• Colombian States – Boyaca & Cundinamarca
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on February 23, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Boyaca 1903 Scott 17 10p black/buff “President Jose Manuel Marroquin” Into the Deep Blue Now Departments within the Republic of Colombia, Boyaca and Cundinamarca were originally “States”, and issued stamps between 1870-1904 (Cundinamarca) and 1902-1904 (Boyaca).Colombian States – Boyaca & Cundinamarca Colombia (Map by Gerben van Gelder ) So far, we have had posts on the Colombian States of Antioquia and Bolivar.Also, there was an earlier 2011 post about Big Blue’s coverage (or lack of) for the Colombian States.Boyaca – a closer look 100 Centavos = 1 PesoThe State of Boyaca was late to the game: only issuing stamps between 1902-1904.1903 Scott 4 10c dark gray “Coat of Arms” Imperforate The most substantial issue for Boyaca was released in 1903, and consisted of five denominations and five designs for the imperforate version.1903 Scott 5 20c red brown “Coat of Arms” As is usual for Colombia and Colombian States stamps of the era, they were produced lithographically.1903 Scott 6 1p red  CV for the imperforate five stamp issue is <$1 to $6+.1903 Scott 10 10c dark gray “Coat of Arms” Perf 12 The 1903 issue also had a Perf 12 version, given major numbers by Scott1903 Scott 11 20c red brown “Coat of Arms” Perf 12 CV for the seven stamp Perf 12 issue ranges from <$1 to $22.1903 Scott 13 50c dull blue “Gen. Prospero Pinzon” Perf 12 An additional design is found with the Perf 12 issue: this one in 50c green (Scott 12) and 50c dull blue (above – Scott 13).1903 Scott 17 10p black/buff “President Jose Manuel Marroquin” Perf 12 A larger format was used for the 10 peso denomination (and 5 peso – not shown).  CV for the 10p black/buff is $2+. The 10 peso stamp can also be found in black/rose (CV $22).I note for the “Perf 12” stamps, some of the sides almost look like sewing machine perfs.1904 Scott 18 10c orange “Statue of Bolivar” Perf 12 The last issue for Boyaca was in 1904, and consists of this one stamp. CV is <$1.Cundinamarca – a closer look 100 Centavos = 1 PesoCundinamarca issued stamps between 1870 – 1904I should mention at the outset that Cundinamarca ( and other Colombian States, and naturally Colombia) are infested with fakes/forgeries. It is truly hard for the non specialist to obtain information about them. Nevertheless, I did find an internet discussion link for Cundinamarcan fakes. Thanks Will and The Stamp Forum! Unfortunately, for the specific stamps discussed (1870, 1886) I don’t have a copy. It does sound, though, that, for the counterfeit 1870 issue, there are long scratches through the plate in the upper half of the stamp. And, if the stamp copy is not clearly printed, it is probably a forgery.1882 Scott 7 50c purple “Coat of Arms” Imperforate Between 1877-1882, a lithographic four “coat of arms” design, four denomination issue was released. CV is <$1-$10+.1884 Scott 11 5c blue “Coat of Arms” Redrawn A 5c blue design was issued in 1884. Scott 10 has a period after the A of COLOMBIA. The redrawn stamp (Scott 11) does not have this period. Both types are CV <$1.1904 Scott 24 2c gray blue In 1904, a twelve stamp nine design issue for Cundinamarca was released.1904 Scott 29 20c blue/green One can tell one is in the philatelic backwoods with this issue. My 2011 Scott has four of the designs still illustrated in black & white. All of the black & white illustration stamps are CV <$1. !! My 2020 Scott finally shows these illustrations in color.1904 Scott 33 50c red violet The issue comes in Perf 10 1/2, 12 (major numbers) and imperforate (minor numbers).1904 Scott 34 1p gray green CV for the 1904 twelve stamp issue (major numbers) is  <$1-$1+, except for the 40c blue/buff @ $40+. 1904 Scott F2 10c bister Registration Stamp In 1904, besides the twelve stamp regular issue, a registration stamp was produced. CV is $1+.The year 1904 proved to be the last of the issues for the Colombian States/Departments.Out of the Blue I find it quite curious that these fairly obscure States issues tend to have a very modest CV. Yet, these stamps are not all that common in WW collections. Supply/Demand curve?Note: I’m going to now do  updates on other “C” and possibly “D”  countries, and leave Colombian States: Santander & Tolima for a later time.Comments appreciated!

  • February 12, 2021 – 10th Year Anniversary of BigBlue1840-1940!
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on February 11, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Big Blue 1840-1940 Scott International Album: Part IWell, something needs to be said after successfully publishing the Big Blue blog for ten years!It began on February 12th, 2011, the first blog entry… Overview…….After 30 years of being away, I have delightfully resumed my 1840-1940 worldwide collection. After some deliberation, I settled on Scott International Volume 1 (Scott calls it Part 1) to house the accumulation. But what is this? No information on what is in this album? Rumor has it that Scott does not even have the information.Perhaps I can help. So I propose with this blog, using Scott catalogues, to systematically comb through all the stamp illustrations/descriptions for a country and make a “checklist”. And to put the results here.The Big Blue checklist took six years – 2017-  to complete./2017/04/the-big-blue-checklist-is-completed.htmlIn the meantime, my colleague Bud began commenting and showing his completed Big Blue, commencing on September 10, 2016.Bud’s Big Blue – An Introduction and IndexThat work is on-going, and Aden through Mozambique is now posted.Deep Blue (Steiner) Pages housed in Vario F and Vario G BindersShown here is part of the Collection For myself, I decided relatively early on that I would rather house my WW 1840-1940 (1840-1952 British Commonwealth) collection in Steiner pages (“Deep Blue”), which had a space for every Scott major number for the era. Of course, that expanded the housing needed to some 6,500 pages…and the footprint!  I initially used heavy duty Avery Binders, but then switched to the more attractive Vario F and G Binders.Am I happy with that choice after ten years experience with Deep Blue? Absolutely! At the present, I have some 51,000 spaces filled out of a 83,000 space capacity. Still, Bud’s approach of using supplementary pages for those stamps without a space in Big Blue is also a viable choice.Big Blue’s “Mascot” stamp: Austria Offices in Turkey 1908 1 Piaster Deep Blue on BlueOn reflection, I’m also pleased with my early decision to feature 1200dpi scan images of individual stamps, little pieces of visual art, in all their glory. Out of the Blue If the reader would scroll along the left column, there is much information and stamp images that have been published – in fact, ten years worth!Enjoy all the thoughts and comments on classical era WW collecting that is here!Jim Jackson

  • Colombian States – Bolivar
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on February 6, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Colombian States – Bolivar 1879 Scott 11 5c blue “Bolivar” Dated “1879”; White Wove Paper; Perf 12 1/2  Into the Deep Blue Until the revolution of 1885, the States (including Bolivar) making up the United States of Colombia were sovereign states. After 1886, they then became Departments with governors appointed, but retained some of their rights, including issuing stamps up to 1904. Colombian States – Bolivar Colombia (Map by Gerben van Gelder )For Bolivar, stamps were issued between 1863-1904.This is, of course, a bit in the philatelic backwaters of WW collecting, but Bolivar stamps are often quite CV inexpensive, and offer interesting identification challenges (Design, Paper).Bolivar – a closer look 100 Centavos = 1 Peso1979 Scott 12 10c violet “Bolivar” White Wove paper, Perf 12 1/2 Dated “1879” In 1879, the lithographed above design was issued in three stamp denominations, dated “1879”. Of interest, the paper is either white wove or bluish laid: each a major number and an inexpensive CV.This was the first perforated issue. The preceding ten stamps (major numbers) for 1863-1878 were imperforate (I don’t have any).1880 Scott 23 80c green “Bolivar” White Wove paper The 1880 issue of five stamps on white wove paper was identical in design to the 1879 issue, save for the “1880” date. CV for the issue is a very modest <$1-$5+.Of interest, the 20c denomination is “red”. But there is a 20c “green” (“error”) color stamp listed in the catalogue (Scott 21a) for a very low CV $28!I must comment though that, although the CVs are low, that doesn’t mean the stamps are all that common in collections. 1880 Scott 27 20c red “Bolivar” Bluish Laid Paper For the 1880 issue, four stamps can also be found on bluish laid paper (major numbers).My scan washed out the bluish tint, but direct inspection reveals that this example is definitely laid bluish.1882 Scott 29 5c blue “Bolivar” White Wove paper; P 16 X 12 A somewhat older “Bolivar” and a different design, and dated “1882” issue on five stamps was released in 1882. CV is <$1-$1+.The issue can be found with Perf 12 and Perf 16 X 12.  As far as I can recall, this may be the first 16 perf I’ve come across in my collection. 