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 by the blog author, Jim Jackson, 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, October 17, 2017

Danzig - Bud's Big Blue

Another View of St. Mary's
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
The Free City of Danzig, being set apart by the Treaty of Versailles and protected by the League of Nations, began issuing stamps in 1920. They continued until 1939 when Germany gained complete control.

The flow of stamps in Danzig is similar to that of The Saar. Both begin and end under similar circumstances. They start with German stamps overprinted “Danzig” and “Sarre”, move shortly thereafter to stamps of their own design (some of which are true works of art), then end abruptly before WWII. Take, for example, Danzig’s art deco series of semi-postals (page 5). Stunning! The same is true for the monochrome etchings of Danzig’s remarkable architecture.

 I’m particularly taken by the image of St. Mary’s church (see supplement Page 2, Scott #s 198 and c34). One website reports this structure “is currently one of the two or three second largest brick church in the world, and one of the two or three largest north of the Alps". Well, anyway, it’s pretty big. The above banknote shows another view.

Philatelic footprints of the Versailles Treaty and the League of Nations show up repeatedly throughout BB. They return in Samoa, Spain, Cameroun, Togo and especially Switzerland, among other places. I’ve made the League of Nations my specialization, so get ready for more about it.
BB also has slots for Polish Offices in Danzig (Gdańsk) in the Poland section. 

Census: 260 in BB spaces, two tipped-in, 50 on supplement pages.

Jim's Observations
 There are some interesting printing techniques used on some Danzig stamps to prevent reuse. No doubt carried over from the German stamps that were overprinted for Danzig, the 1920 surcharged issue has the one Mark and higher values printed with a fine lines, called "burelage", on the paper.  The major Scott numbers 25-28 are printed with gray burelage with points up. (See scan 1b.) At a more costly catalogue price, Scott lists minor numbers for gray burelage with points down, violet burelage with points up or down, and burelage omitted.

Then many of the 1921-23 stamp issues (Including the overprinted Official stamps), that are one Mark or higher denominations for that issue have a faint gray network- like a spider web- printed on the paper. 

Also, a slight goof on BB's part. Under Officials, BB specifies the "1000m brn & red" stamp, and provides a vertically orientated space.(See scan 6b.)  But the stamp that fits - O41 - is horizontal.
Fortunately, the space is at the end of a row, and the stamp is not very wide, so squeeze it in!

Danzig Blog Post and Checklist

Page 1 (Click and enlarge for examination)




Page 2





Page 3





Page 4




Page 5




Page 6




Page 7





Page 1

Page 2

Note:  Banknote scan appears to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Azores 1912-1931 - A closer look at the stamp issues

1920 Scott 172 14c dark blue/yellow
Ceres Issue of Portugal, Overprinted 
With Imprint; Chalky paper; Perf 12 X 11 1/2
Into the Deep Blue
One reason I wanted to have two Azores blog posts was to be able to feature, in the second blog post, - this one- , the gorgeous engraved overprinted Portuguese commemoratives of 1925, 1926, 1927, and 1928 for the Azores. As I only published one Portugal blog post, and it only covered the stamps through the 19th century, we are in for a new treat here!

The first Azores post covered 1868-1911.

This one will cover 1912-1931, and start off with the famous "Ceres" issue. Since Scott completely reordered this issue in their catalogue the last several years, it behooves us to re-examine them.

Now, why are we ending coverage for Azores in 1931? That is because, beginning in 1931, the stamps of Portugal supplanted those of the Azores.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
1000 Reis = 1 Milreis
100 Centavos = 1 Escudo (1912)
2013 Scott 169 50c orange/salmon 
Overprinted Ceres Issue of Portugal
With Imprint; Chalky paper; Perf 15 X 14
To get an idea of the changes in the Scott catalogue, consider, that for Azores typographic "Ceres" issue in the 2011 catalogue, there were 83 major numbers ("old" Scott 155-237) for the 1912-31 years. The two perf varieties ( 12 X 11 1/2, 15 X 14) were lumped together, and not given separate numbers. Types of paper were not even indicated.

