General Telegraph 6d

Telegraph stamps of Great Britain.

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Railway Telegraph cancel on 10s
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General Telegraph 6d Electric Telegraph Submarine British English & Irish British & Irish LDTC UK Electric South Eastern Railway London, Chatham and Dover Railway
General Telegraph Electric Telegraph Submarine British Telegraph English & Irish British & Irish London District UK Electric S.E.R. L.C. & D.R.
 
Bonelli Universal Private Telegraph Company National Telephone Company Army Telegraphs-1 Army Telegraphs-2 Railway Telegraph cancel on 10s Post Office Telegraphs Unusual Unexpected Contributions
Bonelli's Universal Tel. National Telephone Army Telegraphs 1 Army Telegraphs 2 Railway Post Office Unusual Unexpected Contributions

 


Prices have been brought up to date, and are for stamps in 'average' condition.  
The currency is now selectable, the default is British Currency (£).
  I have revised Hiscocks' original listing, though leaving references to the original designations. 
The new designations have 'RH' numbers (Revised Hiscocks) to avoid confusion.
_

 

The Electric Telegraph Company.

Incorporated June 1846, first stamps issued 1st June 1854.
Head Office at Lothbury, Bank of England.

It is thought that these forms were first used to pay for messages at the London Exhibition in Hyde Park from May to October 1851.
ET Pre-stamp.
These set a pattern of including a number, the secretaries signature, terms & conditions and a standard of one shilling for many years to come.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie

Larger sized images of both sides of the complete forms are shown at the bottom.

 

Shortcuts to different sections
1854 by distance 1855 with values 1860 perforated 1860-4 RG/JSF 1864-70 RG/HW 1861-70 Continental 1857-70 Directors 1875 Samples Cancels Stationery

Perkins, Bacon printings 1854 - 1861.

Philbrick & Westoby (1881) say ".. appear to have been lithographed by means of a transfer from an egraved plate."

Initially just the distances were given. According to Langmead & Huggins, the construction of these plates by Perkins, Bacon
is described by E. D. Bacon in The British Philatelist, Vol. 19, numbers 11 & 12 (Jan/Feb 1927). They were in sheets of 16 stamps (4 x 4).

 

First series, June 1854.

ET First Set under 50 miles. ET First Set under 100 miles. ET First Set above 100 miles.
Hiscocks H1 black on rose. 9993 Hiscocks H2 black on blue. 9995 Hiscocks H3 black on white. 9992
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie - (half-size, click image for a larger version).

 

RH # Hisc. First series Description Rarity Mint Used
RH1 H1 20 words under 50 miles, black on pink (1s). R4 1200.00 -
RH1a              '   '   '       No control number.   800.00 -
RH2 H2 20 words under 100 miles, black on blue (2s6d). R4 1000.00 -
RH2a              '   '   '       No control number.   800.00 -
RH3 H3 20 words above 100 miles, black on white (5s). R4 1000.00 -
RH3a              '   '   '       No control number.   800.00 -

 

Here are some more examples, all with very similar control numbers. According to Langmead & Huggins, all known controls are in the range 9780 to 10000.

ET First Set under 50 miles. ET First Set under 100 miles. ET First Set under 100 miles.
Hiscocks H1 black on rose. 9998 Hiscocks H2 black on blue. 9991 Hiscocks H2 black on blue. (see below)
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie - click image for a larger version.

 

Something interesting is going on with the control number here:
Control Number Close-up
Can you make it out ? I think 8165 was changed to 9962. Hard to understand why though.

 

ET First Set above 100 miles. ET First Set above 100 miles. ET First Set above 100 miles.
Hiscocks H3 black on blue. 9990 Hiscocks H3 black on blue. 9992 (repeated from above) Hiscocks H3 black on blue. 9995
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie - click image for a larger version.

 

A plate proof of H3. Click image for a larger version.

ET half-size proof sheet of above 100 miles.
Langmead and Huggins say that two plate proof sheets of these are known, one of which is quartered.
I suspect they did not know about this one courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Because of the size and mounting, some problems were experienced scanning this. It was done in two scans that were then joined.
Some parts are also slightly out of focus. Click on the image to get it full-size in another window.

