1890 1 Colour Proof

1877 1 Design

The alteration for the 1 design began with the issuance of special stamps for the burgeoning Telegraphs Division of the post office.
After many years of smaller competing companies, in 1869 Mr. Gladstone was able to announce agreements whereby the GPO would assume all the private Telegraph Companies, operating them as one system. This cost the covernment some 5,500,000.
Officially the Postal Telegraphs Department came into being on 4th February, 1870.
By 1874, observing that the PTD was apparently operating as a loss, the PMG sent a report to the Treasury urging the issuance of special stamps so that the income of the PTD could be strictly monitored. Values from 1/2d. through 5 were produced and clearly marked "TELEGRAPHS".
The check letters were reversed from the order used for the POSTAGE stamps, thus "AE" was the first stamp in the fifth row.

TELEGRAPHS Specimen, Plate 1

May of 1881 saw a return to usage of postage stamps for payment of Telegraph charges and no further TELEGRAPHS stamps were produced. While postage stamps could be used on Tegraphs, the reverse was never officially authorized.
In April 1884 the current oversized 1 value was replaced by modifying the TELEGRAPHS design. The colour was a similar 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}

POSTAGE Specimen, Plate 2

Because of the width, occupying three 'normal' stamps, there were 80 impressions upon each sheet, comprising ten horizontal rows of four, per pane with two panes. Letterings thus were AA-AD through JA-JD and KA-KD through TA-TD.

Specimens from the Colour Proof Sheet, Plate 2

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 presented 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.

The issued 1 in Green, Plate 2


1st May, 2017