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BAHAMAS 1859-1900

Return To Catalogue - Bahamas 1901-1920

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 recongnized 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

imperforated 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
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks

Imperforate

1 p RRRRsee remark on leftovers on thin paper above

Perforated

1 pRRRperforation 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

Typical cancel 'A05':

Stamps cancelled with a pencancel are usually fiscally used (see remark at the end of this page). These cancels have sometimes been removed and a forged postal cancel has been applied to the stamp.

Forgeries, example:


(Spiro forgery?)

In this forgery, there is a white line above 'ONE PENNY'.

 

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
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
4 p (no watermark)RRRRRperforation 14 to 16 printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co
perforation 11 1/2 to 13 printed by De la Rue & Co
6 p (no watermark)RRRRperforation 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 RRRperf 12 1/2, watermark CC crown

Cancels:

Example:


('A05' cancel)

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

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.

Another primitive forgery:


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

Oneglia made forgeries of the 4 p value, I think the next forgery is such an Oneglia forgery:

Image obtained from http://www.gsu.edu/~libpjr/stamps.html
(Oneglia forgeries? left image obtained from http://www.gsu.edu/~libpjr/stamps.html)

Some other forgeries:

First forgery of Album Weeds
(Two last images obtained from http://www.gsu.edu/~libpjr/stamps.html)


(A forgery in the wrong colour: 6 p green)

 

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
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1 Sh (watermark CC crown)RRRRperf 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 a 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.

 

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

1 p red

  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
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1 p*c 
2 1/2 p** 
4 p** 
6 p **issued 1890
5 Sh****** 
1 PoundRR 

Stamp with fiscal cancel (pencancel, see remark below on fiscally used stamps):

I've been told that the next 'A05' cancel is rare (it is different from the previously shown 'A05' cancels):

 

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


Fiscally used stamps

General note on cancelled stamps of the Bahamas: most stamps with pencancels are used fiscally and worth considerably less then postally used stamps. Bahamas did not issue any special fiscal stamps.

6 p lilac, with pen cancellation (fiscally used)


Websites

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


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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