Saturday, February 25, 2012

Queensland First Sideface Plate Proofs - 2d

Here are some examples of the 1st sideface 2d. plate proof. For general information on the 1st sideface plate proofs see here

In February 1879, the Government Engraver, William Knight, submitted for approval to the Colonial Treasurer, proofs of the 2d. These were printed on thin card, imperforate, in a blue colour. The submission was forwarded to the Postmaster-General, who returned it on 7 March 1880 with his approval. 

Imperforate die II examples with Crown over Q type II paper and defaced with blue crayon circa 1880 are known as well as examples that have not been defaced


Imperforate on thin card


2d. blue complete sheet of 120 imperforate Die 1 plate proofs on unwatermarked thin card with no 46 showing "queensband" variety and no 116 showing "penge" variety. Ex Butler and Griffiths


2d imperforate block of 4 in dull blue on thin card. Ex Slade and Manning


2d imperforate block of 4 in dull blue on thin card. Ex Colonel Evans

2d imperforate marginal block of 8 (4x2) from the base of the sheet in blue on thin card, margins close to huge. Ex Wm Knight, JH Chapman, Colonel Harrie Evans and Manning


2d imperforate pair in bright ultramarine on thick wove paper, minor thinnings, margins good to large. Ex Manning


2d imperforate block of 4 in dull blue on ungummed thin card, margins just clear to good, the lower right unit with 'QUEENSbAND' (as SG 130b). Ex Manning and Griffiths


2d imperforate block of 4 on thin card. Ex Griffiths


2d. imperf plate proof pair 2d in Ultramarine on ungummed, no watermark paper. Seen at Millenium Philatellic Auctions no 1 lot no 644 

2d imperforate proof in dull blue on thin card. Seen in a private collection


Imperforate die II examples with Crown over Q type II paper 


2d imperforate block of 4 on watermarked paper. Seen in a private collection


2d Die II imperforate marginal block of 4 from the base of the sheet on crudely gummed watermarked paper, margins close to huge, endorsed "[E]lectrotyp[e]" in red pencil in the margin, minor stain & small scissor-cuts between the units at top & right. Ex Wm Knight, JT Chapman, Colonel Harrie Evans and Manning

2d. Watermark type II crown. Courtesy of Dave Elsmore, Queensland stamp collecting Facebook group


Wmk type II crown. Lower right pair from sheet showing marginal watermark at base and at right. Courtesy of Dave Elsmore, Queensland stamp collecting Facebook group


2d imperforate plate proof horizontal pair in grey-blue on ungummed watermarked paper, Perf 12 at the top. Ex John White and Manning







2d imperforate pair on watermarked paper. Seen in a private collection


2d blue single from base of the sheet on gummed watermarked paper with red-pencil endorsement in margin. Ex Colonel Evans


2d imperforate bright ultramarine horizontal pair. Unknown whether on wmk paper or not. Seen at Phoenix Auction no 9

2d imperforate proofs in blue on ungummed watermarked paper. Seen in Prestige Philately auction no 152

Queensland First Sideface Essays - Waterlow and Sons

Waterlow and Sons produced a series of essays that were exhibited at the Paris International Exhibition of 1878 with the words Queensland and all showing a 2d value

It is understood that the company submitted unsuccessfully for the 1879 Great Britain tender in support of a recommendation of the line-engraved process. The Queensland Government was not involved in any stage with the commissioning or exhibiting of these essays and the Waterlow design bears no resemblance to the stamps that were eventually introduced in Queensland and for which the first plate - the one penny postage stamp - was completed in August 1878.

Here are the examples I have seen of the Waterlow essays. The annotations are from the relevant auction catalogues


1878 2d die proof in a delicate shade of grey-purple on thin wove paper (30 x 32mm). Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 146 lot no 1003. Ex Manning
1878 2d plate proof in black on white wove paper. Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 146 lot no 1002. Ex Manning
1878 2d plate proofs on white wove paper in pale lilac, stone, brown, grey, blue-grey, grey-blue or pale blue. Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 146 lot no 1003. Ex Manning
1878 2d plate proofs in black-brown on buff or in dark blue on blue wove paper. Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 146 lot no 1004. Ex Manning
1878 2d plate proofs in pale turquoise or purple-brown on white wove paper, close even margins, both affixed to small pieces of thin card. Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 146 lot no 1005. Ex Manning
Waterlow & Sons Ltd.2d. die proof in black on thin card (77x68mm). Seen at Spink auction no 12043 lot no 1165. Ex Griffiths

Essays by Waterlow & Sons Ltd.2d. imperforate trials (3), comprising brown and blue on white paper and green on buff paper; the last two with faults. Seen at Spink auction no 12043 lot no 1166. Ex Griffiths

1878 2d Plate Proof ESSAY in black on white wove paper,
Printed by "WATERLOW & SONS PRINTERS" in England. Even margins except at top where large margin is endorsed "196 c", central punch as normal. Seen on Ebay



Essays struck from a single die, inscribed “QUEENSLAND” and denominated 2d., four examples imperf. in grey, brown, purple and deep blue on blue. Originally exhibited by Waterlow & Sons at the 1878 Paris International Exhibition and submitted unsuccessfully for the 1879 Great Britain tender in support of a recommendation of the line-engraved process. Seen at Grosvenor auction 119

