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 with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, July 10, 2015

St. Lucia

1936 Scott 97 1 1/2p carmine "Ventine Falls"
Quick History
Named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse by the French who settled there first in 1660, the 240 square mile island is one of the Windward Islands, and is northeast of Saint Vincent.

St. Lucia in the Lesser Antilles
In 1814, the British assumed control for good from the French (after much back and forth). In 1836, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire, but left a legacy of African descent majority on the island. The original Carib Amerindian natives now comprise less than 1% of the population.

St. Lucia
The capital is Castries, and the population was 51,000 in 1921.

English is the official language, but Creole French (Patois) is understood by 95% of the population.

St. Lucia was a member of the West Indies Federation (1958-1962), but the Federation dissolved due to political bickering.

St. Lucia gained internal self government in 1967, and full independence in 1979.

St. Lucia remains a member of the British Commonwealth.

1936 Scott 101 4p brown "Port Castries"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for St. Lucia 1860-1951, 167 major number descriptions. Of those, 71 are CV <$1-$1+, or 42%. The more affordable stamps are skewed to 1936 issues and later, as the earlier issues (1860-1898, 49 stamps) are rather expensive for the WW classical collector.

Fortunately, the nicest issue in my view, the 1936 bi-color pictorials, are inexpensive ( CV <$1-$1+,  9 out of 12 stamps).

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (1949)
1898 Scott 30 2p ultramarine & brown orange 
"Queen Victoria"; Die B
A Queen Victoria design was issued in 1860, and continued until 1885 (26 stamps), some surcharged. The stamps are rather expensive (CV $10+-$1,500), and I don't have any. Be aware that there are Spiro forgeries of the first Queen Victoria design.

The second design, a keyplate, was issued from 1883-1898. Ten stamps show Die A, and ten stamps are Die B. ( See Cyprus for a review of Die A/Die B, or check the front pages of the Scott Classic catalogue. ) CV is <$1-$2+ for six stamps.

1902-03 Scott 44 1p violet & carmine rose
"Edward VII"; Wmk 2
A five stamp issue with the new king "Edward VII" was produced 1902-03 with wmk 2. (If you need a refresher on British colonial watermarks, see Gibraltar. )

1904 Scott 52 2 1/2p violet & ultramarine
"Edward VII"; Wmk 3
A similar and expanded seven stamp issue was released 1904-05, but with wmk 3. CV is <$1-$3+ for four stamps in this issue.

1907 Scott 59 2 1/2p ultramarine "Edward VII"
Finally, a seven stamp issue in different colors was produced between 1907-10. CV is <$1-$2 for the first three stamps in the series.

1912 Scott 65 1p scarlet "George VI": Wmk 2, Die I
A new "George V" nine stamp issue was released between 1912-19 with wmk 2. As is usual for the "Edward VII" and "George V" keyplate issues, the lower denominations are on ordinary paper, while the higher denominations are on chalky paper. This issue is Die I, where the crown sinks below the upper horizontal vignette border. (Die I/Die II differences are further explained in the Gold Coast post.)

1922 Scott 78 1p dark brown "George V";Wmk 3, Die II
Similarly, a 14 stamp issue of "George V" was released between 1921-24 with wmk 3. Ten of the stamps have this design- Die II, where the crown does not sink into the upper horizontal vignette border.

1924 Scott 85 4p scarlet & black /yellow "George VI"
Two stamps from the 1921-24 issue have the design illustrated here. CV for the 1921-24 issue is <$1-$3 for eight stamps.

1935 Scott 94 1sh bright violet & indigo
Silver Jubilee Issue
I usually don't show common design issues for the British colonies- as I've said before, what's the point?  But the 1sh bright violet shown here is one of two stamp spaces in Big Blue that require a CV $10+ valuation, and it is a pretty stamp, so why not? ;-)

1936 Scott 96 1p dark brown 
"Columbus Square, Castries"
The best issue for St. Lucia in the classical era, in my opinion, is the 1936 engraved "George V" twelve stamp pictorial definitive issue. They are nicely bi-colored, and show scenes around St. Lucia. And they are quite inexpensive: CV <$1-$1+ for nine stamps.

I've managed to scatter four examples of this issue throughout the blog post. Enjoy!

