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ANTIGUA

Return To Catalogue - Leeward Islands

Currency: 4 farthings = 1 penny; 12 pence = 1 Shilling; 20 Shillings = 1 Pound

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Antigua is one of the Leeward Islands situated in the Caribbean.


Before the introduction of its own stamps, stamps of Great Britain were used in Antigua. They can be recognized by the cancels 'A02' (St.Johns) and 'A18' (Harbour).


( 'A02' cancel of Antigua)

I think these cancels are quite scarce. I do not know if forged Antigua cancels exist on stamps of Great Britain (but there could very well be).


1862 Head of Queen Victoria with diadem to left, inscription 'ANTIGUA' above, value below

  1 p red
  6 p green

For the specialist: The first issue of these stamps was unwatermarked (only 6 p green, very rare). In 1863 an issue with watermark star followed. In 1873 the watermark was changed to Crown and CC. In 1884-85 this was finally changed to watermark Crown and CA. Many perforations exist and several colour variations exist.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
6 p (no watermark)RRRRseveral perforations
1 p (watermark star)RRseveral colour variations
6 p (watermark star)RRR 
1 p (watermark CC crown)R***perf 12 1/2
6 p (watermark CC crown)RR***perf 12 1/2
1 p (watermark CC crown)RR***perf 14
6 p (watermark CC crown)RR***perf 14
1 p (watermark CA crown)**perf 14
1 p (watermark CA crown)R***perf 12
6 p (watermark CA crown)RRperf 14

"A02" cancellation "A18" cancellation
Typical cancellations: 'A02' (St.Johns) and 'A18' (Harbour).

I have seen an imperforate stamps (the 1 p and 6 p both with watermark star exist in this condition; rare):


I've been told that this is an imperforate proof of a 6 p stamp

Bisected stamp:

1 p red bisected diagonally, forgery?

The 1 p red exists bisected diagonally used in 1882/83 (see picture above, however, this could be a forgery). A picture of a forged Antigua bisected stamp on cover made by Raoul de Thuin can be found in 'The Yucatan Affair', page 32 (published by the American Philatelic Society).

A12 St.Christopher cancel
('A12' St.Christopher cancel)

St. Christopher - The One Penny stamp of Antigua was used during a shortage of 1d. stamps in 1890. They can only be identified by the "A12" cancel used in St. Christopher (see picture above)

Forgeries, examples:

Forgery!
(Reduced size)

Forgery! Forgery!

Note the strange cancels on the above forgeries! They don't have a watermark. They could have been made by the forger Spiro. Could the next forgeries also have been made by the same forger?:


(Forgeries)

 

1879 Queen Victoria, new type

2 1/2 p brown 4 p blue 4 p blue, image thanks to Bill Claghorn

  1/2 p green
  2 1/2 p brown
  2 1/2 p blue
  4 p blue
  4 p brown
  1 Sh lilac

For the specialist: The perforation of all these stamps is always 14. All values exist with watermark 'Crown CA'. The 2 1/2 p brown and 4 p blue exist also with watermark 'Crown CC'.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1/2 p ****watermark CA crown
2 1/2 p brownRRRRRwatermark CC crown
2 1/2 p brownRRRwatermark CA crown
2 1/2 p blue******watermark CA crown
4 p blueRRRwatermark CC crown
4 p blueRRRwatermark CA crown
4 p brown****watermark CA crown
1 Sh lilacRRRRwatermark CA crown

 

Forgeries:

Examples:

Forgery! Forgery! Forgery!

The above stamps have a solid line for the outline of the face (left side), however the genuine stamps don't have this line. Moreover, the triangular decorations are not the same. (I've got these images thanks to the Forgeries idenfication site of Bill Claghorn). Note also, that only the 1/2 p and the 4 p blue have the right colour!

From 31st October 1890 to August 1903 Antigua used the stamps of the Leewart Islands. It started re-issuing stamps in 1903.


