Monday, March 19, 2012

½d. Queensland overprint

In February 1880 the Queensland Government advised that owing to the abolition of the Southampton mail service and the adoption of the via Brindisi as the only route for the transit of mails for the United Kingdom and Europe, the rates of postage had been altered. This included newspapers from 1d to 1.5d. There was no time to prepare a half-penny plate and so the 1d was overprinted Half-penny. The Government Engraver printed the word “Half-penny” in black, in ordinary lower case type with an initial capital, vertically (from bottom to top) upon 20,400 of the one penny stamps. The shade was the brownish-red then in use and the “QO” error was present in each of the 170 sheets surcharged. The setting of the type shows some slight irregularity in some instances. 

This supply of provisional stamps was issued to the post office on 21 February and 240 copies were cancelled as specimens. One specimen sheet has the overprint reading diagonally from top to bottom and the other has it diagonally treading from bottom to top. The life of this provisional stamp was very brief. One week later, on 28 February 1880, the new postage rates were cancelled and the newspaper rate reverted back to 1d. A permanent half-penny stamp had been produced from an engraved master die by William Bell and was ready for printing, and this was also cancelled. Die proofs exist as do some plate proofs overprinted specimen but no half-penny stamp was ever issued.

Here are some examples:

Numeral cancel 168, Tewantin


2 line registered handstamp - Charleville


This stamp has the "QO" variety and is therefore exceptionally rare as only 170 sheets were overprinted so no more than 170 of these can exist. Auctioned in 2009 here.

These two examples were auctioned in 2009 here.

1880 Surcharge 'Half-penny' on 1d brown Dies II-I SG 151/a rejoined block of 4 (two horizontal pairs), both left-hand units being Die II, the upper pair with an ironed-out crease, large-part o.g., Cat £2250++. A rare & desirable multiple. Ex Bernie Manning. RPSofV Certificate (2016). [It's curious that Gibbons don't list or price se-tenant pairs. A joined block of 4 sold at the Prestige auction of 5.9.2009 for $4140]. Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 215

½d. on 1d. reddish brown vertical pair comprising Dies I and II se-tenant, unused with traces of gum.  


½d. on 1d. reddish brown Die II, variety "qoeensland", fresh unused with part gum. Auctioned in 2012 here.


Stamp 1880 Queensland 1/2d on 1d die 1 overprint vertical SG151 mis-perforated  and listed for sale on Ebay in October 2012. It has a fiscal cancellation as well as a fake numeral cancel


1880 'Halfpenny' Surcharge on 1d reddish brown Die I & 1d reddish brown Die II (pulled perf at left and regummed), auctioned here.


1880 Queensland 1/2d on 1d die 1 overprint SG151


1880 Queensland 1/2d on 1d die 2 overprint. Seen on Ebay


1880 Surcharge 'Half-penny' on 1d reddish brown Die II (Triangle at Upper-Right not Joined to the Oval Frame) SG 151a vertical pair from the top of the sheet with the Overprint Misplaced Downwards, large-part o.g., Cat £1500++ (£1600++ 2014). Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 187 lot no 388

1880 "Half-penny" surcharged QV 1d reddish-brown, Die II, rough perf perf 12. VF fresh M. SG 151a cat £800. 2013 Ceremuga photo-cert. Seen at Status Stamps auction no 305 lot no 1528


1880 Surcharge 'Half-penny' on 1d reddish brown block of 4, the two left-hand units being Die II SG 151/a, typical wayward centring, large-part o.g. Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 101 lot no 246


 Mint example seen at Spink auction no 5025

Spink Auction no 11018 - Spring Collector's Series 

Lot: 409 x Queensland 1880 (Feb.) 1/2d. on 1d. reddish brown, a pair comprising Dies I and II, unused, some short or rough perfs. at foot, ex William Frazer (2003)


A lovely marginal mint pair and a used single seen at Gartner auction no 34


A nice used example seen on Ebay


1880 Surcharge 'Half-penny' on 1d Die I and Die II SG 151 & 151a, large-part o.g., Cat £850. Seen at Prestige auction no 133 lot no 387

1880- Queensland Australia Half-penny surch on 1 d 

Brown Die 2 1st sideface stamp Mint. Seen on Ebay


1880 Surcharge 'Half-penny' on 1d reddish brown Die II vertical pair, the lower unit with 'QOEENSLAND' SG 151ab, vertical ink-line cancel (presumably fiscal), Cat £1480+. Ex Bernie Manning. [NB: It is believed no postally used example is known of the variety. This would suggest that the SG price of £1300 is for a fiscally used example]. Seen at Prestige Philately auction no 21


Examples seen at Prestige Philately auction no 157

'Half-penny' opt QV 1d reddish brown, Die II. F-VF fresh MLH, nice original gum. SG 151a cat £800. Seen at Status Auctions

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