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...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bulgaria 1902 Battle of Shipka Pass Issue- Genuine or Forgery?

1902 Scott 71 10s blue green "Battle of Shipka Pass", Genuine
Quick History
The 1887 Battle of Shipka Pass is viewed even today as one of the seminal moments in the development of the Bulgarian nation. To commemorate the occasion on the 25th anniversary, a three stamp lithographed set depicting the battle at Eagle's Nest was issued in 1902.

Shipka Pass in the Balkan Mountains
The Battle occurred between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire for control over the important 5000 foot Shipka Pass route through the Balkan Mountains during the 1877-78 Russo- Turkish War. There were a actually four battles between July, 1877 and January, 1878, but the memorialized scene on the stamp issue is for the Second Battle on August 26th between Russian General Stoletov and his 7,500 troops (2,000 Russians, 5,500 Bulgarians), and Suleiman Pasha and his 38,000 Ottomans.

Eagle's Nest Battle Scene: Painting Alexey Popov, 1893
The most dramatic part of the fighting occurred at the Eagle's Nest on St. Nicholas. A Bulgarian bayonet charge was instrumental in repulsing the Ottoman attacks. When the Russians and Bulgarians were out of ammunition, they threw rocks and boulders and even the bodies of their dead fellow soldiers down to thwart the attack.

Shipka Monument
The Shipka Pass is now part of Bulgarka Nature Park, and a memorial monument was placed in 1934 to honor those who died there for the liberation of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria 1878
As a consequence, the Ottomans essentially lost real control of much the territory, and, by the Treaty of San Stefano on March 3, 1878, the Bulgarian state was established.

The territory was further re-divided by the 1878 Congress of Berlin into the Principality of Bulgaria, Eastern Rumelia (which united with the Principality of Bulgaria in 1885), and Ottoman Macedonia.

Now that we have a better understanding of the importance of the Battle of Shipka Pass on Bulgarian identity, let's take a closer look at the 1902 commemorative issue.

1902 Scott 70 5s lake, Genuine
Into the Deep Blue
The 1902 lithographed three stamp issue- 5s lake, 10s blue green, 15s blue - clearly draws its inspiration from the 1893 painting by Alexy Popov from the Eagle's Nest Battle scene. One can see the Russians and Bulgarians throwing rocks at the Ottoman Turks below. A dead comrade hangs over the rock escarpment.

The brutal nature of 19th century battle fighting is captured by the lithographic drawing- and, perhaps the heroism as well.

I was quite attracted to the issue when I first saw it, and clearly I was not the only one.

"1902 Scott 72 15s blue"
N. Imperato of Genoa, Italy Forgery
Yes, the forgers saw the attraction also. ! A lithographic stamp is much easier to forge successfully compared to an engraved one.

The most successful forgery- and quite plentiful in the packet trade- was distributed by N. Imperato of Genoa, Italy. From 1920 to 1922, he published a pamphlet "Il Fac-simile" which touted his "reprints" at one-tenth catalog. He was quite able to get his forgeries into the packet trade, as I have seen his stamps scattered in older collections for Batum, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Fiume, Haiti, and Karelia.

Although Spiro, Fournier, and De Sperati are more famous/infamous- perhaps because they produced forgeries of early expensive classical stamps- I can almost guarantee that if one has a general WW classical collection formed, in part, from the packet trade, one will have N. Imperato forgeries in the collection.

To wit: a quick review of several collections revealed the majority of examples of the 1902 Battle of Shipka Pass issue stamps to be N. Imperato forgeries. ;-)

1902 Scott 70 5s lake, Genuine
Arrows point to distinguishing features
One reason the 1902 Shipka Pass N. Imperato forgeries are ubiquitous in collections is that they are quite good! Careful examination is required to separate them out.

But there are differences.

The perforations for the genuine are 11 1/2, but measured, the forgeries are closer to 11 1/4.

Three "signs" are pointed out by Varro E. Tyler (Focus on Forgeries c2000), and I found four additional "signs". The colored arrows above locate the signs. 

* Red arrow: "a" sign
* Black arrow: "Rifle" sign
* Yellow arrow: "P" sign
* Orange arrow: "Hand" sign
* Green arrow: "2" sign
* Blue arrow: "Scrollwork" sign
* Fuchia arrow: "H" sign

For the following close-up scans, refer to the colored arrows above to find the location of the sign.

