Antigua and Barbuda are islands located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The two main islands are Antigua and Barbuda. The islands were inhabited by natives when discovered in the late XV century by Columbus and were annexed to the British Empire. The group of islands of the region was called Leeward Islands, and apart from Antigua and Barbuda it also included St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, the Virgin Islands, Dominica, among others. The British settled in Antigua in 1632 and in Barbuda some years later. They acquired independence in 1981, but still belong to the Commonwealth of Nations.
The early postal system of Antigua was controlled by the British until 1860, when it was passed to the local government. The first Antigua issue was printed by Messrs. Perkins, Bacon & Co, the same company responsible for the printing of the Penny Black, and issued in 1862, engraved and unwatermarked. They were printed in steel plates of 120, in blue green ink on white wove paper. The stamps were usually rough perforated (14-16, not uniformly punched), cutting often into the design and badly centered. The stamp pictures Queen Victoria’s Profile, and the inscriptions “ANTIGUA” above and “SIX PENCE” bellow.
A total of 8 thousand copies were printed of the first stamp of Antigua. (Melville, 1929). A second print was issued in 1863 of a 6 Pence green with a small star watermarked. Imperforated copies are known to exist of the watermarked 6p as well as the 1 Penny lilac Rose, but these should be scarce.
As in most cases, the number 1 stamp of Antigua sells for a higher price in unused condition. Perforations touch the frameline of the stamp at least in one side due to the narrow spacing in the sheets, those scarce items where this does not happen should sell for a premium, according to the Scott Catalogue. It is worth noting that Antigua did not issue stamps between 1890 and 1903, using stamps of the Leeeward Islands in between. Barbuda also issued stamps of its own – but this again, is for another post.
Catalogue Value: Unused ****, Used ****
Source: Melville, Frederick John. Antigua. 1929. Available Online:
http://www.gutenberg.ca/ebooks/melvillefj-antigua/melvillefj-antigua-00-t.txt [accessed on 8 October, 2014].
* 0.1 - 49 USD
** 50 - 99 USD
*** 100 - 499 USD
**** 500 - 999 USD
***** 1'000 - 9'999 USD
****** + 10'0000 USD
The First Issues Blog is a place to discuss about the stamp number 1 of each country, territory, district, etc. Each additional item to my new collection shall receive a small description about the item, its history and curiosities.
Note that I may add more than 1 'number one' stamp to a place. This happens as I judge that in the case of independence or any other political issue that changed the postal history or when I deemed interesting to do so. This will be noted on the posts when it happens.
All posts and pictures in this website are property of the author.