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Europe/Great Britain : British Post Office in Danish West Indies

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Winedrinker
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03 Jan 2017
07:01:08pm
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Great Britain Scott #64 is also Danish West Indies A30 -- with the C51 postmark applied. Danish West Indies is now the U.S. Virgin Islands, purchased in 1917 from Denmark for 25 million in gold. The Danish West Indies consists of three islands: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix.

There are 32 Great Britain stamps with the C51 postmark. I am in hot pursuit of them. British P.O. opened Jan. 1809: stamps supplied 1865. Closed to the public in 1877.

Danish West Indies proper stamps commence in 1856 and end in 1915.

Queen Victoria just shows up everywhere. On Jan 15 on Netflix a docu/drama begins about her life that looks to be interesting.

I am intrigued by stamps that manage to encompass two countries.

Cheers!
Eric


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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
03 Jan 2017
08:25:50pm
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

" ... The Danish West Indies consists of three islands: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. ...."

Just some trivia, Alexander Hamilton, whose story has recently entered the lime light, was born on St. Croix. Some authorities claim that the Constitution's "Natural Born" citizenry as a qualification for the presidency was designed, at least partly, to eliminate the possibility of Hamilton ever holding that office.
Besides being very intelligent, and somewhat abrasive, his birth involved the possibility of being a quadroon or octoroon and that would have been intolerable to certain state's leaders, whether true or not.

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Winedrinker
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03 Jan 2017
08:51:23pm
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

Charlie, that is VERY interesting information. Thank you.

The Danish West Indies has a fascinating history. It was at the heart of the "Triangular" trade. More research is in order.

Cheers,
Eric

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
03 Jan 2017
10:28:50pm
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

There were a great many countries where Great Britain had offices and issued their own stamps with their own cancellations. Since I have been concentrating on early GB lately and have been buying many lots with many stamps, I have been wanting a listing that shows all the countries and what numeral cancellations were used. If anyone has such a listing and could scan it or knows where to find one I would be grateful.

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mitch.seymourfamily.com/mward/collection/mapindex.html
cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
04 Jan 2017
04:00:35am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

I'll,look tomorrow, but I am almost certain that the Robson Lowe's Encyclopedia of British Postage Stamps has the numbers and locales. Those are volumes #35 or 36 through #44 of the Billig Handbooks series.
I am too sleepy right now.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
04 Jan 2017
06:45:45am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

Alexander Hamilton was born in Charlestown, Nevis, British West Indies.

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Jansimon
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04 Jan 2017
06:55:00am

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re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

The British numeral cancellations can be found here.

More specifically, the page relating to Post Offices abroad is here

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www.pagowirense.nl/stamps/
Winedrinker
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04 Jan 2017
09:27:18am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

Upon googling, it appears Alexander was indeed born in Charlestown, Nevis, British West Indies, but moved at a young age with his mother to St. Croix, Danish West Indies.

Jansimon, the link to the Great Britain Philatelic Society page is amazing. Appears to be a gold mine of information there.

E

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
05 Jan 2017
01:05:28am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

Jansimon, Thanks much for the link. It shows the numbers for the countries which will be of great help. It is to bad they do not show the cancellations themselves without a paid membership but hopefully will be all I need.

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mitch.seymourfamily.com/mward/collection/mapindex.html
cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
05 Jan 2017
01:56:52am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

" ... it appears Alexander was indeed born in Charlestown, Nevis, British West Indies, but moved at a young age with his mother to St. Croix, Danish West Indies. ..."

Ooops, this is what happens when I rely on memory and do not bother to verify things.
Hamilton apparently claimed to have been born on Nevis, however there is no legal documentation as he was illegitimate. But since his mother lived in Charlestown on Nevis, during those years, avoiding contact with her "husband" on St Croix, Nevis, is accepted as his birthplace. His surname is from his father, his mothers lover, John Hamilton. His mom was still wedded to` another man, but in those days on the Caribbean Islands such things, other than the upper classes, were somewhat loosey-goosey. I remember reading about his known family antecedents and it seemed confusing.
That also played into Colonial high society not totally accepting him as well.

