- Nauru – Bud’s Big Blueby firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim) on April 7, 2021 at 2:00 pm
Bud’s Big Blue Bud’s ObservationsA riddle: what is one of the smallest, most isolated countries in the world but, at the same time, is one of the largest and very near-by countries? In fact, it spreads out almost everywhere.A ClueAnother clue: It’s small because it’s an eight square mile dot in the Pacific Ocean. It’s isolated because it’s not close to anything except the equator. Another clue: It’s large because the phosphate rock mined there has been shipped all over the world as fertilizers, animal feed supplements, food preservatives, baking flour, pharmaceuticals, anticorrosion agents, cosmetics, fungicides, insecticides, detergents, ceramics, water treatments and metallurgy additives. There’s a chance that we walk on part of this country every day. Another riddle: What country was one of the wealthiest per capita a few years ago, but now is among the poorest? They had, then lost, it all.A ClueA final riddle: What country used to be called Pleasant Island and was lush with flora and fauna, but now is largely a polluted, strip-mined wasteland? Notice the shore line palms at the left of the clueA Final ClueThe above philatelic clues, of course, foretell the boom/bust history of Nauru. Freighters were carrying away Nauru back in 1924 when this stamp series was issued, and they continued to do so until the phosphate mines were completely plundered (about 2002). Then, Nauru collapsed. Even Air Nauru’s one jetliner was repossessed.Judging from the feeder albums I’ve plundered to build my stamp collection, Nauru’s stamps have been spread out almost as widely as their phosphate rock. Mint examples, as most of mine are, cost me less than a comparable amount of phosphate; good used Nauru stamps would likely cost considerably more than phosphate, but I don’t have many of those. Census: 22 in BB spaces, one tip-in, eleven on the supplement page.Jim’s ObservationsWhat can we say about tiny isolated Nauru?This little oval shaped phosphate rock encrusted coral atoll is only 8 square miles in area, and is located in the South Pacific Ocean on the equator south of the Marshall Islands. It is surrounded by a coral reef, so only small boats may access the island.The original settlers were Micronesian and Polynesian. The island was annexed by Germany in 1888, and attached to the Marshall Islands.As luck would have it- or curse-, Phosphate (From seabird guano) was discovered on Nauru in 1900, and eventually, 80% of the island was strip-mined.For more on Nauru (If you can stand the depressing narrative), check the original post below…Nauru Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 11a1b1cSupplements Page 1Comments appreciated!
- Crete – Genuine/ Forgery signs for the British Admin 1898-99 10 & 20 para issuesby email@example.com (Jim) on March 29, 2021 at 2:00 pm
1898 Scott 3 20pa green Genuine Into the Deep Blue Back in my first year -2011- of the blog, I published the Crete blog post with a pic of the 1899 20pa rose, part of the British Administration four stamp issue of 1898-1899. A little more than a year later, in the comments section, Michael Adkins of Dead Country Stamps pointed out that I was illustrating a forged specimen. This was my reply… Hi MichaelThanks for the nice words, and glad I can be helpful.Your Dead Countries web site is absolutely excellent.As far as the 1899 “Scott 5” 20pa rose, yes indeed it is a forgery. In fact, I have the complete forgery set (Scott 2-5). ;-)When I put this blog post together, I did not have have the information to call the 20pa rose a forgery- although I was suspicious. Now I do.According to Varro Tyler’s Focus on Forgeries (Edition 2000), the small circle with dot above the numerals is incomplete at the bottom, and hence a forgery. As the set is perf 11 1/2,- like the originals-, it was supposedly made by the original printers, Gundman & Stangel of Athens Greece. But the stamps then were not reprinted on the original stone, so they are not reprints- but forgeries.Tyler also says some of the forgery stock was sold to Francois Fournier, who gave them an 11 perforation. Another forgery from the Gunman & Stangel supply was sold and perforated 11 1/4.I’ve made an update note on the Crete blog post, so to not lead people astray.That is one thing I appreciate about your Dead Countries web site and virtual albums is the meticulousness and accuracy.Now if I can do likewise. 😉 Jim Even today, despite alas! no new posts for the past 3 years, Michaels’ site is a treasure trove of information. Check it out! Well, it is time for me to do a bit of an update on Crete, and I thought – why not- show the genuine/forgery differences for this lithographic issue. So, let’s begin…1898 Scott 3 20pa green Genuine The above specimen, is, in fact, my only genuine copy. !! But, not too surprising, as Varro Tyler did say that forgeries far outnumber genuine stamps. I have eight more stamps – all forgeries! I checked the APS Stamp Store site, and they were currently listing eleven stamps from the four stamp issue – again, all forgeries! (Yes, even the APS site is caveat emptor. !!)My Genuine is on white paper, has a very regular clean cut 11 1/2 perforation, and the printing is nicely done.1898 Scott 3 20pa green Forgery Here is a forgery, with yellow green color (my genuine has a green color), on yellowish paper (my genuine is on white paper), and very poor (shallow) perfs (almost looks sewing machine perf). The Perf appears 11 1/4 X 11 1/2.1898 Scott 3 20pa green Close-up 1 Genuine Close-up of the genuine shows Tyler’s main marker: “The small circle with the dot centered above the numerals of value is complete at the bottom”. Also, note the two smaller circles on either side and the five “leaf” drawings above the dotted circle are clear of any color infilling.1898 Scott 3 20pa green Close-up 1 Forgery The forgery has a dotted circle that is incomplete at the bottom (diagnostic). Also note infilling of the right smaller circle.1898 Scott 3 20pa green Close-up 2 Genuine Not noted by Tyler, but noted by me, for the arabesque design below the numerals of value, the middle (and left-middle) smaller circles are not infilled in my genuine. Since I only have one genuine stamp, I don’t know if this is a constant finding for all Genuines. But it is worth a look.1898 Scott 3 20pa green Close-up 2 Forgery The Forgery shows, for the arabesque design below the numerals of value, all the smaller circles are infilled.1898 Scott 2 10pa blue Forgery Example 1 Note: Remember, if you want a closer up view of the stamp, click on it!The rest of the examples I have are all forgeries. We will note the differences, compared to my genuine already illustrated a bit above.This forgery is on yellowish paper, has poorly formed shallow 11 1/2 perfs, and the small circle with the dot centered above the numerals of value is incomplete at the bottom. The color is gray-bluish blue.Also, for the arabesque design below the numerals of value, all the smaller circles are infilled.1898 Scott 2 10pa blue Forgery Example 2 This forgery is on white paper, but has 11 1/2 poorly formed shallow perfs.Note the blue color – the other 10pa “blue” forgery (bit above) has a gray-bluish-blue color.The small circle with the dot centered above the numerals of value is incomplete at the bottom. Also, for the arabesque design below the numerals of value, all the smaller circles are infilled.1899 Scott 4 10pa brown Forgery Example 1 The 1899 10pa brown is on yellowish paper, with a perf of 11 1/2 – fairly clean cut.But the small circle with the dot centered above the numerals of value is incomplete at the bottom.Also, for the arabesque design below the numerals of value, all the smaller circles are infilled.1899 Scott 4 10pa brown Forgery Example 2 The second 10pa brown forgery example is on yellowish paper with 11 1/2 perf, with perfs fairly clean cut.But the small circle with the dot centered above the numerals of value is incomplete at the bottom.Also, for the arabesque design below the numerals of value, all the smaller circles are infilled.1899 Scott 4 10pa “brown” Forgery Example 3 The third forgery example is on white paper, with the perfs @ 11, and somewhat rough and shallow. Note the Perf is 11: This is probably a Fournier forgery.The color is different than the other forgeries also: a chocolate brown color.Characteristic of forgeries, the small circle with the dot centered above the numerals of value is incomplete at the bottom.Also, for the arabesque design below the numerals of value, all the smaller circles are infilled.1899 Scott 5 20pa rose Forgery Example 1 This 20pa rose forgery is on yellowish paper, with fairly clean cut 11 1/2 perfs.But the small circle with the dot centered above the numerals of value is incomplete at the bottom.Also, for the arabesque design below the numerals of value, all the smaller circles are infilled.1899 Scott 5 20pa rose Forgery Example 2 My second 20pa “rose” forgery is on whiter paper, with perf 11 1/2 rough shallow perfs.But the small circle with the dot centered above the numerals of value is incomplete at the bottom.Also, for the arabesque design below the numerals of value, all the smaller circles are infilled.1898 Scott 2 20pa green GenuineOut of the BlueI hope this bit of “show & tell” for the British Administration 1898-99 10 & 20pa issue stamps, showing the forgery differences vs the genuine was helpful.Note: Crete- Bud’s Big Blue post shows further examples of genuines, as well as several used examples. Check it out!Crete Heraklion CancelNote: hy-brasil in comments section (below) points out that these “Heraklion” markers, often mistaken for overprints, are, in fact, “favor” ctos.Comments appreciated!