Essays struck from a single die, inscribed “QUEENSLAND” and denominated 2d., three examples imperf. in the U.P.U. colours of green, red and blue, two with part gum. Originally exhibited by Waterlow & Sons at the 1878 Paris International Exhibition and submitted unsuccessfully for the 1879 Great Britain tender in support of a recommendation of the line-engraved process. Seen at Grosvenor auction 119

Waterlow Head, Die proof without surround, in black on sunken card (75 x 96mm), annotated “un (deleted) touched for the ear and jaw” and dated “5/2/76” in pencil, a few minor peripheral tones. Ex ‘Clive’ Collection. Seen at Grosvenor auction 119

Queensland First Sideface Essays - ½d overprint

In 1876 it was decided to replace the Queensland Chalon Head stamps. The design had been in use since 1860 and with the exception of the 4d, which was lithographed, all had been printed from the steel plates engraved by Perkins, Bacon Ltd in London. The new stamps were to be surface printed from locally made plates.

Therefore William Knight, the Queensland government engraver, commissioned William Bell in Sydney to produce a master die on steel bearing the description “Queensland,” “One Penny,” and to follow as closely as possible the design of the then current Queensland stamps. The completed dies arrived in Brisbane in May 1877.

There were two essay types, produced by Bell. The colours were black, purple and carmine and the ovals were either solid or void. They were produced in 1877. I have yet to see any extant examples.

A permanent half-penny essay was prepared in early 1880 from an engraved master die by William Bell and was ready for printing. 
The ½d essay was prepared to replace the ½d on 1d provisional. However, it was cancelled when the change in postage rates necessitating a half-penny stamp was cancelled. Die proofs exist as do some plate proofs overprinted specimen but no half-penny stamp was ever issued.


These examples mainly come from the Manning Collection auctioned by Prestige Philately in June 2009, nos. 1001-11. Link here and the Alan Griffith's Collection auctioned by Spink in November 2012, nos. 1167-70. Link here.  

1880 Vertically-Lined Background with Reversed 'Q' (Type A) ½d imperforate plate proof in black on thick wove paper. Auction details here.

1880 Vertically-Lined Background with Reversed 'Q' ½d imperforate plate proof in plum on ungummed watermarked paper. Auction details here.



½d. with vertically-lined background and with reversed "q" in "Queensland", in plum on ungummed watermark Crown over Q sideways paper. Auction details here.


1880 Vertically-Lined Background with Reversed 'Q' (Type A) ½d imperforate plate proof in orange on ungummed watermarked paper (unusually with the Watermark Upright), marginal example from the top of the sheet. Auction details here.

1880 Void Background/Vertically-Lined Background both with Reversed 'Q' (Types B/A) ½d imperforate plate proof se-tenant pair in plum on ungummed watermarked paper. Auction details here.

1880 Void Background/Vertically-Lined Background both with Reversed 'Q' (Types B/A) ½d imperforate plate proof se-tenant pair in blue on ungummed watermarked paper. Auction details here.

1880 Void Background with Corrected 'Q' (Type C) ½d imperforate plate proof in carmine-pink on ungummed watermarked paper, 'SPECIMEN' handstamp diagonally in blue. Auction details here.

½d. with plain background and with "q" in "Queensland" corrected, in carmine on ungummed watermark Crown over Q upright paper, lightly handstamped "specimen" diagonally in blue. Auction details here.


½d. with vertically-lined background se-tenant with plain background, both with reversed "q" in "queensland", in orange on ungummed watermark Crown over Q upright paper; defective at top. Auction details here.



1880 Wmk Crown over Q (II) ½d Vermilion imperforate litho essay horizontal pair showing the final approved design (white background behind head, and "Q" with tail to right) optd with the word "Specimen" diagonally in blue. A large block of this essay with a specimen overprint is in the Australia Post archives, dated 26 February 1880. The stamp was cancelled the following day after the proposed rate change did not eventuate. Auction details here.

½d. with plain background and with "q" in "Queensland" corrected, a marginal pair in carmine on ungummed watermark Crown over Q upright paper, each handstamped "specimen" diagonally in blue. Auction details here.


1880 Bell Essay ½d imperforate plate proof block of 4 in red on ungummed Crown/Q paper, each unit with under-inked diagonal 'SPECIMEN' handstamp. Ex Ron Butler. The 'Q' has been corrected. The earlier examples in this post had the 'Q' to the left. Auction details here.


This example was offered on Ebay in November 2012 by Status International Stamp Auctions. Listed as 1878 QV ½d red imperf ESSAY by William Bell on wmk crown Q paper, with diagonal SPECIMEN opt. VF fresh UN, 4 margins


Void Background with Corrected 'Q' (Type C) ½d imperforate plate proof in carmine-pink on ungummed watermarked paper, margins just clear to large, 'SPECIMEN' handstamp diagonally in blue. Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 152


Imperforate essay for a halfpenny value being a horizontal se-tenant pair with Void Background or Lined Background both with the Reversed 'Q' of 'QUEENSLAND', in black on ungummed unwatermarked paper, margins close to large, minor tone spots on the reverse. Seen at Prestige Philately auction no156

Essay by William Bell for the proposed ½ d. adhesive, imperforate se-tenant pair showing left hand example with white vignette and right hand example without, each with reversed "Q" in "Queensland", in orange-red on thick card paper with slight defacement line in manuscript at top. Diagonal bend not apparent on face, a scarce Essay. Seen at Corinphila auctions, November 2017

The types refer to the list in Robson Lowe, The Empire in Australia, 1962, p. 104