Sunday, October 28, 2012

The 1879 Lilac Burelé (moiré) Paper

This extract is taken from The Postage Stamps of Queensland by A.F. Basset Hull, 1930, p. 13 and covers the 1879 Lilac Burelé (moiré) paper for printing the 1d and 2d 1st sideface stamps in October 1879 as well as the 1d. stamp duty issue. 

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.

Unusual paper usage - 6d and 1/-

 This extract on the Crown Q (1st Type) Paper is taken from The Postage Stamps of Queensland by A.F. Basset Hull, 1930, pp. 13-15 and covers unusual paper usage for the 6d. and 1-/ stamps in 1879-80 

The 1879 Unwatermarked Papers
Pending the completion of the electrotyped plate of the 6d., small printings were made in October, November and December, 1879, from the Perkins, Bacon engraved plate.

For these printings, which were from the full plate of 240 impressions, two kinds of unwatermarked paper seem to have been utilised:—

(a) A thin to medium white wove of hard texture.

(b) A medium to thick wove of a somewhat creamy tint.

For reasons which will be given later, the first printing was probably on the thin paper, the later printings being on the thick paper.

Specimens are occasionally found showing a part of a papermaker’s watermark. The following examples are of interest:—

On the Thin to Medium White Wove Paper 
(1) A single copy showing a double-lined “O," 15 mm. high and 15 mm. wide, reading upwards in the stamp.

This watermark is the same height as the numerals in the "T. H. SAUNDERS" watermark used in the 1879 lilac burelé paper, and might have formed part of the date in a sheet dated 1880. 

It is usual to change the dates each year, and possibly some of the 1880 manufacture was obtainable in 1879. But it seems more probable that the double-lined "O" (which has a peculiar squat appearance) comes from paper with watermark "SANDERSON” in the sheet, as the two “O’s" are identical.

On the Medium to Thick Creamy Wave Paper
(1) A single copy showing a portion of a double-lined ampersand reading upwards in the stamp. —

(2) The letters " P I " in double-lined capitals in a horizontal pair. This information was given in the prospectus of a collection offered for sale. No other details were given, and it has not been possible to trace the pair in question. However, the watermark is most distinctive, and investigation shows that this pair must have been on the thick paper.

For the reasons given below it is conclusive that the makers of this paper were Messrs. Alex. Pirie & Sons, Ltd.

The 1880 Lilac Burelé Paper.
Pending the completion of the electrotyped plate of the 1s., it would appear that a small printing was made from the Perkins, Bacon engraved plate about the end of 1879 or the beginning of 1880.

The printing was on a lilac burelé paper, which hitherto has been thought to be the same as that used for the ld. and 2d. electrotypes in October, 1879. A close examination of the paper itself shows that in quality and texture it is identical with the medium to thick creamy wove paper referred to above as used in 1879 for some of the printings of the 6d. `

Moreover, a block of seven 1s., burelé, in the H. L. White collection in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, New South Wales, shows part of a papermaker’s watermark "& Sons" in double-lined capitals, reading upwards in the stamps, which clearly proves that the “SAUNDERS" paper had not been utilised.

Owing to the identical nature of the papers used for the 1s. and some of the printings of the 6d., it was considered that they were probably from the same maker, and by combining the two watermarks “P I" and “& SONs" we are at once led to the conclusion that the makers were Pirie & Sons.

In a letter from their Stoneywood Works, Messrs. Alex. Pirie & Sons, Ltd., state: "We have gone closely into the question of the Stamp Paper, the Watermark in which you have described, and feel convinced that this must have been made at Stoneywood. At the time in question we did a considerable trade with Mr. George Robertson of Melbourne, and we think it likely that this paper passed through his hands. Unfortunately, we are unable to trace quite definitely an order for this paper for Stamp purposes, but we think you need have no doubt as to where it came from."

