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...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


1923-24 Scott 8 4a olive green
Overprinted, On stamps of India, 1911-23
Quick History
Kuwait, on the shore of the Persian Gulf of the Arabian Peninsula, was a Sheikhdom under British Protectorate after WW I.

The Capital was Kuwait City, and the population was 50,000 in 1940.
Kuwait on the Arabian Peninsula
This small Arabic country, only 7,000 square miles, though, became the 5th richest per capita country in the world after large oil fields were discovered in 1937.

Kuwait is bordered by Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Kuwait, meaning "fortress built near water", ended their British protectorate status in 1961, and became independent.

From 1923-1940, overprinted stamps of India were used, and the Kuwaiti postal service was administered through the Iraqi postal administration.

Then the Indian postal administration assumed control between 1941-47. During 1941-45, unoverprinted stamps of India were used.  An overprinted 1945 issue was then produced using stamps of India.

Pakistan briefly (1947-48) administered control.

Great Britain assumed control on April 1, 1948, and the British postal administration issued overprinted British stamps from 1948-51- the end of our classical era coverage.

Of interest: Kuwaiti culture has contributed the "Dewaniya", a reception area where a Kuwaiti man will receive his male guests. There, topics are discussed, networking activities occur, and alliances are formed and strengthened.
1939 Scott 50 6a peacock blue "Mail Steamer"
Overprinted, On stamps of India, 1937
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic specialized catalogue has, between 1923-1951, 199 major descriptions for regular, air post, and official categories. Of those, only 17 ( 9%) are CV $1+. Many are in the CV $3-$10+ range.
Kuwaiti stamps are a bit more expensive than many British protectorate stamps.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
16 Annas = 1 Rupee
1923-24 Scott 9 6a bister, wmk "Star"
Overprinted, On stamps of India, 1911-23
The first issue for Kuwait consisted of 15 stamps from the 1911-23 India "George V" issue that were overprinted. Six stamps have a CV of $3-$6+. These stamps have the watermark 39- "Star".

Then, between 1929-37, another similar issue of 14 stamps was overprinted, this time using the 1926-35 "George V" stamps of India with the watermark 196-"Multiple Stars". This issue has a CV of $1+-$4 for seven stamps.
Kuwait uses the "George V" India stamps with watermarks
"Star" (upper right), and "Multiple Star" (Lower example)
Forgot the watermarks? Here they are from the "India" post. ;-)

1939 Scott 48 3a yellow green "Dak Tonga"
Overprinted, On stamps of India 1937
In 1939, a 13 overprinted stamp set was produced using the 1937 "George VI" pictorial issue of India. CV for five stamps is $1+-$3+.
1945 Scott 64 2a scarlet
Overprinted, On stamps of India 1940-43
Recall that the Indian postal administration assumed control of the Kuwaiti postal service in May, 1941, and unoverprinted stamps of India were used.

But in 1945, an overprinted set of 13 stamps was issued, as illustrated. The CV is $1+-$5+ for 10 stamps.
1948-49 Scott 77 3a on 3p violet "King George VI"
Overprinted and Surcharged, On stamps of Great Britain. 
The British postal administration assumed control in 1948, and stamps of Great Britain were subsequently overprinted and surcharged.

The 1948-49 set had 11 stamps, with a CV of $1+-$2+ for 7 stamps.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 10 pages for 1923-51 Kuwait, and follows the Scott catalogue exactly.

1945 Scott 60 1/2a rose violet
Overprinted, On stamps of India, 1940-43
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one page, has 20 regular spaces (1923-1939), and 4 Official stamp spaces (1923-33). Total = 24 spaces. The 2011 catalogue has 131 major numbers for the years up to 1939. Coverage, then, is 18%.

• The '69 edition places "Kuwait" before "Korea". The '41/'43/'47 editions have "Kuwait" on the same page as the beginning of the "Leeward Islands". Consequently, the '41/'43/'47 editions only have 20 spaces for Kuwait, and leave out the 1939 53,54,(55),(56) spaces.

• The '69 ( and '97) edition have a least expensive blank spaces choice of Scott 56 10r rose carmine & dark violet @ $85. !  Five more stamps are CV $10+-$20.

