Saturday, December 10, 2011

2d. Queensland blue stamp - dies

The Queensland 2d stamp is quite complex. They were printed on three types of paper and all issues were Perf 12 line. First issued 10 April 1879, the colour was blue (Watermark Crown and Q5) . It was then issued on 21 October 1879 with no watermark, burele band at the back in blue (Die 1). It was finally issued with Watermark Crown and Q6. The various colours were blue, grey blue, bright blue and deep blue.

120,000 copies of the 2d Watermark Crown and Q5 and watermark Crown and Q6 were issued58,440 of the 2d with the burele band and no watermark were issued.

There are two dies with four recurring types each and the sheets had 120 stamps (10 x12).The two Dies can occur in the same sheet and in different locations in the same sheets! Robson Lowe recommends a premium of 25% for se-tenant pairs comprising both Die 1 and Die 2 stamps. Stanley Gibbons only makes mention of Die 1, believing that the Die 2 was actually on later plates. Gibbons is incorrect as this vertical pair from a block of 16 demonstrates:
The upper stamp is Die 1 and the lower stamp is Die 2. The lower stamp also has the variety where the TW is not joined in the Die 2.
Here is another example of  se-tenant dies, from Dave Elsmore's collection

The two Dies have three distinguishing characteristics:

Die 1 - The white horizontal inner line of the triangle in the upper right-hand corner merges into the outer white line of the oval above the 'L".

Die 2 - The same line is short and does not touch the inner oval.

Die 1- 'T W' in two is separate

Die 2 - 'TW' in Two is almost always joined although there is a variety where it is not joined. In this case the other two distinguishing characteristics define it as a Die 2 type.

Die 1 - The letters of Two Pence are smaller

Die 2 - The letters of Two Pence are bigger
By far the easiest way to distinguish the two dies is through the joined TW, although Robson Lowe does note that it is possible to have a Die 2 without the TW letters being joined.

Here is an example of a deep blue Die 2 stamp without the TW letters being joined. Both copies are Die 2, but the TW on the right-hand stamp is not joined. Robson Lowe prices this variety (in 1962 prices) as follows:68, 2d. blue, 7 shillings 6 pence
69, 2d. deep blue, 2 shillings 6 pence 

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