Genuine- Left Upper Section
Genuine
* "a" sign (red arrow)- the upper portion of the fifth character from the left in the horizontal inscription looks like an "a". The top of the "a" is flat. (V. Tyler)

* "Rifle" sign (black arrow)- of the two soldiers seen in the gap of the mountain, the rifle carried by one solder  touches his shoulder. (V. Tyler)

Forgery- Left Upper Section
Forgery
* "a" sign (red arrow)- the upper portion of the fifth character from the left in the horizontal inscription looks like an "a". The top of the "a" is curved. (V. Tyler)

* "Rifle" sign (black arrow)- of the two soldiers seen in the gap of the mountain, the rifle carried by one solder does not touch his shoulder. (V. Tyler)

Genuine- Left Central Section
Genuine
* "P" sign (yellow arrow)- the character above the "O" in the vertical inscription looks like a "P".

* "Hand" sign (orange arrow)- although there are two thick internal vertical lines drawn for the right hand of the dead soldier, three distinct fingers are not obvious.

Forgery- Left Central Section
Forgery
* "P" sign (yellow arrow)- the character above the "O" in the vertical inscription looks like a parallel longer line and a shorter line- definitely not like a "P".

* "Hand" sign (orange arrow)- for the right hand of the dead soldier, three distinct fingers are obvious (compare).

Genuine- Right Upper Section
Genuine
* "2" sign (green arrow)- the "2" of "1902"clears the scrollwork (V. Tyler), or just barely touches the scrollwork.  Note: Tyler states the "2" does not touch the scrollwork, but the above example shows it is not always true.

*"Scrollwork" sign (blue arrow)- the scrollwork located in the four corners of the stamp is thin in width.

* "H" sign (Fuchia arrow)- the "H" character at the top end of the script has a detached vertical mark.

Forgery- Right Upper Section
Forgery
* "2" sign (green arrow)- the scrollwork pushes up against the "2", making the foot of the "2" appear  blob-like. (V. Tyler)

*"Scrollwork" sign (blue arrow)- the scrollwork located in the four corners of the stamp is thicker in width.

* "H" sign (Fuchia arrow)- the "H" character at the top end of the script bends vertically at the top of the "H", but is not detached.

1902 Scott 71 10s blue green
Genuine vs Forgery
Out of the Blue
Click and enlarge the Genuine vs Forgery scan above, and see how many signs you can discern.

..And now go check your collection. ;-)

Note: Shipka Pass pics, map, and battle painting appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Quelimane

1914 Scott 34 10c orange brown "Ceres"
Quick History
Quelimane , a Portuguese port town since 1544, and a slave market trading site in the earlier years, was the capital of the Mozambique Zambezia province beginning in 1894, but also issued their own stamps in 1913-14.

It is located close to the Rio dos Bons Sinais ("River of Good Signs") - named by Vasco da Gama as a propitious omen on his voyage to India.

Although the Portuguese East African territory was generally known as Mozambique or Portuguese East Africa, the scattered settlements (and chartered companies) early on had their own stamps- hence Mozambique, Inhambane, Lourenco Marques, Quelimane, Tete, Zambezia, Mozambique Company, and Nyassa (Company) issues were produced.

It is rather complicated, and Michael Adkin's Dead Countries Mozambique Area Transition Chart might be helpful to review. Thanks Michael!

1922 Map of Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique)
Note the Settlement and Region of Quelimane in the upper center
Quelimane, as the capital, and the Zambezia province (which in 1894  included Tete), was the focus area of the Zambezia Company. The Zambezia Company was actually larger than the better known (because of their stamp issues) Mozambique or Nyassa Company. The Zambezia Company- as the others- exploited African labor to develop sugar, copra, and sisal plantations. Likewise the railways from Beira to the British South Africa Company territory and to British Nyasaland were built on the backs of local labor.

Quelimane Today
In 1920, Tete formed a separate province, and all three areas- Zambezia, Tete, Quelimane- then were exclusively covered by the stamps of Mozambique (Portuguese East Africa).

1914 Scott 29 2c carmine "Ceres"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Quelimane 1913-14, 40 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 9 or 22.5% are CV <$1-$1+. Raising the bar to CV $3 yields 33 or 82.5%. Clearly, Quelimane stamps are fairly inexpensive for the WW classical collector.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centavos = 1 Escudo
The short lived (1913-14) Quelimane issues consist of the surcharged (for Quelimane) Vasco da Gama stamps from Macao, Portuguese Africa, and Timor, and the 1914 "Ceres" issue. 

1913 Scott 5 5c on 8a dark blue 
"San Gabriel, da Gama and Camoens"
On stamps of Macao
The 1913 surcharged Vasco da Gama issue for Quelimane has "common design type" representatives from Macao (8 stamps), Portuguese Africa ( 8 stamps), and Timor (8 stamps). 

An example from Macao is shown here.

The CV for Macao is a bit more expensive ($3-$6) than the CV for Portuguese Africa and Timor ( $2-$4+).

1914 Scott 30 2 1/2c light violet "Ceres"
A 1914 "Ceres" issue with Perf 15 X 14 was released with 16 stamps.  CV ranges from <$1-$10+.

Deep Blue
1914 "Ceres" issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has four pages for the stamps of Quelimane, and includes a space for all the major Scott numbers.

1914 Scott 31 5c deep blue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 1/2 page, has 20 spaces for the stamps of Quelimane. Coverage is 50%.

The spaces are located after Queensland, and on the same page as Rio de Oro.

The spaces- and location in the album- are the same for the 1940s BB editions.

There are no stamps that reach the CV $10 threshold in BB.

In an arbitrary way, BB includes 8 spaces for the Vasco da Gama surcharged 1913 stamps of Macao, but ignores the identical surcharged issues from Portuguese Africa and Timor.

Checklist

1913
(Vasco da Gama Issue of Macao Surcharged)
1,2,3,7,8,
4,5,6,

1914 Ceres*
25 or 25B,26,27 or 27B,28,
29,30,31,32 or 32B,33,34 or 34B,35,(36 or 36B),
*Note- the 2014 catalogue split some stamps (The B suffix numbers) into chalky paper and
ordinary paper (B suffix numbers).

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

1914 Scott 32 7 1/2c yellow brown
Out of the Blue
Quelimane has one other distinction- at least for Big Blue album stamp collectors- it marks the three-quarters point for countries listed. Yes!

Note: Map, and  pics of Quelimane and Cathedral appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?

The old (1776) Cathedral in Quelimane

Monday, March 16, 2015

Queensland

1882 Scott 69 6p yellow green "Victoria"
Quick History
"Queensland Day" is celebrated every year on June 6th, as that was when Queen Victoria in 1859 signed the Letters Patent separating Queensland from New South Wales. Queensland then became a founding state within the Federation of Australia on January 1, 1901.

The capital was Brisbane, and the population was 498,000 in 1901.

Map of Queensland
No longer part of New South Wales, stamps for Queensland proper were introduced on November 1, 1860. Stamps were issued through 1909, as the Australia 'Roo stamps did not begin until 1913.

Early on, Queensland had wars with the Aborigines- as there existed a larger indigenous population in Queensland than other sections of Australia. The 1857 Hornet Bank massacre of eleven Europeans on the upper Dawson River resulted in the entire extermination of the Yeeman tribe (300 Aborigines) in 1858.

Queensland is blessed with abundant natural beauty, and has six World Heritage listed areas. The Great Barrier Reef, in particular, has 70 bioregions. All three of my (adult) children have scuba dived off the reef.

Truth be told, Queensland has uncomfortably hot,sticky, and sultry summers along the coast. But with the advent of air conditioning, Queensland became, until recent times, the fastest growing State in Australia- presently 4,500,000.

1890 Scott 92 2 1/2p rose carmine
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Queensland 1860-1909, 164 major descriptive numbers (This does not include the 52 Postal Fiscal stamps in the catalogue). Of those, 31 or 19% are CV <$1-$3+. The earlier 1860-1881 issues (83 stamps) tend to be moderately expensive ($10+) to quite expensive ($100+), and the WW classical collector may only have a small representative collection for the era. I know I do. ;-)

Overall, Queensland stamps are fairly complicated with multiple watermarks, paper, perforation and printing types. Queensland stamps are a good realm for the specialist, less so for the generalist.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1871 Scott 25 1p orange
This rather tattered specimen shows an example of the Queen Victoria images on the earlier stamps of Queensland. As one would expect for a colony named after the Queen, all the stamp images for Queensland have some type of portrait of Victoria.

The fourteen major descriptive numbers for this 1868-74 issue have perf 13, perf 12 and perf 13 X 12.

Watermark 67 "short pointed star" is on this issue.

1876-78 Scott 46 2p blue
The perforations tend to cut into the design on earlier Queensland stamps, and this example is no exception.

