A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Thursday, December 27, 2012


1932-40 Scott 9 25c dark red & dark brown "Carib Archer"
1929-40 French Guiana overprinted for Inini
Quick History
Between 1930-1946, the interior of French Guiana, a territory known as "Inini", was administered separately from French Guiana in the hope of developing the interior. Prisoners from Annam in Indochina, who had revolted against French rule there, where brought in to construct a railroad.

Population was considered to be 5,000 in 1946, and the Capital was St. Elie.

The interior jungle called "Inini"
A failed experiment
Stamps of French Guiana were overprinted from 1932-1940. The Vichy government printed stamps in 1941 and 1944 without the "RF" inscription, but they were never placed on sale in Inini.

Was the attempt to build a railroad and colonize the interior a success? No. But the ruins of three prisons are still visible.
Into the Deep Blue
Despite the failed experiment, and lack of demand (to say the least) by the Ininians for post office services, the stamps of Inini are widely found in WW albums. The packet trade must have been busy. ;-)

I originally came across the Inini stamps while doing the French Guiana post.
For initial impressions, refer to:

The Scott Classic specialized catalogue has, from 1932-40, 58 major descriptions, including 5 semi-postals, and 10 postage dues. A CV of <$1-$1+ is found for 44 stamps ( 76%).

1938 Scott 4 4c olive brown & red violet, overprinted
The lower values have the French Guiana issue of 1932-40 were overprinted as above for "use" in Inini. The total issue had a whopping 40 stamps. CV ranged from <$1-$1+ for 36 stamps. Of interest, the 1fr light violet & brown and the 1.75fr brown, red & black-brown are a healthy $10+.

1932-40 Scott 13 40c orange brown & olive gray, overprinted
"Shooting Rapids, Maroni River"
The middle values (17 stamps) are represented by the design as shown. One must admit that, although the issue volume seems excessive, the designs by the French are interesting.

Postage Due 1932 Scott J1 5c indigo & Prussian blue
Postage Due stamps of French Guiana, 1929, overprinted
The 1921 Inini postage due set of 10 stamps is illustrated with an example above. The CV is <$1, but if found on cover with legitimate use, the price rises to $1.200+. ;-)

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 6 pages for the issues of Inini, and follows the Scott catalogue nicely.

The overprinted "Careb Archer" stamps for Inini in Deep Blue
Although the stamp design is nice, I can't help but wonder: Whatever happened to those 500 prisoners from Annam?............

1932-40 Scott 6 10c magenta & brown
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on two pages, has 48 spaces for the stamps of Inini, including 9 spaces for postage dues. Coverage is an astounding 83%. Contrasts with the rather parsimonious offerings for some other countries. ;-)



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Postage Due


A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1932-40 Scott 24 1fr light violet & brown ($10+)
1933 Scott 32 1.75fr brown, red & black brown ($10+) 

1932-40 Scott 8 20c dark blue & olive green, overprinted
Out of the Blue
Striking (easily available) stamps, failed experiment. ugly history.

Note: Map, pics appear to be in the public domain.


The interior, "Inini", of French Guiana

Friday, December 21, 2012


1911 Scott 44 400r dull blue/straw "King Carlos"
Stamps of 1903 overprinted in carmine or green
Quick History
When  Vasco de Gama in 1498 discovered the Bay of Inhambane while rounding East Africa, he was so taken with the land, that he called it "Terra de Boa Gente", or "Land of the Good People".

This southern part of Mozambique, where the Portuguese established a trading post in 1534, is also the land of cashews, coconuts, and tangerines. Beaches mixed with mangrove swamps, fishing, and the last vestige of dugong in Mozambique complete the tropical setting.

Village in Inhambane Province
The first issue for Inhambane in 1895 were overprinted using 1886 and 1894 Mozambique stamps, and celebrated the 700th anniversary of the birth of St. Anthony of Padua. They are rather expensive by Portuguese colony standards (CV $25-$400 for 14 stamp production), and I don't have any. ;-)

The colony continued to issue stamps until 1917, when the stamps of Mozambique were used.
(Inhambane was actually a district of the Mozambique Province of Portuguese East Africa.)

