MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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SPECIALISING IN THE UNUSUAL - WHETHER IT BE VILLAGE POSTMARKS, THE UNEXPECTED WITH BASIC STAMPS, UNUSUAL POSTAL HISTORY, OR EXCEPTIONAL QV COVERS



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Subject: QV covers (early) Clear

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BAHAMAS postal history
1868 cover to Henry Dunn, New York with QV 4d Chalon tied "A05" with fine BAHAMAS OC 17 1868/C dbl-arc on upper flap which can fully display showing NEW YORK OCT 25 arrival with "3" due. Handstruck "CANNOT BE FOUND" and NEW YORK POST OFFICE/OCT 30/ADVERTISED oval with New York NOV 30 return cds on reverse.
£525


MAIL TO THE WRITER OF THE WHITE HORSES OF WILTSHIRE, Canada postal history
1868 cover to The Reverend W. Ch. Plenderleath (1831-1906), Cherhill Rectory, Calne, Wiltshire with QV 12½c tied Quebec oval of bars with cds dated FE 1 68, reverse very fine Chippenham A/FE 21 68 arrival. Accompanied by good condition copy of his illustrated book.
Travelled by Allen Line "S.S. Austria" sailing from Portland FE 9 68 arriving Liverpool FE 20 68.
£225



MAIL TO CRIMEAN WAR GENERAL WHO INVENTED A HEATED CANNONBALL AS A BED-WARMER, Canada postal history
1863 cover to General Higginson, 9 Wilton Crescent, London with QV 12½c tied Montreal duplex dated AP 17 63.
Grenadier Guards General Sir George Wentworth Alexander Higginson was born in Wilton Crescent Belgravia and during the Crimean War improvised a bed-warmer for the freezing nights by heating up a cannonball in the campfire.
£225

RIVERTON, NEW ZEALAND to INDIA postal history
1866 cover to Grindlay & Co., Calcutta with QV 2d strip of three, 6d pmk'd "6" with RIVERTON MR 16 1866 despatch alongside, reverse Invercargill MR 16 66 and Calcutta AP 28 1866 arrival.
£1625

THE SIEGE OF PARIS, TWO MILLION LETTERS CARRIED OUT, NONE TAKEN IN, St. Vincent postal history
1870 cover to the Duc de Polignac, Paris, France but due the siege re-directed to the small hamlet of St. Jean du Cardonnay par Maromme, Seine Inferieure (near Rouen, 87 miles north west of Paris) with QV 4d yellow, 1/- indigo tied vertical "A10" with weak ST. VINCENT A/OC 10 70 despatch and both London Paid 31 OC 70 and Calais 1 NOV 70 transits, reverse with Paris Au Havre and Maromme 17 NOV 70 and Maromme 18 NOV 70 arrivals. During the Franco-Prussian War the French capital was surrounded by the Prussians and the Siege of Paris began SP 17 1870 and lasted until an Armistice was arranged on FE 28 1871. There were over two million mouths to feed in Paris as the number of armed forces and inhabitants had been swelled by an influx of foreigners, refugees and outsiders. French aeronauts quickly suggested to the postal authorities that balloons should be used to maintain communication with the provisonal government in Tours and beyond. 67 balloons took off from Paris during the siege of which 58 landed safely, more than two million pieces of mail were carried to places all over the world with prized items marked “Par Ballon Monte” existing to destinations as far as Mauritius, Hong Kong, and Japan. There was no mail by incoming balloon, and any incoming communication could only be received by carrier pigeon. Balloon “Neptune” is considered the first official flight on 23 SP 1870 and the last balloon, the 67th flight, was named “General Cambronne” honouring the general who during the battle of Waterloo screamed the word “Merde” at his British opponents.
The previous five letters (JU 25, JY 9, JY 25, AU 10, AU 25 1870) all reached the Duc of Polignac at his Paris address, obviously due to distance Polignac's estate writer in St. Vincent was unaware that Paris had become inaccessible.
£2400







