• Danzig 1924-32 Scenes of the Free State Issue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on December 9, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Engraved close-up: “Oliva Castle and Cathedral” 1924 Scott 193 1g Into the Deep Blue The “Free City and State” of Danzig came under the protection of the League of Nations in 1920. For more on the background history and the original post, see… Danzig Blog Post & BB Checklist The stamp issues are fascinating, and worth a closer look.1924 Scott 193 1g yellow green & black “Oliva Castle and Cathedral”One of the issues that caught my eye is the “Scenes of the Free State” stamps released between 1924-32. They have exquisite line engraving center scenes. 1924 Scott 194 1g orange & gray black “Oliva Castle and Cathedral”The 1 Gulden stamps in the issue consist of the Scott 193 “yellow green & black” (2/22/24), the Scott 194 “orange & gray black” (11/28/24), and the Scott 194a “red orange & black” (5/1932). All have watermark 125 (Lozenges).Of interest, there is a 1938 Scott 233 1g “red orange & black”. It is 32.5 X 21.25 mm, while the 1924 example is 31 X 21 mm.  The 1938 issue has watermark 237 (Swastikas).Engraved close-up: “Oliva Castle and Cathedral” 1924 Scott 194 1gGreat scene.1924 Scott 195 2g red violet & black “Mottlau River & Krantor”The 2 Gulden red violet & black was issued 9/22/24.Engraved close-up: “Mottlau River & Krantor”1924 Scott 195 2gThe line engraving scene is done well enough, that it wouldn’t be out of place hanging in an art museum.1924 Scott 196 2g rose & black “Mottlau River & Krantor”On 11/28/24, only two months since the initial 2g red violet & black stamp was issued, a same denomination 2g rose & black was released. The 2g red violet & black is $45 unused, while the 2g rose & black is CV $3+. Perhaps the difference between CVs is related to the short time the 2g red violet & black was in circulation.1924 Scott 197 3g dark blue & black “View of Zoppot”Don’t you agree that Danzig’s stamps are particularly well designed? I think it may be due to the popularity of stamp collecting then, and Danzig (as a small entity) could fill it’s coffers with money from said stamp collectors if the stamps were attractive to them.Engraved close-up: “View of Zoppot” 1924 Scott 197 3g A close up of the 3g center engraving.1924 Scott 198 5g brown red & black “St. Mary’s Church” Both the 5g and 10g stamps are considerably more CV expensive “used” as opposed to “unused” (5g: $8+ vs $4+; $110 vs $21).Engraved close-up: “St. Mary’s Church” 1924 Scott 198 5gIncredible line engraving. No wonder I prefer “classic era” stamps. 😉1924 Scott 199 10g dark brown & black “Council Chamber on the Langenmarkt” Danzig must have made a “mint”, so to speak, with selling there stamps to collectors “unused”.Engraved close-up: “Council Chamber on the Langenmarkt” 1924 Scott 199 10g Out of the BlueI hope you enjoyed these enlarged center line engravings. What artistry!Comments appreciated!

  • North West Pacific Islands – Bud’s Big Blue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on December 1, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Australian World War I soldier’s khaki felt slouch hat Bud’s Big BlueBud’s ObservationsAustralia’s first skirmish in World War I involved capturing a wireless installation in German New Guinea. They did this with dispatch and, ten days later, the German governor surrendered everything (September 21, 1914). Then, together with New Zealand forces, they went on to eliminate other German South Pacific holdings. Germany’s Pacific forces were unexpectedly weak and easily thwarted. By the end of 1914, Australia controlled the area. Early in 1915 they set up a military occupational force that remained in place for the duration of the War. New Zealand’s part of the story will be picked up in the forthcoming Bud’s Big Blue post for Samoa. Australia’s soldiers and occupation officials, not surprisingly, wanted to send letters home. And the military government needed stamps that hyped their presence. Old German colonial postage wouldn’t do.New Britain #15 (not in my collection)They came up with two stopgap solutions. In October 1914 existing German New Guinea and Marshall Island stamps were overprinted “G.R.I.” (Georgius Rex Imperator, referring to the incumbent British King) and surcharged in Australian currency. Befouling the Kaiser’s imperial yacht, Hohenzollern II, must have been gratifying for the triumphant Aussies. Probably unbeknownst to them, the Germans had already decommissioned Hohenzollern II (July 1914).New Britain #3 (not in my collection)Scott’s catalog lists 42 varieties of these sullied Hohenzollerns under the heading of New Britain, but Big Blue (BB) provides no spaces for them. Stanley Gibbons counts 79, plus many minor variations. Supplies were limited and the stamps quicky became too expensive for representative collections.  They still are.NWPI #s16 orange, 17 orange brown, 34 blue green (Nauru cancel)In March 1915, the GRIs were replaced by Australian stamps with “N. W. Pacific Islands” overprinted.  BB provides room for seven of these. The NWPIs continued in use until 1924, three years after the League of Nations mandated the territory to Australia, thereby ending the military government and replacing it with a civilian administration. Scott lists 49 NWPIs while Stanley Gibbons SG has 59 plus a host of variations. Germany lost all its colonies after the war and, for several years, ceased having influence in the South Pacific. Most of the world, except for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific islands, has forgotten the history behind these stamps. BB’s seven NWPIs help us remember. They are unremarkable from a design point of view – roos and royalty with black overprints. Yet a lively group of specialists and “fly-speck” lovers emerged because the overprints are not always neat. Some NWPI devotees detect a purple color variation in the overprints, but Stanley Gibbons says it probably isn’t the case, at least not anymore even if it might have been many years ago. The overprints now all look black. The Australian stamps, moreover, had their own anomalies before being overprinted – die variations, slight design flaws, color shades and inverted watermarks. So, specialist have a NWPI playground. If you’re interested in fly speck mania, check out “The Overprints of NW Pacific Islands – New Guinea 1914-25” at https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=60313.  