1883 Scott 42 1p orange “Bolivar” Dated “1883”; Perf 12 & 16 X 12 Next comes three lithographic “Bolivar” issues distinguished mainly by the inscribed date. The 1883 issue has five stamps, with CV <$1-$3+.1884 Scott 45 20c red “Bolivar” Dated “1884” The “1884” issue of five stamps (CV <$1)…The “Perf 12” of the 20c red is CV $16. The copy above (Perf 16 X 12) is CV nominal.1885 Scott 53 80c green “Bolivar” Dated “1885” The 1885 issue of five stamps (CV <$1)…1891 Scott 60 1p purple “Bolivar” For 1891, a new design “Bolivar” issue of six stamps was released.Of interest, the stamp appears “black” with the scan, but eye inspection reveals “purple”.1891 Issue Scott 55-60 “Bolivar” Here is the complete 1891 issue in Deep Blue (Steiner pages).1903 Scott 64 50c purple/pink “Bolivar” Imperforate; Laid Paper In 1903, a more interesting set was issued with four designs. The “Laid paper” version issue consists of  four denominations and eight major numbers in Scott.The 50c denomination above comes in three major number (Scott 62-64) colors (dark blue, slate green, purple).And then the paper color tints for the Scott 64 above comes in pink (major number CV $4), and minor numbers white, brown, greenish blue, lilac, rose, yellow, & salmon (CV $9-13).1903 Scott 68g 10p dark blue/white  “Jose Maria Garcia de Toledo” Imperforate;  Laid Paper The 10p dark blue I have is on white paper (Minor number 68g CV $20). The major number paper color tint is bluish (CV $2+), and there are six additional minor number color tints (CV $16-$24). Lots of possibilities!1903 Scott 73 1p orange/salmon  Jose Fernandez Madrid” Laid paper; Sewing Machine Perf The 1903 laid paper issue was also released in Sewing Machine Perforation (four denominations, eight major numbers, eleven minor paper color tint numbers). CV variations range from $2+ to $28.There are also two minor number examples of white wove paper, and one example of minor number bluish wove paper. !!!1904 Scott 90a 10c brown “Manuel Anguiano” This 1904 lithographic issue for Bolivar consists of three designs and four denominations. CV is <$1-$16.The major numbers have sewing machine perforations, and Scott lists imperforate pairs as minor numbers. My example looks like an imperforate, although obviously not a pair.1904 Scott 92 20c red brown “Pantaleon Ribon” “Sewing Machine Perf” Clearly the perforating machine and the stamps did not always line up well. 😉1904 Scott 95 2c purple  Imperforate The very last regular issue for Bolivar was an imperforate three denomination, three design issue.CV is $1+-$2+. 1903 Scott 67  5p carmine rose/lilac“Jose Rodriquez Torices”Imperforate;  Laid PaperOut of the BlueI know we are a bit in the weeds with the Colombian States issues, but I find them fascinating. And they generally have a low CV.  I didn’t say they  are easily obtained, however. Comments appreciated!

  • Mozambique – Bud’s Big Blue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on January 29, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Scott #s 137, 129, and 145, blue Vasco da Gama at sea, Mozambique overprint Bud’s Big BlueBud’s ObservationsThere’s a story about a cat that tried to swallow an ostrich instead of a canary. I won’t retell it here for it doesn’t end well for the cat or the ostrich. Portugal and Mozambique might provide a fitting illustration for that story, though. Portugal (the colonizing cat) consists of a mere 35,603 square miles, while Mozambique (the ostrich colony) spreads over 309,496 squares. The cat, over several centuries, found that catching the ostrich was easier than making a meal of it. Scott #s 270-73 da Gama sighting landfallThat is to say, from the time Vasco da Gama landed on Mozambique Island (1498) until the late 19th century, Portugal actually controlled very little of what is now Mozambique, except for a few costal settlements. The sails on da Gama ships emblazed with a cross (see above) where probably not unfurled as he approached the Island. He had decided to pretend to be a Muslim so as not to offend the locals. They found him out and forced him to leave. The cat’s troubles start there. Early traders and prospectors did venture into the interior searching for gold, but various native military and raiding groups, many coming from the Zulu Kingdom, prevented Portuguese cat from fully exploiting the region. Livestock, hostages, and wares intended for trade were seized, thereby disrupting efforts to extract wealth and weakening feline colonial authority. Moreover, other European powers set up aggravating outposts along the coastlineIn the late 1800s, the Portuguese cat decided it needed better strategies for extracting wealth from Mozambique. Even as alliances with various chiefdoms and sheikdoms began to yield some success, Portugal still had little hope of exploiting the entire region on its own, so it adopted two catlike schemes; coincidentally, both schemes generated many stamps for collectors.The first strategy established provincial governments in areas where Portugal had some reasonable hope of consolidating control. These include, in addition to Mozambique Colony which is the topic of this post, the provinces of Lourenco Marques and Inhambane; both have their own Big Blue pages. A Portuguese rough riding cat named Joaquim Augusto Mouzinho de Albuquerque was instrumental in “pacifying” some Mozambiquan provincial areas; he then became a governor of Gaza, a province that did not have its own stamps. Eventually Mouzinho de Albuquerque committed suicide, although some say he was murdered. He remains a hero in Portugal.Scott #276, the rough riding catMozambique issued a series of charity stamps (1930-31) commemorating Mouzinho de Albuquerque triumphs. Inscribed at the bottom are the names of Gaza towns and villages that he brought under cat control.Scott #s RA32-6, the rough rider a governorWhile stamps were issued in the 1890s for some but not all provinces, the Mozambique Colony stamps were distributed throughout the provinces. Use of these stamps during the early and mid-1890s is symbolic of colonial bureaucrats’ and settlers’ gaining domination. The cat seems to be winning.Scott #25, red lilacWhere hope of Portuguese control was dubious, chartered companies were authorized to exploit the land and people — the Mozambique Company, Niassa Company, and Zambezia Company (including Quelimane and Tete). Beginning in the 1890s, each of these companies had their own stamps, first Portuguese issues inscribed with their names, then stamps issued by the companies themselves. These stamps, to be discussed according to their respective Big Blue locations, are symbolic of foreign company shareholders’ growing clout. Instead of grouping all of Mozambique’s stamps in one place under a single heading, the Big Blue’s editors spread them throughout the album alphabetically by province or company name, giving the false impression that they were issued by independent nations. Throughout Mozambique, whether managed by provincial bureaucrats or foreign shareholders, extreme abuses arose — virtual slave labor, obligatory crops for export, high taxes, low wages, and land confiscation.Scott #s 106-8, 215-16, 200 The “Republica” and “Provisorio” overprints denote political changes in Portugal. The cat had, in addition to difficulties with its colonies, troubles back home. The Republic began following the October 5, 1910 revolution, thereby ending the Portuguese constitutional monarchy. The Republic lasted only 16 years; a coup d’état squelched it in 1926. Mozambique stamps of the classical era show more evidence of the upheavals in Portugal than in Mozambique. Did the cat ever consume the ostrich? Well, during the years covered by the stamps on BB pages (all showing below), it did make a start on its exploitive repast — the ostrich (both African people and land) suffered. But full control (consumption) was never achieved. An extended war for independence began in 1964. After ten years, the cat went home, tail dragging. Even when formal independence was finally achieved (1975), matters remained unsettled. The ostrich suffered yet another debilitating war (1977 to 1992) before the current democratic era emerged. As a result of these protracted conflicts, Mozambique was not declared free of land mines until 2015. Even today, the long-suffering ostrich is crippled by extensive poverty, corruption, smuggling, pollution, and loss of natural habitat — problems traceable to years under the cat’s paws. Census: 137 in BB spaces, one tip-in, 169 on supplement pages.Photo credits: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/first-aid-for-injured-tails-in-cats https://travelafricamag.com/13-fun-facts-about-ostriches/Jim’s ObservationsConsidering how “exotic” Mozambique appears and appeals to me, it would be easy to lament the Portuguese designs- reflecting none of the land, animals, or people of the colony. ( A hint of what could have been done will be demonstrated by the soon to be published post – Mozambique Company.)But with the many local surcharges, they are still interesting stamps to collect. Mozambique Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 11a1b1cPage 22a2b2cPage 33a3b3cPage 44a4b4cSupplements Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Comments appreciated!

