Thursday, November 22, 2018

6d. Queensland multiples - fiscally used

Fiscally used multiples of this issue are scarce



A fiscally used block of 5, seen in the collection of Carl Burnett



A fiscally used block of 4 dated October 1881. From the collection of Dave Elsmore


A fiscally used block of 4. From the collection of Dave Elsmore


A fiscally used block of 4 dated 9 May 1881. From the collection of Dave Elsmore


A fiscal block of 4 with a handstamp, The Australian Joint Stock Bank, Ravenswood. From the collection of Dave Elsmore


A fiscally used block of 4. From the collection of Dave Elsmore


A fiscally used block of 4


A fiscally used block of 4 dated 19 October 1882. From the collection of Dave Elsmore



a fiscal strip of 4, seen on Ebay


6d. Queensland multiples - Postally used

Postally used multiples of this issue are very scarce


6d green SG 142 block of 28 (7 x 4) all Die II, blue-pencil cancellations and 7 September 1884 Charters Towers date stamp, ex Manning


A used strip of 3  and a detached single on the left, from my collection

½d. Queensland Essay book extract

This is an extract from Queensland Postage Stamps 1879 to 1912 by Kenneth Scudder, 2013, pp. 45-7 covering the essays produced for a permanent half penny stamp, which was subsequently not required and so was never produced or postally used.

Images of these essays can be seen here:


A PERMANENT HALF-PENNY STAMP

The provision of a permanent Half-penny stamp was immediately put into operation and, as the matter was of some urgency, it was decided to print by lithography, using an existing copper die engraved by William Knight.

The initial design of this Half-penny stamp consisted of an engraved profile of the Queen's head on a ground of vertical lines in an oval frame, surrounded by a broad oval band of engraving simulating engine turned lines. The words "HALF PENNY" were at the top and "QUEENSLAND" at the bottom, in tablets, respectively above and below the broad oval band. The tail of the "Q" of "QUEENSLAND" was to the left, although this appears to have remained unnoticed for some time. The whole was enclosed in an outer frame with the four corners rounded. It is curious that this is the only Queensland design in which the value has been placed above the name Queensland.

The Queen's head has been copied from that on the Southern & Western Railway parcels stamps of 1867, the dies of which are believed to have been engraved by William Knight. The size of the head has been reduced to 72% of the original. Although the engraving follows very similar lines, being smaller, there are fewer lines in some places. With Knight also being a photographer, it is possible he used this method to obtain the reduced dimensions to follow in the new engraving.

imperforate essays are known on a thick wove paper in black and red, and on the 2nd Type "Crown over Q" watermarked paper in dull purple, bright blue, vermilion and scarlet. In these the watermark is sideways. In the Royal Collection is a pair in scarlet with, in the wide selvedge above, "Adopted /26 : 2 : 80" and "Specimen /Essays" in manuscript.

This must have been immediately withdrawn, as further essays were produced in which the shading around the head was removed. There are paired essays in black on thick paper, and in blue and dull purple on watermarked paper, with the watermark sideways. In these pairs one has a shaded background and the other a clear background, although both still have the "Q" reversed.

Finally, the mistake in the "Q" was noticed. This was corrected, and lithographic transfers were taken of the unshaded background design and laid down on a stone from which a sheet of 120 could be printed. Basset Hull wrote that proof sheets were printed in black, purple, blue, orange, vermilion and scarlet on plain and watermarked paper and submitted for approval. The watermark was the 2nd Type "Crown over Q", upright.

In the Australia Post Archival Collection, Melbourne, is an imperforate piece showing two horizontal rows of 10, printed in vermilion with each stamp lightly overprinted "SPECIMEN", Type 1. It bears the date 27.2.80, and a signature which presumably is the signature of approval, although it may be the signature of the printer. In any event, it was dated the day before the Half-penny stamp was cancelled.

