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, July 3, 2015

St. Kitts-Nevis

1905 Scott 15a 2p brown & violet 
"Columbus Looking for Land"
Quick History
St. Kitts-Nevis are two islands in the West Indies separated by 2 miles ("The Narrows"). St. Kitts- a common nickname for Saint Christopher in the 17th century- and Nevis (Original Spanish "Nuestra Senora de las Nieves"- "Our lady of the Snows") were both Presidencies in the British Leeward Islands Colony.

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Nevis issued their own stamps from 1861-1890. These were replaced by stamps of the Leeward Islands from 1890 to 1903. From 1903 to 1956, Stamps of St. Kitts-Nevis and Leeward Islands were issued concurrently.

St. Christopher (Kitts) issued their own stamps from 1870-1890. Stamps of the Leeward islands were then used exclusively from 1890 until 1903. Likewise, from 1903 to 1956, Stamps of St. Kitts-Nevis and Leeward Islands were issued concurrently.

As I have published blog posts already on....

Consult them for more background history and maps, and their stamp issues.

When St. Kits-Nevis were brought together as an administrative (Presidency) - and philatelic entity- in 1903, as they were only two miles apart, that had to be a logical and happy union, right? 

Wrong. ;-)

They each had their own history with their own specific identities, and they had to be, more or less, forcibly united.

The capital was Basseterre on St. Kitts (Nevis was not pleased), and the population was 34,000 in 1921.

The Presidency included the island of Anguilla.

Sugar export from extensive sugar plantations dominated the economy well past the 1940s.

People of African descent (75%) are the largest demographic portion.

Saint Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla became internally autonomous in 1967 (Saint Christopher-Nevis Anguilla).

Anguilla separated from the others between 1971 and 1980 (Yes, it took that long).
In 1980, Anguilla became a separate British Crown colony ( Now a British overseas territory).

In 1980, separate postal administrations were developed for St. Kitts and Nevis, respectively, and different issues were produced; although they remained one nation.

St. Kitts and Nevis became independent in 1983, the smallest sovereign state in terms of population and land size in the Americas.They are a member of the British Commonwealth.

Old resentments continue to smolder. In 1998, a referendum in Nevis to separate from St. Kitts did not receive the required two-thirds majority vote.

1924 Scott 47 6p red violet & dull violet
"Columbus Looking for Land"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for St. Kitts-Nevis 1903-1952, 111 major number descriptions. Of those, 52 are CV <$1-$1+, or 47%. The percentage is skewed high somewhat by the larger number of 1935-52 stamps (47). The earlier issues are moderately expensive, as one would expect for a popular British island colony.

As usual for a British colony, the British colonial watermarks are important for identification. The previous post for St. Helena has pics of the watermarks if one needs a refresher.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (1951)
1916 Scott 12a 1/2p dull blue green , Wmk 3
"Columbus looking for Land"
Apparently using a telescope that was not developed for another 115 years!
The 1903 ten stamp issue is wmk 2 "Crown and C A", and shows two designs: "Columbus looking for Land", to honor St. Kitts and the Columbus discovery during his second voyage, and "Medicinal Spring", to honor Nevis. I happen to not have any of the 1903 issue, even though two stamps are CV <$1.

The 1905-18 eleven stamp issue has the same two designs, and is wmk 3 "Multiple Crown and C A".
CV is <$1 for four stamps.

An example of the "Columbus looking for Land" design on a 1916 1/2p dull blue green is shown here.

St. Kitts was known initially as San Cristobal by the 17th century, as it is thought that is the name that Columbus gave the island in 1493. (There is now debate about that.) San Cristobal is the patron saint of Christopher Columbus, and also the patron saint of traveling. When the island was settled by English colonists in 1623, naturally the island was called Saint Christopher (and Saint Christophe for the French colony established in 1625).

1905 Scott 18 3p orange & green, chalky paper
Wmk 3, "Medicinal Spring"
The second design has a "Medicinal Spring" theme.

In 1778, the Bath Hotel was built to take advantage of the hot springs on Nevis. 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. 

1920 Scott 26 1 1/2p orange "King George V"
Wmk 3 "Multiple Crown and C A"
The George V issues began with the 1920-22 thirteen stamp wmk 3 set. They either show "Columbus Looking for Land" or "Medicinal Spring" designs in the right vignette. CV is $1+-$4+ for eight stamps.

Take a close look Columbus. Is he looking through a telescope? Well, he can't be, because Galileo "developed" the refracting telescope in 1609.  It can't be a sextant, either, as that came into use around 1730. ;-)

Columbus used "Dead Reckoning" navigation, as did other sailors of the era. That involved using a magnetic compass, speed calculation, and time.

