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, July 24, 2023

St. Vincent Close-up: 1861-1881

1862 Scott 2 1p rose "Victoria"
Rough Perf 14 to 16, No Wmk
Note "A10" Numeral Cancellation Type for St. Vincent
Into the Deep Blue

Having acquired recently a rather nice classical era St. Vincent collection addition for Deep Blue, I thought I would do a deeper dive into the issues.

First, the reader might want to review the original blog post for a bit of background.

St. Vincent Blog Post & BB Checklist

The initial 1861-1881 issues with this post all feature the same engraved Perkins-Bacon (London) side-ways portrait of Queen Victoria. (A subsequent post will cover a bit of the later issues.)

The issues differ by perforation and no watermark vs watermark.

Let's take a look.... 

1862 Scott 2 1p rose "Victoria"
Rough Perf 14 to 16, No Wmk

The first 1p rose stamp for St. Vincent was issued in 1861-62. 

Scott separates out the 1861 stamp (Scott 1) as Perf 14-16, while the 1862 Scott 2 stamp is Perf 14-16, but rough.  Both are CV $20 used.

Stanley Gibbons does not give separate catalogue numbers for the 1p 1861-62 Perf 14 to 16, but states that most perforations are "rough", but some are "intermediate".

Is my stamp above "rough" (Scott 2) or "intermediate"(Scott 1)? 

Probably "rough".

1862 Scott 3 6p dark green "Victoria"
Rough Perf 14 to 16, No Wmk

A judgement call: Rough Perfs (1862 Scott 3- dark green, CV $21). If "Intermediate Perfs", then 1861 Scott 1B - yellow green CV $250.

Example Two: 1862 Scott 3 6p dark green "Victoria"
Perf 14 to 16, No Wmk

A red cancel (fiscal?).

1863 Scott 5 1p rose "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, No Wmk
Note "A10" Cancel

Between 1863-69, a group of stamps were perforated 11 to 13 (No Wmk).

Note: SG says the Perfs are 11 to 12 1/2.

The 1p rose has a CV of $22+. 

1869 Scott 10 1sh brown "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, No Wmk

There were three One Shilling stamps issued with Perf 11 to 13: 1866 1sh slate (CV $1,000), 1869 1sh indigo (CV $100), and 1869 1sh brown (CV $175). This is the brown one.

Scott Wmk 5- "Small Star"

Between 1871-1883, a "Small Star" watermark was added to the paper. The "Small Star" Wmk is usually fairly easy to find, but be aware that it is not unusual to find only a part of the star showing on an individual stamp. 

I should mention that SG lists some stamp's "Small Star" watermark as being issues "sideways".  That has to do with orientation of the watermark "Small Star"  vs the upright stamp. See SG for details.

1871 Scott 13 1p black "Victoria"
Rough Perf 14-16, Wmk 5 "Small Star"

Between 1871-78, two stamps were issued with "Rough perf 14-16".

This is one of them. CV is $15+.

1871 Scott 14 6p dark blue green "Victoria"
Rough Perf 14-16, Wmk 5 "Small Star"

This is the other "Rough perf 14-16": dark blue green six pence.

CV is $77+.

1872 Scott 14A 1p black "Victoria"
Clen Cut Perf 14-16, Wmk 5 "Small Star"

Scott lists four stamps between 1872-1878 as "Clean-cut Perf 14-16". 

I don't have 1877 Scott 15A 1sh vermilion - CV $50,000!

This 1p black might qualify (CV $15+) - but, if judged rough (Scott 13), would have the same CV.

The red cancel is probably used because this is a black stamp.

1873 Scott 14Bc 6p dull blue green "Victoria"
Clen Cut Perf 14-16, Wmk 5 "Small Star"

This might be the minor number (Scott 14Bc) color "dull blue green" - the major color (Scott 14B) is "deep blue green" Both have a CV of $55.

1878 Scott 15  6p pale yellow green "Victoria"
Clen Cut Perf 14-16, Wmk 5 "Small Star"

Obvious yellow-green. CV is $32.

1877 Scott 16 4p dark blue "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"

This is a lively blue stamp (CV $100). The perf is 11 to 13.

1875 Scott 20 1p black "Victoria"
Perf 11to 13 X 14 to 16, Wmk 5 "Small Star"

Four stamps between 1872-1877 are this crazy Perf. CV for the 1p black is $16.

1877 Scott 21  6p pale yellow green "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13 X 14 to 16, Wmk 5 "Small Star"

CV is $55.

I would recommend also checking the SG catalogue, as they differ a bit with perf sizes.

1877 Scott 23 1sh vermilion "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13 X 14 to 16, Wmk 5 "Small Star"
Before H2O2 Treatment

CV is $100.