With only seven days elapsing from the notification on the 20 February that a new Half-penny stamp was required to the final production of a sheet or two from a lithographic stone, it would seem highly unlikely, if not impossible, to complete even the initial engraving in this time. It would seem that the die of the initial design must have already been in existence.

At least one Essay for a Postcard exists with this Half-penny design in which the head is on a cleared background and the "Q" has the corrected tail. Although this indicates it was produced sometime after the stamps in question, the connection to the Postcard is important.

The Post Office had long been interested in having Postcards and this was only delayed until the necessary legislation was passed. Approval was finally given in the Postcard and Postal Note Act, 1880, which came into force on 1 October 1880.

It would seem then that a die for the initial design of this Half-penny stamp must have been in existence prior to February 1880. This would explain how the proof sheets were produced in such a short time. It may also explain why this design was so different to the then current issue postage stamps.

Also needing some explanation is the apparent speed in which it was possible to correct the reversed tail to the "Q". Because the intended printing process was to be lithography, it was a simple matter to fill in the unwanted tail and engrave a new one, as very little pressure was required between the transfer paper and the die. In this correction a small tell-tale mark was left inside the "Q".

Saturday, May 7, 2016

1d Duty Stamp article

The Queenslander Saturday 19 October 1878, p. 85

Visitors the late exhibition may have observed in the fine arts gallery two glassed frames containing a number of electrotypes of duty stamps; but beyond giving them a passing glance and wondering whit they could be, few we think who did so could take in the half of what they implied, and without some explanation we question if anyone would be any the wiser for their having seen them. Mr. William Knight, the Government Engraver and head of the Stamp Printing Department, was the exhibitor. He has been in connection-with that office ever since its establishment, now some twelve years ago, and all stamps have hitherto been printed from the steel plates direct, or from transfers on Lithographic stones. In either case the process of printing ia very slow, say about l60 sheets a-day, and consequently very expensive. Mr. Knight, however, knowing that electrotypy had been availed of for the purpose of cheapening the production without sacrificing the quality of the work to any appreciable extent, set himself to the task, and the contents of those two glazed frames were the result.


They have just begun to put them into practical use at the lithographic office, and in future the day's work will be quadrupled, at least; so that, instead of 100 sheets as heretofore being the day's work, from 600 to 1000 will be produced. The means by which this is accomplished is roughly thus:— Thin electroplates are prepared in a battery of the required stamps; these are backed with type-metal in small square blocks type high; they are then locked up in a chase, and worked at an ordinary printing-press. Of course Mr. Knight claims no more than that he has applied to the work of his own office what has been in operation in other places for some time past; but we are pleased to know that some of the heads of our department are determined not. to drift into the background, but to keep shoulder to shoulder with the latest improvements. This, too, of course, means more than the mere money-saving, which will not be a. trifle, but as the colony grows the demand is becoming so great for the increased production that the difficulties thicken; bat this new process will save the office from all difficulties of that kind for years to come. We are also glad to note that this is being followed up by other improvements in this office, notably by the addition of a fine lithographic machine, and they are only awaiting the arrival of a gas engine to build it and bring it into use. The need of these additions has been greatly felt of late, particularly in the printing of the electoral divisions, according to the new Act.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

2d. Queensland blue Queensband variety

The Queensband instead of Queensland variety is found once on every sheet at position no 46 on Die 1 type 2 stamps and is only found on plates 1 and 2 from 1879 to March 1880. 