Map of Mozambique, with Inhambane on the southern coast.
Currently, Imbambane is a province of Mozambique, and has a population of 248,000.
1914 Scott 74 1c blue green "Ceres"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic specialized catalogue has, from 1895-1917, 101 major stamp descriptions. Stamps with a CV of <$1-$1+ are 58, or 58%.

Except for the first 1895 14 stamp issue, the CV for Inhambane is modest.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
1903 Scott 15 2 1/2r gray "King Carlos"
The first non overprinted issue for Inhambane was in 1903, and had the familiar Portuguese colony image of "King Carlos". This 16 stamp set has a CV of <$1-$1+ for 9 stamps.
1911 Scott 34 10r light green
Overprinted "Republica" in carmine
Due to political turmoil in Portugal, in 1911, the set was overprinted as shown. The overprint was in carmine, except for the 25c carmine, which was in green. The 15 stamp set has a CV of <$1-$1+ for all the stamps in the set.

1911 Scott 43 200r red violet/pink
Of interest, the higher values of the set are on colored paper. Here "pink", while "straw" paper color is found for the 400r stamp illustrated at the beginning of the post.

In 1913, some 24 stamps from Macao, Portuguese Africa, and Timor of the "Vasco da Gama" common design issues were overprinted for use in Inhambane. CV ranges from $1-$2+ for these stamps.

.1914 Scott 77 2 1/2c light violet "Ceres"
The familiar "Ceres" design was used for the 1914 issue. This 16 stamp production has a CV of <$1=$1+ for 12 stamps.

In 1917, the overprinted "Republica" King Carlos stamps were overprinted locally, resulting in major Scott numbers for this 13 stamp issue. I don't have any, but the CV is an inexpensive $2+ for 8 stamps. 

Deep Blue
The 1914 "Ceres" issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 8 pages for the issues of Inhambane, and follows the Scott catalogue exactly. One can contrast the generous and spacious Deep Blue with the full and compact one page in Big Blue. Each have their advantages.
1911 Scott 41 115 orange brown/pink , overprinted carmine
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one page, has 37 spaces for the stamps of Inhambane. Coverage begins with the "1902" (Actually 1903) King Carlos issue ( 7 stamps), then the 1911 overprinted "Republica" issue ( 9 stamps), then the "1914" (Actually 1913) overprinted Vasco da Gama issues ( 8 stamps), and finally the 1914 "Ceres" issue ( 13 stamps). Overall, the coverage is 37%. If one removes the expensive 14 stamp first issue, coverage is 43%.

To nitpick, 9 stamps are left out with a CV of <$1-$1+, and the 1917 "overprinted locally" issue is not given any spaces ( 8 stamps CV $2-$2+).

Of interest, there are three choices for each stamp space for the Vaco da Gama issue, as Macao, Portuguese Africa, and Timor all had these stamps overprinted for use in Inhambane.

There are no $10+ threshold stamps.




48 or 56 or 64, 49 or 57 or 65, 50 or 58 or 66, 54 or 62 or 70, 55 or 63 or 71,
51 or 59 or 67, 52 or 60 or 68, 53 or 61 or 69,



A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) (  ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1914 Scott 78 5c deep blue
Out of the Blue
I find the repetitive designs used for every Portuguese colony a bit boring. But a bit of historical understanding is needed. Portugal was not a rich nation. So the colonies, which were many, got there stamps "on the cheap". ;-)

What I do find interesting are the exotic and remote places of many of the Portuguese colonies. Fascinating. It is curious, though, that Scott generally gives no increase in value for a used vs unused stamp. For me, a nicely postmarked Portuguese colony stamp means much more than simply an unused specimen.

