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 : The 1924 First Issue - French Stamps overprinted "ALGERIE"

Page 3 : 1924 Parcel Post Issues (don't have any, yet) and 1925 Additional Values to Series I - 
French Stamps overprinted "ALGERIE"

Page 4 : 1926 Parcel Post Issue, 1926 Postage Due Stamps (Duval and Recoverments Types inscribed "ALGERIE") and Second Definitive Series of 1926 "Views of Algeria" June 1926 issues.

Page 5 : Second Definitive Series of 1926 - Views of Algeria, additional values from July-November 1926 and plate variety "Fifth Tree in View from Tomb of Sidi Yakub in Tilimsan" (don't have any of those, yet)

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

Page 7 : 1927 Charity Overprint for Veterans of the Rif War in Morocco (don't have any of those, yet) and Revalued Surcharges on 1926 views of Algeria issue.

Page 8 : 1927 Revalued Surcharges on 1926 Postage Due Issues, 1927 Additional Values to 1926 Definitive Series "Views of Algeria" and 1927 Parcel Post Issue reflecting new rates 

Page 9 : 1927 New values and colors for Second Definitive Series of 1926 "Views of Algeria" and Postage Due Series of 1926, January 1929 Revalued Parcel Post Issue

Page 10 : 1929-1930 New values and colors for Second Definitive Series of 1926 "Views of Algeria" and Postage Due Series of 1926, July 1929 and 1930 Revalued Parcel Post Issues, 
1930 Centenary of Algeria Philatelic Exposition

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

Page 12 : 1936 Engraved Pictorial Definitive Series "Views of Algeria II"

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

Page 14 : 1937 Paris International Expo and Centenary of French conquest of Constantine commemorative series, 1937-1938 additions to definitive series of 1926 and 1936, 1938 Anniversary of 1918 Armistice Issue, 1938 Parcel Post Series

Page 15 : 1939 additions to definitive series of 1926 and 1936, 1939 Surcharges, 1939 centenary of Philippeville (Skikda) and Pioneers of Sahara Exploration issues

Page 16 : 1939 New York International Expo commemoratives, 1939 Parcel Post Series

Page 17 : 1940 Aid to Families of Mobilized Soldiers Charity issue, 1940 additions to 1936 Definitive Issue, 1940 Revaluations of 1939 Parcel Post Series

Page 18 : 1941 Parcel Post Series, Vichy Algeria definitives (Marechal Petain and redesigned issues without the "RF" monogram.

Page 19 : 1942 Parcel Post Series, Vichy Algeria definitives (Marechal Petain and Algiers Print of the 1942-1945 Algerian city coats of arms series with engraver name below design)

Page 20 : 1943 Algerian city coats of arms series new values, Algiers Print with engraver name below design and Paris printing without designer name, Free France War Effort issue, 1943 Revaluation of 1942 Parcel Post series.

Page 21 : 1943 Revaluation of 1942 Parcel Post series continued, Surcharges issues for Telegraphs and Postage Due, 1944 Marianne of Algiers and Algiers Rooster issues.

Page 22 : 1944 Palace of the Governors-General, Algiers, High-Values, Customs Due overprint on Palace, Charity issue for families of prisoners of war, 1944 Revaluation of 1943 Parcel Post issues

Page 23 : 1944 Revaluation of 1943 Parcel Post issues continued, 1945 Algiers Rooster and Paris Print of Algerian City Coat of Arms additional values, 1945 Duval Postage Dues new values.

Page 24 : 1945 Types of French Definitives overprinted "ALGERIE," 1945 Charity Issues, 1945 Revaluation of 1943 Parcel Post Issue

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

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

Page 27 : 1946 Types of French Definitives overprinted "ALGERIE," 1946 Air Mail Series "Airplane over Port of Algiers," 1946 Solidarity Charity Issue, 1947 Types of French Definitives and Postage Dues overprinted "ALGERIE," 1947 Charity Issues

Page 28 : 1947 City Coat of Arms Series II definitives, 1947 Postage Due Series, 1947 Revaluations of 1945 Parcel Post issues for new tariffs