It has to be said, that the affects of toning etc. over the years sometimes make paper colours difficult to judge.


On 21st June 1854 the company ordered that the values should be given instead of distances.
This was done by modifying the plates and inserting the values 1s, 2s and 2s6d respectively.

 

 

Second series, January 1855.

Coloured laid paper in sheets of 4 x 4 stamps. Hiscocks says no watermark L&H say watermarked 'T.H.SAUNDERS' in open-face capitals (probably in a corner).

These were made from the first series by removing the distances from the plates and inserting the values in their place.
The 'Under 50 miles' (plate 1), 'Under 100 miles' and 'Above 100 miles' were converted to the 1s, 2s and 2s6d values (I am not sure if it is known which converted to what).
The 1s was later coverted to 3s and the 2s6d was converted to 1s6d.
New plates were made for the 3d and 4s, and the 'Under 50 miles' (plate 2) was later converted to a new 1s.

Electric Telegraph Company 3d Proof. Electric Telegraph Company 1s6d Proof. Electric Telegraph Company 2s Proof. Electric Telegraph Company 4s Proof.
Proof of 3d Hiscocks ET4a black on pale yellow. Proof of 1s6d Hiscocks ET8a black on pink. Proof of 2s Hiscocks ET9a black on green. Proof of 4s Hiscocks ET13a black on white.
Proofs of the 3d, 1s6d, 2s and 4s - courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

Some with serial numbers.

Electric Telegraph Company 1s. 16249 Electric Telegraph Company 1s. H7. 14636 Electric Telegraph Company 2s. A15698 Electric Telegraph Company 4s. 12216
1s Hiscocks H6 black on buff (plate 2) 1s Hiscocks H7 black on pink (plate 1) 2s. Hiscocks H10 black on blue-green 4s used example. Hiscocks H13 black on white
Serialised 1s plates 1 and 2 (difference shown below), 2s and 4s - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.  - click image for a larger version.

 

Imperf.

Hiscocks(1982) lists the following, Dates from Raymond Lister(1961), Rarity-guide taken from L&H(2003):

RH # Hisc. Second series Description Rarity Mint Used
RH4 H4 3d Black on pale yellow (Sept. 1857) R4 400.00 -
RH4a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.   200.00 -
* H5 1s Black on yellow brown (Plate 1, Nov. 1854) *    
RH6 H6 1s Black on buff (Plate 2, Nov. 1857) R4 300.00 -
RH6a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.   200.00 -
RH7 H7 1s Black on pink (Plate 1, 1855) Unknown 1200.00 1000.00
RH8 H8 1s6d Black on pink (Sept. 1855, made from 1s plate 1) R4 600.00 -
RH8a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number. Unrecorded 400.00 -
RH9 H9 2s Black on green (1855) Unknown - -
RH9a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.   400.00 -
RH10 H10 2s Black on blue-green (Feb. 1858?) R4 500.00 -
RH10a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.   - -
RH11 H11 2s6d Black on blue (1855) Unknown - -
RH12 H12 3s Black on bright blue (Sept. 1856) Unknown - -
RH13 H13 4s Black on white (April 1856) R4 500.00 500.00
RH13a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.       **   350.00 -

Look here for an explanation of the table.
** for 4s imperf with control number at top right-hand corner see H21 below.

* H5 seems to have been the result of a misunderstanding. Lister uses the same illustration for H1, H2, H3, H5 and H6.
The 1854 printing was H1.

H1, H2 and H3 plates were used to produce H7, H9 and H11 (Jan '55). In August '55, H7 (1s) was modified to 3s (H12) and a new plate was made for the 1s (H6)
Also in August '55, H11 (2s6d) was modified to 1s6d (H8) and a new plate was made for the 4s (H13). A new plate was made for the 3d in July '57.
Unfortunately due to all these modifications, Hiscocks list is not chronological.

 

Some more examples.

Electric Telegraph Company 1s. 8746 Electric Telegraph Company 1s. 10256 Electric Telegraph Company 1s. 16250
1s. Hiscocks H6 black on yellow-brown (or buff L & H) - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.  - click image for a larger version.

