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



Country: Antigua Clear
Subject: All

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GREAT BRITAIN and ANTIGUA "both ways" postal history
1900 cover with GB QV 1d lilac pmk'd Chipping Norton AP 4 00 to Miss Bowen, The Point, St. Johns, Antigua with MY 4 00 (wider fleuron at base) backstamp, returned with Leeward Islands QV 1d pmk'd Antigua MY 9 00 (smaller fleuron at base), backstamped Bristol and Chipping Norton MY 25 00 cds, flap roughly opened.
£275

ST. KITTS PAID (used during shortage 2˝d stamps for the under 300 sea miles rate) to ANTIGUA.
1889 stampless cover to Joe Goodwin, High Street, (St. John's), Antigua with the (2˝d) rate covered by black undated ST. KITTS PAID with ST. KITTS C/DE 12 89 despatch being the latest known date of use. Frontal vertical fold and with no arrival backstamp which is consistent with covers to Antigua at this time. Ex FORSYTH, BROOKES.
The 1889 shortage of ˝d, 1d, 2˝d, 4d stamps currently spans a 22 day period NO 21 1889 to DE 12 1889. New supplies were invoiced NO 29 1889 comprising ˝d dull green (6,080 stamps), 1d carmine-rose, 2˝d ultramarine, 4d grey (6,100 each) all Crown CA wmk, with expected arrival in time for the DE 19 89 sailing to UK. Only four covers and two cover fronts are recorded comprising NO 21 89 (at the over 300 miles rate) to Trinidad, NO 21 89 and DE 5 89 cover fronts (at the 4d UPU rate) to Edinburgh and London respectively, DE 5 89 and DE 12 89 (at the 2˝d under 300 miles radius rate) to Barbados and Antigua respectively, and DE 10 89 (at the 1d local rate) to Nevis.
£1250



VICTORIOUS "PORTLAND" RAN AGROUND in RIVER SHANNON and STRANDED, ANTIGUA INTERRUPTED PACKET MAIL
This entire is headed “Antigua 28th Octr 1796” and marked “by Portland packet” from the Tudway correspondence to Wells, Somersetshire with handstruck S:KITTS rated 2/- changed 3/2. The “Portland” had left Falmouth with the mails for the Leeward Islands on AU 29 1796 and when off Barbados was attacked by a French privateer in which she beat off the attacker and preserved the mails. The Cook, William Thomson, lost a leg during the fighting and subsequently died of his injuries. In calm seas, near Guadeloupe, another armed privateer, the “Temeraire”, of much superior force gave chase. At daylight on October 18th the enemy hoisted her French colours and came alongside to board. The Master, Nathaniel Taylor, organised the passengers to open their musquetry upon her killing or wounding 41 of 68 on board. Captain Taylor was killed in the moment of victory. The “Temeraire” was taken into Montserrat as a prize, and the “Portland” left St. Kitts on 30th October bound Falmouth. Due a shortage of fresh water she put into the River Shannon on the west coast of Ireland on 6th January 1797. Sailing shortly after she had to put back because of bad weather, and whilst sheltering she was driven from her moorings and higher up the river ran aground. Stranded and waiting to be refloated on the Spring Tides she eventually arrived at Falmouth on 25th March. In the interim the Mate, Richard Leonard, personally took the mails from Limerick to London and they were placed in the post JA 14 97 per backstamp. This is the first recorded “Portland” interrupted mail entire clearly documenting its journey. The full story can be found in “The History of the Sailing Packets to the West Indies” by Len Britnor Pages 72-73 published by the BWI Study Circle 1973.
£2250



SAILOR'S LETTER WITH CONCESSION RATE PAID BY 1d COIN, Antigua postal history
1845 entire headed May 26th 1845 from John King, Master at Arms on board Her Majesty's Ship Pique, Antigua (a naval soldier responsible for discipline and law enforcement aboard a ship) countersigned Horace Baker (Lieutenant & Commanding Officer) to his wife in Devonshire Buildings in Bath without the customary manuscript "1d paid" in red ink (as applied on land) but with his last ("my last") GB QV 1d coin sewn alongside the address panel confirmed by London PAID JU 20 1845 transit (not deemed overweight or subject to additional charge). Although a few dozen Soldier's Letters are recorded for the prestamp period this seems to be the only recorded accepted stampless Sailor's Letter from the BWI prior 1850. Contents include mention of discovery that the Foremast is so rotten, and a portion sent to the Admiralty with expectation of being ordered Home by September unless the mast is ordered to be built at Halifax or Port Royal "which I do not think they will do now the ship is three years in Commission". (Between 1841 and 1846 Pique, a sailing frigate with 36 guns, served on the North America and West Indies Station, on 10 March 1842 the Illustrious (see David Pitts lots 39, 159), with the Pique, Fair Rosamond and Spitfire departed Barbados for Antigua and Jamaica).
A scan of the entire has been mounted on card and an actual 1845 1d coin has been sewn on with hemp, using the original 7 in and 7 out needle holes, to simulate how it could have looked, although it was on reverse in actual transit. Only one other BWI prepayment by sewn 1d coin entire is known written January 24th 1847 and posted on land with ANTIGUA double arc JA 27 1847 on a Soldiers Letter (ex Gerald Sattin) to a shoe maker in Edinburgh, the coin evidently was also sewn to the reverse as the circumference of the sewing holes obscure the frontal addressing.
£6500

ANTIGUA postal history:
1887 cover to South Brooklyn, New York with QV 4d blue CA wmk (SG.23) neatly pmk'd ANTIGUA A/DE 20 87 cds, delightful appearance.
£550


PAID AT NEVIS - AN EXQUISITE and INTRIGUING FAKED COVER
1885 completed fabricated cover showing why the PAID AT NEVIS Crowned Circle was used on pairs QV ˝d dull green and singles QV 1d carmine (SG.25,27a) during the period 9/12/83 to 9/9/86 (dates taken from village manuscript markings on loose stamp overstruck with the Crowned Circle): 1885 cover addressed Chas. Hill Esq., English Harbour, Antigua with genuine QV 1d carmine superbly tied full upr. bogus PAID AT NEVIS Crowned Circle to uprate to 2˝d for the under 300 mile inter-island rate (with further strike alongside) additionally showing bogus NEVIS A/DE 12 85 despatch cds alongside address panel. B/stamped further bogus NEVIS A/DE 12 85 cds and what is now considered extremely dubious ANTIGUA/ A/DE 14 85/ ENGLISH HARBOUR cds (note that this is the same date as found on the E.V. Toeg cover bearing 8 x QV 1d to Sherring, Bristol with RPS certificate). The author being aware that genuine strikes of both the Crowned Paid and Nevis cds have an oily appearance at this time has cleverly used his paint brush to simulate the oily stains within the Nevis despatch cds and soiled the cover at top left for good measure. (Shortages of the 2˝d adhesive were highly probable at this time as only 1080 copies 2˝d red-brown CA were invoiced AU 10 82 followed by 5100, 5100, 5160 copies of the 2˝d ultramarine on NO 6 83, MY 21 84, AU 7 84). No genuine covers with the QV ˝ds or single QV 1d with PA
£925
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