If, on the other hand, you’re more interested in the role of philately in the complexity of New Guinea’s history, I recommend as a starting point:  https://www.linns.com/news/us-stamps-postal-history/the-story-of-new-guinea-s-evolution-told-through-i.html.  By scattering New Guinea and Pacific island stamps throughout the album, BB does a poor job of presenting a coherent picture of the region’s philately. One needs to traipse through separated sections for German New Guinea, Marshall Islands, NWPI, New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa and….  My NWPI collection has two cancelled stamps, both from Nauru. One is marked Pleasant Island, that being the name given to Nauru by early European voyagers. Although the Pleasant Island label persists as an unofficial name, today Nauru is not so pleasant. See why in Bud’s Big Blue post for Nauru (click here). The other (see above) is a radio station cancel, hence it’s non-postal. For a discussion of radio station cancels, see https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=3370.NWPI #11 carmine (Nauru cancel)Census: seven in BB spaces, three on supplement page. Jim’s ObservationsPer Bud’s discussion on cancels, these are my comments for my collection shown in link below..“Note the “Rabaul” and “New Britain” postmark? The “N.W, Pacific Islands” overprinted stamps were mostly used on New Britain and Nauru during the 1915-22 period of use. North West Pacific Islands Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 11a1bSupplements Page 1Comments appreciated!

  • United States 19th Century: Most attractive stamps
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on November 22, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    U.S. 1898 Scott 292 $1 black “Western Cattle in Storm” Into the Deep Blue Is this the most beautiful stamp ever issued by the United States during the classical stamp era? How about ever in the world? In 1934, the “Western Cattle in Storm” stamp was voted a close second by readers of Stamps magazine, just edged out by the Canadian “Bluenose”.  My example (above) thankfully does not show a heavy killer cancel.And the design with the cattle caught in a storm? Iconic!1897 “The Vanguard” by James McWhirter  Western Highlands of ScotlandIt turns out the original painting by James McWhirter depicts not the American West at all, but the Western Highlands of Scotland! Nevertheless, I agree it is an extremely attractive stamp. Should we look for other contenders in my 19th century U.S. collection? One has to remember, though, that I have a general WW 1840-1940 collection, and do not specialize in the U.S., although it is my home country. 1847 Scott 2 10c black  “George Washington”This Scott 2 stamp, with a blue “PAID” cancel and ample margins, is very attractive indeed. 1857 Scott 24 1c blue, Type V “Franklin”The “large head” blue Franklins of 1851-57 are lovely, and offer the collector five types of cut or recut lines in the frame ($–$$$$). U.S. stamps during the 19th century (and also the first half of the 20th century) are all essentially engraved, and offer exquisite detail within the design. 1861 Scott 69 12c black “Washington”Although the design and presentation is very important, certainly an unused or lightly cancelled specimen that is well centered enhances the appeal. This specimen does cut into the perfs at the bottom: not unusual for the era.1862 Scott 70a 24c brown lilac “Washington”Let’s admit it: a rarer or more valuable stamp is going to appear more attractive. That is why I am showing this 24c stamp, rather than the 3c rose in the set that has a 100x less CV. 😉1863 Scott 73 2c black “Andrew Jackson”The large head “Black Jack” stamp is iconic within the U.S. 19th century issues, and here is mine.1869 Scott 113 2c brown “Post Horse and Rider”It is hard to get a well centered and lightly cancelled specimen within the 1869 set. Nevertheless, fairly attractive. Note the legs of the horse while galloping: a physical impossibility.1869 Scott 119 15c brown & blue TII  “Landing of Columbus”Bi-colors are not common for U.S. 19th century stamps. 1870 Scott 153 24c purple “Gen. Winfield Scott”Fancy Cancels by the NYC Foreign Mail Office (NYFM) : attractive or no?1870 Scott 155 90c carmine “Commodore O. H. Perry”An example of an off center moderately cancelled specimen made attractive by the high denomination.1873 Scott O61 7c dark green State Department Official “Edwin M. Stanton”Official stamps used by the various departments of government- here the State Department. 1890 Scott 219D 2c lake “Washington”I chose this 2c because I love the “lake” color, compared to the more typical “carmine” color.1893 Scott 233 4c ultramarine “Fleet of Columbus”I must admit – I really like designs illustrating sailing ships.1895 Scott 274a 50c red orange “Jefferson”An unusual or bold color stands out.1898 Scott 292 $1 black “Western Cattle in Storm” Out of the BlueFor me, the “Western Cattle in Storm” stamp edges out the Scott 2 10c black “Washington” stamp as my current favorite. What is your favorite U.S. stamp? Favorite World stamp?Note: “The Vanguard” 1897 painting illustration by James McWhirter is shown here for educational purposes.Comments appreciated!

  • New Zealand – Bud’s Big Blue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on November 14, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    New Zealand coat of arms, authorized 1911 Bud’s Big BlueBud’s ObservationsIf you’re looking for philatelic treasures, suggests Jared Nicoll, a value sleuth at a news website (stuff.co.nz), drag out your old forgotten New Zealand stamp collection that’s hidden in the closet. Great idea! With the high hopes of a kid exploring trunks in grandma’s attic, I rushed to reassess my New Zealands (all scanned, see below). Can you spot the treasure? No? Well, neither could I. Interesting stamps, yes. A pile of gold, no. So, I’ll write about the ordinaries, and nothing in classic New Zealand philately is more ordinary than the lowly Penny Universal postage stamp. Every ragtag album has them, often many of them, some bright carmine, some faded from too much wear. Dealers can’t sell them even for pennies.Scott #s 100 (perf 14), 100 (perf 11), 103 (hard paper), 129 (redrawn) and 131 (redrawn)The Penny Universal comes in three similar designs and a host of different shades, papers, watermarks and perforations (including tractor feed holes for vending machines). Scott’s catalog lists 15 of these variations while Stanley Gibbons, an ever more meticulous British catalog, counts 105. In addition, Penny Universals were overprinted to make NZ official stamps and commemoratives. Outlying islands – Niue, Samoa, Cook (Rarotonga) – used overprints of Penny Universals. Does anyone have all, or even most, of these? This is serious specialist territory.Scott #s NZ o34, Samoa 115, Niue 7, 19, Cook Islands 49Aitutaki has three different overprints on Penny Universals, all afforded spaces in Big Blue.Aitutaki #s 2, 10, and19There’s even a book about this one stamp’s variations:I’ve not yet bought itSome variations list for over £1500, a small pile of gold. A few are unique, or nearly so, and command even higher prices if/when they’re available. Upon learning this, I got out my magnifying loop and continued to look. I might find variations for which wacky specialists would pay fortunes. The first Penny Universal was released on New Year’s Day, 1901. It features Zealandia, the female personification of New Zealand. Scott’s catalog lists her as name as Commerce, although many Kiwis beg to differ. She does have a rather different appearance on the 1911 Coat of Arms (top, left) – hair done up, slimmer. Moreover, in the stamp she wields a caduceus, the classic symbol for protectors of thieves, merchants and messengers. So maybe Scott is right. The second design (1908) differs from the first in that the globe has slanted shading and the waves are not as high on the steamer’s bow. The third design (1909) has “Universal Postage” on a scroll and “Dominion of” inscribed at the top. Inattentive dealers regularly mislabel the three designsComparison of Scott #s 100, 129 and 131 Scan source: https://stampsnz.com/1901_penny_universal.htmlA universal postage rate was a bold idea – one penny to send a message anywhere in the world. The Postmaster General Joseph Ward (later Prime Minister) had hoped the idea would encourage other nations to follow New Zealand’s lead, thereby facilitating better international communication. Few did. They feared loss of revenue if they complied. Some even refused to accept mail with Universal stamps, notably the USA, France, Germany and neighboring Australia. The latter’s refusal must have been a great disappointment to Ward. New Zealand persisted, however, and in a relatively short time increased sales of stamps more than made up for losses from the rate reduction. The postcard (below), recently added to my collection, provides an interesting example. Franked with Scott #129, it was mailed nine years after the first universal stamp was issued. It travelled for a month and ten days from Blenheim, NZ, to Northampton, England, then on to North Malvern. All for one penny. At the time, the rate for sending a letter from Northampton to Malvern, a distance of 60 miles by train, was one penny. Postcard with a Penny Universal, Scott #129, carmineZealandia also makes an appearance on postal-fiscal stamps beginning in 1931. For some reason, Big Blue Part One omits these stamps, but Part Two has a page for them. Postal-fiscals are revenue stamps that can also be used for postage. The 1911 rendition of the coat of arms served as the model for these stamps, the word “onward” being a clue. It’s missing in later revisions. On these stamps, Zealandia is accompanied by a Māori chief. The Māori, an indigenous Polynesian people, arrived in and settled NZ centuries before