 

One Shilling Plate 1 and 2 difference:

Langmead & Huggins say that over 30 stamps are known from the 1s plate 2 (H6).  
They list the following control numbers:
8746, 10252, 10254, 16245-16275 and 21025.
I have seen a (poor) image of 10254 and it is bottom-marginal.

10256 shown above should be added to this list.

The used example shown on the right was sold by
Grosvenor Auctions described as black on pink (Hiscocks H7).
The scan, courtesy of Steve Lawrie, shows that it is indeed different in more than just the colour.

There are 16 stamps (4 x 4) in each sheet and there is
some variation between these, but they are all from the same die.
1s variations - 8746. 1s variations - 10256 1s variations - 14636 1s variations - 16249 1s variations - 16250
1s-8746 1s-10256 1s-14636 1s-16249 1s-16250
Closeups of the end of "Shilling" on the 1s stamps shown.
Which is the odd one out?

14636 is clearly from a different die.
This is a way to distinguish between H6(plate 2) and H7(plate 1)
without relying on colour.

There are probably other differences, but this is the first I have noticed.
It is the only example that I have seen of H7.
Electric Telegraph Company 1s. H7. 14636
1s. Plate 1, Hiscocks H7 black on pink - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

 

Fading.

Stamps from this period printed on coloured paper, often look very different today.
The affects of environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, UV and atmospheric polutants) over
long periods of time has bleached and/or discoloured many of them. Different pigments may suffer more than others so that paper
with a mixture of pigments may change colour over time.

 

July 1860.

Perforated by Perkins, Bacon using a machine from James Griffiths
The 23-inch row of pins was un-evenly spaced, giving a variable gauge of 14 to 16½ according to Hiscocks and Lister, 14 to 15½ according to L&H

Philbrick & Westoby (1881) give the size of these as 52 by 67 mm (I was surprised to see mm used).
Walter Morley (The Fiscal Philatelist March 1893 says

"This is given as imperforate, but Mr. Fred. Geo. C. Lundy has unearthed a Three pence, black on light yellow paper, with the perforation 17. In respect to perforation, this stamp is a curiosity, as no other English stamps (either Postage, Telegraph or Fiscal) exist with one so small. The copy is in Mr. Philbrick's possession, but whether this value only was perforated by Messrs. Perkins, Bacon & Co. (or by other hands) or the entire six values; or whether the printers only used a sheet or two as trials of the gauge 17, I am unable to say. At least one sheet must have been perforated, because the original owner had three together, which he found in his desk, and which had originally been bought while the stamps were in circulation. The other two are still in his possession."

Langmead and Huggins say these were controls 56280, 56281 and 58354 with 58354 being in the Royal Philatelic Collection.
They illustrate 56280, and it appears to be life-size judging by the measurements (52 x (nearly)67 mm or 2 1/16 x 2 5/8 inches.
I make it about Perf.15½

Here are the 3d controls 56280 and 56281 (H14), together with a 4/- control A91920 (H20).

Electric Telegraph Company perforated 3d - 56280 Electric Telegraph Company perforated 3d - 56281 Electric Telegraph Company perforated 4s - A91920
3d. Hiscocks H14 control 56280 3d. Hiscocks H14 control 56281 4s. Hiscocks H20 control A91920
From Langmead & Huggins' book (Fig.5),
courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society
These were part of the A.J.Lowe collection sold by Phillips on 2 November 1990.
Black and white image courtesy of Phillips, Son & Neale.

 

Perforated.


RH # Hisc. Desc. Rarity Mint Used
RH14 H14 3d Black on pale yellow (July 1860) R5 1000.00 -
RH15 H15 1s Black on yellow brown Unknown - -
RH16 H16 1s6d Black on pink (Aug. 1860) R5 - -
RH16a     '   '   '   Imperf, control number top-right *   - -
RH17 H17 2s Black on dull blue (July 1860) R5 - -
RH18 H18 2s Black on green. R5 - -
RH19 H19 3s Black on bright blue. Unknown - -
RH20 H20 4s Black on white (Aug. 1860) R5 1000.00 -
RH21 H21   '   '   '   Imperf, control number top-right * Mentioned
But unlisted
1000.00 -

* Lister says his type '11' is found like this. His type 11 is the 1s6d value.
He does not mention the 4s value like this.
I suspect the '11' is a typo for '13' which would have been the 4s shown to the right.
This was described as:
"imperforate from the perforated period due to a breakdown in the perforating machine."
Click image for a larger version.

H21 4s
* 4s. Hiscocks H21 courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

Waterlow and Sons printings.

RG   /   JSF     1861 - 1864

Electric Telegraph Company 10s Drawing.
This image from Langmead & Huggins' book (colour plate 1), is described as a Die proof but would appear to be an artists drawing of the 10/- stamp.
This is recorded by Raymond Lister in his 1961 book where it was valued at £50.
Image courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.

These were issued 1861 to 1864 with the initials 'R.G.' (Robert Grimston - Chairman) and 'J.S.F.' (James Sealy Foudrinier - Secretary).
These were initially Perf.12 but changed to Perf.12½ in 1863. They were in sheets of 10 rows of 10 stamps.

Langmead & Huggins say "The highest serial numbers recorded for the RG/JSF issues are: 1s 64969; 1s6d 67804; 3s 23149."
I think their figure for the 1s must have a digit missing, 231352 is shown lower down, and 1s6d 67836. I have also seen 3s 37729.

Electric Telegraph Company 3d. Electric Telegraph Company 6d. Electric Telegraph Company 1s. Electric Telegraph Company 1s.
3d. Perf.12 Hiscocks H22 6d Perf.12½ Hiscocks H33 1s. Perf.12 Hiscocks H24 1s. Perf.12½ (white tablet) Hiscocks H34
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 1s6d. Electric Telegraph Company 2s. Electric Telegraph Company 2s6d. Electric Telegraph Company 3s.
1s6d. Perf.12 Hiscocks H25 2s. Perf.12 Hiscocks H26 2s6d. Perf.12½ Hiscocks H37 3s. Perf.12 Hiscocks H28
Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

4s Column 3 Electric Telegraph Company 4s. Electric Telegraph Company 5s. Electric Telegraph Company 10s.
4s. (black control tablet) - Hiscocks H29 4s. Perf.12½ Hiscocks H39 5s. Perf. 12 Hiscocks H31 dated 28/3/63 10s. Perf.12½ Hiscocks H41
Image courtesy of Martien Blank. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Anonymous.

I have only seen two of the 10s, both from the same row of the same sheet, 3982 and 3986.
Both display flaws but they do not match.

 

RG/JSF

Perf.12Perf.12½
RH # Hisc. Desc. Rarity Mint Used
RH22 H22 3d Ochre (plate 1) R2 50.00 45.00
RH22a H22   '   '   '   plate 2 - 150.00 135.00
RH23 H23 6d Scarlet (reported) Unlisted - -
RH24 H24 1s Orange (plate 1) R1 45.00 40.00
RH24a H24   '   '   '   plate 2 - 150.00 135.00
RH24b H24   '   '   '   plate 3a - 45.00 40.00
RH24c -   '   '   '   plate 3a, imperf, no serial. - 25.00 -
RH25 H25 1s6d Rose R3 45.00 40.00
RH25a -   '   '   '   imperf, no serial. - 100.00 -
RH26 H26 2s Green (plate 1) R2 45.00 40.00
RH26a -   '   '   '   plate 1, imperf, no serial. - 30.00 -
RH27 H27 2s6d Brown R3 80.00 70.00
RH28 H28 3s Blue R2 35.00 30.00
RH29 H29 4s Black (plate 1a) R3 100.00 90.00
RH30 H30 4s Black (White tablet, plate 1b) R3 80.00 70.00
RH31 H31 5s Purple (White tablet) R3 150.00 135.00
RH # Hisc. Desc. Rarity Mint Used
RH32 H32 3d Ochre (plate 2) R3 60.00 55.00
RH33 H33 6d Scarlet (plate 1) R4 70.00 60.00
RH34 H34 1s Orange (White tablet, plate 3b) R2 65.00 58.00
RH34a H34a As above with letter A in serial (plate 3c) R3 50.00 45.00
RH35 H35 1s6d Rose R3 90.00 80.00
RH36 H36 2s Green (plate 1) R3 150.00 135.00
RH36a H36   '   '   '   plate 2 - 150.00 135.00
RH37 H37 2s6d Brown R3 150.00 135.00
RH38 H38 3s Blue R2 65.00 58.00
RH39 H39 4s Black (White tablet, plate 1b) R2 75.00 67.00
RH40 H40 5s Purple (White tablet) R3 200.00 180.00
RH41 H41 10s Purple-brown. R3 130.00 120.00
RH41a -   '   '   '   imperf, no serial. - 200.00 -
.
.
.
.

