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: St. Vincent Clear
Subject: All

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ST. VINCENT postal history
1886 cover with printed sender's initials flap to S. Chapman, West Hampstead, London with the 4d rate most unusually paid by QV ½d green strip of three, QV 2½d on 1d lake (SG.47,40) tied Kingstown C/MY 6 86 cds, alongside a fine strike of a PML handbook unlisted boxed "TOO LATE" (34 x 8½mm, low cross-bar in "A").
£825

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




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.
£1200



ST. VINCENT stamps
EXCEPTIONALLY POWERFUL EXAMPLE OF THE DOUBLE SURCHARGE on 1893-94 QV FIVE PENCE on 6d deep lake (SG.60ac, Cat.£4,000), very fine appearance used showing part KINGSTOWN cds and "AP" month slug, small lower left corner marginal coloured marks will determine sheet position, reverse with thinned top perfs. 1975 RPS Certificate. Ex JAFFE
£1250



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.
£850




INTRODUCING THE LADY ANNE COVER, the greatest and most significant item of MUSTIQUE postal history
It was always assumed that the four Mustique Company labels were solely produced for the SP 1 1971 Government run inaugural First Flight covers between Mustique Post Office and mainland, St. Vincent, but this UNIQUE PROVING COVER shows that a Government approved PRIVATELY OPERATED LOCAL CARRIAGE SERVICE existed (by-passing the Mustique post office, and perhaps for only a few months) which REMAINED UNDISCOVERED for nearly 45 YEARS - 1971 commercial cover hand addressed by Colin Tennant to Lady Anne Tennant with MUSTIQUE COMPANY LTD 10c MAUVE label tied by their 10 JUN 1971 company handstamp for air carriage of 18 miles to mainland, and St. Vincent 50c Bird postmarked the next day KINGSTOWN */11 JU 71 to the family home at Tite Street, London. Arrival confirmed by automatic letter sorting machine luminescent dots applied at the London Eastern Central District Office as seen lower right of cover. No early ORANGE, YELLOW, or BLUE labels are known on cover. LADY ANNE TENNANT (formerly Lady Anne Coke), wife of Lord Glenconnor, Colin Tennant, owner of Mustique, was a Maid of Honour to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Her Coronation and is best seen holding the Queen's gown during the procession down the aisle at Westminster Abbey. Lady Anne was also Lady-In-Waiting to H.R.H. Princess Margaret. (Accompanied by early example of the SP 1 71 10c mauve on First Flight cover typewritten address - ie before use of printed address labelling).
This is the ONLY KNOWN COVER leaving just 5 labels unaccounted for as only 70 of the 10c mauve label were printed for exclusive use by the owners of Mustique - the remaining 64 labels known to have been used up on the later First Day Covers for the SP 1 1971 inaugural flight Mustique to St. Vincent. The normal Mustique Post Office was fully operational since 1958 but the company service offered a more flexible air connection to the mainland. The labels were printed in units of two.
£18500

ST. VINCENT stamps:
1883 DLR QV 1d drab ovp'd "Revenue" with OVERPRINT INVERTED (PML.9), the only example showing clear date of "31/12/83", minor blemish one perf. tip. Only four examples from a single sheet of 60 stamps are currently known to have survived.
The three other examples dated "15/12/83" (faults, Peter Jaffe lot 537), "15/12/83" (fine), and "29/12/83" (illus. PML handbook Page 147)
£2400
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