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...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue available for the iPad

Breaking News...
Today-February 29th, which is only on the calendar every four years, ;-)  ,came the news of the release of the iPad versions of the Scott catalogues. The app also works for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but one will not get the full page view as one will with the iPad.

More interestingly, from a world wide classic era collector perspective, is the release of the 2012 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue in iPad format as an app (application).

The "Introduction" is free, then Part A (A-E), Part B (F-M), and Part C (N-Z) are $29.99 apiece. About $90 total cost for the whole catalogue. (The 2012 "Book" version is $130 at Amos, but is currently sold out.)  Having at the touch of an iPad, current prices, stamp images, and descriptions- in fact, everything that is now on the classic page- for all the classic era stamps does sound very good indeed.

There is a fairly unobtrusive advertising bar at the bottom of the screen. Touching the bar brings one to the Amos web site.

I quickly reviewed the Introduction, and it has all the valuable information now found in the paper version, some 40+ pages, and includes a grading tutorial, a stamp identifier, and an index to the Catalogue contents. It is viewed in "vertical" iPad format, and one can scroll horizontally from page to page. One can enlarge the stamp images with two fingers-as usual-in the iPad. But the images are not fine enough to do any detailed examination of a stamp image.

(Addendum note: David Akin, an associate editor for Scott catalogs, had some interesting remarks in the March 19,2012 edition of Linn's Stamp News on page 54. He said a major goal was to keep the files small, so downloading would be quicker. They managed to reduce the dpi's (dots per inch) for the iPad to 132 dpi. For comparison, the Scott Classic catalogue is produced at 300 dots per inch. They suggested the high resolution screens of the Apple products allowed them to do this.

But that might explain why the stamp images, if enlarged, do not have much detail. 132 dpi (resolution) is not much! I scan my stamp images @ 1200 dpi - overkill, sure, but very high resolution. When the stamp images are uploaded to the blog, and enlarged when viewing, they provide clear images for close study. So the need for small files for quick downloading has trumped the need/desire by some collectors to have detailed sharp stamp images in the digital version of the Classic catalogue.)

I would think, since the app is "free", and the "Introduction" is free, downloading the app simply for the valuable information in the Introduction would be worthwhile, even if one elects not to purchase the other parts.

I don't know how well it would work for inventory, if at all. It appears the app is a vehicle to deliver PDF type pages of the catalogue to one's own iPad. One can zoom in, bookmark and/or make a note about a page, and search (specific catalogue numbers work best) the catalogue.

If one cannot "mark-up" the catalogue in some fashion for inventory or want-lists, it would be less valuable to me. On first look, it appears any "mark-up" function is not there.

Each Part (say Part A Countries A-E), is subdivided into Geographical (A-E) segments (or files).

(Addendum note: Again, according to the March 19, 2012 Linn's, the decision was made to organize the digital Scott Classic catalogue, not alphabetically as the book catalogue does, but by "Geopolitical  Segments". Therefore,a British America, a French Colonies, a German area, a Latin America area, for instance, is how the individual countries are placed.)

Each segment (or file) is pretty much independent, and doesn't "interact" with other segments (or files) directly. If one wants a country not in the current segment ( say you are browsing Latin America A-E currently, and you want Venezuela), one must go "Home" find the desired segment (Latin America N-Z), and go there. I believe the search function is limited to a specific segment (or file) also.

I could definitely envision using this app, but whether I want one now is questionable, as I currently have the 2011 catalogue. Perhaps in a year or two?

If any reader downloads this app and uses it, I would appreciate their evaluation.

(Addendum note: I have tried as best I can to give a flavor of the iPad app, but I have not tried it myself. For an actual hands on evaluation, see Bob Skinner's "Filling Spaces" blog-http://globalstamps.blogspot.com/
There he discusses the iPad and  iPhone versions, but more importantly gives a link to the Virtual Stamp Club thread where he did a very detailed evaluation of the apps. Definitely worth the read.)

To find the "free" app, just type in Scott Specialized catalogue in iTunes at the App store, or view the app "preview" at:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scott-catalogue/id484086693?mt=8
(You still must open your iTunes to buy or download apps)

February 29th may turn out to have been a very auspicious day for the world wide classic era collector.

Comments appreciated!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Funchal

1897-1905 10r light green "King Carlos"
Quick History
Funchal is a the largest city in the Madeira island group, and is located off the coast of north Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. It was an administrative district, and issued stamps from 1892-1905, when then the stamps of Portugal were used. Today, it is still part of Portugal. The population was 150,000 in 1900.

Location of Funchal and Madeira

Funchal and Madeira

The city was named after wild fennel ("funcho" in Portuguese) which was abundant when the settlement was founded in 1424. It was an important port and stopover for caravels in earlier centuries. Now it hosts cruise ships and yachts.