A further communication from the same firm reads: "We have endeavoured to trace the information which you require, and from the particulars which you give us, it appears to us that the paper must have been our Extra Super Cream Wove — a small piece attached — which we have cut from one of our sample books. We were making this quality prior to, and including, 1878 and , 1879, and the date in the watermark was altered for each year."

The sample of paper which was enclosed contained the complete papermaker’s watermark, and is a particularly valuable piece of evidence. A detailed drawing of the watermark "& SONS" in the block of seven 1s. (burelé) was forwarded by Mr. Fred. Hagen for the use of the Queensland Reference List Committee, and on comparison with the similar portion of the Pirie watermark in the sample, it was found that the two watermarks were identical.

Thus we may conclude that the paper used for the 1s. and some printings of the 6d. was made by the firm mentioned above and, no doubt, had been purchased locally in Australia. As the 1s. was issued subsequently to the 6d. it is probable that the Pirie paper was used for the later printings of the 6d.

The following is a description of the Pirie paper. The paper is a medium to thick wove slightly tinted cream. The watermark in the sample is “A. PIRIE & SONS—1892" in two lines in double-lined capitals, ampersand and figures, the initial letters being 17½ mm. high and the remainder of the watermark 12½ mm. high. The first and second lines are 173 mm. and 45 mm. long, respectively, and the distance between the lines is 15 mm.

As regards the bands of burelé, it is not known whether the setting of the burelé as used in October, 1879, for the 1d. and 2d. electrotypes, was also used for the 1s., thus only accommodating twelve horizontal rows of ten stamps; or whether a new stone was prepared to embrace the whole of the 240 impressions on the line-engraved plate. A watermarked paper (De La Rue Crown Q (2nd Type) Paper) to fit the electrotype plates was in stock at the time when this printing of the 1s. is supposed to have taken place, and thus it would appear that the latter alternative was the one adopted.

Whichever method was resorted to, a similar procedure was followed in preparing this paper to that described for the 1879 burelé paper, the colour, size and pattern of the burelé being the same.

The Crown Q (1st Type) Paper

This extract on the Crown Q (1st Type) Paper is taken from The Postage Stamps of Queensland by A.F. Basset Hull, 1930, p. 12. This paper was used for the 1d., 2d. and 4d. 1st sideface issues from April to June 1879.

This paper was supplied by Messrs. De La Rue & Co., the First consignment arriving at Brisbane per the S.S. Westbury on the 17th September, 1868. It is a medium greyish wove paper with a watermark, crown above a double—lined Q (1st type), to fit each impression on the engraved plate. The 240 watermarks (12 x 20) are enclosed in a single outline frame 9¾ inches (25 cm) wide and 19 inches (48.3 cm) high, and 5 mm. outside this frame there is an inscription "QUEENSLAND POSTAGE" in double-lined capitals, 10 mm. high, in the middle of each margin. At the top and bottom of the sheet the inscriptions read normally, not inverted one with the other, and occupy 7¾ inches (19.7 cm). In the side margins the inscriptions are 9¾ inches (25 cm) long, and read upwards on the left and downwards on the right. The sheets, which measure about 12 inches (30.5 cm) wide and 23 inches (58.4 cm) high, are not numbered.

In this type the watermark is 18 mm. high, measured from the top of the crown to the lower curve of the Q; the central compartment of the crown is a triangular wedge with the point downwards; and only the lower outline of the tail crosses the body of the Q.

The Crown Q (1st type) paper was used for printings of the ld., 2d., and 6d. values from November, 1868, to November, 1870, and was in general use for postage stamps from November, 1874, to June, 1879, when the stock was exhausted after the First printings of the 1d., 2d., and 4d. electrotypes. It had also been used for the electrotyped 1d. Stamp Duty.

Upper five rows of watermarks.

The De La Rue Crown Q (2nd Type) Paper

This extract on the  De La Rue Crown Q (2nd Type) Paper is taken from The Postage Stamps of Queensland by A.F. Basset Hull, 1930, pp. 15-16.

