The “INDEPENDENT ANGUILLA” overprints on St. Kitts.

August 27, 2023

Great rarities of QEII philately.

The British overseas territory of Anguilla, an island east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Is. only measures around 16 miles long by 3 miles wide.

At first glance her stamp issues are equally diminutive filling just over one page of the Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth catalogue, but on closer inspection you will see one set of 16 stamps issued with a total value of £22,000!

These are the very first stamps of an independent Anguilla, issued on 4 September 1967. They were produced during a period of turmoil following a decision by Anguilla’s Island Council to declare independence from St Kitts-Nevis.

The existing stocks of “St Christopher Nevis Anguilla” pictorial definitive stamps (SG 129/44) that were held on the island were overprinted in black with a thick bar (obliterating the original name) and the words “Independent Anguilla”. The overprinting was undertaken by Island Press Inc. at St Thomas on the Virgin Is. in the presence of their employee William Bracken, and a representative of the Anguilla Government. Once the stocks of existing stamps in their sheets of 25 were exhausted the overprint form of 25 positions was destroyed in the presence of the two men.

So few of these stamps existed that no orders were accepted from the stamp trade as all the stamps were needed to fulfil postal requirements. All the stamps are very scarce or extremely rare and naturally intact settings of 25 are almost unheard of. Below we list the values, the number of stamps printed and the number of complete sheets of 25 issued:

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