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...

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Fiume - Bud's Big Blue

"A Frightful little gnome"

"A tragic gargoyle"
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
Fiume generated a pile of stamps -- a typical result in new countries besot with social turmoil. Moreover, because stamps were hastily issued over the few years of Fiume’s existence, fakes and forgeries abound, especially for overprinted Hungarian stamps. Collectors relying on feeder albums commonly find problems. The problems crop up again in BBs Hungary section.

Irregular troops led Gabriele D'Annunzio, a poet and inspirer of revolts, took over Fiume in 1919. He hoped to annex it to Italy, thereby making Italy great again, but it didn’t happen as he wished. 

Historians say, however, that Mussolini picked up his ideas, and Hitler did, too. D'Annunzio’s nihilism, his poetic glorification of passionate beauty, and his pursuit of immediate sensual pleasure at any cost, especially if someone else pays for it, typifies Nazi aesthetics. Doting women gushed over the little man (see quotes above). Others thought him a jerk. Compare his picture to Scott #s 86 through 99 (page 2 and supplement).

I’ve not finished checking the scans for forgeries, but the few stamps I’ve looked at carefully seem to be OK. A great help in detecting Fiume forgeries can be found online: 

Jim's Observations
The allied troop occupation of Fiume (November,1918), the takeover by the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio and his legionnaires (1919), and the creation of The Free State of Fiume (1920-24), gave philatelists a stamp issuing entity that, during six years, issued 262 stamps!  Fiume, on the Adriatic Sea, consisted mostly of the city of Fiume.  The city became known as Rijeka after WWII, and today is in Croatia.

Fiume Blog Post and Checklist

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Comments appreciated!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Bavaria "Coat of Arms" Issues 1867 -1911

1867 Scott 16 3kr rose "Coat of arms"
Embossed; Imperforate; With Silk Thread
Into the Deep Blue
Continuing our investigation into the early issues of Bavaria,, this blog post will look at the embossed "Coat of Arms" issues of 1867-1911.

The preceding Bavaria posts are here...

Bavaria Blog Post and Checklist
Bavaria 1849-1862 & the Mill Wheel Stamp Postmarks

The 2017 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue for the 1867-1911 "Coat of Arms" era, has 62 major number descriptions, and 16 significant minor number descriptions (Total 78 descriptions). Of those, 23 are CV <$1-$1+, or 29%. Raising the bar to CV $10+ yields a total of 58, or 74%. Clearly, interested collectors can accumulate a nice representative collection if they wish, provided they spend a bit.

There are also in the Scott catalog many minor number shade stamps that are listed.

An overview of the "Coat of Arms" issues looks like this..

Kreuzer Denominations
1867-68 Imperforate with Silk Thread (Eight descriptions)

The rest of the issues have no Silk Thread
1870-72 Perf 11 1/2; Wmk 92 (Eight descriptions)
1870-72 Perf 11 1/2; Wmk 93 (Eight minor number descriptions)
1874-75 (Mark values-two descriptions): Imperf + Perf 11 1/2, Wmk 92
1875 Perf 11 1/2; Wmk 94 (Five descriptions)

Pfenning/Mark  Denominations
1876-78 Perf 11 1/2; Wmk 94 (Ten descriptions)
1881-1911 Perf 11 1/2; Wmk 95v (Ten descriptions)
1888-1900 Perf 14 1/2; Wmk 95h; White paper (Ten descriptions)
1888-1899 perf 14 1/2; Wmk 95h; Toned paper (Twelve descriptions- four major, eight minor)
1911 Perf 14 1/2; Wmk 95v; (One description)
1911 Perf 11 1/2; Wmk 95h; (Four descriptions - all Mark values)

A bit of advice: I think this blog post will make a little more sense if one follows along by looking at the Scott catalogue at the same time.

Clearly, paying attention to Kreuzer/Pfenning denomination differences, Imperforate/ Perf 11 1/2/ Perf 14 1/2 differences, Watermark differences ( Wmk 92, Wmk 93, Wmk 94, Wmk 95v, Wmk 95h), and paper differences (white/toned) is necessary for the WW collector to properly identify these stamps.

