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The Stamps and Postal History of St Helena

The earliest mail emanating from St Helena did not carry postmarks of any kind being handed to ships captains’ left at the Government Secretary’s offices, or simply left under large stones one of which still exists inscribed “1645”. The first stamp was decided upon “as a Public convenience and a probable saving of the labors of the Post Master” and Perkins, Bacon & Co received the order to print a 6d blue stamp which was eventually issued on 1 January 1856. Several orders followed and perforating began in 1861 with the printers using a perforated wheel and a plate with matching holes beneath, as the plate got clogged and the pins deteriorated the perforations reduced in quality and collectors recognise ‘clean- cut’ and ‘rough perf’ variants of this stamp.


This simple 6d plate remained in use as the colony expanded and unusually the same stamp was printed in a wide range of colours with different surcharges applied from ½d to 5s until the introduction of the De La Rue Universal key plate set in 1890. These issues with surcharges doubled or omitted include some of the rarest stamps of St Helena. St Helena also includes one of the rarest 20th Century stamps, the 1961 Tristan Relief Fund charity set was not sanctioned and had to be withdrawn however the stamps had been on sale for one week and a number had been sold including to passengers on a ship, so around 450 of each stamp were sold.


Sandafayre are highly respected as the leading expert and the global authority in the field of rare stamps, highly collectable stamps, postal history, collections and entire estates of collectables. We have stamps for sale from Great Britain, The Commonwealth and countries worldwide. Sandafayre buys stamp collections and are philatelic auctioneers. We sell stamps to philatelists and stamp dealers from all over the world. Sandafayre holds online stamp auctions every week, and we also hold public auctions of stamps and stamp collections.

Lots Per Page:

  • Lot 532 (Public Auction #8334)

    Saturday 11th June 2022, 07:00

    Est. £35 - £45

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1856-1971 USED COLLECTION incl. 1856 6d imperf (might be unused, faults), 1864-80 1s (x4), 1884-94 vals to 6d (x3), 1903 vals to 8d & 2s (surface scuff), 1922-37 wmk MCA 1s6d (fine used...
  • Lot 533 (Public Auction #8334)

    Saturday 11th June 2022, 07:00

    Est. £60 - £70

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1890 -1935 MINT COLLECTION incl. 1890-97 set (less 5d); KEVII range to 4d; 1912-16 set to 8d; 1913 4d and 6d; 1922-27 Mult Crown CA 1s6d and 2s6d, Script most values to 5s; 1934 Centena...
  • Lot 534 (Public Auction #8334)

    Saturday 11th June 2022, 07:00

    Est. £90 - £110

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1902-90's MINT & USED COLLECTION / ACCUMULATION on pages etc, incl. KEVII ranges to 6d used, 1912-16 to 2½d mint & 3d used, 1922-37 Script to 6d mint, 1938-44 set to 2s6d mint, 1949 set...
  • Lot 1017 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £40 - £45

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1856 6d blue imperf, SG 1, used, almost 4 marg, cut very close
  • Lot 1018 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £55 - £60

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1863 1d lake, type A&B, SG 3 and 4, 4 margins unused. (2)
  • Lot 1019 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £35 - £40

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1863-1884 old 'used' forgeries, mixed condition as usual (15)
  • Lot 1020 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £35 - £40

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1864-80 1d lake perf 14, SG 27, fine mint part gum, fresh
  • Lot 1021 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £70 - £80

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1912-16 'The Wharf' 2s and 3s, SG 80/81, fine mint. (2)
  • Lot 1022 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £100 - £110

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1912-16 complete set, SG 72/81, fine mint, very fresh (10)
  • Lot 1023 (Kwik-Bid #4334)

    Monday 30th May 2022, 16:30

    Est. £35 - £38

    Buyer's Premium Applies

    ST HELENA - 1922 10s grey & olive-green, SG 112, mint with four short perfs.

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