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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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of the ‘Birkenhead’ in Edinburgh in 1861, and again in 1873 and 1890 which was initially intended for private use and not for publication or sale.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

EXHIBITION COVER SHORT-LIVED 14 CORNER DOTS GREAT BRITAIN QV 1d LILAC to BARBADOS
1881 cover with five copies GB QV 1d Venetian red and seven copies GB QV 1d lilac (SG.166,170) pmk'd London S.W/32 duplex dated AU 2 81 to Mrs. Belfield, Chelston, Barbados being the penultimate 1/- rate prior switching to the 4d U.P.U. rate on SP 1 1881, backstamped BARBADOES AU 18 1881 dbl-arc arrival clear of largely missing flap. A spectacular exhibition cover for the short band of use 14 dots in each corner GB QV 1d lilac.
The 1d Venetian red stamps do not have the Orbs watermark error Cat.£27,000 apiece.
£600

BERMUDA postal history
1902 illustrated Princess Hotel cover to Cambridgeport, Massachusetts with two pairs and single ONE FARTHING on QV 1/- dull grey and QV 1d carmine tied HAMILTON FE 25 1902 d/rings, arrival backstamps.
£120

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

GREAT BRITAIN USED TWO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, Malta postal history
1861 mourning cover to Lt. Colonel Duncan Munro Bethune (1816-1870), 1st Battalion. 9th Regiment, Vernon House, Farnham, Surrey with GB 6d pmk'd "A25" duplex dated A/MALTA/JA 23 61, backstamped Farnham JA 23 61 arrival and forwarded to London with GB QV 1d red pmk'd "292" numeral on JA 25 61 with London transits.
Such GB combination covers are seldom found and extremely rare, and do not exist for most countries and agencies that were supplied with GB stamps.
£1200


INDIA postal history
1855 entire headed "Calcutta 19 May 1855" to Messrs Strahan, Paul & Bates in London with QV 1a tied by diamond of dots with rarely seen sender's red "FORWARDED BY/CHARLES CANTOR & Co/CALCUTTA" cachet alongside, boxed red "INDIA" with matching red G.P.O. 19 MAY 55 d/ring upper flap alongside London JY 2 arrival which can display.
£725


IRELAND ISLAND, Bermuda postal history
1908 use 2d blue/cream PSRE to Watton, Norfolk with added 1d Dock pmk'd Ireland Island A/SE 1 1908 d/ring (H7) with re-introduced IRELAND ISLAND d/ring (H5, used 1896-1900) as registration etiquette appended "171" in pencil.
Contemporary and obsolete IRELAND ISLAND on same entire. This is currently the only known example as illustrated in Proud Bermuda handbook but date incorrectly given as SP 1 1905.
£425

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



BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION, British Honduras postal history
1924 use of KGV 2c brown/buff newswrapper to South Kensington, London pmk'd Belize JY 11 24 cds, reverse 60x74mm locally produced "BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION/VISIT BRITISH HONDURAS COURT" label with lower edge showing printed broken line and separation rougher edge.
£1250

BARBADOS postal history
1843 entire from Henry Alleyne to Oddie & Lumley, London with unusual format 22mm BARBADOES dbl-arc dated JY 5 1843 rated unusually blue ink 1/-. Interesting contents mention sugar reaped Thicket, Fortescue, Belle, and Mount (Earl of Harewood's Estates) and the ordering of a few tons of "Guano" as a manure...I trust it will prove as beneficial here as in Jamaica". Thought to be the best display entire.
This curious mix of the preceding 24mm BARBADOES seriffed fleuron coupled with double arcs at base (measured top of "A" to top of "E") was not GPO London proofed and omitted from the Benwell handbook on Barbados postal markings. It is currently recorded period JA 5 1838 to SP 8 1845 but makes a re-appearance JA 24 1850 as a transit datestamp on an entire Trinidad to New York
£275

The rare PRIVATE SHIP LETTER RATE to England, Bermuda postal history
1883 private ship letter rate cover (opened at top, reduced at left) with QV 4d orange-red (SG.20) tied black K3 "2" ST. GEORGES A/DE 1 83 duplex to St. John Wood, London, landed with red LIVERPOOL/A/DE 24 83/SHIP cds clear of address.
Only three Bermuda QV adhesive covers are currently known landed by LIVERPOOL SHIP cds. All from St. Georges, the other two arriving Liverpool A/JA 29 84 (carried by "Nubian"). Ludington (lot 752) mentions that on NO 30 1883 H.M.S. Northampton was driven onto Stagg Rock in violet weather.
£350

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




SMITH'S ISLAND, BERMUDA internal postal history
In July 1609 Sir George Somers left Plymouth on the flagship Sea Venture as part of a fleet of 9 vessels with supplies for the new English colony at Jamestown, Virginia. In a severe storm she was separated and driven onto the reefs at Bermuda with all 150 sailors and settlers saved, this event is thought to be Shakespeare’s inspiration for The Tempest. With materials primarily stripped from the Sea Venture two new ships, The Deliverance and The Patience, were built and most set sail again on May 10 1610 for Jamestown. Smith’s island in St. George’s became Bermuda’s first settlement when three of the survivors, Christopher Carter, Edward Waters and Edward Chard (two were mutineers), set up camp becoming the first accidental permanent colonists. They built cabins, planted beans, melons, tobacco, maize, fished the coast and hunted wild hogs left there from an earlier visit by the Spanish. When the Plough arrived from England July 11 1612 with the first part of planned colonists Governor Moore was delighted with the garden produce because the Somer Isles Company in London had supplied him with some 80 varieties of seeds to try in Bermuda. Many of the first European crops Virginia and later American colonies saw were planted on Smith’s Island. The illustrated QV ½d Post Card, postmarked St. Georges 14 JA 1901, is addressed to C. W. McCallan, perhaps the only resident family on the 61 acre island, and perhaps the replied pricing for pupils at the Grammar School was intended for E.A. McCallan, the 1948 Bermudian author of “Life on Old St. David’s”.
Also included u/m commemorative set plus pre-owned Gail Langer Karwoski's book "Miracle - The true story of the Wreck of the Sea Venture" (64 pages).
£325


The rare SANS-SERIF DOUBLE-ARC, GRENADA postal history
1848 neatly written entire to John Scoble, Anti-Slavery Office, London from Schoolmaster James Paul Springle, Town of St. Patrick rated 2/- showing probably the finest of the very few recorded sans-serif GRENADA dbl-arc dated NO 7 1848/A which displays upper flap.
Sent from the GPO, London May 1 1847. Confirmed examples of this seldom used datestamp are recorded for AU 9 1847 no code, NO 7 1848/A, MR 10 1849/A
£1200


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
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