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, March 12, 2024

Ile Rouad - Bud's Big Blue

Poster stamp celebrating the French occupation of Ile Rouad, ca. 1916
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations

Anymore, only stamp collectors recognize “Ile Rouad” as a real place on planet earth. Most folks, if they at all know about this small dot of an island in the eastern Mediterranean, call it Arwad (أرواد), the Arabic rendering of the ancient Phoenician place name.

In early 1915, the island city was a quiet Ottoman fishing village, although in the process of becoming a haven for French spies eager for intelligence about war preparations in Ottman Syria. On September 1 of that year the French navy invaded and, eventually, used the island to defeat the Ottoman military. Perhaps the French recalled the island’s strategic usefulness to the Crusaders in the late 13th century.

French cruiser Jeanne d’Arc, part of the Ile Rouad invasion forces.

Under a League of Nations mandate (1920), the French maintained a presence in Arwad until 1945 and hoped to build a military base there. After World War II ended, however, the United States pressured France to return the island to Syria unconditionally.

Ile Rouad’s 16 stamps were issued in 1916 and continued in use until 1919 whereupon the TEO (occupied enemy territory) stamps of French Syria replaced them. All are overprinted stamps of French Levant. Big Blue provides space for half of these, Scott numbers 4 through 12. They are cheap and easy to collect. In contrast, numbers 1 through 3, the ones with vertical hand-stamped overprints, are costly. These, the results of a stamp dealer’s speculation (1), were not regularly issued and, if cancelled, were likely not used postally. 

Ile Rouad, Scott #3, 1 pi on 25c, blue

 Census: eight in BBs, four on supplement page.

(1)  https://www.dcstamps.com/ile-rouad/

Jim's Observations 

Ile Rouad (Arwad Island) is located in the Mediterranean Sea just 2 miles off the coast from Tartus, south of Latakia, Syria. But on September 1, 1915, it was occupied by French Forces, and served as a staging ground for incursions into the Ottoman territory (Damascus 1918).

In 1919, the island became part of the French T.E.O ( Territorires Ennemis Occupes), and the stamp issues of French occupied Syria were used.

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Comments appreciated!

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Rare USA & Sweden stamps

USA 1861 A31 Scott 72 90c blue "Washington"

Into the Deep Blue

My local Stamp club recently had a "club auction" for members. This auction was unusual in that there was  a number of "rare" stamps listed. 

By "rare",  I mean stamps that are usually not found in good WW collections, and not that common in specialty USA collections.

Truth be told, some had faults; but to me, the faults were acceptable. And the price was right - 6%-15% CV. !

Shall we take a look?

USA 1859 A11 Scott 29 5c brown Type I "Jefferson"

This example is not the imperforate 1856 Scott 12 5c "red brown" Type I (CV $700), but the perforated 1859 Scott 29 "brown" color variety (CV $350). This example may have been reperforated on the right side.

The 5c Scott 29 "brown" colors also include pale brown, deep- brown, and yellowish brown.

Type I is defined as "projections on all four sides", while Type II has "projections on top and bottom partly cut away" (1861 Scott 30 "orange brown" CV $1200; 1860 Scott 30A "brown" CV $280). 

USA 1857 A16 Scott 36 12c black "Washington"
Plate I

The Scott 36 Plate I is characterized by the outer frame lines are recut on the plate and are complete. It looks like the outer frame line in this stamp, although interrupted by the perforations, does look strong. The other choice is 1859 Scott 36B (plate III) where there is a weak outer frame line which has not been recut. But this was sold as a Scott 36, and I think that is right. CV is $300.

USA 1861 A31 Scott 72 90c blue "Washington"

In my younger days, as a USA collector, I always wanted this stamp, and so here it is. :-) Heavily cancelled, but good color. CV $600.

USA 1862 A26 Scott 75 5c red brown "Jefferson"

This is not the Scott 67 5c "buff" color, but the Scott 75 "red brown" variety. CV $425.

Sweden 1869 Scott 15 17o gray
"Lions and Arms"

In our club we have a Sweden specialty collector, and he was selling this 17o gray from his collection.

CV is $800.  Has a good in-period cancel.

Looking at the sixteen Scott major number Swedish stamps from 1855-1869, only four have a higher CV (One of them is the 1855 Scott 1a 3a orange (error) @ $3,000,000!).

Out of the Blue

Fun! This adds a bit of spice to my WW collection. 

Comments appreciated!