Queensland 1901 King Edward VII
This issue has been poorly documented over the years and I wish to set the record books straight once and for all. I have accumulated large numbers of these stamps over 30 years and I have come up with an analysis for other collectors to check their collections.
First Issue 1d to 10/-
I will start with the perf machine used for this issue. Bassett Hull describes it very well and one can only agree with his description: “vertical line perf 12 irregular, within one line the pins read from left to right 13, 12, 12½, 11½ & 12. The pins in this machine must have been put together by Government printing staff and not brought in from a maker.”
Further research has now shown me the sheet makeup for the 1d & 2d was 11x11 vertically line perfed making a sheet total of 121 stamps. The printer found this impractical to audit and decided to place the King’s monogram in the 121st cliché thus making a sheet total of 120 stamps much easier for the overworked accountants.
11.5 mm Value & King’s Monogram Row 11 Stamp 10 & 11.
The De La Rue paper used was from the preceding issue, the 1d Queen Victoria widows weeds and was of varying quality. The widows weeds was issued late December 1900 and ran for 12 months contrary to all the published works stating an issue date of 1893-1901 this date is wrong but that’s another story. As with the widows weeds thick and thin papers are found. The layout of this watermark made it impossible to align with the new thinner stamp, and the 1d & 2d were printed with left or right sideways watermark. The ‘TWO PENCE’ found in the first printing was 11.5 mm wide this was deemed unsuitable and to hard to read, the value was quickly lengthened to 14 mm to bring it into line with the 1d with the new 2d value phased in as stock of the original 2d was depleted. The 1d & 2d is also found as an imperf proof in issued and un-issued colours, and wing margin imperf. An oversize die proof of the head is known. I am yet to sight the 14 mm 2d monogram.
Values from 3d - 10/- were printed in a larger format and again did not suit the watermark layout, although, only found printed with watermark upright. The watermark is found all over the place, and if you have a copy with the watermark in the centre you are doing well. A ‘SPECIMEN’ overprint set 1d to 5/- is known, also ‘collector sets’ to 5/- with the black 11 mm ring cancel either part or full ring are known. I have one value next to an impressed KEV11 duty stamp used by treasury and has the treasury embossed cancel. Many shades of the different printings can be found and are a study in themselves. The 10/- appears exceedingly rare in this watermark with only a handful known.
Second Issue 1d to £5
New purpose watermarked paper arrived from De La Rue c1908. The reams supplied were of thick and thin paper. After this wait for new paper the printer never took care to align the watermark to the stamp and again this second issue can be found with the watermark all over the place. Perforating continued on the same machine.
First & Second Issue
A further two values were added over time a 20/- and £5. Less than 10 used copies of this £5 have been recorded and is an extremely rare stamp. The three high values are found with ‘SPECIMEN’ overprint in this watermark. This issue was used up until to the early 1920’s, mostly as make up values on a range of instruments inc. large usage on insurance policies, many perfins are found. Many shades of the different printings can be found and as with the first issue they are a study in themselves. Found illegally used as a postage stamp, I have taxed and untaxed covers that have slipped through the postal system undetected. There are plenty of transfers & secondary plate varieties to collect.
£5 Specimen Multiple
If you can add further information on this article I would be more than grateful to hear from you. I can be contacted by email: Dave
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