Well that changed by the time the 2014 catalogue was published. Now the Scott catalogue follows quite closely the Afinsa (Now Mundifil) Specialized Portugal catalogues in terms of varieties.

And that's a good thing, but can be challenging. ;-)

Well, what are the differences?

Now there are 109 major varieties with imprint on the foot of the stamp.

The 1912-19 stamps that are Perf 15 X 14 on chalky paper are now "new" Scott 155-171, (17 stamps). The 1920 chalky paper stamp that is Perf  12 X 11 /2 is Scott 172, (1 stamp). (The Perf 12 X 11 1/2 chalky 1920 Scott 172 14c dark blue/yellow is illustrated at the header of this blog post.)

What that means is the collector may need to determine if the stamp is on "chalky" paper or ordinary paper, as the stamps may be identical otherwise. Specifically, the first eleven 15 X 14 denominated stamps (1/4c dark olive-15c plum) that exist as "chalky", have an ordinary 15 X 14 paper doppelganger. I wish I could tell you that it is always easy to tell the difference, but, especially for used "chalky" specimens, where the chalk is less evident, it can be a problem. The "chalky" stamps tend to have a higher CV than the ordinary paper stamps. CV for used chalky stamps ranges from <$1 -$10+  for 15 stamps.

1921 Scott 193 30c gray brown "Ceres" 
 Ordinary paper; Perf 15 X 14
The next major group are the Perf 15 x 14 ordinary paper varieties (Scott 173-194). They were released between 1917-21, and consist of 22 stamps. CV ranges from <$1(many stamps) to $4 for the 22 stamps.

Note that this is (new) Scott 193, the 30c gray brown? The (old) Scott number was 198, and the (old) Scott number 193 refers to a 1924 20c gray. The "new" Scott number for the 1924 20c gray is 216.

In other words DO NOT CONFUSE the old and new numbers! They refer to different stamps! If you are buying from a dealer, make sure you know if the dealer is referring to the Scott "old" numbers or "new" numbers.

The good news is Scott did not change the color descriptions for the "Ceres" stamps. So a "2c carmine" in the older catalogues is still a "2c carmine" in the newer catalogues. But now. one is going to need to determine if the "2c carmine" is Perf 15 X 14 chalky paper (Scott 159), or  Perf 15 x 14 ordinary paper (Scott 179). For the 1/4c dark olive, there are three choices- Chalky 15 X 14 (Scott 155), Ordinary 15 X 14 (Scott 173), or Ordinary 12 X 11 1/2 (Scott 195).

1918 Scott 198 1 1/2c deep green "Ceres"
Ordinary paper; Perf 12 X 11 1/2
The other major grouping for ordinary paper is Perf 12 X 11 1/2. They were initially issued between 1918-26, and consist of 43 stamps (Scott 195-236).  CV is <$1-$4 for 41 stamps.

Then, in 1930-31, fifteen additional stamps on ordinary paper Perf 12 X 1 1/2 were released (Scott 313A-313O). CV is <$1-$5 for fourteen stamps.

There are 10 ordinary paper stamp denominations that exist as both Perf 15 X 14 and 12 X 11 1/2, and now have different Scott numbers. Obviously, attention needs to be paid to this new reality.

If you collected using the old numbers back when (as I did), you will need to re-look at your "Ceres" collection and determine what inventory you now have based on the current catalogue.

1925 Scott 237C 1.50e lilac "Ceres"
Glazed Paper; Perf 12 X 11 1/2
There is another category of paper- glazed (Scott 237-237J), with Perf 12 X 11 1/2. These were issued between 1924-30, and consist of 12 stamps. CV is $3+-$10 for seven stamps.

These glazed stamps consist of higher denominations, 1e to 20e. Fortunately, there is no overlap on these glazed paper denominations and other paper types. So the color and denomination determination should suffice for identification. 

1925 Scott 240 4c ultramarine 
"Castello-Branco's House at Sao Miguel de Seide"
Stamps of 1925 Portugal, Overprinted in Black or Red
Engraved; Values are Typographed in Black
The "Castello-Branco" issue of 1925 (20 stamps) ushers in the wonderful engraved series of stamps issued yearly until 1928 by Portugal, and overprinted for the Azores.

