Saturday, March 31, 2012

Queensland First Sideface article - Bornefeld pt. 3

J. Bornefeld wrote Queensland: The Electrotyped Postage Stamps from 1879-1906 which was serialised in Stanley Gibbons Monthly JournalThe section dealing with the fist sidefaces was published in 3 parts from 21 July 1907, p. 10, to 30 November 1907, pp. 114-116. This is part 3, the final part.

In February 1880, the rate of postage for newspapers sent to the United Kingdom was suddenly changed to One Penny Halfpenny, and as there was no stamp of that value in existence and no time to prepare a die and plate, order was given to convert 20,000 Penny stamps by means of a surcharge of the words "Half-penny."

This was set up in ordinary small type, with an initial capital and "Half-penny" printed in black ink, 170 sheets, equal to 20,400 stamps, being thus treated. All these sheets were on the “New Q and Crown Paper " to be described later.

These provisionals were issued on 21st February 1880, but were withdrawn on the 28th, only seven days later, the rate having been again changed. Copies with genuine postmarks are therefore very rare; 240 copies were cancelled as "specimens."

When Mr Knight was in Sydney and Melbourne, where the electrotype process for the production of postage stamps was in use, his attention was drawn to a paper of superior quality, well adapted for surface- printing, which had been introduced by Messrs. De La Rue. As it took a considerable time to send an order for this paper and obtain a supply, and it was desired that the newly-designed stamps should be introduced at once, Mr. Knight made use of the paper then in stock, with the Crown and “Q” watermark. The watermarks in this paper being arranged to fit plates of 240 stamps, in twenty horizontal rows of twelve while the new stamps were in sheets of 120, twelve horizontal rows of ten, there was necessarily some waste in cutting the paper, and the watermarks were very liable to be out of place in the stamps. The old paper was more porous and of much looser texture than that which was now ordered and this is probably the reason why the One Penny, Two Pence, and Four Pence stamps on the old paper can be easily recognized by the fullness of their colours, the ink penetrating more completely into the porous paper.

The new paper, which seems to have arrived in October, 1879, is much firmer and smoother than the old, but the First consignment was still slightly porous, which was not the case with later supplies.

The watermark in the new paper differs somewhat from that in the old, as shown in the accompanying illustrations. In the old Crown the central upper division is triangular, with point downwards; in the new, the central division is as wide at bottom as the other two; the tail of the "Q" in the old watermark has its lower outline, only extended across the oval band, whilst in the new both outlines extend across the hand ; the inner oval also is wider in the old than in the new.

The new Penny and Two Pence were issued on 10th April, 1879, the Four Pence followed on June 6th, the Six Pence about December of the same year, and the One Shilling about May 1881. The two higher values were not only being issued in the old type up to the approximate dates mentioned above, but were also being printed during that period from the old plates, which accounts for the fact that, after the supply of the old paper was exhausted, the Six Pence was printed upon plain unwatermarked paper, and the Shilling both upon plain paper and upon paper with a burelé band at the back. The Shilling without either watermark or burelé' band does not appear to be listed in any catalogue.

The old Crown and "Q" paper was exhausted before the new paper arrived, and consequently a quantity of plain white hand-made paper, manufactured by T. H. Saunders, was obtained, and twelve bands of interlaced wavy lines were lithographed upon it, in pale lilac, fugitive ink, to serve as a substitute for a watermark. On this paper, known as burelé, a supply of the One Penny and Twopence stamps of the 1879 type was printed. Of the lower value there were probably only 506 sheets, and of the higher 487, each consisting of 120 stamps. There was one specimen of the error with “QOEENSLAND" on each sheet of the Penny and one with "PENCE" on each sheet of the Twopence, so that there would have existed 506 of the former and 487 of the latter on the burelé paper.

The One Penny is found in a great variety of shades, dull salmon, dull and bright vermilion, orange, scarlet, and bright brown-red, or brick-red. The proof-sheet is in a dull brick-red shade, and the stamps on the old Crown and "Q" paper are only to be found in brick-red, mostly bright. The issue on burelé paper is in a similar tint, and so are the stamps surcharged "Halfpenny." But some two-thirds of all the brick-red stamps are on the new Crown and "Q" paper, and the majority of the One Penny stamps of this type are in salmon, vermilion, orange, or scarlet shades.

The Twopence also varies in shade, from dull grey-blue to the deepest indigo. The proof-sheet is in deep blue, almost all the stamps on the old paper are in a very deep blue tint, the rare exceptions being in a bright greyish blue. The very deep blue is never found on the new paper, though specimens in bright, full colours exist on the slightly porous paper which formed the first supply with the new watermark, as mentioned above.
The variations of the Fourpence are not sufficiently marked to need description; the proofs, and the stamps on the old paper are, however, of fuller and brighter shades than those on the new.

The Sixpence varies from dull yellow-green to deep bluish green. The proof-sheet is in bright yellow-green.

The One Shilling is found in dull reddish lilac, dull and bright lilac, violet, and deep violet.

So-called errors, such as are due to accidental defects in certain electrotypes in the plate, or to some defect in the printing, should in my opinion, as l have stated before, be taken but little notice of. A collector of engravings would never dream of putting a defective impression into his collection, by the side of an artist’s proof. These defects in the stamps are only of service to us in the reconstruction of entire sheets. The proof-sheets of the Penny and Two Pence in the possession of Mr. Hausburg show some twenty-five or thirty defects on each, which I have been able to identify in used specimens; I have no space to describe them all, and indeed they could not be described without the assistance of illustrations.

The variety hunter, who wishes to go beyond the actual varieties of type, may be content with the well-known "QO" in the Penny, and "PENGE" and another in which the “L” of “QUEENSLAND” is something like a distorted "N" or broken capital "G,” in the Two Pence, which l can assure him are the most prominent errors.
The specialist in perforations also will find no variety in this issue, all the stamps being perf. 12. All are, however, also known imperforate.

I will now conclude with a Synopsis of this issue. All the values of this issue with the exception perhaps of the Four Pence, were more frequently used as fiscals than as postals. In Queensland at that time stamps used fiscally were not infrequently left uncancelled, and the cleaner of Fiscals has also found much scope here for the exercise of his talents.


All the values are in four varieties of type :—

Old Paper
1d. Dies I and II, brown-red, brick-red and “QO”
2d. Die I, deep blue, bright grey-blue. “PENGE” “BAND”
4d. Die II, bright yellow.

Burelé Paper
1d. Dies I and II, brown-red, brick-red and “QO”
2d. Die I, deep blue, bright grey-blue. “PENGE” “BAND”

New Paper.
1d. Dies I and II, brown-red, brick-red , dull orange, scarlet.
Half penny on 1d. Dies I and II, Brown-red, brick-red.
2d. Dies I and II, dull grey-blue to bright medium blue. “PENGE” dull grey-blue to bright medium blue, “BAND” dull grey-blue to bright medium blue.
4d. Die II, yellow (shades).
6d. Die II, yellow-green In dark green.
1s. Die II, lilac to violet.

The supposed 1d., yellow, I have never seen; Mr. Basset Hull states that various specimens had been submitted to him, all of which he considered to be changelings from the vermilion. The 1d. of April and May, 1901, however, exists in yellow, and having had some experience in the examination and sorting of varieties of shade, I should much like to see any specimens of the 1d. of 1879 in that colour, with a view to determining whether they are changelings or genuine.

NOTE.—There can be no doubt whatever that the date May, 188I, for the Shilling of this type, is incorrect; in The Philatelic Record for August, 1880, the stamp is chronicled in the following terms;

“We have seen the new 1s. value of the new type. The colour is rich, but the execution is as monstrous as the rest of the native productions.

“1s., deep mauve."
Mr. E. D. Bacon points out to us that Alfred Smith & Co.’s Monthly Circular for the same month also announces this 1s. stamp :—

"Messrs.  Pemberton, Wilson & C0. send us a stamp of the value of four pence, which is another of the wretchedly executed lithographed (it was supposed at that time that these stamps were lithographed) stamps for this colony, of the same type as the recently issued one penny and sixpence, and similarly perforated and watermarked.

Mr. Earl. while forwarding to us specimens of the one shilling, violet on mauve " this was the old type of 1ss. on paper tinged with the colour of the impression`, "of the old type, chronicled by us in May last, now sends us the one shilling, mauve on white, of the same type as the fourpence above mentioned, and with the same perforation and watermark.”

We quote these announcements in full, to show that they were quite independent, and we see that the editor of the Monthly Circular had both types of the 1s. before him, and there can therefore be no question as to the stamp he referred to.

The London (now Royal) Society’s Oceania, published in 1887, gives November 1880 as the date of issue of this value, but quotes no authority for it. The date "May, 1881,” is founded upon some most interesting and valuable papers, by Mr. Basset Hull, published in Vindin’s Philately Monthly  in 1892-4. Mr. Hull quotes official information and statistics, which are no doubt reliable so far as they go, but we think that a little examination will show that, as regards the 1s. value, they are not quite complete.

Let us see first where he gets his date "May, 1881.” He says :- "In November, 1880, the new supplies of ink were received, and proofs of the stamps were submitted as follows ;—

"One penny, bright vermilion; approved, 21 November 1880; issued 7 March, 1881. "Twopence, deep blue; issued, 2 March, 1881. "Fourpence, deep yellow; issued 12th August, 1881. "Sixpence, deep green; issued March. 1881. “One shilling, deep violet; approved, April, 1881; issued, 4 May, 1881.

"This is the first reference to the one shilling value I can find. The specimen or proof-sheet in the post office is endorsed, ‘Approved color, 1881,  P. & D. (Postage it Duty) April, ’81, only 1s. stamp.”

It should be noted that this was an approval of colours only, proofs being printed in the new inks; it has nothing to do with any approval of dies or plates. Mr. Hull says, "This is the first reference to the one shilling value that l can 5nd.” But this is no actual proof that it did not exist at an earlier date, because we gather from another part of his paper that he found no record of the First issue of the 6d. of this type, He goes on, however, to say:-

"Oceania gives the date of issue of this stamp (the shilling) as November, 1880. However, as no printings of the one shilling value took place between February, 1878, and 4-23rd May 1881, that date must be somewhat premature."

Mr. Hull does not give us his authority for this statement; we presume that it means that he found no record of the printing of shilling stamps between those dates. The question arises, were the official records complete, or were there some records that Mr. Hull did not find? And in answering this question we have a curious fact to help us. The Shilling stamp of the old type exists upon burelé paper, the same burelé paper which was used for the Penny and Twopence of the new type. What does Mr. Hull say about this stamp?

"I had found no reference to any special paper being used for this stamp beyond the crown and Q, but, in the light of the specimens now under discussion, I feel sure that in this printing of 96,000, in February, 1878, burelé paper  and also some without watermark or band, was used."

But, in the First place, there was no need, so far as we are aware, for the use of any abnormal papers in February, 1878; and, in the second place, according to Mr. Hull’s own account, this particular burelé paper (which he states was not the same as that previously used for fiscal stamps) could not have existed at that date. He tells us distinctly, that it was made as Mr. Bornefeld says, on the exhaustion of the Crown and "Q" paper, after the issue of the new 1d., 2d., and 4d. stamps (all of which were first printed on the old paper), that is to say, in the course of 1879; it was first used for the 1d. stamps on the 8th October, 1879. Mr. Hull quotes official Figures showing that in the course of October and November, 1879, three lots of 6d. stamps 'old type; amounting to 34,800 in all, were printed on what is described as "Large plain paper," which simply means unwatermarked as what we know must have been burelé paper is also described as “plain paper” judging from their relative rarity, we must suppose that at least some 10,000 or 12,000 of the 1s. were printed on burelé paper, and it seems  to us possible that one of the lots entered as "6d." should have been described as "1s."

At any rate we know that the new Shilling was seen in England in August, 1880, and therefore the official records of the printings of that value cannot be complete.

Queensland First Sideface article - Bornefeld pt. 2

J. Bornefeld wrote Queensland: The Electrotyped Postage Stamps from 1879-1906 which was serialised in Stanley Gibbons Monthly JournalThe section dealing with the fist sidefaces was published in 3 parts from 21 July 1907, p. 10, to 30 November 1907, pp. 114-116. This is part 2.

The introduction in last month's issue, as well as the principal part of the whole article, was compiled some two years ago. Since then I have received some kind assistance from Mr. L. L. R. Hausburg and Major Evans. The former`s magnificent collection was readily lent to me for minute examination, and, together with several days’ consultation with both gentlemen, has greatly assisted me in coming to a conclusion, already expressed, as to the probable way in which Mr. Knight produced the dies and plates. In gratefully acknowledging this cooperation, I live in hope that both these gentlemen will give me their further help in deciding some knotty points in the later issues.

The Varieties of Type
l will now proceed with the description of the Dies and Types as illustrated in the accompanying plates, and will later on conclude my account of the 1879 issue with some remarks upon the papers employed, watermarks, shades, errors, and perforation. The article as a whole is not so elaborate and conclusive as I desired to make it, and if specialists in Queensland will write to me to the care of the Editor I shall be very willing to correspond with them upon points that still remain doubtful. 

As stated in the Introduction, there are two principal varieties, or groups of varieties, which I call Die I and Die II. Each of these includes four minor varieties, which I term Types l, II, III and IV, of Die I or Die II, or of the different values. These four minor varieties exist in every block of four of the stamps.

Before proceeding to describe the varieties in detail, it is necessary to say a few words as to the general design and the principal points in which the Dies and Types differ from one another.

The central oval contains a profile of Queen Victoria to left, on a ground of horizontal lines: I do not note any variations in this. Surrounding this oval is a thin white line, and then a solid oval band, in-scribed with the name ‘QUEENSLAND” at top and the value in words below, with an ornament at each side separating the two portions of the inscription; distinguishing points are to be found both in the lettering and, to a smaller extent, in the ornaments. Surrounding the oval band is a thin white line, and beyond that extends a solid ground of colour, forming a rectangle; upon the triangular corners of this is engraved a pattern of network, outside which and entirely separate from it is a rectangular white frame line, interrupted in the middle of the top, bottom, and sides. The triangular pieces of network do not appear to have had a complete triangular white frame to themselves in the original die, and the attempts made to supply this deficiency by retouching the electrotypes form the principal distinguishing points of the Dies and Types.

The letters prefixed to the different portions of the description correspond with those given on the plates. The letter r on the plates of the One Penny and Two Pence indicates the position of the fine white line, referred to on page 11 as a defect or secret mark in the original die.

Die I.
a. A white line was cut along the top of the triangle in the right upper corner; this cuts into the white oval frame line over the “L" of “QUEENSLAND" in all four types; it extends slightly inside the oval frame in Type I, and very distinctly so in Type IV, where it shows between the letters " SL."

B. In the left upper corner there is a white horizontal frame line to the network in all four types, but no very distinct vertical frame line. On the inner, curved side of  the triangle there is a white frame line in Types I and III, which extends too far and joins the outer rectangular frame line at point I ; in Type 11 there is no apparent white frame line on the curved side, and the lower comer of the triangle is quite open at point 3 ; in Type IV there is a distinct white frame line to the lower part of the curved side, and in this type again it extends too far, joining the outer frame and showing a kind of sharp end at point 4.

C. There is a more or less distinct white frame to the network in the left lower corner in all four types. The curved side of the triangle extends to the vertical frame line at point I in Types I and 111, and not in Types 11 and IV.

D. The marked peculiarities of the horizontal line along the top of the triangle of network in the right upper corner have been described under a. On the curved side there is no apparent frame line in any of the four types, the network being, as it were, cut to shape and left unframed. On the vertical side also the frame is but slightly marked.

E. There is a more or less distinct frame line to the network in the right lower corner in all four types. There is a slight blurring of the lines at point y in Type II, and the curved side almost touches the vertical outer line at point 7 in Type IV.

Die II.
a. This horizontal white line does not touch the oval line in any of the types.

z. Type 11 of the One Penny shows a marked defect in the upper central part of the scroll ornament at the right side, caused apparently by some damage to the mould.

There is a distinct white frame line to each of the four triangles in all four types; in Type l the coloured space between the vertical line of the frame of the triangle in the left upper corner and the outer white line is very narrow, and is sometimes broken.

C. The top of the curved side of the triangle extends to the vertical outer line at point 9 in Type I; the lower end of it extends to the horizontal outer line at point II in Type ll; and the horizontal side extends to the vertical outer line at point to in Type III.

E. The lower end of the curved side extends to the outer horizontal line at point 11 in Type ll and at point 12 in Type IV.

Variations in the word “QUEENSLAND”

Die I.
The tail of the letter "Q" varies in the four types, and is very short and stumpy in Type III.

The lower horizontal stroke of the first letter “E" is:—
Long in Type I. Short in Type ll. Medium Type lll. Short in Type IV

The same stroke of the second "E" is-:
Medium in Type I. Long in Type ll. Short in Type lll. Short in Type lV.

The letter "S" varies slightly, and the same is the case with the other letters.

Die II.
The letter "S" is broad and the horizontal portions are straight in Types land ll; it is shorter and more rounded in Types lll and lV.

Dies I and II.
A little bulge in the lower end of the vertical outer line of the right upper corner is visible in Type ll of both Die l and Die ll, and no doubt existed in the original mould from which the first electrotyped block of four was made, the block from which both dies were reproduced. This defect may have had some connexion with the one that is found in the curve of the ornament just below and to left of it in this Type of Die ll at point z.

The description given above includes all the principal distinguishing points of Dies l and ll of the One Penny, and their different types.

Further points of variation to be noted in the Two Pence.

Die I.
The block of four reproduced from that of the One Penny for conversion into Two Pence had certain characteristics of its own; notably a little excrescence on the left side of the "A" of “QUEENSLAND”, in Type ll, and a white dash between the tops of the letters "QU" in Type IV. These marks are almost always visible in those types.

The letters of the words "TWO PENCE" are small, the same size as those of "QUEENSLAND" and consequently are well spaced. There is a wider space between "T" and "W" in Type I than in Types ll and IV (in which these letters are correctly spaced). ln Type lll these letters are too close, and they touch in worn impressions, which thus might be mistaken for copies of Die ll.

The letters "NC" are correctly spaced in Types l and ll, but are too far apart in lll and lV.  (N.B. The illustration of Type IV shows the so-called error "G " for " C.")

Die II.
The reproduction of the block of Die ll seems to have resulted in general deterioration of the design, necessitating some retouching, especially of the side ornaments, the lines of which are now thinner than before; the final curls at top and bottom have been recut, those at the bottom in particular being longer and more open. The damage at Z in Type ll of the 1d. Die ll is now repaired.

In this same Type ll the top bar of the First “E" of "QUEENSLAND” is pointed and turned up at the end.
ln Type IV there is a fine white line at left of the letter "n," opposite a.

A more or less distinct white line is shown at the back of the neck in Types l and ll; most visible in the latter.
There is a distinct white outline along the bottom of the neck in all four types, and the shading lines of the forehead, nose, and neck have been cut away in front, making a white space that is more visible on the earliest specimens of Die ll than on those from even a worn plate of Die l.

There are also defects in the shading lines of the oval.

The letters are considerably larger, in fact, too large, and thus too close together.

The letters “TW” are practically joined at top in Types l, lll, and lV, and they touch in some specimens of Type ll. The “O" of Type II is oval, that letter being circular in the other types.
The variations in the other letters are not sufficiently marked for description.

Description of the Types of the One Shilling
Although the issue of the One Shilling did not take place until long after that of the other values, and the plate was made later also, l now proceed to the description of that value, as the mould for it was reproduced from the block of four of the One Penny, Die ll. All the characteristics of the types of the lower value are present, including the damage to the ornament in Type ll at point z,

The lowest curls of the side ornaments are partially removed in all four types, to give room for the longer words. Type lll has a white Flaw, like a second bud, at the point where the lowest curl joins the main branch of the ornament at right.

The horizontal limb of the "L" of “QUEENSLAND” is shorter in Types lll and lV than in Types l and ll (a point which may also be noted in the One Penny).

Type lll usually shows a white vertical scratch cutting the shading under the bottom of the neck. A white outline seems also to have been produced under the neck in all four types, as in the Two Pence.

Die ll.
The words "ONE SHILLING" are nearest to the left-hand ornament in Type l and furthest from it in Type lV.
The letter "O" in Type I is large and oval; it sometimes touches the white line below it, as in the illustration, and there is sometimes a coloured break in the white line above it.

The "O" in Type ll is rounder and smaller. The "O” in Type lll is also small, but oval. The "O" in Type IV is large, and usually cuts into the white line above it, producing a coloured break as shown in the illustration.
The letter "E" of "ONE" varies, the lower bar being very long in Type lll.

The letter "S" of “SHILLING” has a long, thick bottom-stroke in Type l; is of more symmetrical shape in Type II ; Has the upper part small and narrow in Type III. ls thick and misshapen, leaning slightly forward, in Type lV.

The "H" varies also; the right-hand stroke of the letter cuts into the white line above it in Type ll, in some copies even extending into the lines of the oval background.

The horizontal strokes of the letters “L" vary in length; that of the first "L" is always the shorter, especially in Types l, ll, and lll. The top of the second "T.” in Type lll is usually cut short, as shown in the illustration.

The top of the second "I" in Type ll usually extends through the white and coloured oval lines above it (as shown).

ln Type lV the letters "NG” are very close together; the coloured line shown in the "t;" is not always visible; the letter is more often thick and blotchy, misshapen, and more like a badly formed “C.”

The dot after "SHILLING" varies both in position and shape.
Description of the types of Four Pence
As stated before, my theory is that all the electrotypes of Die II, the die in which all the values exist, were produced from one original matrix mould, consisting of a block of four; I found this theory upon the general appearance of the types, and especially upon the variations in the letter "S" of "QUEENSLAND." l have not seen corner blocks of either the Four Pence or Six Pence stamps, and l have been guided by the points referred to above in numbering the Types in the order given below.

The intersections of the outer white frame lines by the ends of the white frame lines of the triangles, at points 8, 9, i10, and II, as described for the Penny, Two Pence and Shilling, do not occur in the Four Pence. Type I of this value shows no defects of that nature. In Type ll the horizontal frame line of the left upper triangle is turned up at the outer end and touches the outer frame line at B. In Types lll and IV, the curved side of the frame line of the right lower triangle extends to the outer white frame line below, at points C and D, but the latter defect is not identical with the similar one at point I2 in the values previously described. Type IV often has the vertical frame line of the left lower triangle extended to the outer horizontal line at foot (as in the illustration).

In the word “QUEENSLAND,” there is a fine white line joining the upper points of the first letter "N" in Type l, as shown at a; the second "E" often has a white dot below it in Type lll (see under mark E); the break in the frame lines at F in Type lll is frequently present, but not in all copies.

An extra curl has been added at the lower end of the right-hand ornament, to fill up the space after "PENCE" in all four types. lf the end of this curl were prolonged it would cut the letter "E" in a different place in each of the four. 

Of the words "FOUR PENCE” :—
In Type I the letter "F" is very near the ornament; there is more space between “FO" than between "OU" and a wider space still between "UR."

In Type II the “F” is further from the ornament than in any of the others; the top bar of the letter is long and nearly touches the "O"; the spaces between "OU" and "UR" are nearly equal.

ln Type lll the middle bar of the "P" is rather low and the top bar short; the other letters are evenly spaced.

In Type lV the "F" is again close to the ornament, the vertical stroke being bent backwards; the "O" is very wide, and close to the "U."

ln the word "PENCE” the most noticeable difference is that the space between "NC" is smaller in Types l and ll than in Types lll and lV.

All the points of difference can he more easily seen in the enlarged illustrations than they can he described.

Description of the types of Six Pence
The white frame lines of the triangles touch the adjacent white lines at various points; these defects are not always constant, but those that l mention are confined, as a rule, to certain types.

ln Type I the horizontal frame line of the left upper triangle is joined to the outer white frame line at d. the curved frame line of the left lower triangle touches, or almost touches, the frame line of the central oval at b and under the "s" of "six" opposite D. The oval lines also touch at the lower corner of the right upper triangle, and again at the lower corner of the right lower triangle at C. There is generally a blotch in the shading lines of the central oval opposite the front point of the neck.

ln Type ll the frame lines of the triangles do not touch the adjacent lines, as a rule, at any point, except that marked E, where the curved side of the right lower triangle extends to the outer frame.

ln Type lll there is a white spot outside the oval frame line at F, under the "P" of " PENCE" and the white curled lines touch, or nearly touch opposite G. (this defect is more extensive than the similar one in Type I).

ln Type lV the curved lines touch over the "Q" of “QUEENSLAND” opposite H; the horizontal white lines are joined over the second "E" of “QUEENSLAND” and the horizontal outer line touches the outline of the oval near the same spot sometimes one, sometimes both of these defects are visible. The curved lines also touch at the lower corner of the right upper triangle (as in Type I at j).

In the words “SIX PENCE”;—
There is more space between the left-hand ornament and the letter "s" in Types I and lV than in Types ll and lll. In Type I the top of the "S” is small and the opening very narrow. In Type Il the lower end of the "S" is very long. In Type lll the "s" is regularly formed. In Type IV the "s" is more angular, and the lower half is flatter than in the others.

ln Type I the right upper arm of the "X" is short. ln Type II the limbs of the "x” are nearly equal. In Type lll both the upper limbs of the "x" are short. In Type l\` the " X " is broader, and the left lower limb long. The variations in the letter "X " can be most easily seen by looking at it from the right side as an upright cross "+."
In Type I the upright stroke of the letter "P" is curved. In Type ll it is bent back at the top, and the lower end is cut off sloping. In Type III the stroke is straight, and is rounded at the lower end. In Type IV the letter is normal, and the stroke cut square at the end.

The first "E" of "PENCE " has the lower bar slightly longer in Types I and II than in Types III and IV.

In Type I the “C” is nearer to the "N" than to the "E”. In Type II the "C" is further from the "N" than in any of the others, and about the same distance separates it from the "E." In Type III the "C" is somewhat angular, and it is about equidistant from "N and "E" (these letters are not so much spaced as in II.)

In Type IV the "C” is nearer to the "N" than in any of the others, and is further from the "E" than from the ”N”.

The second "E" has a longer lower bar in Types I and IV than in Types ll anti III, and it leans back wards towards the "C."

Queensland First Sideface article - Bornefeld pt. 1

J. Bornefeld wrote Queensland: The Electrotyped Postage Stamps from 1879-1906 which was serialised in Stanley Gibbons Monthly JournalThe section dealing with the fist sidefaces was published in 3 parts from 21 July 1907, p. 10, to 30 November 1907, pp. 114-116. This is part 1. Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here.