1943 Scott 117 3p red orange "George VI"
Between 1938-48, there was a seventeen stamp definitive issue, twelve of which have this design featuring "George VI".

One might want to pay attention to perforations.
The 14 1/2 x 14; 13 1/2 perfs (minor numbers in Scott) were issued in 1938.
The 12; 12 1/2  perfs (major numbers in Scott) were issued between 1943-48, although some of the higher denomination stamps were also issued in 1938.

1948 Scott 121 1sh light brown
"Government House"
Four stamps of the 1938-48 issue are pictorials, two pictorials of which are "new" ("The Pitons", "Loading Bananas"). The other two pictorials repeat scenes found for the George V 1936 issue.

1949 Scott 138 4c gray "George VI"
Valued in Cents and Dollars
In 1949 the currency was converted from pence/shilling to dollars/cents. Hence, a new fourteen stamp issue was produced using "Types of 1938". CV is <$1-$1+ for nine stamps.

1931 Scott J1 1p black/grey blue; Typeset
One of the most primitive stamps I've seen in the classical era is the first two postage due stamps produced for St. Lucia in 1931. In fact, when I saw this specimen in one of my feeder albums, I thought it was a label or a cinderella. ;-)

The stamp is typeset, and the serial number is handstamped. The "No." script is found normal  and wide font. There are plenty of other variations as well- consult the SG 1840-1970 catalogue.

1933 Scott J4 2p black 
A four stamp postage due set was produced between 1933-47 in "pence" denomination, and another four stamp set was released in 1949 in "cents" denomination.

1916 Scott MR2 1p scarlet, overprinted
Two stamps were released in 1916, overprinted for "war tax", using the 1912 Scott 65 1p scarlet. This example (MR2) is only CV <$1, while the other larger font overprint (MR1) has a CV of $10+.

Deep Blue
1936 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 12 pages for the stamps of St. Lucia (1860-1951), and includes a space for all major numbers. Very nice, although I have no stamps on the rather expensive first page (1860-1885).

1936 Scott 103 1sh light blue 
"Fort Rodney, Pigeon Island"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on two pages (minus one line for Ste. Marie de Madagascar), has 56 spaces. Coverage is 45%.  (As BB only covers to 1940, I removed the 44 stamps in the Scott Classic catalogue issued after 1940 to make this calculation.)

* BB avoids the more expensive issues by beginning coverage in 1883.
* There are only two stamps with CV $10+ needed to fill the spaces.
* As is usual for BB, the Edward VII and George VI keyplate issues are offered just one space, if there are two watermark choices.
* The "1938" issue was re-issued in different perfs ( and occasionally different color shades- see SG) between 1943-48. The minor numbers listed in Scott for the 1938-48 issue are the stamps issued in 1938. (Your choice if you want to be obsessive about this.)



43 or 50,44 or 51,(52),(53),


64 or 76,65,78,79,80,67a or 81,83,
68 or 84,86,(70),(87),
(Choice not taken earlier-68 or 84),
(Choice not taken earlier 67a or 81),(85),

66,73 or 75,

Next Page





War Tax

Postage Due


A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1935 Scott 94 1sh bright violet & indigo ($10+)
1933 Scott J4 2p black ($10+)
B) *1938- If you want to be a stickler, pay attention to perf (and sometimes color shade) to obtain "1938" issued stamps- as there were other perfs ( and sometimes color shades) issued in 1943-48. Scott appears to give the "1938" year issues minor numbers. For a thorough breakdown of possibilities, consult the 1840-1970 SG Commonwealth and British Empire catalogue.

1938 Scott 122 2sh red violet & slate blue "The Pitons"
Out of the Blue
I don't know about you, but reviewing the stamps of the Caribbean island countries makes me want to take a trip to those languid shores. ;-)

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain. Pic of St. Lucia is by Jim G

Comments welcomed!

Feel the windward breeze? 


  1. That 1931 postage due stamp is surely a peculiar looking one; never seen one in 'flesh' before. Do you have any knowledge why they produced such a primitive looking item? I'd guess a stamp shortage of some sorts...


  2. I don't recall that SG gave a reason, other than there are a number of "types" of the stamp. But I don't have the SG catalogue with me as we are over at the coastal cabin now.

    It is indeed so primitive that I was surprised to see it listed. ;-)