• As one would expect, the India George V overprinted issues with two different watermarks and catalogue numbers are only given one space in Big Blue. In addition, the 1934 1/2c green (Scott 18) and 4a olive green (Scott 27), which differ in design, can also be put into the spaces.


1 or 17 or 18, 2 or 19, 3, 4 or 21,
22 or 23, 5,25,6,8 or 26 or 27, 9 or 28,


Official Stamps

A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1934 Scott 27 4a olive green ($10)
1923-24 Scott 9 6a bister (10+)
1939 Scott 51 8a blue violet ($10+)
1939 Scott 54 2r dark brown & dark violet ($10+)
1939 (Scott 55) 5r deep ultramarine & dark green ($20)
1939 (Scott 56) 10r rose carmine & dark violet ($85) !

B) As usual for BB, two watermarked sets are combined and given one space. Also the 1934 1/2c green (Scott 18) and 4a olive green (Scott 27), which differ in design, can also be put into the spaces.

C) (  ) around a space indicates a blank space choice.

D) *O2 1a "brown"- not the O15 1a "dark brown", because of color specification.
1948-49 Scott 73 1a on 1p vermilion
Overprinted and Surcharged, On stamps of Great Britain
Out of the Blue
Of interest, Kuwait's oil boom only really occurred after independence in 1961. I suspect the British  might have provided a little more postal attention otherwise.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


1902 Scott 34 3ch orange "Emperor's Crown"
40th year of Reign of Emperor Gojong
Quick History
The Korean Empire, succeeding the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), was proclaimed in 1897, and lasted until the invasion of Imperial Japan in 1910. On August 22, 1910, Japan annexed the Korean peninsula.
Map of Great Korean Empire
The Joseon Dynasty was under the influence of China for centuries, but came under Japanese hegemony in 1895. Administrative control by Japan was assumed in 1904, and all Korean stamps were withdrawn by 1905. Stamps of Japan were used in Korea from 1905-1946.

Stamps of Korea (or Corea) were issued from 1884-85, and then, from 1895-1903.

The alternative name for Korea- "Tai Han" was used for a few years after 1897.

The Capital was Seoul (Although concurrently, it was known as Hanesong (Josean era), Keijo (Japanese- 1907-1945), and Gyeongseong (Korean). Korea's population was 22,000,000 in 1938.
Korean Peninsula
Note: re"Yellow Sea" and "Sea of Japan"?
Note: Koreans today prefer the names"West Sea" and "East Sea" respectively
Obviously, for the Korean peninsula, much changed following the defeat of Japan in WW II. After the 1950-53 Korean War, Korea has remained divided between North Korea and South Korea. 
1885 Scott "4" 50m green
Not placed in use
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Korea 1884-1903, 55 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 17 are $10 or less (31%).

Clearly, Korea is moderately expensive for WW classical collectors.

100 Mon = 1 Tempo
5 Poon = 1 Cheun
100 Sen = 1 Yen
1000 Re = 100 Cheun = Weun

A closer look at the stamps and issues
1884 Scott 2 10 mon blue "Yin Yang"
The first stamps was issued in November 1884 during the Joseon dynasty. But the Post Office was burned down (Gaspin Coup) in December 1884, so only the 5m rose and 10m blue of the issue were used, and then, not much.

So one will find the 5m and 10m unused in collections (CV $10+-$50+). Scott states there are counterfeits and reprints.

Three more stamps were printed, but not issued. What happened to them?
1885 Scott "5" 100m blue & pink "Yin Yang"
Not placed in use
As one could guess, the three unissued stamps also entered the philatelic mainstream. They are listed in my 1947 Scott catalogue with a notation that they were never placed in use.

But the current catalogue has delisted them (Scott 3-5), but does have an illustration, as well as a value ($4-$8).

Frankly, they are such gorgeous classically designed stamps, I can see why they have remained popular, and can be found commonly in collections.
1895 Scott 9 50p purple (II) "Yin Yang"
No new stamps were issued for 10 years. Then, in 1895, a four stamp set, as illustrated, was produced (CV $10+-$20+).

Note the Type II 50p purple has a period after the "50", while the Type I does not.
The stamps have in their center design a Taegeuk symbol. The design is found as early as the 7th century from excavations in Korea.