the Europeans came.Scott #s AR48 brown, AR49 red Of course, many valuable NZ stamps precede the Zealandias and I am sorting through them for the promised pile of gold – especially those issued in the 1850s (see supplement page, top line). In the early years Māori runners carried some of the mail despite frequent conflicts between the Māori and the European settlers. Maybe some of the earlier stamps in our NZ collections came from letters delivered by Māori mailmen. A 1955 centennial commemorative of NZ stamps, Scott #302, features such a runner. I’ve always liked this stamp even though the background seems to seep through the runner’s legs in many examples. Critics have complained that #302 is overly romanticized and that Māori runners often fared rather poorly. A more realistic image can be found online at https://teara.govt.nz/mi/1966/24331/an-early-maori-mail-runner.Census: 147in BB spaces, 15 tip-ins, 94 on supplement pages.Jim’s ObservationsWow! I really enjoyed Bud’s comments on the penny universals – a very nice introduction indeed. Another area of interest for New Zealand would be the Chalon Heads. The “Chalon Head” image of Queen Victoria, based on the portrait of the Queen on her coronation in 1837 by Alfred Chalon, was used from 1855-1873 on the first 50 Scott numbers. Generally expensive, with many variations in perforation, the WW classical collector may need to be content with a few representative stamps. The stamp is either found unwatermarked, or with watermark 6 “Large Star”.New Zealand Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 11a1b1cPage 22a2b2c2dPage 33a3b3c3dPage 44a4b4cPage 55a5b5c5d5ePage 66a6bSupplements Page 1Page 2Page 3Comments appreciated!

  • Dutch Indies – 1915-1938 Semi-postal stamps
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on November 5, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    1930 Scott B7 15c (+5c) ultramarine & brown Borobudur Temple JavaInto the Deep Blue The Netherlands are famous for their finely designed semi-postals, and so it is for the Netherlands Indies. For the Dutch Indies, the original post is here, and the 1864-1908 post is here.1915 Scott B3 10c + 5c rose “Wilhelmina” Regular issue of 1912-14 Surcharged in CarmineAlthough many of the semi-postals for the Dutch Indies have their unique design, the first semi-postal issue of 1915 (three stamps) are surcharged Netherlands stamps. The surtax was for the Red Cross.1930 Scott B4 2c (+1c) violet & brown Bali Temple The 1930 issue of four stamps has this wonderful local building landmark imagery. One could argue that this is one of the all time great issues for colonial Netherlands.1930 Scott B5 5c (+2 1/2c) dark green & brown WatchtowerThe watchtower almost looks hand drawn. I think the photogravure print is responsible for this elegance.1930 Scott B6 12 1/2c (+ 2 1/2c) deep red & brown Menangkabau CompoundThe surtax was for “jeugdzorg” (youth care).CV is $15 for the set.1932 Scott B12 2c (+ 1c) deep violet  & bister WeavingIn 1932, a four stamp issue was produced featuring local artisans.1932 Scott B13 5c (+ 2 1/2c) deep green & bister Plaiting rattanThe set was bi-colored, and used the photogravure printing technique.1932 Scott B15 15c (+ 5c) blue & bister CoppersmithThe surtax was donated to the Salvation Army. CV for the set is $5+ (used).1933 Scott B18 12 1/2c (+ 2 1/2c) vermilion & olive bister YMCA emblemThe 1933 set of four photogravure stamps had a surtax for the Amsterdam Young Men’s Society for relief of the poor in the Netherlands Indies. CV (set) is $8+.1935 B21-B24 bi-colored  PhotogravureThe 1935 set surtax was for the Indies Committee of the Christian Military Association for the East and West Indies. The subjects include “A Pioneer at work”, “Cavalryman rescuing wounded native”, “Artilleryman under fire”, and “Bugler”. CV is $8 for the set (used).1937 Scott B32-B36 The 1937 set surtax was for the Public Relief Fund for indigenous poor. Topics include “Sifting Rice”, “Mother and Children”, “Plowing with carabao team”, “Carabao team and cart”, and “Native couple”.CV set is $4 (used). Lovely design!1938 Scott B36B 20c (+ 5c) slate “Plane nose facing left”, PhotogravureI picked this stamp because it has an ominous feel to it (anticipating  WWII?).The two stamp semi-postal set was issued to honor the 10th anniversary of the Dutch East Indies Royal Air Lines (K. N. I. L. M.). The surtax was for the Aviation Fund in the Netherlands Indies. 1932 Scott B14 12 1/2c (+ 2 1/2c) bright rose & bister Woman batik dyer Out of the BlueI hope this selection of Dutch Indies semi-postals demonstrate the exquisite nature of these stamps for you.Comments appreciated!

