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Bermuda Newspaper Wrappers

Prior to 1 January 1901 the inland newspaper postage rate was free and the overseas rate was 1d per 4 ounces.

On 1 January 1901 the inland rate was changed to d per 4 ounces and the overseas rate was changed to d per 4 ounces.

This created a need for newspaper wrappers and it took till early 1903 before supplies were delivered. All Bermuda postal stationery newspaper wrappers were printed by De La Rue, London.

All the wrappers printed by De La Rue for Bermuda were 125mm x 300mm in size.

26 February 1903

Two newspaper wrappers were issued on 26 February 1903, a d brown and a d green, with a design based on the KEVII Great Seal of Bermuda. Depicting a three deck ship at the entrance of a dock with gates and two other ships in the background.

Supplies of these two wrappers were received in Bermuda on 24 February 1903; consisting of 201,510 d wrappers and 99,720 d wrappers.

Bermuda d Newspaper Wrapper 1903 Bermuda d Newspaper Wrapper 1903
Indicia for the d brown and for the d green newspaper wrappers

Bermuda d Newspaper Wrapper 1903 Specimen Bermuda d Newspaper Wrapper 1903 Specimen
Wrappers were overprinted SPECIMEN by De la Rue.
At that time a total of 721 copies of each was required to be sent to the UPU for distribution to the UPU member countries (5 copies each) and for the UPU.

Bermuda d Newspaper Wrapper used 1903
Bermuda d Newspaper Wrapper used locally on 8 June 1903.

Bermuda d Newspaper Wrapper used 1907
Bermuda d Newspaper Wrapper used in 1907 to Vienna in Austria. Addressed to a Josef Mller. This wrapper is a neatly folded philatelic item, the flap has full gum which has not been stuck.

Is there any connection here to the famous Austrian philatelist Edwin Mller?


January 1912

In 1912 a d wrapper with a new design was issued depicting a Caravel Sailing Ship. The wrapper is believed to have been issued in January 1912, the actual date of issue is unknown.
Bermuda d Caravel Newspaper Wrapper 1912
Indicium for the d brown newspaper wrapper issued in 1912

Bermuda d Caravel Newspaper Wrapper used 1912 Bermuda d postmark
Bermuda d Newspaper Wrapper used on 24 January 1912. This is the earliest known useage of this newspaper wrapper.

SPECIMEN
The d brown caravel design newspaper wrapper also exists with a SPECIMEN overprint same as the 1903 issue wrappers. The required number to be sent in 1912 was 400; 3 copies for each UPU member country plus copies for the UPU.


ERROR in OLD CATALOGUES
Siegfried Ascher's catalogue published in 1928 lists a d green wrapper as being issued in 1912 with the same design as the d wrapper. This is not correct - die proofs for the d wrapper were prepared but no wrappers are known to have been produced.

Ascher Catalogue Bermuda Wrappers
Bermuda Newspaper wrapper section from Ascher's catalogue.
The inclusion of an illustration (which must have come from some other stationery) helped to convince subsequent editors that the d wrapper did indeed exist.

Higgins and Gage catalogue, published in 1966, copied this error and listed a d green wrapper as being issued in 1912 with the same design as the d wrapper.


1913

In 1913 two new wrappers, a d brown and a d green, depicting the Head of King George V were produced and issued. The actual date of issue is unknown.
Bermuda d KGV Newspaper Wrapper 1913 Bermuda d KGV Newspaper Wrapper 1913
Indicia for the d brown and the d green KGV newspaper wrappers issued in 1913

Bermuda d KGV Newspaper Wrapper used 1913
Bermuda d KGV Newspaper Wrapper used in May 1914
Bermuda d KGV Newspaper Wrapper used 1915
Bermuda d KGV Newspaper Wrapper used on 22 January 1915 to New York, USA

SPECIMEN
Both wrappers also exists with a SPECIMEN overprint same as the previous issues. The required number to be sent in 1913 was 400; 3 copies for each UPU member country plus copies for the UPU.


