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 with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, January 20, 2017

How did my collection grow this past 2016 year?

New Zealand 1898 Scott 78 6p green "Kiwi"
Into the Deep Blue
Part of the fun of collecting, at least for us obsessive-compulsive types, is checking on the growth of the collection.

The time era limit of my WW collection is 1840-1940, with an extension for British Commonwealth through 1952. The ultimate collection, 100% filled, would have 83,507 (Scott major number) stamps. Needless to say, that, as a goal, will never be reached. And that is not where the gratification is anyway, the "Journey" is. !!!

"Deep Blue" in Vario F, G and Avery Binders
The stamps are kept in "Deep Blue", the name for my 6,500 Steiner album pages, presently in 10 Vario G, 19 Vario F, and 21 Avery binders. (I'm converting gradually to an all Vario G and F binder collection.)

But additionally, I keep track of (and actively collect as a realistic goal) all the stamps that will fit into Big Blue, the Scott International Part I 1840-1940 album - some 34,876 spaces. My "virtual" Big Blue collection, housed within Deep Blue, is based on the checklist  I have developed for the stamp spaces in BB.

Well, how did I do?

To recall, the 2015 year started with 39,632 major Scott number stamps, and ended with 42,734 - a 3,102 stamp increase. 

Now, this past 2016 year, I have added 4,133 stamps to Deep Blue, for a year end total of 46,867 stamps.

This amounts to a 9.6% increase in Deep Blue for the 2016 year. Impressive.

My Deep Blue currently has 56% of the spaces filled with stamps.

What about the virtual Big Blue?

My virtual Big Blue collection increased in 2015 from 26,087 to 28,134 stamps, a 2,047 stamp increase. 

And this 2016 year, the virtual Big Blue ended with 29,657 stamps, a 1,523 stamp increase.

In total, Big Blue is now 85% full.

My general objective is ~100 stamps/month (~1200/year) addition into the virtual Big Blue.  I met the objective, although note the increase was about ~500 stamps less than in 2015.

The difference may be because my stamps came from a different mix this year. For 2016, I was breaking down a lot of feeder collections.  In contrast, in 2015, I was accumulating more from virtual Big Blue want lists.

To review, here is the list of countries with significant stamp increases during 2015....

Countries/ Stamps added 2015
1) Italy/ 265
2) Yugoslavia/ 132
3) Belgium/ 120
4) United States/ 113
5) Austria/ 94
6) Gabon/ 88
6) Surinam/ 88
8) China/ 82
9) Colombia States/ 78
9) Luxembourg/ 78

And here, for 2016, is the list of the top countries with >100+ stamp increase...

Countries/ Stamps added 2016
1) Turkey/249
2) Uruguay/181
3) Angola/166
3) Portuguese Guinea/166
5) Portuguese India/149
6) St. Thomas and Prince/148
7) New Zealand/147
8) Azores/146
9) Italy/119
10) Mozambique/114
11) Macao/107

Seven countries from the Portuguese colonies contributed a significant increase, as I acquired a large general Portuguese colony collection.

The others on the list (Turkey, Uruguay, New Zealand, Italy) were likewise from feeder collections for those countries.

For a closer look, I will present some of the countries on the 100+ stamp list, as well as selected other countries that have an interesting story to tell.

For an overview of all the countries in Big Blue/ Deep Blue, see the ......

Status of my Deep Blue & Big Blue Collections post. (Updated monthly.)

Turkey 1936 Scott 780 50k on 500k chocolate & black
"Mustafa Kemel Pasha"
I bought from a dealer a large KA-BE Album 1863-1980 Turkey collection. This was a quality collection, and had recently been sold in January, 1915 at a Regency-Superior auction.

It yielded 249 stamps, the largest amount for any country for 2016.

I think a fine way for the intrepid WW collector to obtain stamps is by buying country collections. Besides the holes I filled, I upgraded many more spaces.

Uruguay 1925 Scott 304 12c blue & black
"Legislative Palace"
Same story with Uruguay, I bought from a dealer a collection housed in Scott International Big Brown pages.

The collection yielded 181 stamps.

In fact, this year was "the year of dealer acquired collections". I bought very little from the APS stamp store or from e-Bay.

Angola 1870 Scott 4 25r red "Portuguese Crown"
Actually, the largest purchase for the year was a well filled Portuguese colonies collection on Scott Specialty album pages.

For Angola, the collection yielded 166 stamps, but looking at the top seven Portuguese colonies on my list, the collection was good for 996 stamps!

I was relatively weak in Portuguese colonies, so this collection helped a lot.

As an example, my Angola collection went from 120 to 286 stamps, and my virtual Big Blue has 112 out of 113 spaces filled.

New Zealand 1858 Scott 8 2p blue "Victoria"
New Zealand
Do not forget other collectors as a source for stamps!

Our local stamp club has a club auction several times a year, and we have many collectors getting on in years who are quite willing to off-load parts of their collections.

Not uncommonly, the stamp accumulations are auctioned off for virtual give-away prices. !!

And, as a WW collector, one is positioned to find worth with many of the lots.

Long story short, I obtained an accumulation in a bankers box of Australian and New Zealand stamps. In this case, there was spirited bidding (There was clearly a number of New Zealand Chalon-head "Victorias" in the accumulation), but it was still a bargain.

The accumulation yielded 147 stamps for New Zealand, and 45 stamps for Australia that were new for me.

Somalia 1906-07 Scott 16 1 l on 10a lilac "Lion"
A  general collection of Italy and Italian Colonies in a Scott Specialty album was obtained. This collection was not as impressive as the similar Portuguese colony collection, but, since my Italian sphere is fairly weak, still yielded many stamps.

A few results: 58 stamps for Somalia, 33 stamps for Cyrenaica, 119 stamps for Italy, 82 stamps for Eritrea, and 89 stamps for Libya.

1931 Scott 176 3fr emerald
"General Joseph Simon Gallieni"
The French stamp world always has interesting designs, and. although I had no major increase in this area, I found 38 stamps for Madagascar, 21 stamps for Cameroun, 27 stamps for Guadeloupe, and 25 stamps for the Ivory Coast.

Many of these stamps were obtained via my virtual Big Blue want list.

Iceland 1882 Scott 18 40a red violet
The WW collector will want to take advantage of an unexpected buying opportunity.

A local well respected Scandinavian dealer decided this year to quit. I was sorry for this, but, since he was selling his stock @ 50% off, I took advantage to buy stamps from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland that I still needed for the virtual Big Blue album.

.I added 34 stamps for Iceland, and only lack 2 for BB completeness.

Western Australia 1865 Scott 34 1sh bright green "Swan"
Western Australia
When traveling, it sometimes pays to see if there are stamp stores, or, more likely, stamp shows in the area.

We spent the month of March of this past year enjoying the Netherlands; specifically The Hague, where my daughter is stationed for her work.

Not far from a tram stop in town was a real brick and mortar stamp store!

They did most of their business through the internet, but had hundreds of country albums and collections for sale there.

The owner welcomed me with perfect English (as do most of the Dutch), sat me down at a sorting table, and gave me a cup of coffee. 

Well, how could I resist? I walked out with a nice Western Australia collection that yielded 31 stamps.

Switzerland 1935 Scott 2O33 1.50fr blue & red/blue
For the League of Nations
I have a decent collection of "usual" Switzerland, but do not have many of the peripheral category stamps. Sure enough, a "Central Europe" album yielded some 31 stamps.

Tannu Tuva 1936 Scott C15 75k emerald green & pale yellow
"Horseman and Zeppelin"
Tannu Tuva
Who doesn't have a soft spot for Tannu Tuva, even if the stamps were blatantly intended for the stamp market?

Like wild bears on stamps? check.
Like triangles and odd shaped stamps? check.
Like images of herdsmen lassoing reindeer? check.

I picked up 22 stamps from a fellow local WW collector.