BRITISH KAFFRARIA WRAPPER from a SURVIVOR OF THE H.M.S. BIRKENHEAD TROOPSHIP DISASTER
In response for requests for testimonies from survivors the only surviving letter from the Cape: 1858 wrapper docketted "Andrews 20 Nov 1858" (the content removed but published) to David Seton, Portabello, near Edinburgh marked "Registered at King W Town 25.11.58" and "K.W.T. C.G. Hope" at lower left with two damaged copies 4d blue tied triangular handstamp with CAPE PACKET DEVONPORT JA 26 1859, red Crown/REGISTERED and red oval REGISTERED/LONDON 27 JA 59 alongside address panel, reverse red CAPETOWN DE 2 1858 transit, black Edinburgh and blue PORTABELLO JA 28 1859 arrivals.
Younger brother (Major) David Seton was quite determined from an early stage to gather as many facts as possible. He met many of the survivors personally and continued with his determination that the heroism displayed by his elder brother Alex should always be associated with the ‘Birkenhead’. Personal interviews, and correspondence with testimonies from survivors, continue as late as 1858-59 and he printed a little book on the Wreck of the ‘Birkenhead’ in Edinburgh in 1861, and again in 1873 and 1890 which was initially intended for private use and not for publication or sale. The Andrews testimony is published on pages 134/5 in "A Deathless Story" by A.C. Addison being a 318 page account of the Birkenhead.
£7250

PONDICHERRY, FRENCH INDIAN SETTLEMENTS to MAURITIUS postal history
1867 REYNAUD SOUPRAYA & Co, PONDICHERY sender cachet entire with strip of four QV 2a orange pmk'd PONDICHERRY "111" duplex dated FE 11 67 to Piper Adam & Co, Mauritius backstamped Madras transit and 2/MR 2 67 arrival, address panel with handstruck "6d TO PAY" in black. Exhibition item.
£1250


BARBADOS to NEWFOUNDLAND postal history
1877 Michael Cavan & Co. printed flap cover marked "Per Mail via Bermuda & Halifax" to Burgeo, Newfoundland with 4d deep red P.12½, 1d grey-blue P.14 (SG.68,74) pmk'd open bootheel duplex dated A/OC 29 77 showing red crayon "4" and St. Johns Newf'd NO 24 77 arrival backstamp, a little roughly opened along top.
A single printing of 36,000 stamps of the 4d deep red P.12½ was invoiced JY 14 1875, currently only 6 covers are recorded bearing this stamp.
£475

The "1d GALLE SURCHARGE", New South Wales postal history
1874 cover "Ellora via Galle and Brindisi" to Lower Norwood, Surrey, England with NINEPENCE on QV 10d, QV 1d pmk'd Sydney D/MY 15 74, reverse London JY 10 74 arrival. Edge tear at top, soiling.
When the new P&O contracts came into force in 1874 NSW refused to contribute to the P&O service because Melbourne was made the mail terminus, and because NSW favoured the route via San Francisco. To use the route via Melbourne and Pt de Galle NSW had to pay a fee to Victoria based on the number of letters sent by that route. In order to defray that expense, and also to discourage NSW writers from using the route, a 1d surcharge was added to the 9d rate via Brindisi from February 10th 1874 to May 27th 1875.
£325


10 (used Brighton), TASMANIA postal history
1861 cover "per Tasmania" to James S. Harrison, 22 Charlotte Place, Sydney, New South Wales with Chalon 2d slate-green pair (uneven setting), single superbly pmk'd "10" numerals with red PRE-PAID 4 SP 1861 alongside, reverse Sydney C/SP 9 61 arrival.
James Start Harrison (1837-1902) arrived Sydney in January 1849 with his parents after a voyage of 157 days on board the Penyard Park and eventually took up the profession of an accountant working with the new partnership formed 1861 of Alexander Learmonth & Samuel Dickinson, merchant and commission agents. He is best known as a philanthropist and local newspapers capture his interests and service given to the Sydney Ragged Schools, Sydney City Mission, Sydney Female Refuge.
£3500