1876-78 Scott 49 1sh violet, Perf 12
The 1868-75 engraved six stamp issue is perf 13, while the identical 1876-78 issue in denomination and color is perf 12. Both have watermark 68 "Crown and Q".

Upper Left: Wmk 67 "Short Pointed Star"
Upper Right: Wmk 68 "Crown and Q"
Lower Left: Wmk 69 "Large Crown and Q"
Lower Right: Wmk 12 "Crown and Single-lined A"
Here is a pic of some of the watermarks encountered on Queensland stamps. The crown is barely visible here on the "Large Crown and Q" stamp, but note the characteristic round "Q".

1879 Scott 58 2p gray blue
The 1879-81 five stamp issue was typographed, and the 2p gray blue is shown here.

1883 Scott 70 1sh violet
The 1882-83 five stamp issue has a somewhat different design compared to the 1879-81 issue. Note the "Queensland" script is larger, and the corner designs are different.

Also note the neck shading lines are drawn all the way through to the front of the neck. (The later redrawn version will show differences here.)

1886 Scott 79 2sh ultramarine
Thick paper, Wmk "Large Crown & Q"
The 1882-85 five stamp issue is on thin paper, and has wmk 68 "Crown and Q"

The similar 1886 five stamp issue (shown above) is on thick paper, and has wmk 69 "Large Crown and Q".

1890 Scott 90 1p orange red
Redrawn
The 1890-92 issue of eight stamps includes four stamps that are redrawn from previous designs.

The redrawn versions do not have neck shading lines that go through to the front of the neck, and the "one penny" denomination (shown here) does not have a period after the "one penny" value.

1890 Scott 91 2p gray blue
Redrawn
The redrawn two pence value clearly shows the lack of shading lines on the front of the neck.

1895 Scott 103 1/2p green
Wmk "Crown & Q"
The 1895 1/p green can be found in four versions:
* Unwmk, Moire blue band pattern on back
* Wmk 68 "Crown and Q"
* Wmk 69 "Large Crown and Q", thick paper
* Thin paper, with Crown and Q faintly impressed (embossed) on face of stamp

Are you familiar with the witticism coined by Ernest Rutherford?

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting"

He was referring to the desultory accumulation and passive characterization of "collections", in his view, found in botany and other sciences. The remark, as said, did nothing to win friends for physics among other science practitioners.

But considering the complications of stamp collecting as exhibited here, perhaps we should reevaluate? ;-)

1895-96 Scott 109 1p red
The 1895-96 issue consisted of four stamps, and the 1p red design is shown here- CV <$1. But the 6p yellow green of the same design has a CV of $25,000! Only a few used examples are known (with a 1902 postmark).

Scott 111A 6p yellow green
Here is a scan from the internet-(See "Out of the Blue" section for specific source) of the 6p yellow green. Check your collections! ;-)

1897-1900 Scott 113 1p red
Between 1897-1900, an eleven stamps issue with six new designs was released. This issue has perf 12 1/2, 13, and watermark 68 "Crown and Q".

1899 Scott 124 1/2p blue green
A new "Queen Victoria" half penny was issued in 1899.

1907 Scott 134 3p pale brown
Between 1907-09, an eleven stamp issue, similar to the 1897-1900 issue, except for new colors on some stamps, was released with watermark 12 "Crown and single-lined A". The 1p, 4p, 6p, and 2sh values will need to be watermarked for identification.

Deep Blue
1895 Wmk "Crown & Q" issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 10 pages for Queensland, and includes a space for all the major Scott numbers. That should be O.K. for general WW collectors. But if one has a particular interest in Queensland, then the Stanley Gibbons should be used, as there is much more information in it. The 1840-1970 Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps catalogue covers all the classical era British colonial countries- highly recommended.

1897-1900 Scott 119 5p brown violet
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one page between Portuguese India and Quelimane, has 34 spaces. Coverage is 20.7%. But, considering the expensive nature of some Queensland stamps, and the fact that there are multiple stamp choices for many spaces, the coverage, although not generous, is O.K.

There are three expensive stamps, but none cross over into the "Most Expensive ($35)" category.

One will find multiple choices for a number of stamp spaces. I elaborate in the "comments" section after the checklist.

