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...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Azerbaijan

National Republic 1919 Scott 1 10k & Scott 2 20k "Standard Bearer"
The thick grayish paper is a Soviet re-issue
Quick History
Located close to the very southern part of Russia in Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan was surrounded by Georgia, Dagestan, Persia, and  Armenia, with the Caspian Sea on the eastern border.The capital is Baku, and the population was 2 million in 1923.

After the collapse of the Russian Empire during WW1, Azerbaijan declared Independence in May, 1918, as the Democratic (National) Republic. But Lenin needed Baku's oil fields, and the Bolshevik 11th Red Army put an end to Azerbaijan's short independence.  The Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic was formed in 1922, lasting  through 1924, when Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia combined forming the Transcaucasian SSR. The National Republic issued stamps in 1919; then the Azerbaijan SSR issued stamps from 1922-1924.
Independence from the Soviet Union was declared in 1991.

Trivia: Nine out of the eleven Climate Zones exit in Azerbaijan.

1919 National Republic Scott 8 10r olive green, bister & black "Baku"
Thin white paper indicates first issue
The Soviet re-issue inverts the ornament column on the left on the 5r & 10r
Big Blue Picture
On two lines of one page, Big Blue (1969) has 10 illustrative/descriptive stamp spaces.
The 2011 Scott Classic specialized catalogue has 98 major stamp descriptions. (10 for the National Republic, the rest for the Soviet era through 1924).

Therefore, Big Blue (1969) has 10% coverage. Actually the coverage is misleading, as Big Blue has 100% coverage of the National Republic, while 0% coverage of the Soviet era.

Twenty-four Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic 1922-24 stamps that are inexpensive include Scott 15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,39($2+), 57,58,59($1+), 60,61,62($1+), 63($1+), B1,B2($1+); (<$1 except noted)

Big Blue Checklist
1919
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,(<$1)
9,10 ($1+)
Note: Two issues; the National Republic issue is on thin white paper, while the Soviet re-printing is on thick grayish paper. In my experience, the thick grayish Soviet re-issue is far more common in collections.There was also a design change on the 5r & 10r stamps for the Soviet issue. Illustrated above.
The early white issues are valued by Scott @ 5X usual catalogue.

1918-20 Azerbaijan National Republic
Kinds of Blue
The 1997 edition and the 1969 edition are identical.
Compared to the 1969 edition, the 1947 edition is the same.

Compared to the 1969 and 1947 editions, the 1941 edition has these differences.
Deleted
1919
7,8(<$1)
9,10($1+)

Big Blue Bottom Line
The history is what is really fascinating.
One might want to add a supplemental page for the Soviet era issues.

Note: Historical map in public domain courtesy of Azerbaijan24.com

Note: Thanks to Keijo and his wonderful blog http://www.stampcollectingblog.com for bringing to my attention the difference in paper and design types for the 1919 National Republic issue.

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Most expensive stamps in Big Blue

Big Blue's "Mascot" stamp: Austria Offices in Turkey
1908 1pi Deep Blue on Blue 

...so far!   :-)

I'm just about through the A's in Big Blue, and it might be of some interest to rank the most expensive stamps. Obviously, the ranking will change significantly as I get further along in the countries. Most of the stamps listed now will drop out, having been replaced by more expensive brethren.

Beginning at $35......

#8)  $35 Argentina 1939 Scott 472  1.50p dark brown  "record and winged letter"
Somehow issuing stamps for the mailing of phonograph records turned out not to be very popular. ;-)  So Argentina has a comparatively "rare" stamp instead.

#7) $35 Australia 1913 Scott 6 4p orange "Kangaroo"
#5) $44 Australia 1913 Scott 7 5p orange brown "Kangaroo"
The classic first issues of Australia, I love 'em!

#6) $37 X 5= $185 Albania 1940 Postage Dues Scott J40- J44 (Issued under Italian Dominion)
$37 Scott J40 4q red orange
$37 Scott J41 10q bright violet
$37 Scott J42 20q brown
$37 Scott J43 30q dark blue
$37 Scott J44 50q carmine rose
A mistake for inclusion in my view. My note from the Albanian blog: The 1940 Italian occupation postage dues are  expensive - $37+- why?, And why are they included?  Recall, there are 12 Postage dues that are NOT in Big Blue that are $1-$4!  Checking their cost in the 1947 Scott standard catalog, they would have prices in today's dollars of about $5-$25. So they WERE fairly expensive even then; and now they have increased in price even more.  



#4)  $50 Alaouites 1929-30 Air Post Scott C21 Syrian stamp 15p on 25p (Bk & R) surcharged and overprinted, with additional overprint of plane.
Actually an attractive collectible stamp with the airplane overprint. Not too surprised, as all nine of the Alaouites Air Post stamps in Big Blue are not cheap.


#3) $52 Austria: Lombardy-Venetia 1864-65 Scott 21 3s green
A classic issue, the other choice for the space is the 1863 Scott 16 3s green for $125.


#2) $65 Andorra (Spanish administration) 1933 Scott 19a 30c olive brown
The rest of the 6 stamps in the series are $1-$6, so this appears to be another mistake by Big Blue. The alternative,1929 Scott 19 is $160; and should perhaps actually have preference for inclusion as this is a 1929 series.


My note about this in the Andorra blog: 
Now the big blunder- Why did Scott include a $65, or even a better fit, a $160 stamp for an album that originally was meant for "Juniors"? Yes the Scott 19 30c olive brown IS included in the 1941 Junior album I have.

Let's take a look at the valuation for the 30c olive brown in my 1947 Scott standard catalog: 75 cents.
Well perhaps Scott may be forgiven a little, as that would be a valuation of about $25 today. Still expensive, but clearly there has been an escalation in the price.

So what are the choices for the Big Blue collector?
1) Bite the bullet and put Scott 19 into the album where it belongs ($160)-since this actually fits the "intention" best.
1a) Put the 19a issue in-only $65, but a 1933 issue.
2) Substitute another stamp from the 1929 series into the space: suggest Scott 21 ($4.50)
3) Substitute the 1936 series same denomination Scott 30c carmine into the space. ($3.25)
4) Leave blank and point out the folly to fellow collectors. ;-)



#1) $105 Austria 1854 Scott 1d  1kr yellow "Coat of Arms" Imperf
The other choice is 1850 Scott 1 for $115. A nice classic; and I'm glad that my #1 stamp so far is a Scott 1!



A few comments and ground rules...

A) I'm not going to include the United States, as we all know that Big Blue was more comprehensive with the "home" country, and there are a lot of costly 19th century stamps listed. Certainly, not least would be the  Scott 2, the 10c black George Washington valued at $1200. Also some (many?) collectors keep their United States collection in other albums. Perhaps I will put together a "super list" sometime where the expensive USA stamps can duke it out with the expensive worldwide stamps.

B) I'm also not going to include the Penny Black, Scott 1 1p valued at $325. Any album that claims stamp listings from "1840-1940" will necessarily  include the Penny Black, but not for reasons of appropriateness.

