A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, April 11, 2014


1876 Scott 14A 1p red "Medicinal Spring"
Quick History
Nevis is an island in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico, and was a Presidency within the British Leewards Islands Colony. It produced its own stamps between  1861-1890. After 1890, Nevis used those of the Leeward Islands exclusively until 1903. From 1903-1956, stamps of St. Kitts-Nevis, and stamps of the Leeward Islands were used on Nevis.

St. Kitts and Nevis
Separated by a 2 mile channel
One can tell by glancing at the map why Nevis and St. Kitts - separated by only a 2 mile "Narrows"-were philatelically associated with each other. But St. Christopher (Later, called "St. Kitts") has their own stamp production from 1870-1888, as well as Nevis, as mentioned, between 1861-1890.

For a broader perspective on the Leeward Islands group- and their stamps- see my Leewards Islands blog post.

The capital of Nevis is Charlestown, and the population was 11,800 in 1883.

Nevis (named originally by the Spanish as "Nuestra Senora de las Nieves" -Our Lady of the Snows), was actually settled by British settlers, who migrated from Saint Christopher, in 1628. The sugar cane grown on the island, with the help of imported African slaves, was highly profitable, even outproducing Jamaica in the 17th century. But an invasion by the French d'Iberville in 1704 decimated the sugar industry, and Nevis never really recovered.

In 1883, St. Christopher, Nevis, and Anguilla were linked under one "Presidency", with the headquarters on St. Christopher (St. Kitts). Naturally. Nevis was not pleased, as they had their own "Presidency" prior to this new administrative arrangement.

Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Nevis 1861-1890, 33 major descriptive numbers. Of those, seven stamps are CV $6-$20+, or 21%.  Yes, the cheapest stamp in the catalogue is $6. ;-)  Clearly, a small collection will have a moderately expensive cost.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
1876 Scott 15 4p orange "Medicinal Spring"
In 1778, the Bath Hotel was built to take advantage of the hot springs in the area. This, interestingly, was the first attempt at "tourism" in the Caribbean. The "Medicinal Spring" theme was also featured on the first issues of Nevis 1861-1876, some 19 stamps. 

The 4p orange specimen shown above is an 1876 issue. There are four different frames used for the "Medicinal Spring" designs, although all of them have the same vignette. Five of the stamps are CV $19-$30+.

1884 Scott 23 1p rose "Queen Victoria"
Wmk 2 "Crown and C A"
The more familiar- and less interesting- Victorians were issued between 1879-1890. Of the fourteen stamps, two can be found for CV <$10.

Of interest, two surcharged bisects are recognized by the Scott catalogue using the 1p violet. The CV isn't outrageous @ ~$50.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has three pages for Nevis, and naturally, provides spaces for all the major Scott numbers.
Nevis in Big Blue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on one line of one page (shared with New Brunswick), has four spaces for the 1879-90 "Queen Victoria" issues. Of the spaces, one has an image cut for the 1884 Scott 25 2 1/2 ultramarine, and then three blank spaces.

Considering the generally expensive nature of Nevis stamps, it is not surprising to find at least two stamps will cost CV $10+-$20 to fill.

Big Blue does not provide any spaces for the earlier "Medicinal Spring" stamp issues. The least expensive would be CV $10+.



A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1884 Scott 25 2 1/2 ultramarine ($20)
1884 Scott (23) 1p rose ($10+)
B) (  ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1883 Scott 21 1.2p green "Queen Victoria"
Out of the Blue
The "Medicinal Springs" design is unique for Nevis, and, although moderately expensive, may be worthwhile for the WW classical collector to have a few examples in the collection.

Note: Maps, "Alexander Hamilton" pic appear to be in the public domain.

Alexander Hamilton
Born out of wedlock in Charlestown in 1755
Who Knew? ;-)


  1. been to nevis a few times , lovely & quiet . it's old caibbean at it's finest . if you ever find yourself on st. kitt's , do yourself a favor & take the ferry ride to nevis .