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...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Big Blue Checklist Excel Spreadsheet Project

Canada 1919 Scott 157 50c dark blue
Schooner "Bluenose"
Into the Deep Blue
This blog began back in 2011 primarily as a vehicle to provide a checklist for owners of the Big Blue (Scott International Part I 1840-1940 Album).

If one is unfamiliar with the checklist, this link can serve as an orientation.

The Big Blue Checklist - How it is done

And many readers are aware that the BB checklist is almost complete,, as the A-T countries have been published. (More specifically, posts released include Part IA1 Checklist for Aden-Ethiopia; Part IA2 Checklist for Falkland Islands-Latvia; Part IB1 Checklist for Lebanon-Quelimane; Part IB2 Checklist for Reunion-Zululand (In Progress).)

One of the strengths of the checklist is it mimics the spacial layout of the page.

One can easily pencil in the numbers, or determine quickly which stamps one has or doesn't have on a page.

But a spreadsheet it is not, with all the advantages of data manipulation.

I am most pleased to announce that Al, a user of the checklist, would like to convert the checklist into an Excel spreadsheet. Here is the information from Al....

I am attempting to create an Excel Spreadsheet to mirror the information provided by Jim in his blog.

The Spreadsheet's format reflects the layout of the 1997 Scott International Album.

The Spreadsheet contains the following columns:

* Country Name - Self Explanatory.

* Page Number - Page Number's restart with 1 for each new Country.

* Row Number - Row Numbers restart with 1 for each new Page.

* Stamp Type - Regular, Air Post, Postage Due, Special Delivery, etc.

* Issue Date - Issue Date as printed in Scott album.

* Catalog Numbers - The Catalog Number recommendations made by Jim for each space in the album. If multiple suggestions have been made, they are separated by slashes. For blank spaces, Jim's recommendations are shown in parenthesis.

The Spreadsheet also contains an introductory tab which echos the above information and explains how I personally use the document.

Before I get too married to this format, I would like input from others as to how to make it more useful.

I have uploaded a preliminary version (which contains only Australia)  to my account, at this docs.google.com  link.

(The link will change when the real and final checklist(s) are uploaded.)

From there, you can save a copy to your computer using the menu: File -> Download As -> Microsoft Excel.

If you have any suggestions, please leave them as comment to this post.


Jim's Note:

Al told me the reason he is doing this is he wants it for himself - a very good reason!  But he would like to share his effort with Big Blue checklist users (or potential users).


The plan for now is to release the final spreadsheet checklists in sections, much like the current Big Blue checklists are divided. When Al has completed Section IA1 (Aden-Ethiopia), that would be announced here with a blog post and a link given, and the reader could then download the Excel file for his own personal use (non commercial).

This work is very labor intensive for Al, so I would expect it will be many months that the BB Checklist Excel Spreadsheet Project will be ongoing.

I can give no estimate (other than "months") when the first installment, the Section IA1 Excel checklist, will be ready.

But the project is in the early stages, so feedback on what is useful would be appreciated!

So, if you have questions, observations, or suggestions, now is the time to leave comments about this project!

Al is prepared to handle and answer the technical questions/comments, and I will try to cover the rest.


Thursday, September 22, 2016


1896 Scott 62 1a black (thick "1"), Typeset
Without Overprint, White Paper
Quick History
The British Uganda Protectorate existed from 1894 to 1962, but stamps from Uganda proper were only issued from 1895-1902.

1902 Uganda's boundaries and subsequent changes
In 1893, the British East Africa Company transferred the Buganda Kingdom territory to the British, and then the borders were expanded in 1894. A British Protectorate was declared on August 27, 1894.

The Uganda Agreement of 1900 gave the power to govern on a daily basis to the Protestant "Bakungu" chiefs, lead by Apolo Kagwa. The British administered initially with a light hand.

For a more complex interpretation of Ugandan history with fine maps, consult Stamp World History. Thanks Gerben!

Uganda Protectorate (green outline) circa 1920
Stamps from 1890 used in Uganda  were issues of  British East Africa.

Then Reverend Ernest Millar at Mengo of the Church Missionary Society produced stamps on his typewriter for internal postage use in Uganda from 1895-1896. These are some of the most crude and valuable pieces of paper ever issued (51 stamps: CV up to $80,000).

Typeset stamps, only slightly less crude and valuable (15 stamps: CV  to $37,000+), were issued in 1896.