1905 50r ultramarine "King Carlos"
A dark blue color was issued earlier in 1897
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 34 major numbers present from the1892-93 and 1897-1905 issues.  Twenty eight are valued <$5, with 19 priced at <$1-$1+. "Affordability" index is 82%.

The Scott also has 28 (A1-A28) portuguese stamps with barred numeral "51" used in Funchal listed from 1853-1867. These are all rather expensive at $30+ minimum; more typically $100+.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
The 1892-93 "King Carlos" issue has 12 stamps ( 7 are <$5), with major number Perf 12 1/2; minor number 13 1/2 versions listed.

The 1897-1905 "King Carlos" issue has 22 major numbers (All <$5). Let's take a closer look.

1897-1905 20r gray violet "King Carlos"
Note white/yellow paper varieties, and shades
Eight stamps in the issue (lower denominations) are also noted to exist in a yellow paper variety (Scott bolded minor number). The yellow paper varieties are dirt cheap. (<$1).

1899 25r carmine rose "King Carlos"
Again note the yellow paper variety, and shades
Another example is posted above of the yellow paper variety. Also, these stamps seem to come in a variety of shades. I have a supplementary page for the shades, as they are difficult to ignore. :-) 

1897-1905 100r dark blue/blue "King Carlos"
Note the bluish paper
The higher denominations (75r-500r) are issued on various colored paper (blue,pink,yellow,rose, pale lilac,buff, pink). The example above has bluish paper that is quite obvious on visual inspection, perhaps less so on the scan. No doubt this was done as a  anti-counterfeiting measure.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue provides spaces on two pages for the two major number issues (1892-93, 1897-1905)
Here is a pic of the 1897-1905 issue.

Layout in Deep Blue for the 1897-1905 issue
I do have a little quibble with the fact that Deep Blue does not provide spaces for the yellow paper varieties, or for the 13 1/2 perf varieties of the 1892-93 issue. Now admittedly, these varieties are minor numbers, but they are bolded minor numbers in Scott, compared to italic, and therefore are given prominence in the catalogue. In addition, these varieties are inexpensive, and easily accumulated. I have placed them on a separate supplemental quadrilled page. I suppose I could simply print out double pages for the varieties also.

1897-1905 25r sea green "King Carlos"
Big Blue provides eleven spaces (out of 22 total) for this set
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on two lines of one page, has 14 spaces for the 1892-93, and 1897-1905 sets. Coverage for major numbers is 41%. The most expensive inclusion is the Scott 21 50r dark blue @ $4. Big Blue did not include nine stamps valued at $1-$2+.

Simple Checklist
1892-93
1,2,5,

1896 (actually 1897)
13,14,15,18,
21,24,26,27,

1899-1905
20,22,25,

1897 5r orange "King Carlos"
Out of the Blue
The Portuguese colonies stamps no doubt provide a window into the postal history of the Portuguese colonies. That reality alone makes them interesting.

The designs, unfortunately, rarely illustrate the indigenous culture of the colony. Generally, the colony's name and the value is stamped generically on an image that all Portuguese colonies share.. France does this as well with the "Navigation and Commerce" colony stamps, but then the subsequent issues usually provides the colony with their own designs. 

Maps appear to be in the Public domain.

Would appreciate a comment!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

French Sudan

1931-40 1c dark red & black "Sudanese Woman"
Quick History
French Sudan ( Soudan Français) was a colony that was part of French West Africa. The population was 3,800,000 in 1941, and the Capital was Bamako.

The colony first existed from 1890-99. The "Navigation and Commerce" issues were produced for French Sudan during 1894-1900. Then in 1899 the colony was split up and divided between Dahomey, French Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Senegambia and Niger. From 1906-21, part of the territory was known as  Upper Senegal and Niger.

The colony was reborn in 1921. Issues for French Sudan (under French West Africa administration) were resumed in 1921 with overprinted Upper Senegal and Niger stamps.

1936 map of French West Africa
Note "Soudan Français"
French Sudan persisted under the French realm until 1960, when the Republic of Mali gained independence.

French Sudan (green)
French West Africa (light green)
Other French Possessions (dark gray)
Now for a collector reality check. According to John Apfelbaum's blog ( BTW- a great read), French Sudan existed essentially on the maps in the Foreign Office in Paris rather then as a "real" nation state. Finding  postally used cancelled stamps from this country is unusual.
http://johnapfelbaum.blogspot.com/2011/09/french-sudan.html

Note: The new (2015) excellent website StampWorldHistory has a very nice review and map of the twists and turns of the changing border of French Sudan.

1894-1900 1c black/lilac blue "Soudan Français" in carmine
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic catalogue has 147 descriptions from 1894-1900 and 1921-40 for regular, semi-postal, air post, and postage due categories. Of those, 105, or 71%  are <$1-$1+ : so rather inexpensive to collect. Scott values "used" the same as "mint", although postally used copies are actually rare.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
As mentioned, there is a 1894-1900 seventeen stamp "Navigation & Commerce" design ranging in valuation from $1+-$50+. Then there was a 21 year hiatus.

1927 15c orange brown & violet "Camel and Rider"
Overprinted "Soudan Français" on Upper Senegal and Niger stamps
From 1921-30, a 29 stamp bi-colored issue was produced, all with the "Camel and Rider" design. These were actually overprinted Upper Senegal and Niger issues. The above stamp is "used", but I haven't been able to identify the postmark.

1931-40 5c indigo & green "Sudanese Woman"
Design found on nine lower denomination series stamps
A second large issue with 41 stamps was produced from 1931-40 using three local portraits/scenes. "Sudanese Woman" is illustrated above; rather nice, don't you think?

1931-40 3fr Prussian green & brown "Sudanese Boatman"
Part of a 41 stamp issue
The "Sudanese Boatman" design is found on fourteen higher denomination stamps. The stamps in this issue are valued for no more than $2+.

1921 postage due 5c green "numerals" overprinted
Twenty-two postage due stamps were issued for French Sudan: primarily an 1921 overprinted eight stamp issue, and a 1931 ten stamp issue. Illustrated above is an overprinted 1921 Upper Senegal and Niger stamp.

Deep Blue
The Steiner files provides twelve pages for French Sudan. No surprises, as follows the Scott catalogue exactly.

1921-30 4c black & blue "Camel and Rider"
Stamps of Upper Senegal and Niger overprinted
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on six pages, has 107 spaces for regular, semi-postal, air post and postage due categories. Coverage is 73%. Clearly, BB provides room for a nice representative collection.


Simple Checklist

1894-1900
3,4,5,6,9,(8),(13),

1921-30
21,22,23,24,25,26,
27,28,29,30,31,33,34,
39,40,41,42,44,(32),(36),

1925-27
51,52,53,54,55,56,57,

Next Page

1930-38
61,62,64,65,66,67,
68,69,70,72,73,74,
76,77,79,81,82,83,
85,86,88,91,93,94,
95,98,

Next Page

1937
106,109,
107,108,110,111,

1939
113,114,115,

1939
116,117,

1939-40
63,71,75,78,80,84,

Next Page

1939-40
87,89,92,
96,97,

Semi-Postal
1939
B1

Postage Due
1921
J1,J2,J3,J4,
J5,J6,J7,J8,

1927
J9,J10,

1931
J11,J12,J13,J14,J15,
J16,J17,J18,

Air Post
1940
C1,C2,C3,
C4,C5,

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ( $10 Threshold)
Semi-Postal
1938
B1 1.75fr + 50c bright ultra “Curie Issue” >$10

B) ( ) around number is suggested stamp for a blank space.


1931 postage due 10c rose "numerals"
Out of the Blue
Interesting appropriate designs marred by overly long stamp series obviously intended as a revenue source. 

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Comments are appreciated!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Big Blue Checklist-How it is done

Dominican Republic Scott 146a 5c blue & black 
"Juan Pablo Duarte"
I've had some questions from readers on the intent of the checklist, how it is done, and what is the difference between the annotated (Aden-Ethiopia) checklist, and the present "simple" (Falkland Islands-Latvia) checklist.

So this is a blog about the "nuts and bolts" of creating a checklist, and the decision process that goes into this effort.

As one is no doubt aware, Big Blue is a "representative" album; that is about 40%, or 35,000 spaces are given to the 1840-1940 era when ~ 90,000 stamps were issued.

So did Big Blue simply choose 35,000 discrete stamps, and leave out categorically the other 65,000?

Yes and no.

Yes, clearly, in many cases stamps were left out ( high denomination, high expense, or for no good reason), or whole sections or countries were left out. After all, there are only 35,000 spaces, so choices had to be made. ;-)

But Big Blue, by listing dates for stamp spaces, color descriptions for stamp spaces, or an illustration in a stamp space, may admit more than one stamp for a space. (Or may exclude some perfectly good stamps that probably should have been given a shot at a space.)

Consequently, there are really more than 35,000 stamps eligible for a space.

So how does one determine which stamp(s) are eligible for a particular space?

Again, the three important variables are date specification, color specification, and illustration specification. Let's look at each one. (There is a fourth variable-denomination- but there is nothing to say about that-just put in the correct denomination for the space.)

Date specification
Big Blue either gives an inclusive date for an issue (1900-1905), or an "open" date for an issue (1900).

Inclusive Date (example 1900-1905)
For an inclusive date criteria, if a stamp falls within that parameter, and it is eligible otherwise, in it goes into the checklist. ;-)
No problem there.

What about an otherwise eligible stamp that was issued in 1908, or a whole issue (perhaps only varying by watermark) that was produced in 1907-1912? Nope. Sorry.  If Big Blue had intended that issue or stamp to be eligible, the date criteria should have been set to reflect that.

I agree that this is following the "Letter of the Law" rather than the "Spirit of the Law" sometimes, but who am I to change Big Blue's criteria? Now I will usually mention in the blog if a whole issue is excluded because of date criteria, so the reader is aware of the situation. One always has the choice as the owner of the album to simply expand or change the date range to admit the excluded issue. And in many cases, that might be a good idea. ;-)

"Open" date (example 1900)
In many cases, Big Blue simply gives a date which corresponds nicely to a stamp issue of the same date. Again, no problem, and the stamp or issue goes into the checklist.

But this is where it gets 'tricky", and judgement calls are made. What about a stamp (or issue) produced in 1902 or 1904 or 1906 or 1910? Are they included as eligible candidates for the space? Yes, sometimes, especially if the issued stamp date is very close (say 1902) to the 'open" date. In other cases, BB might actually include a space for a "1902" stamp, even though the date might say "1900". Then I have "permission" to include other "1902" stamps in the selection. However, if the stamp was issued say, in 1910, it is unlikely I will include it as a choice.

Unfortunately, I not infrequently have to exclude a very nice "1910" issue in Big Blue because I cannot stretch an open "1900" date to include them. Generally, I would make a comment about the situation to alert the reader.

Color specification
For a descriptive space, Big Blue always gives a color specification for a denomination. If a stamp is that color, in it goes-no problem. And if the date specifications allow several issues to be considered, and the stamp denomination has the same color for the issues, than more than one stamp of that color is eligible for the space.

But the color description more often excludes than includes. Say a "blue" is called for, and an otherwise eligible stamp from another issue is "ultramarine". Nope, won't be eligible. The color description is probably the major reason why many otherwise eligible stamps from other issues do not make the cut.

Major number color vs minor number colors
What about a stamp that is "brown", and the space calls for 'brown", and that stamp happens to be major number say Scott 12? Obviously no problem, "Scott 12" can go in that space. Well, what about the "minor" numbers for that spaces -say 12a olive brown, 12b dark brown, 12c red brown- are they eligible? I say yes because major number Scott 12 "owns" the space, and so Scott 12's minor number companions are eligible too. BTW, I usually don't mention minor number eligibility for a space as only major numbers are usually listed in the checklist. So, to rephrase, if a major number-and it's color- is eligible for a space, then the minor color variations of the number are eligible too.

Now what about if Big Blue calls for a (now) minor number color for the space? This happens not infrequently because the colors in BB were specified with the ?1940 to ?1969 catalogue, and the 2011 Scott might have a different color as it's major number now. Big Blue might request "light brown". Looking at the 2011 catalogue, I find that that color is now relegated to a minor number-say 18a. The major number color for "18" is now "olive brown". In this case, I will put as a choice "18a or 18". I include the color BB asks for, but also include the major number today as a choice. Yes a bit of pragmatism.

Finally, Big Blue might list the color as "yellow green" ( The 1940 catalogue), while the 2011 catalogue lists the color as 'green". It is actually the same stamp, but the catalogues have changed their color description. Since this is only a descriptive difference, not a real color difference, with the "simple" checklist I will generally not make mention of it.

What about if BB calls for an expensive color, when a perfectly good (by other criteria) "near" color is available at much less expense? I might mention the cheaper choice and perhaps suggest changing the color criteria if one wants to save money. ;-)

Illustration specification
Interestingly, often an illustration permits the widest range of color choices! Since there is no descriptive (color) specification, any color (red-blue-orange) that is date eligible could be put in.

On the other hand, if the illustration shows an overprinted stamp, the overprinted design is often so specific that it will exclude other overprinted designs that would be eligible based on date criteria. There are instances where the descriptive spaces describes the "cheap" issue, but the illustration shows an "expensive" choice. No argument- one will need to put in the expensive choice if BB illustrates it.

More Comments and Summary...
A) Major numbers that are eligible for inclusion will almost always be listed as choices for a stamp space.

B) Minor numbers will generally not be mentioned in the checklist. Doesn't mean they are not eligible- as I said if a major number is eligible, then the minor numbers listed under the major number are also eligible. I don't want to have a checklist with 12 numbers as choices for a stamp space, 10 of them minor. ;-)

C) Date errors in Big Blue are not uncommon. By that, I mean BB lists the date of issue as say 1902-06, when actually the date of issue was say, 1901-1907. If  important, I will mention it.

D) Annotated vs "simple" checklist. I am now doing a 'simple" version with no comments except after the checklist section. Very clean presentation. I will not mention "minor" problems (example: " BB lists the color as light blue, while the 2011 Scott now lists the color as blue"). Any "major" problems I will try to mention in the blog or in the comment section after the checklist.

E) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space suggested selection. Generally, the choice will either be sequential or the cheapest, probably both. I don't want to clutter up the blank space entry with a long list of (generally more expensive) possibilities. Doesn't mean there aren't other choices you could make for the blank space- but you will need to do your own catalogue investigation.

F) The "simple" checklist sequence follows exactly the 1969 Big Blue layout. If you look at the checklist while having the BB page open, it should be very easy to determine what you have and what you don't have. The '97 version is almost identical, except categories (i.e. Air Post, Postage Due) will have their own heading beginning on a new page. The '47/'41 editions will share 95% of the inventory, but may differ more commonly at the beginning or at the end of the country entry, and might have a different page layout.

G) Countries or major country sections that were in the '47/'41 editions, but were removed in the '69, will be added as blog entries and a checklist will be provided. Minor removals ( example: postal tax stamps) will not be added back. I'm not formally comparing older editions content to the '69 edition at this time. I am using Bob's "Filling Spaces" list of missing countries/major sections that he has already published. Thanks Bob!

H) In the comment section below a blog entry country checklist, I will alert the reader to any stamp with a CV of $10 or more. BTW, for spaces with multiple choices, the "cheapest" choice has to be $10 or more for me to mention the price.

I) The comment section regarding the country checklist will be found in the specific countries blog, and not transferred to the checklist scrolling down the left panel. [Edit: Now linked in the left panel.] So check the countries blog if you have questions about the checklist. ;-)

J) Comment about procedure and time commitment to do the checklist.
I write in all the numbers in the spaces in one of my '69 Big Blue albums right after I have become familiar with the catalogue (2011 Scott Classic Specialized ) for the country by writing in all the numbers in my Deep Blue album. Then, it is quite apparent if BB has condensed several issues into one space, or included or left out an issue. Certainly makes it easier to do, so the time commitment has gone down without sacrificing accuracy.

I hope you find the checklists useful, either for a "real" Big Blue album, or as a handy checklist for a "representative" inexpensive guide for collecting the stamps of a country. As said, for myself, I use the checklist as a template for collecting a countries stamps in Deep Blue.

Comments appreciated!

Jim

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

French Oceania (Polynesia) and Tahiti

1929 Postage Due 2fr brown red & dark brown "Tahitian Youth"
Quick History
French Oceania was a French colony formed in 1903 from several groups of South Pacific Polynesian islands. The islands included the Marquesas, the Tuamotu Archipelago and Gambier, and the Austral and Bass groupings. The most important group was the Society islands; and above all Tahiti with the Capital Papeete. The population was 51,000 in 1941.

French Polynesia on the globe
A French protectorate was established over the islands in 1889, but Tahiti has been a French protectorate since 1842. By 1880, Tahiti was declared a colony. Stamps overprinted "Tahiti" can be found on the French Colonies issues beginning in 1882. Overprinted stamps through 1903 are separately catalogued until Tahiti became a member of the French Oceania grouping colony.

French Polynesia
The French Oceania colony stamps began in 1892 with the familiar "Navigation and Commerce" issue. They were imprinted as "ÉTABLISEMENTS DE L'OCEONIE". French Oceania continued until 1946, when the Polynesians were granted French citizenship. Then the islands status became an overseas territory, and the name was changed to Polynésie Française. 

French Polynesia today
Finally, French Polynesia became an overseas collectivity of France in 2004.

1937 90c red "France and the Empire"
Paris International Exposition: Colonial Arts Exposition
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott classic catalogue has 59 major descriptions for Tahiti between 1882-1903 for overprinted regular and postage due stamps. A few are found in the $10-$40 CV category, but many are several hundred dollars in valuation. I don't have any. ;-)

For the French Oceania colony, Scott has 154 descriptions for regular, semi-postal, air post, and postage due categories from 1892-1940. Seventy-six stamps, or 49%, are valued at a very reasonable <$1-$2+.

A closer look at the stamps and issues

1893 Scott 10 15c blue
Stamps of French Colonies
Handstamped in Black
As mentioned, Tahiti stamps can be found overprinted/surcharged on French Colony stamps from 1882-1903. This is illustrated above with a 1893 issue. If one was specializing, collecting some of these stamps ( minimum CV $10-$60) might be attractive.

1900 10c red "Navigation and Commerce"
Part of the first issue for French Oceania
The first issue for the new grouping of islands-French Oceania- has the familiar "Navigation and Commerce" design. This 20 stamp issue from 1892-1907 has five stamps valued <$5, and twelve more for <$20.

1927 20c brown red & dark brown "Tahitian Girl"
Part of a 34 stamp issue 1913-30
The first issue featuring local portraits/scenes was a 34 stamp three design bi-color series produced from 1913-1930. Twelve stamps had the striking "Tahitian Girl" motif illustrated above.

