latter 19th century. The cultural differences exist even today, as was clear on our extended trip to Australia several years ago. Sydney- bold, brash, outgoing, sunny & surfers. Melbourne- cultured, cafes, much more "English".

What Australians have in common, though, is their love of sports. I became introduced to "Australian Rules Football" while staying with an Australian family, with whom we had become friends, when they lived in the U.S.. They were supporters of the Sydney Swans- even though they lived in Melbourne. It turns out that the Sydney Swans moved from Melbourne many years ago, but loyalty is forever. ;-)

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Comments appreciated!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Dominica - 1938-47 - a closer look


1947 Scott 110 10sh dull orange & black "Boiling Lake"
Into the Deep Blue

British colony stamps frequently just show the monarchs, but the 1938+ issues happily often feature pictorials. And so it is for Dominica, an island between Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea. 

The original blog, post is here....

Dominica Blog Post & BB Checklist

King George VI Pictorial Definitives

The initial issue, appearing  8-15-1938 with nine stamps, had one addition on 8/42 ( 2 1/2p), and four additions on 10/15/1947 ( 3 1/2p, 7p, 2sh, 10sh). The entire fourteen stamp issue was engraved by Waterlow, and has Wmk 4 (Multiple Crown & Script C A).

Row 1: Scott 97-100

The pictorials are obviously bi-color, and have a vignette of George VI on the left side of the stamp.

1938 Scott 98 1p carmine & gray "Layou River"

The Layou River, the longest and deepest river on the island, has the mouth located on the western shore near the town of St. Joseph.

The Layou river comes out to the Caribbean Sea on the western side half way down the island.

Row 2: Scott 101-104

The pictorials feature four scenes of Dominica, and all the scenes are new for this issue.

1938 Scott 101a 2 1/2p blue & rose violet "Picking Limes"

Grapefruit, lemons, and limes are a major export for Dominica.  The main citrus growing areas are in the Layou River Valley and on the southwest coast. Dominica was the principal source of fruit used in Rose's Lime Juice. British sailors were famous for drinking lime juice - hence the term "limeys", to prevent scurvy. 

Perhaps the popularity has something to do with the fact that the preservative used in the lime juice was rum? ;-)

Note the 2 1/2p is found as "ultramarine & rose violet" (major number 8/42), and as "blue & rose violet" (minor number -8-15-38). I believe my example is the "blue & rose violet".

1938 Scott 104 6p violet & yellow green 
"Fresh Water Lake"

Note "Fresh Water Lake" does not just describe the lake, but is the name of the lake! "Fresh Water Lake" is the largest of the four lakes found on Dominica. It is at 2,500 feet above sea level, and is the source of the Roseau River. The Roseau River, by the way, is important to Roseau, the capital (and largest) city in Dominica.

Row 3: Scott 105-108

The CV for the fourteen stamp issue ranges from <$1-$10 (unused) to <$1-$20+ (used). A number of the stamps have a higher CV used. As a WW collector, I actually don't like that, as that means there could be favor cancels or fake cancels among the genuine cancels.

1938 Scott 106 1sh olive & violet "Boiling Lake"

"Boiling Lake" is a flooded fumarole. It has bubbling water in the center and a 82-92 C temperature around the edges. The lake is 200 feet across, and is usually enveloped overhead with water vapor. It is the second-largest hot lake in the world after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand. 

1947 Scott 107 2sh red violet & black "Layou River"

The 2sh above was one of the four stamps issued in 1947.

1938 Scott 108 2sh6p scarlet vermilion & black
"Fresh Water Lake"

One could argue, considering the careful placement of the cancel, that many of the "used" stamps are really philatelic in origin.

Row 4: Scott 109=110

The 5sh and 10sh denominations...

1938 Scott 109 5sh dark brown & blue "Layou River"

I must say the stamps in this issue are gorgeous when scanned and enlarged. The engraving details are great!

1947 Scott 110 10sh dull orange & black "Boiling Lake"

I wonder, considering the small population of Dominica (53,000 in 1942), why there needed to be five stamps in the issue with shilling denominations? I think I know the answer. ;-)

1942 Scott 101a 2 1/2p blue & rose violet "Picking Limes"
Out of the Blue

Really lovely bi-color issue, and enhanced because the stamps are engraved. 

Note: "Dominica" pic from Wikipedia, and used here for educational purposes.

Comments appreciated!