They are known on the Crown Q (1st Type) Paper and the Crown Q (2nd Type) Paper as well as on the Burele Band paper. Only 1,000 copies of Queensband were printed on the Crown Q (1st Type) Paper and only 487 on the Burele Band paper, and so are great rarities. Examples on the Crown Q (2nd Type) Paper are also very scarce given that these plates were only in use from late 1879 to around March 1880 when the third plate was created 

Here are examples seen by me

For other 2d. Queensland varieties see here:


QueensBand instead of Queensland. Ex Butler and now in the collection of Carl Burnett


QueensBand instead of Queensland. Ex Butler and now in the collection of Carl Burnett


QueensBand instead of Queensland. From the collection of Carl Burnett


QueensBand instead of Queensland. Ex Butler and now in the collection of Carl Burnett

Seen on Stampboards

Seen at Premier Postal auction no 52. Ex Butler


Courtesy of Dave Elsmore


Seen at Phoenix Auction no 19


A superb example from a plate proof  showing  Queensband on the bottom right-hand stamp. Ex Manning and Griffith and now residing in a private collection

From my collection


Courtesy of Dave Elsmore


Seen in a private collection


From the proof sheet


Ex Griffith


Seen on Ebay

Seen at Phoenix auction no 62

2d. Queensland blue PENGE variety

The Penge instead of Pence variety is found once on every sheet at position no 116 on Die 1 type 4 stamps and is only found on plates 1 and 2 from 1879 to March 1880. Therefore they are very scarce. Here are examples seen by me

They are known on the Crown Q (1st Type) Paper and the Crown Q (2nd Type) Paper as well as on the Burele Band paper. Only 1,000 copies of Penge were printed on the Crown Q (1st Type) Paper and only 487 on the Burele Band paper, and so are great rarities. Examples on the Crown Q (2nd Type) Paper are also very scarce given that these plates were only in use from late 1879 to around March 1880 when the third plate was created

For other 2d. Queensland varieties see here:


Seen on Stampboards

Another example of Penge. Auctioned in Phoenix Auctions no. 17 here


Penge courtesy of Dave Elsmore


Penge. Ex Butler and now in the collection of Carl Burnett


Penge. Ex Butler and now in the collection of Carl Burnett


Penge from the collection of Carl Burnett


Penge seen at Premier Postal auction no 52. Ex Butler


Penge seen on Ebay



Penge. Ex Manning


Seen in a private collection


Seen on Ebay


Ex Colonel Evans


From the proof sheet


Ex Butler


On right hand stamp. Ex Griffith


Seen on Ebay, May 2017


From my collection


4 x 2d from Aramac to London dated 1881 and paying the 8d letter rate via Brindisi. The 1st stamp on the left has the Penge flaw. Seen in Phoenix auction no 64


Penge flaw in a specimen block of 4 at the bottom right. Seen in a private collection

Seen on Ebay

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Queensland First Sideface Plate Proofs - 1d

Here are some examples of the 1st sideface 2d. plate proof. For general information on the 1st sideface plate proofs see here

In August 1878 the plate of the one penny postage stamp was finished. The original imperforate proof sheet was printed in a reddish-brown shade on thin card. They were submitted to the Postmaster General on 9 August 1878 who expressed a preference for a vermilion colour. 

On 21 February 1879 1d unwatermarked imperforate proofs on thin card in the same reddish-brown shade were resubmitted to the Colonial Treasurer, along with other values and a comment that the chemicals in the vermillion ink were reacting with the copper of the plate. These were approved, with a comment that the "red" should be more decided.

Imperforate die I and die II examples with Crown over Q type II paper and defaced with blue in around November 1879 are known as well as examples that have not been defaced.

In around February 1881 perforate die I and die II examples with Crown over Q type II paper were prepared in bright red as colour trials and defaced with ink lines

Imperforate on thin card

1d. Imperforate Plate Proof on Thin Card, dull reddish brown complete sheet of 120 with [no. 48] showing "qoeensland" variety, printed label affixed at foot and inscribed "Proposed new 1d. Postage Stamp Printed from Electrotypes made by William Knight, Government Engraver, Lithographic Office, Treasury"; a few light fox marks in places and with a few faults in margins. This original 1d proof sheet submitted for approval contained 88 copies of Die 1 and 32 copies of Die 2. Ex Butler and Griffith. This sheet was almost certainly shown by Leslie Hausberg in his Queensland exhibit at the London International Philatelic Exhibition of 1906