  • A Review of 2020: What I added to the collection August-December
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on January 20, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Zanzibar 1936 Scott 213 10sh brown & green “Dhow”  Into the Deep Blue This post will review the stamps I added to my collection for August – December, 1920. The last post looked at the January – July, 2020 time period. Reviewing for the year and recapitulating what I said in the January-July post …. I did achieve the goal of adding ~50 stamps roughly per month to my collection. The total for the year was 613 new stamps for Deep Blue (Steiner pages), with 85 of them also having a space in Big Blue. For interest, here is the summary for 2019 and 2018. As many of you know, I collect 1840-1940 WW & 1840-1952 British Commonwealth. I have some 51,000 stamps out of 83,000+ major number Scott catalogue possibilities for the era (61%). For specifics, see this post. How did I do it? Because of COVID, little was done in the usual way (No stamp shows, club auctions etc). And, rather than targeting missing stamps through want lists,  I mostly resorted to my old tried and true habit of obtaining country collections/accumulations/albums, and using them as feeders for my main collection. To that end, let’s look at what happened month by month for August – December. August 55 (Colombia 22, Peru 12, Montenegro 11, South Africa 9, Great Britain 1) The Colombia feeder album was highly successful with a total of 127 stamps added from May through August, with 22 of them in August. And Montenegro (11) and South Africa (9) were added from a WW stash picked up before COVID, and now being worked through. But let’s look at Peru… My Peru additions are from a Peru feeder collection obtained just before the COVID lockdown from a dealer in Portland.Dec 1858 Peru Scott 7 1d slate blue The “Coat of Arms Un Dinero ” lithographic stamps of 1858-1860 come in three designs ( 3 Scott major numbers). This specimen appears to be the Scott 7 December, 1858 (A5) design with large letters, double lined frame, and wavy lines in Spandrels (CV $45). Other issues are the Scott 3  March 1, 1858 stamp with small letters (A2) (CV $47+), and the Scott 9 1860 stamp (A7) with zigzag lines in spandrels (CV $10+ – I have this stamp).1872 Peru Scott 15 1p orange  “Coat of Arms” Embossed The 1862 1d red  (A9) (CV $4+), the 1863 1p brown (A10) (CV $37+), and the 1872 1p orange (A10) (CV $55) are all embossed stamps. These stamps were printed in horizontal strips. Scott has a ominous note that “counterfeits exist” for the  A10 designs. I couldn’t find enough information to tell if my specimen is genuine or not.Peru 1937 Scott C33 1s red brown Photogravure “Mines of Peru” South American countries tend to issue a lot of air post stamps in the 1930s. The stamp above (CV <$1) is from a 1936-37 photogravure or engraved  issue of 24 stamps. It looks like Waterlow of London produced most of the air post stamps during this era.Peru  1935 Scott J54 10c crimson “Pizarro” Regular stamps of  1934-35 Overprinted in Black For Peru, the postage due stamps of 1896-1936 sometimes used a  “deficit” overprint on regular issues.September 50(South Africa 3, Surinam 1, Trinidad & Tobago 1, Turkey 12, Zanzibar 4, Virgin Islands 6, Uruguay 8,  British New Hebrides 1, Mozambique Company 1, Nicaragua 2, Norway 1, Tunisia 1, Thrace 6, Trinidad 3)September’s additions were all from the grouping of WW stamps I obtained from a local dealer prior to COVID. Lots of possible choices to feature here, but I chose exotic Zanzibar.Zanzibar 1895-96 Scott  8 3a orange “Victoria” Stamps of 1882-95 British India, Black Overprint The first issues of Zanzibar used Indian stamps that were overprinted. The 1895-96 issue consisted of fourteen stamps, and were overprinted as shown. Note the overprinted 3a orange is CV $13+, but there are several overprinted misspellings recognized (Scott 8a “Zanzidar”, Scott 8b “Zanizbar”) with CV $1,150 and $7,500 respectively!Zanzibar 1898 Scott  61A 7 1/2a lilac & red  “Sultan Seyyid Hamed-bin-Thwain” After 1896, the Sultans were represented on Zanzibar stamps, and the designs bear a resemblance to the Malay States stamps. (Zanzibar was a British Protectorate, not a colony.)The engraved 1898 issue had ten stamps, and the CV of the 7 1/2 anna shown above is $20+ unused.I should mention that, during this era, the Imperial powers traded the world’s real estate as if it was a giant Monopoly board.  Specifically here, Great Britain and Germany solidified their holdings for themselves with the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty.Zanzibar 1936 Scott 213 10sh brown & green “Dhow” The 1936 engraved thirteen stamp issue, features, for the high denomination, this lovely 10sh brown & green “Dhow” design.  CV is $40 (unused). I must admit, these classic designs for the 1840-1940 WW period hooked me into collecting the era, and I don’t regret it. !!Zanzibar 1949 Scott 225 10sh light brown Silver Wedding Issue – Common Design Type Engraved: Name Typographed I usually don’t show the “common design type” for the 1948-49 Silver Wedding Issue, as some 61 British Commonwealth countries have them, and they are the same (save for different colors).But obviously the 10 Shilling specimen was not collected as vigorously by collectors because of cost. Therefore the CV (unused) for this particular specimen is $29.October 63(Niue 47, Bechuanaland 10, Bechuanaland Protectorate 6)Both the Nuie and Bechuanaland/ Bechuanaland Protectorate additions were from country collections obtained from an Oregon dealer just prior to COVID lockdown.Let’s look at Niue….Niue 1902 Scott 4a 1p carmine “Commerce”, Wmk 63, Perf 11X14 Stamps of New Zealand, Surcharged (Here Blue color) Northeast of New Zealand, Niue (Savage Island) is located in the South Pacific Ocean. It was annexed to New Zealand, along with the Cook Islands, in 1901.In 1902, stamps of New Zealand were surcharged in carmine, vermilion, or blue and released, resulting in six major numbers.Wmk 63 “Double Lined N Z and Star” The stamps can be found with Wmk 61 and Wmk 63, and unwatermarked. The example I am showing here is Wmk 63, Perf 11X14: Hence a Scott 4 variety. This variety shows no period after “PENI”, and therefore Scott 4a (CV $50 (unused)). !! The ordinary Scott 4 is CV $2 unused.Niue 1923 Scott 33 10sh red brown/blue overprint Postal-Fiscal New Zealand stamps of 1906-15 Overprinted in Dark Blue or Red This New Zealand postal-fiscal stamp overprinted for Niue  has a CV (unused) of $145. !!An advantage of picking up a feeder collection is I can find unusual gems like this that I would never have put on a want list. Niue 1927 Scott 44 4p dull violet & black “Avarua Harbor” This stamp (CV $8 unused) is part of a four stamp engraved 1925-27 release. I am delighted, as this stamp also fills an empty space in Big Blue!Niue 1935 Scott 69 6p dull orange & green “R.M.S. Monowai” Silver Jubilee Issue – Types of 1932 Issue overprinted in Black or Red Most Silver Jubilee issues (3 stamps) from the British Commonwealth are “common design” types. But Niue is one of the exceptions. Handsome issue! CV ranges from <$1-$6+.Niue 1938 Scott 75 3sh yellow green & blue “Coastal Scene with Canoe” In 1938, a three stamp bi-color issue was released, and this lovely 3 shilling stamp (CV $22+) was included.  What a languorous image!November 37The dealer in Portland had broken down a very nice WW collection into country lots. I picked up a  South Australia collection which yielded 37 stamps for November, and 31 more for December.