January 1938

Two new newspaper wrappers were issued in January 1938 depicting the Head of King George VI.
Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper 1938 Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper 1938
Indicia for the d brown and the d green KGVI newspaper wrappers issued in January 1938

Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used 1939
Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used in 18 September 1939
Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used 1915
Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used on 23 September 1938 to London


1940s

In the early 1940s a local provisional issue was produced by using an oval handstamp, BERMUDA / d / POSTAGE PAID, on plain white paper. They are known used in 1943 and 1944. Presumably these were produced because of a problem in getting supplies from London. The size of the paper was variable but it was about 125mm x 300mm.
Bermuda 1940s handstamp A Bermuda 1940s handstamp B
SMALL - 7mm high (1 points to space between RM)
LARGE - 8mm high (1 points to R, larger serif on 1)

Bermuda 1940s provisional
Bermuda 1940s provisional Newspaper Wrapper used on March 1944


TEXT SETTINGS
The instructions at the top of the wrappers were identical on all wrappers issued in Bermuda from 1903 up and including the 1938 issue. Setting DLR2 as shown below
Bermuda text setting DLR2
Setting DLR2 - "l" of enclose in line 3 is below the centre of "w"; "u" of nature is normal font.

Sometime in 1949 the text setting was changed - as shown below.
Bermuda text setting DLR3
Setting DLR3 - "l" of enclose in line 3 is below "we"; "u" of nature is bold font, (other differences exist).


1949

Both the d brown and the d green KGVI newspaper wrappers were issued with text setting DLR3 sometime in 1949. Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used 1949
Bermuda d green text setting DLR3 KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used on 27 April 1949.

Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used 1949
Bermuda d green text setting DLR3 KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used on 19 Nov 1949. (this is earliest used copy of this wrapper that I have seen)


1950

Provisional Issue, oval frank
(1) - in violet BERMUDA / d / POSTAGE PAID to make up the rate to d on the 1938 d wrappers;
(2) - in black or violet BERMUDA / d / POSTAGE PAID to make up the rate to d on the 1949 d wrappers and;
(3) - in black or violet BERMUDA / d / POSTAGE PAID to make up the rate to 1d, on the 1949 d wrappers.
The d handstamps appear to be exactly the same ones that were used in 1943/4.

Very few wrappers with text setting DLR2 (the 1938 issue) and the oval frank are known, they are all with the violet small d handstamp.
Bermuda 1950 provisional text setting DLR2 used
Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper, with text setting DLR2, with the small d handstamp, commercially used in Jan 1951.

The majority of the wrappers with the 1950 handstamp are with text setting DLR3, the 1949 issue.
Bermuda 1950 provisional text setting DLR3 used large
Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper, with text setting DLR3, with the large d handstamp in violet, commercially used on 29 Aug 1950.

Bermuda 1950 provisional text setting DLR3 small
Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper, with text setting DLR3, with the small d handstamp in black, commercially used on 13 Dec 1950.

Bermuda 1950 provisional text setting DLR3 small
Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper, with text setting DLR3, with the small d handstamp in violet, commercially used on 5 Jan 1951.

Bermuda 1950 provisional used
Bermuda d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper with the d handstamp commercially used on 25 Jan 1951.


CTOs on the 1950 issue with handstamp

Wrappers with these oval franks were only supplied to the two daily newspapers on Bermuda - The Royal Gazette and The Mid-Ocean News.
However many wrappers managed to get into private hands and be cancelled by favour (CTO).
for full details see Bermuda 1950 Newspaper Wrappers


1950 Bermuda d handstamp on d Grenada wrapper

The 1950 Bermuda d handstamp is also known on a d Grenada wrapper. Three used examples are known used from St Georges in the latter part of March 1951, all addressed to Mrs Booker. It is not known why the Grenada d green wrapper was franked with the Bermuda d frank. It is possible that they were mixed in by error at the printers, De la Rue. It is also possible that they are the work of Commander Eric David Bowie who was responsible for the CTO wrappers, which also are mostly postmarked in the latter part of March 1951


July 1951

In July 1951 a 1d red newspaper wrapper was issued, with the same design as the 1938/1949 wrappers, with the head of King George VI. The exact date of issue is not known

Bermuda 1d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper 1951
Indicia for the 1d red KGVI newspaper wrappers issued in July 1951

Bermuda 1d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used 1951
Bermuda 1d red KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used 0n 15 July 1951


1953?