Canal Zone 1914 Scott J2 2c rose carmine
Overprinted in Black
Canal Zone
There was a Minkus Global Master Album at the local club auction that was essentially empty.

Except I noticed a cache of Canal Zone stamps.

I was the only one who bid on it.

I picked up 14 Canal Zone stamps for my collection.

Canada 1930 Scott E4 20c henna brown
Sometimes one has the odd stamp, that for no apparent reason, is missing from the collection.

The Scott E4 20c henna brown was that stamp for me.

It was on my want list for several years.

Eventually, the only stamp from Canada missing in my virtual Big Blue was the Scott E4 20c henna brown.

Then, in September, at a local Saturday stamp bourse, a dealer specializing in the U.S., with very little Canada, had displayed on his table...yes!, the 20c henna brown!

Luxembourg 1859 Scott 10 30c rose lilac
"Coat of Arms"
Remember that feeder Uruguay collection I had earlier? I have a stamp buddy in town, where we attempt to trade our extra stamps based on a fixed percentage Scott CV. He was interested in my extra Uruguay, and I obtained two very nice Luxembourg stamps from him.

New Zealand 1906 Scott 124 3p blue & brown
"Landing of Captain Cook"
Out of the Blue
I fully expect not to do as well this coming year with my classical era collection. I think another 4000 stamp increase is unrealistic.  The "low hanging fruit" from feeder collections will not be as available, because I am no longer significantly weak in any major regional category, except perhaps for the Spanish colonies.

But part of the reason I expect not to do as "well" this year is my goal for 2017 is a bit different.

I have, left over, from pillaging the 1840-1940 era, many feeder albums/collections that have a significant amount of stamps from 1940-1967. They are perfectly wonderful specimens of " Les Semi-Modernes" era, as the Yvert catalogue like to put it, and I would like to place them into my new thick paper Minkus Global Supreme pages I've acquired from Amos Advantage/Scott this past year. 

Comments appreciated!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wallis & Futuna Islands

1920 Scott 3 4c blue/orange "Kagu"
New Caledonia Stamps of 1905-28 Overprinted
Quick History
Wallis & Futuna are island groups in the South Pacific Ocean,  northeast of Fiji.

During the classical era, they were considered a Dependency of the French Colony of New Caledonia.

Wallis & Futuna in the South Pacific
The population was 6,200 circa 1940, and the chief towns were Mata-Utu, Wallis Island, and Sigave on Futuna Island (also known as the Hoorn Islands).

The two island groups are 160  miles (260 km) apart. 

The highest point is Mont Puke on Futuna at 1,719 feet (524 metres).

Wallis & Futuna Islands
The Queen of Uvea on Wallis Island signed a treaty on April 5, 1887 establishing a French protectorate. Likewise, the Kings of Sigave and Alo of the islands of Futuna and Alofi signed a French protectorate treaty on February 16, 1888. They became a dependency of the French colony of New Caledonia.

The culture of the three Polynesian Kingdoms was and is quite similar to that of Samoa and Tonga.

In 1917, the three Polynesian kingdoms became the Colony of Wallis and Futuna, still as a dependency of New Caledonia.

Stamps were introduced in 1920, using overprinted New Caledonia stamps. In fact, all of the 1920-1940 issues for Wallis & Futuna Islands use overprinted New Caledonia stamps.

A pro-Vichy administration was operational during WW II, until a Free French warship from New Caledonia deposed the regime on May 26, 1942. 

In 1961, the islands became a French Overseas Territory.

The economy is somewhat limited, consisting of subsistence agriculture (coconuts, vegetables, pigs), and fishing.

Currently, more than 16,000 expatriates live in New Caledonia, more than the total population today of Wallis and Futuna.

1924 Scott 33 25c on 2fr carmine/blue "Ship"
Stamps and Types of 1920 Surcharged
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Wallis & Futuna Islands 1920-1940, 119 major number descriptions. Of those, 72 are CV <$1-$1+, or 61%. The WW collector should have no problem, finance wise, accumulating a representative collection.

Other than the common design types, all stamps of Wallis & Futuna during the classical era are overprinted stamps or types of New Caledonia.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
Note: I have more about these issues in the New Caledonia blog post.

1920 Scott 1 1c black/green "Kagu"
New Caledonia Stamps of 1905-28 Overprinted
The first 1920-28 issue for Wallis & Futuna consisted of 28 black or red overprinted stamps of 1905-28 New Caledonia.

1922 Scott 21 50c dark blue "Landscape"
CV for the 1920-28 issue is <$1-$2+ for 23 stamps.

1922 Scott 30 0.02c on 15c violet
Blue Surcharge
In 1922, the 1920 Scott 9 15c violet stamp was surcharged with four values and four colors (black, blue, green, red), creating a four stamp issue.

1924 Scott 34 25c on 5fr black/orange "Ship"
Stamps and Types of 1920 Surcharged in Black or Red
Between 1924-27, stamps and types of the 1920 issue were surcharged in black or red. The ten stamp issue is CV $1-$2+ for six stamps.

1930 Scott 44 2c dark brown & yellow green
"Bay of Paletuviers Point"
Stamps and Types of New Caledonia, 1928-40
Overprinted as in 1920
Released between 1930-40, a 42 stamp overprinted issue using New Caledonia stamps and types of 1928-40 was produced.

 1930 Scott 57 50c violet & brown 
"Landscape with Chief's House"
CV for the 42 stamp issue is <$1-$3+ for 38 stamps. Quite inexpensive.

1940 Scott 69 1fr brown red & green
"Admiral de Bougainville and Count de La Perouse"
The 42 stamp issue of 1930-40 has a couple of interesting twists if one follows them into the 1940s.

The Vichy government reissued six of the overprinted stamps in 1944 without the "RF". They were never placed on sale in Wallis & Futuna.

And, between 1941-43, 33 of the stamps had an additional "France Libre" applied.

1920 Scott J2 10c brown/buff
"Men Poling Boat"
Postage Due Stamps of New Caledonia, 1906
Overprinted in Black or Red
In 1920, the 1906 postage due stamps of New Caledonia, overprinted in black or red, were used for Wallis & Futuna on eight stamps. CV is $1+-$3+ for the issue.

1930 Scott J18 30c blue green & olive green
"Malayan Sambar"
Postage Due Stamps of New Caledonia, 1928
Overprinted as in 1920
Finally, in 1930, a thirteen stamp overprinted postage due issue was produced using the 1928 New Caledonia postage due issue. CV is <$1-$1+.

Deep Blue
1920-28 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has nine pages for the 1920-1940 stamps of Wallis & Futuna Islands. All major Scott numbers have a space.

1920 Scott J1 5c ultramarine/azure 
"Men Poling Boat"
Postage Due Stamps of New Caledonia, 1906
Overprinted in Black or Red
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on four pages, has 104 spaces for the stamps of Wallis & Futuna. Coverage is a remarkable 87%!

To wit, the 1930-40  stamp issue of 42 stamps is covered by Big Blue with 41 stamps, save the Scott 70 1.10fr deep green & brown (CV $30+). Very nice indeed!

There are only three spaces that require a CV $10+ stamp.




Next Page


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Next Page

Postage Due





A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1928 Scott 28 5fr black/orange ($10+)
1927 Scott J9 2fr on 1fr bright violet ($10+)
1927 Scott J10 3fr on 1fr orange brown ($10+)

1930 Scott J12 4c brown red & blue green
"Malayan Sambar"
Postage Due Stamps of New Caledonia, 1928
Overprinted as in 1920
Out of the Blue
Like to get away? The island of Futuna has 12 miles of roads, none of which are paved. Leava, the chief village and administrative center of the chiefdom of Sigave on Futuna, has a current population of 480.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Bermuda - Bud's Big Blue

Bermuda's Coat of Arms
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
The three-masted ship that appears on many of Bermuda’s classical era stamps begs speculation. It is intended, no doubt, to symbolize the Sea Venture, which was deliberately crashed on the island in 1609 during a heavy storm, all passengers surviving. Flagship in a rescue flotilla headed for Jamestown, the Sea Venture may have been “England’s first built-to-order emigration vessel;” 1 others suggest perhaps the first “single-timbered, armed merchant ship built in England.” 2 Who knows? 

Scott’s Catalog labels it a caravel. While the drawing in some ways resembles a caravel, the original certainly was not one. Judging from a stamp-sized drawing is difficult. It’s rather like looking at a generic sketch of a 1930s auto and declaring it to be a Buick. Maybe, maybe not.

The stamps’ ship appears to be sailing under English royal flags.

Since the wreckage of the Sea Venture was scavenged to build vessels for the survivors to continue their voyage to Jamestown, what the ship actually looked like will likely never be known, although model builders have made several informed guesses. Bermuda’s current coat of arms resolves the problem creatively (see above). It simply shows a shipwreck over the motto “whither the fates carry,” a phrase clipped from Virgil's Aeneid. The arms and motto appear indistinctly in the upper right corner of the 1921 Tercentenary issues.

Despite the vagaries of Bermuda’s early sailing ships, the importance of seafaring is a recurring theme in the country’s stamps. Over 70 percent of BB’s Bermuda offerings are nautical-related. Even the 1902-1910 series features a dry dock -- which is also cloaked in historical uncertainty.

Census: 60 in BB spaces, 5 tip-ins, 21 on supplement page.

Jim's Observations
Shakespeare's play,The Tempest was thought to have been inspired by an account of the 1609 shipwreck of the Sea Venture, flagship of a the flotilla originally set to recolonize Jamestown, but instead founding a new colony.

Bermuda Blog Post and Checklist

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bechuanaland Protectorate - Bud's Big Blue

1897 Scott 71 2p green & carmine "Victoria"
Stamps of Great Britain 1881-87 Overprinted in Black
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Yikes! Another interloper (page 1, fourth stamp). The overprint should read not “British Bechuanaland” but “Bechuanaland Protectorate” (see the above replacement). 

So, what’s the difference? 

British Bechuanaland devolved into Cape Colony and eventually became part of the Union of South Africa while Bechuanaland Protectorate became, more or less, modern day Botswana. They are two different but closely related stamp issuing authorities. BB leaves out British Bechuanaland stamps altogether. Sad. I’ve put a few of them in the supplement pages for Bechuanaland Protectorate. Many of the feeder albums I’ve come across use the two interchangeably, although incorrectly.

During BB’s classic era, boundaries in Southern Africa were unsettled. In fact, the notion of national boundaries was foreign to tribal leaders. They operated on the basis of centers of power -- with chiefs and sub-chiefs -- not boundaries of authority. When the British and Dutch tried to impose European-style boundaries, they invariably got it wrong. The results: lots of bloodshed and, of less importance, lots of stamps for BB collectors.

Bechuanaland’s 1933 and 1938 crowned head series are similar to those of Basutoland, except the African scene has changed. I don’t think the baobab tree and cattle have the totemic potency of the crocodile.

Census: 36 in BB spaces, 26 on supplement pages including British Bechuanaland.

Jim's Observations
As usual, Big Blue could have been more generous with the coverage of the Bechuanaland Protectorate. But there is NO coverage of Bechuanaland, ... and never has been.

Bechuanaland Protectorate Blog Post and Checklist

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Benin - Bud's Big Blue

Benin in Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Benin is one of the French Colonial West African nations whose boundaries were determined more by French “Navigation and Commerce” interests (see the image on all of BB’s Benin selection) than by precolonial tribal territories. As the result, these countries went through many boundary and name changes during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The story is continued in BB’s Dahomey section. Cancels of these stamps in neighboring nations are fairly common.

Census: seven in BB spaces, four tip-ins, 23 on supplement page, some duplicates for the sake of cancels.

Jim's Observations
Historical Fact: The Kingdom of Dahomey from the 17th to the 19th century sold their war captives into slavery; otherwise the captives would have been killed in a ceremony known as the Annual Custom.

Benin Blog Post and Checklist

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