C) The stamp will need to be actually the least expensive choice that works for the space provided by Big Blue. Yes there are quite expensive stamps that can be put in Big Blue, but if a cheaper stamp definitely works within the "intentions" of the space, the more expensive stamp doesn't count.

D) "Expensive' does not necessarily mean "difficult to acquire"- but sometimes it does. ;-) The Syria 106 50c overprint on 10c green is valued at a trivial 85 cents. But the Syria Scott 106c 25c overprint on 10c green, an "error" stamp, is also inexplicably listed in Big Blue. The cost now? $240! But beyond the cost, the stamp has even more of a reputation as being quite difficult to find. Bob Skinner in his "Filling Spaces" blog, discusses how he managed to obtain this rarity.

 The point is "expensive" stamps may be easy to acquire if one has the cash.  Other stamps may be comparatively inexpensive, but difficult to acquire. And finally one may be faced with both!

E) Finally, the list I have put together, modest though it is with only the A's included, is not quite what  I expected. Sure there are some  classic "rarities" , but also inclusions by Big Blue that appear to be mistakes .

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value. ( The only exception are these "Most expensive" lists, which constitute a very small amount of the catalogue's listings.)

<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.

Austria: Lombardy-Venetia

1858-62 5 soldi red "Emperor Franz Josef"
For Lombardy-Venetia, 100 Soldi =1 Florin, while Kreuzer was used in Austria
Type II: "Loops complete. Wreath projects further at top of head"
Quick History
The Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia was established after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, and lasted until 1866. The Kingdom is located in (presently) north Italy with Milan (Lombardy) and Venice (Venetia) the most prominent cities. Lombardy-Venetia were part of the Austrian Monarchy ruled by the Habsburgs, along with Austria and Hungary. Lombardy-Venetia stamps were issued from 1850-1865. The stamps were similar in design, except for denomination, to early Austrian stamps.
Lombardy was annexed to Sardinia in 1859, and Venetia became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.

Trivia: Maximillian, younger brother of Emperor Franz Josef, served as viceroy in Milan between 1857-59. He later became Emperor of Mexico.

Big Blue Picture
On one line of one page, Big Blue (1969) has 7 stamp spaces.
The 2011 Scott Specialized Classic catalogue has 24 major number stamp descriptions for Lombardy-Ventetia between 1850-1865.
Big Blue provides 29% coverage.

Nice classic coverage by Big Blue. These stamps are popular among stamp collectors in Milan and northern Italy, so no true bargains.

An additional stamp one may consider is Scott 23 10s blue ($22+).

Big Blue Checklist
1850 Imperf  Coat of Arms
Scott 4 15c red type lll ($5+) or 4g 15c pale red ($5+) or 4s 15c salmon ($5+)
Scott 5 30c brown ($20+) or 5b 30c brown ($20+)
Note: Major numbers are 1850 issues with hand made paper; Minor numbers are 1854-55 issues with machine made paper.

1858-59
Scott 10 5s red type ll ($10+)
Scott 11 10s brown type ll ($20+)

1861
Scott 13 5s red ($5+)

1863
Scott 21 3s green ($52+) or Scott 16  3s green ($125)
Scott 22 5s rose ($5+) or Scott 17 5s rose  ($30+)
Note: Scott 16 and 17 are 1863 issue, while Scott 21 and 22 are 1864-65 issues with wmk 91.

1859: The Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia is in blue
Others: Sardinia-orange; Papal States-red; Two Sicilies-yellow;
Duchy of Tuscany, Parma and Piacenza, Modena and Reggio-green
Kinds of Blue
The 1997 edition and the 1969 edition are identical.
Compared to the 1969 edition, the 1947 and 1941 editions are the same.

Big Blue Bottom Line

Evaluating a nice short sweet classic group is welcome after 21 pages of Austria. :-)

I would like to discuss a little bit more my philosophy of including (or not including) subsequent issues as "choices" for Big Blue's stamp spaces. Here for Lombardy-Venetia is an easy decision of including Scott 21 and 22 ( The 1864-65 issues) as a choice versus the Scott 16 and 17 ( 1863 issues).

This is what Big Blue gives us for a clue:

1863
Illustration of 3s stamp
Description of "5s  rose" stamp.

One could argue that the 1863 issue has first rights. It probably does if everything-especially cost-was equal.

But there is a 1864-65 issue that has the same denominations, same design, and same color. The issue only differs significantly, besides year of issue, in that it has a watermark-"Briefmarken" in double-lined capitals across the middle of the sheet. And most importantly, these stamps are much less expensive ( $52<$125, $9< $37+). The only counter argument one could make is, if Big Blue wanted us to consider the later issues, why didn't it not label the years 1863-65? I agree that sometimes that argument is persuasive.

But not in this case.
1)Year of subsequent issue close to year of original issue...CHECK
2)No obvious differences without using a watermark tray or measuring  perfs....CHECK
3)No "clues", especially color description clues in Big Blue, that would give the first issue "prime" rights..CHECK
4) Big Blue does not offer another space for the subsequent issue...CHECK.
5) The subsequent issue does not necessarily have to offer cheaper costs; but if it does, clearly an incentive to offer it as a choice...EMPHATIC CHECK

Finally, one has to use a measure of "common sense" of what feels right in these judgement calls that Big Blue forces us not uncommonly to make. So the 1864-65 issue "passes" all the evaluation criteria, as well as the common sense judgement. In it goes.

On the other hand, I came to a different conclusion with the Australia postage dues issue.

This is what Big Blue gave us:

Postage Due Stamps
1909
1/2 p illustration
1p,2p,3p,4p, "green and carmine" descriptions
blank space

Possible issues ( all with same design) to consider:
1909-23 wmk 23 perf 12X12 1/2 issues "green and carmine" Scott J39-J44
1922-30 wmk 10 perf 14, 11 "green and carmine" Scott J50,J51, J53-55
1931-36 wmk 228 perf 11 "yellow green and rose" Scott J57-62

Remember, Big Blue provides no other postage due space for these issues, so one has to choose.

The 1931-36 issues are ruled out right away because of the stated color preference in Big Blue.

So one could argue again that the 1909-23 issue has first rights, because of the "1909" date listed.
Further, the issue was used for 15 years, a very long time. And if Big Blue truly wanted us to consider the very much later issued 1922-30 stamps, why wasn't it listed thus?

Postage due stamps
1909-30

I find the argument fairly persuasive. And I listed the 1909-23 issue as the one marked (intended) for the spaces.

But perhaps Big Blue merely wanted us to consider postage dues of the "1909 type", rather than the 1909-23 issues exclusively? Or more likely, this was just a lazy and unclear presentation on Big Blue's part, and we ourselves should "understand" that the 1922-30 year stamps are O.K. for the spaces?

Did I mention the 1922-30 year postage dues are significantly less expensive ($25+ rather than $58)?  :-) Well I didn't until now, because in my view, the "right" issues should go in the space. Yes, cost is definitely a consideration, but not the only one. ( I did suggest in this case if one wants to put in the cheaper issues and have a clear conscience , just write in "1909-1930".)

So, to sum up: two judgement calls  regarding including a subsequent issue as a choice for spaces in Big Blue,.... and two opposite conclusions!

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Austria


1922 B52 7 1/2k black "Beethoven"
This semi-postal was sold at 10X face value for musicians in need
Quick History
Austria, along with Hungary and Lombardy-Venetia, was an absolute monarchy ruled by Emperor Franz Josef until 1867, when the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was established with Austria and Hungary as equals.
In 1918, after WW1, the countries separated, and the nation " Deutschosterreich," soon again became known as "Austria".
In 1938, Austria became part of the German Reich. The population was 7 million in 1939, and the capital today continues to be Vienna.

Trivia; Austria used "varnish bars"on many of its issues of 1900-04. The idea was to prevent cleaning of postmarks and reusing of stamps.

1860-61 Scott 16 15r blue "Franz Josef"
Big Blue Picture
On 21! pages, Big Blue  has 748 stamp spaces. The spaces include Regular 302, Semi-postal 101, Air post 32, Postage due 154,Special delivery 8, Newspaper 48, Newspaper tax 6, Italian occupation 38, Office Crete 14, and Office Turkish Empire 45.  Big Blue ('69 & '97) has no space for  military post stamps.

Note: The 1947,1941,1969, and 1997 editions DO provide space for the semi-postals!  In addition the Carinthia Plebicite semi-postals ( 19 stamps, 4 new to BB) have been moved to the Austria semi-postal section in the '69 & '97.

The 2011 Scott Classic catalogue, in the same catagories as offered by Big Blue (1969), has 828 major variety stamp descriptions.

Big Blue's coverage is 90%. !

Big Blue has really come through with the coverage of Austria! The postage dues, for instance, are mostly complete. It helps of course that Austria's stamps for the most part are cheap, often cataloging at the minimum 20 cents. Also, many issues are less expensive mint. Big Blue gets an A-. Missing in the '69 & '97 editions are the Military post stamps. Also Big Blue in some cases has lopped off the end of a series of quite inexpensive stamps because, I can only guess, the page was filled.

Additional stamps

1850-59
None except possible 2kr black Scott 2 or 2c ($70+)

(1858-59)
None except possible 2kr yellow Scott 6 ($50+)

1860-61
3kr green Scott 13 ($30+)

1863
3kr green Scott 23 ($10+)

1867
25kr lilac Scott 32 ($20+)

1900-04
4k gray green Scott 85 ($10+)

1910 Birthday Jubilee issue Franz Josef
There are 7 stamps ( 131,132,133,134,136,137,138) at <$1 to $2+. These should have made it into Big Blue.

1917
164 2k light blue (<$1)
165 3k carmine rose (<$1)
166 4k yellow green ($1+)
Why these-different colors too!-didn't make it into Big Blue-no idea!

1920 Imperf
227,228,229,230,231,222,233,234,235 (<$1)
The perfs are in Big Blue.

1922-24
Scott 287 4000k dark blue, bi ($2+)

The German Reich stamps that are used and postmarked clearly in Austria after 1938 are included in the catalogue, but Big Blue rightfully did not include them.

Air Post

1922-24
C5 ($5+)
C7  900k brown orange -<$1! Why not included?

1925-30
C22,C27,C28,C31 ($1+-$5+)

1935
C40,C41,C42,C43,C44($5+), C45($2+): (<$1)
Note: These Air posts should have been included, but were lopped off at the bottom of the Air Post page.

Postage due

1922-24
J126 1500k plum-(<$1)!
Note; certainly not an issue of cost when J127 @ $2+ is included in Big Blue. Victim of page layout?

1925-34
J156 ($4)

1935
J165,J166,J167,J168,J169,J170,J171,J172($1),J173($3),J174 (<$1)
Another case where the Postage Due page was filled, and these 10 stamps in the series were cut out.

Issued under Italian Occupation

1918
N5 ($3+)

Postage dues
NJ12 ($5+)

Offices of the Turkish Empire
7,7J,10,13,18,26,27,34a,39,40,41,42,52,53,54 (<$1-$2+)
Fifteen stamps are available.


Austro-Hungarian "Fieldpost" Military stamps
Issues for the WW1 occupied territories.

Big Blue included the Military stamps in the 1941 and 1947 edition, but in the 1969 edition that I have, the coverage was dropped. Unfortunately, the 1997 edition did not restore the coverage..

Here is a list of 44 Military stamps for usually much less than $4.

1915 overprinted "Feldpost" - Issues of Bosnia 1912-14 Emperor Franz Josef
M1,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6,M7,M8,M9,M10,M11,M12,M13,M14,M15,M16,M17,M18

1917-18 Emperor Karl 1
M49,M50,M51,M52,M53,M54,M55,M56,M57,M58,M59,M60,M61,M62,M63,M64,M65,M66

1918 Emperor Karl 1
M72,M73,M74,M75,M82

Military semi-postal
MB1,MB2,MB3

Note: As mentioned the 1947 and 1941 editions DO provide space for 33 stamps!

1867-80 5kr rose & 10kr blue "Franz Josef"
The Postal administrations of Hungary and Austria used the same stamps between 1867-71

Big Blue Checklist

Issues of the Austrian Monarchy (including Hungary)

1850-59 Coat of Arms (Imperf)
1d or 1 ($105-$115)
3 or 3a ($2+)
4 or 4b ($5+)
5e or 5 ( $2+-$5+)
Note: major numbers are 1850 issue with hand made paper, minor numbers are 1854 issue with machine made paper.
Note: the 1Kr yellow Scott 1 or 1d may be the most expensive so far in Big Blue.

(1858-59) Emperor Franz Josef
9,10,11 ($1+-$2+)

1860-61 Franz Josef
12 ($30+)
14,15,16 (<$1-$2+)

1863 Coat of Arms
22 or 17 ($10+-$100+)
24 or 19 (<$1-$10+)
25 or 20 ($2+-$10+)
26 or 21 ($1+-$10+)
Note: Scott 24,25,26, are 1863-64 issues, while Scott 22 is a 1864 issue. I included them as choices: For rationale see Big Blue Bottom Line.

Issues of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy
1867
34 or 27, 35 or 28, 29 or 36, 37 or`30, (<$1-$2+)
31 or 38, ($5+)
39 ($1+)

1883
41,42,43,44 (<$1)
45 ($2+)

1890
51,52,53,54,55,56,57 (<$1)
58,59 ($2+-$1+)
Blank space: suggest 64 ($2+) Note: Not perfect size fit for space, but best choice.

1890
60,61 (<$1-$5+)
62 ($2+)

1891
66,67,68,69(<$1)

1896
63,65 ($2+-$10+)

Note: almost all post 1900 issues that are (<$1), are actually closer to the catalogue minimum of 20 cents.

1900-02
70 or 70a, 71a or 71, 72 or 72a, 73 or 73a, 74 or 74a (<$1)

1900-1904
75 or 75a, 76 or 76a, 77a or 77, (<$1)
78a or 78 ($1+-$2+)
79 (<$1)
80a or 80 ($1+-$2+)
81 or 81a
82 or 82a
Note: 1900-02 and 1900-1904 issues are without varnish bars (major number), and with varnish bars (minor number).

1900-04
83,84 (<$1)

1904
86 or 86a or 86b,87 or a($1+) or b, 88 or a or b, 89 or a or b, 91 or a or b,  (<$1 except noted)

1904
97 or 97a or 97b, 98 or a or b, 99 or a or b, (<$1-$2+)
100 or 100a or 100b ($2+-$5+)
101 or 101a or 101b (<$1+-$5+)
102 or 102a or 102b, 103 or a or b, ($1+-$10+)
104 or 104a or 104b (<$1+-$2+)

1904
105 or 105a ($2+)
Note: 1904 issues: major numbers are without varnish, Minor number "a" is perf 13X13 1/2 with varnish, minor number 'b" is perf 13X12 1/2 with varnish.

1906-07
90,92,93,94,95,96 (<$1)

1908-13
110 or110a,111 2h blue violet or 111a 2h violet, 112 or a, 113 or b, 114 6h orange brown or  114a 6h buff, 115 or b, 116($1+) or a ($1+), 117 or a, 118 25h ultra or 118a 25h deep blue,119 or a, 120 or a, (<$1 except noted)
Note: minor numbers on chalky paper.
Note: If different colors between choices, so noted.

1908-13 continued
121, 122 or 122c, 123 or a, 124 or c, (<$1-$2+)
125 or 125a, 126 or 126a ($1+-$10+)
Note: minor numbers on grayish paper.

1916
145,146,147,148,149,150,151,152,153,154,155,156, 157,158,159,160 (<$1)
161 ($1+)
Blank space:suggest 162 ($1+)

1919-21
202,205,207,210, 213,216,218,219,220,221,222,223,224,225,226,248 (<$1)

1920-21
238,239,241,242,243,244,245,246,247 (<$1)

1922
250,253,256,258,251,252,254,255,257 (<$1)

1917 Emperor Karl
168,169,170,171 (<$1)

1918-19 overprinted "Deutschosterreich"
181, 182,183,184,185,186,187,188,189,190,191,192,193,194,195,196,197 (<$1)
Blank space: suggest 198 ($1+)

1919
200,201,203,204,206,208,209,211,212,214,215,217 (<$1)

1922-24
288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293,294,295,296, (<$1)
297,298 ($1+-$5+)

259,260,261,262,263,264,265,266,267,268,269,270,271,272,273,274,275,276,277,278,279 (<$1)
280 ($1+)
281,282,283 (<$1)
284 ($2+)
285,286 ($1+-$2+)

1925-27
303,304,305,306,307,308,309,310,311,313,314,315,316,317,318,319,320,321,322,323 (<$1)
324 ($2+)

1929
326,328,329,330 (<$1)
332 ($2+)
334,335,337,338, (<$1)
339 ($10+)

1930
327,331,333,336 (<$1)

1932
340,341,342($1+),343,344,345,346,347,348($1+),349,350,351,352($3),353 (<$1 except noted)

1934-35
354,355,356,357,358 or 372, 359,360,361,362,363,364,365,366,367,368,369,370 (<$1)
Scott 373 2s emerald  or Scott 371 2s dull green ($2+-$40+)

1934-35 Dollfuss mourning issue
374,375 (<$1-$1+)

1936
377 (<$1)

1935
376(<$1)

1937
381(<$1)

1937
382,383,384 (<$1+-$2)

1937
385,386,387 (<$1+-$3+)

1937
388,389(<$1)


Semi-Postal stamps
Issues of the Monarch

1914
B1,B2 (<$1)

1918 (Military Semi-Postals)
MB1,MB2,MB3 (<$1)

1915
B3,B4,B5,B6 (<$1)
B7($1+)

Issues of the Republic
1920 (Carinthia Plebiscite Fund)  Stamp types of Austria 1919-20 overprinted.
B11,B12,B13,B14,B15,B16($1+),B17,B18,B19($1+),B20,B21,B22,B23,B24,B25,B26,B27,B28,B29, (<$1 except noted)
Note: B11-B25 were listed under the "country" Carinthia in the '41 and '47 editions. Four of these ( B26,B27,B28,B29) are new to BB in the '69 and '97 edition. The "country" Carinthia was removed in the '69 and '97 editions.

1921  For helping flood victims
B30,B31,B32,B33,B34,B35,B36(<$1)
B37($1+)
B38,B39,B40,B41,B42,B43,B44,B45,B46 (<$1)
B47,B48,B49(<$1)

1922 Musicians
B50($5+)
B51($1+)
B52,B53($1+-$2+)
B54($5+)
B55($2+)
B56($5+)

1923
B57,B58,B59,B60,B61,B62,B63,B64,B65 ($2+)

1926 Nibelungen issue
B71,B72,B73,B74,B75(<$1)
B76($2+)

1928 Tenth anniversary of the Austrian Republic
B77,B78,B79,B80 ($5+)

1930 President Wilhelm Miklos  (Anti-tuberculosis  campaign)
B81,B82,B83,B84,B85,B86,($5+)

1936 Winterhelp
B142,B143,B144 (<$1)

1936 Inventors
B146, B147,B148,B149,B150,B151($2+)

1937 Winterhelp
B152,B153,B154(<$1)
B155($2+)

1937 Physicians
B156,B157,B158,B159,B160,B161,B162,($2+)


Air Post

1918
C1,C2,($1+-$10+)
C3($2+)

1922-24
C4,,C6,C8,C9(<$1)
C10,C11 ($2+-$5+)

1925-30
C12,C13,C14,C15,C16,C17, (<$1)
C18 ($10+)
C19,C20,C21($5+-$10+)
C22 ($2+)
C23,C24,C25,C26 (<$1)

1935
C32,C33,C34,C35,C36,C37,C38,C39 (<$1)

Newspaper Stamps

1863
P8 ($10+)

1867
P9B or P9 (<$1-$5+)
P10 ($1+)

1900
P11 or P11a,P12,P13,P14 (<$1-$1+)

1908
P15,P16,P17,P18 (<$1-$1+)

1916
P19,P20,P21,P22,P23(<$1)

1919 overprinted
P24,P25,P26,P27,P28 (<$1)

1920-21
P29,P30,P31,P32,P33,P34,P35,P36,P37,P38,P39,P40,P41,P42,P43,P44,P45,P46,P47(<$1)

1922
P48,P49.P50,P51,P52,P53,P54,P55 (<$1)

Newspaper tax stamps
1850-58
PR3,PR2 ($5+-$10+)

1878
PR5,PR6 ($1+-$5+)

1890
PR7,PR8 (1+-$2+)

Special Delivery stamps
1916
QE1,QE2 (<$1)

1917
QE3,QE4 (<$1)

1919 overprint
QE5,QE6 (<$1)

1921-22
QE7,QE8 (<$1)

Postage Due stamps
1893-95
J1,J2,J3,J4,J5,J6,J7,J8 (<$1-$2+)
J9 ($30+) !