Four wrappers depicting the head of Queen Elizabeth II were issued in 1953 or later. Higgins and Gage gives the date of issue as 1953. Ludington, published in 1978, does not mention these wrappers at all.

The earliest used copies I have been able to find are from 1957. Three other colonies had wrappers produced with the same QEII design. British Honduras (Belize) wrappers were issued on 1 June 1954; British Guiana (Guyana) wrappers were issued on 25 Junauary 1956; and Jamaica where no date is recorded but believed to have been 1954. Taking all these facts into consideration it seems unlikely that the Bermuda wrappers were issued in 1953
Bermuda d QEII Newspaper Wrapper 1953 Bermuda 1d QEII Newspaper Wrapper 1953 Bermuda 1d QEII Newspaper Wrapper 1953 Bermuda 2d QEII Newspaper Wrapper 1953
Indicia for the d green, the 1d black, the 1d red and the 2d blue QE2 newspaper wrappers issued in 1953.

Bermuda d QEII Newspaper Wrapper used
Bermuda d green QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 2 Apr 1959 (?)

Bermuda 1d QEII Newspaper Wrapper used
Bermuda 1d black QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 1957 (?)

Bermuda 1d QEII Newspaper Wrapper used
Bermuda 1d red QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 10 Jan 1963

Bermuda 2d QEII Newspaper Wrapper used
Bermuda 2d blue QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 11 Apr 1966


CHANGE OF TEXT SETTING c1965

Sometime about 1965 De la Rue changed the text setting they were using for printing wrappers - as shown below
Bermuda Text setting DLR5
Text setting DLR5 - d of allowed is below b, other differences also exist

Bermuda 2d QEII Newspaper Wrapper DLR5 setting
Bermuda 2d blue QEII Newspaper Wrapper with text setting DLR5.




1970

Following the change to decimal currency in Bermuda, in February 1970, a new wrapper was issued. The very last wrapper to be issued in Bermuda, a 3c black with the same design as the 1953 issue. This wrapper was with text setting DLR5.

Bermuda 3d QEII Newspaper Wrapper 1970
Indicium for the 3c black QE2 newspaper wrapper issued about 1970

Bermuda3d QEII Newspaper Wrapper used
Bermuda 3d black QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 17 Jun 1972


BERMUDA NEWSPAPER WRAPPERS - BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bright & Sons Catalogue Part II, Postcards Envelopes Wrappers, 1914
Grosser Ganzsachen-Katalog, by Dr Siegfried Ascher, 1928
Higgins & Gage World Postal Stationery Catalogue, 1966/1990
The Encyclopdia of British Empire Postage Stamps Vol V North America, Robson Lowe, 1973
The Postal History and Stamps of Bermuda, by M H Ludington, 1978
Commander Eric David Bowie RN, by David Horry, in the British Caribbean Philatelic Journal No 258, January 2016

"Postal Stationery Newspaper Wrapper Catalogue", by Jan Kosniowski, published June 2019
Bermuda did not produce many newspaper wrappers and so only occupies just two and a half pages in this mammoth 1258 page three volume catalogue

There are two articles in magazines which I have not managed to see so far, can anyone help?
1950 Provisional Newspaper Wrapper, by E D Bowie, in Stamp Magazine, 10 May 1952
1950 Provisional Newspaper Wrapper, in Bermuda Post, Issue Number 8, August 1988, Bermuda Collectors Society