Used prices are for pen cancels, hand-stamp cancels are worth a premium over mint.

 

Proofs:

Electric Telegraph Company Proof.

Electric Telegraph strange items.


A die proof and a couple of strange items - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 1s. Electric Telegraph Company 1s6d. Electric Telegraph Company 2s. Electric Telegraph Company 2s.
1s. Imperf of H24
Plate 3a (see below)
.
1s6d. Imperf of H25.
- Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
2s. Imperf of H26
Plate 1 (see below)
.
2s. Imperf of H26 plate 1.
sewing-machine? Pin-Perf ?
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Electric Telegraph Company 1s.

Raymond Lister also reports the 1s imperforate without control also being known
postally used on registered covers cancelled in Liverpool on 24th May 1882.

This example is dated 16th December 1881. They are presumably cancelled by
favour like the Totton examples, since they certainly were never valid for postage.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
_
Langmead and Huggins say the imperforate stamps without controls exist with values of 1s, 1.6d and 2s and 'are probably of proof status.'
He does not however list them in the Rarity Guide as he does the Bonelli 6d.
I would suggest listing them as R1 (over 100 copies exist).
Raymond Lister (1961) describes these as remainders, so what is the evidence either way ?


So are they proofs or remainders?

For most of the GB Private Telegraph Companies, the remainders were what was left over when the companies were taken over
by the Post Office. When the Electric Telegraph Co. was taken over, it was very unwelcome.
The company had put a lot of work and investment into gaining dominance and was set to reap the rewards.

When it happened, the directors ordered that the whole of the papers of the company should be destroyed.
This presumably included the remainders since there are no known remainders, or proofs of the later RG/HW stamps.
To have avoided this destruction, either someone defied the directors, or they were already out of the company.

The stamps existing imperforate, without control that I have seen are 1s, plate 3a, 18d of the only plate known and 2s plate 1.
There are later plates of the 1s and 2s at least, and earlier plates of the 1s, so apparently not stamps leftover from the switch from JSF to HW.

The most likely source of these would seem to be the printers, Waterlow and Sons, who presumably had at least reference samples for colours,
and likely archives of proofs. Remainders though would seem to be the wrong description.

It is possible that other plates and perhaps even values also exist imperforate without controls.
I would certainly like to hear of any.

 

These stamps were printed by Waterlow who also printed stamps for
Bonelli's Electric Telegraph Company Limited and
The Universal Private Telegraph Company.

On those stamps, flaws were repeated every 5 stamps.
Dr Mark Gibson offered to help with checking for the same pattern on these.

The results have been interesting and not at all what I expected.
Many blemishes are not constant, but the few repeated ones show a different patterns for at least some of them.

In doing this I am assuming the last digit of the controls run from 1 to 0 as the others.
I have not found anything to contradict this, but blocks that might confirm it are scarce.
The blocks owned by Steve Lawrie certainly support it.

 

Shortcuts to different RG / JSF value details
3d 6d 1s 1s6d 2s 2s6d 3s 4s

 

RG / JSF   3d Ochre. (at least 2 plates)

There seems to be two fundamentally different types of these, with the earliest having a flaw to the left of the 'Terms & Conditions'.

3d with flaw 3d without flaw
I have seen this on controls
in the range 2126 to 55062.
I have seen these on controls
in the range 77077 to 186163.
Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

With flaw - plate 1 (perf.12).