But, in reality, it is not so difficult, at least at the level of the Scott catalogue. (For serious collectors, a Michel should be used also.)

One just needs to identify the denomination - simple!..either Kreuzer or Pfenning values.

And identify the perforation- either 11 1/2 or 14 1/2, or imperforate.

And then identify the watermark, which is usually fairly obvious.

And for some issues, splitting the paper into "white" or "toned" will give a major or minor number.

So let's begin.....

A closer look at the stamps and issues
60 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden
100 Pfennig = 1 Mark (1874)
Coat of Arms; Embossed
Used on Bavarian Stamps 1867-1911
All the Bavarian "Coat of arms" issues have this embossed design.

Embossed Shield Close-up

Coat of Arms Kingdom of Bavaria 1835-1918
I was unable to find an exact reproduction of the stamp design, but here is one rendition of the 1835-1918 Kingdom of Bavaria "Coat of Arms".

1867 Scott 15 1kr yellow green "Coat of arms"
Embossed; Imperforate; With Silk Thread
The first embossed issue of 1867-68 consisted of eight denominations. CV is $2+-$10+ for four stamps. The highest CV is for the 18kr red @ $140.

This is the only issue that is imperforated. There is a vertical silk red thread embedded in the paper on the reverse side, as we will see soon.

1867 Scott 15 6kr ultramarine "Coat of arms"
Embossed; Imperforate; With Silk Thread
With Type 1 "Mill Wheel" cancel
"Mill Wheel" cancels can be found on these stamps (both Type 1 & Type 2). For much more on the "Mill Wheels", see my preceding blog post.

According to Michel, the volume distributed for each denomination for this issue is...
1kr yellow green -20,800,000 CV $12 (These are 2017 Scott catalogue values.)
3kr rose -70,600,000 CV $2+
6kr ultramarine -3,400,000 CV $19
6kr bister -2,400,000 CV $50
7kr ultramarine -2,900,000 CV $16
9kr bister -1,300,000 CV $35
12kr lilac -663,000 CV $95
18kr red -261,000 CV $140

USA 1847 Scott 1 5c brown "Franklin" - 3,700,000 CV $375

1867-68 "Coat of Arms" Issue; Imperforate
Has Vertical Red Silk Thread Embedded
The back of the imperforate stamp should have a fairly obvious vertical red silk thread embedded. This is a good identification feature to verify that one has a legitimate 1867-68 imperforated issue.

12kr lilac "Coat of Arms"
Very stiff and thick cardboard
Probable Postcard Cut Square?
I have several stamps, a 6kr bister, and a 12kr lilac that are on very thick "postcard" like paper with printing on the reverse. Scott says nothing about them. I assume they are postcard cutouts? Readers?

1870 Scott 26 7kr ultramarine, Perf 11 1/2
Without Silk Thread
Wmk 92 "Longer Diamond"
Between July, 1870- January, 1873, an eight stamp perforated (11 1/2) issue with a "Longer  Diamond" (Wmk 92)  watermark was released. In Scott, the Wmk 92 stamps are given major numbers. CV is $1+-$6+ for five stamps. The highest CV is for the 12kr lilac @ $1,200 unused!

Note that these stamps do not have a silk thread embedded, and, in fact, none of the remaining "Coat of Arms" issues do.

This issue contrasts with the same time period issue of eight stamps that have a "Shorter Diamond" (Wmk 93), as we will see next.

1870 Scott 23a 1k green, Perf 11 1/2
Without Silk Thread
Wmk 93 "Shorter Diamond"
Along with Wmk 92, there was also Wmk 93 paper used between July, 1870 - January, 1873. Scott considers that the eight stamps with Wmk 93 as minor numbers, but actually they are "major" ("X" subset vs "Y" subset in Michel) in reality.

The Wmk 93 stamps command a higher to a much higher CV price in the catalogues.  But, the Wmk 93 1kr green and the 3kr rose stamps are only CV $2+-$9+, so the collector should check those denominations especially, as the collector could have the more elusive wmk 93 stamp.

Lets look at the 92 & 93 watermarks...

Left: Wmk 92 "Longer, Diamond" 17 mm wide
Right: Wmk 93 "Shorter Diamond" 14-15 mm wide
The "Longer Diamond" ( rhombus) watermark (Wmk 92) is 17mm wide. In contrast, the "Shorter  Diamond" (Wmk 93) is 14-15mm wide. I will say right now that it can be a bit confusing - I certainly have been fooled. Careful examination of these two watermarks may be necessary. Generally, Wmk 92 stamps are much less CV wise then Wmk 93 stamps. Also, in Scott, Wmk 93 stamps are minor numbers.

1875 Scott 32 1m violet; Perf 11 1/2
Wmk 92
Between 1867-1973, the only stamps issued were denominated in Kreuzers. However, in 1874, a 1 Mark violet imperforate stamp was released.  Then in 1875, a 1 Mark violet perforated (11 1/2) stamp was likewise released. Both of these stamps are on Wmk 92 paper.

Actually, the "Marks"  are "Goldmarks" (German Mark), which were valued @ 35 Kreuzer = German Imperial Goldmark.

1875 Scott 34 3kr rose; Perf 11 1/2
Wmk 94
In 1875, a five stamp issue was released of the "Coat of Arms" design on watermark 94 "Horizontal Wavy Lines Wide Apart" paper. This would prove to be the last of the "Kreuzer' denomination stamps.

CV is <$1-$30 for the five stamps. Since this issue was short lived, unused is much less CV wise than used. Fake cancellations exist.

Left: Wmk 94 "Horizontal Wavy Lines Wide Apart"
Right: Wmk 95v "Vertical Wavy Lines Close Together"

Here is a Wmk 94 "Horizontal Wavy Lines Wide Apart" example. Also shown is a Wmk 95v "Vertical Wavy Lines Close Together" that we will encounter on later "Coat of Arms"issues..These watermarks are usually fairly easy to determine.

1876 Scott 44 50pf scarlet; Perf 11 1/2
Wmk 94
The 1976-78 issue was the first to be denominated in Pfennig (100 Pfennig = 1 Mark).

The ten stamp issue is on Wmk 94 "Horizontal Wavy Lines Wide Apart" paper. 

CV is $1+-$10+ for seven stamps.

1881 Scott 52 25pf yellow brown; Perf 11 1/2
Wmk 95v
Perforated 11 1/2, a ten stamp (ten major descriptive Scott numbers) issue using Wmk 95v "Vertical Wavy Lines Close Together" paper was released between 1881-1901. If one includes minor number changes in paper (toned, white, translucent), the issue continued to 1911.

CV is <$1-$20+ for all ten major numbers. Some of the minor numbers (change to white paper or translucent paper) are rather CV expensive ($80-$175). See Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue for the details, if interested.

1900 Scott 67 30pf olive green; Perf 14 1/2
Wmk 95h
Another watermark was introduced for the Scott major number fourteen stamp 1888-1900 issue. This is the Wmk 95h "Horizontal Wavy Lines Close Together". 

This issue has perforations 14 1/2.

CV is <$1-$9+ for the fourteen stamps listed as "major numbers". There are also a number of denominations listed with minor number color shades.

There are paper differences: "white paper" vs "toned paper" for a number of denominations. More about that soon.

Wmk 95h: "Horizontal Wavy Lines Close Together"
Here is a good look at Wmk 95h. The watermark is rather easy to determine.

1900 Scott 68 40pf yellow; Perf 14 1/2
Wmk 95h
On White Paper
Remember, I said there also were "White paper" vs "Toned paper" differences for the 1888-1900 issue?

Scott has major descriptive numbers for ten denominations listed under "white paper". It then lists, under "toned paper" ( between 1888-1899), four major numbers and eight minor numbers. 

1888 Scott 69 50pf deep brown; Perf 14 1/2
Wmk 95h
On Toned Paper
As one may suspect, the white paper vs toned paper 1888-1900 "Coat of Arms" issue is rather complex in the Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue (no doubt influenced by the obsessive Michel listings).

Finally- not illustrated here specifically, but I will mention for completeness sake: There were five "Coat of Arms" stamps issued in 1911 (5pf on Wmk 95v paper- Perf 14 1/2; Four mark values on Wmk 95h paper-Perf 11 1/2). These can be differentiated from the preceding issued denomination/ same color stamps by a change in watermark.