Note: Map, pics appear to be in the public domain.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Indochina (French Indochina)

Indochina 1912 Scott 60 5c on 15c orange brown/blue
Stamps of 1904-06 surcharged black or carmine
Quick History
Indochine française, or French Indochina, was a French colonial protectorate in southeast Asia. It consisted in 1887 of the the Vietnamese areas of Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina, and also Cambodia. Laos was added in 1893. Saigon was the first Capital (1887-1902), then Hanoi (1902-1939), and finally Da Lat (1939-45) during the classical era. Of interest, During WW II, Vichy France administered the colony, while the Japanese occupied the area.
Expansion of French Indochina
The population was 23,000,000 in 1940.

French Indochina 1913
The Scott Classic catalogue lists French stamps used in Indochina from 1851, but the first Indochina stamps proper were issued in 1889.

1927 Scott 135 40c vermilion & light blue
"That Luang Temple. Laos"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic specialized catalogue has, from 1889-1941, 355 major stamp descriptions for regular, semi-postal, air post, air post semi-postal, postage due, official, and parcel post categories.
Of those, 215 are CV <$1-$1+, or 61%.
What is nice about Indochina is the number of the stamps that have images/designs of local import. Makes for interesting collecting.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
1892-1900 Scott 6 5c green/greenish "Navigation & Commerce"
Several French Colony stamps were surcharged/overprinted in 1889, but then the well known "Navigation & Commerce" stamps appeared in 1892.
This issue had 19 stamps with CV of $1+2+ for 9 stamps.

1903 Scott 23 15c on 25c blue, surcharged in black
Two stamps were surcharged in 1903, both CV $1+. This gives me an excuse to show this classic design again. ;-)
1904-06 Scott 25 2c violet brown/buff "France"
In 1904, an issue for Indochina was produced in the classic French design tradition. The 17 stamp set has a CV of  1+-$3+ for 12 stamps.

1907 Scott 44 5c green & black "Annamite Girl"
1907 Scott 53 50c carmine & black "Cambodian Girl"
A new issue was produced in 1907 featuring the "Women" of Indochina. The18 stamp set is classic in design, and somewhat defines Indochina for many WW collectors. The CV is <$1-$2+ for 10 stamps.

1912 Scott 62 10c on 40c black/bluish
1904-06 surcharged in black or carmine
A 6 stamp surcharged issue was produced in 1912. CV is $1+-$2 for 4 stamps. Of interest, there are  stamps with  a wider space between the numbers that should be watched for with this issue.

1919 Scott 67 1 3/5c on 4c blue & black (red surcharge)
1919 Scott 71 8c on 20c violet & black (black surcharge)
In 1919, the 1907 issue was surcharged as shown on 18 stamps. CV is <$1-$2+ for 15 stamps.
Contrary to what is found for many colonies, the stamps of Indochina can be found used easily. I like it.
Note: The values have changed from Centimes/Franc to Cents/Piaster

1922-23 Scott 97 4/5c rose & black/lavener
1922-23 Scott 110 15c orange & black
The design numerals was changed in 1922 for the values. This 21 stamp set has a CV of <$1-$1+ for 18 stamps.
1922-23 Scott 101a Type I & 101 Type II
4c orange & black
Thjere are two types of "Cents" found for the 4c, 5c, 10c, and 12c values. The thin font (left stamp) was initially issued April, 1922, while the thick font (right stamp) was produced beginning in October, 1922. Check your collection for these differences.

1927 Scott 118 4/5c deep brown "Plowing near Tower of Confucius"
1927 Scott 129 11c orange "Bay of Along"
In 1927, a 24 stamp issue was produced, with two designs found for the lower values shown above. The CV is <$1-$1+ for 16 stamps, all with the designs as shown here.

1927 Scott 131 15c dull rose & olive brown
"Angkor Wat, Cambodia"
The 15c and 20c values of the 1927 issue have the design as shown. CV is $2+-$7+. Nice stamp. ;-)

1927 Scott 133 25c orange brown & lilac rose
"Carving wood"
The 25c and 30c value design is illustrated here. CV is $4-$6+. The 40c design is shown at the top of this section.
1931-41 Scott 143 1/10c prussian blue "Junk"
1931-41 Scott 155 6c orange red "Tower of Ruins of Angkor Thom"
A long issue of  34 stamps with four designs was issued between 1931-41. Although the designs are quite attractive, the first three designs are small. That is a "large" demerit for many collectors. ;-)
The CV for the stamps is <$1-$1+, and includes the entire set.