The first five lower denomination stamps of the 1925 "Castello-Branco" issue show the same design: the house of Castello-Branco.

1925 Scott 246 40c green & black, red overprint
"Camillo Castello-Branco"
Camillo Castello Branco was a famous Portuguese 19th century writer. The issue was produced to honor the centenary of the birth of the novelist.

1925 Scott 252 96c carmine rose
"Teresa de Albuquerque"
The 15 year old Teresa de Albuquerque was the protagonist in a tale of deep passion and love created  by Camillo Castello Branco, called "Amor de Perdicao" (Love of Perdition).

1925 Scott 256 2.40e red/orange
"Mariana and Joao de Cruz"
Other characters in the "Amor de Perdicao" tale include Mariana, and her father, Joao de Cruz.

The 20 stamp issue has a CV of <$1-$5+.

1926 Scott 262 6c ocher
"Alfonso the Conqueror, First King of Portugal"
Engraved; Center in Black
Stamps of 1926 Portugal, Overprinted in Red
First Independence Issue
The May 28 1926 coup d'etat spelled the end of the Portuguese First Republic, and initiated the Ditadura Nacional (National Dictatorship).

On August 13, 1926, a fourteen stamp engraved issue was released that was mandatory for use on the mails on August 13 and 14, November 30, and Dec 1, 1926.

The issue celebrated the history of Portugal as an independent kingdom, which began in 1139. Alfonso I of Portugal, "the conqueror", is illustrated on the first three lower denomination stamps.

1926 Scott 264 20c dull violet
"Battle of Aljubarrota"
The Battle of Aljubarrota occurred on August 14, 1345 between the Kingdom of Portugal and the Crown of Castile.

Battle of Aljubarrota by Jean de Wavrin 1479 (British Library)
The result of the battle was a decisive victory by the Portuguese. Of course, one doesn't expect countries to celebrate battles through the propagandistic medium of stamps in which they lost. ;-)

1926 Scott 269 75c red brown
"Filipa de Vilhena Arming her Sons"
On the morning of December 1, 1640, the noblewoman, Filipa de Vilhena, girded the arms of her two sons, and urged them to fight for the motherland. She became a symbol of  patriotism for her country.

The fourteen stamp issue has a CV of <$1 - $2+ for thirteen stamps. I think this issue is a perfect example of lovely engraved stamps that tell an interesting story, and can be enjoyed by the WW collector for very little money.

1927 Scott 283 4.50e bister
"Joao Pinto Ribeiro"
Second Independence Issue
On November 29, 1927, the "Second Independence Issue" was released, consisting of twelve engraved bi-colored stamps with six historical scenes/portraits for Portugal. The use of these stamps in Portugal was mandatory on the mails November 29-30, & Dec 1-2, 1927. I presume (although Scott doesn't say) that this overprinted issue was also mandatory in the Azores.

Scott states that the moneys derived from the sale was used to purchase a palace for a war museum.

Apparently, the moneys accumulated from this second Independence Issue ( and probably from the first Independence and third Independence issues as well) were also used in 1940 for the international exposition in Lisbon, and for celebrations held that year for the 8th century of the founding of Portugal, and the 3rd century of its restoration.

CV for the 1927 Second Independence Issue (12 stamps) is <$1-$10+ for eleven stamps.

Joao Pinto Ribeiro (pictured above) was a celebrated conspirator of the December 1, 1640 revolution.

1928 Scott 285 3c light green
"The Siege of Santarem"
Note: actually "The Conquest of Santarem"
Third Independence Issue
For the third year in a row, an Independence Issue was released (November 28, 1928), consisting of sixteen engraved bi-colors with six historical scenes/portraits. The Issue was obligatory on the mails Nov 27-30, 1928.

The battle scene shown above occurred on March 15, 1147 when the King of Portugal (Afonso Henriques or Alfonso I) and a small army climbed the walls during the night and opened the gates of Santarem, which had been controlled by the Muslim Arabs since the 8th century. The story of the "Conquest of Santarem" was told in a famous heroic tone medieval chronicle.

