The St.Thomas Post Office used a four-ring cancel to cancel stamps on mail that arrived without a cancel. It is seen on approximately 1% af bisected mail.

Unauthorized use of bisected stamps

Franked with 1 cent - 5 cents and a besected -total 8 cents.
The letter has 4 ring ship postmark and a "C" on the back and an arrival postmark St.Thomas April 7.

The bisected stamp was not accepted because the bisected could not be used with other stamps, therefore stamped "T"

On Convention in Paris in 1878, it was decided that lack of postage (in centimeters) were applied in black numbers next to the stamps. The  post office in København would then charge double porto converted in danish currency. 

Not Accepted (missing postage) 2 cents -( 10 centimeters was applied, "16 øre in red"  The 1 cent and 5 cents stamps were accepted for 6 cents.

In Copenhagen, there was uncertainty about the rules for using bisected stamps with other stamps and as they had previously been asked to repay not accepted porto - the bisected was accepted and stamped Købehavn April 24 1903.

Franked with 42 cents - Anbefalet from Christiansted March 11
to Copenhagen. Backstamped St.Thomas Mars 14 and Copenhagen. Print 3.

The post office had specified that the bisected stamp could not be used in combinations with any other stamps to pay postage in excess of two cents. This partial canceled Christiansted February 17 is an exception since the 5 cents stamp was used to pay the registration fee. This is the only known example of a bisected stamp used on registred mail and with the registry cancel “Anbefalet”
1 cent stamp depleted period.
Print 4

Registred mail and other combination uses.

The only known registered clipping with a 5 cents paying the registration fee in addition to a 2 cents letter rate. Postmark Frederiksted February 17.

Victor Engstrom mentioned that there were no known examples of a bisected stamp used together with a registration fee, and that it was not known if that practice would have been admissible. Such a letter would have had a 5 cents stamp paying the registration fee in addition to a 2 cent letter rate. Such an example is now known, though it is a clipping rather than a complete letter. 

It has a rigistry cancel in danish "Anbefalet" next to the two stamps. This registry cancel is only used in Christiansted post office. 

I also have a clipping with the postmark from Frederiksted - the same date February 17, which also was used  in the 1 cent depletion period- but of course without the danish rigistry.



Locally mailed partial with 10 cents total postage. Christiansted March 7 1903

As previously mentioned the official instruction regarding the use of bisected stamps specified that a bisected stamp was not to be used together with other stamps on mail that required more than two cents postage.

Ten cents postage was reguired for local mail that weighed 61-75 gram. (5 weight class) That weight could have beeb met with two 5 cents stamps.  

The letter is certainly sent from St.Thomas via postboat (letterbox) and was first stamped upon arrival in Christiansted. It is perhaps probable that Christiansted Post offfice therefore accept the letter.

Since it is a partial it is not known, if the Christiansted Post Office did allov the use of a bisected stamp with other 4 cents stamps. If so it is a great rarity.

Other possibillities are that it was marked postage due and that part of the wrapper was removed or it may also be a deliberate overpayment of two or more cents.


St.Thomas, February-June 1903 - large cut from St.Thomas to Hamburg. Franked with 5 Cents Coat of Arms and 2 cents bisected, tied by St.Thomas. This is part of a registered sample without value. Registration mark Danish West Indies R No. 1623 in blue. 2 Cents rate sample of no value, registration 5 Cents (1.1.1902-14.7.1905) -total 7 cents rate. Correct franking. (Frank Banke)

Locally mailed partial with 6 cents total postage. The letter is sent from Christiansted via postboat (letterbox) to St.Thomas. It was first stamped upon arrival in St.Thomas . The St.Thomas Postoffice did not accept the bisected together with other stamps - therefore the bisected is not stamped. (Jan Læby)