Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1 shilling Queensland Sideface - colours

The 1 shilling Queensland sideface stamp was issued around March 1880. Perf 12 line. Watermark Crown and Q W. 6. The colours were deep violet (Stanley Gibbons 144) and pale lilac (Stanley Gibbons 145) and the centering was sometimes poor, causing misperforation. There were four recurring types in the sheets of 120 stamps (10 x12). The colours of these stamps are interesting. Robson Lowe in 1962 talks about a deep violet and a lilac. My 1993 simplified Gibbons mentions a mauve colour and my 2008 British Commonwealth Gibbons mentions deep violet and pale lilac. I have looked at all my stamps and compared them to the SG colour key and none of them exhibit these colours. I know these are the original colours, so 130 years later the colours have mutated slightly.  An article By Basset Hull in Vindins Philatelic Monthly, Jan 20 1894, p. 85 regarding the 1 shilling printing states that the original printing was deep violet, approved in April 1881 and issued on 4 May 1881. In all 163,440 stamps were printed on 5 different occasions and the shade of colour varies very considerably from pale cold lilac to deep violet! Apparently some of the stamps of this issue were printed with analine inks and show up as yellow when viewed in ultra violet light.

Kenneth Scudder, "Queensland Postage Stamps 1879-1912" published in 2013, has brought all these threads together. His research has indicated that the first printings in around May 1880 were deep mauve and mauve. Note that this contradicts Basset Hull who believed the first printing was in 1881. Scudder believes that there were two printings with an estimated 62,670 stamps issued for postal use.

Regarding Basset Hull's 1881 issue, Scudder notes that between May 1881 and the end of the issue in February 1883, 138,740 stamps were issued for postal purposes and that there were probably four printings. The first printing was deep reddish violet which was very close to the colour proofs approved in April 1881. The shades then became progressively paler, turning from violet to lilac and that one of the printings in the reddish lilac has a somewhat spotty appearance. Scudder contends that the last printing was probably the pale reddish lilac.
Pale Lilac

Deep Violet

Poor centering

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