Postcard canceled with the Danish cancel St. Thomas 3 April 1917, and mailed internally to the U.S.A.
TRANSFER PERIOD PHILATELY – A PARTIALLY FORGOTTEN DANISH WEST INDIES PHILATELIC EVENT
The last ten years I have only collected Danish West Indies stamps, a rather restricted specialty. I have therefore concentrated on
a few categories of personal interest, one being the transition period. My goal was accumulate material for a two frame exhibit for from this period.
I have purchased loose stamps as well as collections, and sometimes collections
will include “back of the book” letters and stamps canceled during the transition period. Other purchases were obtained from ebay auctions, stamp dealers as well as from other collectors.
The transition period is defined
as April 1 to September 30, 1917, i.e. immediately after the sale of the Danish West Indies islands to the U.S.A. on March 31, 1917.
The sale price was $25,000,000, and the contract included a provision allowing the use of the current
Danish West Indies stamps for a six month period after the sale date. The Danish West Indies stamps could not be exchanged for American stamps, and therefore had to be used on mail. US stamps were introduced at this time.
mailed April 1 to September 30 exist having only DWI or US stamps, but there are also letters with a combination of DWI and US stamps.
There are many stamp combination philatelic covers, and most have excessive postage. All have
Christiansted cancels. They normally have the common 2 cents USA stamp and one or more DWI stamps
Most were mailed to Otto Kielstrup Esq., but the covers addressed to L. V. Nielsen and A. J. Noergaard Esq. also exist. They are all
locally addressed, and as previously mentioned, they can have either the Danish or the American Christiansted cancels,
Non-philatelic mail with combination stamp DWI/USA usage, or having only DWI stamps are rare.
My collection includes a printed matter letter mailed to England (figure 3) unless it had insufficient postage that was missed by the St. Thomas post office – I have seen a letter correctly mailed as printed matter –so such items are known.
However, they are very rare.
Transition period printed matter is also know, but they are very rare. My collection includes a 5 bit Christian X postal card corner cut (Figure 4) also having a US 1 cent stamp. The postal rates were
as follows during the transition period:
Printed Matter - Domestic or foreign 5 bit or 1 cent
Domestic postcards 5 bit or 1 cent
Domestic letters 10 bit or 2 cents
Combination stamp use 5 bit
+ 1 cent
Foreign postcard 10 bit or 2 cents
Plus above described combination use
Foreign letters 25 bit or 5 cents
Or 4 cents + 5 bit etc.
Registration fee 50 bit or 10 cents