1900
J22,J23,J24,J25,J26,J27,J28,J29,J30,J31,J32 (<$1)
J33 ($2+)

Imperf
J10,J11,J12,J13($5+), J14($2+), J15($2+), J16,J17,J18,J19($5+), J20($2+), J21($2+) : (<$1 except noted)

1908-13
J34 or J34a orJ34b (<$1-$2)
J35 or b or a (<$1-$4)
J36 or b or a (<$1-$2+)
J37 or b or a (<$1-$1+)
J38 or b or a (<$1)
J39 ($2+)
J40b(thin) or J40(chalky) or J40a(translucent) (<$1-$5+)
J41($5+)
J42 or J42a (<$1-$5+)
J43 or a(<$1-$5+)
J44(<$1) or J44a($10+) or J44b ($50+)
Note; major numbers are ordinary thin paper, minor "a" is chalky, aand minor"b" is translucent except noted)

1916
J47,J48,J49,J50,J51,J52,J53,J54,J55(<$1)
J56(41),J57(<$1),J58($2+),J59($1+)

1917
J60,J61,J62,J63(<$1)

1919 overprinted
J64,J65,J66,J67 (<$1)
J69,J70,J71 (<$1)
J72(2+),J73($5+),J74($2+)

1919
J75,J76,J77,J78,J79,J80,J81,J82,J83,J84,J91,J93,J94,J95,J96,J97,
J98,J99,J100,J101 (<$1)

1921
J85,J86,J87,J88,J89,J90,J92(<$1)

J102 surcharged (<$1)

1922
J103,J104,J105,J106,J107(<$1)
J114,J115,J116,J117 (<$1)

1922-24
J108,J109,J110,J111,J112,J113,J118,J119,J120,J121,J122,J123,J124 (<$1)
J125($1+),J127($2+),J128(<$1)

1925-35
J132,J133,J134,J135,J136,J137,J138,J139,J140,J141,J142,J143 (<$1)
J144($1+)
J145,J146,J147,J148,J149,J150,J151,J152 (<$1)
J153($2+),J154($2+),J155($1+)
J159,J160,J161,J162,J163,J164 (<$1)
Note: J165-J174 are quite inexpensive and are not in Big Blue. It appears the series was simply cut off at the bottom of the page.

Occupation stamps  Issued under Italian Occupation.

1918
N1,N2,N3,N4,N6,N7 ($1+-$2+)
N22,N23,N24,N25, ($2+)
N28($10+)
N31,N32 ($1+)
N34,N36,N39 ($5+)
N61,N62,N63 ($2+)

1919
N64,N65,N66,N67,N68,N69,N70,N71,N72,N73 ($1+)
N74($5+)

Special delivery
NE2,NE3 ($5+)

Postage Due
1918
NJ1,NJ2,NJ3 ($1+-$2+)

1919
NJ8,NJ9,NJ10 ($2+)

Office in Crete

1903
1,2 ($1+-$1)

1904-07
8($2+),9(<$1),10($5+)
12($5+),13($1),14(<$1)

1908
15,16,17(<$1)
18($5+)
19,20,($5+)

Office in the Turkish Empire

1867
7c or 1 (<$1-$2+)
7D or 2 ($1+-$50+)
7E or 3 (<$1-$30+)
7F or 4 ($1+-$2+)
5 or 7I ($5+-$10+)
Note: Numbers only are 1867 coarse print issue, while Number-letters are 1876-83 fine print issue.

1883
8,9,11 (<$1-$1+)

1886-88
15 ($3+)
16,17 (<$1-$1+)

1890-92
20,21,22,23 (<$1)

1900
32 or 32a (<$1-$1+)
33 or 33a (<$1-$2+)
34,35($4),36: (<$1 except noted)

1903
39a or 39 ($2+)
40 or 40a (<$1)
41 or 41a (<$1)
42 or 42a (<$1-$2+)
Note: Minor numbers is 1903 issue with varnish bars; Major numbers is 1906 issue without varnish bars.

1907-08
43,45 (<$1)

1913-15
57,58 (<$1)

1908
46,47,48,49,50,51 (<$1)

Postage Due
1902
J1,J2,J3,J4,J5,($1+)
Note;"green" in Big Blue; "gray-green "or  shade "yellow-green" in Specialized classic catalogue.

1908
J6,J7,J8,J9,J10,J11 ($1+-$2+)
Note: major number is "pale green" on chalky paper; Catalogue also lists a minor "a" with "dark green"on chalky paper; a minor "b" with "dark green" and thin ordinary paper; and finally a minor "c" with "dark green" on thick ordinary paper.

Note" The semi-postals found in the Big Blues are listed in the "Kinds of Blue" section below.

Kinds of Blue
The 200k dark violet Scott 292 1922-24 series
Art Nouveau design: "Symbols of Art & Science"
 Printing error on stamp space under stamp in 1997 edition.
Note: One should be aware of a printing error in Austria in the latest 1997 edition . Interesting, because the error only exists in the 1997 edition, and not in my 1969,1947 or 1941 editions. Very curious. It is found in the 1922-24 "Symbols of Art and Science" issue and involves the stamp space for the Scott 292 200k dark violet stamp. This stamp comes in no other color than dark violet. Yet the stamp space description runs thus: 200k "deep green". Of interest is the adjacent stamp space on the left for the Scott 291 100k deep green is correctly described as 100k "deep green". Somehow it appears the color description for the 100k stamp was also put in the 200k stamp space.

Now back to the regular scheduled programming...

The 1997 edition is identical to the 1969 edition.

About Semi-postals: The semi-postals listed in the 1947 and 1941 editions ARE in the 1969  the 1997 editions. ( I had come to a wrong conclusion earlier, as in one of my '69 editions. the previous owner had removed the semi-postal pages.)  In addition, the 15 Carinthia Plebicite semi-postals, formerly found in "Carinthia" have been moved to the Austria semi-postal section in the '69 and '97. (The '69 and'97 has added 4 more Carinthia Plebicite semi-postals for a total of 19 stamps.) "Carinthia" as a country is not in the '69 and '97 editions.

Compared to the 1969 and 1997 editions, both the 1947 and 1941 edition have these differences.

Deleted blank stamp space
1890
(No room for suggested Scott 64)

Added
Military stamps

1915 surcharged "K.U.K."&  "Feldpost"
M1,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6(<$1)

(1915-1917) Emperor Franz Josef
M22,M23,M24,M25,M26,M27(<$1)

1916-17 Types of 1915 (Franz Josef)
M28,M30,M32,M41,M42 (<$1)

1917
M49,M50,M51,M52,M53,M54(<$1)

1918
M69 1h greenish blue ($20+) !
M72,M73,M74,M75(<$1)
M81($1+)

Added
Military Newspaper stamps

1916
Mp1,Mp2,Mp3,Mp4(<$1)


1921 Semi-Postal B39-B45 overprinted issues of 1919-21
Sold at 3X face value for flood victims
Big Blue Bottom Line

Why are many Austrian mint stamps so cheap? Supply/Demand of course, but I would like to know more.

Big Blue's overall presentation was really quite good for Austria, marred a bit by the early amputation of the final issues with the Air Post and Postage Dues.

Addendum; After reviewing the coverage of the military stamps the 1947 & 1941 Editions provide, I'm not as sanguine about the 1969 (& '97)  Big Blue coverage.  The Military stamps are, save for one $25 stamp, quite inexpensive.

Addendum Two:
The 1863 Coat of arms series has Scott 17 (2kr yellow) @ $110!. The Scott 22 (2kr yellow) 1864 stamp with wmk 91 and perf 9 1/2 is only $14. Here is what I listed as choices....


1863 Coat of Arms
22 or 17 ($10+-$100+)
24 or 19 (<$1-$10+)
25 or 20 ($2+-$10+)
26 or 21 ($1+-$10+)
Note: Scott 24,25,26, are 1863-64 issues, while Scott 22 is a 1864 issue. I included them as choices: For rationale see Big Blue Bottom Line.

O.K, what is the rationale? I include below my discussion of the same situation in the Austria: Lombardy-Venetia Blog. Of course, if you don't agree, you are free to put in the $110 stamp into your Big Blue. :-)

"I would like to discuss a little bit more my philosophy of including (or not including) subsequent issues as "choices" for Big Blue's stamp spaces. Here for Lombardy-Venetia is an easy decision of including Scott 21 and 22 ( The 1864-65 issues) as a choice versus the Scott 16 and 17 ( 1863 issues).

This is what Big Blue gives us for a clue:

1863
Illustration of 3s stamp
Description of "5s  rose" stamp.

One could argue that the 1863 issue has first rights. It probably does if everything-especially cost-was equal.

But there is a 1864-65 issue that has the same denominations, same design, and same color. The issue only differs significantly, besides year of issue, in that it has a watermark-"Briefmarken" in double-lined capitals across the middle of the sheet. And most importantly, these stamps are much less expensive ( $50+<$120+, $5+< $30+). The only counter argument one could make is, if Big Blue wanted us to consider the later issues, why didn't it not label the years 1863-65? I agree that sometimes that argument is persuasive.

But not in this case.
1)Year of subsequent issue close to year of original issue...CHECK
2)No obvious differences without using a watermark tray or measuring  perfs....CHECK
3)No "clues", especially color description clues in Big Blue, that would give the first issue "prime" rights..CHECK
4) Big Blue does not offer another space for the subsequent issue...CHECK.
5) The subsequent issue does not necessarily have to offer cheaper costs; but if it does, clearly an incentive to offer it as a choice...EMPHATIC CHECK

Finally, one has to use a measure of "common sense" of what feels right in these judgement calls that Big Blue forces us not uncommonly to make. So the 1864-65 issue "passes" all the evaluation criteria, as well as the common sense judgement. In it goes."


Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Australia

1913 Scott 1 & 2 1/2p green & 1p carmine "Kangaroo and Map"
Quick History
The Commonwealth of Australia is a self governing Dominion of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth was formed in 1901,  and its stamps began in 1913.  Australia is made up of the former British Colonies of New South Wales,Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania. The Capital is Canberra, and the population was about 7 million in 1940.

Trivia; When you want to order Coffee in Australia, ask for a "Long Black"

Scott 25 & 63 1 1/2p emerald ('23) & chocolate('19) "King George V"
 1 1/2p emerald has wmk 9 "Wide Crown & Narrow A"
 1 1/2p chocolate has wmk 11 "Multiple Crown & A"
Big Blue Picture
On four pages, Big Blue (1969) has 90 stamp spaces.
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue lists 335 major stamp varieties (156 regular issues, 6 air post, 70 postage due, and 113 official stamps).

Big Blue provides 26% coverage. But only including regular issues and air post, there is 52% coverage.

Wow! Where to start?

The Kangaroos are an interesting group of stamps to say the least. But the 12 kangaroo stamp spaces provided by Big Blue are problematic.

1) Big Blue's bias for earlier issues of a series is again evident: Big Blue asks for the 9p purple (Scott 9 ($30+)). That eliminates consideration for  the violet 9p stamps ( Scott 41 and 50) that follow. The Scott 50 is cheaper at $20+.

2) Lumping by Big Blue means the onus is on you and me to figure out what we have.
Big Blue provides space for kangaroo stamps  from 1913-25.  But they have lumped three different watermark series together -1913 wmk 8 (Scott 1-15), 1915 wmk 9 (Scott 38-44), and 1915-23 wmk 10 (Scott 45-59). In many cases, I list a Scott number from each of the three series as a choice to be put in the space. So better warm up the watermarking tray. Or you will have to trust the guy you are buying or trading from; as some are cheap, some are expensive.

3)Big Blue does not include the later Kangaroo stamp issues.
Big Blue has no place to put the 1929-30 and 1931-36 Kangaroo issues.  15 stamps! Yes the wmk 203 Scott 96-102,  and the wmk 228 Scott 113-129 have no home. True, many are expensive.  But Scott 122 9p Violet is $5+, $25 dollars less than  BB's choice of Scott 9p purple. Then there is Scott 125 2sh red brown for $2+, $30 less than BB's choice of  Scott 53 violet brown. So should you put these stamps in anyway to save some cash, even if not color or date eligible? Well, I won't tell. :-)

The King George V series, which Big Blue dates 1914-30, also has some minefields. Again, Big Blue lumps three series together:1924-27 wmk 9 Scott 19-37, 1918-23 wmk 11 Scott 60-63, and 1926-30 wmk 203 Scott 66-76. Watermarking anyone? Then because of year of issue constraints,  Big Blue  leaves out 8 stamp varieties in the 1931-36 wmk 228 Scott 113-120 series.

The result?
The Scott  114 1p green is <$1, less than the chosen Scott 67 or 23 at $1+-$2+.
The Scott 116 2p red is <$1, cheaper than the chosen $2+ Scott 28 or 71.
The Scott 117 3p ultramarine is $1+, less than the chosen $5+ Scott 30 or 72.
The Scott 118 4p olive bistre is $1+, a bargain compared to the chosen $5+-$10+ Scott 73 or 34
The Scott 120 5p brown buff is $1+, cheaper than the chosen Scott 36 orange brown at $5+.

 Even if one is not putting  the 1931-36 Scott 113-120 stamps into Big Blue, one has to be aware of their orphan status.