Engraved "Victoria" stamps proper for Uganda were issued by London's De La Rue from 1898-1902. And, a two stamp set for 1902 consisted of British East Africa stamps that were overprinted "Uganda".

And so ends the short (but very expensive for collectors!) life of the Uganda Protectorate proper stamps.

Entebbe was the capital, and the population was 1,600,000 in 1903.

Stamps for the overall former territory of the British East Africa colony was then issued from 1903-1919  as "East Africa & Uganda Protectorates", consisting of the Uganda Protectorate and British East Africa (to 1920, later called Kenya Colony after 1920).

In the Scott catalogue, the remaining classical era stamp issues are found under "Kenya, Uganda, & Tanzania" from 1921-1954. They consist of "East Africa and Uganda Protectorates" (1921), "Kenya and Uganda" (1922-1927), and "Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika" (1935-1954).

Then in 1962, Uganda, at the birth of self-government and independence, again issued their own stamps, as well as joint issues from Kenya, Uganda, & Tanganyika (Tanzania) until 1977.

1898 Scott 72a 3a bluish gray "Queen Victoria"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Uganda 1895-1902, 76 major number descriptions. Of those, two are CV $1+, or 2%. !! Wow, let's take a closer look at the CV situation.

The earlier crude typewritten stamps and typeset stamps ( 1895-1896: 66 major numbers) are expensive to very expensive (CV $20+-$80,000), and really specialty territory. There are also forgeries to worry about with these crudely produced stamps.

The last ten major numbers (1898-1902) are the more typically engraved "Victoria" stamps. Of those, eight are CV $1+-$10+. For the WW collector, obtaining a sampling of the 1898-1902 stamps, and perhaps 1-2 of the 1896 typeset stamps might be a reasonable goal.

What is the story on the earlier crude stamps?

A Reverend Ernest Millar of the Church Missionary Society produced stamps for internal postage country use on his typewriter! ( For "overseas"destinations, the letters were franked with British East Africa issues upon arrival in Mombasa.) The 1895-96 stamps (51 major numbers) can be found with wide letters, narrow letters (Millar obtained a new typewriter later in 1895!), and in violet (a violet ribbon was inserted into the typewriter in late 1895).  All of these values can be found forged, and they carry a very expensive CV $225-$80,000). Naturally, I don't have any, and I suspect you do not either. ;-)

The 1896 designs on white or yellowish paper (15 stamps), either with or without an overprinted "L" in black, were typeset by the Reverend F. Rowling at Lubwa's in Usoga. They are still crude and plain, but less crude and expensive (CV $20+-$37,500) than Millar's typewritten stamps. I have an example that heads the blog post, and will show it again here....

A closer look at the stamps and issues
Cowries (50 = 4 Pence) (This is shell money!)
16 Annas = 1 Rupee (1896)
1896 Scott 62 1a black (thick "1"), Typeset
Without Overprint, White Paper
The WW collector might be interested in obtaining an example of the 1896 15 stamp typeset issue, illustrated above. It is found with a black overprinted "L", without overprint, and on yellowish and white paper. Five stamps have a CV of $20+-$40+, within many WW collector's budget.

Now the stamp itself- isn't it remarkably simple? When I saw the stamp in one of my feeder albums, I thought it was a cinderella or a label, not a postage stamp.

1898 Scott 71 2a brown "Queen Victoria"
Engraved by De la Rue
The eight stamp 1898-1902 "Victoria" issue, engraved by De La Rue, is as elaborate as the previous issues were simple and crude. Note the elephants on either side of the queen.

Actually all of the stamps, save one (1902 1a carmine rose), was issued in 1898. But, of interest, there were three stamps that were also issued in 1902 with a noticed shade change. The 3a gray was issued in a 3a bluish gray, the 8a olive gray was issued in a 8a gray green, and the 1r ultramarine was issued in a 1r bright blue shade. All of the 1902 shade changes have minor numbers in Scott. The 3a bluish gray that heads the "Into the Deep Blue" section appears to be one of these minor number 1902 stamps.

1898 Scott 73 4a dark green
CV for the eight stamp issue is $1+-$10+ for six stamps.

On April 1, 1901, the British East Africa and Uganda postal administrations were merged.