1926 50c gray & blue violet "Kanakas"
Second design in issue: SON Papeete Tahiti
Sixteen stamps in the 1913-30 issue had the "Kanakas" design. "Kanakas" means Pacific Island Worker. But, Polynesian men were often referred to as "Kanakas", which can also mean "boy". This word now has pejorative connotations, and is an offensive term for a Pacific islander.

1925 85c on 1fr dark blue 7 olive "Fautaua Valley"
Third design: Type of 1913-30 surcharged in red
The last design (illustrated above) was found on six higher denomination stamps, and CV is $3+-$15. Between 1916-27, thirteen of the 1913-30 series were overprinted/surcharged, as illustrated above.

1934-40 5c violet "Spear Fishing"
Part of a 37 stamp issue.
In 1934, a new series was produced featuring three local portraits/scenes. This design was found on the eight lower denomination stamps.

1938 80c violet brown "Tahitian Girl"
The second design had a "Tahitian Girl", obviously posing and looking at the us, as the subject. This motif is found on 14 stamps.

1939 1.60fr dull violet "idols"
The last design, found on 15 stamps, has totems or idols as the motif. Well designed; I like it. ;-)

Deep Blue
French Oceania has thirteen pages in Deep Blue, and I have stamps on ten pages. I didn't check the Fiji section, as I have no stamps presently.

First page of a two page layout for the 1913-30 issue in Deep Blue
One of the strong points of Bill Steiner's (Deep Blue) album is the simple, but elegant layout presented for a stamp series. Very visually attractive and appealing. And of course the stamps are listed in chronological Scott order for the most part which makes as easy transition into the album.

1924-27 Stamps of 1913-30 Surcharged
New values and bars
Small series are logically together and attractively presented. What's not to like? ;-)

1929 3fr green & dark brown "Papetoai Bay, Moorea"
Big Blue
Listed under "French Polynesia", BB '69 has four pages with 104 spaces for regular, semi-postal, air post and postage due categories. Coverage is 68%. Among the  more expensive stampsis the 1892 "Navigation & Commerce" 15c blue (quadrille paper) @ $12.


Simple Checklist

1892-1900
1,2,3,4,5,7,8,

1913-15
21,22,23,24,26,29,30,
33,39,40,41,47,49,

1916
56,

1922
25,27,34,36,43,60,

1924
64,65,66,

1925
61,

Next Page

1925
62,

1925-26
28,31,37,44,45,

1927
63,68,

1927-30
32,38,46,48,
51,52,72,

1934-38
80,
81,83,84,85,
86,87,88,89,
91,92,93,95,

Next Page

1934-38
96,98,100,101,
102,103,104,107,
109,110,

1938
117,120,

1937
118,119,121,122,

1939
82,90,94,97,
99,105,106,108,

Next Page

1940
111,112,113,114,

Air Post
1934
C1

Postage due
1926
J1,J2,J3,J4,J5,

1929
J10,J11,J12,J13,J14,
J15,J16,J17,

Semi-postal
1915-16
B3,B4,

1938
B5

Comments
A) ( ) indicates a suggested blank space choice
B) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1892-1900 
Scott 8 15c blue, quadrille paper "Navigation and Commerce" $10+

1927-30
Scott 52 1.50fr indigo & black “Fautaua Valley” $10+

Semi-postal
1938
Scott B5 1.75fr + 50c bright blue “Curie” $20

1934 Air Post 5fr green "Seaplane in Flight"
Out of the Blue
It's not hard to find Papeete (The Capital) or Tahiti (Most populous island) postmarks on these stamps. A challenge would be to find them for the other island groups. ;-)

Would appreciate a comment!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

One Year Big Blue!

1908 1pi deep blue on blue "Emperor Franz Josef"
Austria Offices in the Turkish Empire
One Year Anniversary
On February 12, 2011 the "Big Blue" blog began as a way to provide a checklist for collectors of the Scott International 1840-1940 Part I album.

Since then, 144 blog entries have been published, and 112 countries have been covered. The checklist database is expanding every week. And the scope has been enlarged to include a discussion of a countries stamps and issues, as well as adding coverage for the Deep Blue (Steiner) albums.

A deep THANK YOU to my readers. Your participation and comments have been most helpful. And THANKS to Bob of  "Filling Spaces" fame, who continues to inspire, and a must read!

And this year should be even better. :-)

There is clearly more information available now for world wide classical era collectors. We have two blogs devoted to, in part, "filling" the Scott International Part I. Not least, the blogs have demonstrated that an impressive classical collection can be accumulated without necessarily a large expense.

The intersection of history and stamps and postal history that the classical era provides, giving almost a three dimensional perspective, is hard to beat.  And the interest is worldwide, as evidenced by Big Blue's audience count. Here, listed below for your curiosity, are the stamp collecting countries that have visited Big Blue during the first year.

