1890 1 Colour Proof

1884 Brown Lilac

In April 1884 the current 1 value was replaced by a new design, three 'normal' stamps in width. The colour was a Brown-Lilac and two plates [numbers 2 and 3] were produced for its printing. All issued copies, but about 5 sheets, were produced by Plate 2. Those very few known from Plate 3 being part of a very late pressing to acquire a 'Registration Sheet' from Plate 3. {W.A. Wiseman}
Because of the width, there were 80 impressions upon each sheet, ten horizontal rows of four per pane, two panes. Letterings thus were AA-AD through JA-JD and KA-KD through TA-TD.
A specimen from Plate 2 is shown.

About October 1890 a Warrant was issued to print the 1 value in Green. This was in response to concerns about photographic forgeries, as a court case in 1887 used a photograph of a telegram. One of the stamps on the form 'came out too well'. In January, 1888 De La Rue preesented a Report showing 'forged' photographic examples on coloured papers of the 2 1/2d, 3d. and 6d current issues. Nothing was done immediately, but this opened up the possibility of also forging the Brown-Lilac 1.
As per the normal practice, the first sheet under this Warrant was taken from the press and delivered to Mr. H.C. Raikes, the Postmaster General.
According to W.A. Wiseman, Mr. Raikes initialed the margin of the "AA" impression "H.C.R.", and also "App'd .. Nov 18 1890".
Elsewhere the sheet has been marked "Selected Sheet / 18 Nov 1890" covering several rows, perhaps by the P.O. Secretary S.A. Blackwood. As the full sheet has since been cut up, this can only be seen if adjacent examples are rejoined.
The above three examples are from parts of the one sheet, known as the 1 Colour Proof of 1890, SG K-17s. Below is an issued 1.

 

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06/01/2012