Consequently, the last two stamp issue for Uganda (not illustrated) in 1902 had "Uganda" overprinted in black or red on a 1/2a yellow green stamp and a 2 1/2a dark blue stamp on a 1896 British East Africa "Victoria and British Lions" design. CV is a modest $1+-$3+.

Besides the postal administrations merging, I note that the eastern province of Uganda was also transferred to British East Africa on April 1, 1902.

Deep Blue
1898-1902 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has four pages for the 1895-1902 stamps of Uganda. All the major numbers have a space except for Scott 9 10 on 30 (c) black, which @ CV $80,000, is unlikely to be missed by the average WW collector.  And the Scott 10-16 spaces @ CV $60,000-80,000 will probably not fill up fast either. ;-)

Uganda in 1991 Edition Big Blue
Big Blue
Big Blue, for all the editions 1969 or later, on one page, has ten spaces.  BB, in fact, gives a space to all ten of the 1898-1902 "Victoria" engraved issues. If one excludes the earlier 1895-1896 typewritten/typeset stamps (66 major numbers), which are expensive to very expensive, (and a "representative" album would have no business including), Big Blue actually provides 100% coverage! ;-)

The consequence of BB's generosity is that some of the spaces are rather expensive to fill.

Four spaces require $10+ stamps, while an 1898 Scott 75 1r ultramarine ($55)
and an 1898 Scott 76 5r brown ($90) are also needed.

Of interest, the 1940s editions only have four spaces, and there are no expensive ($10 threshold) stamps. This serves as a reminder, that, although the 1940s editions can have more extensive coverage, the 1969 and later editions sometimes have the better coverage. 




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1898 Scott 72 3a gray ($10+)
1898 Scott 73 4a dark green ($10+)
1898 Scott 74 8a olive gray ($10+)
1898 Scott 75 1r ultramarine ($55)
1898 Scott 76 5r brown ($90)

1898 Scott 74 8a olive green
Out of the Blue
Uganda (Protectorate) was one of those countries in Big Blue, that when I did an inventory last year, I had no stamps! Fortunately, BB does not include spaces for any of the expensive typewritten/typeset stamps. But, seemingly to compensate, ALL of the ten stamp "Victoria" issue is included in BB.

Since last year, I've picked up a few examples of Uganda Protectorates, but still have a way to go to fill all the spaces in Big Blue. ;-)

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aitutaki - Bud's Big Blue

Aitutaki in Big Blue
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
As recently as five years ago there were no Aitutaki stamps in my collection. The 1920-27 series is the more historically interesting and easier to find than the earlier stamps.

Census: 22 in BB spaces, no tip-ins, no supplement pages.

Jim's Observations
Clearly popular with New Zealand and Commonwealth collectors, the stamps are expensive compared say with Afghanistan BB stamps. Admittedly, the engraved series of 1920-27 are very attractive.

I have 9 stamps in my BB collection - a ways to go.

Big Blue Blog Aitutaki Link and Checklist

Page 1 (Note: click to enlarge for examination.)

Page 1a  - See post header scan.

Page 1b

Page 1c

Have a comment?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Aguera - Bud's Big Blue

Aguera in Big Blue
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations
There’s not much to say about Aguera stamps. The likeness of King Alfonso XII is repeated many times in BB’s Spanish colonial selections. Interesting non-philatelic cancels are difficult to find and expensive. See also stamps of Rio de Oro and Spanish Sahara.

Census: seven in BB spaces, two tip-ins, no supplements.

Jim's Observations
Spanish colony stamps tend to be sparse in general feeder albums, at least in the United States. I find them much "rarer" than what their modest CV would suggest. I have four of the seven spaces filled.

Big Blue Blog Aguera Link and Checklist

Page 1

Have a comment?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Afghanistan - Bud's Big Blue

1910-20 Afghanistan issue in Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations:
I’m attracted to Afghanistan stamps.

Perhaps it’s because some of them – those with circles inscribed in squares – remind me of the afghan blankets my grandmother crocheted.

And the lion (tiger?) featured in the earliest looks less fierce than a child’s puppet (see first page of supplements).

I would be inclined to join Jim and a host of others in wishing for better BB coverage, were it not for the prevalent counterfeits and tatter-prone paper that infect most Afghanistan collections.
BB has 14 spaces for the years 1932-38. Eight can be filled with the 1932 series or the 1934-38 series, the only differences being color. I’ve mixed the two and placed extras in the supplement pages.