(South Australia 37)South Australia  October 1855 Scott 3 6p deep blue  Wmk 6, “Victoria” There were two engraved issues for South Australia that were imperforate: The 1855-56 “London print” (Perkins Bacon) of four stamps, and the 1856-59 “Local print” (Printer, of Stamps, Adelaide), using the Perkins Bacon plates, of five stamps. As near as I can tell, the stamps are recognized by their colors for which issue they are placed, as the printing plates were the same.In this case, the Six Pence denomination can be found in a “deep blue” shade (“London” 1855) or a “slate blue” shade  (“Local” 1857). The CVs are identical ($200 used). My stamp appears to be the “deep blue ” shade (1855 Scott 3).South Australia 1859 Scott 10 1p yellow green “Victoria” Wmk 6, Rouletted There was a rouletted issue of four stamps released in 1858-59. They have the same colors as the 1856-59 “Local print” imperforate issue. There was a second rouletted issue of fourteen stamps printed between 1860-69. These have different colors than the 1858-59 rouletted issue. OK, so the one penny rouletted stamp above could be a member of 1858-59 issue if “yellow green” (CV $70), or a member of the 1860-69 issue if “sage green” (CV $55). I’m placing this stamp with the 1858-59 issue because I think the color is “yellow green”. What do you think?South Australia 1865 Scott 20 dull blue “Victoria” Rouletted As mentioned, the 1860-69 rouletted issue of fourteen stamps is known by the characteristic colors. Actually the six pence for this issue has seven colors recognized by the Scott catalogue: dull blue, sky blue, Prussian blue, ultramarine, indigo blue,  violet blue, & violet ultramarine. (If it is “slate blue:, then a member of the 1858-59 issue.)The problem for us WW collectors is we do not have enough experience with this issue and multiple stamp examples to be sure if we have accurately determined the right color. Is this “dull blue” (CV $7+)? I note that, perusing general on-line collections of South Australia for this issue, I have my doubts they are accurate with color either.South Australia 1860 Scott 20h violet blue Rouletted Another example of a Six Pence color variation: this definite violet shade stamp (If Scott 20h, then CV $8).I should mention that there also exists Perforation 11 1/2-12 1/2 X roulette stamps (eight major numbers) , issued between 1867-72. Although I am complaining a bit about determining an accurate color designation for these engraved 1855- 1872 “Victoria” stamps, if I had the time (and money), it would be great fun investigating these stamps further. December 49(South Australia 31, New South Wales 18)I also picked up a New South Wales collection from the Portland dealer.The “View of Sydney Harbor” imperforate stamps of 1850-51 are a specialist’s delight, quite expensive, and I don’t have any. 😉Let’s look at some imperforate 1851-55 “Queen Victoria Laureates” stamps, which were engraved in Sydney by John Carmichael or H.C. Jervis.New South Wales 1852 Scott 13 1p red Bluish or grayish wove paper Hard to tell with this scan, but visual examination reveals this stamp is on bluish paper. That places this stamp as an 1852 Scott 13 one penny. Shades recognized include red (major number), carmine, scarlet, and brick red. CV for the 1p red is $200. Other one penny stamps issued include the 1851 carmine on yellowish wove paper (CV $400), and 1852 1p orange brown on bluish vertically aid paper (CV $600).As one can surmise, it is important to identify the type of paper with the “Queen Victoria Laureates” issues.New South Wales two pence blue  Resembles 1852 Scott 14, but a Forgery The “Two Pence” stamp adds another layer of complexity: Plate I on has a background of wavy lines; Plate II has stars in corners; Plate III has a background of crossed lines.Unfortunately, there are also forgeries. Note the head rear bun consists of white triangles?Also, Scott lists some six color shades for “blue”: Good luck with that! 😉New South Wales 6p brown Resembles 1852 Scott 18 or 19, but a forgery The Six pence comes in some six color shades and two plates. Plate I shows a background of fine lines; Plate II shows a background of coarse lines.And then there are forgeries, which this stamp is a member. Note the heavy prominent vertical background lines?New South Wales 1854 Scott 23 1p orange Wmk 49: Double Lined Numerals Corresponding to the Value The 1854-55 imperforate issue of nine stamps is relatively easy to figure out: They have watermarks!The one penny orange shown here has a “1” watermark, which is the value. CV is $57+.Out of the Blue I hope you got something out of the parade of stamps illustrated here that were added during the 2020 year.For next year (2021), I’m going to lower my goal to ~25 stamps added/ month. We will still be dealing with COVID restrictions for at least the first half of 2021, and I think some 25 stamps/month is more attainable. Comments appreciated!

  • Montserrat – Bud’s Big Blue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on January 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Montserrat #s 75-77 — green, red, and orange brown Bud’s Big BlueBud’s ObservationsRarely do stamp designs feature ghost towns. Even more rarely does a thriving city illustrated on a stamp, in subsequent years, slip into ghostdom.Plymouth, Montserrat, provides the exception. Spry and bustling when in the 1932 series came out (see above), it was buried alive in 1995 and 1997 by a series of pyroclastic lava flows from a volcano that had lain dormant for 300 years. You can see the sleeping volcano, Chances Peak, on the stamps hovering over Plymouth.#76, red, close-up Note Clock Tower (partially obscured by cancel)#76,red, close-up 2nd example Note War Memorial Clock Tower Magnification shows some of Plymouth’s landmarks. In the center is the War Memorial clock tower flanked by government buildings (partially obscured by cancel in the 1st example). Plymouth was Monserrat’s capital and sole port of entry. It still is the government’s official location, although no one lives or works there — the world’s only phantom capital. Fire and ash rendered Plymouth uninhabitable. Thankfully, all residents evacuated safely then resettled in the northern part of the island or elsewhere in the United Kingdom.Plymouth and Chances Peak during an eruption, from perspective similar to the 1932 series Copyright © 2020 BBCPlymouth’s War Memorial clock tower before and after devastation, a postcardPhantom philately — collecting stamps cancelled in ghost towns — has a specialized following. They look for cancels from the likes of Sixteen, Montana and Thistle, Utah, or from towns with ghostly names such as Gnaw Bone, Indiana and Dead Woman Crossing, Oklahoma. In my locale, a large “haunting” of philatelists collect cancels from dead post offices (“haunting” is the collective noun for ghosts). Plymouth cancels struck during the eruptions should command high prices, if there are such, for the post office is now certainly dead. Monserrat’s stamps remind me of another spooky matter — a pernicious myth circulating on the internet about atrocities supposedly perpetrated against Monserrat’s early Irish immigrants. Yes, many of them were indentured servants. But allegations that equate their circumstances to horrors endured by African slaves are false, deceitful, and lacking in evidence, according to knowledgeable historians. Montserrat’s 1903 series (#s 12 thru 20) appropriately honors the island’s Irish heritage — Erin, the female personification of Ireland holding a harp, clinging to a cross, and looking rather prosperous. The image was soon adopted as Monserrat’s coat of arms (1909).Scott #12, greenI find the false aggrandizement of white indentured servants’ suffering disturbing, in a chilling sort of way, because some of my own ancestors were indentured servants. One of them married his master’s daughter — a practice forbidden to African slaves. Although some indentured whites were ill-treated, reparations were commonly available once their servitude was completed. Not so for chattel slaves. For them, suffering was perpetual and hereditary.  Census: 43 in BB spaces, 19 on supplement page. Note: the BBC pic (above) is copyright, and is used here for educational purposes.Jim’s ObservationsMontserrat (10 miles by 7 miles) was named by Christopher Columbus in November, 1893, after the Monastery of Montserrat in (now) Spain.The English, though, had control of the island by 1632, and Montserrat became known as “The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean”: partially for its lush greenery, but more because the Irish were transported there as slaves, servants, and prisoners.Montserrat Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 11a1b1c1dPage 22aSupplements Page 1Comments appreciated!

  • A Review of 2020: What I added to the collection January-July
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on January 3, 2021 at 3:00 pm

     Southern Rhodesia 1931 Scott 25 10p carmine & ultramarine “George V” Into the Deep Blue The year 2020 was anything but normal as we all know. Frankly, I was distracted from the hobby for most of the period, with the disruption in our usual lives because of COVID.  The reader will note, though, that it didn’t prevent Bud and I (Jim) from publishing some 60 blog posts this year. 😎 Still, I did achieve the goal of adding ~50 stamps roughly per month to my collection. The total for the year was 613 new stamps for Deep Blue (Steiner pages), with 85 of them also having a space in Big Blue. For interest, here is the summary for 2019 and 2018. Recall, I collect 1840-1940 WW & 1840-1952 British Commonwealth. The easy pickings are long over, as I have some 51,000 stamps out of 83,000+ major number Scott catalogue possibilities for the era (61%). For specifics, see this post. How did I do it? Well, as you probably guessed, it was not though browsing Dealer’s tables at stamp shows (The shows were cancelled), or through Club stamp auctions (No club meetings). And, although my plan was to target missing stamps through want lists, I mostly didn’t do that either, save for the first and second issues of Hungary.  No, I mostly resorted to my tried and true habit of obtaining country collections/accumulations/albums, and using them as feeders for my main collection. For fun, let’s look at what happened month by month. As there too many stamp images to present in one blog post, I will cover January-July here, with the next post looking at August-December. Let’s begin… January 51 (Hungary 18, Southern Rhodesia 24, Tripolitania 8, Japan 1) The Hungary accumulation will be addressed next month. The majority of the stamps this month (Southern Rhodesia, Tripolitania) were from a selection I obtained from a local dealer a year ago, and now being worked up.Southern Rhodesia 1924 Scott 13 2sh6p black brown & blue “King George V” This rather heavily cancelled stamp has a CV of $70 (used). I would most likely not target an expensive stamp like this for a want list. But here it is as part of the Dealer’s offering.Southern Rhodesia 1935 Scott 17 1p scarlet “George V” Perf 14 The collector that previously had these Southern Rhodesia’s stamps was fastidious. All Perfs were checked and labeled. This (above) yielded the main Scott number.Southern Rhodesia 1933 Scott 17b 1p scarlet “George V” Perf 11 1/2 And Perf 11 1/2 is a minor number.Southern Rhodesia 1931 Scott 17c 1p scarlet “George V” Perf 12 And so is Perf 12. In fact, based on issue dates, the Perf 12 was the first 1p scarlet in 1931.Southern Rhodesia 1931 Scott 25 10p carmine & ultramarine “George V” These lovely engraved stamps of 1931-37 were produced by Waterlow and Sons, Ltd, London.Southern Rhodesia 1937 Scott 54 5sh green & blue“King George VI”The 1937 issue (13 stamps) for George VI consisted of this design. CV (used) is <$1 to $8.Southern Rhodesia 1951 Scott J1 1/2p emeraldGB Stamps 1938-51 Overprinted in BlackOn Great Britain stamps, the 1951 overprinted six stamp postage due issue is as shown. CV (unused) is $2+-$3.February 67(Hungary 67)March 56(Hungary 45, Bermuda 4, USA 3, Australia 2, Barbados 2)I picked up a loaded Hungarian collection from an Oregon dealer in January: at least it was prior to the COVID lockdown. Hungary 1874 Scott 17 20k greenish gray; Perf 13“Crown of St Stephen”Hungary is one of those countries where the WW collector probably has a lot of earlier stamps, as many are CV inexpensive. But there are many Perf variants and watermarks to sort out. Have you done that? I find it is helpful to recheck stamp identification as one obtains more feeder albums and develops a more sophisticated understanding.This rather tired looking 1874-76 “A2” design 20k greenish gray filled a space (CV $10+). Hungary 1898 Scott 46 50k dull red & orange“Crown of St Stephen”The “A3” designs of 1888-1899 need parsing (Wmks, Perfs). A space was found for the 50k dull red and orange (CV $15).Hungary 1908 Scott 83 5k violet brown“Franz Josef Wearing Hungarian Crown” Perf 15; Wmk 136Another space filled (CV $7+). There are some five catalogue numbers (major and minor) for this design: check the Perf and Wmk.Hungary 1920 Scott 330 10k violet brown & red violet (FORGERY!) Scott Nos 214-222 Overprinted in Black I was lacking the 10k denomination (CV $9). Unfortunately, a review of Varro Tyler’s “Focus on Forgeries” reveals that this overprint is a forgery. The genuine would have 5-7 very short horizontal shading lines placed between “1919” and the left edge of the frame around “1919”.That brings up the downside for Hungary: The numerous forgeries, especially with the overprinted examples.Hungary 1936 Scott C44 5p dark blue “Airplane” The 1936 Air Post issue of ten stamps has three designs, and shows a Fokker F VII airplane on all designs. CV varies between <$1 and $10+.April 50(Hungary 48, Burma 2)May 50(Hungary 47, Colombia 3)Although I added a number of Hungarian stamps in other categories, a prime reason I obtained the collection was for the extensive Hungarian occupation issues. Let’s take a look…Issued under French Occupation: Arad Issue1919 Scott 1N22 10f scarlet “Charles IV” (A11 design) , Blue Overprint Overprinted on 1918 Issue Now a MAJOR caveat.Almost all of the overprinted occupation issues were overprint counterfeited. First Transylvania Issue – Romanian Occupation Newspaper Stamp 1919 Scott 5NP1 2b orange  The Scott catalogue states: “The overprints…have been extensively forged. Education plus working with knowledgeable dealers is mandatory in this collecting area”Second Transylvania Issue – Romanian Occupation 1919 Scott 6N4 16b gray green “Turul and Crown of St Stephen” On Stamps of 1913-16 In fact, any collection of Hungarian occupation issues that has not been expertised should be assumed to be mostly counterfeits.  That is reality.So what should a collector do? For me, I am content to fill the spaces with (probable) overprint counterfeited stamps until….. at some point ( and perhaps never!) …. either I obtain the specialized knowledge, or get expertised stamps. !!!Temesvar Issues – Under Serbian Occupation 1919 Scott 10NJ5 30f green & red Postage Due stamps of 1914-15 Overprinted type “a” in Black Yes, I would love to have the knowledge to tell, but I haven’t seen where it is readily available. Life is too short, so I will fight, at this time, other easier counterfeit battles. 😉June 52(Colombia 52)July 50(Colombia 50)At the same time I picked up Hungary, I obtained a nice Colombia collection. (This was before the COVID lockdown.)Actually, most of the Colombia collection was already discussed and published in 2020.See..Colombia 1859-1870 – a closer look Colombia 1871-83 – a closer lookColombia 1899-1904: Cartagena and Barranquilla IssuesColombia 1902-02 Scott 243 10c dark blue/salmon Laid Paper; “Iron Quay at Sabanilla” Barranquilla Issues This is what I said about this issue..“The 10c design was also issued between 1903-04 in dark blue on six different colored papers – each given a major number (Scott 240-245) for imperforate examples. There are also minor numbers for Perf 12 examples.These stamps were on horizontally laid paper.”1918 Scott 353 1/2c on 20c gray black On 1908 Scott 330 Surcharged in Red Colombia, in my view, is in the top 2-3 counties in South America for philatelists. I sometimes regret collecting WW, as that limits me (time wise) when I have the desire to specialize – such as now. 😉1938 Scott 464 2c rose “Oil Wells” Lithographed; Types of 1932 I show the 2c “Oil Wells” example, because it has three printings: the 1938 lithographic imprinted “Litografia Nacional Bogata” stamp (above); the 1932 engraved imprinted “Waterlow & Sons, Ltd, Londres” stamp, and the differently designed (but similar) 1935 engraved imprinted “American Bank Note Co.” stamp. All inexpensive. All fascinating.1921 Scott C25 5c orange yellow “Plane over Magdalena River” The 1921 eleven stamp air post issue (one of two designs shown above) and the 1923-28 thirteen stamp air post issue are a gateway into the extensive SCADTA – Consular overprints using these stamps. Of course, the SCADTA overprints are a major sub-specialty for Colombian philatelists.Out of the Blue Hope you enjoyed this little “show and tell’ into the 2020 January – July stamp acquisitions.The next post will look at August – December, 2020 additions. Comments appreciated!

  • Montenegro – Bud’s Big Blue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on December 26, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Bud’s Big Blue Bud’s ObservationsAn art museum that limits its collection to portraits of only one person would bore me. If the portraits ranged over a long lifetime, maybe I’d be less fatigued, maybe even energized if the lifetime were interesting.  That’s how I feel about Big Blue’s Montenegro pages — a gallery of selfies — boring at first glance and yet, after a hard look, strangely puzzling, intriguing, even thought-provoking. The portraits all depict Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš (Nicholas, hereinafter) first as a tousle-haired prince, then a portly King, and finally a timeworn king-in-exile — one face, many facets. The tousle-hair design was repeated with minor differences for three printings plus an overprinted series; the first (1874) with seven values is the more difficult to collect (see supplement pages for examples, first two lines). Montenegro #4 (1874, light violet), #40 (1898, dull blue), #41 (1894, maroon), #24 (1893, red), all with tousle-hairNicholas was Montenegro’s one and only king. In addition to being a much loved and mostly capable ruler, he also wrote poetry. At the outset of World War I, he chose an alliance with Serbia against Austria-Hungary, a right decision but one with poor results for him. After a defeat in 1916 he surrendered to the Austrians and fled first to Italy, then to France. When the Serbs were eventually victorious in 1918, instead of restoring him to power, his former subjects and allies deposed him, then joined Montenegro to Serbia. Nicholas died in France, 1921.Montenegro #102 (deep rose), #105 (deep blue), the portly KingThe only exceptions to stamps with Nicholas’s portrait are the postage dues and the colorful series depicting the monastery at Cetinje, the latter easily being the most frequently found Montenegrin stamps in feeder albums. The monastery houses the royal mausoleums where Nicholas’s remains were buried on October 1, 1989, along with those of his wife, Queen Milena, and two of his twelve children. Originally buried at a Russian Orthodox church in San Remo, Italy, they were repatriated and, at long last, given a state funeral. Michael Adkins provides a helpful description of Montenegrin stamps in his Dead Country website (http://www.dcstamps.com/montenegro-kingdom-principality-1878-1916/). All of these are shown on the BB page scans below and, on the supplement pages, follow the post exilic Gaeta issues (so called because they were issued in the Italian city of Gaeta), the Austrian occupation stamps, and the overprinted French stamps that were used by the government in exile. The Gaeta stamps bear the overprint СЛОБОДНА ЦРНА ГОРА (Free Montenegro).Gaeta issues, the timeworn KingMontenegro in Exile #s 7 and 5, France In a sense, though, Montenegro has refused to die philatelically: in 1922 it became a part of Yugoslavia where it remained uncomfortably through various rebellions and wars until 2006 when, following a referendum, it declared independence. During these years, various stamps of other nations were issued with Montenegro overprints — Italian, Serbian, Austrian, German, Yugoslavian, etc. Deep pockets are required for collecting some of these. After independence, Montenegro again issued stamps of its own, but the likeness of Nicholas did not reappear until 2014.Issued for the 25th anniversary of the repatriation of remains, 2014 Burial chaple at Cetinje Census: 115 in BB spaces, 58 on supplement pages, 4 tip-ins. Jim’s ObservationsExcept for the very early issues (1874, 1879), most of the Montenegro stamp issues proper had to be abundantly supplied to the philatelic trade, as the CV for these stamps some 127-102 years later is at low to minimum. Remarkable.But the stamps themselves are well designed and lovely. Truth be told, in the philatelic world, there is generally little correlation between the intrinsic beauty of a stamp and it’s catalogue value.Here one can have beauty at rock bottom prices.Montenegro Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 11a1b1cPage 22a2b2c2dPage 33a3b3cSupplements Page 1Page 2Page 3Comments appreciated!

  • How is one not like the other?
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on December 17, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    1900 Scott 65A 5m slate & carmine, Type II “Wilhelm II Speaking at Empire’s 25th Anniversary Celebration” Into the Deep BlueOne of the pleasures of stamp collecting, certainly for me, is the correct identification of a stamp. And if the identification is difficult, because of very similar stamp “type” issues, all the better!Now truth be told, I find “fly-specking ” (one-off stamp production flaws) not my cup of tea, although the occasional foray into errors, freaks, and oddities is sometimes done.But if a stamp offers the possibility of a difference, and is recognized by its own discrete catalog number, …well…what fun!And the question, “How is one not like the other?, sometimes obvious, sometimes maddeningly vexing, gets to the core of identification.So to explore this aspect of stamp collecting, I chose some particular stamps from a few countries (Great Britain, Germany, Confederate States, Australia, Greece) to illustrate. They show the range from quite apparent differences, to  differences only confirmed with high resolution scans.Let’s begin….A closer lookGreat Britain12 Pence = 1 Shilling 1840 Scott 2 2p blue “Victoria” Engraved, Imperforate, White Paper Along with the “Penny Black”, the “Twopence” Blue, without white lines, is iconic. Only two plates were used (Plate 1, Plate 2), and it was issued only for a short time: between May, 1840 and March 13, 1841.CV is a handsome $900+ (used).If the collector is looking for this stamp, one will find that the Twopence Blue with white lines (both imperforate and perforate) is comparatively more common, as it was issued in some form through 1858.1841 Scott 4 2p blue “Victoria” Engraved, Bluish Paper Here is the other Twopence blue, now with white lines added above “Two Pence” and below “Postage”. The imperforate issue used two plates (Plate 3, Plate 4), and was printed beginning March 13, 1841 into the mid 1850s. CV is a more modest $90. 1881 Scott 88 1p lilac “Victoria” Typography, Die I I remember as a kid puzzling over the inexpensive 1p lilac “Victoria”, wondering if I had the more desired 14 dot variety. I had to wait until adulthood before obtaining one.1881 Scott 88 1p lilac close-up 14 dots in each angle The 14 dot variety (BTW, this refers to 14 complete dots) was released July 12, 1881, and was issued for only five months. CV is a respectable $30+.1881 Scott 89 1p lilac “Victoria” Typography, Die II The much more common 16 dot variety was released December 13, 1881.1881 Scott 89 1p lilac close-up 16 dots in each angle CV is a very modest $2. But if you come across a group of 1p lilac Victoria’s , check. as I did as a kid, to see if one might be the “14 dot” variety. !!1888 Scott 118 5p lilac & blue “Victoria” Queen Victoria Jubilee Issue Type II The inspiration and idea for doing this “How is one not like the other?” blog post was triggered by recently pursuing the Type I /Type II differences found on the 5p lilac & blue stamp for the 1888 Queen Victoria Jubilee Issue.1888 Scott 118 5p close-up Type II: Tiny vertical dashes to right of “d” A good magnifying glass will reveal that most examples will have tiny vertical dashes to the right of both “d”s in the 5d value blue tablets1888 Scott 118 5p  Left “5d tablet” close-up Type II: Tiny vertical dashes to right of “d” Here is a close-up of the vertical dashes to the right of the “d”. This is Type II, and Scott 118.  CV is $10+. It was issued in 1888. 