  • Niger Coast Protectorate – Bud’s Big Blue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on October 28, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Oil Palm Bud’s Big BlueBud’s ObservationsBritish sailors and traders dominated the Oil Rivers area (the Atlantic coast along what is now Nigeria) long before formal colonization. From the 17th to the early 19th centuries they traded manufactured goods (tools, cooking utensils, weapons, as well as salt and rum) for slaves and looted artifacts. Millions of Africans were delivered into slavery and transported from such places as the Bight of Bonny to the Americas. In 1807, Britain outlawed slave trading for all its citizens. Slave smuggling continued, sadly, but the economy and political power of the slave trade kingdoms, such as the Oyo Empire, declined severely when the “legitimate” slave market ended. Wars broke out and many of the Oyo themselves were smuggled into slavery. A reinvented but reduced economy emerged based on the export of palm oil, it being a machinery lubricant and a main ingredient of a beauty soap much desired in Europe and elsewhere (think Palmolive®). The delta’s rivers were lined with wild oil palm trees. A 19th century watercolor sketch of the harbor at Bonny, a major trading port. Canoes laden with palm oil are approaching the hulks. (Image © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London)The Berlin Conference (1884-5) effectively ended the “European Scramble for Africa” by dividing up the continent among the colonizers. Britain was awarded the Oil Rivers area, the expansive and densely populated delta of the Niger river. No Africans were invited to or consulted by the Conference. Formal colonization ensued and, with it, the stamps: first for Oil Rivers (1893), then the Niger Coast Protectorate, Lagos, Northern and Southern Nigeria and, eventually in 1914, for an amalgamated Nigeria. The earliest post office can be traced back to 1852; it was an extension of the London General Post Office. (1)Credit: https://www.nairaland.com/2453728/map-ethnic-groups-nigeria-itThe stamps – Oil River overprints on British stamps and the series with Queen Victoria’s “widow’s weeds” image – are attractive but otherwise unremarkable. The cancellations, however, have potential for making and interesting collection. The various delta rivers had unique cancels – such as Bonny River and Old Calabar River. The scans in this post show cancels from these two and the Opobo River. There are others; they tend to be more expensive than mint examples and those with unidentifiable cancels. Sometimes Royal Niger Company cancels can be found. For specialists, costly hand stamped surcharges and anomalies abound; watch out for forgeries. I suspect that many of the mint stamps currently on the market never traveled to Oil Rivers, the high humidity there would have spoiled the gum.Niger Coast Protectorate, #42, black, showing Old Calabar River cancel and a partly hidden but still visible Oil Rivers inscription. The region’s name had changed to Niger Coast.Scenic views of the Niger River can be found among the French West Africa stamps (see below). Even in the 1940s canoes propelled by sails and poles were still transporting oil to the coast. The canoe in #38 looks remarkably like those in the 19th century watercolor (above).French West Africa #38, gray green, 1947.The Niger River’s course is odd. It begins on the east side of Guinea’s coastal mountains, then flows northward, then eastward through the western Sahara, then at Timbuktu southward toward Nigeria, and finally westward to discharge through the delta into the Atlantic. Early European cartographers were befuddled and mystified about it. African canoeists weren’t. Census: six in BB spaces, 18 on supplement page. https://www.nipost.gov.ng/company_informationJim’s ObservationsThe handstamped surcharges of 1893 (31 stamps) and the the 1894 bisects and whole stamps surcharged (6 stamps) are CV $ hundreds- $ thousands, and out of the league of readers of this blog. ( I think 😉 Besides, Scott has a note about dangerous forgeries of all surcharges.But the 1893-1898 Queen Victoria stamps particularly ( 21 stamps) are quite lovely, in my opinion, and definitely worth a look.Niger Coast Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 11a1bSupplements Page 1Comments appreciated!