Are there more stamps of Australia, that meet Big Blue's inexpensive criteria? Well, after filling the 91 spaces in Big Blue, I've identified, in total, 80 stamps that would interest me.

There are multiple choices presented for the Kangaroos and King George V issues, so one could pick up those not initially taken, and  put the different watermark issues on supplemental sheets.

I'll mention here some additional Kangaroos that could be collected ,besides the ones already discussed. Since I really am attracted to the Kangaroo stamps, as well as the King George V series, the price tolerance is high. The Scott 52 ($20+) 2sh brown is a color not included in Big Blue's selection. Additional orphan Kangaroos include the 6p yellow brown Scott 121 ($20+), 6p brown Scott 96 ($20+), 9p violet Scott 97 ($20+), 1sh blue green Scott 98 ($10+), and the 5sh yellow & gray Scott 1216 ($20+).

Additional King George V stamps, besides those given as choices in the checklist, include the 1p rose Scott 61 ($10+), 1p dark green Scott 62 ($5+), 1 1/2p carmine Scott 65 ($5+), 5p brown buff Scott 75 ($10+), and the 1sh 4p light blue Scott 37 ($30+). Two surcharged issues that could be added are the 2p on 1 1/2 rose red Scott 106 ($1+), and the 5p on 4 1/2p dark violet Scott 107 ($10+).

Additional "orphan" King George V stamps, beside Scott 114,116,117,118,120 (which I have already mentioned as not only being left out, but cheaper than Big Blue's choices), are 1/2p orange Scott 113 ($5+), 1 1/2p red brown Scott 115 ($5+), and the 1sh 4p light blue Scott 124 ($5+).

Regular postage issues that could be added include Scott 105,133, and 177 ($2+-$5+).

There are about fifteen postage due stamps (J1,J2,J3,J10,J11,J24,J50,J51,J52,J53,J54,J55,J64,J65,J68) available for $1+-$5+.

Eighteen overprinted and perforated Official stamps are available for less than $4. (OA2,OB19,OB21,OB23,OB24,OB25,OB26,OB27,OB 31, OB49,OB51,OB63,OB66,OB67,OB68,O6,O7,O12)

1934 Scott 143 & 144 3p blue & 1sh black
Centenary Of Victoria: "Yarra Yarra Tribesmen, Yarra River, and View of Melbourne"
Big Blue Checklist
1913-25 Kangaroos (Total: 12 stamps)
1/2 p green Scott 1 ($5+)
1p carmine(1) Scott 2 ($1+)
2p gray Scott 3 or 45 or 38 ($5+-$10+)
2 1/2p dark blue Scott 46 or 4 or 39 ($10+-$30+)
3p olive bistre die I Scott 47 or 5 ($5+-$10+)
4p orange Scott 6 ($35)
5p orange brown Scott 7 ($44)
6p ultamarine(II) Scott 48 or 40 or 8 ($10+-$20+)
6p yellow brown Scott 49 ($5+)
9p purple Scott 9 ($30+)
1sh blue-green Scott 51 or 10 or 42 ($10+-$30+)
2sh violet brown(II) Scott 53 ($30+)

Note: There are multiple shades (minor Scott numbers) for each denomination.
Note: There are four ( Die I-IV) dies in the series.
Note: There are two constraints by Big Blue that rule out some stamps and series: Date of Issue, and specified color.
Note: Series are:
1913 wmk 8 (Scott 1-15)
1915 wmk 9 (Scott 38-44)
1915-23 wmk 10 (Scott 45-59)
1929-30 wmk 203 (Scott 96-102)-R/O for BB because of date.
1931-36 wmk 228 (Scott 121-129)-R/O for BB because of date.

1913-14 King George V
17 ($4+)
Note: This engraved unwatermarked  1p "carmine" King George V issue is often confused in collections with the less expensive typographed (wmk 3) 1p "red" King George V from the series below. Check for watermark.

1914-30 King George V ( Total: 21 stamps)
1/2 p emerald Scott 19 ($1+)
1/2 p orange Scott 66 or 20 ($2+)
1p red Scott 21 ($1+)
1p violet Scott 22 ($1+)
1p green Scott 67 or 23 or 64 ($1+-2+)
1 1/2p emerald Scott 25 ($2+)
1 1/2p chocolate Scott 24 or 63 ($2+)
1 1/2 pence scarlet Scott 26 ($1+)
1 1/2 red brown Scott 69 ($2+)
2p brown orange Scott 27 ($2+)
2p red Scott 28 or 71 ($2+)
3p red brown Scott 70 or 29 ($2+-$10+)
3p ultramarine Scott 72 or 30 ($5+)
4p orange Scott 31 ($2+)
4p violet Scott 32 ($10+)
4p light ultramarine Scott 33 ($10+)
4p olive bistre Scott 73 or 34 ($5+-$10+)
4 1/2p violet Scott 35 ($5+)
5p orange brown Scott 36 ($5+)
1sh 4p pale turquoise blue Scott 76 ($30+)
Blank space: suggest choice not taken before, or 1 1/2p rose red Scott 68 or 4 1/2p dark violet Scott 74  ( $1+-$5+)

Note: There are different dies of the one penny, and two,three and five pence.
Note: Four major series:
1924-27 wmk 9 Scott 19-37
1918-23 wmk 11 Scott 60-63
1926-30 wmk 203 Scott 66-76
1931-36 wmk 228 Scott 113-120; R/O for BB because of date
Note: Again two constraints by Big Blue that rule out some stamps and series: Date of issue and specified color.

1927
94 (<$1)

1928
95($5+)

1929
103($1+)

1930
104,105 ($1+-$5+)

1931-32
139,111,112,130* or 133,131 ($1+-$5+)
*Note: 2p red "Sydney harbor Bridge" is found engraved, unwmk (Scott 130), or Typo, wmk 228 (Scott 133). BTW, Scott 132 5sh of this issue, and not in BB, is $500 mint/$300 used!

1932
141 ($2+)

1934
142,143, ($1+-$5+)
144 ($20+)

1935
150 (<$1)

1934
147,148, ($1+-$10+)
149 ($30+)

1936
157,158 (<$1-$2+)

1936
159,160,161 (<$1-$5+)

1937
163,164,165 (<$1-$10+)

1935
152,153 (<$1-$5+)

1940
184,185 ($1)
186,187 ($5+-$10+)

1937-38
166,167(<$1)
168 ($5+)
169 (<$1)
170 ($20+)
171,172,173,174,175,176 (<$1-$1+)

1938
180,182,183 (<$1-$4)

Air Post
1929
C1 ($5+)

1931
C2,C3 ($5+-$10+)

1934-37
C5 or C4  ($1+-$5+)

Postage Due
1909
J39a or J39 ($10+-$20+)
J40, J41, J42,  J43 ($5+, $5, $10+,$10+ respectively)
Blank space: suggest J45 or J44 ($5+-$10+)

1932 Scott 131 3p blue "Sydney Harbour Bridge"
Kinds of Blue
The 1997 edition and the 1969 edition are identical.
Compared to the 1969 edition, the 1947 edition is the same.
Compared to the 1969 and 1947 editions, the 1941 edition has this difference.


