Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My Stamp Collection : MOROCCO


For my next album presentation in this series, we move west from Algeria and join Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour on the Road To Morocco.

Morocco's philatelic history is complex.  It remained an independent sultanate throughout the nineteenth century, and the Great Powers of Europe all competed for economic and political influence with the Moroccan Sultan.  This included opening rival post offices to compete for the business of the numerous Western commercial interests in the Sultanate.  Local commercial interests also provided postal services along various routes, and approximately twenty of them produced their own postage stamps for use on these systems. The Sultan himself inaugurated a Moroccan postal service to compete with the Western offices in 1892, at first employing seals stamped on envelopes from the cities in which the post originated, and culminating in the first Moroccan postage stamps in 1912.

Morocco's indpendence and its independent postal system would soon face takeover by Western colonialism.  Agreements between the major Great Powers in the first decade of the 1900s would culminate in 1912 with the partition of Morocco into two protectorates, the majority of which came under French administration, with a small zone in the far north of Morocco under a Spanish protectorate.   To complicate matters further, the strategic city of Tangier would eventually come under an International Protectorate composed, at its height, of representatives from ten different nations (including the United States). Throughout Morocco, Other powers were allowed free commercial access, and the British would continue to maintain a post office separate from the French and  Spanish administrations until the restoration of Moroccan sovereignty in 1956. In all these areas the Moroccan Sultan retained theoretical sovereignty, but day to day administration would come under the dominant power in each of the Protectorates.  This system would last until early 1956, when Moroccan nationalist demands, led by the Sultan (now called King) would finally lead to the restoration of full sovereignty. Between 1950 and 1978 Morocco would also gain control of further Spanish colonial territories to the south (Tarfaya/Cape Juby, Ifni and the Western Sahara - though the POLISARIO nationalists in Western Sahara continue to oppose Moroccan control of the region to this day.)

This complicated history means that my Morocco collection will be split between several albums to reflect this patchwork of administrations.

Volume I : Local Post Offices, Foreign Post Offices, Issues of the Sultanate to 1912.
Volume II : The French Protectorate of Morocco 1912-1956
Volume III : The Spanish Protectorate of Morocco and Spanish Colonies in the Western Sahara
Volume IV : Independent Morocco Part I (1956-1990)
Volume V : Independent Morocco Part II (1991-present)

I am still laying out pages for Independent Morocco, though my collection runs until approximately 1968 with a few issues in the early 1970s.

My plan is to post each page, just as the image.  For those wanting to know the identity of the stamps, I will post a PDF file of the layout for the pages in my Morocco albums in a few days.

Hope you enjoy the images and if you have suggestions please let me know.



Volume I : Morocco - The Era of Local Posts, Foreign POs and The Sultanate (1892-1912)

French Post Office In Morocco

Page 1 - No Stamps


Page 2


Page 3 - No Stamps

 French Post Office In the Tangier International Zone



Page 1

Page 2 - No Stamps

Volume II : Morocco - The French Protectorate of Morocco 1912-1956


Page 1


Page 2


Page 3


Page 4


Page 5


Page 6


Page 7


Page 8


Page 9


Page 10


Page 11


Page 12


Page 13


Page 14


Page 15


Page 16


Page 17


Page 18


Page 19


Page 20

Volume IV : Morocco -  Independent Morocco Part I



Page 1


Page 2


Page 3


Page 4


Page 5


Page 6


Page 7


Page 8


Page 9


Page 10


Page 11


Page 12

Page 13 - No Stamps

Page 14 - No Stamps

Page 15 - No Stamps

Page 16 - No Stamps


Page 17


Page 18


Coverage currently ends in 1974 with only 1-2 more issues post 1974. Plans are to continue the collection further up to at least 1999 (year of death of King Hassan II) 

As you can see there are still several areas I have no stamps from. Generally I have been focusing on the French Protectorate and early Independent Kingdom years, but there a lot more administrations to add to the collection


  1. Local Post Offices (20 separate lines between 1892 and 1900)
  2. British Post Office in Morocco
  3. Spanish Post Office in Morocco
  4. German Post Office in Morocco
  5. Issues of the Moroccan Sultanate (handstamps 1892-1911 and first postage stamps of 1912)
  6. Spanish Protectorate of Morocco
  7. Tangier International Zone (Spanish and British Post Offices in addition to the French)
  8. Spanish Colonies in NW Africa :


    • Ifni
    • Cape Juby
    • Rio De Oro
    • La Aguera
    • Spanish Sahara & Spanish West Africa

Hope you enjoyed this trip to Morocco.  Next posting will shift eastward to the final Maghribi nation in former French North Africa - Tunisia.

Monday, March 13, 2017

My Stamp Collection : ALGERIA

So the first nation I am going to post is Algeria.  My collection runs from 1924 to 1968 (with a couple stamps after 1968 that I won't post until I get those years completed)

Algeria's philatelic history is intimately tied to its colonial relationship with France.  In 1830, after a series of diplomatic incidents culminating in the ruler of Algiers, the Dey, swatting a French diplomat with a fly swatter, the French began an invasion of Algeria. For the next sixty years the French, in fits and starts, would expand its holdings from along the coast deep into the Sahara, where the colony would meet the expanding colonial frontiers of the French expansion eastward from Senegal and northward from the Congo.

