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Preview of Stamps Catalogue CD : VOLUME 1

BAHAMAS 1859 - 1900

Return To Catalogue - Bahamas 1859-1900 - Bahamas 1901-1920 - Bahamas cancels on the first issues

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

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Before the introduction of its own stamps in 1859 the stamps of Great Britain were used. They can be recognized by the cancel "A05" of the Bahamas (I have never seen such a stamp myself).

1859 Queen Victoria, inscription "BAHAMAS INTERINSULAR POSTAGE"

Imperforate, no watermark, certified genuine Genuine

imperforate or perforated (1860)
  1 p red

For the specialist: this issue and the next are also commonly known as 'the Chalon head issues' (after the designer Chalon). The first stamp was issued imperforate and without watermark in 1859. Leftovers on thin paper exist (the normal stamps are on thicker paper), these leftovers exist with forged cancels! Afterwards various stamps with different perforation and watermark (first 'CC Crown' in 1863 and followed by 'CA Crown' in 1875) were issued from 1860 to 1882.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks

Imperforate

1 p RR RR see remark on leftovers on thin paper above

Perforated

1 p RR R perforation 14 to 16 printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co
perforation 11 1/2 to 13 printed by De la Rue & Co
1 p (watermark CC crown) *** *** perf 12 1/2
1 p (watermark CC crown) ** ** perf 14
1 p (watermark CA crown) ** ** perf 12
1 p (watermark CA crown) R *** perf 14

The typical cancel on these stamps is "A05" or "B", see: Bahamas cancels on the first issues.

Forgeries, example:


(Spiro forgery)

In this Spiro forgery, there is a white line above "ONE PENNY". This forgery is the most common. Note the typical 'Spiro' cancel.

A Panelli forgery also exists of this stamp with the "O" of "ONE" too large. The "S" of "INTERINSULAR" touches the outline above it. It is probably the same as the Oneglia forgeries shown below

According to the British West Indies Study Circle, Bulletin No.131 (December 1986, available online), another forgery 1 p orange was recorded with a cancel consisting of four rings. It was possibly made by the forger Julius Goldner (on second thought it looks more likely that this is an Oneglia forgery?).

Oneglia made forgeries of the 4 p and 6 p values, the next forgery probably is such an Oneglia forgery:


Oneglia forgeries with a bar with "G" cancel and four concentric rings (images obtained thanks to Gerhard Lang)


Another forgery with the lettering and the face of the Queen quite badly done.

 

1861 Queen Victoria, new type, "BAHAMAS POSTAGE"

  4 p red
  6 p lilac

Surcharged

  "FOUR PENCE" on 6 p violet (1883)

For the specialist: the first stamps in this design were issued without watermark in 1860. Afterwards various stamps with different perforation and watermark (first 'CC Crown' in 1863 and followed by 'CA Crown' in 1875) were issued from 1860 to 1882.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
4 p (no watermark) RRR RR perforation 14 to 16 printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co
perforation 11 1/2 to 13 printed by De la Rue & Co
6 p (no watermark) RRR R perforation 14 to 16 printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co
perforation 11 1/2 to 13 printed by De la Rue & Co
4 p (watermark CC crown) *** *** perf 12 1/2
6 p (watermark CC crown) *** ** perf 12 1/2
4 p (watermark CC crown) R *** perf 14
4 p (watermark CA crown) R *** perf 12
4 p (watermark CA crown) RRR *** perf 14 1/2

Surcharged

4 p on 6 p RR R perf 12 1/2, watermark CC crown

Cancels: The typical cancel on these stamps is "A05" or "B", see: Bahamas cancels on the first issues.

Forgeries:

Forgery! Forgery! (Note the strange cancel!)

In the above forgery, the background pattern is quite different from the genuine stamp. The cancel is a typical Spiro (famous forger) cancel, it was never used on the Bahamas Islands. These forgeries are also described in Album Weeds as second forgery. I've seen a whole sheet of 25 forgeries (5 x 5) of the 4 p value, all cancelled with the same Spiro cancel. Spiro forgeries are the most common forgeries of these stamps.


This Spiro forgery has an additional "BO*TUK" cancel. This cancel also appears on the forgeries from Western Australia and St.Helena as shown in the next images.

Another primitive forgery:


(Image obtained from http://www.gsu.edu/~libpjr/stamps.html)

Image obtained from http://www.gsu.edu/~libpjr/stamps.html
Third image obtained from http://www.gsu.edu/~libpjr/stamps.html On further study, these do not appear to be Oneglia forgeries as I was first told....


