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.
J. C. MCDONNELL.
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).
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.