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...

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

British Honduras 1891-1938

1898 Scott 46 25c red brown & green "Victoria"
"Postage"...."Postage", Wmk 2, Perf 14
Into the Deep Blue

This entry will look at, in greater depth, some stamps/issues of British Honduras from 1891 to 1938. Previous relevant blog posts are.....

British Honduras 1866-1891

British Honduras Part B: A Closer Look

1891-98 Scott 38-46 "Victoria"
Wmk 2, Perf 14, Typographed, De la Rue

The British Honduras typographed De la Rue "Victoria" issue of 1891-98 is similar in appearance to other De la Rue colonial issues of the era (Example: Gambia 1898 Issue). Note the "Postage"..."Postage" inscribed tablets in either side of Victoria's visage.

CV ranges from <$1 (2c carmine rose) to $95 (25c red brown & green).

1899 Scott 49 10c green & lilac "Victoria"
Regular Issue Overprinted in Black
Overprint 12 mm Long

There was a need for the stamps to serve "revenue" as well as "postage" uses - because in 1899, four regular issue stamps were overprinted "revenue". Note the major number has the OP 12 mm long, but there also exists minor number OP 11 mm long. CV for the 10c stamp (shown) is $19. 

1901 Scott 53 10c violet & green "Victoria"
1899-1901 Issue .."Postage"..."Revenue"

Between 1899-1901, De la Rue also printed a five stamp "Victoria" issue with "Postage"..."Revenue".  The 10c stamp above has a CV of $11, but the $1, $2, & $5 denominations are CV $95-$325.

1916-1918 Scott MR1-MR5
Regular Issues Overprinted "War"
War Tax Stamps

Here is a scan of all of the 1916-18 "War Tax" stamps. Note the 1916 Scott MR1 1c green "George V" with violet Moire overprint is shown enlarged by the "Out of the Blue" section below.

Semi-Postal 1932 Scott B1-B5 "George V"
Regular Issue of 1921-29 Surcharged in Black or Red
"Belize Relief Fund"

A semi-postal five stamp issue with overprinted surtax was produced in 1932 to aid those affected by the city of Belize hurricane of September, 1931. CV ranges from $3 to $10.

1938 Scott 123 50c dark violet & black
"Chicle Industry"

I featured  some of the 1938 pictorials with previous British Honduras posts, but here are the higher denomination value stamps in the set. CV for the 50c is $13 unused.

The "chicle industry"   for chewing gum was part of British Honduras's economy.

1938 Scott 124 $1  olive green & carmine
"Court House, Belize"

CV is $18 unused. These engraved bi-colors are some of the best of the colonial issues in my opinion.

1938 Scott 125 $2  rose lake & indigo
"Mahogany Cutting"

CV is $20. What a gorgeous stamp!

The Mahogony trade was quite important in British Honduras, and later, Belize. 

1938 Scott 126 $5  brown & carmine
"Seal of Colony"

CV is $19. "Sub Umbra Floreo" (Latin) means "I flourish in the shade" - referring to both the ubiquitous British Honduras tree canopy - and - under the protection of the colony.

1916 Scott MR1 1c green "George V"
1915 Scott 85 Overprinted "War" Locally
Wmk 3, Perf 14, With Violet Moire Overprint

Out of the Blue

I hope you enjoyed looking at some more classical era stamps of British Honduras. I did!

Comments appreciated!

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Portuguese Congo - Bud's Big Blue

Map of Portuguese Congo, credit Gerben van Gelder
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations

The smallest colony of any European nation on continental Africa, Portuguese Congo’s borders were defined by European powers at the Berlin Conference (1884) without any consultation with Africans. It covered an area smaller than Delaware and larger than Rhode Island.

It was cut off from Angola, a much larger Portuguese colony, because Belgium insisted on access to the Atlantic via the Congo River. So, Belgian Congo gained control of a 25-mile coastline on the river’s north side, making it a strange funnel-shaped county.

Scott #2, reddish violet

Too small for Portugal to manage separate colonial oversight, Portuguese Congo was administered by Angola as an exclave province known as Cabinda beginning in the early 1920s. (The capital city is also named Cabinda.) Then, in 1975 when Angola gained independence from Portugal, it was declared an integral part of Angola; disputes about sovereignty ensued. Shortly thereafter, an internationally unrecognized Cabinda government-in-exile opened in Paris.

Scott #66, brown, local overprint
Scott #55, orange

From 1894 through 1918, Portuguese Congo used standard inscribed Portuguese colonial stamps, beginning with a two series featuring the likeness of King Carlos. When the monarchy was ousted by a republic, these were overprinted ‘REPUBLICA” (1910). The overprints were produced both in Portugal and locally, the latter being sans serif. In 1911, likely because of a shortage, stamps inscribed “Angola” and overprinted “Congo” were used. A change of currency in 1913, from Reis to Escudos, resulted in stamps being issued with new values, as shown in the Ceres and Vasco da Gama series. After 1920, Angolan stamps were used.

Scott #s 78, 87 and 95, dark blue

 During these years Portuguese Congo/Cabinda remained one of the poorest of African nations. Its tropical forest produced some exports -- hardwoods, coffee, cocoa, crude rubber, and palm oil. Extensive offshore oil was discovered in 1967. These shallow and deep-water wells continue to produce sufficiently that, if the proceeds were distributed among Cabindans, everyone would have enough income for an upper-middle class lifestyle. But poverty persists, as does corruption and squabbling about self-determination.