Top Ten Countries (Updated July, 2013)
United States

United Kingdom

Canada

Germany

Australia
Italy
France
India
Greece
Netherlands






All Countries  (96 Total February 12, 2012)
Update July, 2013- 158 countries.
Afganiastan
Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Angola
Antigua-Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Aruba
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bermuda
Bolivia
Bosnia & Herzogovina
Botswana
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burma (Myanmar)
Cambodia
Cameroun
Canada
Cayman Islands
Chile
China
Colombia
Cook Islands
Congo (P.R.C.)
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
Gabon
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guam
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guyana
Haiti
Heligoland
Hong Kong
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jersey
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macao
Macedonia (Republic)
Madagascar
Malaysia
Malawi
Mali
Malta
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Nepal
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles (Curacao)
New Zealand
Nigeria
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Palestinian Territories
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion
Romania
Russia
St Kitts & Nevis
Saint Maarten
Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
Salvador El
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Sudan
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yemen


Comments?  Please Do!


Jim

Thursday, February 9, 2012

French Morocco

1914-21 50c on 50c bister brown & lavender
Overprinted "Protectorat Français"
Quick History
Located on the northwest coast of Africa, the French had Offices in Morocco from 1891, but most of Morocco became a French Protectorate under the Treaty of Fez in 1912. This Protectorate lasted until 1956, when Morocco established independence.

French Morocco consisted of the area between Fez and Rabat and Casablanca south to Marrakesh , Mogador (Essaouira) and Agadir. The north of the country was actually a Spanish protectorate. Tangier was an "international" city with a French presence.

French Morocco Protectorate in 1912 ( light green)
Strictly speaking, the 'Protectorate" did not end the sovereignty of Morocco; the Sultan reigned but did not rule. Also, there was not much mixing of cultures; France practiced a version of apartheid in Morocco, building "Villes" next to "Medinas".

Arabic and Berber in Morocco
Today, about 90% of the population speaks Moroccan Arabic, with more than half able to speak Berber. French is the language of commerce and education. The Capital is Rabat, and the population was 4,400,000 in 1912.
1939 40c on 50c  dark blue green surcharged in red
"Kasbah of the Oudayas, Rabat"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic catalogue has 300 descriptions for regular, semi-postal, air post, air post semi-postal, postage due, and parcel post categories for the years 1891-1942. The coverage consists of 37 "French offices in Morocco" entries, with the rest for the "French Protectorate" era. Also, Morocco proper under the Sultan issued 14 stamps in 1912-13. Of the group, 172 or 55% are reasonably at <$1-$1+.

A closer look at the stamps and issues


1902-10 3c on 3c red orange & 25c on 25c blue
Second surcharged issue during the "French Offices in Morocco" era
The "French Offices in Morocco" era began in 1891 with an eight stamp "Navigation and Commerce" surcharged issue. Three are valued @ $3+. The next issue, illustrated above, had 12 stamps; six of them valued @ $1-$2+.

1911-17 5c on 5c green & 10c on 10c rose
Red or Blue surcharge with Arabic script
A 12 stamp series was then issued between 1911 and 1917 with a surcharge/overprint, including Arabic. Nine of these stamps are valued between <$1-$5.

1914-21 15c on 15c orange & 25c on 25c violet
First French Protectorate issue: overprinted "Protectorate Française"
With the Treaty of Fez in 1912, the French presence was strengthened considerably as Morocco became a French protectorate. With that reality, stamps from the previous issue were overprinted "Protectorate Française". Ultimately, 17 stamps were produced; 14 of them valued @ <$5.

1918-24 issue: 1fr claret & olive green overprinted "Tanger"
Although most of Morocco was a French protectorate, some parts were not; including the city of Tangier.
Consequently, an 18 stamp overprinted "Tanger" issue was used from 1918-1924 for posting from the "international" city of Tangier. Thirteen are valued @ <$2.

1917 engraved issue: 5c yellow green 
"Mosque of the Andalusians, Fez"
In 1917 a 17 stamp engraved issue was produced featuring various "monuments" in French Morocco. Twelve stamps are valued at $3.50 or less.

1917 line engraved 15c dark gray 
1923-27 photogravure 15c dark gray
The 1917 issue was line engraved. The next issue of 1923-27 has some stamps with the same colors and scenes. Specifically, the 15c dark gray, and the 20c red brown are similar except the 1923-27 issue was printed in photogravure. Observe the difference in printing outcome with the two methods illustrated above.

1923 -27 issue: 25c ultra "City Gate Chelia"
40c orange red ""Koutoubiah, Marrakesh"
The 1923-27 issue borrows many of the same scenes from the 1917 issue, but usually is printed in a different color, other than the stamps mentioned previously. This 26 stamp issue was printed in photogravure, and has an identifying "Helio Vaugirard" imprint on the lower right margin of the stamp.

1933-24 issue: 5c brown red ""Roadstead at Agadir"
The 23 stamp 1933-34 issue featured eight scenes of Morocco in heavy ornamental frames. Twenty of these stamps are valued @ <$1, with the most expensive @$6.50.