Click on these copies of the sheet to see them in much greater detail

Plate II 1d scarlet Die I imperforate plate colour proof pair in Bright Vermillion from top of the sheet on thin unwatermarked paper, endorsed in margin "Color app[roved]" by William Knight. The date, as known from other copies, was November 1880. Ex Chapman and Manning


1d. scarlet block of four, [18-19/28-29] on thin unwatermarked paper with each horizontal pair showing Dies I and II se-tenant, marked in pencil on reverse "[Colo]r approved/Nov 24 1880". Ex Chapman and Manning
  
1d. reddish brown Die I marginal block of twelve, [67-70/77-80/87-90]; on thin card, the left vertical row creased. Ex Chapman and Griffith

1d reddish brown imperforate plate proof horizontal strip of 4 from left of the sheet on thin card. Ex Chapman

1d reddish brown imperforate plate proof block of 4. Ex Griffith

1d reddish brown imperforate plate proof pair on thin card. Seen in a private collection

1d reddish brown imperforate plate proof pair on thin card. Seen in Corinphila auctions 2018

1d reddish brown imperforate plate proof pair on thin card. Seen in Corinphila auctions 2018

1d reddish brown imperforate plate proof pair on thin card. Seen in Phoenix auction no 64 lot no 1018

1d reddish brown imperforate plate proof pair on thin card. Seen in Phoenix auction no 62 lot no 957


1d reddish brown imperforate plate proof pair on thin card. Seen in Corinphila auctions 2018

1d reddish brown imperforate plate proof pair on thin card. Seen in Corinphila auctions 2018

1d reddish brown imperforate plate on thin card. Ex Butler

1d reddish brown imperforate plate on thin card. Seen in Abacus auction no 229 lot no 406

Imperforate with Crown over Q type II paper 

1d imperforate triplet on ungummed watermarked paper in red-brown. Ex Slade and Manning and now seen in a private collection

1d imperforate pair on ungummed watermarked paper in red-brown. Ex Manning


1d imperforate pair on ungummed watermarked paper in scarlet from the top of the sheet. Ex Manning


1d on thin unwatermarked paper, burnt scarlet colour. Courtesy of Dave Elsmore, Queensland stamp collecting Facebook group


1d scarlet imperforate plate proof block of 4 in scarlet on ungummed unwatermarked wove paper. Seen in Prestige Philarely auction no 142

1d scarlet imperforate plate proof pair in scarlet on ungummed unwatermarked wove paper. Seen in Status Auctions

1d scarlet imperforate plate proof pair in scarlet on ungummed unwatermarked wove paper. Seen in Status Auctions

1d scarlet imperforate plate proof pair in scarlet on ungummed unwatermarked wove paper. Seen in Phoenix auction no 62 lot no 959


1d scarlet imperforate plate proof in scarlet on ungummed unwatermarked wove paper. Seen in the Queensland Stamp Collecting Facebook group

1d imperforate red-brown on ungummed watermarked paper, die 1. In my collection

1d. red-brown proof. Courtesy of Dave Elsmore, Queensland stamp collecting Facebook group

1d. red-brown proof on gummed watermarked paper. Courtesy of Dave Elsmore, Queensland stamp collecting Facebook group

1d. proof on watermarked gummed paper. Courtesy of Dave Elsmore, Queensland stamp collecting Facebook group

1d. red-brown proof. Seen in a private collection

1d. red-brown proof. Seen in a private collection

1d. red-brown proof on watermarked paper showing the QO variety. Seen in a private collection

1d. red-brown proof strip of 5 on watermarked paper. Ex Manning. Seen in a private collection

1d. scarlet proof block of 4 on watermarked paper. Ex Griffith

1d. on thin card that appears to have been cancelled to order. Courtesy of Dave Elsmore, Queensland stamp collecting Facebook group

1d. on thin card that appears to have been cancelled to order. Seen in a private collection