  • Dutch Indies 1864-1908 – a closer look
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on October 19, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    1868 Scott 2 10c lake “King William III”Engraved; Perf; “Batavia” postmark Into the Deep BlueThe Dutch Indies (the name in Big Blue), or Netherlands Indies (the more accepted name) was a Dutch colony on a series of islands in the East Indies. Stamps for the colony were issued throughout the classical era (1864-1940). Netherlands Indies Map courtesy of Stamp World HistoryFor more on the background and history see: Dutch Indies Blog Post & BB ChecklistThis blog post will look at some of the stamps and issues from 1864-1908.1864 Scott 1 10c lake “King William III” Engraved; ImperfThe first stamp issue for the Dutch Indies was an unwatermarked engraved close-up portrait “King William III” imperforated 10c lake stamp that was released April 1, 1864. The half-facing portrait was one that is not found on Netherlands stamps proper, so increases the interest. I wonder how much he enjoyed being king? He looks reluctant here, doesn’t he?A perforated version (Perf 12.5 X 12) was released in 1868, and is shown here as the “header” stamp above.CV is $100 for the 1864 unperforated stamp, and $150 for the 1868 perforated variety.I checked Stamp Forgeries of the World website, and these Scott 1 & 2 appear genuine.1870 Scott 3 1c slate green “William III” Type IBetween 1870-88, a typographed fourteen stamp set featuring William III in side portrait was issued.There are multiple different perfs known (see catalogue for specifics).The “1 cent” has two types. Type I (above) has “CENT” 6mm long.1876 Scott 4 1c slate green “William III” Type II; Batavia postmarkType II has “CENT” 7.5mm long.Scott also breaks out perfs that are “small holes” (minor numbers) for the issue. “small holes” are defined as “spaces between the holes wider than the diameter of the holes”. See the 2.50g stamp below as an example. (The Michel catalogue not only breaks out the small holes, but also includes the perf for the stamp.)1870 Scott 16 2.50g green & violet “William III” “small holes” PerfCV for the issue ranges from <$1 to $95. The 2.50g above (the only bi-color for the issue) is CV $17+.  I’m sure in some catalogue or stamp journal is a list of which settlement the center number means for this cancellation.1893 Scott 29 50c carmine “Princess Wilhelmina” “Soerabaja” postmarkBetween 1892-97 an eight stamp set showing Princess Wilhelmina was issued. The portrait appears to be the same as the Netherlands 1891-96 issue. She actually ascended the throne at age 10 in 1890, but under her mother’s regency (Queen Emma), until age 18 (1898), when her mother’s regency ended.I picked out this stamp to illustrate the issue because of the postmark. Surabaja is now a port city on the island of Java.1902 Scott 37 2.50g on 2 1/2g brown lilac “Wilhelmina” On Netherlands 1899 Scott 84 Surcharged in BlackBetween 1900-02, seven Netherland stamps were surcharged in black for use in the Dutch Indies.The Scott 37 (above) as a CV of $11, while the original Netherlands stamp is CV $3+.1905 Scott 58 10c on 20c greenish slate “Wilhelmina” Surcharged in BlackBetween 1903-08, a ten stamp set with the circular portrait of Queen Wilhelmina was issued. An example is shown heading the “Out of the Blue” section below. CV ranges from <$1 to $2.In 1905, the 20c greenish slate from the issue was surcharged in black, as shown above. CV is $2.1905 Scott 2 1/2g slate blue “Wilhelmina”Also, between 1905-12, four larger format “Wilhelmina” stamps were issued for the larger denominations. CV is <$1-$40.1908 Scott 75 22 1/2c brown & olive green “Wilhelmina” Previous Issues Overprinted “Buiten…Bezit.”For the territory outside of Java and Madura, in 1908, eighteen previously issued stamps were overprinted as shown (above). 1908 Scott 79 1g dull lilac “Wilhelmina” Previous Issues Overprinted “Buiten…Bezit.”For the eighteen stamp overprinted issue, CV ranges from <$1 to $65.1908 Scott 86 5c rose red Previous issues overprinted “Java”Likewise, in 1908, eighteen previously issued stamps were overprinted “Java” for use in Java and Madura. CV is <$1 to $47+.1908 Scott 90 15c chocolate “Wilhelmina” Previous issues overprinted “Java” Note the horizontal bars?When I saw this stamp, I wondered if this could have be a “remainder”, as other countries have done so by overprinted horizontal bars on their surplus stamps, and selling them at a discount to stamp dealers etc. But this is a legitimate issue. Some of the 1906 Scott 50 chocolate stamps were overprinted with two horizontal bars (making Scott 50a), and then in turn were overprinted “Buiten…Bezit” (Scott 72) or “Java” (Scott 90 above). !!1904 Scott 57 50c red brown “Wilhelmina” Out of the BlueWell, that was fun! I suspect a postal history collection of early Dutch Indies stamps on cover would be interesting indeed.Comments appreciated!