- Natal – Bud’s Big Blueby firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim) on March 21, 2021 at 2:00 pm
Natal’s Colonial Badge, Black Wildebeest Bud’s Big BlueBud’s ObservationsNatal, so named because Vasco da Gama sailed by there on Christmas Day, 1497, and because Natal is the Portuguese word for Christmas, rested pretty much undisturbed by Europeans until the 19thcentury, except for a series of shipwrecks along the coast and occasional hunting parties. Then, in July 1824, the British started a settlement. They wanted trade in ivory, hippo tusks, buffalo hides, cattle and grain. Although Natal’s stamps adhere strictly to British colonial protocol (crowned heads, usually key types or key plates) and show nothing of what 19th century life might have been like at the southern tip of Africa, matching key events the colony’s history with its postal history requires very little imagination. Shaka, the Zulu King who controlled the area surrounding what became Port Natal (Durban), initially welcomed the settlers and ceded them about fifty miles of coastline for their use. When the settlement ran short of medicines, the Zulus escorted the colonizers’ scout to Delgado Bay to get supplies. This era of good feeling was short lived.Tribute to Shaka first appeared on a South African stamp Scott C57 in 2003By 1850, when the first Durban post office opened, the fledgling colony was prospering. Trade was good. Dutch families started farming the surrounding area. Meanwhile, relations with the Zulus had been souring. Shaka had died (1828), assassinated by his half-brothers, and, as early as 1835, Zulu resistance to the growing British hegemony had resulted in fierce attacks on settlements. At one point, Durban had to be evacuated. Having been proclaimed a separate British colony in 1856, Natal produced its first stamps in late Spring 1857. These have embossed British crowns on colored paper and can be found online and at stamp shows, but the price normally exceeds $100 for perfectly stuck examples. So, I’ve settled for a cheap Cinderella that resembles Scott #1 (no embossing). Centennial Cinderella Engraved stamps issued during the 1860s, a time of increasing economic hardship in Natal, have the image of Queen Victoria commonly used in British colonies. In 1859, Natal’s Parliament had passed a “Coolie Law” making it possible to bring in much needed Indian workers for five-year indenture contracts. But, by 1866, all immigration stopped because of the poor economy and, sadly, indentured workers were being poorly treated by White farmers. Durban installed street lights in 1864 although, by 1867, the city could no longer afford oil for them.Scott #s 10 and 16, stamps for economic hard times During the early 1870s, the original engraved stamps were frequently overprinted, a practice that often connotes political and economic turmoil. The overprinting may have been undertaken merely to distinguish postal from fiscal usage. The turmoil, however, stemmed from ever deteriorating relations with the Zulus. As Natal’s first typographed stamps were being introduced (1874-1880), matters worsened to the point that the Anglo-Zulu War broke out, and the British were soundly defeated at the battle of Isandlwana (January 1879). Over 2500 of the Queen’s soldiers died. Scott #s 51, 52, and 53, stamps for war times The British quickly retaliated. The Anglo-Zulu War continued until the Zulu’s were decisively defeated at the second Battle of Ulundi, 21 July 1883. This warfare ended, in effect, the traditional Zulu Kingdom. The British cemented control by establishing the separate colony of Zululand, marking the occasion by issuing the Zululand stamps placed at the very end of our BB albums. After a few years, Zululand was incorporated into Natal (1897). Through the 1880s and 1890s, new Natal stamps consisted of additional values of Queen Victoria key plates and more overprints of earlier issues.Scott #s 74, 78, 79, and 80, stamps for divisive timesAt the same time, Indian citizens grew increasingly concerned about their diminishing rights in Natal. They brought in a London-trained lawyer to help them. The Registration of Servants Act No. 2 of 1888 classified Indians as members of an “uncivilized race.” Free Indians were forced to carry passes or be arrested. The lawyer, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, planned to stay only a few months after his arrival in 1893, but ended up living there for over 20 years. He came to think of himself as being South African as well as Indian. At the time of Gandhi’s arrival, Whites were outnumbered by Indians in the colony. Gandhi was living in Durban when the stamps with Edward VII’s image were issued (1902-08), Natal’s final series. Natal joined with the Cape Colony, Orange Free State, and Transvaal in 1910 to form the Union of South Africa. Scott #s 84 and 85, stamps for end timesA few years ago I had a brief audience with the current Zulu King, His Majesty Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, at his palace in Nongoma. A descendant from one of Shaka’s fratricidal brothers, His Majesty delights in recounting how his people handed the British army its only defeat in all African history (Isandlwana). I had to interrupt the King’s recitation, however, because I was sick — two flat tires getting to Nongoma on unbelievably washboardy dirt roads and a nearly empty gas tank had frazzled me. His Majesty was displeased. And he reported, regrettably, no gasoline was to be found in Nongoma. And he had no interest in stamp collecting.His Majesty Goodwill Zwelithini in ceremonial garb. He wore a business suit when I was there.Roads departing from Nongoma were even more dreadful. We had hoped to spot black wildebeest along the way but, instead, we ran out of gas in an extremely remote area. Friendly Zulus, pitying our plight, brought us gasoline in milk bottles and delicious pineapples that they sliced up with their machetes. Ton Dietz, former director of the African Studies Centre at Leiden University, has written extensively about the stamps of Africa, including Natal, as an adjunct to his broader interest in African development. Dietz observes that “Postage stamps, postcards, and other forms of postal heritage are miniature communication tools and tell stories about places, routes, and times.” See his 95-page paper on colonial Natal stamps with extensive illustrations copied from on-line auction catalogs and other sources: https://scholarlypublications.universiteitleiden.nl/access/item%3A2939025/view. Census: 25 in BB spaces including three of the six official stamps (Edward VII profile), three tip-ins, 24 on the supplement page.Jim’s ObservationsWow! I’m afraid I cannot top Bud’s story (above), where he met the current Zulu King. I have met, however, a queen ( Queen Noor, while visiting Petra in Jordan). 😉Natal Blog Post & BB ChecklistPage 11a1b1c1dSupplements Page 1Comments appreciated!
- Costa Rica – a closer lookby email@example.com (Jim) on March 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm
1863 Scott 3 4r green “Coat of Arms” Into the Deep BlueI published a blog post back in 2011 about Costa Rica that was long on information, but short on stamp illustration. Costa Rica Blog Post & BB ChecklistWell, this post will rectify that. 😉Costa Rica is somewhat more straightforward for WW collectors than some other Central/South American countries. For one, the majority of stamps issued between 1863-1910 were engraved (not by Costa Rica – obviously it was contracted out). That cuts down on the “shenanigans” (Forgeries) that can occur with local printing methods such as lithography. However, any surcharges/overprints on issues (1881-82, 1911, 1903 Officials) are ripe for counterfeits.The other occurrence is, in 1914, the government sold a large portion of formerly issued stamps (1901-1911 regular issues, 1903 postage due, 1901-03 Officials) as discount Remainders, marked by a thin parallel bar cancellations. These sell for much less than normal CV. OK, let’s take a look at issues of Costa Rica between 1863-1921…..A Closer Look 8 Reales = 100 Centavos = 1 Peso 100 Centimos = 1 Colon (1900)1863 Scott 1a 1/2r light blue “Coat of Arms” The first release, in 1863, for Costa Rica, was a four denomination engraved issue. The 1/2r denomination was printed with two plates. The second plate was printed in light blue, and shows little or no sky over the mountains (above- Scott 1a). The first plate (not shown) for the 1/2r denomination was printed in blue. The sky markings (horizontal lines) can be seen with the 4r green stamp illustrated above for the blog post header. CV ranges from <$1 to $40+.Although I don’t