Lowest seen 2126, highest seen 55062

3d Column 1 3d Column 2 3d Column 3 3d Column 4 3d Column 5
3d Column 1. 3d Column 2. 3d Column 3. 3d Column 4. 3d Column 5.
  Image courtesy of Martien Blank.   Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

3d Column 6 3d Column 7 3d Column 8 3d Column 9 3d Column 0
3d Column 6. 3d Column 7. - Scan needed. 3d Column 8. - Scan needed. 3d Column 9. 3d Column 0.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.     Courtesy of ibredguy.co.uk and Mark Talbot. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

3d Column 6  3d Column 6
These two present a problem though, they are both column 6, but they are different.
One has a malformed frame above the 'A' of 'STAMP', the other has it above the 'T'.
Possibly mis-numbering, perhaps an indication of another similar plate, or perhaps these are not constant flaws.

 

Without flaw - plate 2 (perf.12 switching to 12½ somewhere between 80183 and 90968).

Lowest seen 77077, highest seen 186163. Above about 100,000 the controls are larger.

3d Column 1 3d Column 2 3d Column 3 3d Column 4 3d Column 5
3d Column 1. 3d Column 2. 3d Column 3. 3d Column 4. - Scan needed. 3d Column 5. - Scan needed.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.   Anonymous - The marked flaws
are also on 186163, 100636 and 184469.
   

 

3d Column 6 3d Column 7 3d Column 8 3d Column 9 3d Column 0
3d Column 6 - similar to column-3. 3d Column 7. 3d Column 8. 3d Column 9. 3d Column 0 - Scan needed.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.  

Columns 3, 6 and 9 have common flaws.

 

 

RG / JSF   6d Scarlet (perf.12½).

Lowest control number seen 1050, highest 48751.

3d Column 9
Columns 0, 1 and 3 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

At the moment this is all the scans I have, but it forms the basis for comparisons.

 

 

RG / JSF   1s Orange - plate 1 (perf.12).

These all have a blemish right of '61' at bottom right corner. Lowest control number seen 803, highest 78531.

1s Column 1 1s Column 2 1s Column 3 1s Column 4 1s Column 5
1s Column 1.
Blemish right of '61' at bottom right corner.
1s Column 2.
1s Column 3. 1s Column 4. 1s Column 5.
Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

1s Column 1 1s Column 1 1s Column 1 1s Column 1 1s Column 0
1s Column 6. 1s Column 7. 1s Column 8. 1s Column 9. 1s Column 0.
Scan needed. Scan needed. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Scan needed. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

RG / JSF   1s Orange - plate 2 (perf.12).

This perhaps seems a bit tenuous based on one stamp, but it doesn't match the earlier or the later ones.
It is the only example I have seen between control numbers 78531 and 117181.

1s Plate 1, Column 1 1s Plate 2, Column 7 1s Plate 3, Column 7
Plate 1 characteristics - (lowest seen 803, highest seen 78531) Plate 2. Plate 3 characteristics - (lowest seen 117181)
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

RG / JSF   1s Orange - plate 3a (perf.12).

Lowest seen 117181, highest seen 184958

1s Column 1 1s Column 2 1s Column 3 1s Column 4 1s Column 5
1s Column 1.
Frame-break left of 'SHILLING'.
1s Column 2.
Characteristic frame-breaks and weal corners.
1s Column 3.
Multiple frame breaks below 'SHILLING'.
1s Column4.
Like column 1.
1s Column 5, Scan needed.
Courtesy of Martien Blank. Anonymous. Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Anonymous.

 

1s Column 6 1s Column 7 1s Column 8 1s Column 9 1s Column 0
1s Column 6, like column 3.
This also has a new style large control number.
1s Column 7.
Like column 1.
1s Column 8, like column 2.
Large control number.
1s Column 9, Scan needed. 1s Column 0, Scan needed.
Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Note that 131868 and 183446 above (and also 184958) have larger control numbers, stamped with a different machine having taller digits.
The '4' is characteristic.

 

RG / JSF   1s Orange - plate 3b (perf.12½). Control Tablet cleared to white, 'No.' moved to left.