13 used Kingston, TASMANIA postal history (Ex TINSLEY, BOMBIERI, BLAKE, CHARTWELL)
1864 drop letter mailed within Kingston with Chalon 1d brick-red imperforate superbly tied "13" addressed Mr. Dixon, Browns River with postmaster's manuscript "Kingston 11-1-64" alongside, no reverse markings. Ex TINSLEY, BOMBIERI, BLAKE, CHARTWELL.
The settlement known as Browns River had its name changed to Kingston by the Governor of Tasmania in 1851, so the postmaster followed this edict which was not acknowledged until a Government Gazette in 1881. It was then changed to Kingston Beach in 1900.
£825

SHORT DURATION CHALON 2d with INTRODUCTION OF SIDEFACE NEW RATE, TASMANIA postal history
1870 FIRST DAY OF ISSUE OF SIDEFACE with new rate paid by Chalon 2d yellow-green pmk'd Hobart Town NO 1 70 to The Hon. Joseph Archer, Panshanger, Longford. Ex CHARTWELL collection. APS (1994) Certificate.
This adhesive had short duration, compounded by survival, adding to rarity.
£1250




74 used Hobart, TASMANIA postal history
1860 cover to The Right Reverend Bishop Goold in Melbourne, Victoria with Chalon 2d green showing some DOUBLING OF VALUE TABLET and engine turning and Chalon 4d (pencil marked "cobalt blue, fluorescent ink" on reverse) pmk'd Hobart "74" with part red Hobart Town alongside, reverse with ornate seal impressed black wax and Melbourne A/FE 4 60 arrival.
James Alipius Goold, Roman Catholic Archbishop, was born NO 4 1812 into a prosperous family in Cork, Ireland. Ordained in Rome, returned Ireland where he gained permission to volunteer for missionary work in New South Wales arriving Sydney FE 24 1838. Visited Ballarat gold fields 1854 and 1855 and pacified Catholic miners particularly after the Eureka affair.
£925

52 used Launceston, TASMANIA postal history
1875 cover to London with mixed franking Chalon 6d and QV 3d Sideface pmk'd "52" with Launceston L/JN 10 75 and London AU 3 75 alongside.
£525


52 used LAUNCESTON DROP LETTER CIRCULAR, Tasmania postal history (Ex CHARTWELL)
1867 printed circular from William A. Collins requesting William John Johnstone, St. John Street (Launceston) to attend a Special Meeting of the Committee of the Northern Railway Leauge at the Mechanics Institute mailed with Chalon 1d brick-red P.10 tied upright Launceston "52" numeral. Ex CHARTWELL
£650



NEW SOUTH WALES postal history
1877 printed circular for two lots of land at Pottinger County (Premer Run and Moredevil Run) for SALE AT THE POLICE OFFICE, GUNNEDAH on May 2nd 1877 posted with exceptionally rare SG unlisted diagonally bisected QV 2d correctly tied Gunnedah AP 16 1877 "145" to James Wilson, Llangollew, Cassilis which can display TAMBAR SPRINGS (AP 8), COOLAH (AP 19), CASSILIS (AP 22) transits. Age marks and hinge reinforcements.
£925

GIBRALTAR postal history
1859 land route "via France" to London with GB QV 1d red strip of three, GB 6d lilac pmk'd "G" with greenish-blue A/JA 7 59 despatch, backstamped London JA 17 59 arrival. Flap with tape stain.
£825