Census: 36 in BB spaces, two tip-ins, 34 in supplement pages.

Afghan Crochet
Jim's Observations:
Afghanistan is a problem country for me. For BB, I have only about one-half of the spaces filled. Dealers don't seem to have much material. 

And the classics- the so called "Tiger's Head" (Others argue for "Lion's head") are really specialty territory.

Big Blue Blog Afghanistan Link and Checklist

Page 1 (Note: Click and enlarge for examination)
Page 1a 

Page 1b

Page 1c

Page 2

Page 2a

Page 2b

Page 2c

Page 1

Page 2

Note: "Afghan Crochet" pic appear to be in the public domain.

Appreciate Comments!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


1925 Scott 46 10c red orange & blue "Leopard"
Color Type of Middle Congo of 1907-22, Overprinted in Black
With Additional Overprint in Black
Quick History
Ubangi-Shari (Oubangui-Chari) was a central African French territory and colony from 1903-1958, when it became the Central African Republic.

19th Century Map -Pink is French Territory
Note ""Oubangui et Chari" north of "Congo Belge"
The French had established the Bangi (Bangui) outpost along the Ubangi river in 1889, and the territory was named after the rivers Ubangi and Chari.

Administratively, the territory was attached and detached to other French entities during it's existence. It's all rather convoluted, but Stamp World History has an excellent map and information if one wishes to study this more in depth. Thanks Gerben!

Ubangi-Shari was established on December 29, 1903 from the heretofore named French Congo (Gabon-Congo) territory, after the French victory over the Egyptian Abbas II. The French Congo was renamed the Middle Congo (Moyen Congo), also in 1903.

(Between 1904-1910, the French territories in the area were grouped and known as the "French Congo" Federation, according to Stamp World History. In 1906, Gabon and Middle Congo were separated. The name "French Congo" is often found on maps, rather than "Moyen Congo".)

On February 11, 1906, the Lake Chad area was added, and the territory was known as Ubangi-Shari-Chad. Ubangi-Shari-Chad was a dependency, and attached to the Middle Congo. Middle Congo stamps were used there.

French Territories (green)
On January 15, 1910, the territories of Ubangi-Shari, Middle Congo, and Gabon were administratively merged as the French Equatorial Africa Federation. This was a federation that existed from 1910-1934, similar to the French West Africa colonies federation.

The first issue for Ubangi-Shari proper was released in 1915, and consisted of Middle Congo stamps that were overprinted "Oubangui-Chari-Chad".

Beginning on April 12, 1916, Ubangi-Shari was separately administered.

The Lake Chad portion of the territory was removed from Ubangi-Shari in 1920, and the stamps, beginning in 1922, now were overprinted "Oubangui-Chari".

But, portending things to come, the stamp issues were additionally overprinted "Afrique Equatoriale Francaise", beginning in 1924.

Stamp production for Ubangi-Shari continued through 1933.

The Capital was and is Bangui, and the population was 833,000 circa 1940.

French Equatorial Africa 1920-1960
From 1934-1958, the territory was merged into the French Equatorial Africa colony.

Ubangi-Shari stamps were replaced by those of French Equatorial Africa in 1936.

During WW II, Vichy France controlled the territory from June-August, 1940, when it was captured by the Free French Forces.

In 1946, Ubangi-Shari becomes an overseas territory.

Central African Republic
In 1958, self government was achieved, and, on August 13, 1960, full independence as the Central African Republic.

1924 Scott 56 45c chocolate & violet "Bakalois Woman"
Color Type of Middle Congo 1907-22, Overprinted in Black
With Additional Overprint in Blue
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Ubangi-Shari 1915-1931, 109 major stamp descriptions. Of those, 43 are CV <$1-$1+, or 39%. Many of the rest of the stamps are CV only a few dollars more. Clearly, Ubangi-Chari, ( And the classical French colonial stamps in general) are reasonably affordable for the WW collector. (British colonial stamps, while a % are affordable, tend to be more expensive.)

Many of the stamps for Ubangi-Shari are overprinted "types" of the French "Middle Congo" issues. They are "types", because Ubangi-Shari's stamps are in different color combinations compared to the original "Middle Congo" issues. That certainly makes the Ubangi-Shari issues more attractive, and one doesn't have to worry that there could be a fake overprint on a Middle Congo stamp if the Ubangi-Shari stamp is more valuable CV wise.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimes = 1 Franc
1915 Scott 3 4c blue & brown "Leopard"
Stamps of Middle Congo Overprinted in Black
Between 1915-22, a twenty-two stamp issue proper for Ubangi-Shari-Chad was released, by overprinting in black, stamps of the Middle Congo. CV for the issue ranges <$1-$2 for thirteen stamps.

