A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar


A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Antigua - A closer look at the stamps and issues

1876 Scott 11 6p blue green "Victoria"
Engraved, Perf 14, Wmk 1"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2017 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Antigua 1862-1951, 105 major number descriptions. Of those, 29 are CV <$1-$2+, or 27%. Raising the bar to CV $10+, yields 75, or 71%. Antigua, a desirable island British Colony, is somewhat expensive for the WW collector.

Antigua had their own stamps between 1862-1890, but then they were discontinued and Leeward island stamps were used. But in 1903, stamp production for Antigua was resumed, and Antigua and Leeward island stamps were used concurrently until 1956.

As the reader knows, I've finished a once over with all the countries from Aden-Zululand. But the earlier country blog posts got short shrift with a review of the stamps themselves. I plan to now go back and take a closer look at the stamps and issues. Hence, here is an auxiliary post for Antigua.

Original Antigua Blog Post and checklist

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1873 Scott 8 1p lake "Victoria"
Engraved, Perf 14, Wmk 1"
British stamps were used on Antigua between 1858-60. They can be identified by an "A02" cancellation for St. John's, and the "A18" cancellation for English Harbor. They are listed in Scott under an "A" prefix.

The first stamp, a 6p blue green,  for the Antigua Crown Colony was issued in August, 1862. It had an engraved portrait of Queen Victoria (after a drawing by Edward Corbould) by the London printer, Perkins, Bacon. Three more stamps were issued between 1863-67 on Wmk 5 "Star" paper.

In 1872, De La Rue took over the printing, using the Perkins, Bacon plates.

Between 1872-76, five stamps were released using Wmk 1 "Crown and C C" paper. Both Perf 12 1/2 and Perf 14 can be found, and all the specimens are engraved .

1884 Scott 18 1p carmine "Victoria"
Engraved, Perf 14, Wmk 2
Between 1882-864 Wmk 2 "Crown and C A" paper was used for three stamps. Again, all are engraved examples.

Clearly, watermarking, as well as checking perforations, is important for these Victorias.

The 12 stamps found with this Victoria design between 1862-1884  can be expensive (CV $30+- $100+ ), but there are 7 stamps @ CV $2+-$20+. 

Upper Left: " Wmk 1 "Crown and C C"
Upper Right: Wmk 2 "Crown and C A"
Lower Left: Wmk 3 "Multiple Crown and C A"
Lower Right: "Multiple Crown and Script C A"
Here is a nice visual review of the Crown Colony/Crown Agent watermarks.

1886 Scott 16 4p brown orange "Victoria"
Wmk 2
The Victoria keyplate design was used for Antigua beginning in 1879. Six typographic denominations were released by 1887. Five stamps are CV $2+-$10+.

As noted, use of Antigua stamps proper ceased in 1890, and only "Leeward Islands" stamps were issued.

But production for Antigua resumed in 1903 with a ten stamp "Seal of the Colony" issue. The "Seal of the Colony" design continued with an eight stamp 1908-20 issue. I won't show an example here, but the "War Tax" stamps of 1916-18 - illustrated later in this section- show the design.

1923 Scott 44 1p deep violet 
"George V and St. John's Harbor"
Wmk 4
Between 1921-29, a 23 stamp "George V and St. John's Harbor" issue was released. Some stamps are on ordinary paper, some stamps on chalky paper, and both Wmk 4 and Wmk 3 paper was used.

This example shows a Wmk 4 stamp on ordinary paper.

1921 Scott 52 6p violet & red violet
Chalky Paper, Wmk 4
This illustration shows a chalky paper variety.

Fortunately, only ordinary paper was used for the 1p -2 1/2p denominations, while chalky paper was used for the 3p and higher denominations. But the chalky paper stamps can be found with either Wmk 3 or Wmk 4, so watermarking is necessary.

CV for 14 stamps is <$1-$6+.

1932 Scott 68 1p scarlet 
"Old Dockyard, English Harbour"
For the Tercentenary of the colony, a ten stamp engraved pictorial was released with four scenes.

The 1p scarlet shows the Old Dockyard at English Harbour. English Harbour was in use by the British since 1704 as a garrisoned station. Horatio Nelson served as a captain there between 1784-1787 for the Leeward Island Station. The Dockyard was significantly improved during Nelson's tenure, and is referred to today as "Nelson's Dockyard".

The Royal Navy abandoned the Dockyard, and it  fell into a state of decay after 1889, hence the stamp image refers to the "Old Dockyard".

But, the Dockyard was restored in 1951, and is now a major tourist attraction.

1932 Scott 71 2 1/2p ultramarine
"Government House, St. John's"
This Government house - pictured on the 2 1/2p ultramarine- is naturally where the governor of the Leeward Islands resided. The current building, which still exists, was selected in 1800, and then improved.  The first building burned in 1710, and the unpopular governor, Colonel Daniel Parke, was beaten and killed by an angry mob.

CV is $3+-$10+ for seven stamps.

1943 Scott 86 1 1/2p red brown "Nelson's Dockyard"
The George VI twelve stamp pictorial engraved set was released between 1938-1951. Four scenes are illustrated.

CV ranges from <$1-$2+ for eight stamps.

Of interest, Scott lists a number of minor number color shades defined by year of issue for the various denominations.

Nelson's Dockyard was named, as already mentioned, for Admiral Horatio Nelson who lived there between 1784-87.

It is now a cultural heritage site, and it is part of Nelson's Dockyard National Park.

1938 Scott 87 2p gray "English Harbour"
Located on the south of Antigua Island, English Harbour was the base of operations for the Royal Navy, not least because they had a direct view of Guadeloupe Island and the rival French.

Former Naval Officers House - Nelson's Dockyard, English Harbour
A number of buildings have been preserved/restored, including the Dockyard Museum, formerly the Naval Officers House.

1944 Scott 89 3p pale orange "Fort James"
Fort James (named after King James II of England) is at the entrance to the harbor of St. John's on Antigua.

Ft. James
The fort was built from 1706-1739  to forestall a French invasion (which never occurred). Today, only one cannon is left.

1938 Scott 91 1sh brown & black
"St. John's Harbour"
Time is clearly marching on, as the image of a plane over St. John's Harbour is illustrated for the 1sh brown & black.

Would you like an image for today?

St. John's Today
Yes, the tourist trade is now ascendant with colorful houses and scenes. Antigua is now promoted  as luxury Caribbean destination. In fact, my niece had a destination island wedding there last year.

1916 Scott MR1 1/2p green 
"Seal of the Colony"
Overprinted in Black
The September, 1916 "War Tax" overprinted stamp was on a "Seal of the Colony" 1908 1/2p green.

The "War Tax" stamps were overprinted in London.

1917 Scott MR2 1/2p green, Red Overprint
A red overprint was used on the 1/2p green after January 10, 1917.

1918 Scott MR3 1 1/2p orange 
Color Type, Overprinted in Black
Finally, an orange "color type" 1 1/2p of the "Seal of the Colony" design was released in July, 1918.

All of the "War Tax" stamps are CV inexpensive @ $1+-$3+.

Deep Blue
1921-29 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner), for Antigua 1862-1951, has ten pages for the stamps. All of the major Scott numbers have a space.

1882 Scott 12 1/2p green "Victoria"
Wmk 2
Out of the Blue
Reviewing the stamps and scenes on stamps for Antigua was worthwhile. I learned more about the history behind the images. !!

Note: Ft. James pic and St. John's pic appear to be in the public domain.
Pic of the Dockyard Museum is courtesy of the author-
By David Stanley - Flickr: Dockyard Museum, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24985402

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