RETRIEVED STOLEN REGISTERED MAIL from PROSECUTING SOLICITORS FILES, Trinidad postal history
1874 cover front to Joseph Veira, Fish Market Street, Basseterre, St. Kitts twice handstruck red str. line "REGISTERED" with 1/- chrome-yellow (SG.74) paying 6d inter-island postage plus 6d reg. fee. Pmk'd SP 8 1874 and rated red "4" and endorsed with "contents not shown/stated no money/(initials)". Missing is the reverse which would have had wax seals but no backstamps, and the case file number "14876/74" as this cover front was evidence in the prosecuting solicitors files against a corrupt postal official.
Three retrieved stolen mail registered covers and one cover front are currently known for period spanning JY 26 1874 to SP 8 1874 all addressed St. Kitts from case file "14876/74". The JY 26 1874 to Mrs Alice Davoren, Palmetto Point with Colonial Postmaster/Trinidad (large stop at base) impressed into reverse wax seal, three dated SP 8 1874 comprising full cover and cover front to Joseph Veira, and to Miss Margaret Rennels, Dieppe Bay (Marriott Lot 378 realised £2,875) with Colonial Postmaster/Trinidad (rosette at base) and POST OFFICE/(arms)/SAN FERNANDO red wax seals on second.
£1250

MONTSERRAT postal history
TOO LATE FOR INCLUSION FIRST SAILING OF JY 12 1876 BEARING MONTSERRAT 1st PRINTING QV 1d, 6d ADHESIVES: 1876 cover endorsed "J.S. Hollings Montserrat W.I" at lower left from the known correspondence to James Sanderson, Bridgetown, Barbados conveyed "loose" (as too late for sealed bag) by the Cassin contract mailboat to St. Kitts where inter-island rate QV 6d green affixed and tied by dumb circled single central bar cancel with ST. KITTS JY 13 76 despatch rated red "4". An exquisite and most unusual exhibition piece. Ex HART.
The 1st printings Montserrat QV 1d red (13,200 stamps) and QV 6d green (6,960 stamps) Crown CC Perf.14 were invoiced JU 12 1876 and would have arrived in time for the JY 12 1876 first sailing bearing Montserrat's own adhesives. Montserrat had lost its steamer service in 1852 and for many years thereafter the mails were conveyed to and from St. Kitts by means of sailing vessels. From SP 26 1864 to DE 31 1879 Frederick Slater Cassin, of Antigua, held the contract to convey the mails between St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat, for which he received a subsidy of £490 a year.
£4250




ST. BARTHELEMY (French reoccupation, 2nd year) postal history
1879 entire headed "St Barths 11 Septr 1879" to The Post Master, Grand Turk, Turks Islands, enclosing a letter for Mr. Gibbs (presumed George Gibbs, the Salt Merchant, and Commission and Forwarding Agent at Grand Turk). Conveyed to neighbouring St. Christopher for onward transit where QV 6d green affixed and tied by the "APMY" dumb cds with weak ST. KITTS despatch (thought SP 12 79), rated red "4". On arrival most unusually handstruck internally with pristine TURK'S-ISLAND code removed/OC 10 79 cds probably as a record of receipt to show date acted upon for any future reference. Additionally unique for being the only known St. Christopher UPU member cover to a non-UPU member commanding a 6d rate (St. Christopher was full member from JY 1 1879, Turks Islands did not join the UPU until JA 1 1881). An exceptional showpiece conveyed through British Colonial Post Offices during the second year of French reoccupation.
On NO 26 1781 St. Eustatius was captured by the French under Marquis De Bouille, St. Martin was seized the following day, and Saba and St. Bartholomew soon after. The latter island remained French until 1784 when it was suddenly sold by one of Louis XVI's ministers to Sweden in exchange for trading rights in the Swedish port of Gothenburg. In 1877 France bought back the island from Sweden for 400,000 francs with the agreement ratifield in Stockholm NO 9 1877 and in Paris MR 4 1878. On MR 16 1878 the French officially reoccupied St. Barthelemy. A census in 1875 indicated there were around 2,300 inhabitants on the island. (Note: this is similar to the expectation of how a Cayman Island cover for the period would travel, if one existed, and equally as rare).
£12500
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