Monday, May 18, 2009

Missing countries in the 1969 edition of the "Blue" International

As threatened a few days ago, I have compared the contents of the 1969 edition of the "Blue" with the 1943/47 versions. As a reminder, I believe the 43/47 editions were the most complete of the "Blue" Internationals. While I am not certain, I believe the 1969 edition was the last single volume edition. Because of editorial changes, it is not identical with the 1943/47 versions. In fact, the 1969 album is missing 68 countries or other political entities that are in the 43/47 version, specifically:

China Offices Abroad (1911, i.e. Tibet)
China Offices Abroad (1915-20, 1929, i.e., Sinkiang)
China Offices Abroad (1925, i.e. Yunnan Province)
China Offices Abroad (1929, i.e., Manchuria)
Eastern Rumelia
Eastern Silesia
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Bamra*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Barwani*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Bhopal*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Bhore*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Bijawar*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Bundi*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Bussahir*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Dhar*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Duttia*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Faridkot*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Jammu and Kashmir*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Jhalawar*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Jhind*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Las Bela*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Morvi*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Nandgaon*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Nowanuggur*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Orchha*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Poonch*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Rajpeepla*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire...--Wadhwan*
India--Feudatory States of the British Empire....--Alwar*
Ionian Islands
Italy--Offices in Turkish Empire--Albania*
Italy--Offices in Turkish Empire--Constantinople*
Italy--Offices in Turkish Empire--Durazzo*
Italy--Offices in Turkish Empire--Janina*
Italy--Offices in Turkish Empire--Jerusalem*
Italy--Offices in Turkish Empire--Salonika*
Italy--Offices in Turkish Empire--Scutari*
Italy--Offices in Turkish Empire--Smyrna*
Italy--Offices in Turkish Empire--Valona*
Mecklenburg Schwerin
Mecklenburg Strelitz
Nicaragua--Cabo Gracias a Dios
Nicaragua--Province of Zelaya
Pitcairn Islands
Turkey--Offices in Thessaly
Two Sicilies
White Russia

So is there any pattern? To begin with, White Russia is no doubt missing because Scott by the 1940s had removed these stamps from the catalog after determining they were never officially issued. (Remember that the album on which the "Blue" International is based, the Scott Junior, began in 1917 so there were a number of changes in the catalog in the intervening decades.)

The states or offices marked with an asterisk were all on three "compilation" pages which Scott dropped. Many of the remaining that were deleted were also on a single page with several other countries. For example, one deleted page eliminated the spaces for Baden, Bergedorf, Bremen, and Brunswick; another took care of Hamburg, Hanover and Heligoland.

My guess is that many of these were deleted in Scott's initial editorial attempts to 1) have as many countries as possible begin on their own pages while 2) wanting to get a better alphabetical order BUT 3) trying not to increase costs or size of the album by adding additional pages. If this is accurate, we lost Carinthia, for example, because it was out of sequence (it originally came before Cape of Good Hope). As Carinthia only occupied half a page, including it in the proper alphabetical sequence would have added an additional sheet to the album.

I think all of this is important for two reasons. First, if you are starting an International collection, you need to decide whether you are willing to sacrifice completeness for the current 1997 version's better paper and correct sort order (not only getting the countries in alphabetical order but allowing for integration with later volumes by separating out regular/commemorative issues, airmails, etc.). Unfortunately, not only is the 1997 version missing most of the countries above, it is also missing hundreds of stamps that were in earlier versions (again a victim to alphabetization which dropped "left over" stamps). Of course, you can always use the numerous blank pages in the 1997 four part edition or add your own pages to house the missing stamps/countries. Or you can pick up a used 1943/47 version (sorry, I don't have a clue about the coverage of the 1955 edition) which will give you as complete a "Blue" as was ever produced but at the cost of thinner paper and a vexing alphabetical sequence which also makes it more difficult to add blank pages or integrate with later volumes.

The other reason is that if you are like me, you are initially building your collection through the purchase of "Blues" on eBay, removing what you need as you go through the albums page by page. Knowing the differences between editions could help identify which stamps you might be sorry you didn't remove even if there aren't illustrated in your version.


Chris W. said...


Do you happen to know if these missing countries are included in the Minkus Supreme Global album?

Bob said...

Good question. Unfortunately, I've sold my Supreme Global (first half only, but I think it had the contents for both volumes). I didn't think to make a copy of the country listing before doing so. In any event, my memory is that it has most of the countries that used to be (or were never in) the Blue, but the coverage wasn't necessarily that great. But there are several current Supreme Global collectors who may reply with a more accurate answer.

James said...

I'm on holiday, and away from my MInkus album. But I can say that Bob is correct, most of these countries are in the MInkus Supreme, but typically with only a handful of spaces. The smaller German States, for example, are all together on one page and with a few spaces for (eg) Heligoland. Certainly not enough to make this a big advantage, though some (eg) Indian States do have better listings than in the Scott International.
If you're especially interested in these kinds of places, it's possible to beef up coverage by using pages from the MInkus Speciality series, which generally are very good. Subway has some and you sometimes can get them on eBay; they are one-sided but otherwise match the Supreme Global perfectly. I did this for example with Mexico, where original coverage was inevitably mixed; and for the early Canadian provinces. It would be great Christmas present if Amos would issue such pages through print on demand.

Chris W. said...

Thanks James,

That’s good to know; I hadn’t really thought about adding Minkus Speciality pages. I’m still debating (with myself) whether to stick with my Big Blues, move over to the Supreme Global, or use Steiner pages for my WW classic collection. I have been basically using both (Scott International Vol 1 and Steiner) for the past year, and I’m beginning to come to the realization that all the benefits of using Steiner pages far outweigh the negatives. These include having a space for all major Scott numbers, attractive layout with just the right (for me anyway) amount of information on the page, being able to choose the type (color and weight) of paper I use, no need for interleaving, ease of adding blank/quadrille pages (and you can type up to four lines of text on), and perhaps best of all, I can purchase everything I need for it at Staples! The only real negative for me is the 8.5 x 11 format, but that really does simplify things and is far less expensive than the alternatives.

Just my 2-cents.

James said...

If you have the domestic space I think the Steiner pages are an excellent option, perhaps the best. In my case, I wanted to go up to the end of the colonial era in the early 1960s, and I have only about three feet of shelving in a small room. The double-sided pages keep things compact and I like seeing lots of stamps at once, though the early pages for some countries are sometimes too crowded. With tens of thousands of pages and dozens of binders, Steiner would have been impossible. For most countries, especially after circa 1870, MInkus is surprisingly comprehensive and I usually only have a handful of stamps that aren't in the album.