What a fine looking stamp!

Leopard Distribution in Africa
And it certainly appears that the leopard can be found in the territory, as well as throughout much of sub- Saharan Africa. But the leopard is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, as leopard populations are declining because of habitat loss.

1922 Scott 26 5c indigo & rose "Leopard"
Color Type of Middle Congo of 1907-22, Overprinted in Black
Chad was removed as part of the territory in 1920. Consequently, the 1922 eighteen stamp issue has the overprint ""oubangi-chari" in either black or red.

CV ranges from <$1-$5+ for fourteen stamps.

Note this issue is a  "color type" of the 1907-22 Middle Congo stamps. For comparison, the Middle Congo 5c "Leopard" is dark green & blue.

1924 Scott 45 10c deep green & gray green "Leopard"
Color Type of Middle Congo of 1907-22, Overprinted in Black
With Additional Overprint in Black
Between 1910-1934, Ubangi-Chari was in the French Equatorial Africa Federation with the other French territories/colonies in the area. Hence, the 1924-33 issue of thirty-three stamps added an "Afrique Equatoriale Francaise" overprint in black, blue, or red.

Many of the 1924-33 stamps applied the additional overprint on the 1922 issue. But others were new color or denomination types.

1925 Scott 52 30c chocolate & red  "Bakalois Woman"
Color Type of Middle Congo 1907-22, Overprinted in Black
With Additional Overprint in Black
The middle denominations had a "Bakalois Woman" pictorial.

The pictorial image originally was part of the 1990-04 French Congo issue. I couldn't find much on "Bakalois", but they were probably members of the Bantu-Kongo tribal group.

1925 Scott 62 75c deep blue & light blue "Bakalois Woman"
Color Type of Middle Congo 1907-22, Overprinted in Black
With Additional Overprint in Red
Note here the additional overprint is in red.

CV for the thirty-three stamp issue is <$1-$5+ for 29  stamps.

1925 Scott 66 1fr green & indigo "Coconut Grove"
Color Type of Middle Congo 1907-22, Overprinted in Red
With Additional Overprint in Blue
The highest denominations (nine stamps) show a "Coconut Grove". Actually, the only country in Africa today in the top ten list of coconut producing countries is Tanzania- at tenth.

Note the additional overprint is blue here.

1925 Scott 75 85c on 1fr violet & olive "Coconut Grove"
Types of 1924 Issue Surcharged with New Value in Black
Overprinted in Black, with Additional Overprint in Red
Between 1925-26, three stamp "color types" of the 1924 issue were surcharged with new values in black or red.

1916 Scott B2 10c + 5c carmine & blue "Leopard"
Regular Issue of 1915 Surcharged
In 1916, a semi-postal was created by surcharging in carmine the 1915 5c carmine & blue.

For French colonies, many of them produced a few semi-postals during this time period, apparently for the Red Cross.

1930 Scott J12 5c deep blue & olive "Landscape"
Postage Due Issue of 1930
Of interest, the only stamps for Ubangi-Chari that were not overprinted from another country's stamps (Middle Congo) were the 1931 Colonial Exposition Issue (common design type), and an eleven stamp postage due issue of 1930!

I am a bit bemused that the French couldn't/didn't produce regular issue stamps for Ubangi-Chari (except overprinted ones), but managed for the postage dues!  ;-)

For most countries in the classical era, postage due stamps and their designs were an afterthought at best, but not for the French!

Deep Blue
1924-33 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has nine pages for the stamps of 1915-1933 Ubangi-Shari. All of the major Scott numbers have a space.

1915 Scott 4 5c dark green & blue "Leopard"
Stamps of Middle Congo Overprinted in Black
Big Blue
Big Blue '69 has three pages and 79 spaces for the stamps of "Ubangi". The coverage is located between "Turkey in Asia" and Ukrainia. Coverage is a robust 72%.

The 40s editions have the spaces arranged differently, and there are 77 spaces total.

There is only one "expensive" (CV $10+) stamp required for the spaces.




Next Page



Next Page



Postage Due



A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1933 Scott 70 1.75fr dark brown & deep buff ($10+)
B) (    ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1928 Scott 63 75c rose & dark brown "Bakalois Woman"
Color Type of Middle Congo 1907-22 Overprinted in Black
With Additional Overprint in Black
Out of the Blue
Every time I review a French colonial country, I am struck by the beauty of their stamps, and their affordability.

If the WW collector wished to collect "in sections", gathering and collecting the French sphere stamps as a priority wouldn't be a bad strategy.

Note: Maps and leopard distribution map all appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bud's Big Blue- An Introduction and Index

Completed Big Blue - A View that Inspires
Bud's Big Blue
Note: For the Index and links to posted countries - updated frequently- , scroll down.
Jim‘s request for scans of my completed Big Blue to post in his blog came as a welcome surprise. Images of filled pages, he reckoned, would appropriately illustrate his posting for each country. I agree and am pleased to comply.

The album used for these scans is the widely popular 1969 edition of Scott’s International Postage Stamp Album, Part I, 1840-1940, known in this blog and elsewhere as Big Blue, or simply BB.  Jim consistently uses this edition throughout the Big Blue blog. The album includes 315 countries (stamp issuing authorities) which together are represented by some 34,700 spaces. The scans show pages filled with Scott-elect stamps, along with some of the non-elect that didn’t make Scott’s cut.

BB Title Page
Postings follow an alphabetical listing of countries, as is the case in Jim’s blog, rather than the order of countries in the album (see album index page below). Countries with many stamps require more than one posting. Five to ten posts will appear each month. USA pages are last.  A section for Jim’s and my remarks follows each country’s images, as well as an interactive section for viewer comments and suggestions. 

BB Country Table of Contents
(Click image to enlarge)
About this Collection
Stamp collections in albums are prone to idiosyncrasies. Mine is no exception. So, as a caution against other collectors viewing these scans as definitive of what a completed BB ought to look like, I’ll describe the approaches I have more or less followed during 60 years of compiling (accreting? hoarding? heaping up?) this collection.

Until I bought my BB in 1970 as a graduation present to myself, scavenged business-size envelopes housed the collection, one for each country. The envelopes were fast filling up with the stamps torn off such old letters and international correspondence as I had access to. Once hinged in the new album, the stamps looked skimpy indeed.

I never expected to fill my BB, but I did want more stamps. I settled on a strategy buying albums at household auctions, picking a few that I wanted, then selling the albums at different auctions. I rarely bought individual stamps or sets. I have continued buying albums up to the present time. Sometimes I made money in this process, sometimes lots of money, and the collection grew. A disadvantage to this approach is that I often incorporated placement errors made by the albums’ previous owners into my BB. More important, though, I began developing preferences for which stamps I wanted to keep and which to replace. And, when I found I had made errors, they were usually easily corrected. . In addition, the collection has benefited greatly from the help of a wholesale stamp dealer who, despite my urging to the contrary, wishes to remain anonymous.

All Scott-elect stamps are acceptable for my BB, but I give preference in the following order:

1.                  Cancelled stamps with historical or artistic merit, even if happenstance; for example, a stamp cancelled on 9-11-2001 in New York City would qualify, were there a space for it.  These are working stamps with, say, highly commendable résumés.

2.                  Clear date and place cancels; small town cancels; socked-on-the-nose and fancy cancels; otherwise collectible cancels, for example, “Zug” on Germany stamps. Résumés for these are interesting but not as spectacular.

3.                  Mint well-centered with light or no hinging; “specimen” overprints. These are non-working stamps with no résumés, but they’re getting ready.

4.                  Ordinary light cancels, clean and well centered, including philatelically-inspired cancels. These are attractive and unpretentious working stamps.

5.                  Mint or used stamps with poor centering; heavy cancels or hinges; CTOs; grubby or toned stamps; fiscal cancels; stamps with small defects; hand written cancels unless they qualify for category 1 or 2 above. These are generally hardworking, but with weak résumés (they don’t look good on paper).

6.                  Major defects (overworked stamps), forgeries, counterfeits, reprints (official or unofficial), printed but never put into use (non-working stamps). I prefer not to have these even though BB actually includes spaces for a few of them.  But, lacking anything better, they’re in, at least for now.

As opportunities came, I traded upward on the above scale. Two additional categories, though, are unacceptable. If you find any of these on the scanned pages (there are no doubt some), let me know! I’ll replace them, then banish them to the supplementary pages where they can hobnob with other BB outcasts.