1939-42 1fr chocolate "Cedars" & 2fr prussian green "Fez"
The 1939-42 issue had a much more "modern" design, compared to the previous issue, as one can clearly observe. This 37 stamp eight design series spills over until 1942, but is included in the Deep Blue pages. Big Blue has some of these stamps in Part I, and some in the Part II volume.

1922-27 25c deep ultra & 75c deep green "Biplane over Casablanca"
These denominations can be found in different types
The 1922-27 eleven stamp Air Post issue has some interesting types; specifically the 25c,50c,75c, and 1fr.
Some come with a hyphen in the "Helio-Vaugirard" imprint ( The 25c illustrated), or a thicker frame (The 75c above). Take a look at your collection for differences. ;-)

Deep Blue
French Morocco has 22 pages in the Deep Blue album,, and presently I have stamps on 18 pages. All of the Scott major numbers are represented.

Comments....
1) The 1939-42 issue has 37 stamps, 12 of them issued between 1940-42. They are all included in the classic package download at the Bill Steiner website. So far so good. ;-)  But there are actually additional stamps issued later in the 1940's in the series. These stamps have no space (naturally) in Deep Blue, and can lead to confusion.

2) The Scott catalogue mentions, but does not list the Sultan of Morocco government stamp issue of 1912-13 in the "French Morocco" section. These are listed, however, under Morocco in the catalogue. There were 14 stamps issued, 10 of them between $1+-$9+ CV. These "Cherifien Posts Issues" are given space in Deep Blue.
1917-28 postage due 5c blue "numerals"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69 houses the French Moroccan stamps under "Offices in Morocco" in the France section. This was consistent with earlier Scott's catalogues (i.e., my '47 ), whereby French Moroccan stamps were also listed under the France section. But the 2011 Scott gives the French Moroccan stamps their own section, as most of the entries are for the "French Protectorate", not just "Offices" stamps.

Big Blue has 196 spaces on seven pages for the regular, semi-postal, air post, air post semi-postal, postage due, and parcel post categories. Coverage is 62%.

Comments...
1) The coverage looks good for the inexpensive French Moroccan stamps.
2) The 1939 issue has 26 spaces (Deep Blue has 37 spaces), as BB cuts off coverage at 1940. Additional spaces for the issue, which continues into 1942 and beyond, can be found in the Part II volume of the International.


Simple Checklist

French Offices in Morocco
1891-93
1,3,5,

1902-10
11,12,13,14,
15,16,18,

1911-17
26,27,28,29,
30,31,

French Protectorate
1914-21
38,39,40,41,42,
43,46,45,48,51,52,

1918-23
72,73,74,75,77,79,80,81,

1917
55,56,57,61,62,64,65,

Next page

1917
58,59,60,67,

1923
90,91,92,96,98,99,101,
102,103,93,94,95,
104,106,108,112,

1930
120,121,97,100,105,107,
109,110,111,113,

Next Page

1933
124,125,126,127,
128,129,130,131,
132,133,134,135,
136,141,143,144,
137,138,139,

1939-40
149,150,151,
152,153,154,155,156,

Next Page

1939-40
157,158,159,159A,
160,160A,162,163,
164,166,167,168,
161,165,169,170,172,173,

Next Page

Air post
1922-23
C2,C3,C4 or C5,C7,
C10,C1,C6,C8,

1927
C9,C11,C12,C13,

1923-40
C14,C15,C16,C17,
C18,C20,C21,C25,C19,
C22,C23,C24,

Next Page

Parcel Post
Q1,Q2,Q3,Q4,Q5,Q6,

Postage due
1911
J13,J14,J16,

1915-17
J18,J19,J20,J21,J23,J24,J25,

1917
J27,J28,J29,J30,J32,

1918
J35,J36,J37,J42,J43,(J44),

1926
J33,J34,

Next Page

Air post semi-postal
1928
CB1,CB2,CB3,CB4,
CB5,CB6,CB7,CB8,
CB9,CB10,

1929
CB11,CB12,
CB13,CB14,CB15,CB16,
CB17,CB18,CB19,CB20,

Semi-postal
1914-17
B6,B7,B8,B9,(B2),

Comments
A) ( ) around a number indicates a suggested choice for a blank space.
B) Expensive stamps (Threshold $10):
Postage due
1911
Scott J16 50c on 50c red $10+

1922-27 air post 3fr gray black "Biplane over Casablanca"
Out of the Blue
The French designers of Moroccan stamps had the good sense to make the issues culturally appropriate for this Arabic and Berber Islamic country. Certainly, much different designs are found here than for French India (Brahma-also appropriate), or French Guinea. In general, the British Colonial stamps do not show as much cultural design work for a country, as they are on purpose heavily themed with the British Monarch. 

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Would like a comment!