Lot 30118
British Guiana » 1856 Provisionals (SG 23-27)
Price realised
30’000 – 36’000 GBP
Auction date
Thu 14 Oct 2021 at 15:00 (Europe/Zurich)


1856 Provisional 4 cents black on magenta, initials of postal clerk Wight “EDW”, cut octagonally, very fresh and in brilliant colour, used on cover from Plantation Caledonia to London (full letter inside regarding cost of coolies), prepaying the inland letter rate as denoted by “Paid 4 Cts”, posted at Wakenaam with “BG W” cds on 7 February 1856, stamp then cancelled in transit by Demerara datestamp on 8 February (trace of tie at top of stamp), letter subsequently charged “6” for sixpence Uniform Packet rate in London (arrival 20 March on flap); (SG £75’000).

The earliest known cover of any stamp from this whole issue. Fourteen covers are recorded bearing this stamp (four offered in this sale), this having the added significance of being one of just two sent abroad and one of the finest of all. One of the great highlights of this collection, an exhibition showpiece.


William Augustus Townsend (Lot 56, Harmer’s, October 1969)

R. A. Siegel “Rarities of the World” sale (1976)

John E. du Pont (Lot 60077, David Feldman SA, June 2014)

Expertise: Signed Kosack (Philipp Kosack was a pre-WWII German dealer), Cert. BPA (2014)

Census of covers according to our records:

– 7 February 1856, cut octagonally, ex Du Pont, (the item presented here)

– 24 March 1856, cut octagonally, ex Caspary and “Bartica”

– 12 April 1856, octagonal cut, currently in a private collection

– 2 May 1856, cut square, money letter, currently in a private collection

– 10 May 1856, cut octagonally, coded cds and sent to London, “C. M.” collection

– 13 May 1856, cut square, bearing two examples, ex Ferrary, Granger, T. Small and currently in a private collection

– 6 June 1856, cut square, ex Ferrary and Du Pont (offered in this sale)

– 26 June 1856 (?), cut hexagonally, repaired, Siegel Rarities Auction 1965

– 11 July 1856, cut octagonally, in mixed franking with G.B., ex dale-Lichtenstein and currently in a private collection

– 11 July 1856, cut octagonally, ex du Pont (offered in this sale)

– 30 July 1856, cut octagonally, village postmark, ex Du Pont (offered in this sale)

– (Unreadable coded postmark), cut square, repaired at left, ex Luder-Edelmann Auction (lot 3319, November 1925)

– (Unknown year) April or August, cut octagonally, sent to Essequebo, ex Hind

– (Unknown date), cut square, restored on two sides, ex Bolyn

Catalogue reference: SG 24