1888 Scott 118 5p lilac & blue “Victoria” Queen Victoria Jubilee IssueType II?Here is another example. Let’s take a closer look….1888 Scott 118 5p close-upType II: Tiny vertical dashes to right of “d”A close-up clearly shows the vertical dashes to the right of both “d”s in the “5d”  tablets.1887 or 1888 Scott 118 or 118a 5p lilac & blue Type II or Type I? But there is another type or die in the catalog – Type I or Die I. It was issued in 1887, before Type II or Die II superseded it in 1888. This variety is rarer, and is Scott 118a. It is characterized by “squarish dots to the right of both “d”s”. Of note, Scott only gives a written description, while Stanley Gibbons shows a close-up illustration. Because the differences are tiny and small, I recommend, if one is suspicious for a Type I after a magnifying glass inspection, that a high resolution scan (1200) be done to study carefully.So, the above example – is it Type I or Type II?1887 or 1888 Scott 118 or 118a 5p close-up Type II or Type I? A close-up scan of both 5d value tablets show the right 5d value tablet with a hint of “squarish dots”, while the left 4d tablet appears less promising. Right 5d Value Tablet Close-up Squarish dots or vertical dashes to the right of the “d”? Two of the dashes/dots are heavily imprinted, but the overall impression is more of vertical dashes than squarish dots.1888 Scott 118 5p  Left “5d tablet” close-up The left 5d value tablet of the same stamp shows clearly vertical dashes.Verdict: To me, this is the more common Type II stamp, with the preponderance of evidence showing tiny vertical dashes to the right of “d”1887 or 1888 Scott 118 or 118a 5p lilac & blueType II or Type I?OK, here is another copy – let’s take a good close look…. (BTW, the cancel says “1887”, which would argue for a Type I.)1887 Scott 118a 5p close-upType I: squarish dots to the right of both “d”sWow – there is no doubt: This is the rare Scott 118a with squarish dots. CV is $120+. One can usually pick up a copy, though, for ~ $20.Germany 100 Pfennigs =,1 Mark (1875)“Reichspost” 1900 Scott 64 3m black violet “Unveiling Kaiser Wilhelm I Memorial, Berlin” Type I The Germans in general and the Michel catalog in particular are quite fastidious when it comes to noting small differences among stamps.And so it goes with the engraved  “Reichspost” 1900 Scott 64 3m black violet “Unveiling Kaiser Wilhelm I Memorial, Berlin” stamp, where there are subtle! differences with the Kaiser on his horse (Type I or Type II).Scott 64 close-up Type IMichel 65I (Type I) – note a looser reinAnd the Kaiser’s upper body leans back slightlyWith a  convex (rounder) front (Breastplate) profile Horse’s mouth & muzzle have 3 vertical white stripes(Note there is no “white indentation” between the Kaiser’s hand and his front torso -harder to see with black cancel)The 2010 Michel  (German Specialized) catalog has illustrations and a description (in German) of the differences. My 2011 Scott 1840-1940 WW catalogue makes no mention of the differences or types, while the 2020 Scott 1840-1940 WW catalogue now has a description of the differences, as well as an illustration. The Michel description is more useful (in my view) than the current Scott description, but both describe the largest difference: mainly the looser rein. The differences described above are from Michel, except I added the differences I noted with the Horse’s mouth and muzzle.CV is $45.“Reichspost” 1900 Scott 64a 3m black violet “Unveiling Kaiser Wilhelm I Memorial, Berlin” Type II The Type II stamp is shown here, and is now Scott 64a and Michel 64II (Type II).Scott 64a close-up Type II/ Michel 64II (Type II)Close-up of REICHSPOST Type II-Note tight/straight reinsAlso, a “white indentation” between the Kaiser’s hand and his front torsoAnd the front (Breastplate) profile of the torso is angled straight, not curvedHorse’s mouth & muzzle have a small white dot and one larger white patch bifurcated with a thin black lineCV for Type II is $55 (used)/ $120 (unused).Summarizing the differences:A) Loose rein (Type I) vs tight rein (Type II)B) Kaiser’s torso leans back slightly in Type IC) Rounder (Type I) vs straight angled (Type II) front Breastplate torso profileD) “White indentation” noted between the Kaiser’s hand and his front torso in Type IIIf you enjoy looking into the differences between these stamps, welcome to my club!“Reichspost” 1900 Scott 65A 5m slate & carmine, Type II“Wilhelm II Speaking at Empire’s 25th Anniversary Celebration”One of more famous differences found in a stamp involves the 1900 5m slate & carmine with the scene as above. The Scott 65A (Type II) has a CV of $350 (unused-used).1900 Scott 65 5m slate & carmine Type I Not my stamp – From Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions The 1900 Scott 65 (Type I) is out of my league CV wise ($1,200 unused, $2,300 used), and I don’t have one. (Perhaps if my ship comes in 😉 The scan is from a Daniel F. Kelleher auction, and is used here for educational purposes.Type II – “5” is thinner, “M” has distinct serifs The Type II stamp (Scott 65A) has the above differences.Type I – “5” is thick, “M” has slight serifs The Type I stamp (Scott 65) shows these differences. Frankly, one has to compare/contrast between the illustrations to be sure that one has the correct type.Minister Boetticher (mustache and glasses) Often shows an ear Type II Then there is another difference between Type I/Type II that is not mentioned in Scott, but is illustrated in the Michel catalogue: namely whether Minister Boeetticher’s ear is shown. ;-)Type I vs Type II: no ear shown vs ear shown.Actually, my copy of Type II only shows a partial ear (at best), with the rest hidden by the black edge of the frame.Note the ear? Not my stamp – APS Stampstore Example Scott 65A Type II Here is another copy (not mine)  of Type I which shows the ear better.1900 Scott 65 5m slate & carmine Type I Not my stamp – From Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions No Ear Here is a close-up of Type I: and yes, no ear. ;-)Confederate States100 Cents = 1 Confederate Dollar 1863 Scott 11 10c blue “Jefferson Davis” The Confederate States have two stamps – the Scott 11 & 12 10c blue, which look almost identical (CV ~$20)-. And, in fact, I was confused regarding the differences (frankly, for years!) as the Scott catalogue described the major difference as “additional line outside the ornaments at the four corners” for Scott 12. What a poor choice Scott! The reality is it is often difficult to see the additional line! And so my Scott 11’s and 12’s sat in a pile waiting to be sorted.Fortunately, Trish Kaufmann (a well known dealer and Confederate States expert) came to my rescue with her Confederate States Primer Online website.She pointed out the obvious: Scott 11’s Jefferson Davis’s rear head hairline is below the ears!1863-64 Scott 12 10c blue “Jefferson Davis” …and with Scott 12, the hairline cuts off at the ears!!!!And, yes, one can discern an extra line with Scott 12 outside the ornaments (seen best along the right lower corner), but much less easy to see!!!Australia 12 Pence = 1 Shilling1913 Scott 17 1p carmine “King George V” Engraved, Unwmk, Perf 11 I include the engraved 1913 1p carmine here, because it reminds me what a struggle it can be to tell similar stamps apart when just looking at a catalog when one is just beginning a WW collection.I kept looking for this stamp, when all I had in my collection was the much more common 1p reds (shown below).Finally, I went to a dealer and bought the stamp, as I could not find a copy in my Australia feeder albums and collections. CV is $6.Note this stamp is engraved, has a whiter kangaroo and emu, and the “1” numeral is thicker.1914 Scott 21 1p red “George V” Typographed, Wmk 9, Perf 14 Here is an example of the 1p red, which comes in many shades, perforations and watermarks.All of them are lithographed, have a darker kangaroo and emu, and a thinner “1” numeral.1937 Scott 167 1p emerald “Queen Elizabeth” Type I: Highlighted Background, Lines around letters of Australian Postage and numerals of value Quite easy- one just needs to pay attention.1938 Scott 180 1p emerald “Queen Elizabeth” Type II: Background of heavy diagonal lines without the highlighted effect., No lines around letters and numerals I doubt anyone would have trouble with this. But these two show a delightful difference – no magnifying glass or scan required. 😉1937 Scott 169 2p scarlet “George VI” Type I The 2p “George VI” stamps are from the same issues as the 1p emeralds, so the differences with the 1p emeralds apply here too. But look at the eyes…. 