The sheet of paper is 9 inches (22.9 cm) wide and 15 inches (38.1 mm) high, with twelve bands of burelé lithographed in lilac on the back. Each of the bands is 5/16 of an inch (0.8 cm) wide and 8 inches (20.3 cm) long, thus leaving a side margin of ½ inch (1.27 cm) at each end. The bands of burelé are ⅝ of an inch (1.6 cm) apart, the top margin being 3 inches (7.6 cm) and the lower margin 1⅜ inches (3.5 cm).
The design of the burelé is somewhat after a close key pattern, and differs from the burelé used in 1872 for the Stamp Duty series, and again in 1895 for the ½d. and 1d. postage stamps.
The sheet is numbered twice in black, reading downwards in the side margin at the right upper corner. This was evidently intended for binding the sheets in a book, one number for the counterfoil, the other number for the sheet itself. The sheet under review had not been perforated for that purpose.
The sheet had been cut from a larger sheet of paper as the manufacturer’s watermark shows in the lower quarter of the sheet. This watermark is "T. H. SAUNDERS"—"1877," in two lines in double-lined capitals. The initials, letters and figures are 18 mm., 14 mm., and 15 mm. high respectively. The extreme length of the name is 190 mm., and that of the date 54 mm., the distance between them being 12½ mm. The paper is an ivory white, wove, tough and of medium thickness.
The paper was specially prepared for printing the ld. and 2d. (electrotyped) postage stamps in October, 1879, and it was also used for the ld. (electrotyped) Stamp Duty. Examples of this paper on stamps can be seen here.