The "30" in a lozenge surrounded by bars forged cancel can be found on other countries as well; here Tasmania, Newfoundland and Grenada.

These forgeries are cancelled with a circle with four concentric rings or a barred oval cancel; also a "30" in a lozenge surrounded by bars. There is a red dot above the Queen's left eye (at the right hand side for us). The white ellipse is too large. See also: http://bwisc.org/50_bulletins/b100_197903/b100_197903.pdf. (link no longer working....)

First forgery of Album Weeds

Last image obtained from http://www.gsu.edu/~libpjr/stamps.html. Possibly a Fournier product cancelled with a pattern of lines with a very thick line in the center. The squares with the stars at the bottom are badly done. The white ellipse is too wide. Other sources say that these forgeries were made by J.H.Behrmann (a stamp forger of the 1860-1870's from Hamburg). Next to it some similar forgeries from Grenada, Natal and Queensland.


Forgery of the 6 p, is this the same as above? The "S" of "POSTAGE" is above the "P" of "PENCE" (in the genuine stamp it is more to the left)

Oneglia made forgeries of the 4 p and 6 p values, the next forgery probably is such an Oneglia forgery:


Forgery of the 6 p value, possibly from Oneglia?


Image obtained from http://www.gsu.edu/~libpjr/stamps.html. This is possibly the 6 p counterpart of the engraved forgery of the 4 p mentioned in the British West Indies Study Circle Bulletin No.131 (December 1986, available online). Or is this a genuine stamp with a forged overprint?


A forgery in the wrong colour: 6 p green


Some primitive forgeries on hard paper. The 1 p is a bogus issue, since it was never issued in this design.


Forged "FOUR PENCE" overprint


Bogus "Four Pence" and black bar on 6 p.

 

1863 Queen Victoria facing the left, "BAHAMAS" in white letters on green background

  1 Sh green

For the specialist; this stamp was first issued in 1863 with watermark 'CC Crown' and perforated 12 1/2. Later other perforations were used and in 1882 the watermark was changed to 'CA Crown'.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1 Sh (watermark CC crown) RRR R perf 12 1/2
1 Sh (watermark CC crown) ** * perf 14
1 Sh (watermark CA crown) ** ** perf 14 1/2

Stamps cancelled with a pencancel are usually fiscally used (see remark at the end of this page).

Forgeries, example:

Forgery!

The above forgery can immediatly be identified by its cancel, a typical Spiro cancel! This cancel was never used on the Bahamas. There also seems to be no white dot in the white circle, under the second "A" of "BAHAMAS". I've seen a whole sheet of 25 Spiro forgeries (5 x 5), all cancelled with the same typical cancel.

A (rare) engraved forgery of the 1 Sh value exists. It is mentioned in the British West Indies Study Circle Bulletin No.131 (December 1986, available online). This forgery does not have a ring under the second "A" of "BAHAMAS" as in the genuine stamp. The ear of the Queen is much more visible in this forgery. This is probably the Oneglia forgery which is listed in his 1906 pricelist.


Oneglia forgery, image obtained thanks to Gerhard Lang.

 

1884 Queen Victoria facing the left "BAHAMAS" in coloured letters

  1 p red
  2 1/2 p blue
  4 p yellow
  6 p violet (1890)
  5 Sh olive
  1 Pound brown

For the specialist; these stamps have watermark 'CA Crown'.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1 p * c  
2 1/2 p * *  
4 p * *  
6 p * * issued 1890
5 Sh *** ***  
1 Pound R R  

Cancels: The typical cancel on these stamps is "A05", see: Bahamas cancels on the first issues.

The forger Sperati made a forgery of the 1 Pound value by erasing the design of a 1 p stamp and printing a new value on it.


Sperati forgeries of the 1 Pound value, image obtained from a Sotheby auction.

The Sperati forgery has a pointed inner white upper part of the "O" of "POUND". The "N" of "ONE" has several defects on top (as in the genuine stamp on the same plate posistion). Apparently, Sperati also forged the cancels on this stamp. The above cancel "NASSAU C FE/5 00 NEW PROVIDENCE" is forged. He also forged a "AO" (part of a "AO5" cancel); a quite blur "NASSAU C JA 4 98 ...DENCE" cancel; and a "NASSAU C JU 27 99 ..W PROVIDENCE" cancel.


Another Sperati forgery, this forgery might have a genuine cancel.

 

For stamps of the Bahamas in the period of 1901 to 1920 click here.


Websites

http://www.gsu.edu/~libpjr/stamps.html by Peter J. Roberts.


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer