There are a number of fascinating facts surrounding the Bermuda Postmaster Provisional 1861 Perot’s Second Issue. Firstly, they weren’t discovered until 1946, almost fifty years later than the discovery of Perot’s First Issue, and this is in a way testimony to their scarcity, because there are only five known second issue examples. Of the five; two are known on cover, one single is recorded as unused and the remaining two are both used singles. One of these singles, which is listed as number II in the *Encyclopaedia of Rare and Famous Stamps, by L.N. Williams, is now available for sale through David Feldman International Auctioneers, via our Private Treaty service. 

These primitive Bermuda Second Issue stamps, unlike their predecessors, do not have a manuscript note indicating the value, and unlike the first issue, they are defaced by way of a penmark cross – except the unused single – and the cross mark in all the four other copies does not extend beyond the adhesive even upon those fixed to covers.  So, it is not known whether these defacements were made before or after the stamps were fixed to the mail, and so the purpose of this mark remains a matter of speculation. The stamps are handstruck in red on blue laid paper, showing a Crown inset into a double circle, with the words “PAID AT HAMILTON BERMUDA”, and they are believed to have been first used in March 1861, the date of the first cover. The example available for sale was discovered in 1948, some two years after the second issue was identified and is credited to Morris H. Ludington who was a celebrated Bermuda collector, expert and author on the topic, and who’s name appears as the Provenance on many Bermuda rarities. His collection was sold by Christie in 1999, and this example sold for £73’000, from an estimate of £25’000, when the SG catalogue value was at £70’000. The unused example of the same stamp sold in 2006 for $110’000; with a renewed interest in truly rare collectables and in consideration of the values of other famous primitive issues like the Post Office stamps of Mauritius (note that these are more common than the Perot’s!!) one could safely surmise that their true value now lies comfortably beyond £100,000. 


The stamps take their name from the postmaster at Hamilton, Bermuda, William Bennet Perot, who was in the role from 1818 until 1862. Prepayment of inland postage at the rate of one penny an ounce was first required by a local Act of 1842 and was continued as a requirement by later local statutes. The obligation remained on the postmaster to forward all such inland mail. As was pointed out in ‘Bermuda, The Post Office, postal markings and adhesive stamps’, by M.H. Ludington p 171, published by Robson Lowe, London, 1962, it was to the postmaster’s advantage to ensure that all inland correspondence were prepaid.  Perot created these stamps by way of a mechanism to obtain that payment and came up with his DIY stamps as early as 1848, when his first issue is known to have been produced. There are eleven examples of his first stamps recorded, although only three dated as early 1848. Bermuda was not a heavily populated location, and Perot worked part-time, and so there were not significant numbers of these stamps issued and time and survival rates mean that the second issue is in particular a rare stamp and as we said at the start, a fascinating stamp.


Along with other rarities from our Private Treaty offering this will be on show at London 2022, including some stunning GB 1840 twopence covers. For more information meet our philatelists on stand 70-72 at London 2022.


*Encyclopaedia of Rare and Famous Stamps, Volume 2, by L.N. Williams page 11.