7.                  Technical misfits--stamps of the same or very similar design to the Scott-elect, but not quite one of them. Perhaps they were issued outside the specified date range. Or they might differ in perfs, color shades, overprints, watermarks, or minor wording.

8.                  Outright interlopers, weeds -- these are unauthorized stamps that occupy spaces Scott reserved for the elect. Resenting not being among the chosen, I suspect, they sneak in, hoping to remain unnoticed. BB blank spaces are vulnerable to such intrusions.

Interlopers and weeds, however, are in their own right worthy of being collected. Many of the excluded have stories to tell, some have high CVs. Everyone who builds collections by pilfering through old albums will, as I have, accumulate many such stamps. So, what’s to be done with them? You’ll see two strategies in the scans. Some are tipped in partly beneath the particular Scott-elect stamps to which they most closely relate. Others are found in the supplement pages. Supplement pages may also display interesting duplicates, small covers, fiscal and local stamps, proofs, freaks and anomalies, etiquettes, cheeky frauds, and even the occasional Cinderella, all of which relate to the classic era of philately.

Although every space in my BB is filled, the activity of collecting goes on. Preening, that is replacing stamps lower in my preference list with stamps higher up, will continue indefinitely. Supplement pages will, no doubt, mushroom.

Recently a friend gave me a stamp that summarizes my collecting philosophy well. It is Scott USA no. 340 with a cancel that reads BUD. The accompanying cert says it is normal, used and genuine. And it’s cheap. I rank it as a #1 preference. 



Bud Cert.
A Note from Jim
I am more than pleased that Bud has agreed to present his 100%! filled Big Blue country pages here. And, clearly, it makes sense, considering the purpose of this blog.

The WW collector is in for a treat, as, to my knowledge, no 100% filled BB has ever been shown for all to see. Hopefully, if one uses Big Blue, or another album, or even stock pages/ books for one's WW collection, the view will inspire.

The pages shown are the '69 BB edition, but be aware that all BB editions from the "69 to the present provide fundamentally the same coverage, except for some page shifting.

Remember to click on a scan page image if one is interested in examining the stamps/issues more closely. That will enlarge the page image. The pages were scanned originally @ 300 dpi resolution, which should provide good detail.

If the scan page image is still not large enough for close examination within the browser window, one does have the option to download the image and examine in the original size.

And, I have also elected to present the page scan images from Big Blue as close-up horizontal page scan strips. As an example, the Afghanistan page 1 scan is followed by three horizontal strip close-up scans of page 1 - labeled 1a, 1b, and 1c. Clicking and enlarging the horizontal strip scan images into the lightbox/gallery viewer should give a much larger enhanced view, suitable for stamp detail identification.

Note that the close-up scan views will be presented for the Big Blue pages only. Bud's supplementary pages will not get the same treatment.

I expect we will publish 1-3 countries of Bud's BB over a three day period. A six day block is reserved for my own posts. The overall cycle will be nine days, then Bud's BB posts will appear again. (Obviously, this cycle plan will vary from time to time.)

An Index to the countries will be added to this BB Introduction post as soon as the country posts begin. There will be a readily accessible index link on the left side of the blog page if one wishes to review Bud's BB country posts.

If one does the mathematics, one can expect this will be a several year project. Yes, eventually we want the whole filled album published, but the journey... let's savor it!

And if a reader has questions or comments, please submit the observation in the "comments" section at the end of every post - including this one!, and either Bud or myself or both! will answer.

Yes, Enjoy!


Index to Countries in Bud's Big Blue
(If the BB scan pages for a country have been posted, there will be a link.)
Aden, Afghanistan, Aguera,  Aitutaki, Alaouites, Albania, Alexandretta, Algeria
Allenstein, Andorra, Angola, Angra, Anjouan, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia
Ascension, Australia, Austria, Austria: Lombardy-Venetia, Azerbaijan, Azores

Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Barbuda, Basutoland, Batum, Bavaria,
Bechuanaland Prot., Belgium, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Brazil, British Central Africa, British East Africa, British Guiana, British Honduras,
British Solomon Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burma

Cameroun, Canada, Canal Zone, Cape Juby, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Verde
Caroline Islands, Castellorizo, Cayman Islands, Central Lithuania, Ceylon
Chad, Chile, China, Cochin China, Colombia, Confederate States of America
Congo (Belgium Congo),  Cook Islands, Corfu, Costa Rica, Crete, Cuba
Cyprus, Cyrenaica, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia: German Protectorate of Bohemia & Morania, and of Slovakia

Dahomey, Danish West Indies, Danzig, Denmark, Diego Suarez, Dominica
Dominican Republic, Dutch Indies

East Africa & Uganda Prot., Ecuador, Egypt, Elobey.Annobon & Corisco, Epirus
Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia

Falkland Islands, Far Eastern Republic, Fernando Po, Fiji, Finland, Fiume, France
French Colonies, French Congo, French Equatorial Africa, French Guiana, French Guinea
French India, French Morocco, French Oceania , French Sudan, Funchal

Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, German East Africa, German New Guinea, 
German South West Africa, Germany: North German Confederation , 
Germany , Germany: Offices in the Turkish Empire, Gibraltar, 
Gilbert & Ellice Islands, Gold Coast, Grand Comoro, Great Britain,  
Greece , Greenland,, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea (Portuguese Guinea)

Haiti, Hatay, Hawaii, Hejaz (Saudi Arabia), Honduras, Hong Kong, Horta

Iceland, India, India- Feudatory States & Convention States,, Indochina
Inhambane, Inini, Iran (Persia), Iraq, Ireland
Italian Colonies, Italian East Africa, Italy
Ivory Coast

Jamaica, Japan , Jordan (Trans-Jordan), Jugoslavia 

Karelia, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika, Kiauchau, Kionga
Korea, Kuwait

Labuan, Lagos, Latakia, Latvia, Lebanon, Leeward Islands, Liberia, Libya
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Lourenco Marques, Luxembourg

Macao, Madagascar, Madeira, Malaya, Maldive Islands, Malta, Manchukuo
Mariana Islands, Marienwerder, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania
Mauritius, Mayotte, Memel, Mesopotamia, Mexico, Middle Congo
Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique
Mozambique Company

Natal, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles (Curacao), Nevis
New Brunswick, New Caledonia, Newfoundland, New Guinea, New Hebrides
New South Wales, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Niger C.P. (Oil Rivers)
Nigeria, Niue, North Borneo, Northern Nigeria, Northern Rhodesia
North Ingermanland, N. W. Pacific Islands, Norway , Nossi-Be, Nova Scotia

Nyasaland Prot., Nyassa

Obock, Oltre Giuba, Orange River Colony

Palestine, Panama, Papua, Paraguay, Penrhyn Island, Peru, Philippines
Poland, Ponta Delgada, Portugal, Portuguese Africa, Portuguese Congo
Portuguese India, Prince Edward Island, Prussia, Puerto Rico

Queensland, Quelimane

Reunion, Rhodesia (British S. A. Co), Rio de Oro, Romania
Ile Rouad (Arwad Island), Ruanda-Urundi, Russia

Saar, St. Christopher, St. Helena, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia
Ste. Marie de Madagasgar, St. Pierre and Miquelon, St. Thomas and Prince Islands
St. Vincent , El Salvador, Samoa , San Marino, Sarawak, Sardinia, Saxony, 
Schleswig, Senegal, Senegambia & Niger, Serbia , Seychelles, Shanghai
Sierra Leone, Somalia (Italian Somaliland), Somali Coast (French Somaliland)
Somaliland Prot. (British Somaliland), Union of South Africa , South Australia
Southern Nigeria, Southern Rhodesia, South Russia, South West Africa
Spain, Spanish Guinea, Spanish Morocco, Spanish Sahara, Straits Settlements
Sudan, Surinam , Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria

Tahiti, Tanganyika, Tannu-Tuva, Tasmania, Tete, Thailand (Siam), Thrace
Thurn and Taxis, Tibet, Timor, Tobago, Togo, Tonga, Transcaucasian F.,
Transvaal, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago, Tripolitania, Tunisia, Turkey,
Turkey in Asia, Turks and Caicos I., Turks I.,

Ubangi, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Upper Senegal and Niger,
Upper Silesia, Upper Volta, Uruguay,

Vatican City, Venezuela, Victoria, Virgin I.,
Wallis and Futuna I., Western  Australia, Western Ukraine,Wurttemberg,


Zambezia, Zanzibar, Zululand,

Comments appreciated!