The Jubilee of Penny Postage
South Kensington Interesting Uses
Bisected 1d on 2d Postcard

At various times Post Offices of many countries found themselves without an adequate supply of smaller denomination stamps. Taking an appropriate stamp of twice the needed value, it could be cut in half to provide the needed postage. Other than a few authorized situations, bisects were generally not accepted for valid postage. Most times they were voided and the letter surcharged. Some, however, managed to pass through the postal systems.

Despite this, many proposals for officially having bisected stamps were made, thinking that one stamp could serve two purposes. A 1d. design that was officially bisected could be used as a 1/2d. stamp. One such proposal was publlished in the Illustrated London News, December 5 1885 p.577

Some few letters exist where the sended applied a bisect, not having the postage available at their office or home and it was accepted. Such a letter here crossed the Atlantic and was allowed as valid postage for delivery in the USA. Note that this usage slightly pre-dates the published suggestion of an official bisect on this issue shown above.

Some, however, were observed and the bisect invalidated and an appropriate Postage Due "T" {TAXE} or 'fine' levied upon the letter. This penalty charge was to be paid by the recipient.

Between the published proposal and the KE VII 'TAXE' letter came the Jubilee Celebration at the South Kensington Museum. Once again a bisect was tried. This time it's upon an imprinted 2d. Postcard measuring at 3 1/2" by 5 1/2", the acceptable maximum size.

Countries to be served by the use of this UPU Postcard were: Aden, Ceylon, French Colonies of New Caledonia and St Mary (Madagascar), Cochin China, French India, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Labuan, Mauritius, Netherlands Indies and Papua New Guinea, Persia via Persian Gulf, Portugese Colonies (Goa, Damao, Diu, Macao, Timor, Mozambique), Phillippine and Marian Islands, Seychelles, Straits Settlements, Zanzibar.

The addition of the 1/2d. and being addressed to an Inland destination raised the fees paid to well above the level required. It was also not surcharged or otherwise marked as improper postage.

Lordship Road runs southeast from the Twin Reservoirs to Church Street in Stoke Newington and is now part of London.

Details of the indicia, bisect and cancel.

All the reverse contains is a mention "My Mother". Possibly meaning that the sender may have been the recipient's mother. A Red London N. transit stamp was also applied.

The Schenkenwald family was comprised of five children at this time. The above card was sent to A.V. {Arthur Victor} and the card below was sent to George [Sr.] the father.

As the bisects were of different values, there may have been additional cards made for the other children. A 'normal' card was sent to "G. Schenkenwald Junr". See the Schenkenwald page.

Courtesy of John Davies




9th February, 2018