Lowest seen 139886, highest seen 286558 (this overlaps with Plate 3a numbers).

1s Column 1 1s Column 2 1s Column 2 1s Column 6 1s Column 8
1s Column 1. 1s Column 2, 'SHILLING' has a frame-break
underneath 'S', and 2nd 'I' with 'dent' in top.
Corner-breaks.
1s Column 2,
Characteristics repeated.
1s Column 6. 1s Column 8, like column 2.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

RG / JSF   1s Orange - plate 3c (perf.12½), letter 'A' inserted at the end (H34a).

Lowest seen 11619A, highest seen 127268A.

1s Column 2 1s Column 2 1s Column 2
1s Column 1. This looks very much like Plate 3a. 1s Column 2. This looks like Plate 3b. 1s Columns 3-6 and 0 needed.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

1s Column 2 1s Column 2 1s Column 2
1s Column 7 - same characteristics as Column 1. 1s Column 8 - corner-breaks like Column 2. 1s Column 9 - matches columns 3 and 6 of Plate 3a.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Interestingly columns 1 and 7 have a taller 'A' after the serial number than the other examples so far seen.

The pattern of flaws on Plate 3a/b/c is consistent with the pattern I arrive at for the RG/JSF issue, see below.
I am not sure about plates 1 or 2 yet.

 

 

RG / JSF   1s6d Rose (perf.12 switching to 12½ somewhere between 109407 and 140514).

I have seen control numbers in the range 4542 to 175069

18d Column 1 18d Column 2 18d Column 3 18d Column 4 18d Column 5
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Scan needed. Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

18d Column 6 18d Column 7 18d Column 8 18d Column 9 18d Column 0
Column 6 Column 7 Column 8 Column 9 Column 0
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

18d block of 4 18d Column 9
Block of 4 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Column 9, 4 examples showing common flaws - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

The only flaws I have seen so far are on all stamps or are non-constant. Some are probably once in a sheet.

 

 

RG / JSF   2s Green - plate 1 (perf.12 switching to 12½ somewhere between 85693 and 93797).

These all have tharacteristics in common:

1) Scratches on the 'A' of 'TELEGRAPH'.
2) Frame weakness above 'T' of 'TWO'.
3) Mark on frame-line above 'o' of 'only'.

I have seen control numbers from this plate in the range 2889 to 65083 plus 85693 and 93797 shown below, used at Roches Point.
Control number 131801 is from a different plate.

2s Column 1 2s Column 2 2s Column 3 2s Column 4 2s Column 5
2s Column 1.
showing characteristic flaws of the plate.
2s Column 2, 'A' of 'TELEGRAPH'
has more scratches.
2s Column 3. 2s Column 4. 2s Column 5.
Image courtesy of Martien Blank. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Need Scan. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

2s Column 6 2s Column 7 2s Column 8 2s Column 9 2s Column 0
2s Column 6. 2s Column 7. 2s Column 8. 2s Column 9. 2s Column 0.
Need Scan. Courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer. Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

RG / JSF   2s Green - plate 2 (perf.12½).

I have seen only 1 example so far, control 131801
The lowest number I have seen for the following RG/HW type is 175437. It is possible that the numbering followed on from these.

2s Plate 2

Plate comparison:

2s Column 1 2s Plate 2
2s Plate 1 (Column 1).
showing characteristic flaws of the plate.
2s Plate 2 (Column 1).
showing possible characteristic flaws.
Image courtesy of Martien Blank. Courtesy of ibredguy.co.uk.

 

Obviously more examples from this plate are needed.

 

 

RG / JSF   2s 6d Brown (perf.12 switching to 12½ somewhere between 3095 and 34240).

I have seen control numbers in the range 2669 to 79418.

2s6d Column 1 2s6d Column 2 2s6d Column 3 2s6d Column 4 2s6d Column 5
2s 6d Column 1. 2s 6d Column 2. 2s 6d Column 3. 2s 6d Column 4. 2s 6d Column 5.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Martien Blank. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Scan needed. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

2s6d Column 6 2s6d Column 7 2s6d Column 8 2s6d Column 9 2s6d Column 0
2s 6d Column 6. 2s 6d Column 7. 2s 6d Column 8. 2s 6d Column 9. 2s 6d Column 0.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Scan needed. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Columns 3, 6 and 9 appear to have a flaw in common.
That may indicate the same pattern as some of the others.