I wonder what Portuguese Congo used for postage due, there being no due stamps listed by Scott. Other Portuguese colonies had postage due stamps in perfusion.

Census: 35 in BB spaces, 36 in supplement pages.

Jim's Observations

At one time the Portuguese Congo territory had the Congo River as the boundary with Angola, but the 1885 Conference of Berlin gave the northern bank to the Congo Free State.

Although cut off physically from Angola, administratively, the protectorate was joined to that colony by the 1920s.

Stamp production for Portuguese Congo continued until 1918, when the stamps of Angola were then used.

Although the enclave is still part of Angola today, because of the reality of being physically separated from Angola proper, as well as the distinct history, the Enclave of Cabinda has had a number of recent separatist movements.

Page 1




Page 1

Page 2

Comments appreciated!

Saturday, May 6, 2023

British Honduras 1866-1891

British Honduras 
1888 Scott 32 50c on 1sh gray "Victoria"
Surcharged in London

Into the Deep Blue

In 2018, I did a "closer look" post for British Honduras (link below). But I have since acquired another British Honduras collection, and I can now do an even deeper dive. ;-)

This post will review the 1866-91 issues, while the next post will cover (in part) the rest of the classical era.


British Honduras Map

Here is one of Gerben's maps. The link will take you to an improved "wayback machine" link with most of his website intact.

British Colonial and Crown Agent Watermarks
Top Row: Wmk 1 "Crown and C C"
Bottom Row, Left: Wmk 2 "Crown and C A"
Bottom Row, Right: Wmk 3 "Multiple Crown and C A"

The first British Honduras issues (seventeen stamps) of 1866-1887 are of the same A1 "Queen Victoria" typographic design by De la Rue. They differ by color (in some cases), Perf ( 14 vs 12 1/2), and watermark (Unwmk, Crown Colonies Wmk 1, Crown Colonies Wmk 2).

Here is a pic of Wmk 1 & Wmk 2 as an identification aid.

1866 Scott 3 1sh green "Victoria"
Unwmk., Typography De La Rue, Perf 14

When De la Rue first printed these British Honduras "Victoria" stamps in 1866, the 6p and 1sh were printed on the same sheet as the 1p. Here is an example of the 1sh green, perf 14, and unwatermarked (CV $145). 

1872 Scott 5 3p reddish brown "Victoria"
Wmk 1, Perf 12 1/2

The issue of 1872 (1p, 3p, 6p, 1sh) was perforated 12 1/2 and had Wmk 1. The 3p reddish brown is CV $90.

1877 Scott 8 1p blue "Victoria"
Wmk 1, Perf 14

The 1877-79 issue (1p, 3p, 4p, 6p, 1sh) changed the Perf to 14, while keeping Wmk 1. CV for the1p blue is $30+ (used); $80+ (unused).

1884 Scott 14 1p rose "Victoria"
Wmk 2, Perf 14
The 1882-87 issue (1p, 4p, 6p, 1sh) has a Wmk 2. The 1p denomination can be found in "blue" and "rose".  The 1p "rose" has a CV of $16.

1882 Scott 15 4p violet "Victoria"
Wmk 2, Perf 14

The 4p violet is the least expensive of the A1 "Victoria" stamps @ $5+.

1888 Scott 22 2c on 1p rose "Victoria"
Wmk 2, Perf 14

The reality of being located in the Western hemisphere close to the United States meant that, in 1888, the currency was changed from Pence/Shillings into Cents/British Honduras Dollar.

In 1888, a group of 1872-87 previously issued  A1 design "Victoria" stamps were surcharged in "cents" locally in black.  The surcharged stamps consisted of both Wmk 1 & Wmk 2, but I will only show Wmk 2 stamps here. 

The 2c on 1p rose (above) has a CV of $15.

1888 Scott 23 10c on 4p violet "Victoria"
Wmk 2, Perf 14

The 10c on 4p violet is CV $70. I should mention that the local surcharges can be found inverted - with a much higher CV price.

1888 Scott 24 20c on 6p yellow "Victoria"
Wmk 2, Perf 14

The 20c on 6p is CV $30+. 

1888 Scott 26 2c (red) on 50c on 1sh gray "Victoria"
Scott 25 with additional Surcharge in Red
Wmk 2, Perf 14

The Scott 25 50c on 1sh gray I don't have: perhaps because it is more scarce  with a CV of $475. 

However, the Scott 26  red surcharge "two" on the 50c on 1sh gray I do have @ CV $60. There is also known a much rarer black surcharge "two" @ CV $16,000. 

1888-89 Scott 28-32 
Stamps of 1872-87 Surcharged in Black

There was also issued in 1888-89 surcharged stamps that were done in London, rather than locally. They have a different font surcharge, so should not be confused with the local surcharge. CV ranges from $1- $40. 

1891 Scott 33-36 

In 1891, additional stamps were surcharged (as shown) in black or red. The first three shown are additional local surcharges, while the 6c on 3d blue was surcharged in London in April, 1891.

CV ranges from $2+- $6.

1891 Scott 37 15c (R) on 6c on 3p
Scott 36 with additional Surcharge 

But the 6c on 3p blue was also additionally surcharged with 15c (red) locally on Oct 23, 1891. CV is $18.

Out of the Blue

Nice! I will continue with more British Honduras stamps of the era 1891-1938 with the next blog post.

Comments appreciated!