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St. Vincent 1861-1901

Return To Catalogue - Issues of 1902-1920 - Miscellaneous (revenues postal stationery etc.)

Remark: Many of the stamps presented here are from the private collection of Peter C. Elias (website http://www.stvincentstamps.com ), thanks Peter for letting me use your images! All images starting with 'elias' are taken from him.

St.Vincent is a small volcanic island in the West Indies, situated at 13º 15' N and 60º 56' W, between St Lucia to the north and Grenada to the south and west of Barbados. Kingstown is the capital of St. Vincent. On October 27, 1979 St. Vincent became independant from Great Britain.

Before the introduction of its own stamps in 1861, St.Vincent used stamps from Great Britain. At 1 April 1858 stamps were compulsary on letters to Great Britain. St.Vincent used the 'A10' cancel. Officially, only the 1 p, 4 p and 6 p were used in St.Vincent, but Peter Elias has a 1/2 p stamp with the 'A10' cancel (probably put on an envelope that arrived from Great Britain and cancelled in St.Vincent):

1861 Queen Victoria in an ellipse

1/2 p green, (smaller size)

2 1/2 p blue 1 Sh brown 1 Sh red

  1/2 p orange (small size)
  1/2 p green (small size)
  1 p red
  1 p black
  1 p green
  1 p brown
  1 p grey
  2 1/2 p blue
  4 p blue
  4 p orange
  4 p yellow
  4 p brown
  5 p brown
  6 p green
  6 p lilac
  1 Sh grey
  1 Sh blue
  1 Sh brown
  1 Sh red (2 shades)


'2 1/2 PENCE' on 1 p blue Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com

  '1d' on '2 1/2 PENCE' on 1 p red
  'ONE PENNY' on 6 p green
  '2 1/2 PENCE' on 1 p red
  '2 1/2 PENCE' on 1 p blue
  '2 1/2 d.' on 4 p brown
  'THREE PENCE' on 1 p lilac
  '4 d' on 1 Sh red
  '5 PENCE' on 4 p brown
  'FIVE PENCE' on 6 p red

Bisected and surcharged

  'd 1/2' (red) on 6 p green
  'd. 1' (red) on 6 p green

For the specialist, the first stamps of this issue didn't have any watermark (from 1861 to 1871). The stamps 1 p red, 4 p blue, 6 p green and 1 Sh grey were issued in 1861, the 4 p orange, 1 Sh blue and 1 Sh brown followed in 1869 (so all without watermark). From 1871 to 1883 the watermark 'small star' was used on 1/2 p orange, 1 p black, 1 p green, 1 p grey, 4 p blue, 6 p green, 1 Sh red. Finally from 1883 onwards the watermark 'CA crown' was used on 1/2 p green, 1 p grey, 1 p red, 2 1/1 p blue, 4 p blue, 4 p brown, 4 p yellow, 5 p brown, 6 p green, 6 p lilac, 1 Sh red. For a detailed description of all the varieties in perforation and colours, see a specialized catalogue.

Watermark 'CA crown'
(Watermark 'CA Crown')

Surcharged 'REVENUE' or 'Revenue' for fiscal use, click here.

Imperforate stamps are proofs, the values 1 p red and 4 p blue exist imperforate, example:



Spiro forgeries:

Spiro forgery Spiro forgery Spiro forgery! The cancel is blank Forgery!

Spiro forgery!
(reduced size)

The most common forgeries are Spiro forgeries (see pictures above). In these forgeries the queen looks angry and the background of lines is poorly imitated. The 'T' of 'ST.' has its vertical stroke much thinner than the genuine stamps (See Album Weeds). Below this 'T' there should be a square stop, however, in this forgery it is sometimes round (but also square sometimes). 'St VINCENT' is written too tall. For those who understand printing techniques, the originals are engraved in taille-douce while the forgeries are lithographed. The cancels are typical 'Spiro' cancels that were not used on this island (mostly a british colonies cancel with empty center). Of course, there is also the absence of a watermark in the forgeries (but also in the first issues of the genuine stamps). Finally there are sometimes separating lines between the forgeries that are sometimes visible (see the 1 p black above for an example). I have seen the following values of the Spiro forgeries: 1 p black, 1 p red, 4 p blue, 4 p orange, 6 p green, 1 Sh blue, 1 Sh grey. They were produced around 1870.

Panelli forgeries:

Another forger who made forgeries of St.Vincent is Panelli. According to Peter Elias they were produced in 1927 and look much more dangerous. These forgeries were engraved, the watermark is a 5-pointed star (in the genuine stamps it is a 6-pointed star). The stamps are too heavily inked. Finally, the line under 'St.Vincent' is crooked. These forgeries are not very common. Peter Elias shows the values 1 p red, 4 p yellow, 4 p dark blue, 6 p emerald green (shown above), 6 p dark blue-green, 6 p apple green and 1 Sh red.

Other forgeries:

Early lithographed forgery

Could the above stamp be the second forgery described in Album Weeds? The face has a very sauer expression and the whole stamp is quite blur. The jewels on top of the head of the queen can not be distinguished. Also note the very bad inscriptions.


The above forgery is of a unknown forger, according to Peter Elias it is too short, the corner ornaments are crude, the portrait differs from the genuine stamp and it is printed on very thick paper (this forgery is very scarce). Also not the very thin 'St'. I have also seen the 1 p green of this particular forgery.

Other forgeries discovered by Peter Elias, the color is quite faded in the first one, the second one is very primitive:

Forged overprints:

Forged overprint, it should be red!

Be also careful with the other overprints, many of them are forged as well!


1880 Arms, Peace and Justice, large size

  5 Sh lilac
  5 Sh red
  50 c brown (1955)
  1 Dollar blue
  2 Dollar 50 blue

Forgeries, example:

Forgeries, images obtained from Peter Elias

The above forgery has the inscription 'FALSCH' (which means 'forgery' in german) just below the kneeling lady. This forgery also exists with the overprint 'FACSIMILE'. I have seen copies with the word 'FACSIMILE' partly erased.

Some other primitive forgeries:


(Forgery, reduced size)


1899 Queen Victoria inscription 'POSTAGE REVENUE'

6 p lilac and brown 1 Sh green and red 5 Sh green and blue

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

1 Sh green and red, fiscal cancel?
Fiscal cancel?

For the specialist: the values 1 Sh and 5 Sh have the value shield open, the other values have the value on a lined background. Be careful with stamps of higher value, the fiscal cancellation is often removed and offered as mint stamps (or forged postal cancels are applied).


The above forgery of the 5 Sh has CA Crown watermarked paper (probably genuine paper?). The design is crude: the label with '5 s' seems to be slanting and is too small. I don't know who made this forgery.

For issues of 1902 to 1920 click here.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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