have any examples, I should mention that, in 1881-82, three denominations (1/2r, 2r, 4r) from the above “Coat of Arms” issue were surcharged in red or black, creating seven major Scott numbers (Scott 7-15). These are valued in Scott only as “unused” – CV $3-$300). Counterfeits exist.1883 Scott 18 5c blue violet “Gen. Prospero Fernandez” In 1883, a five stamp issue picturing General Fernandez, the President of Costa Rica between 1882-85, was released. Note that this issue was engraved. Rather handsome stamp. Scott has a note that the 1863-1887 era have stamps that are classified as VF, even if they have perforations just clear of the design on one or more sides. Since most of the stamps of Costa Rica were engraved from 1863-1910, I’m not going to mention the printing method again (assume engraved), unless it is different.1883 Scott 19 10c orange Gen. Prospero Fernandez” This is a 10c orange from the same 1883 issue that is socked on the nose (SON). Nice! CV for the issue is $1+-$10+ (used). I note that a 10c orange (unused) is CV $150! I also note that, so far, there is no change in CV for Costa Rica between my 2011 and my 2020 catalogue. Hardly a vigorous market. 😉1887 Scott 21 5c blue violet “President Bernardo Soto Alfaro” In 1887, a two stamp issue with Soto Alfaro pictured was released. He was president from 1885-1889, and assumed the presidency in 1885 when his father-in-law, President Fernandez, died. CV for the issue is <$1-$3.Official 1887 Scott O23 10c orange “President Bernardo Soto Alfaro” Overprinted The 1887 10c orange was also used as part of a six stamp 1887 Official issue. I should mention, as is common for many Central/South American countries, Official stamps were issued frequently. Costa Rica has, in Scott, 94 stamps released between 1883-1937.1889 Scott 23 1c rose On 1884 Scott AR1 – Black Overprint In 1889, two postal-fiscal stamps of 1884 were overprinted “Correos” for postal use. Actually, the revenue stamps issued between 1884-1889 were authorized for postal use (postal-fiscal stamps) if a post office ran out of postal stamps. CV is $3.1889 Issue Scott 25-31 “President Soto Alfaro” In 1889, a ten stamp issue depicting President Alfaro was released. The higher denominations (Scott30-34) were usually used on telegrams. In fact, Scott 30-34 (50c-10p) are only valued by Scott “used” with a telegraph cancel. CV for the issue ranges from <$1 to $40+.1892 Scott 37 & 37a 5c red lilac & 5c violet “Arms of Costa Rica” An “Arms of Costa Rica” issue of ten designs/ten stamps was issued in 1892. CV is <$1-$5.Of note, notice (above) the wide color difference between major number Scott 37 & the minor 37a. 1892 Scott 44a 10p brown/yellow “Arms of Costa Rica” The 10 peso stamp can be found on colored paper pale buff and yellow (minor number). The 10c brown/yellow is only listed as “unused” @ CV $8.1901 Scott 51 1col olive bister & black “Birris Bridge” In 1901, a ten stamp pictorial & portrait bi-color set was issued.Birris Bridge – Engraved Close-up Wow! – I love the detail on engraved stamps.Birris River Railroad Bridge The Railroad Bridge was built in 1890, and is now no longer in use.1901 Scott 52 2col carmine rose & dark green “Juan Rafael Mora” Many of the 1902 show portraits – here Juan Rafael Mora Porras, President of Costa Rica from 1849 to 1949. CV for the 1901 issue ranges from <$1 to $3+.1903 Scott 56 6c olive green & black “Julian Volio Llorente” In 1903 three additional stamps/portraits in new denominations were added. The 6c (above) has the highest CV @ $4.1905 Scott 58b 1c on 20c lake & black “National Theater” 1901 Scott 49 Surcharged in Black Diagonal Surcharge In 1905, the 20c 1901 stamp was surcharged. One can find the surcharge horizontal (CV <$1), diagonal (this example (CV <$1)), or inverted (CV $10). 