  • New South Wales – Bud’s Big Blue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on October 11, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Scott #s 41, 38, 40, and 42 Bud’s Big BlueBud’s ObservationsNew South Welsh (NSW) stamps have so many curious aspects that I don’t know how to condense them into a single coherent article. So, I’ve settled on a rambling list of thoughts that occurred to me as I reviewed the scans posted below. When you study your NSW collection, no doubt you’ll come up with observation that I never thought about. As/if/when you do, please post them in the comment box. Random thought 1: The “New” prefix on country names (e.g., NSW, New Guinea, New Hebrides, etc.), occurs mostly in the South Pacific. Explorers must have been homesick by the time they got there. After a year or so at sea, any land must have reminded them of home; hence, “New” something or other. BB albums have a clump of “New” country stamps from countries that clump, well, mostly clump, together in the south seas. Random thought 2: The British founded NSW in the late 18th Century as a penal colony. After the American Revolutionary War, the British could no longer discard crooks in Georgia. So, they exported them to NSW instead.  Thieves had little hope of returning home, ever. The flow of criminals continued until 1868. Some of the early NSW stamps in our albums may have carried their letters to loved ones back in England. Black-eyed Sue and Sweet Poll of Plymouth mourning their lovers transported to Botany Bay, NSW (1792)Random thought 3: NSW developed a system of coded number cancels for post offices. The stamp with a “30” ray-type cancel (see above, Scott #40) was pinked in Camden, a historic village now a suburb of Sydney. Sydney had the largest concentration of prisoners, but Camden had some, too. Ian Willis has written a history of the Camden crooks titled “Convicts in the Cowpastures” (1). Random thought 4: NSW stamps provide abundant challenges for specialists — perfs, watermarks, dies­­­, color variations galore. Scott lists a medley of 200; Gibbons has 400. Probably neither list has exhausted the possibilities. Random thought 5: NSW boasts an early embossed postal envelope (1838) that precedes Britain’s penny black. Sadly, I don’t have one. Random thought 6: The two postage due “specimens” on the supplement page have different fonts for the overprints. I think they’re genuine, but more research is needed. The Newcastle (another “new”) etiquette probably was used after the Australian states unified. Newcastle, like its British namesake, is a coal producing region. I wonder why they didn’t name it New Newcastle.Postage due specimens, registration etiquetteRandom thought 7: When designed or printed locally, British colonial stamps often have a quaint folkart quality about them. Scott #s 100 and 104 provide examples. The queen wears a scarf secured by a small diamond crown, a widow’s weeds accessory she often wore after Prince Albert’s death (1861).Scott #s 100, 108, 104 Random thought 8: Early NSW issues were printed with almost no margins, making well-centered examples with no shaggy perf encroachment on the design difficult to find.Perf encroachment, Scott #s 32, 33Random thought 9: NSW issued two stamp designs with a female personification of Australia (#108 shown above), a common practice in the mid to late 19th century. I wonder, though, why Australia was personified on a NSW stamp and not NSW itself. NSW did have a cartoon personification, the “Little Boy from Manly”, but he never made it onto a stamp. The little boy was later adopted by the newly unified Australia. Random thought 10: NSW issued a two-stamp series in 1888 to celebrate its centennial — considered to be the first commemorative stamps. I have only one of them.Scott #87So much for my random thoughts. Census: 52 in BB spaces, 2 tip-ins, 21 on supplement page. (1)           https://camdenhistorynotes.com/2017/03/04/convicts-in-the-cowpastures-an-untold-storyJim’s ObservationsTo go along with Bud’s “random thoughts”, here is a very random observation…I should say something about the rivalry of Sydney and New South Wales with Victoria and Melbourne during the latter 19th century. The cultural differences exist even today, as was clear on our extended trip to Australia several years ago. Sydney- bold, brash, outgoing, sunny & surfers. Melbourne- cultured, cafes, much more “English”.What Australians have in common, though, is their love of sports. I became introduced to “Australian Rules Football” while staying with an Australian family, with whom we had become friends, when they lived in the U.S.. They were supporters of the Sydney Swans- even though they lived in Melbourne. It turns out that the Sydney Swans moved from Melbourne many years ago, but loyalty is forever. 😉New South Wales Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 11a1b1cPage 22a2bSupplements Page 1Comments appreciated!

