King Edward VII
Queen's Staircase Issues

Updated - July, 2018

The Queen's Staircase issues date back to the time of King Edward VII. You will find them with three different watermarks: Crown CC, Multiple Crown CA, and Multiple Script CA.

Identifying the Bahamas Edward VII Queen's Staircase issues is primarily a matter of determining the difference between the watermarks, finding the difference between black and grey-black color shades, and determining the two paper varieties. This set was in use from 1901 until it was replaced with the KGV MCA Issues in 1911.

I find it is easiest to see the watermarks by placing the stamps against black paper and looking at them under a strong light. If you can't see the watermark under these conditions, feel free to use safe watermark fluid. The various catalogues have good examples of these watermarks, but if you just look for either the difference in the shape of the crown, or the font used. The Crown CC and Multiple Crown CA use a sans-serif style font. The Multiple Script CA watermark uses an italic style of font. Reverse scans of these watermarks are shown below. They appear as you would see them when looking at the back of the stamp.

The earlier versions of these stamps were printed on paper that appears thicker and has yellowish gum. The later versions (1903) appear thinner and tend to have whiter gum. The best way to see this is to look at the back of the stamps against black paper. The grey-black version of the 5d, 2/ and 3/ stamps are on this thinner paper, so if you find one of them it will help you isolate this paper.

The catalog numbers are from the 1980 Commonwealth Five Reigns Catalogue (CW), 2011 Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue (SG) and the 2011 Scott catalog (ST). The description is from the Commonwealth Catalogue. Please contact Bridger & Kay to obtain a copy of this publication.

Printing and distribution information for these stamps comes from "Bahamas Stamps and Postal Stationery to 1970" edited by Peter Fernbank. This information comes originally from the Crown Agents reports. You may obtain a copy from Pennymead Auctions.

The images were saved in a larger size and at a higher resolution so you can more easily see the details used in sorting them. Please be patient if it takes a few minutes for this page to load. You should also note that colors shown on the internet are not exact, so use the colors shown in reference to each other rather than as an exact match.

Crown CC
Multiple Crown CA
Multiple Script CA
CW E1 - SG 58 - ST 33
1d Black &
CW E2 - SG 58 - ST 33
1d Grey-Black &
CW E3 - SG 58 - ST 33
1d Black &
Thinner Paper
CW E1 and E2 are both from the 8/1901 printing.
A total of 246,900 stamps were produced.
CW E3 is from the 9/1903 printing.
47,880 stamps were produced.

CW E4 - SG 59 - ST 34
5d Black &
CW E5 - SG 59 - ST 34
5d Grey-Black &
Bright Orange
Thinner Paper
CW E5 var - SG 59 - ST 34
5d Grey-Black &
Intense Orange
Thinner Paper
CW E4 is from the 12/1902 printing.
11,280 stamps were produced.
CW E5 is from the 5/1903 printing.
12,420 stamps were produced.
CW E5 var is from the 9/1903 printing.
6,120 stamps were produced.
Approximately 8,000 5d stamps from all three printings were used to produce the Special Delivery overprint issues.
  CW E6 - SG 60 - ST 35
2/ Black &
CW E7 - SG 60 - ST 35
2/ Grey-Black &
Dull Blue
Thinner Paper
  CW E6 is from the 12/1902 Printing.
5,460 stamps were produced.
CW E7 is from the 9/1903 Printing.
6,000 stamps were produced.
  CW E8 - SG 61 - ST 36
3/ Black &
Deep Green
CW E9 - SG 61 - ST 36
3/ Grey-Black &
Thinner Paper
  CW E8 is from the 12/1902 Printing.
6,120 stamps were produced.
CW E9 is from the 9/1903 Printing.
6,000 stamps were produced.

This article was written to help you identify your stamps.
Please feel free to ask a question, or include a correction.
We are always interested in additional shades or more information on these stamps.

Comments or Questions feel free to write
Classic Bahamas Stamps for sale based on the identification from this article.
Index to KGVI Stamp Description Web Sites
Links to other British Colonial Stamp Sites