1907 Scott 63a 10c blue & black “Braulio Carrillo” Perf 11X14 The 1907 portrait bi-colored ten stamp issue of 1907 consists of two perf groups: The Perf 11 X 14 (2c, 4c, 20c, 50c, 1col, 2col) or Perf 14 (1c, 5c, 10c, 25c) group: These are major numbers. CV is <$1 to $100.1907 Scott 68a 2col claret & green “Juan Rafael Mora” Perf 14 – Remainder Cancel of 1914 The second Perf group consists of 11 X 14 (1c, 5c, 10c, 25c) or 14 (2c, 4c, 20c, 50c, 1col, 2col). These are minor numbers. CV is <$1 to $150.However, if you recall from the introduction…“The other occurrence is, in 1914, the government sold a large portion of formerly issued stamps (1901-1911 regular issues, 1903 postage due, 1901-03 Officials) as discount Remainders, marked by a thin parallel bar cancellations. These sell for much less than normal CV.”Therefore this 2col claret & green (Perf 14) CV is not $150, but $3 (Remainder cancel).1910 Scott 75 25c deep violet “Eusebio Figueroa Oreamuno” In 1910, a smaller format eight stamp portrait set was issued. The 25c deep violet (above) has the highest CV ($1.50 used), while the others are @ CV <$1.1911 Scott 79 1c red brown & indigo “Statue of Juan Santamaria” Stamp of 1907 Overprinted in Black In 1911, seven stamps of 1901-07 were overprinted in red, black, blue or rose with “1911” or “Habilitado…1911”. CV ranges from <$1 to $10+. Scott has a note that counterfeits exist.Of interest, Juan Santamaria was a drummer boy (age 15) and a national hero. Click above to read the story.1911 Scott 100 5c on 5c orange, Blue Surcharge Telegraph Stamps Surcharged Remainder Cancel of 1914 Also in 1911, Telegraph stamps were surcharged for postal use in rose, blue, or black. CV for the 15 stamps is <$1 to $80+. Of course, remainder cancels (as above) would generally reduce value. But in this case, the stamp already has a low CV of <$1. !!Scott does have a complicated note about this issue, as there are counterfeits and special concerns. 1921 Scott 103 5c blue & black “Coffee Plantation’ Lithographed Out of the BlueThe only stamp that is not engraved with this post is the one above: a lithographed large format 1921 “Coffee Plantation” stamp. Note the relatively crude look. Actually, it looks like, for regular issues, there were none after 1912 until this June 17, 1921 stamp, which celebrates a century of coffee raising in Costa Rica.Comments appreciated!
- Mozambique Company – Bud’s Big Blueby firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim) on March 4, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Scott #10 Bud’s Big Blue Bud’s ObservationsIn the late 19th century, Portugal, an empire eager to extract wealth from its colonies, admitted that it had no way to exploit all of Mozambique. So, it ceded large swaths of the colony to privately financed companies — a common colonial strategy under such circumstances. Mozambique Company, one such administrative arrangement, was established in 1891 and financed by British, German, French and South African investors. In exchange for agreeing to develop agriculture, metal and mineral excavation, railways, port facilities, and government services (plus a small percentage of the profits), the Company had complete rights to exploit the lands and people in 51,881 square miles of territory. As it turned out, Mozambique Company met few of its obligations but it did conscript labor and raise taxes — main sources of corporate income. It rapidly became a forced labor regime aimed at plundering the region. Although the slave trade had been formally abolished, the Company transformed its prerogatives to corporate form of slavery, violently when it deemed necessary.(1) It even sent conscripts to work in South African mines. “To minimize expenses the directorship kept salaries of local European employees low, expecting them to supplement their wages by pillaging the local population.”(2) Many outraged Africans fled the areas under Company control or, not surprisingly, rebelled against this new form of slavery. Portugal twice sent in the military to quieten matters. The Company’s main center for administrative control was located in the port city of Beira where it established a postal service that issued stamps and a bank that issued currency.Beira Post Office, about 1920The Company built an imposing structure for its main post office. Notice the tram carriages passing by it, a conveyance enjoyed by Europeans in many east African cities. Rickshaw-like buggies jostled along on tracks with African natives pushing. From 1892 until 1918 the Company used standard Portuguese stamps overprinted or inscribed “Companhia de Moçambique.” The earliest of these, if found in feeder albums, are sometimes reprints. Of the seven showing on the supplement pages (below), I believe to top two to be smooth surfaced reprints and the five others to be originals with chalky surfaces. Reprints command