1920 Scott 237 20pf on 3pf brown
Surcharged in Dark Blue
In 1920, a 20pf on 2pf brown stamp was issued. The surcharge is in dark blue. CV is <$1.

1876 Postage Due Scott J4 3pf gray
Type of 1876 Regular Issue; Wmk 94
Overprinted in Red
"Vom Empfanger zahlbar"
Postage Due stamps, based on the"pfennig" issue types of 1876, were issued in 1876 (Wmk 94), 1883 (Wmk 95v), 1895-1903 (Wmk 95h), and 1888 (Wmk 95h, Rose-toned paper).

The overprint said "To be paid by recipient".

1908 Official Scott O3 10pf carmine
Regular Issue of 1888-1900
Overprinted Red or Green
Official stamps were issued in 1908. The five overprinted stamps had an "E" for "Eisenbahn", for use of railway officials. CV is <$1-$4+.

Deep Blue
Part of 1888-1900 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has four pages for the "Coat of arms" Bavarian issues of 1867-1911.

There are some missing spaces that the collector might want to add by perhaps including a quadrilled page or two.

The 1870-72 eight stamp major number Wmk 92 issue has spaces. The 1870-72 eight stamp minor number Wmk 93 spaces are not provided.

For the 1888-1900 Perf 14 1/2 Wmk 95h issue, all the major numbers are given a space. This includes ten stamps on white paper and four stamps on toned paper. But the eight other stamps on toned paper that have minor numbers are not given a space.

1900 Scott 54 1m rose lilac; Perf 11 1/2
Wmk 95v
Out of the Blue
I think the presentation here makes the "Coat of Arms" issues appear more complicated than they are when confronted by these stamps.

As said, if one checks perforations (Imperf, Perf 11 1/2, Perf 14 1/2), denominations (Kreuzer vs Pfennig), watermarks (Wmk 92, Wmk 93, Wmk 94, Wmk 95v. Wmk 95h), and paper (white, toned, translucent), it is not too difficult, at least at the level of the Scott catalogue. !!!

Note: Bavarian Coat of Arms pic appears to be in the public domain.

Bavaria - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Finland - Bud's Big Blue

Finland "Protest" Stamps
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
The Tsar’s 1900 russification plan abolished the use of Finland’s 19th century stamps, but protests flourished. Finland’s senate voiced disapproval, but that didn’t change matters. A “mourning” stamp (see above) was privately created for placing on mail along with the Russian-mandated stamps. It came in two varieties; the “1” on the back has either a concave or a straight head serif (also above). Profits from sales surged and went to support education. A forgery, slightly different from the original, appeared. Then, Imperial Russia banned the use of such propaganda. If one of these pops up in your feeder album, you’ll notice it.

Scans often show problems that went undetected beforehand. Two Russian interlopers have displaced two Finnish stamps (see lines for 1891-92 below). These, too, have been banned and replaced, even though they resemble the Russian-approved Finnish stamps, because they lack the circled dot motif. 

Census: 160 in BB spaces, 13 tip-ins, 19 on supplement page.

Discovery of the Russian interlopers led me to overhaul the Finland pages since the scans were made. Changes include: shifting all 20th century definitive issues for which BB does not provide space to the supplement pages; placing Scott #110 (as Jim suggests) in the blank space on page two, end of line five, instead of what’s shown on the scan; and adding Finland’s only classical era airmail stamp, a 1930 zeppelin overprint on Scott #178. Changes and additions resulted in 68 being currently on supplement pages.

Jim's Observations
The Finnish "Imperial Arms of Russia" era is a Finnish-Russian identification minefield for collectors. I found even carefully put together collections of Finland with Russian interlopers on the album page, so clearly these designs can be an identification problem for the general classic WW collector.

Scott states: Finnish stamps have "dot in circle" devices or are inscribed "Markka", "Markkaa", "Pen", or "Pennia". A good thing to heed. !!

Finland Blog Post 1856-1917

Finland Blog Post 1917-1940 & Checklist

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Comments appreciated!