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Exceptional POSTMARKS, unusual STAMPS, informative BLOGS, selected POSTAL HISTORY (see Means of Delivery in Subjects), no sellotape!!

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Subject: Mint stamps Clear

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The SG uncatalogued 1866 QV 1/- in bluish slate (SG.8 variety), ST. VINCENT stamps:
A very fine exceedingly rare fresh mounted mint example of this unlisted stamp with printer's guide-line lower right corner, together with a fine used example with crisp horiz. brown "A10" (PML.3), plus a mint pair of the QV 1/- indigo (SG.13) for comparison.
The QV 1/- indigo (SG.13) was invoiced FE 27 1869 and the known covers spanning period AP 24 69 to OC 10 70 all fall within the use of the VERTICAL "A10" used period SP 25 68 to JU 10 72. Use of the horizontal "A10" on 1/- indigo is therefore an impossible contemporary combination. The St. Vincent PML handbook Page 34 acknowledges that the August 1866 QV 1/- Perforation B 11-13 exist in both the listed slate-grey (SG.8, Cat.£2500 mint) and also in a "bluish-shade" and initially surmised that at least two sheets perforated B slate-grey were mixed among the 500 plus sheets of the consignment. BWISC member Dr. Bruce Aitken has suggested that as this stamp was printed alongside the QV 4d deep blue (SG.6) the printers may have realised they were a few sheets short and made a special printing that came out a bit bluish in order to fill the order. Brown ink was used in the last 3 months of 1867, and used examples of this bluish slate variety were offered in the Jaffe collection.

The MUSTIQUE ISLAND carriage labels - "No mint copies exist"
This is the only known 10c yellow mint sheetlet of two labels, produced circa 1971, in fresh unmounted mint condition (small gum disturbance at lower right), accompanied by both 10c yellow label on inaugural first flight cover dated 1 SEP 1971 which terminated the private conveyance service, and subsequent Urch Harris "ballot" order form (included) for supply of the four covers. Lord Glenconnor, Colin Tennant, owner of Mustique island conceived the idea of 10c labels to privately convey island mail, with Government consent from the Hon. Hudson Tannis, Minister for Communications & Works, by more flexible regular use of small aircraft to mainland St. Vincent circumventing the slower and less frequent by boat service offered by the Mustique Post Office. Four differing colour same design labels were printed, and stocks ultimately depleted when they were affixed, alongside St. Vincent GPO issues, to SP 1 1971 first day covers for the official inaugural flight Mustique to St. Vincent. Cancelling of the covers was firstly undertaken by Doreen Simon, the Mustique schoolmistress who doubled as the island post mistress, and secondly by the mainland Kingstown G.P.O., and the bulk were carried back to London by a member of the Mustique management team in a suitcase via Luxembourg (accompanied by Princess Margaret). The Bristol based Urch Harris company, famed for their distribution of new stamp issues, marketed them . These covers were not only First Day Covers but also LAST DAY COVERS.
The Urch Harris catalogue listed printing quantities as 10c orange (2000), 10c blue (550), 10c yellow (250), 10c mauve (70). The Wilson figures for both blue and yellow are inaccurate and the estimated use for yellow labels used on inaugural flight covers is 234 leaving 14 labels (or 7 sheetlets) unaccounted for. No "earlier" service 10c orange labels are known on cover. Accompanied by scan of BWISC Bulletin article being the UH copied source for quantities affixed to first flight covers.

MUSTIQUE ISLAND stamps: The currently only known 10c blue MUSTIQUE COMPANY LIMITED mint sheetlet
Produced circa 1971 in fresh unmounted mint condition, small surface abrasion lower right edge.
550 blue labels were printed and an estimated 525 blue labels used up on the inaugural flight covers which terminated the private conveyance service. Only an estimated 25 labels (or 12 sheetlets) remain unaccounted for. No earlier service 10c blue labels are known on cover. One 10c blue label is illustrated in Nicholas Courtney's book (available internet) alongside later cover which importantly shows the handwriting style of Colin Tennant matching the unique proving cover of the earlier service.

Montserrat 1866 QV 1d pale rose INLAND REVENUE on unissued vertical laid paper, a fine and fresh gummed and perforated sheet numbered "251" showing the two units of six stamps misaligned. Contemporary ink blobs noted on stamp seven and to the right of stamp twelve. The lower selvedge deliberately removed both to indicate spoilage and to ensure the grammatically incorrect "Each" sheets did not get into circulation. Minor perf. splitting at margin edges. Note: The initial delivery is thought to be Sheets 1 to 250 making a total of 3,000 stamps being issued on horizontal laid paper with base inscription reading One Penny each - One Shilling per Sheet. - the change from Each to each being made at preparation stage due Victorians being fussy about incorrect grammar. Only three imperforate sheets (numbered 256,257,258) are currently known with the original "Each" setting, and each showing differing adjustments to the lining up of the two units. Morley in 1910 reported the existence of these stamps on vertical laid paper but both Britnor (1965) and Robson Lowe (1990) were unable to confirm their existance in their handbooks. Sheets 251 to 260 are therefore printerís unissued preparation sheets. The "Each" error was not noticed by philatelists until 2001 (135 years later!).