Saturday, March 3, 2012

1d. Queensland reddish brown and scarlet stamp - dies

The Queensland 1d stamp is interesting and complex.
They were printed on three types of paper and all issues were Perf 12 line. First issued on 15 May 1879, the colour was reddish brown (Watermark Crown and Q5) (Dies 1 and 2). There was also orange brown (Watermark Crown and Q5) (Die 1 only). 126,240 of these stamps were issued.

The reddish brown was issued from 21 October 1879 with no watermark, instead there was a burelé band at the back in blue (Dies 1 and 2). The burelé bands are not always easy to see as the ink is water soluble. Therefore any unwatermarked copies are likely to be from this printing.  60,720 issues were printed with the  burelé  band.

The 1d was finally issued with Watermark Crown and Q6 in Reddish brown, dull orange, and then scarlet (also called bright vermilion), which was first issued on 7 March 1881. Some 1d stamps with watermark Crown and Q6 were printed with aniline inks and show up as yellow when viewed in ultraviolet light.

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! I will cover this in more detail elsewhere. However it is worth noting that Robson Lowe recommends a premium of 25% for se-tenant pairs comprising both Die 1 and Die 2 stamps.

The two Dies have one distinguishing characteristic:

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

Here I have shown them with the difference circled in blue.

Die 1

Die 2
Here is an example of the two dies occurring in the same sheet. Die 2 on the left and Die 1 on the middle and right stamps.

These stamps are known imperforate as well as their being recorded a horizontal pair of the scarlet issue without perforation.

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