Deletion
1938
180,182,183 (<$1-$2+)


Big Blue Bottom Line
Who doesn't like Kangaroos?


Note February 24, 2011: I happened to be looking at the postage dues , and realized I had put down the wrong issue for Big Blue. This has now been corrected in the checklist. Big Blue  is asking, in my opinion, for the green & carmine 1909 postage due issues J39-J43 & blank space (suggested J44 or J45), rather than J50-J55 ($2+-$5+). This is in some ways unfortunate, as J39-J45 is more expensive, with the catalogue cost of filling the spaces now at a minimum of $58, rather than the former cost of $25. The J50-J55 issues are of different watermarks, but the same design and color as the 1909 issues. But in fact these issues were used from 1922-30.


Why do I think the 1909 postage due issue was intended? Because it is listed thus:


Postage dues
1909


Generally, Big Blue will put a range of years if it wishes us to consider several subsequent issues of the same design and color for the space. It then would have listed it thus;


Postage dues
1909-1930


So could we fix it? Well, of course, it is our own album. Write in  a "1930", and put the cheaper issue in.  :-)


Again, Big Blue tends to ask for the first issue, which often is more expensive to acquire. A subsequent less expensive issue, in this case only essentially differing by watermark, is ignored.


Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.








Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ascension

1934 Scott 23 1/2d violet & black "View of Georgetown"
Quick History
Ascension Island is a quite isolated volcanic island of lava flows and cinder cones in the South Atlantic Ocean. Lying approximately midway between South America and Africa, it is currently part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. It is governed from the Capital Saint Helena, which is 800 miles to the south-east. The main economy revolves around the military bases at Wideawake Airfield, and a BBC relay station. Today's population is 900 people.

The Island was so named when in 1503 the Portuguese sighted the island on Ascension Day.
The stamps of Great Britain were used in Ascension from 1855 through 1922. The Island was then administered by the Colonial Office and annexed to the British Crown Colony of St. Helena. The stamps of St. Helena were overprinted "Ascension" in 1922, and then their own issues began in 1924. The main settlement is Georgetown, site of the only Post office. The population was listed as 188 in 1931.

Trivia: The main export are Ascension Island postage stamps!

Yes, Ascension Island is not close to anywhere
Big Blue Picture
On two pages, beginning in 1922, Big Blue (1969) has 30 illustrated/descriptive stamp spaces and one blank space for a total of 31 stamp spaces.
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 41 major varieties listed up to 1940.
Big Blue provides 76% coverage.

Looking for possible additional stamps to collect with a $4 catalogue limit yields basically...none!
No bargains here, nothing to see, please move along. :-(

But I would like to discuss in more detail  the 1938-53 pictorial issue which demonstrates the "sudoku" decision tree that one is required to do by Big Blue. To refresh one's memory, look under Antigua where is discussed the various shades of the series, the year(s) when the stamp(s) first appeared, and the lack of 1:1 correspondence with the shades as they are listed now compared with how the shades were listed by Big Blue and the earlier catalogues.

1) Many of the issue years are much later than 1940. We decided this really is not a problem, so no more worries there.

2) The color description continues to be a mite confusing: Big Blue says" orange and black" for instance, when now the stamp is described as "orange" Well that is easy- The modern catalogue appears to no longer mention the gray-black shades of the pictorials inside the main surrounding ( orange) color.

3) If the stamp has a illustration in Big Blue, it can provide more choices for the space than if there is a description-which always includes color- for the space. For instance, Both the 1 1/2 p red('44) and the 1 1/2p lilac rose('53) are eligible for the illustrated space. In contrast, the space for the 2p is "descriptive", and asks for the "orange" stamp. So the 2p orange('44) goes there. Therefore the 2p red('49) is" r/o"-ruled out.

4) The 1p green color was issued in both 1938 and 1949. There was also an orange yellow edition in 1942.
The 1p is pictured in a series with the year  "1938" heading the group. Next down the page, the orange yellow 1p is described in a series with the year "1940" heading that group. The 1938 1p green is $5+, the 1949 1p green is <$1, while the orange yellow 1p is <$1. What decisions need to be made?

a) Since the orange yellow 1p is already called for by the description under "1940", clearly one of the  green 1p's should go in the illustrated space under "1938"

b) But which one? The expensive ($5+) 1938 1p, or the cheap (<$1) 1949 1p? Both appear eligible. And in fact, I give both as a choice for the space, and I list the cheaper '49 one first according to protocol.

c) But which one is the most likely one that Big Blue intended? I would argue it is the 1938 expensive 1p green.  It is after all listed under the "1938" series. And there is another "1940" series further down the page where the orange yellow 1p ('42) is put.  So, logically, it appears Big Blue does not actually have an intended space for the '49 cheap 1p green.

5) And I've found that Big Blue tends to favor the early- and often more expensive- types in a series because the "color descriptions" are cast in stone when the page is set up for printing. Later - and often cheaper- colors for a denomination are subsequently frozen out. I believe Big Blue rarely changes a "color description" in a  series once it has been set up for printing.

1934 Scott 25  1 1/2p red & black "Pier at Georgetown"
Big Blue Checklist (1969)
1922  Stamps of St Helena overprinted "Ascension"
1,2 ($5+)
3 ($20+)
4($10+)
Blank space: suggest Scott 5 ($20+)

1924-27 Seal of the Colony
10,11,12 ($2+-$10+)
13,16 ($10+)

1934 Ascension pictorials
23,24,25,26,27,28,29 ($1+2+)
30 ($10+)

1937 Coronation
37,38,39 (<$1-$1+)

1938
40 (,$1)  1/2p violet Actually a 1944 issue.
41D or41 (<$1-$5+) 1p green ('49 and '38). BB probably intended the '38 issue($7).
42 or 42C (<$1) 1 1/2p red ('44 issue) or Lilac Rose ('53 issue)
43 (<$1) 2p orange ('44 issue)  Note: Big Blue specifies color-rules out 43C ('49) red (<$1)
44 ($20+)! 3p ultra
45 ($1+) 6p gray blue
46 ($2) 1s dark brown ('44)

1940
41A (<$1) 1p orange yellow ('42)
44A (<$1) 3p black ('44)
44B ($2+) 4p ultra ('44)

Ascension Island
Kinds of Blue
The 1997 edition and the 1969 edition are identical.
Compared to the 1969 edition, both the 1947 and 1941 editions have no significant differences.
A trivial difference is, for the '47 and '41 editions, the 1937 Coronation Issue Scott 37 1p deep green is described rather than illustrated.


1934 Scott 1p light green & black "Map of Ascension"
Big Blue Bottom Line
Highly popular. We all dream about living on a tropical island. Only 900 lucky souls actually live there. But we can have a little piece of paradise by buying their stamps.

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.