higher prices.Scott #s 8 and 9 (chalky surface)Beginning in 1918, the Company issued its own stamps that were designed and printed by Waterlow and Sons, Ltd., a British Company. These stamps show happy Africans tending prosperous plantations, modern transport, and thriving wildlife — images not remotely consistent the realities described above. However, stamp collectors throughout the world enthusiastically filled their album spaces with these attractive stamps, thereby unintentionally providing the Company with a considerable source of income and a public relations triumph. Many of us, my childhood self included, were transfixed by the beauty of these stamps.Scott #s 118, 122, 127, 129, and 155Essays for the first Waterlow stamps appear at the end of the supplement pages. They are colored differently from the stamps that were actually issued. They have the “specimen” overprints and the values punched out.Selected Waterlow essaysThe Company’s philatelic public relations gambits continued. In 1939 seven stamps were overprinted to commemorate a visit from the Portuguese president — appealing triangles with animals and ships. At the time, the President must have been impressed with what he saw because he awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Colonial Empire to the Company.Scott #s 196-8The Company’s last philatelic public relations ploy, and coincidentally their last stamps ever, was the set of seven commemorating the double centenary of the Foundation of Portuguese Nationality in 1140 and the Restoration (that is, separation from Spain) in 1640. (Five showing below, the remainder in the page scans). If these were meant to curry favor in Lisbon, they did not do so sufficiently, for the Company lost its concession in 1942. However, despite its bad financial performance and the Portuguese desire to consolidate control of its colonies, the Company was allowed to continue some farming and commercial operations. But no more stamps.Scott #s 201-5Census: 122 in BB spaces, 145 on supplement pages. (1) The Mozambique Company’s brutality is detailed in Eric Allina, Slavery by Any Other Name: African Life under Company Rule in Colonial Mozambique(Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012). His data come from previously unavailable Company records and interviews with survivors. (2) Allen Isaacman and Barbara Isaacman, Mozambique: From Colonialism To Revolution, 1900-1982 (Avalon Publishing,1983). Mozambique Company charity stamps seem contradictory to my foregoing comments, so I put them at end of this post surrounded in black.Scott #s B1-7Jim’s ObservationsThe Mozambique Company had the concession from Portuguese government to administer (and extract wealth) from the central portion of Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). The exclusive concession began in 1891, and lasted 50 years until 1941, when it was not renewed.Among the rights of Mozambique Company, financed largely with British capital, was the ability to collect taxes, and use forced labor on its plantations. These two prerogatives, were, in fact, how the Company made its money. It did little to develop the lands, except for the Beira- Salisbury (now Harare) railway in 1899, and a Nyasaland line in 1922.One of the other rights? The production of stamps. And produce they did, with some 275 stamps issued between 1892-1941. But not just any stamps- you know, the usual uninspired Portuguese colony fare- but bi-colored pictorials engraved in London beginning with the 1918 issue forward.Wow!…as poor as their administration of the colony was, their stamps are magnificent- and cheap for WW classical collectors to own.But truth be told, Bud’s essay (above) does put a pall on these stamps.Mozambique Company Blog Post & BB ChecklistMozambique PictorialsPage 11a1b1c1dPage 22a2b2c2dPage 33a3b3c3dPage 44a4b4cSupplements Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Comments appreciated!
- Colombian States – Boyaca & Cundinamarcaby email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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 – Bolivarby email@example.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 Blueby firstname.lastname@example.org (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-Decemberby email@example.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!