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...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bahamas - a closer look at the stamps and issues

1948 Scott 137 3p bright ultramarine
"Fishing Fleet"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2017 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for 1859-1952, 174 major descriptions for the regular, semi-postal, special delivery, and war tax categories. Of those, 62, or 36%, are CV <$1-$1+. The earliest 25 stamps of the Bahamas (1859-1883) are fairly expensive ($tens) to quite expensive ($hundreds-$thousands). No doubt, the close proximity off the coast of Florida of this British colony increases the philatelic interest for collectors from the USA.

The original Bahamas blog post and BB Checklist is here.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1862 Scott 9 4p rose "Victoria"
Unwmk; Perf 13
The early stamps of the Bahamas were naturally of Queen Victoria, and were inspired by the 1837 painting portrait of her (intended as a gift from the queen to her mother) by Alfred Edward Chalon.

Chalon Portrait of Queen Victoria 1837
On stamps, they are known as "Chalon Heads", and variations of the portrait on stamps were printed for Canada, Nova Scotia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Bahamas, Natal, Grenada, New Brunswick, Queensland, and Prince Edward Island.

The Chalon Head stamp for Canada were printed in New York City, but the other Chalon Head stamps for the other colonies were printed by Perkins, Bacon and Company of London.

1862 Scott 9 4p rose "Victoria"
Unwmk; Perf 13
There were two variations of the engraved Chalon Head design for the Bahamas. For denominations other than the one penny, the Chalon Head design (A2), as shown on this four pence, was used. 

The four pence specifically was printed on unwatermarked paper in 1861 (rough perf 14 to 16), 1862 (Perf 11 1/2, 12), 1862 (perf 13), and on watermarked paper in 1863-65 (Perf 12 1/2. Wmk 1), 1863-81 (Perf 14, Wmk 1), 1882-98 (Perf 14 or Perf 12, Wmk 2). Obviously, attention to watermarking and perforations is quite important for the early stamps of the Bahamas.

CV for the four pence ranges from $50 to $500.

1863 Scott 12 1p vermilion "Victoria"
Wmk 1; Perf 12 1/2
The one penny has the A1 design, and features, besides a portrait of the queen, two ovals with images of a pineapple and a conch. The pineapple and conch, were, at the time, the main output from the Bahamas.

Note the one penny was intended for "Interinsular" postage.

The stamps was first put on sale June 10, 1859.

The one penny can be found imperforate/various perfs, and unwatemarked/ watermarked (Wmk 1,2) between 1859-1898.

CV ranges from $20 to $425.

1884-90 Scott 28 2 1/2p ultramarine
Wmk 2; Perf 14
Between 1884-90, a typographic six stamp set of Victoria was issued in the more common sideways view.

CV ranges from $3 to $275.

1906 Scott 45 1p carmine rose "Edward VI"
Wmk 3
Edward VI issue stamps were released in 1902 (seven stamps, Wmk 2) and 1906-11 (four stamps, Wmk 3).

Note the pineapple/conch theme on the side panels.

CV is $1+-$325.

1919 Scott 50A 2p gray "George V"
Wmk 3
A similar design, but with "George V" was issued between 1912-19 on nine stamps.

These are on Wmk 3 paper. (If you need a refresh on British Colonial watermarks, check out Gibraltar or other colonies.)

They have a CV of <$1-$6 for seven stamps.

1920 Scott 67 2p gray
"KGV and the Seal of the Bahamas
Peace Commemoration Issue
The Peace Commemoration Issue of 1920 consisted of five engraved stamps.

CV is $1+-$20+.

1926 Scott 80 1sh black & red "KGV"
Types of 1901-12; Wmk 4
Between 1921-34, a further eleven stamps of "King George V" were issued, based on the 1912-19 design. These are on Wmk 4 paper. CV is <$1-$8+ for ten stamps.

1930 Scott 85 1p red & black
"Seal of the Bahamas"
The "Seal of the Bahamas" five stamp engraved issue of 1930  has the Latin motto (roughly translated "Out with Pirates, In with Commerce"), and the dates 1629 and 1729. "1629" was the first British occupation of the Bahamas. "1729" is when the British took possession, signed by a treaty with France and Spain.

CV is $3+-$50+.

1935 Scott 96 8p carmine & ultramarine
"Flamingos in Flight"
In 1935 an engraved single stamp with George V and "Greater Flamingos in Flight" was issued. This would prove to be the last George V stamp , as he passed away January 20, 1936. The design was used again with the George VI issue in 1938.

CV is $4+.

1938 Scott 107 6p blue & olive green
"Fort Charlotte"
In 1938, a three stamp engraved pictorial set with George VI was issued.

CV is <$1-$3+.

Fort Charlotte, Nassau
Fort Charlotte was constructed in 1789 after the American Revolutionary War. It was never used in battle, but is still standing.

1946 Scott 109 10p yellow orange "George VI"
The 1938-46 issue had fourteen stamps with this design of George VI flanked by a pineapple and a conch.

The national dish of the Bahamas is conch salad, a type of  ceviche. Ingredients include Conch (a large Caribbean mollusk), and yes, pineapple.

CV ranges from <$1 to $50.

1940 Scott 115 3p on 2 1/2p ultramarine
"George VI"
On November 28, 1940, this surcharged single issue stamp appeared. CV is $1+.

1942 Scott 122 4p red orange & blue
"Sea Garden, Nassau"
Stamps of 1931-42 Overprinted in Black
For the 450th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus, a fourteen stamp overprinted issue was released on October 12, 1942, They replaced the definitive series for six months,. There were actually two printings: one with dark gum, one with white gum.

CV is <$1-$6+ for 12 stamps.

1948 Scott 135 2p vermilion "Native Straw Work"
For the 300th anniversary of settlement in the Bahamas in 1947, an engraved sixteen stamp pictorial set, each with a unique scene, was issued October 11, 1948.

This is perhaps one of the more interesting pictorials for the George VI era.

CV is <$1-$10+.

Semipostal 1917 Scott B1 1p carmine & black
"Queen's Staircase"
Overprinted in Red
I haven't mentioned it earlier, but the "Queen's Staircase" engraved design can be found on a 1901-03 issue (four stamps), a 1916-19 issue (six stamps), and a 1921-24 issue (three stamps). Many of these stamps are higher denominations, hence have a higher CV (up to $70).

Here, though, is illustrated a one penny overprinted semi-postal with the "Queens Staircase" design.

Queen's Staircase
The Queen's Staircase was carved out of limestone rock by slaves in 1793-74, and consists of 66 steps. The staircase was subsequently named in honor of Queen Victoria.  It is still found in the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex in Nassau.

1918 Scott MR7 1p carmine rose "George V"
War Tax Stamps
There are fourteen overprinted stamps issued between 1918-19 for "War Tax" Various stamps of 1912-18 were used for the overprint. CV ranges from <$1 to $125.

Deep Blue
Bahamas 1951-52 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 16 pages for the 1859-1952 issues of the Bahamas. All of the major Scott numbers have a space. Because of the comprehensive coverage, my first 5 pages, which consist of the rather CV expensive 1859-1919 issues, is sparsely populated.

1919 Scott MR11 1/2p green, red overpriunt
War Tax Stamps
Out of the Blue
My original Bahamas post had a grand total of one stamp image! This additional auxiliary post clearly expands the coverage. !! ;-)

Note: Chalon Queen Victoria portrait, Fort Charlotte pic, and Queen's staircase pic all appear to be in the public domain.

Comments appreciated!

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