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nigelc
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05 Jan 2017
07:18:01am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

The different types of cancellations are shown in the SG Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps 1840-1970 catalogue ("SG Part 1") which also has priced listings of which GB stamps are known used from each post office.

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pigdoc
09 Jan 2018
12:29:52pm
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

Late to this post (just joined StampoRama), but I too have a collecting interest in the British PO in St Thomas, but I'm just getting started in this area. I found this nice description in an eBay item listing:Image Not Found
From this description, it seems apparent that the range of the 3 cancellations to be found on a particular stamp issue will be limited (ie, we won't find the Type I cancellation on stamps issued after 1869) and by the same token, the range of issues bearing a given cancellation may be limited. As can be seen from the illustration in the description, Type III cancellations can be found on early stamp issues (such as the 1865 1sh green shown), so there is overlap of the cancellations on a given stamp issue. Also, in looking through the listing of British PO numbers, I find D26 for the "Spanish Mail Packet, 1874-1887" and C60 for "Venezuela, La Guayra 1874-1902". These bring up some intriguing possibilities to perhaps document the La Guairá - Puerto Cabello - St Thomas packet with British cancellations. I have a complete collection of the La Guairá private packet issues. A quick eBay search for "D26" and "C60" turned up nothing...Would love to score a wholesale lot of these cancellations to sort through!

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malcolm197
22 Jan 2018
05:33:51am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

According to the (old) Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth catalogue no less than 32 different stamps not counting (different) plates appear with C51 cancels of various types, and 4 with D26. Cat was upward of £18,00 (1992 edition). I suspect that even then that was a conservative figure, depressed by lack of demand ( few collectors ) rather than oversupply. The most common stamp would appear to be the "penny plate" ( at least 30 different plate numbers ).

Care should be taken with "overseas cancels" in general as some were subsequently reissued to UK post offices. Care must be taken that the cancel is "known" on a specific stamp.

Malcolm

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pigdoc
22 Jan 2018
08:38:42am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

Well, the type research as displayed above should go a long ways towards ferreting out improper or non-contemporary usages!

I am focusing on this area now, and looking to obtain examples that contain the CDS, hoping to circumvent some of the authenticity issues that way...

But, this material is quite scarce in the marketplace. My best bet is probably to score a bulk lot, and then sort out the ones I need.

But, thanks for the Gibbons data!

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laitinenp
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29 Dec 2018
09:04:23am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

Thanks for everyone for very interesting summary of information.

Just for curiosity: why does the cancel D26 has the name "Spanish Mail Packet"? Has there been a separate cancel in the British P.O. at St. Thomas for the mail forwarded to Spanish lines or something like that?

Image Not Found

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pigdoc
29 Dec 2018
10:59:46am
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

laitenenp,

I couldn't definitively answer your question, but from Wikipedia:

"St Thomas was a hub of the West Indies packet service from 1851 to 1885. Initially mail was transported by a Spanish packet to and from Puerto Rico; but in July 1867 the British picked up the mail contract, and packet letters are known using British stamps as late as 1879."

There is also a couple of British cancellations specific to Puerto Rico - C61 is one of them. Here are a couple of examples, from my collection:
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Stamp on L is the earliest style, stamp on R is from the 'middle' era.

These are far less common than the C51 cancellation.

I have never seen a D26 cancellation offered for sale on eBay, in over a year of diligent searching.

Typically, these foreign usages from British Caribbean and South America command prices from $25 to $250, depending on relative scarcity and condition.

-Paul




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laitinenp
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29 Dec 2018
04:30:20pm
re: British Post Office in Danish West Indies

Found one D26 on G.B. 1865, 4d vermilion for sale from an auction, having a price estimate of USD 20 000 - 30 000 Big Grin

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The page for the auction site is http://www.rumseyauctions.com/auctions/chapter/47/138

Best Regards, Petri

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