This paper was supplied by Messrs. De La Rue & Co., the first consignment being received in Brisbane about the middle of October, 1879. It is a medium white wove paper with a watermark Crown above a double-lined Q (2nd type) especially designed to fit each impression on the electrotype plate. The 120 watermarks (10 x 12) are enclosed in a single-lined frame 8¼ inches (20.95 cm) wide and 11¾ inches (29.85 cm) high. There are no marginal inscriptions, but crosses, 5/16 in. (0.8 cm) x 5/16 in. (0.8), are situated in the centre of the top and bottom margins, and in a position in the side margins in which the horizontal limbs of the crosses are in line with the lower edges of the fifth row of watermarks.

In this type the watermark is 19 to 19½ mm. high, measured from the top of the crown to the lower curve of the Q; the central compartment of the crown has the sides nearly parallel, and both outlines of the tail cross the body of the Q. In Nos. 64 and 65 in the sheet, and a few others in lesser degree, the central compartment of the crown somewhat resembles the first type, but in no case is it actually pointed. The height of the watermark is always a sure guide in deciding which paper is in question.

The dandy roll for this paper gave an additional watermark at the top of the sheet as follows:-
About 1¾ inches (4.5 cm) above the upper outline frame there is a single line about 7⅜ inches (19 cm) long, with an ornamental arrow head at each end and a lozenge, 5/16 in. (0.8 cm) x 5/16 in. (0.8), in the centre above the cross already described. Above the line are the words “QUEENSLAND STAMP DUTY" in double-lined capitals ⅜-inch (0.95 cm) high, the inscription being 7⅜ inches (19 cm) long, the same length as the line. There is no evidence of a paper with the inscription "QUEENSLAND POSTAGE" or anything similar.

It would appear that all the sheets were manufactured thus, and when utilised for postage stamps the top part was cut along this line, as traces of the lower part of the lozenge show above the cross in the upper margin, and sometimes the line itself is visible owing to the cut not being made in the correct position.

Traces of this additional watermark have been seen on the De La Rue Crown Q (2nd type) paper, and the complete watermark has been seen on a sheet of paper manufactured by Messrs. Alexander Cowan & Son, who received the dandy roll from Messrs. De La Rue & Co. on a change of contract about May, 1896.

The De La Rue Crown Q (2nd type) paper was specially designed to give the best results with electrotype printing, and seems to have had a certain proportion of zinc white or white lead, probably the former, in its composition, giving it a dead white, and sometimes a chalky appearance. It is smoother and of firmer texture than the first Crown Q paper, but the paper received in October, 1879, was of somewhat looser texture than in later supplies. The paper sometimes shows a mesh, but usually little or no mesh is visible.

The sheets, which measure about 9¾ inches (24.8 cm) wide by 13 inches (33 cm) high, are numbered in black, reading downwards in the side margin at the right lower corner, the numerals being 6¾ mm. high. 

Upper five rows of watermarks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Queensland 1st Sideface 1d. bisect

Here is an example of a 1st sideface 1d. and 1d. bisect paying triple the ½d. newspaper rate on piece, tied by an indistinct barred numeral. A truly extraordinary item, courtesy of Dave Elsmore. What makes this bisect on piece so unique is that this rate was only valid for less than two months in January and February 1880. 
This short-lived rate was for  ‘Newspapers for the United Kingdom, via Brindisi, the postage is - for every newspaper not exceeding 4—ozs., 1½d. and for every additional 4-ozs., 1½d.’
Accordingly ½d. overprints on the 1d. issue were hastily prepared, but they were not yet available when the regular ship set sail on 28 January 1880. A contemporary describes the situation:
"on asking how, in the absence of a half-penny Stamp, it was possible to pay the exact postage, we were told by the assistant postmaster to cut a penny Stamp in halves. This course the writer adopted, and affixing a penny Stamp and a-half (cut diagonally) to a couple of newspapers under 4 ounces, they were passed by the authorities.” The full article is reproduced here
This stamp is in the L'Estrange Collection in the Brisbane museum. It has been there since the 1950s