The symbol refers to an ultimate reality from which all things derive.
1897 Scott 13 50p purple, red overprint
"Tae Han"
The preceding issue of four stamps were overprinted "Tae Han" in 1897 (CV $10+). "Tae Han" essentially means "Korea", which is the westernized name.
1900-01 Scott 22 4ch carmine, perforation 11
The Korean Empire had a change in currency to Re/Cheun/Weun in 1900, and consequently, a new 14 major number set was issued (CV $3+-$10+ for 11 stamps).

Scott has the major numbers as perforation 11, save for the Scott 20 2ch blue, which is perforation 10.

Be aware there is also a 2ch pale blue (Scott 20B) with a different design.
1900-01 Scott 21b 3ch orange red, perforation 10
There are also nine minor numbers listed by Scott with perforation 10. Fortunately, as they are almost as common as the major number perforation 11 stamps, the Steiner (Deep Blue) has additional spaces for them.

For BB collectors, check to see if the stamp is perforation 10 or 11.
1902 Scott 34 3ch orange "Emperor's Crown"
For the 40th year of the reign of Emperor Gojong, this strikingly designed stamp was issued in 1902. This stamp was also used for the post header. ;-)

Note the Latin script is in French, rather than English.

Emperor Gojong was forced to abdicate by the Japanese in 1907, and his son, Sunjong, assumed the Emperor role.
1903 Scott 39 2re slate "Falcon"
The last classic Korean issue was produced in 1903, and has 13 stamps in the set (CV $6+-$10+ for 8 stamps). Note the "Seoul" postmark on the illustrated stamp.

The "Falcon" long has been a symbol of elegant prowess.

By 1905, the Korean and Japanese postal systems were amalgamated, and Korean stamps were no longer issued.

Deep Blue
My Deep Blue (Steiner) album has four pages for classical Korea. As mentioned, the Steiner also provides spaces for the nine minor number perforation 10 stamps of the 1900-01 issue. 
1900-01 Scott 18 2re gray
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one page, has 26 spaces. Coverage is 45%.

BB clearly has a nice selection, considering the moderately expensive nature of the stamps.

Note the country is under "Korea" in the '69 and '97 editions, and under "Corea" in the '41/'43'47 editions.

• BB does have spaces for the three 1885 stamps that were never placed in use. Remember that Scott no longer lists these stamps ( Scott "3","4","5"). But the stamps are often found in collections, and have great Korean classical designs. So, O.K. with me. ;-)

• As one would expect with the higher Korean CV prices, BB has spaces for nine stamps with $10+-$20+ valuation. None cross the $35 "Most Expensive" threshold, though.

• Be aware that the 1900-01 issue is found with perforation 11 (major), and perforation 10 (mostly minor) varieties. Check your stamps.





20B, 35,36,37,34,



A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1884 Scott 2 10m blue ($10+)
1895 Scott 6 5p green ($10+)
1895 Scott 7 10p deep blue ($10+)
1895 Scott 8 25p maroon ($20+)
1895 Scott 9 50p purple (10+)
1900 Scott 20 2ch blue ($10+)
1900 Scott 22 4ch carmine ($10+)
1902 Scott 34 3ch orange ($10+)
1903 (Scott 44) 5ch yellow brown ($10+)
B) (  ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *1884-85- Scott "3","4","5" are no longer in the catalogue, as these stamps were never placed in use. Nevertheless, they are common in collections.
1903 Scott 40 1ch violet brown "Falcon"
Out of the Blue
 I have a new favorite country. ;-)

Note: Maps appears to be in the public domain

I like comments. ;-)

Thursday, May 16, 2013


May 29, 1916 Scott 1 1/2c on 100r blue on blue
"Kionga" red overprint/surcharge  on Lourenco Marques Stamp
Quick History
The border of German East Africa and Portuguese East Africa followed the Rovuma river. The exception was at the Rovuma river outlet to the Indian Ocean, where the Germans had established an outpost on the south side of the river.