Issues from 1903 onwards

1903 Seal of Antigua


(Reduced sizes)

  1/2 p green and black
  1/2 p green
  1 p red and black
  1 p red
  2 p brown and lilac
  2 1/2 p blue and black
  2 1/2 p blue
  3 p orange and green
  6 p black and lilac
  1 Sh lilac and blue
  2 Sh violet and green
  2 Sh 6 p lilac and black

Overprinted 'WAR STAMP'

Image obtained thanks to Peter Elias

  1/2 p green (overprinted in red or black)
  1 1/2 p orange

For the specialist; the stamps 1/2 p green and black, 1 p red and black, 2 1/2 p blue and black and 2 Sh 6 p were issued with watermark 'CC Crown' only (in 1903). The 1/2 p green, 1 p red and 2 1/2 p blue were issued with watermark 'Multiple CA Crown' only (in 1908). All the other un-overprinted values were issued with both watermarks. The 1 1/2 p was never issued without the overprint 'WAR STAMP'.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1/2 p green and black ** 
1/2 p green** 
1 p red and black** 
1 p red** 
2 p*****with watermark CC crown about twice as expensive
2 1/2 p blue and black ****** 
2 1/2 p blue**** 
3 p ****with watermark CC crown about much more expensive
6 p******with watermark CC crown: R (unused and used)
1 Sh******with watermark CC crown: R (unused and used)
2 ShRRRRwith watermark CA crown more expensive
2 Sh 6 pRRonly issued with multiple CA crown watermark

WAR STAMP OVERPRINT

1/2 pccoverprint black
1 /2 p ccoverprint red
1 1/2 p** 

 

1903 King Edward

  5 Sh violet and green

For the specialist, this stamp has watermark 'CC Crown'.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
5 ShRRRR 

1921-1929 King George

5 Sh green and red on yellow

  1/2 p green
  1 p red
  1 p violet 
  1 1/2 p orange
  1 1/2 p red
  1 1/2 p brown
  2 p grey
  2 1/2 p blue
  2 1/2 p orange
  3 p lilac on yellow
  4 p black and red on yellow
  6 p lilac
  1 Sh grey and black on green
  2 Sh lilac and blue on blue
  2 Sh 6 p black and red on blue
  3 Sh green and violet
  4 Sh black and red
  5 Sh green and red on yellow
  1 Pound lilac and black on red

Large size
 

5 Sh violet and green

  5 Sh violet and green

For the specialist, these stamps have two watermarks
1) 'Multiple CA Crown' (1921: 3 p lilac on yellow, 4 p black and red on yellow, 1 Sh grey and black on green, 2 Sh lilac and blue on blue, 2 Sh 6 p black and red on blue, 5 Sh green and red on yellow and 1 Pound lilac and black on red) or
2) 'Multiple Crown Script CA' (1921-1929: all values except 4 p, 5 Sh and 1 Pound).

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1/2 p cc 
1 p redcc 
1 p violet** 
1 1/2 p orange****** 
1 1/2 p red** 
1 1/2 p brown** 
2 1/2 p blue**** 
2 1/2 p orange **** 
3 p**** 
4 p** 
6 p** 
1 Sh**** 
2 Sh ****** 
2 Sh 6 p****** 
3 Sh****** 
4 Sh****** 
5 Sh******small size
5 ShRRRRlarger size
1 PoundRRRR 


Miscellaneous

Stamp of Antigua, used together with two stamps of Leewartd Islands.


Fiscal stamps

General remark: postage stamps were also allowed for fiscal purposes.

1870 Large size fiscal stamp, inscription 'STAMP DUTY' at the bottom


(Reduced sizes)

The following values exist: 1 p, 2 p, 3 p, 4 p and 6 p (all blue), 1 Sh, 2 Sh, 3 Sh, 4 Sh, 5 Sh and 10 Sh (blue with value in red). They have watermark 'Crown CC' or 'Crown CA'.
The 1 p blue exists with overprint 'POSTAGE REVENUE', but this stamp was never officially issued. Cancelled stamps with this overprint are only made for stamp collectors.


Postal Stationery

In 1880 a postcard with the face of Queen Victoria in a circle was issued (1 1/2 p brown). In 1886 two new postcards were issued with the face of Queen Victoria (slightly different design; values 1 p red and 1 1/2 p brown).

Later issues, example:


(Wrapper, used in 1904, reduced size)

I don't have much information on the later postal stationery from Antigua.


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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