Scott labels the scene on this stamp "The Siege of Santarem", but that is incorrect. The siege occurred later in 1184, when the Almohad ruler, Abu Yaqub Yusuf  attacked Santarem in order to recapture it. He died during the siege, and his army was defeated by Afonso I of Portugal, a huge victory during the Portuguese Reconquista historical era.

1928 Scott 291 25c ultramarine
"Gualdim Paes"
Dom Gualdim Pais was a Portuguese crusader, Fourth Grand Master of the Knight Templar in the service of Alfonso I. and founder of the city of Tomar.

CV for the 16 stamp issue is <$1-$10+ for 15 stamps.

1928 Scott 293 40c olive brown
"Battle of Atoleiros"
The Battle of Atoleiros took place on April 6, 1384 between the Crown of Castile and the Kingdom of Portugal, resulting in a Portuguese victory. It was the first major battle during the so-called "1383-1385 Crisis".

"Battle of Atoleiros" Fresco by Martins Barata (1966)
It was the first effective use of battleground "square tactics", whereby the infantry defended themselves from all directions. It was in use even 500 years later during the Napoleonic Wars and the Zulu War.

1928 Scott 294 50c red orange
"Battle of Rolica"
In the Battle of Rolica, a Anglo-Portuguese army defeated a Napoleon era French army on August 17, 1808. This occurred near the village of Rolica in Portugal.

Batalha de Rolica, William Heath 1814
Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal
The Anglo-Portuguese army consisted of six brigades: five of them British, and one Portuguese.
The Anglo-Portuguese had 487 casualties, the French- 700. For the British, it was the first battle fought during the Peninsular War. The Peninsular War (1807-11) was a conflict between Spain, Britain, Portugal vs Napoleon on the Iberian Peninsula.

1928 Scott 296 96c carmine
"Joana  de Gouveia"
With the Battle of Aljubarrota of 1345, local legend touts the heroic Joana de Gouveia, "a woman of the people", who personally battled the Castilians.

What a scene! Who would deny that stamps can be used effectively for propagandistic patriotic purposes!

1928 Scott 299 4.50e yellow
"Matias de Albuquerque"
Mattias de Albuquerque (1580s-1647) was a Portuguese colonial administrator and a general.

Matias de Albuquerque, Count of Alegrete
By Feliciano de Almeida, 1675
Galleria delgi Uffizi, Florence
He was known as a "Hero of Two Continents". He was involved in fighting against the Dutch between 1624-30, who were trying to invade Brazil. And he was a general in Portugal, fighting for Joao IV during the Portuguese Restoration War in 1641.

1929 Scott 306 40c on 1.10e yellow brown
Black Overprint; Perf 12 X 11 1/2, 15 X 14
Between 1929-30, a seven stamp issue of "Ceres" stamps were surcharged as shown. note the perfs can be 12 X 11 1/2 or 15 X 14. CV is <$1-$4+.

1930 Scott 312 80c violet "Ceres"
Black or Red Overprint
Without Imprint on Foot; Perf 14
In 1930, there was a seven stamp "Ceres" issue that does NOT have an imprint on the foot of the stamp. All other Ceres stamps do have the imprint there. Note the perf is different too @ 14. CV is <$1-$2+ for six stamps.

Deep Blue
1927 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 14 pages for the 1912-1931 time period. For the 2011 Scott catalogue, all the major numbers have a space. But Scott expanded the numbers for the "Ceres" issue by the 2014 catalogue, and my pages reflect the old 2011 numbers. I've added several quadrilled pages to create more space for the Ceres issue.

1927 Scott 280 40c yellow green
"Brites de Almeida"
She beat seven Castilians to death with a shovel
who were hiding in her oven
Out of the Blue
The battle scenes and portraits engraved on these little pieces of paper are a reflection of how people (here, the Portuguese) view themselves through a heroic lens. 

Note:The  Battle of Aljubarrota painting, Battle of Atoleiros fresco, Battle of Rolica painting, and Matias de Albuquerque portrait scans all appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!