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These provisionals were issued on 21st February 1880, but were withdrawn on the 28th, only seven days later, the rate having been again changed.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.

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