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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RARE "BOTH WAYS" COMBINATION COVER, VICTORIA postal history
1858 cover with GB QV 6d pmk'd London S.W. duplex dated DE 21 58 to Melbourne, South Australia arriving MR 20 59, returned with tied 6d Queen on Throne to Shinfield, Reading. Soiling with some perf. toning. 144 days total in the mails.
By THAMES Southampton JA 12 59 to Alexandria, COLUMBIAN sailed JA 30 from Suez to Melbourne MR 20 59. Back home by P&O MALTA Melbourne AP 18 to Suez, CEYLON Alexandria to Southampton JU 10 1859. Mail 89 days out, 54 home.
£425



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



North Africa BARBARY COAST and GB USED ABROAD combination, GIBRALTAR postal history
1871 mourning cover with unidentified blue Arabic-like origin cachet almost certainly originating in the Barbary Coast regions of North Africa, addressed with French salutation to Madame Isabella Wilson, Youngstown, Ohio with GB 4d, 6d pmk'd "A26" with GIBRALTAR A/NO 22 71 despatch showing London 7 DE 71 and New York Paid All (indistinct date) transits over red "2/CENTS" handstamp). No backstamps and smaller portion of flap missing. A currently unique and intriguing item.
At that time there was no state postal system and foreign post offices were in only a few North African coastal towns. The Parmenter & Gordon handbook Page 1/5 states that "From 1st March 1858 mail from Tangier and other British Consulates in "Barbary" had to be prepaid in GB adhesives which were later cancelled in Gibraltar". The first TANGIER cds was sent from the GPO London on 16th March 1872 (some 4 months later than this cover, examples of use are TANGIER A/JU 29 73 and A/OC 15 73 placed below GB 6d, and GB 2d,4d each pmk'd "A26" on covers to Monsieur A. Boucard, London, Ex Glassco). Some irregular private couriers were also actively taking international mail to European Post Offices. The handstamp was probably carved from wood and the manufacturer chiselled it as he would see it but when struck it would appear in mirror image, ie reverse. It is also noted that if the third digit in the "date" were not inverted and reversed it might read 1871. (See also Kabyle Rebellion, Algeria)
£4250

GB used abroad at CALLAO, PERU postal history (Ex DALE LICHTENSTEIN)
1876 cover to Cumnock, Ayrshire with Peru 1d green (creased) and w/marginal pair GB QV 9d pale straw Plate 4 (SG.Z50, Cat.£400) pmk'd Callao "C38" with blue COLVILLE & Co, CALLAO sender's cachet dated OCT 14 1876 alongside address panel, reverse with A/CALLAO/OC 14 76 and CUMNOCK A/NO 13 76 arrival, some peripheral faults and damaged flap. Ex DALE LICHTENSTEIN
This Peru 1 dinero was cancelled "C38" from stocks held at the British Packet Agencies to comply with the tax on all outgoing mail.
£650


CEYLON postal history
1869 OFFICERS CONCESSION RATE OF 10d cover (1 of 2 known) endorsed "Chichester/Cap. A.D.C." at lower left to his daughter Amy in Cleobury-Mortimer RE-DIRECTED THREE TIMES on arrival with Ceylon QV 10d orange pmk'd black "B" showing red TRICOMALEE PAID AU 18 69 cds alongside and b/stamped red COLOMBO PAID A/AU 21 69. On arrival b/stamped LONDON N7/SP 20 69 and LONDON X10/SP 20 69 with re-direction to a Square in London S.W with circled "1d" due handstamp; further re-direction to Army Agents Cox & Co, Craig Street with free re-direction within London crowned "R" applied plus CHARING CROSS W.C. A6/SP 20 69 cds, finally re-posted with GB QV 1d red Plate 108 pmk'd BEWDLEY SP 21 69 duplex to Tiverton, Devon. Flap removed plus minor faults.
Officers did not mark their mail for the privilege postage rate of 6d per ½oz (plus any Foreign Rate) unless there was a savings. There was no advantage on U.K. mail when rates were 6d via Southampton and 10d via Marseilles, but increases to 9d and 1/1d respectively on FE 1 1868 allowed a savings of 3d (as seen on the above cover). The concessionary rate was withdrawn DE 31 1869 so savings were only possible over a 23 month period.
£3250




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



C38 used CALLAO, PERU to JAMAICA postal history:
Combination cover with Peru 1868-72 1d green, GB QV 6d pale buff (assumed Plate 11), GB QV 1/- green Plate 6 (SG.Z43, Z53) tied "C38" cancels addressed John Small, Port Maria, Jamaica with 3-line PANAMA/3 AP 1873/TRANSIT plus pencilled "2" on face, b/stamped A/CALLAO/MR 26 73, Kingston IIIA/AP 8 73 and Port Maria C/AP 9 73 cds. Cover soiled with peripheral base tear and GB QV 6d with pale colour. A UNIQUE FRANKING TO JAMAICA.
This Peru 1 dinero was cancelled "C38" from stocks held at the British Packet Agencies to comply with the tax on all outgoing mail.
£1500
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