This outpost was called Kionga (now Quionga), and had a population of 4,000 in 1910. This small area of 200 square miles (550 square kilometers) became known as the "Kionga Triangle" because of subsequent events that occurred during  WW I.
1914 Border between German East Africa and Portuguese East Africa
Red arrow on Kionga Triangle
The illustrated map shows the borders between the two colonial possessions in 1914. Note the small "Kionga Triangle" of land just south of the Rovuma river outlet to the Indian Ocean. This was part of German East Africa.
Closeup of "Kionga Triangle" (Red arrow)
Portugal entered the war on the Allied side on March 9, 1916. Portugal elected to attack the Kionga Triangle, which it had coveted since 1887.  Though the Germans were quite occupied with the British and Belgian advances into German East Africa, it still was not easy for the Portuguese troops.
Portuguese trenches on the south side of the Rovuma River
The Portuguese garrison took Kionga. Then they attempted to occupy the north bank of the Rovuma River, but had a heavy loss of 33 men. They retreated to the south side of the river and remained there.

 Portuguese troops occupying Kionga
In the meantime postage stamps from Lourenco Marques (Now the city of Maputo, and the Capital of Mozambique) were overprinted/surcharged for use in Kionga.

Subsequently, the Treaty of Versailles awarded the Kionga Triangle to the newly named Portuguese colony of Mozambique. 

The larger portion of the rest of German East Africa was mandated to Britain (Tanganyika), while a smaller north-western portion was given to Belgium ( Ruandi-Urundi).

1916 Scott 2 1c on 100r blue on blue
Into the Deep Blue
The Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Kionga, the 1916 four stamp set of overprinted/surcharged Lourenco Marques Scott 149 100r blue on blue stamps.

That's it: Four stamps. ;-)

The CV for each stamp is $10+ used, $20+ unused.

A closer look at the stamp issue
100 Centovos = 1 Escudo
1916 Scott 3 2 1/2c on 100r blue on blue
The four stamp set all use the basic Lourenco Marques Scott 149, which was then overprinted "Kionga", and has a different surcharge for each stamp.

The Kionga set was released May 29, 1916 for presumptively the use of occupying Portuguese troops- and in no small measure- to add international credibility for the land spoils of war.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue's one page layout for Kionga
Deep Blue (Steiner) has one page for Kionga, and, as one would expect, provides four spaces for the entire philatelic output for Kionga. The territory became part of Mozambique after WW I.

The '69 Big Blue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one line on one page (sharing with Karelia, Kiachau, and Marienwerder), has four spaces for the entire output of Kionga. Yes, BB includes spaces for all the stamps.

The '69 page is located after the Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika section.

The '41/'43/'47 editions likewise have Kionga after Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika.

All four spaces cross the CV $10+ threshold.




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
Scott 1  1/2c on 100r blue on blue ($10+)
Scott 2  1c on 100r blue on blue ($10+)
Scott 3  2 1/2c on 100r blue on blue ($10+)
Scott 4  5c on 100r blue on blue ($10+)
1922 map of east Africa
Note the "Kionga Triangle" here is mislabled as part of Tanganyika
Out of the Blue
What is more fun than learning about the detailed history of WW I?

When stamp issues are involved. ;-)

Note: Maps, pics, appear to be in the public domain. (Red arrows on maps are my addition.)

Have a comment?

Friday, May 10, 2013


1905-16 Scott 42 $2 1/2 slate & carmine
Kaiser's Yacht "Hohenzollern"
Quick History
Kiauchau (or Kiautschou) was a German colony between 1898-1914 located in China on Jiaozhou Bay along the Shandong Peninsula and the Yellow Sea.
Shandong Peninsula
After the murder of two German missionary priests, the Germans seized the Chinese munitions depot located on Jiaozhou Bay in 1897. Then, through subsequent negotiations, they obtained a 99 year lease from the Chinese government.
"The Kiautschou Bay concession"
The area consisted of 213 square miles (552 square kilometers) around Jiaozhou Bay.

Imperial German Navy occupying the munitions depot, 1898
Tsingtao (Tsingtau, Qingdao) was founded, and the Germans developed streets, buildings, electrification, a sewer system, and a water supply. Tsingtao was always under the command of the Imperial Navy, and not the Imperial Colonial Office, because of its strategic location.

City map of Tsingtao, 1912
In 1914, the population was approximately 190,000. Today, Qingdao is a metropolis of 8 million.

Tsingtao Pilsner
A brewery was also founded in 1903.The Tsingtao pilsner is the most popular exported beer from China.

The Siege of  Tsingtao, Japanese Lithograph
With the WW I outbreak, Japan joined the Allies, and they, and a much smaller contingent of British, lay siege to Tsingtao. Capitulation and occupation occurred on November 16, 1914.

After WW I, the territory was awarded to...Japan.  !!!

Naturally, this did not sit well with the Chinese. This sparked the "May Fourth Movement", with a significant surge in Chinese nationalism 

Eventually, the lands were given back to China in 1922.
1901 Scott 11 5pf green
Into the Deep Blue.
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, from 1900-1916, 42 major descriptions for the stamps of Kiauchau. Of those, 12 are CV $1+-$3+ ( 29%). 

In addition, there are 12 Scott listings (A1-A12) with the German Offices in China stamp overprint and cancellations from Kiauchau, beginning in 1898. CV for the least expensive is $9+.

100 Pfenning = 1 Mark
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (1905)

The surcharged "5 Pfg, 5 Pf" Tsingtao issued nine stamps of 1900 are quite expensive ( CV $50+-$30,000 +), have been counterfeited, and are out of the league of almost all general classical era collectors. I will say no more about them. ;-)

A closer look at the stamps and issues
As expected, The familiar "Hohenzollern" design is used here for the colonies issues.
1901 Scott 10 3pf brown
The unwatermarked 1901 issue consisted of 13 stamps, with denominations from 3 Pfennig to 5 Mark The lower denominations are typographed, while the higher ones are engraved. CV is $1+ - $15+ for 8 stamps.

1909 Scott 35 4c carmine
Watermarked 135, Lozenges
The 1905 issue was in cents/dollars, but otherwise was similar in design to the 1901 issue. There are 10 stamps in the set, and they are unwatermarked. CV is $1+-$5+ for 4 stamps.

The next issue, from 1905-16, is the same as the 1905 issue, except it is watermarked. CV is $1+- $10+ for 8 stamps.

The illustration above is from the later watermarked issue.

Note the nice "Hafen" (Harbour) Kiautschou postmark with date May 9, 1911.
Lozenges watermark (wmk 125)
The Lozenges watermark is usually apparent without much difficulty.

1908 Scott 37 20c lake & black, wmk Lozenges
The 20c and 40c of this issue are typographed, and bicolored. Great image.

1905-16 Scott 42 $2 1/2 slate & carmine, wmk Lozenges
Kaiser's Yacht "Hohenzollern"
The higher values are engraved, as illustrated. A really great looking image. :-)

Deep Blue
The Pfennig/Mark issue in Deep Blue
The Steiner pages (Deep Blue) are two in number, and have all the major Scott numbers with a space. If one is picky about separating the unwatermarked/watermarked series, then the spaces are much appreciated. ;-)

1901 Scott 12 10pf carmine
Note postmark, which is a "1898" Type B in Scott
Big Blue
Big Blue '69 has Kiauchau on one line of one page (along with Karelia, Kionga, Marienwerder), after the Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika entry. No doubt the '97 has Kiauchau on its own page. Kiauchau is found for the '41/'43/'47 editions just after Japan.

All of the editions have eight spaces: 3 for the 1900 issue, and 5 for either the 1905 or 1905-16 issue.

Coverage is 19%.

For the "1905-10 " spaces:  Either the unwatermarked (Scott 23-27) or the watermarked (Scott 33-37) stamps may be placed in the spaces. But the CV can be much higher for the unwatermarked issue, so checking for watermarks is a good idea. ;-)

No stamp spaces require a CV $10 or higher stamp.


23 or 33, 24 or 34, 25 or 35, 26 or 36, 27 or 37,


A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) *1905-10 - either the unwatermarked (Scott 23-27) or the watermarked (Scott 33-37) stamps may be placed in the spaces.
1909 Scott 34 2c green
Out of the Blue
If one wants to have a rewarding adventure, spend more time exploring  the history of Kiauchau. Fascinating.

Note: Maps, pic appear to be in the public domain.

Former German Governor Headquarters in Qingdao