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...

Thursday, February 23, 2023

France: A closer look at the 1870 Bordeaux Issue - 4c & 5c

1870 Scott 40 4c gray "Ceres"
Lithographed, Imperforate, Bordeaux Issue 

Into the Deep Blue

This post will be a continuation discussion about the French Bordeaux issue of 1870-71, and the sometimes confusing similar "Ceres" issues of 1849-50, 1870-73, and the French Colonies imperforates of 1871-77.

For background and introduction, read:

A closer look at the 1870 Bordeaux issue- Intro & 1c, 2c

1870 Scott 40 4c gray "Ceres"
Lithographed, Imperforate, Bordeaux Issue 

The lithographic Bordeaux 4c gray has a hefty CV of $200, and is a bit more uncommon than some of the other denominations. It shares the same design as the 1c and 2c denomination Bordeaux stamps. 

One doesn't need to worry about confusing the typographic 1849-50 "Ceres" issue, as this frame design was not used.

Close-up: 1870 Scott 40 4c gray "Ceres"
Lithographed, Imperforate, Bordeaux Issue 

The Bordeaux 4c gray shares the same characteristic of the other Bordeaux stamps: namely thick curved horizontal lines for the neck markings, and an overall cruder appearance because of the lithographic origins.

Example 1: 1870 Scott 52 4c gray "Ceres"
Typographed, Perf 14 X 13 1/2

The 1870 typographic "Ceres" 4c gray looks similar (CV $40), but the stamps for France are perforated.

Close-up: 1870 Scott 52 4c gray "Ceres"
Typographed, Perf 14 X 13 1/2

A closer look at this typographed specimen shows finer detail, with thinner neck dots and dashes.

Example 2: 1870 Scott 52 4c gray "Ceres"
Typographed, Perf 14 X 13 1/2

This second specimen of the 4c above, looks, color-wise, to be "gray", while the first specimen is more of a "gray-yellow" ( an additional color recognized in the Maury catalogue). Scott only lists one color shade (gray), while Maury lists six shades.

As we mentioned before, the French Colonies general issues of 1871-77 are identical plate wise to the 1870-73 French "Ceres", except they are imperforate. The French Colonies imperforate 1876 Scott 18 4c grey stamp (CV $475)  is uncommon (look at the CV!), but one should at least be aware of it. Still, the Bordeaux 1870 4c gray is enough different (lithographic, cruder), that there should not be much confusion.

Example 1: 1870 Scott 41 5c yellow green/ grnsh "Ceres"
Typographed, Imperforate, Bordeaux Issue

The 5c Bordeaux yellow green/ grnsh (CV $160) cannot be possibly mistaken for other issues, as it is the only stamp of this denomination (5c) that has this design and is green.

Close-up: Ex 1: 1870 Scott 41 5c yellow green/ grnsh "Ceres"
Typographed, Imperforate, Bordeaux Issue

Nevertheless, it is good to learn the characteristic of a Bordeaux stamp that is "for sure", a Bordeaux stamp. Note the heavy neck lines. 

BTW, I am calling this color "yellow green" (CV $160), although it might qualify as a "green" (CV $175).

Example 2: 1870 Scott 41 5c yellow green/ grnsh "Ceres"
Typographed, Imperforate, Bordeaux Issue

Example 2 is definitely a "yellow-green".  Note the characteristic thick neck lines.

1849 Scott 2 15c green / grnsh "Ceres"
Typographed, Imperforate (CV $800)

I am going to show an example of a "green" 1849 "Ceres" stamp, even though it could not possibly be confused with the green 5c Bordeaux stamp, as the denomination is 15c.

Close-up: 1849 Scott 2 15c green / grnsh "Ceres"
Typographed, Imperforate

But, one can take a look at the 1849-50 "Ceres" issue sign: Namely the separate dots on the neck.

French Colonies General Issue 
1872 Scott 19 5c green/ pale bl "Ceres"
Typographed, Imperforate

In contrast to the Bordeaux and 1849-50 "Ceres" issue, here is a French Colony General Issue 5c green with a different frame. Obviously, this imperforate 5c French Colony stamp cannot be mistaken for another issue. (But remember that the French 1870-73 issue is perforate, while the 1871-77 French Colony General Issue is imperforate, but otherwise identical in paper, color etc.)

Close-up: French Colonies General Issue 
1872 Scott 19 5c green/ pale bl "Ceres"
Typographed, Imperforate

Mistakes can be made between identical stamps of the imperforate 1849-50 "Ceres", and the imperforate 1871-77 French Colony General stamps. (Not in this case however: Different frame and denomination.) Look at the close-up. One does have more dot-dash for the neck lines: similar to the 1849-50 issue. Be aware. !!

What are the imperforate stamp pairings that can confuse?

"Ceres" portrait
French 1850 Scott 1 10c bister/ yelsh (CV $210)
French Colony 1871 Scott 9 10c bister/ yelsh ($130)

French 1849 Scott 4a 20c blue/bluish (CV $2000+)
French Colony 1871 Scott 11 20c blue/bluish ($125)

French 1850 Scott 6a 25c blue/bluish (CV $30)
French Colony 1872 Scott 12 25c blue/bluish (CV $13)

French 1850 Scott 7 40c orange/ yelsh (CV $360)
French Colony 1871 Scott 14 40c orange/yelsh (CV $13)
"Emperor Napoleon" portrait
French 1854 Scott 13 5c green/grnsh (CV$62)
French Colony 1872 Scott 8 5c yellow green/grnsh ($400)

Cancellations can sometimes be helpful. Obviously, if one CV is much less than another CV for a denomination, it is more likely that one has the lessor CV.  Also, the French Colony General Issue stamps tend not be  as clearly printed.

Out of the Blue

One can see that the various "Ceres" issues can sometimes be confused with one another. But, generally, the Bordeaux issues are enough different that they can be positively identified.

Comments appreciated!

Friday, February 17, 2023

Philippines - Bud's Big Blue

Scott #355 (1932)
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations

A grand neo-classical structure (above), it would be impressive if it were situated along the Potomac River in Washington DC, but its pillared symmetry is absolutely stunning along the Pasig River front, downtown Manila.  Whether viewed from the north on the Jones or the McArthur bridge or from the south on Taft Avenue, it makes an unforgettable statement about American colonialism. Construction started in 1926 and ended four years later.

Scott # 508 (1947), showing the Jones Bridge and the Post Office

Juan Marcos Arellano, a Philippine architect, is remembered both for the post office and the Jones Bridge. Trained at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Drexel University, Arellano had worked for Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., before returning to the Philippines. He designed many of Manila’s outstanding buildings.

Juan Marcos Arellano (1888-1960)

The post office is, in part, a completion of the vision that William Howard Taft had pursued. After the Spanish American War, he was dispatched to the Philippines to promote economic and social development. In 1901, he became the first civilian governor general. Arellano’s brother, Arcadio, served as an architecture consultant to Taft.

Taft in the Philippines, about 1904

Manila’s post office and the Jones Bridge were significantly damaged by Japanese bombs during World War II. Arellano, still active as an architect and artist, participated in the reconstruction.

Post-war Manila Post Office, scorched but still standing.
Photo courtesy of Skyscrapercity.com and outoftownblog.com

The extent of damage is shown on the above 1945 postcard; it was copied for Scott #3056a, part of a series celebrating a 2006 postal anniversary. (I have in my collection several picture postcards with stamps on them, but this is my only stamp with a picture postcard on it.)

Scott #3065a (2006)

A complete collection of Philippine stamps will have many views of the Manila post office; they pop up especially often in the 21st century. Scans of some of these follow. Apparently the disdain some Philippine folks plainly feel toward American colonialism does not extend to their main post office.

Scott #e11 (1947)

Scott # 3747 (2017)

Scott # e12 (1962)

Scott #3065b (2006)

Scott #s 3789-90 (2018)

Specimen (2007), tribute to Arellano

Census: 217 in BB spaces, three tip-ins, 92 on supplement pages.

For a more complete listing, see https://topicalphilippines.com/Buildings/Post_Office_Building.html

Jim's Observations

When the U.S. took over in 1898, they had to face the newly created "Filipino Revolutionary Government" created by General Emilio Aguinaldo on June 23, 1899, primarily located on the island of Luzon. The rebellion was quashed, and the General was taken prisoner on March 23, 1901.

This little bit of history became more interesting when we recently visited Ft. Huchucha in Arizona, a prime location of the Buffalo soldiers of the U.S. Army. The museum on the still active Army base has a room dedicated to them. The linkage for us is that a house on our street boarded an African American woman in 1928, and she was the first African American graduate of the University of Oregon. Her Father was a career Buffalo Solder (27 years), was at Ft, Huchucha in 1894, and was part of the US. Army force that was sent to the Philippines uprising.

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Comments appreciated!