  • Dominica – 1938-47 – a closer look
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on October 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm

     1947 Scott 110 10sh dull orange & black “Boiling Lake” Into the Deep Blue British colony stamps frequently just show the monarchs, but the 1938+ issues happily often feature pictorials. And so it is for Dominica, an island between Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea.  The original blog, post is here…. Dominica Blog Post & BB ChecklistKing George VI Pictorial Definitives 1938-47The initial issue, appearing  8-15-1938 with nine stamps, had one addition on 8/42 ( 2 1/2p), and four additions on 10/15/1947 ( 3 1/2p, 7p, 2sh, 10sh). The entire fourteen stamp issue was engraved by Waterlow, and has Wmk 4 (Multiple Crown & Script C A).Row 1: Scott 97-100The pictorials are obviously bi-color, and have a vignette of George VI on the left side of the stamp.1938 Scott 98 1p carmine & gray “Layou River” The Layou River, the longest and deepest river on the island, has the mouth located on the western shore near the town of St. Joseph.Dominica The Layou river comes out to the Caribbean Sea on the western side half way down the island.Row 2: Scott 101-104The pictorials feature four scenes of Dominica, and all the scenes are new for this issue.1938 Scott 101a 2 1/2p blue & rose violet “Picking Limes”Grapefruit, lemons, and limes are a major export for Dominica.  The main citrus growing areas are in the Layou River Valley and on the southwest coast. Dominica was the principal source of fruit used in Rose’s Lime Juice. British sailors were famous for drinking lime juice – hence the term “limeys”, to prevent scurvy. Perhaps the popularity has something to do with the fact that the preservative used in the lime juice was rum? 😉Note the 2 1/2p is found as “ultramarine & rose violet” (major number 8/42), and as “blue & rose violet” (minor number -8-15-38). I believe my example is the “blue & rose violet”.1938 Scott 104 6p violet & yellow green  “Fresh Water Lake”Note “Fresh Water Lake” does not just describe the lake, but is the name of the lake! “Fresh Water Lake” is the largest of the four lakes found on Dominica. It is at 2,500 feet above sea level, and is the source of the Roseau River. The Roseau River, by the way, is important to Roseau, the capital (and largest) city in Dominica.Row 3: Scott 105-108 The CV for the fourteen stamp issue ranges from <$1-$10 (unused) to <$1-$20+ (used). A number of the stamps have a higher CV used. As a WW collector, I actually don’t like that, as that means there could be favor cancels or fake cancels among the genuine cancels.1938 Scott 106 1sh olive & violet “Boiling Lake”“Boiling Lake” is a flooded fumarole. It has bubbling water in the center and a 82-92 C temperature around the edges. The lake is 200 feet across, and is usually enveloped overhead with water vapor. It is the second-largest hot lake in the world after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand. 1947 Scott 107 2sh red violet & black “Layou River”The 2sh above was one of the four stamps issued in 1947.1938 Scott 108 2sh6p scarlet vermilion & black “Fresh Water Lake”One could argue, considering the careful placement of the cancel, that many of the “used” stamps are really philatelic in origin.Row 4: Scott 109=110The 5sh and 10sh denominations…1938 Scott 109 5sh dark brown & blue “Layou River”I must say the stamps in this issue are gorgeous when scanned and enlarged. The engraving details are great!1947 Scott 110 10sh dull orange & black “Boiling Lake”I wonder, considering the small population of Dominica (53,000 in 1942), why there needed to be five stamps in the issue with shilling denominations? I think I know the answer. 😉1942 Scott 101a 2 1/2p blue & rose violet “Picking Limes”Out of the BlueReally lovely bi-color issue, and enhanced because the stamps are engraved. Note: “Dominica” pic from Wikipedia, and used here for educational purposes.Comments appreciated!

  • Nossi Be – Bud’s Big Blue
    by noreply@blogger.com (Jim) on September 24, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Madagacar #398, multicolored, 1966 Bud’s Big BlueBud’s Observations“Nossi Be,” in the language of those who live there, means “Big Island.” Never mind that it rates only a tiny dot on most maps, if it gets any notice at all, and that it is dwarfed by its nearby neighbor, Madagascar, a truly big island. Ten Nossi Bes would fit snugly into Rhode Island; over 1842 into Madagascar. The motto on its coat of arms, “Nosy Magnitry,” proclaims it to be an island of perfumes. Coffee, vanilla, rum, black pepper and cinnamon are produced there, too, and it has become a hot tourist resort despite warnings about traveler safety.  France issued postage for Nossi Be from 1889 through 1894, first using overprinted French Colonies stamps and then the Navigation and Commerce series with “Nossi Be?” inscribed — a total of 44 regular issues and 17 postage dues. Since 1896, the island has been part of Madagascar.French Colonies #J6 cancelled in Nossi Be, 1902 (?) This small number of stamps might be tempting to collect in its entirety were it not for the forgeries. For now, I’ve contented myself with filling Big Blue’s seven spaces. I would like to have an early cancellation form Hell-ville, though. Named for the French Admiral de Hell, Nossi Be’s capital shows up as Helville rather than Hell-ville on cancelled stamps. Was the postmaster too genteel? too prudish?Hell-ville post and telegraph officeSince I don’t have a Hellville cancel yet, I borrowed the one shown above. I strongly suspect the obliteration is fake since I’ve seen several virtually identical to it on-line. And 1902 is rather late for a cancel on French Colonies #J6. Census: seven in BB spaces.Jim’s ObservationsNossi-Be (Nosy Be, “Big Island” in Malagasy) is an island in the Indian Ocean, five miles off the coast of Madagascar.It was a French protectorate, and had surcharged/overprinted French Colony stamps issued between 1889-1893, and “Navigation and Commerce” stamps issued in 1894. The population was 9,000 in 1900, and the Capital was Hell-ville (now Andoany). (The capital was named after a person, not for a region in the netherworld. 😉In 1896, the island was put under the administration of Madagascar, and the stamps of Madagascar were hence used.Nossi Be Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 1Comments appreciated!