Among comparatively modern stamps which  are very interesting, especially from a  specialistic point of view, the Queensland issues from 1879 to 1895, or even to the present day, occupy a prominent position, as they exhibit a great multitude of alterations or variations of design. The varieties of type, of which there are four of each value in each issue, cannot claim to be classed as new designs, or in all cases as the result of alterations made to remedy a defect, or intended to attain a desired effect; still each of the four types has characteristics and peculiarities of its own, which either are secret marks, or are `due to the method of reproduction employed. Thus they may be the result of retouching of the original die, or of defects in or retouching of the four leaden moulds that were struck from that die, or of the electrotypes that were produced from those moulds. Again, they may be caused by retouching the word “QUEENSLAND,” or they may be due to the fact that (except in the case of the one value that was engraved on the original die) the value was separately engraved upon each of the four electrotypes which formed what maybe termed a quadruple original die for each value. The peculiarities produced by any of the above causes are to be traced throughout the reproductions of the block of four which constituted the plates of a hundred and twenty from which the stamps were printed, and we therefore cannot do otherwise than recognize that each value exists in four distinct varieties of type, and in many instances in four varieties of type of a certain die, where a special die or mould was employed for the electrotypes forming a certain plate or plates.

Alterations or variations in the design must always occupy a position of the first importance, in the eyes of a specialist, who will regard them in the same light as an expert would regard intentional or unintentional variations in the replica of a picture, painted by the artist who produced the original.

Changes of shade or colour occupy a second place, varying as the tints used by the artist for his second copy may vary from those of the first.

In the third rank we may place changes in the Paper or Watermark, the material on which the picture is painted (canvas or wood) being of minor importance; whilst the fourth and fifth places may be assigned to variations in the Perforation and the Gum, which rank with the frame of the picture or the varnish with which it is coated.

So-called errors, such as are due to defects in the printing, accidental variations, damaged impressions, little omissions, etc., occurring in isolated specimens are worthy of less notice.

As regards the nomenclature of shades, experts will always differ, but if collectors will adopt the system I suggest, I think they will always be able, with a fairly good eye for colour, to classify their shades, and then it will matter little whether they call a particular shade dull salmon or pink-ochre.

In the first place, dull shades should be separated from bright or clear shades; where the line of demarcation between the two appears doubtful, as is sometimes the case, make a third: heap of the doubtful specimens, and you will be able to put them in their places later. Now lay out these heaps separately, arranging the shades from light to dark; then pick out those in which a certain colour appears to predominate, forming as it were the ground or base colour, such as yellow, ochre, orange, vermillion, scarlet, carmine etc., placing them in order from the yellow to the red shades; you will thus be able to give each of your shades a place, and to make up either a larger or smaller, but more distinctive, shade collection. I found this system work admirably in enabling me to arrange some 250 shade varieties of the early English Penny line-engraved stamps.

But be careful of one thing; discard all specimens, as unworthy of admission into your shade collection at any rate, where there is the slightest indication that the shade owes its peculiar tint to the action of water, light, or chemicals. If possible admit no copies that have been soaked off the envelopes. For the last twenty years almost all Australian stamps have been printed in fugitive colours; I have seen, even in fine collections, common stamps, which have not only lost the surface bloom, but of which the original colour was positively destroyed by the action of water alone. Take two South Australian 1d.-stamps, of the current issue, on the same paper and of the same shade, immerse one of them in water only for a moment and then compare the shades again.

The exhaustive statistics collected by Mr, Basset Hull, and published in Vindins Philatelic Monthly 1893-4, from which I quote freely, have been of great assistance to me in my investigation, examination, and description of the Stamps themselves.

I have endeavoured to obtain additional information from the Brisbane authorities to clear up certain doubtful points in Mr. Hull’s explanation of how the plates were constructed, but, owing to lapse of time, I have not been able to get it; although the Permanent Secretary of the Commonwealth Postal Department, Mr. Robert T. Scott, kindly submitted my queries three times with recommendations to his officers to assist me if possible.
The facts, so far as now ascertained are; That on the recommendation of Mr William Knight, the Queensland Government engraver, it was decided in 1876 to produce the future postage stamps of Queensland by means of what is called the electrotype process and surface printing.

Mr. William Bell of Sydney was instructed to make a steel die to bear the Queen’s Head, the inscription “Queensland” and the value "ONE PENNY.”

After considerable delay and repeated remonstrance the die was delivered in May, 1877. It was not, however, till February, 1879, that the plate of the penny stamp was finished. This delay is partly accounted for in a letter addressed by M r. Knight to the Treasury, September I2tl1, 1881, which is given in full in Mr. Basset Hull’s paper, and from which I quote as follows :—

"Impressions are taken in lead by means of a drop hammer. A sufficient number of these are soldered together to form a part, or the whole of a sheet numbering 120 stamps; this mould is then placed in the battery to receive a deposit of copper, which when sufficiently thick (taking two or three days), is separated from the lead, backed type high with metal, and is then ready for the press."  

This plain explanation of the general process is lost sight of by Mr. Hull in his further minute description of the actual system, in as much as he only speaks about "electros," and thereby assigns to the electrotypes constituting the plate, changes and alterations which had been made on the electrotypes used to make the moulds he consequently falls into the error of stating that the lettering (of value) was altered in each of the 120 electros, whereas there are really only four variations, which were made in the moulds.

In copying the further description of the process as given by Mr. Hull, I put in italics all the words and passages with which my observations do not agree, and I explain my views further on.

Mr. Hull then says:—

In making the electros for these three values (2d., 4d., and 6d.), Mr. Knight prepared each one separately from the original die, in the course of manufacture producing a blank space in the lower half of the oval band, upon which be engraved the new value by hand, ‘ after the electro was removed from the matrix. Consequently each of the 120 impressions on the sheet shows some slight variation in the lettering of the value. When finished the separate electros were blocked up in one form, arranged in twelve horizontal rows of ten, and the printing was done in the ordinary vertical press. Owing to the electros being disconnected, the impressions are somewhat irregular, and out of ‘register,’ and the outer line of design ‘comes up' darker in some than in others."

"While in Brisbane I was kindly permitted by Mr. Knight. to examine the die, and he explained the details of production of the electrotypes. As stated, in preparing values other than that denoted on the die, the label is filled in (the lettering, appearing ,white in the impression, is sunk in the electro), and the new value engraved by hand on each separate electro, after production. As the appliances at Mr. Knight’s disposal are somewhat primitive, he is in the habit of preparing the electrotypes in pairs or blocks of four, the bath being too small to accommodate a large plate. In addition to the minute varieties found in the lettering of all values except the Twopence [This is the value mentioned in Mr. Hull’s paper. The dies he saw was that if the 1882 issue], occasional differences are caused by retouching any portion of the electro that seems to require attention.’

On consideration of the extract from Mr. Knight’s letter, and in the light of my own observations, and minute examinations of the stamps themselves, I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Basset Hull is wrong in his explanation of the process employed, and that he misunderstood what Mr. Knight stated in his interview with him. The constant repetition of four types showing every time the characteristics of each, including the peculiarities of the hand-made letterings of value, proves without doubt that the plate of a new value was made by means of altering the lettering on one block of four electros only; -Mr. Knight then transferred this to a leaden mould, and from the new mould made all the electros forming the plate required. Any and all other variations found on a sheet are simply diminutive defects in a certain electro, or are caused by indifferent printing, but not by a retouch of a certain electro.

Mr. Knight received from Mr. Bell a single die on which there was a certain defect (or was it a secret mark?), already in existence, namely; a fine line through the network of the left lower spandrel .This line (appearing white in the printing) is nearly always visible on every stamp, of all the values, of this issue. With this die Mr. Knight made four impressions in lead, the value "ONE PENNY’ being `on the original die was also reproduced. 

An electro taken from this mould of four impressions was, however, unsatisfactory, the principal defect being that the network in the four corners was not sufficiently detached from its surrounding borders.

In remedying this defect on the electro, he caused all the various points of difference which constitute the four types, described later on as the types of Die I. With this retouched electro he made a new mould, and with the latter he made all the electros of that die of the One Penny. 

For making the mould for the Twopence value, various ways were open to him, one being to cut away the words " ONE PENNY" (being in relief) from the mould referred to above; but in that case he would have destroyed his matrix mould of the penny value, which he scarcely would have done, not knowing if and when he would require further electros to replace damaged ones in the plate, etc. I therefore believe the following to have been his method of making the various moulds:—

He took one of the One Penny electros (a block of four), exactly the same as those which he used for the plate, filled in the value "ONE PENNY? (with plaster of Paris ?), and made a new blank mould; therefrom he made a blank `electro, on each of the four types of which he engraved the words. "TWO PENCE," making no other retouches whatever, and made from this a new mould, the matrix mould of the Twopence, Die I.

The various retouches he had originally made, being hurriedly and irregularly executed, did not however satisfy Mr. Knight; he therefore again made an electro from his very first mould, and now retouched this electro by separating the borders from the network, in a regular and even way, cut the horizontal strokes of the letters "EL" in the four words "QUEENSLAND” almost even (not long and short as in Die I), and altered the lower ends of the letters "s" in the same words unevenly, or left them irregular as the lead had produced them. With this altered electro, he made a matrix mould with the value blank, the original of all the matrices of the various values in Die II.

In a blank electro from this, he engraved the value "ONE PENNY " (observe the variations in the shape of the letters Y "), and retouched this electro as before; his tool seems to have slipped several times, cutting into the borders, as I shall show later on when describing the particulars of Die II, values One Penny, Twopence, and One Shilling only.

It is scarcely possible that in retouching another blank electrotype, produced from the same matrix mould, the tool would slip in exactly the same points as before, and I therefore believe that in  making the mould for the Twopence, Die II, he took one of the electrotype blocks of the One Penny of that die, filled in the value, made a blank mould and thence a blank electrotype, upon which (a block of four) he engraved the value "TW0 PENCE” ; he at the same time made some alterations in the side ornaments, either upon the mould or upon the electrotype (see the lower curls, which are thinner and more rounded than in the Penny), he also rectified the damage in the right-hand ornament, and then made his matrix mould for the Twopence, Die II. 

For the Fourpence value, however, he made a blank electro from the original blank matrix referred to above, added an extra hook to the right ornament, and engraved the words “ FOUR 1 PENCE," but made no further retouches, and used this electro for making the matrix mould of Fourpence, of this type.

In the same way he made the matrix mould for the Sixpence.

About the middle of 1880, when the stock of the old One Shilling stamps got exhausted, he seems to have taken an electro of the One Penny, Die ll (instead of a blank electro from the original mould), filled in the value, made a blank mould, and then a blank electro, as in the case of the Twopence, and engraved the words "ONE; SHIILLING.” He cut off the ends of the curl of the side ornaments, but did not repair the damage on the right-hand ornament (Z), and he thus ; made a matrix mould for the One Shilling value.

The first plate of the One Penny was made up of twenty-two blocks of four of Die I, and eight of Die II. The first plate of the Twopence was all Die I, thirty blocks of four. While the (only?) plates of the Fourpence, Sixpence, and One Shilling were Die II, throughout.

The first plates of One Penny and Twopence were both of them reset later on, the various errors in each value being in different positions in the reset plate. Whether any further resetting was done I was unable t to ascertain, and I do not believe that an entire new plate of One Penny value was ever made, as I have  examined large quantities of Penny stamps and have not found any errors which do not occur on  Plate I. Of the Twopence value, however, there was a third plate (if we call the reset plate No. 2) on which nine blocks of Die I were replaced with nine of Die II.

In the later printings of the Twopence, copies of  Die I, and Die II, are about equally common, so that it is possible that a fourth plate of that value was made, which either contained more blocks of Die II, or consisted entirely of the latter, but I have never met with a block of stamps which would not fit into one of the three plates that I have mentioned above.

Queensland First Sideface article - Bassett Hull pt. 2

A. F. Basset Hull wrote The Stamps Of Queensland which was serialised in Vindins Philatelic Monthly. Chapter 9: The Postage and Revenue Stamps of 1879-81 was published in 3 parts from 20 December 1893, pp. 70-73 to 20 February 1894, pp. 95-97. This is part 2.

The stamps in this sheet were arranged in a single pane, containing 120 impressions, in twelve horizontal rows of ten. A curious fault occurred in the 48th stamp on the sheet: the U of QUEENSLAND being more like an 0.This defect was caused by the electro sticking to the matrix, and a portion of the raised surface being thus torn away, the impression showed the fault described.

The electrotype impressions being taken direct from the die, which was inscribed "one penny,” no variation exists in the lettering of the value. A similar proof sheet, printed in blue, was submitted at the same time, as a sample of color for the twopence.

Proofs of three other values were submitted as under :—

Litho. Office, Treasury, Feb. 21st, 1879.

SIR. I have the honor to submit for approval proofs of new twopenny, fourpenny, and sixpenny postage stamps, on plain paper, printed from electrotypes made by myself in the litho. ofiice. The two first are printed in colors as near as possible to those now in use, but the sixpenny, I fear, will not be satisfactory in this respect, as I could not obtain the requisite shade from the maker, though specimens were sent to him. I propose, therefore, to send to England for a sufficient supply of all colors that we may require. By so doing we shall get a better article at a much cheaper rate. A proof of the penny stamps has been submitted, with reasons for variations of shade, and I am now waiting the approval of the Hon. The Postmaster General.

I shortly expect a large supply of paper from England, made expressly for electrotype printing, when I trust the results will be more satisfactory.

If it is thought desirable, I am prepared to make electros for all the denominations in use, without further cost to the Government beyond the value of chemicals used; but, at present, I think this is scarcely worthwhile, as the plates from which they are printed are in good condition, and the demand is so small.

If desired, the sheets may all be reduced to the same size, and made to contain the same number of stamps, together printed by different processes.

As a very considerable saving will be effected by the adoption of this new process of printing, I would suggest that it be commenced at once.

William Knight, Government Engraver.

This letter also was forwarded to the Postmaster General for his information, who, on the 7th March, returned it with his approval, but suggested that the green and red colors should be more decided.

In making the electros for these three values, Mr. Knight prepared each one separately from the original die, in the course of manufacture producing a blank space in the lower half of the oval band, upon which he engraved the new value by hand, after the electro was removed from the matrix. Consequently, each of the 120 impressions on the sheet shows some slight variation in the lettering of the value. When finished, the separate electros were blocked up in one form, arranged in twelve horizontal rows of ten, and the printing was done in the ordinary vertical press. Owing to the electros being disconnected, the impressions are somewhat irregular and out of “register," and the outer line of the design " comes up " darker in some than in others.

The proof of the four pence was printed in an orange-yellow, of a much more definite and effective shade than the lithographed stamp it was destined to succeed. The sixpence was of a chrome-green, a shade that was never exactly reproduced in the stamps printed for use.

The first record as to the issue of the new stamps is to be found in a receipt for stamps dated the 10th April, 1879, when 1000 sheets of "new" twopenny stamps were issued to the post office. 1052 sheets of the one penny followed on the 15th May, and the four pence on the 6th June, 1879. The sixpence does not appear to have been definitely entered in the receipts as "new" in contradistinction to the "old," but, as the specimen copies in the post office are marked "1879," I think the end of December of that year is the probable date of its first appearance. It is certain that the old type of 6d., on plain paper, was issued up till December 16th, 1879, on which date 10,800 were supplied, so that there could have been very few of the new stamps issued before 1880. The paper was, according to Mr. Knight’s letters, the old crown Q paper, for 240 stamps, cut to size of the new plates.

The colours as issued were: One penny, brownish-red (a shade lighter than the proof); twopence, pale blue; four pence, orange-yellow ; sixpence, pale yellow-green. A second electrotype plate of the twopence was prepared, and printed from, in April, 1880. The lettering in this plate is less carefully drawn than in the first, and in nearly every case the letters TW of the value are conjoint. The letters are also very large, occupying nearly the whole width of the oval band. A second plate, or rearrangement of the first, of the one penny also was made about the same time. In this plate the "QO" error is No. 44. A third plate of the one penny, which was probably prepared after March, 1881, shows no trace of the "Q" error.

The paper, as predicted by Mr. Knight, ran short within a few months after the issue of the new stamps, and a temporary expedient was devised to take the place of the watermark. A quantity of white handmade paper, manufactured by T. H. Saunders, and watermarked with his name, and the date "1877" was procured, and twelve scroll bands of interlaced wavy lines were lithographed in pale lilac upon it by the Government Engraver, as a substitute for a watermark.

The one penny and two pence postage stamps were printed; on this paper, as well as the then current duty stamps. These bands differ considerably from those on the large fiscal stamps of 1871 to 1876, the latter having narrow blue bands, showing rather wide spaces between the interlaced lines. In the second variety the bands are nearly double the width of the first, the lines are more closely interlaced, and the colour is pale violet.

Since my return from Queensland I have been in correspondence with Mr. Cooper, of Brisbane, who has been kind enough to submit for my inspection two copies of the "full face" one shilling, in the bright violet of the last printings, on unmistakably burelé paper. I had found no reference to any special paper being used for this stamp beyond the crown and Q, but, in the light of the specimens now under discussion, I feel sure that in the printing of 96,000, in February, 1878, burelé paper, and also some without watermark or band, was used.

With regard to these stamps with burelé band, the recognised authorities seem to be considerably at variance. M. Moens, in his catalogue for 1892, chronicles: "1880, Type of 1860, having on the back a band burelé color on white, perforation 12. One-penny, vermilion; twopence, blue; One shilling, violet.” From this record it would appear that all three values were of the "full face" type. Stanley Gibbons, Limited, on the other hand, chronicle the 1d. and 2d. of 1879, and the ls. and 2s. (brown) of 1882-9 as being found on the burelé paper.

The two latter stamps are unknown to any Australian authority with whom I have been in communication, while the two former and the 1s full face are certainly in existence. The Government Engraver personally informed me of the circumstances attending the use of this paper for the ld. and 2d., but did not recollect employing it for any other values.

The new paper ordered from Delarue & Co. must have arrived shortly after the printing on the paper with burelé band, as the receipts for stamps between 8th October and 16th December, 1879, are as follows :- 

8th October, 1879. Plain paper, 250 sheets, 30,000 stamps, 1d. 
21-31st October, l879. Plain paper, 200 sheets, 24,000 stamps, 1d. 
21-31st October, 1879. New paper, 300 sheets, 36,000 stamps, 1d. 
21-31st October, 1879. Plain paper, 200 sheets, 24,000 stamps, 2d. 
21-31st October, 1879. New paper, 737 sheets, 88,440 stamps, 2d.
21-31st October, 1879. Plain paper, large sheet, 50 sheets, 12,000 stamps, 6d. 
14th November, 1879. Plain paper, 56 sheets, 6,720 stamps, 1d. 
14th November, 1879. New paper, 700 sheets, 84,000 stamps, 1d. 
14th November, 1879. Plain paper, 287 sheets, 34,440 stamps, 2d. 
14th November, 1879. New paper, 300 sheets, 360,000 stamps, 2d. 
20th November, 1879. Large plain paper, 50 sheets, 12,000 stamps, 6d. 
16th December, 1879. Large plain paper, 45 sheets, 10,800 stamps, 6d. 

From these figures it will be seen that the total numbers of the lower value postage stamps printed on the "plain," or burelé paper, were 60,720 1d., and 58,440 2d. The "Q O" error, not having been corrected until the end of 1879, of course appears on this paper in the one penny value.

The printings of the sixpence, above referred to as on ‘large plain paper," were probably on ordinary unwatermarked paper. I have not seen any copies assignable to this date, but the stamp is mentioned in "Oceania," together with the one shilling, also Q unwatermarked. This latter stamp I have seen used both fiscally and postally. I have, however, seen unused imperforate copies of both the sixpence and one shilling printed on thin, unwatermarked paper, in shades of yellow-green and violet, belonging to the stamps of those values found on the Crown Q paper.

