Home Catalogue index Volume 1 index Volume 2 index
Preview of Stamps Catalogue: VOLUME 1

St. Vincent First issue of 1861

Return To Catalogue - Issues of 1880-1901 - Issues of 1902-1920 - Miscellaneous (revenues postal stationery etc.)

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the catalogue;
contact me if you want to purchase it.

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 13 15' N and 60 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 With BPA certificate 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)
  1 Sh orange


With BPA certificate '2 1/2 PENCE' on 1 p blue With BPA certificate 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

Unsevered pair With BPA certificate

  '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:


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
No watermark (1861), various perforations
1 p red R R  
4 p blue RR RR  
4 p orange RR RR  
6 p green RR R  
1 Sh grey RR RR  
1 Sh brown RRR RR  
1 Sh blue RRR RR  

With watermark 'Small Star' (1871), various perforations

1/2 p orange *** ***  
1 p black R R  
1 p green RR ***  
1 p grey RR R  
4 p blue RRR RR  
6 p green RRR RR  
1 Sh red RRR RR Two shades of red
With watermark 'CA Crown' (1883)
1/2 p green R R Perforation 12
1/2 p green * * Perforation 14
1/2 p orange RRR RRR Perforation 12
1 p grey R *** Perforation 14
1 p red ** * Perforation 14
2 1/2 p blue *** *** Perforation 14
4 p blue RRR RR Perforation 14
4 p blue RR RR Perforation 12
4 p brown R R Perforation 14
4 p yellow ** *** Perforation 14
5 p brown *** *** Perforation 14
6 p green RR RR Perforation 12
6 p lilac *** *** Perforation 14
1 Sh orange RR RR Perforation 12
1 Sh red *** *** Perforation 14
Bisected and surcharged
1/2 d on half of 6 p RR RR Watermark 'Small Star'
1 d on half of 6 p RRR RRR Watermark 'Small Star'
1 p on 2 1/2 p on 1 p R R Watermark 'CA Crown', perforation 14
1 p on 6 p RRR RRR Watermark 'Small Star'
2 1/2 p on 1 p red *** *** Watermark 'CA Crown', perforation 14
2 1/2 p on 1 p blue ** ** Watermark 'CA Crown', perforation 14
2 1/2 p on 4 p RR RR Watermark 'CA Crown', perforation 14
3 p on 1 p *** *** Watermark 'CA Crown', perforation 14
4 p on 1 Sh RRR RRR Watermark 'Small Star'
5 p on 4 p R R Watermark 'CA Crown', perforation 14
5 p on 6 p *** *** Watermark 'CA Crown', perforation 14


Spiro forgeries:

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

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.

Same forgery type but with a different numeral cancel "53" as in the Sierra Leone or British Honduras forgery next to it.

Forgeries with a peculiar giant circle with horizontal lines, a squares cancel and a "905" numeral cancel; these cancels can be found on many other forgeries of other countries.

I've seen the 1 Sh with a cancel consisting of four concentric circles with "909" or "606" in the center.


Panelli forgeries:

Distinguishing characteristics of a Panelli forgery; the line under "ST.VINCENT" is crooked.

Another forger who made forgeries of St.Vincent is Panelli (or possibly Oneglia?). 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. In the 1 Sh stamp the "G" of "SHILLING" has a horizontal bar, which is absent in the genuine stamps. 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. I've also seen the value 6 p lilac.

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 inscription seems to be "V IN CEN T".


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. I've seen these forgeries cancelled with a pattern of dots, concentric rings (with a number in the center?) and some red cancel (too faint to be recognizable). These forgeries are not very common.

A primitive forgery of the 1 p brown value, I've also seen this forgery in the color green. Note the sharp nose of the Queen and the peculiar shading on the face. It might be the same forgery type as the one shown above.

I've seen another crude forgery of the 1 p red, where the "T" of "ST" is too long and has no dot under it.

Image obtained from Peter Elias

Another forgery of the 1/2 p is shown above; the color is quite faded in the yellow stamp. I've seen different cancels on these forgeries: bars (horizontal and vertical at the same time), a numeral "10?" cancel (see image above), an ellipse with horizontal lines. The green 1/2 p stamp is possibly made by the same forger.


Image obtained from Peter Elias
Forgery resembling an image in "The illustrated catalogue of postage stamps" by J.E.Gray (1870, page 142, see second image). A similar image appears in the Torres catalogue of 1879.

The above forgery of the 1 p blue is very primitive and imperforate.

Other primitive forgery of the 1 p red value

I've been told that this primitive forgery of a bisected 6 p stamp was made in India, I have no further information.

Forged overprints:

Forged overprint, it should be red!

A forged overprint of the 1 d with wrong perforation.

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

Example: forged '2 1/2 d.' overprint on 4 p and forged '4d' on 1 Sh overprints.


For stamps issued in St Vincent from 1880 to 1901, click here.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer