Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Queensland 1st Sideface post card

Here is an extract from an article by A. F. Bassett Hull on the design and issue of post cards in Queensland in 1880. "The Stamps of Queensland, chapter 8, Post Cards, Wrapper and Registered Envelope." It appeared in Vindin's Philatelic Monthly23 July 1894, pp. 171-2


An Act to provide for the issue of Post Cards and Postal Notes (44 Vic. No. 2), was passed in September, 1880.

This Act provided by:—

Sec. 2. The Postmaster-General may, from time to time, issue single post cards, each bearing thereon a postage stamp of the value of one penny; and also double or reply post cards, each bearing thereon two postage stamps of the same value.
Except as aforesaid, a post card issued under the provisions of this Act shall be deemed a letter within the meaning of the principal Act. (The Postal Act of 1871.)

Sec. 8. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Governor-in-Council may from time to time make regulations for the issue and transmission of post cards , ... and every such regulation shall, after publication in the Gazette, have the force of law.

The Gazette of the 30th October, 1880, contained the following notification:—

His Excellency the Administrator of the Government, with the advice of the Executive Council, has been pleased to approve of the Regulations hereto annexed providing for the issue of Post Cards, under the provisions of The Post Cars and Postal Note Act of1880.

C. HARDIE BUZACOTT. Brisbane, 28th October, 1880.

Post Card Regulations.

The object of the Post Card.
1. Post cards are designed to facilitate letter correspondence and provide for the transmission through the post of short communications, either printed or written in pencil or ink. They may, therefore, be used for orders for goods, invitations, notices, receipts, acknowledgements, price - lists, and other requirements of business, or social life, and the matter required to be conveyed may be either in writing or in print, or in both.

2. Post cards will be of two kinds, namely :—

(1) The single post card, with a penny stamp thereon, and containing space;

(a.) On one side for the address only of the recipient.
(b)   On the other side for the communication and the signature of the sender.

(2) The double (or reply) post card, with two penny stamps thereon.
Treated as letters.

3. The postmaster will treat the post card as a sealed letter, and not as a packet, with the following exception, namely :—

In no case will an unclaimed post card be returned to the writer, but will be sent to the Dead Letter Office, thirty days after receipt, there to be destroyed.

At the request of the person named in the address upon it, a post card may be re-addressed by the postmaster in the same manner as a letter, on payment of one penny additional postage.

Postage Fee.
4. The stamp impressed on a post card will be the fee chargeable thereon for its transmission within the colony.

Issued exclusively by the Department.
5. Post cards will be issued exclusively by the Department, and may be obtained at any post office at their face value. Cards which contain any written or printed matter of the nature of personal correspondence other than the address, if issued by private persons, cannot be passed through the post office at less than letter postage, as they will not be considered ‘Post Cards’ within the meaning of the law.

Address only on one side.
6. No written or printed matter will be allowed on- the side of the post card used for the address, except the address itself, and nothing should be pasted, gummed, or attached to the card. When this rule is disregarded the post card will not be forwarded, except at letter rate, with a second rate as fine.

7. A post card must be stamped by postmasters on the side intended for the address, and so as not to interfere therewith.

Single cards not returnable.
8. A request (written thereon) to return a post card, which does not bear space and stamp for reply, will be disregarded.

Requisition was made for a supply of both single and double postcards on the 23rd of October, 1880, and, although they were supplied and issued to the public on the 28th of that month, they were not entered in the accountant’s receipt and issue book until September, 1882.

The cards were designed and lithographed by the Government engraver.

The design is as follows:

Three-quarter face of Queen, being a transfer from the steel plate of the first issue of postage stamps, with double outer oval line enclosing name of colony above and value below, separated by arabesques as in the postage stamps, but the lettering larger and freshly drawn. The details of the arabesques are more closely copied on the left than on the right side. In making the transfer, the fine background of crossed lines in the central oval disappeared, and the ground became solid. A dash-shaped period is placed after the value. This stamp is placed in the right upper corner of the card. At the top of the card in the centre there is a fancy oblong label with moirĂ© groundwork, bearing two lines of inscription, first, "POST CARD" in plain Roman capitals; second, "QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA" in coloured block letters. Below the label, and between two straight lines, of which the upper one is shorter and thicker than the lower, is "THE ADDRESS ONLY T0 BE WRITTEN ON THIS SIDE.) In the left upper corner are the Royal arms, crown, supporters, and motto. Lower down to the left is the word "To” in script type, followed by four dotted lines for the address. The design of the card is completed by a fancy ornamental border composed of intertwined cords.

The design of both single and reply cards is the same, the latter being simply two conjoint impressions of the single card, one above the other, both on the same side, and neither folded nor perforated. The card used for the first issue was thick yellowish buff, slightly surfaced. Both single and reply cards were lithographed in a bright carmine rose colour, the sizes of the cards being (as cut) 5½ + 3 7/12 inches, and 5+ 7⅜ inches respectively.

From time to time supplies of card were obtained from various sources, and the quality and colour differed considerably. The second printing was on white card, and the colour of the impressions varied from carmine rose to pale pink. About 1884 the colour changed to lake on white and pale buff card, and later printings were in dull pink on thinner surfaced light buff and white card.

The reply card did not meet with much success. The first requisition was for 3,200 single and 900 double cards, and apparently no further supplies of double cards were required. Consequently the later varieties of card and shades of impression would apply to single cards only.

Here is an extract from an Alan Griffiths’ article published in Gibbons Stamp Monthly, October 2006, p.79. The article was entitled “Queensland Postal Stationery: A review of the issues to 1901.”

“It was in 1879 that Queensland made the decision to introduce items of prepaid postal stationery and a few essays were printed bearing images of the 1879 1d. postage stamps. Such cards are much sought after as they never appeared as issued items. An issued Id. card bearing an amended version of the Chalon Head design was initially made available in 1880. It was intended that these cards should only prepay the postage to the neighbouring colonies, with Western Australia and Tasmania being excluded from the postcard rate of 1d. It was also intended that postcards should incorporate a facility for a reply by the recipient which had been prepaid by the original sender. Essays were prepared but not adopted and it has been suggested by early collectors and authors that the 1880 card was, in fact, sold in joined pairs, which afforded the opportunity for the addressee to remove the lower part of the card - presumably by cutting with scissors—and send a reply. No such pairs are recorded, although I do own a single card which may have been cut from the bottom of such a pair. Versions of this basic card were further printed in 1882 and 1886, on different stock and in various shades of red, ranging from rose to vermilion. There were also variations in the size, type and shade of the card stock employed.”

1880 essay for a ½d+½d reply postal card with two impressions of Bell's ½d essay Type C (with void background and corrected 'Q') both on the face, the divided address panel endorsed 'NAME & ADDRESS OF PERSON TO WHOM SENT' at left & 'NAME & ADDRESS OF SENDER' at right and also 'Before reposting please obliterate this address' at lower-left & "Over" at lower-right, the reverse also divided & headed 'MESSAGE TO BE SENT' at left & 'REPLY' at right and also 'When no reply is required both Spaces may be occupied' at lower-left & 'The Card must not be cut' at lower-right, manuscript "Essay 1880" in the upper margin.

Ex Ron Butler: sold for £3525 at auction in 2005. Almost certainly modeled on a private essay for a British ½d+½d reply postal card on which both stamp impressions
 were also on the face. Neither of these innovative, but confusing, ideas was adopted. Sold for $14,000 at the Prestige Philately Bernard Manning sale in June 2009.

1880 Essay for a 1d+1d reply postal card with two impressions of the First Sideface 1d - the second being Die II - both on the face, the divided address panel endorsed 'NAME & ADDRESS OF PERSON TO WHOME SENT' [sic; the offending 'E' being crossed-through] at left & 'NAME & ADDRESS OF SENDER' at right and also 'Before reposting please obliterate this address' at lower-left & 'Over' at lower-right, the reverse with pencilled "Communication only" at left & "Reply only" at right, manuscript "Essay 1880" in the upper margin, vertical fold apparently to simulate a printed rule on the reverse. Ex Ron Butler. Again, almost certainly modeled on a private essay for a British reply postal card on which both stamp impressions were also on the face. Neither of these innovative, but confusing, ideas was adopted. Auctioned by Prestige Philately in December 2012 here.

Unused post card from an early printing.

An unused example where the card was not cut straight.

A used example date stamped Bundaberg 17 July 1888 and addressed to the Swedish Royal Consul, Sydney, N.S.W. The writing on the side says 17 July 1888, E. Huttman (?) re letters none.

And the reverse. Dated Brisbane 20 July 1888. The text reads: If any letters are arrived to your office in my address please to send them up to Bundaberg Post Office P.R. Bundaberg Queensland. 17 July 1888. Respectfully E. Huttman (?)


  1. I have a copy of a One Penny Chalon Head with Specimen stamped on it and haven't been able to find
    any info on the Specimen stamp?

    Do you know if others exist?



    1. Yes, they are not uncommon and come up quite often on Ebay for sale. They usually sell for around $10 -20 depending on condition and market demand