1937 Scott 169 Close-up Type I Note the eyes look down and to the left….1938 Scott 182 2p scarlet “George VI” Type II The Type II. 1938 Scott 182 Close-up Type II The eyes are looking more straight ahead.Greece 100 Lepta = 1 Drachma1901 Scott 168a 5 l yellow green  “Giovanni da Bologna’s Hermes Type I If you want to take a big bite into the “How is one not like the other”, Greece has the ultimate challenge: The Hermes Heads.As I said about them…The Large Hermes Heads hold for the classical era collector, in my opinion, a “Terrible Beauty”.”Beauty” because they are arguably the most perfectly designed classical stamps ever produced.”Terrible” because they may be the most difficult issue to accurately classify for the non specialist.But, here we will present some mildly challenging Greek stamps – nothing too scary.The 1901 5 l yellow green comes in two types.1901 Scott 168a 5 l green  Close-up Type I Type I: Letters (above) not outlined at top and left. Few (if any) horizontal lines between the outer vertical lines at sides.1901 Scott 168b 5 l yellow green “Giovanni da Bologna’s Hermes Type II Type II. CV (Type I & II)  <$1.1901 Scott 168b 5 l green  Close-up Type II Type II: Letters (above) fully outlined. Heavy horizontal lines between the vertical frame lines.1927 Scott 328 1d dark blue & bister brown “Temple of Hephaestus” Type I The three engraved varieties of the “Temple of Hephaestus” stamps issued between 1927-1933 are inexpensive (CV <$1), but present a sorting challenge.1927 Scott 328 Close-up Type I Greek letters (1st, 3rd) have sharp pointed tops. Note serifs at bottom of the “1”s, and the “1”s are 1.5 mm wide at the foot.1931 Scott 365 1d dark blue & orange brown “Temple of Hephaestus” Type II Type II is determined by the letters and the “1”.1931 Scott 365 Close-up Type II Greek letters (1st, 3rd) are flat at the top. The “1” is 2 mm wide at the foot.1933 Scott 366 1d dark blue & orange brown“Temple of Hephaestus” Type III For Type III, the lines of the temple have been deepened, so there are more details.1931 Scott 366 Close-up Type III The “1” on the left has no serif for the left foot (compare with Type I), while the Greek letters (1st, 3rd) are sharp pointed (compare with Type II).1927 Scott 329 2d dark green & black “The Acropolis” The 1927 engraved 2d “Acropolis” shows a Parthenon that is indistinct.1927 Scott 329 Close-up “The Acropolis” Besides the blurred Parthenon (on top), the blocks of marble between the two pillars on the lower right run together.1933 Scott 367 2d dark green & black “The Acropolis”, Issue of 1927 Re-engraved The 1933 re-engraved 2d shows a Parthenon that is strongly outlined and clear.1933 Scott 367 Close-up“The Acropolis”, Issue of 1927 Re-engraved Also, the cliffs lines are deepened, and there are four distinct blocks of marble between the two pillars.1927 Scott 330 3d deep violet & black “Cruiser “Georgios Averoff”” The 1927 3d stamp and the 1934 re-engraved stamp are both CV <$1.  The frame for the 1927 stamp is “deep violet”, while the 1934 version is “red violet”. 1927 Scott 330 3d Close-up The 1927 Cruiser close-up. Note the three smokestacks and their shading.1934 Scott 368 3d red violet & black“Cruiser “Georgios Averoff”” Issues of 1927 Re-engraved The re-engraved Cruiser has more distinct lines.1934 Scott 368 3d  Close-upIssues of 1927 Re-engraved Specifically, look for the vertical lines of shading in smoke stacks and reflections in the water.1927 Scott 333 15d bright yellow green & black “Academy of Sciences, Athens” Close-up The 1927 15d frame is more muddled compared to the sharper 1934 version. There is very little horizontal shading of the sky. CV is $16.1934 Scott 370 pale yellow green & black “Academy of Sciences, Athens” Close-up – Issue of 1927 Re-engraved Many more lines of shading in the sky and foreground with the 1934 re-engraved version. CV is $17+.Out of the Blue The stamps presented here can be expensive or ordinary CV wise. What they share is some degree of difference between issues. Mastering the differences leads to a great deal of satisfaction. !!Comments appreciated!

  • Mongolia – Bud’s Big Blue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on December 9, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Scott #4, multicolored on gray blue, with vajra Bud’s Big BlueBud’s ObservationsAt first glance the stamps on Big Blue’s Mongolia page seem to come from two different countries. One county prefers lithographed stamps with traditional symbols in muted colors while the other likes military and industrial themes better, photoengraved and monochrome. But Big Blue did not in this case, as it often does, fit two countries with only a few stamps onto a single page. Mongolia’s stamps stand alone.Scott #64, indigo A closer look does reveal some minor continuities between the 1924/29 and the 1932 issues. The Soyombo, a symbol of Mongolia invented in 1686, appears on most stamps, albeit indistinctly on the 1932 set. The parts of this symbol are often construed as advice for the Mongolian people. “Spread like fire.” “Shine like the sun.” “Be sharp like pointed spears, strong like walls.” And so forth. Mongolians interpret the yin yang symbol as being two fish with watchful eyes signifying the importance of reproduction. “Be numerous,” the fish say, and “keep an eye out for trouble.” The Soyombo continued on Mongolia’s stamps until 1946.SoyomboIn addition to the Soyombo, the use of the Latin alphabet on Mongolia’s stamps provides continuity of a sort, especially since one might not expect enthusiasm for Latin letters on Central Asian stamps. Scott #67 shows a sizeable crowd studying the Latin alphabet writ large on a wall. Their eagerness implies an interest greater than mere compliance with UPU specifications.Scott #67, rose red, Soyombo upper right Mongol script remained in nearly universal usage during the classical stamp era. It provides yet another reinforcement of Mongolia’s philatelic continuity. The Cyrillic alphabet replaces Mongolian script on stamps beginning in 1946. Thereafter, Cyrillic predominates, sometimes with Latin letters too, but often not.Scott #16a, “Postage” overprint on fiscal stamp (possibly forged) These minor continuities notwithstanding, the stark contrast between the stamps of 1924-29 and those of 1932 remains obvious, signaling major social change and disruption. The Soyombo’s fish were wise to recommend watchfulness, for even in 1924 trouble was at hand. Then things got worse.Scott # 39, yellow green and black, SoyomboAccounts of what actually happened differ greatly. Mongolia, a vast but sparsely populated country, had long been torn between China and Russia.  The Russian sympathizing Mongolian People’s Republic (MPR) gained control in 1924. It wavered between minimal tolerance of venerable Mongolian traditions and aggressive repression of them. For example, the Buddhist vajra appearing on Mongolia’s first stamps (Scott #4 above) was soon replaced by the more secular Soyombo (Scott #s 16a, 39, and 67), which itself was phased out in 1946.More fatefully, private trade was suppressed. Collective farming led to massive relocation of herdsmen and slaughter of livestock. Buddhist church property was confiscated. Popular revolts sprang up and were put down. The MPR enforced isolationism. By 1937 Stalinist purges had eliminated most of the nobility and Buddhist clergy; perhaps as many as 30,000 Mongolians died.Reflecting none of this turmoil, the 1932 stamp series advertised the peace-nourishing accomplishments of Mongolian industry and culture, as if to reassure the rest of the world that everything was fine. This Soviet-style propaganda must have worked well; the 1932 stamps circulated widely among collectors while the world paid little attention to Mongolian misery. As a result, most Big Blue feeder albums on the market today have several examples of the 1932 series, but less frequently have the 1924 issues.A deeply troubling and yet fascinating specialization, Mongolia’s stamps have been studied in detail; see Wolfgang C. Hellrigl. The postal history of Mongolia, 1841-1941: the history of the Russian and Chinese post offices in Mongolia, and the postage stamps and postal history of independent Mongolia. London: Royal Philatelic Society, 2011. Census: 21 in BB spaces, six on the supplement page. Jim’s ObservationsChina, during the early 20th century, considered “Outer Mongolia” to be part of its own territory. But the White Russian forces, Chinese forces, and Red Russian /Mongolian Partisan forces fought over the territory in 1921, with the Bolsheviks winning. Consequently, Mongolia’s “independence” was declared on July 11,1921, albeit with heavy Russian influence and alignment.The Mongolian People’s Republic was formed in 1924. (Stamps were also introduced in 1924.)(About the same time-1921- the Republic of Tannu Tuva in northwestern Mongolia came into existence. The territory was likewise very closely aligned with the Soviet Union.)Collectives for livestock was instituted in 1928, Buddhist monasteries were destroyed, and the Stalinist repressions began.But Imperial Japan invaded adjacent Manchuria in 1931, leading to the Soviet-Japanese Border War of 1939.After WW II, there were still simmering land disputes between China and Russia. China agreed to a referendum over Outer Mongolia, and on October 20, 1945, according to “official” figures, 100% of the populace voted for independence (severing all ties with China).As one would expect, after China became a People’s Republic, the relationship softened, and both Russia and China affirmed Mongolia’s mutual recognition on October 6, 1949.But Mongolia continued to align itself closely with the Soviet Union even after the Sino-Soviet split of the later 1950s. The Soviets still had 50,000+ troops in Mongolia in the 1980s.Today, after perestroika and the introduction of a new constitution in 1992, a market economy, if somewhat rough, now exists. Mongolia Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 1 1a 1b 1c 1d SupplementsPage 1 Comments appreciated!