1922 Scott 45 3p ultramarine , Wmk 4
"Medicinal Spring"
The 1921-29 sixteen stamp issue is similar in design to the preceding 1920-22 issue, but on wmk 4 " Multiple Crown and Script C A" paper. CV is <$1-$2+ for ten stamps.

1923 Scott 56 2 1/2p brown & black 
"Caravel in Old Road Bay"
St. Kitts (St. Christopher) was settled by the English sea captain, Sir Thomas Warner in 1623 and 1624 ( two voyages), and he established the colony of Saint Christopher with seventeen people. (His initial colony on the Guiana coast was a failure.) The colony established a port settlement ( now called  Old Road Town).

They initially were on good terms with the Carib natives (Kalinago), and developed a tobacco crop.

He permitted French settlers in 1625 to establish their own colony on the island.

Relationships with the Kalinago soured, and 2,000 Kalinago men were massacred at Bloody Point and Stone Fort River or "Bloody River" (so named because of the blood running down the river from the dead bodies) in 1626.

Tobacco was the crop of choice.  But when the colony of Virginia began to dominate tobacco production, sugar cane was planted in 1640. That necessitated importing African slaves for the high labor requirements.

The 1923 thirteen stamp issue celebrated the tercentenary of the founding of St. Kitts. There was one design for the set as shown here. CV ranges from $1+-$6+ for six stamps.

1938-48 Scott 81 1 1/2p orange "George VI"
The 1938-48 "George VI" issue of twelve stamps has four stamps with the above illustrated design.

1938-48 Scott 87 2sh6p carmine & gray black
"George VI" & "Medicinal Spring"
Six of the stamps in the 1938-48 issue have the familiar two images seen from the earlier 1920-29 "George V" issues. CV for the 1938-48 issue ranges from<$1-$1+ for seven stamps.

I should mention that the 1938-48 issue has 13 1/2 X 14 perf for the major numbers. But there are also six stamps, issued August, 1938, with minor number 13 X 11 1/2 perf.

1950 Scott 99 1p carmine
Types of 1938 Overprinted
Anguilla was first colonized by settlers from St. Kitts in 1650. The island is east of Puerto Rico and north of St. Marten.

Anguilla in relation to St. Kitts-Nevis
It had been joined with St. Kitts-Nevis (very reluctantly) in a subordinate position since 1824.

For the 300th anniversary of the settlement of Anguilla, a six stamp issue was released in 1950, using overprinted 1938 St. Kitts-Nevis stamps. CV is <$1.

Desiring to be free of the St. Kitts-Nevis yoke, Anguilla became a separate British Crown colony in 1980 ( Now a British overseas territory).

1952 Scott 107 1c ocher & deep green
"Bath House and Spa, Nevis"
In 1952, a twelve stamp issue with various pictorial scenes of the islands was released.

Stamps of the 1952 issue are labeled "Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla".

CV is <$1-$2+ for ten stamps.

1918 Scott MR2 1 1/2p orange
Type of 1905-18 Issue Overprinted
Two war stamps were released in 1916 and 1918 using overprinted Scott 12 1/2p green and 1905-18 Issue Type 1 1/2p orange respectively. CV is <$1.

Deep Blue
1921-29 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has eleven pages for 1903-1952 St. Kitts-Nevis. All the major numbers have a space. There are some earlier minor numbers ( I counted nine) in the Scott catalogue that are listed because of a change in color (carmine to scarlet), paper ( chalky or ordinary), or later year of issue. These do not have a space in Steiner. The minor number 1938 issue Perf 13 X 11 1/2 is given spaces, however.

1923 Scott 57 3p ultramarine & black
"Caravel in Old Road Bay"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on two pages, has 43 spaces for the stamps of St. Kitts-Nevis. Coverage is 52%. ( I eliminated the post 1940 28 stamps listed in the Scott 1840-1940 catalogue from consideration.)

* Only one stamp crosses the $10 CV threshold.
* Spaces available in BB are reasonable, with the limitation that stamps with different watermarks, as usual, are only given one space.


1 or 11,2 or 13,3 or 15,5 or 18,


24 or 37,25 or 38,39,26,40,
41,27 or 42,28 or 43a,44,29 or 46,
45,30 or 47,31 or 48,





Next Page

War Tax

A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1938 Scott 88 5sh carmine & dull green ($10+)
B) *1903-06- choices are wmk 2 vs wmk 3
C) *1920-29- choices are wmk 3 vs wmk 4
D) (    ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.

1938-48 Scott 85 6p rose lilac & dull green
"Columbus Looking for Land"
Out of the Blue
The philatelic attractions of the British Leeward Islands colony countries are indisputable.

Note:St. Kitts pic and maps appear to under the public domain.

Comments appreciated!

View of Nevis from St. Kitts