Unlike most areas of the French colonial empire, Algeria was considered an integral part of the French state, with three separate departments created to administer the territory.  Mass immigration of French and other European settlers would result in the creation of a settler colony in the midst of the Arab and Berber native population.  And much as was the case with the native populations of settler colonies such as South Africa, the native population were treated as "subjects," not citizens, of the new administrative system.  Land expropriation would create a European elite that demanded, and received, the same political rights as their compatriots in mainland France held. The native populations, however, were impoverished as labourers for the European settlers and were eventually subjected to the "Code de L'Indigeant" that turned them into second class residents with few political rights in their own native homelands.  Few Algerians were allowed to "evolve" into French citizens, in part because French citizenship status required a rejection of Islamic law and acceptance of French secular law, something anathema to the vast majority of Algeria's native Muslim majority.

Philatelically, the integration of Algeria as a direct part of France meant that for most of the classical era of philately the stamps of France were used.  The first stamps issued in Algeria were for the parcel post system, where there were slightly different rate tariffs in Algeria compared to France. The decision to create a separate Algerian postal service arose not from within France or Algeria, but rather due to the demands of other nations.  Although an integral part of France, the French had been able to secure for Algeria separate representation in the Universal Postal Union.  Other members felt this gave the French extra power in the decision-making process of the Union, and by the early 1920s the demands of other members for France to either grant Algeria postal autonomy or have Algeria's separate seat abolished reached a climax.  In 1924 the French decided on Algerian postal autonomy, resulting in the first postage stamps being released.

After 1924 Algeria had its own postal service, and during the 1920s and 1930s there was an increasing amount of "nativization" in terms of subject matter.  But the Algerian post office also played an important role in ensuring that French dominance over the Algerian masses remained crystal clear, issuing stamps to celebrate the heroes of the French conquest of Algerian territories.

Like other colonial societies, however, the power of nationalism among the colonized population would gain ground after World War I.  The humiliation of France during World War II, and the landings of American forces in Algeria in 1942 as part of Operation Torch, would add further impetus to calls for a "new deal" for Algeria, where the Algerian masses would either become full partners in the administration of Algeria or, at least among a few voices, gain independence completely from France.  These goals were fiercely opposed by the European settler population, who feared a loss of economic and political power in such a new relationship.  French defeat in Vietnam and an inability to find a political solution would result in increasing radicalization of the nationalist movement, culminating in the launching of the Algerian Revolution in 1954.  In 1958 the inability of the French state to crush the nationalists resulted in a political crisis in France that would usher in the Fifth Republic under Charles DeGaulle.  Algeria was "reintegrated" postally into the French postal system soon after, as a search to find a solution to the Algerian quagmire continued.  Finally in early 1962 DeGaulle realized France's position in Algeria was untenable, and negotiated Algerian independence.  The settler population attempted to derail the deal, launching a brutal terror campaign in both Algeria and mainland France, but in the end failed to stop the inevitable. Algeria became an independent nation in July 1962, and most of the European settler population left for mainland France.

After 1962 Algerian philately moves toward  the celebration of native Algerian Arab and Berber achievements, the goals of nation building, and the reconstruction of Algerian society.  Until 1991 power remained in the hands of the FLN, the political arm of the military groups that ended French rule, with the creation of a one-party socialist state and promotion of development that was portrayed in many issues.  The limitations of the FLN one-party state, in culmination with the end of the Cold War, resulted in demands for democratization. The growth of Islamic fundamentalism after the early 1970s in reaction to the economic and political limitations of the FLN domination of Algerian society, meant that when free elections were held in 1991, an Islamist party won them.  The old FLN elite could not accept the result, and the result was a vicious civil war in the 1990s and early 2000s that would eventually lead to a restoration of the FLN dominance in a "limited" democracy, a situation that remains the political reality of Algeria to this day.

My Algeria collection will be split between 3 Albums to reflect the history of this fascinating land :

Volume I : Algeria under French Rule (stamps issued 1899-1958)
Volume II : Independent Algeria : The era of FLN Supremacy (stamps issued 1962-1991)
Volume III : Independent Algeria : The era of civil war and limited democracy (stamps issued since 1991)

My plan is to post each page, just as the image.  For those wanting to know the identity of the stamps, I will post a PDF file of the layout for the pages in my Algeria album in a few days (still fixing a few errors I have found in the file, and adding Yvert numbers now that I have a copy of the Yvert & Tellier French Colonies catalog, 2017 edition).

Hope you enjoy the images and if you have suggestions please let me know.

Volume I : Algeria under French Rule (stamps issued 1899-1958)

Page 1 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps


Page 2


Page 3


Page 4


Page 5

Page 6 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps



Page 7


Page 8


Page 9


Page 10

Page 11 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps


Page 12

Page 13 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps



Page 14


Page 15


Page 16


Page 17


Page 18


Page 19


Page 20


Page 21


Page 22


Page 23


Page 24

Page 25 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps


Page 26 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps


Page 27


Page 28

Page 29 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps


Page 30 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps



Page 31

Page 32 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps


Page 33


Page 34


Page 35


Page 36


Page 37

Volume II : Independent Algeria : The era of FLN Supremacy (stamps issued 1962-1991)

Page 1 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps

Page 2 : No Stamps, will post image when I have stamps


Page 3


Page 4


Page 5


Page 6


Page 7


Page 8


Page 9


Page 10

Coverage currently ends in 1968, plan to continue collection further up to at least 1991 and perhaps later.