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

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

Page 31 : 1948 City Coat of Arms Series II definitives new values, 1948 Charity Issues, 1948 Revaluations of 1945 Parcel Post issues for new tariffs 

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

Page 33 : 1949-1950 Additional City Arms and Postage Due values, 1949 Airmail Pictorials, 1949 Commemoratives for Stamp Day, 75th Anniversary of UPU and 25th Anniversary of Algerian stamps, 1949 Charity Issues, 1950 Fruit Pictorials, 1950-1951 Commemoratives for Stamp Day French conquest of In Salah anniversary, Dedication of Abd al-Qadir monument and Colonna D'Ornano Death Anniversary, 1950-1951 Charity Issues 

Page 34 : 1952 Statue Definitives, 1952 Commemoratives for Stamp Day, Geological Congress, Military Medal, Army of The Sahara, Battle of Bir Hakeim, Red Cross, 1953 Commemoratives for Military Medical Pioneers, Stamp Day, Army Volunteer Projects, Additional values for 1947 Postage Due and 1949 Airmail Pictorial issue, 1954 Commemoratives for Stamp Day, Citrus Congress, and the Foreign Legion, 1954 Charity issue for War Veterans

Page 35 : 1954 Charity Issues, 1954 Bardo Museum Definitives, 1954 St Augustine Commemorative, 1954 Relief for victims of Orleansville (Al-Shilaf) Earthquake, 1955 Commemoratives for Stamp Day, Tipasa Anniversary, Medical Congress, Rotary, Pictorial view of the Grand Kabylia

Page 36 : 1955-1957 Bardo Museum, City Coats of Arms and Marianne definitives, additions to 1947 Postage Due Series, 1956 Commemoratives for Cancer Research, Marshal D'Esperey, 1957 Commemoratives for Stamp Day, Red Cross, Anniversary of DeGaulle's Appeal, Army Volunteer Work, Economic Development Pictorial Regular Issue and Airmail

Page 37 : 1958 City Coat of Arms, original and redesigned versions, 1958 Pictorial view of Oran, 1958 Commemoratives for Stamp Day, Children's Charities and the DeLattre Foundation.

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

Page 1 : No Stamps - "EA" overprints handstamped on French Postage Stamps (including space for provisional issues)

Page 2 : No Stamps - "EA" overprints handstamped on French Postage Due Stamps (including space for provisional issues)

Page 3 : "EA" overprints typographed on French Postage & Postage Due Stamps, French views of Algeria pictorials inscriped "Republique Algerienne" and 1962 Charity Issue for Orphans of Resistance fighters (not listed in Scott for some odd reason)

Page 4 : Issues of 1962-1963 including Independence Of Algeria issue

Page 5 : Issues of 1964-1965 including first definitive series "Economic Activities"

Page 6 : Issues of 1965-1966 including first Neolithic Art set

Page 7 : Issues of 1966-1967 including second Neolithic Art Set and Rasim Miniatures issues

Page 8 : Issues of 1967 including First Airmail Series, Fauna, and First Part of Abd al-Qadir definitive series.

Page 9 : Issues of 1968 including First Airmail and Abd al-Qadir definitive series additional values and traditional rugs.

Page 10 : Final Issues of 1968 and Abd al-Qadir definitive series additional value from 1969.

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

Comments? Suggestions? Love to hear feedback!


  1. Lovely! I especially enjoyed the 1950+ years, as I have not seen them before.

    Gene - do you only collect unused?

    1. Thanks Jim!

      I don't only collect unused. For stamps issued pre-1910 or so (depending on country) I collect used, preferable with Circular Date Stamp cancels identifying use. From +/- 1910 to +/- 1960 (again depending on country I collect Mint Hinged (though I'll buy NH if it is a good deal), and post +/- 1960 is Never Hinged.

  2. You've shared the postal stamps collections, they are really wonderful. And I like your stamps collections.
    Thank you so much for sharing


  3. Many people will get lot of benefits by reading this kind of informational stuff .Thank you so much for this .

  4. Many many thanks for the author as this information is very much important for me and I was searching this from a long time.