In November, 1880, the new supplies of ink were received, and proofs of the stamps were submitted as follows:—

One penny, bright vermilion; approved, 21 November 1880; issued 7 March, 1881.
Twopence, deep blue; issued, 2 March, 1881.
Four pence. deep yellow; issued 12th August, 1881.
Sixpence, deep green; issued, March, 1881.
One shilling, deep violet; approved, April1881; issued, 4 May, 1881.

This is the first reference to the one shilling value I can find. The specimen, or proof sheet, in the post office endorsed, " Approved color, 1881, P & D. (Postage and Duty), April, ’81, only 1s. stamp.”

The arrangement of the impressions on the sheet is the same as the other values. The lettering of the value is very irregular, the second "1" of SHILLING "frequently breaking through the frame of the central vignette, and the final "G" is often roughly drawn. "Oceania" gives the date of issue of this stamp as November 1, 1880. 

However, as no printings of the one shilling value took place between February, 1878, and May 4th - 23rd, 1881, that date must be somewhat premature. 163,440 stamps of this value were printed in all on five different occasions. The shade of colour varies very considerably from pale cold lilac to deep violet.

"Oceania” states: "A one penny, yellow, found its way into one or more of the sheets of the four pence. The mistake seems to have been soon “corrected." I have closely examined entire sheets of the proof, the first printings for use, and the new shade of August, 1881, of the four pence, but failed to find any trace of a one penny block having been inserted in error. I am open to correction by evidence of the two values being found se tennant, but, in default, would suggest that the yellow penny stamp is either due to an accidental printing of a whole sheet in the color of the four pence, or else a chemical changeling. Of the latter I have seen several fine "yellow" copies; but all unmistakably manufactured from vermilion copies.

Queensland First Sideface article - Bassett Hull pt. 3

A. F. Basset Hull wrote The Stamps Of Queensland which was serialised in Vindins Philatelic Monthly. Chapter 9: The Postage and Revenue Stamps of 1879-81 was published in 3 parts from 20 December 1893, pp. 70-73 to 20 February 1894, pp. 95-97. This is part 3.

I have seen imperforate copies of the One penny (both shades), Twopence, light blue, four pence, orange yellow, ‘and Sixpence (both shades), all on the Crown Q, paper, but unused and without gum. Copies of the One penny Duty stamp of the second issue were sent to Mr. Bell in 1876 as patterns from which to engrave the die for a similar stamp. As in the Postage Stamp Die, Mr. Bell departed from the design of the pattern considerably, and produced a die, having for design a similar profile to the Postage die surrounded by an oval band inscribed "Queensland Stamp Duty," in white letters on coloured ground, broken at top by a small crown, and at the bottom by a straight label bearing the value "One penny” in. coloured letters on a white ground. The spandrels are filled in with Etruscan ornament, and a single outer line completes the design.

From this die Mr. Knight prepared 120 electros, arranged in 12 horizontal rows of l0 stamps. Supplies were printed on both Crown Q. and burelé papers in a deep violet. The stamp was originally intended for revenue purposes only; the circumstances under which all the stamps described in this chapter, as well as others, were made to serve all purposes are detailed in the next chapter.

In February, 1880, information was received of some alterations in the rates of postage to the United Kingdom, which would necessitate providing a stamp of One halfpenny. There being no time to prepare a special plate before the rates came into force, a provisional stamp was requisitioned for as follows :—-

General Post Office, Brisbane, 20th February., 1880.
Memo. for Stamps, G.P.O. 5

In consequence of recent alterations in rates of postage on correspondence for the United Kingdom and Foreign Countries, the Government Engraver should be requested to alter 20,000 penny stamps to halfpenny.


The Gazette of 2lst February, 1880, contains a notification that in consequence of the abolition of the Southampton service, and the adoption of that via Brindisi as the only route for the transit of mails for the United Kingdom and Europe, the rates of postage had been altered to:

Letters, 7d. per oz. Newspapers, l.5d. each. Packets, 2d. per 2 ozs. and that the rates via San Francisco had been assimilated to the above. The Government Engraver printed the word "Halfpenny" in black, in ordinary lower case type with initial capital, vertically upon 20,400 of the One penny stamps. The shade was the brownish red then current, and the "QO” error was present in each of the 170 sheets surcharged. This supply of provisional stamps was issued to the Post Office on the 21st February, and 240 copies were cancelled as specimens. I have had no opportunity of examining an entire sheet of the surcharge, but in a block of 44 no errors appeared, although the setting of the type shows slight irregularity in some instances.

The life of this provisional stamp was very brief. On the 28th February, 1880, one week after the issue of the stamp, the following telegram was sent to all Postmasters.

Reduced Postage Rates to the United Kingdom.

In consequence of a telegram received from London this day, the Gazette and Newspaper notice of Twentieth February instant is hereby cancelled, and hereafter the postage rates will be: Letters, Sixpence per oz., or part thereof. Packets, the old Southampton rate. Advertise these rates in the local newspaper three times, and advise all neighbouring postmasters, not connected by wire, by first mail.

JOHN MCDONNELL,Under Secretary, Post and Telegraph Department.

This telegram was followed by a memorandum being forwarded to the Government Engraver Cancelling the order for half penny stamps as the rates had been changed.

Mr. Knight had been pushing on with a permanent stamp which was then ready for printing, and to which the memo referred. All stamps issued during this period were perforated 12


Issues of 1879-81

I. Postage Stamps.

Printed in the colony. (A) On white wove paper, watermarked with Crown over Q; white gum; perf. 12.

May 15th, 1879 - One penny, brownish red (shades).
April 10th, 1879 - Twopence, pale blue (shades).
June 6th, l879 - Fourpence, orange-yellow (shades).
December, 1879 - Sixpence, pale yellow-green (shades).
February lst, l880 - Halfpenny on 1d., black and brownish red.
March 7th, 1881 - One penny, scarlet (shades).
March 2nd, 188l - Twopence, deep blue (shades).
August 12th, 1881 - Fourpence, deep yellow (shades).
March, 1881 - Sixpence, deep green, (shades).
May 4th, 1881 - One shilling, pale lilac to deep violet (shades).
Errors : One penny, yellow Lettered "QOEENSLAND." One penny, brownish red, scarlet (shades). Halfpenny, brownish red and black

Varieties: Imperforate. One penny, brownish-red, scarlet. Twopence, pale blue. Fourpence, orange-yellow. Sixpence, pale yellow green, deep green.

B. On white wove paper, with lilac burelé band lithographed on back; white gum, perf. 12.

October 8th, l879 - One penny, brownish red (shades).
October 21st, l879 - Twopence, pale blue (shades).
February 1878 - One shilling, violet (Type of 1860).

Error: Lettered "QOEENSLAND.” One penny, brownish red.

II. Stamp Duty.

1879 - One penny, deep violet. Papers A and B. Same gum and perf.