Checklist

1860-79 (Three spaces)
One Penny (Illustrated)*: 1 or 4 or 6H or 7 or 12 or 13 or 18 or 21 or 21A or 25 or 32 or 36A or
38 or 39 or 44 or 45 or 49B or 49G
2p blue*: 6A or 8 or 19C or 26 or 33 or 40 or 46 or 49C
Blank Space: (48)

1879-80
57,58,

1882-95*
66 or 71, or 84 or 90 or 98, 67 or 72 or 85 or 91 or 99,

1882-95
94,95,73* or 100, (66 or 84 or 90- choose one not already taken.)

1890-94
89,92,93,

1895
101 or 103 or 106 or 107, 102 or 104 or 108,105 or 108A, 111*, 112,

1895-1910
124,109,113 or 123 or 131, 114 or 129 or 132 or 133,110,115 or 116,117,
118 or 135,136,119 or 129A or 137, 120 or 138,121 or 139,122 or 140, (134),

1903
125 or 128,

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1879 Scott 57 1p rose red ($10+)
1895 Scott 100 1sh pale violet ($10)
1907 Scott 140 2sh turquoise blue ($32+)
B) *One penny (Illustrated)- 18 choices!- Least expensive are Scott 25, 38,39,44 @ CV $8+-$10+.
C) *2p blue- 8 choices (Even more if one admits "deep blue" and "light blue"  colors as choices ;-)
-Least expensive are Scott 26, 40, 46 @ CV $2+-$5+.
D) *1882-95- a dilemma- BB's dates admit both original and redrawn versions, but the illustrations are for the original one penny (Scott 66 or 71) and the original two pence (Scott 67 or 72). I admitted all based on BB's dates- But you can choose otherwise. ;-)
E) *73 or 100 are 1sh pale violet, BB's criteria. That leaves out 70 1sh violet ($6+), which is less expensive than 100 pale violet ($10),
F) *111- I left out 111A @ CV $25,000 as a choice. ;-)
G) (    ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1909 Scott 136 4p gray black
Out of the Blue
At one time back in the 1980s, I thought of semi-specializing in the Australian colonies. The thought reoccurs from time to time. ;-)

Note: Scott 111A 6p yellow green scan is by permission of Rod Allan, and is from his submission on The Stamp Forum, but the scan originally appeared in Australian Stamp News June/July 2002. The map appears to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Puerto Rico

1884 Scott 56 1/2m lake "Alfonso XII"
Quick History
The island of Puerto Rico in the West Indies was, like Cuba, under Spanish Dominion from November 19, 1493 ( Christopher Columbus second voyage) until 1898, when Spain was obligated to cede the island to the United States following the Spanish-American War.

Puerto Rico
The capital is San Juan, and the population was 953,000 in 1899.

Stamps of Cuba overprinted in black were used in Puerto Rico in 1873, and the Spanish colony received its own issues beginning in 1877. U.S. administration overprinted issues began in 1898, but were replaced by those of the United States in 1900.

U.S. citizenship for Puerto Ricans was granted in 1917.

To this day Puerto Rico remains a U.S. territory, but a plebiscite vote in 2012 favored becoming a state.

1894 Scott 124 20c carmine rose "Alfonso XIII"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Puerto Rico, 195 major number descriptions for 1873-1900. The count does not include stamps of Cuba, Spain , and Great Britain cancelled in Puerto Rico between 1855-1877, and given an "A" prefix bold numbers in the catalogue.

Of the 195 major number descriptive count, 105, or 54% are CV <$1-$1+.. Many of the 1890-97 and 1898 "Alfonso XIII" long run of stamps are at minimum catalogue value.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Peseta
1000 Milesimas = 100 Centavos = 1 Peso (1881)
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (1898)

Between 1873-1876, twelve Cuban stamps were overprinted for use in Puerto Rico. There are four types of overprints. The modest CV ranges from $1+-$10+ for these stamps. Unfortunately, I have a lacuna in my collection for these issues and can offer no examples at the moment.

1877 Scott 16 25c ultramarine "King Alfonso XII"
The stamp designs during the Spanish Dominion era for Puerto Rico should be familiar to collectors, as they were used throughout the Spanish colonies.

The above design was used for Cuba also, except in different colors.

The 1877 issue has five stamps and CV is $2+-$10+.
1879 Scott 27 50c dark green "King Alfonso XII"
The same design was used subsequently in 1878 and 1879, merely substituting the year date. The colors, though, were different.

The 1879 issue has six stamps, and the CV is $2+-$6+ for five stamps.
1882 Scott 59 2m violet "Alfonso XII"
The 1882-86  issue had 20 stamps, and proved to be the last of Alfonso XII for Puerto Rico.