The vermilion color is susceptible to sulfuretting - note the darker color background around "St Vincent".

1877 Scott 23 1sh vermilion "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13 X 14 to 16, Wmk 5 "Small Star"
After H2O2 Treatment

After H2O2 treatment- much better!

1881 Scott 24 1/2p orange "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"
Example One

The orange color is also susceptible to sulfuretting. But this example looks good.

CV is $11+.

1881 Scott 24 1/2p orange "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"
Example One - Before H2O2 Treatment

Not this one - note the darker brown color around the script.

1881 Scott 24 1/2p orange "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"
Example One - After H2O2 Treatment

Much better!

I only use 3% H2O2, and soak the stamp for the shortest time needed  ( 60 seconds to 5 minutes). I then bath the stamp in warm water, and then dry it overnight

1880 Scott 25 1p gray green "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"

The Perf 11 to 13 stamps were issued between 1880-81.

This gray-green 1p is CV $5+.

1881 Scott 25 1p drab "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"

A "drab" color! CV is $15+.

1880 Scott 28 6p yellow green "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"

SG calls this "bright green". CV is $77.

1880 Scott 28A 1sh vermilion "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"
Example One -Before H2O2 Treatment

Another sulfuretted specimen.

1880 Scott 28A 1sh vermilion "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"
Example One- After H2O2 Treatment

Looks good! CV is $65,

1880 Scott 28A 1sh vermilion "Victoria"
Perf 11 to 13, Wmk "Small Star"
Example Two

Another shade of the 1sh vermilion - more orange. 

Six Pence Forgery

A Six Pence forgery: Most likely Spiro forgery.

Genuine- Forgery Close-up

Much cruder- probably lithographic.

Out of the Blue

Hope you liked this little review. !!

Comments appreciated!

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Prussia - Bud's Big Blue

From Elberfeld (now a section of Wuppertal) to Manchester via Calais, 

6 May 1867, with Scott 15, 17 and 18
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations

Big Blue (BB 1969) occasionally has errors that confuse collectors. Take the Prussia section for example. The heading “Official Stamps, 1903” is wrong in two ways.

First, the seven stamps below this heading were not issued by the Kingdom of Prussia (1701-1866) but by the German Empire for local use in the State of Prussia. Scott catalogs now correctly identify these as “Local Official Stamps” in the Germany listings. Second, the stamps illustrated were issued in 1920, not 1903. There does exist, however, a set of 1903 local officials for use in the State of Prussia. It’s just not the one shown. The cognomen “Kingdom of Prussia” continued until 1918, the end of World War I, but it issued no stamps after 1866.

The editors of BB 1969 correctly shifted the 1903 Prussian local officials to the Germany section but left the 1920 set on the Prussia page misidentified as 1903. A comparison of the Prussia page from a 1930s edition of Scott’s International Junior album with that of BB 1969 shows the changes.

BB 1969 page for Prussia, from Bud’s Big Blue

1930s Scott International Junior page for Prussia

The two sets of locals are distinguished from other German stamps of similar design by the inscribed number “21”. The 1903 issue has the expanded text Frei durch Ablösung Nr. 21, which means free postage under Contract 21. Officials of the German Empire enjoyed free franking, but a special arrangement was required before officials of the German states such as Prussia had this privilege. Baden also had such a contract (#16).

The 1903 Prussian officials have borders like the 1900 Germania regular issues, while the 1920 Prussian officials are similar to the German officials of the same date, except for the inscribed “21.”

When the local officials are discounted, BB 1969 has spaces for only six Prussian stamps. A novice collector might conclude, given this small number, that Prussia was rather unimportant in German history. Bavaria, by comparison, is allotted 287 spaces; Württemberg, 180; even little Saxony gets eight. Such a conclusion would be, however, manifestly wrong. Prussia dominated the uniting and united Germany (1866 and onward).  As a philatelic consequence, beginning in 1872, Prussians used the largest part of the stamps issued by Otto von Bismarck’s German Empire. Some other states, although part of the German unification, continued producing their own stamps – resilient local pride?

Census: 13 on BB page, 23 on supplement pages.

Jim's Observations

Big Blue '69, on two lines of one page, has 13 spaces. Only one line though- 6 spaces- is actually stamps of Prussia. Coverage is 22%. and consists entirely of the embossed 1861-67 issue. 

Expensive stamps include the 1867 Scott 14 3pf red lilac ($20+) and the 1861 Scott 16 6pf orange ($10+).

Of note,  BB specifies the 1865 3p "red violet" color, now a minor number (14a), with a CV of $250! But, as a general rule, if BB asks for a minor number in a space, the major number is also permitted: hence the 3pf red lilac ($20+).