1931-41 Scott 165 25c deep violet "Planting Rice"
Interesting third design in the set. Hand planting rice does not look easy. ;-)

1931-41 Scott 170 2pi red
"Asparas, Celestial Dancer"
The five upper values have this interesting motif. Credit to France for permitting local designs.

1936 Scott 180 1pi rose violet "Emperor Bao-Dai"
1936 Scott 192 2pi black "King Sisowath Monivong"
The issue of 1936 was divided between 11 stamps for use in Annam, and 11 stamps intended for use in Cambodia. Each featured the local ruler. Of interest, France permitted the local emperors and kings dynasties to continue, but they were basically figureheads. CV for 18 stamps is $1-$3+.

1939 Scott 27 23c ultramarine
"Mot Cot Pagoda, Hanoi"
A four stamp issue in 1939 was produced for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. CV is $1+.
1914 Scott B1 10c+5c red & black
1915-17 Scott B4 15c+5c violet & black
The initial Indochina 4 semi-postals are surcharged/overprinted as above. The CV is $1+-$2.

1919 Scott B10 24c on 35c +25c, surcharged
On France B5-B10
In 1919, An interesting 6 stamp semi-postal set was overprinted/surcharged using some post WW I  French semi-postals. CV is $1+-$6+ for 3 stamps.

1933-41 Scott C15 2pi yellow orange "Airplane"
A long 20 stamp air post set was isssued between 1933-41. Actually, the French Vichy government continued the set during WW II, minus the "RF" in the left bottom corner. So don't confuse. ;-)
The CV for the issue is <$1-$1.

1908 Scott J8 10c carmine "Dragon from Steps of Angkor Wat"
1922 Scott J36 4c orange -new values in cents & piasters
The 1908 postage dues are a 13 stamp set with a CV of $1 for 7 stamps. Note France continues a tradition of actually having a "design" for a postage due, rather than a "numeral".
The change in value denominations produced a new issue for 1922 with 13 stamps. The CV is <$1-$1+ for 12 stamps. (There is also a surcharged issue of 1919 with the new values, which is not shown.)

1927 Scott J44 2/5c violet brown & orange
"Pagoda of Mot Cot, Hanoi"
In 1927, a 13 stamp set with two designs was issued. CV is <$1-$1+ for 9 stamps. Lovely postage due design.
1931-41 Scott J67 10c red/orange
Value surcharged in black or blue
The last postage due issue during the classical era is shown above. This 18 stamp issue has a CV <$1 for 16 stamps.
1933 Scott O5 5c deep violet , blue overprinted
The "Service" or Official stamps for Indochina are overprinted regular issues. The 6 stamp initial set, shown above, is CV <$1-$1+.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 25 pages for Indochina, and follows the Scott catalogue for all major numbers.
Big Blue and the 1922-23 Issue page
I managed to place stamps on 20 pages, although, admittedly, Big Blue's coverage would have probably sufficed for my present collection.

1931 Scott 142 10c on 1.50fr dull blue
"Common Design Type for Colonial Exposition"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on six pages, has 128 regular, 45 postage due, 10 semi-postal, and 15 air post, for a total of 198 spaces. Coverage is 56%.

• Inexpensive selection, save for one $10+ stamp.
• Nice selection for BB, except perhaps more CV $1+-$2+ could have been added for the earlier issues.
• BB has no Official stamps included. Some 20 stamps are CV <$1-$1+.










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Postage Due





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Air Post


A) Most expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1938 Scott B14 18c + 5c bright ultramarine ($10+)

B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1938 Scott 202 18c bright blue
"Governor-General Paul Doumer"
Out of the Blue
Unique designs for Indochina, and generally inexpensive.
Now I need to fill some holes. ;-)

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.
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