He died of tuberculosis and dysentery in 1885 at the age of 27. Even a king could not avoid the ravages of infectious disease in the 19th century.

But his second wife was pregnant with a son....
1894 Scott 81 1m ultramarine "Alfonso XIII"
Alfonso XIII was a monarch from birth, and these stamp portraits show him at age four. His mother, Maria Christina of Austria, served as regent until his 16th birthday in 1902. During the regent period, Spain lost her larger colonies- Cuba, and the Philippines, and of course Puerto Rico- because of the Spanish-American War.

The "baby" 1890-97 Alfonso issue consisted of a long run of 58 stamps, many still at minimum CV.
1898 Scott 142 3c dark brown "Alfonso XIII"
The adolescent Alfonso XIII (twelve years old) visage was produced on 20 stamps in 1898. Many are at minimum CV. This would be the last non overprinted set for Spanish Puerto Rico.
1898 Scott 156 2m yellow green "Alfonso XIII"
Stamps of 1890-97 Handstamped in Rose or Violet
In 1898, a 17 handstamped overprinted "Habilitado para 1898 y 99" set was issued. The overprint is in a rose color, except for the 8c carmine rose, which is in violet. Twelve stamps are inexpensive (<$1- $4+), while five stamps are CV $7+-$20+. Scott has a note that "Counterfeits abound".
1899 Scott 211 2c reddish carmine Type IV
United States Scott 279Bf overprinted at 36 degree angle
The U.S. era's regular issues began in 1899 with five stamps overprinted "Porto Rico" at a 36 degree angle, although the 1c yellow green, 2c reddish carmine Type IV, and 8c violet brown are also found at a 25 degree angle. CV ranges from $1+-$10+.  In addition, three postage due overprinted stamps were issued.

In 1900, the 1c yellow green and the 2c red Type IV were overprinted "Puerto Rico".
1898 War Tax Scott MR10 5c on 1m dark violet, Rose Surcharge
In 1898, the Spanish Dominion, in an effort to raise funds for the war, reissued thirteen 1890-94 stamps- handstamped "Impuesto de Guerra". The overprints and surcharges are in purple, rose or magenta colors.

These are War Tax stamps- 2c additional surcharge for letters, 5c for telegrams. Apparently, they were also accepted as ordinary postage.

CV is <$1- $5+.
In 1900, stamps of Puerto Rico were replaced by those of the United States.

Deep Blue
1890-97 "baby" Alfonso issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 10 pages for Puerto Rico plus 2 pages for semiofficial airmails (1938-40) which are not in the Scott Classic catalogue. All major numbers have a space.

1898 Scott 145 6c dark blue "Alfonso XIII"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on three pages, has 121 stamp spaces. Coverage is a robust 62%.

The inexpensive 1890-97 baby "Alfonso" stamps have 45 spaces, but 5 stamps @ CV <$1-$1+ are missing.

There are only two "expensive stamps", but the J3 U.S. overprinted postage due of 1899 is $60. !

Checklist

1873
3,

1874
4,

1875
5,

1876
8,11,

1877
16,17,

1878
20,(21),

1879
26,

1880
35,38,

1881
42,43,44,45,51,(46),

1882
55,57,59,60,61,62,63,64,
65,67 or 68 or 69,70,71,72,
56,58,66,

1890
75,79,83,95,99,103,110,116,

Next Page

1891-92
76,80,84,88,92,94,96,
100,104,111,114,117,121,123,

1894
77,81,85,89,97,101,105,

1894
108,118,124,

1896
78,82,86,90,98,

1896
102,106,109,113,115,119,125,

1897
107,

1898
135,136,137,138,139,140,141,
142,144,145,146,147,148,149,

Next Page

1898
155,156,157,158,159,161,
162,165,166,(168),167,

War Tax
1898
MR2,MR4,MR5,MR6,MR7,MR10,MR12,

Issued under American Dominion

1899
210,211,212,213,214,

1900
215,216,

Postage Due
1899
J1,J2,J3,

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ($10threshold):
1873 Scott 3 1p red brown ($10+)
1899 Scott J3 10c deep claret ($60)
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) Note: Be aware that there are a number of color description discrepancies between the '69 BB and the  modern Scott catalogue. As it did not lead to confusion, I put them in the checklist without comment.
1882 Scott 62 8m yellow green "Alfonso XII" 
Out of the Blue
The juxtaposition of stamps and war always makes for fascination.
Note: Map image appears to be in the public domain.
Have a comment?