The other line in the '69 BB has 7 spaces for the 1903 Local Official stamps for Prussia, but these stamps are listed under Germany in the catalogue.

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Comments appreciated!

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Recent Stamp Acquisitions: USA & Canada

Canada 1864 Scott 20 2c rose "Victoria"

Into the Deep Blue

When I went to PIPEX (Portland, OR) in May, I picked up some nice USA and Canada, as well as Australia. Since I don't specialize in any one country as a classical WW collector, I don't have a "wow" collection of either the USA or Canada. But that doesn't mean I can't have nice things. 😎

In particular, I did pick up four USA classical era stamps, which will be shown shortly. And I will also take a look at my copy of  Lester Brookman's "The 19th Century Postage Stamps of the United States" two volume book (1947) to see what he said about them. 

An anecdote...

When I was much younger than I am now, Lester Brookman had a retail stamp store in Minneapolis. I remember taking a bus to Minneapolis for a day excursion to his store. There he was at his desk, doing important stamp things. He was philatelically quite famous, and I knew enough to be awe-struck, even if he was not particularly aware I was there. As a teenager, and only buying "average" rather than "VF" stamps from his Brookman USA Stamp catalogue,  I was waited on by his spouse for my stamp needs. 

USA 1855 Scott 14 10c green "Washington"
Imperforate, Type II (Sold as 1855 Scott 15 Type III)

Type III is defined as "The outer lines are broken above the top label and the "X" numerals. The outer line at the bottom and the shells are partly cut away, similar to Type II". (Note that Type II has the design complete at the top.) 

This stamp looks like Type II to me, but was sold as a Type III. (The CV is the same @ $140.)

One of the criticisms of the Scott catalogue for the USA is they break down minor differences, that are sometimes difficult to see, into major numbers with "types" commanding high CVs (And, hence, the need for a completest USA collector to acquire them). Here, for instance, a "Type I" or "Type IV" are $800 & $1600 CV respectively. Actually, I don't have a problem with the "types": They are real, but require close attention. But perhaps a larger argument could be made that the "types" should be minor numbers.

The Brookman says, for Type II, "This type is the most common of the types for the ten cent imperforate since it occurs on 93 out of every 200 stamps". There were some 2,300,000 Type IIs issued.

USA 1860 Scott 37a 24c gray "Washington"
Blue Cancel, "Jan 29, 1861"

Can't tell the city, but a nice blue cancel with a clear date on this 24c stamp. The major color is "gray lilac", while the minor color is "gray" - this has a "gray" color. CV for both are the same (CV $375).

Brookman says that 750,000 stamps were released.

USA 1860 Scott 38 30c orange "Franklin"

The 30c orange in the same 1860 issue is CV $425.

I notice my copy has a white line running from 11:30 from the top of the oval through the head angling slightly right. Is this the infamous "cracked plate" (plate scratch) variety noted by Brookman, or merely a printing stamp fault? 

Brookman says that 357.000 stamps were produced, some of which were returned to the department and destroyed.

I note that even well desired classical USA has been a little CV "soft", as comparing CV prices from 2011 to now, the 30c orange, the 24c gray, and the 10c green (all illustrated above) have dropped ~ $25. 

USA 1867 Scott 89 10c green "Washington"
"E" Grill: grill about 11 X 13 mm

Between 1867-1870, some stamp issues of 1861-66 were embossed with grills of different sizes.

The purpose was to make it more difficult to remove a cancel and reuse the stamp for postage.

Scott gives each grill size stamp their own major number. CVs can run between $10 and $3,000,000 (The famous "Z" grill on the 1c blue). 

USA 1867 Scott 89 10c green "Washington"
"E" Grill: grill about 11 X 13 mm

The "E" grill 10c green has a CV of $325, while the similar no grill example 10c green of 1861 is $55. 

There are five grill examples with a CV of six figures, and two grill examples of seven figures (The 1c blue "Z" grill, the highest CV of any U.S. stamp, is one of them). !!!!!

Canada 1864 Scott 20 2c rose "Victoria"

This is the last stamp produced for the "Canada colony" (Province of Canada), as it became part of the Dominion of Canada in 1867. Colors are "rose" (CV $300) and "deep claret rose". 

Canada 1873-79 Scott 39b 6c yellow brown "Victoria"
Perf 11 1/2 X 12

The "small queens" issue (1870-89) was Perf 12, but there were eight denominations produced between 1873-79 that had Perf 11 1/2 X 12 (occasionally 11 3/4 X 12), and are given minor numbers in Scott. They have a higher CV, so it is important to carefully measure perforations. Here, the CV is $65, while the Perf 12 is CV $27+. 

Out of the Blue

Hope you enjoyed the additions to "Deep Blue". !!

Comments appreciated!