 

 

RG / JSF   3s Blue (perf.12 switching to 12½ somewhere between 24898 and 53713).

I have seen control numbers in the range 3071 to 53713.

3s Column 1 3s Column 2 3s Column 3 3s Column 4 3s Column 5
3s Column 1.
3s Column 2.
3s Column 3.
3s Column 4. 3s Column 5.
Courtesy of Martien Blank. Courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer. One of mine. Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
 
3d Column 6 3d Column 7 3d Column 8 3d Column 9 3d Column 0
3d Column 6.
3d Column 7.
3d Column 8. 3d Column 9. 3d Column 0.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Anonymous Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

Image Courtesy of ibredguy.co.uk Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
3s Column 2 3s Column 2 3s Column 2 3s Column 2
These two are from the same sheet position in different sheets.
The Magenta-ringed marks are common (more or less) to all the 3s stamps.
The Green-ringed marks are common to the two '32's.
These two are from the same column but different rows. They are clearly different.

 

Courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer. Anonymous. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.
3s Column 4 3s Column 4 3d Column 9 3d Column 9 3d Column 9
These two from column-4, have nothing in common that I can see
other than the normal 3s characteristics.
The first two are from the same position on consecutive sheets. The third, while also from column-9, has little in common
other than the normal 3s characteristics.
I see a miniscule dot at the top, but it looks like this is faintly on others too.

All the blemishes and flaws I have found so far seem to be 'one-offs', general characteristic of all the 3s stamps or on all stamps of the same sheet position.

 

 

RG / JSF   4s Black (perf.12 switching to 12½ somewhere between 86523 and 90526).

I have seen control numbers in the range:
Patterned control (plate 1a) 10492 to 10493.
    Cleared  control (plate 1b) 20458 to 102251.

4s Column 1 4s Column 2 4s Column 3 4s Column 4 4s Column 5
Column 1. Column 2. Column 3. Column 4. Column 5.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Scan needed. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

4s Column 6 4s Column 7 4s Column 8 4s Column 9 4s Column 0
Column 6. Column 7. Column 8. Column 9. Column 0.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Scan needed. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Scan needed.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 4s (black tablet). 4s Column 3 4s Column 1 4s Column 5
There are a few plate flaws that seem to be present on all of these (with one exception - 20458 missing the top-right flaw).
These need to be ignored when looking for flaws common to a particular column.

The two stamps on the left show some of the same flaws, but it looks like a few were gained when the control background was cleared.

10493 is courtesy of Martien Blank. The other 3 are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

 

RG   /   HW     1864 - 1870

In 1864 Henry Weaver became the secretary and the initials were changed to 'R.G.' and 'H.W.' accordingly.
Initially Perf.12½ still, then in 1866 the perforations were changed again to Perf.10
Hiscocks lists Perf.11½ also for the 6d and 1s as H53 and H54. L&H does not list these.

Langmead & Huggins say "The highest serial numbers recorded for the RG/HW issues are: 6d 269885; 1s 707907."

3d Perf.12½   Hiscocks H32 6d Perf.12½   Hiscocks H43 1s Perf.12½   Hiscocks H34 1s6d Perf.10   Hiscocks H50
Electric Telegraph Company 3d. Electric Telegraph Company 1s. Electric Telegraph Company 1s. Electric Telegraph Company 1s6d.
Electric Telegraph Company 3d.
Part of the 'Waterlow' imprint at the bottom (courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson).
1s Perf.12½   Hiscocks H34 1s6d Perf.10   Hiscocks H50
Compare the colour to the one below.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 3d. Electric Telegraph Company 6d. Electric Telegraph Company 1s.
3d. Perf.10 Hiscocks H47 6d. Perf.10 Hiscocks H48 1s. Perf.10 Hiscocks H49
Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 1s6d. Electric Telegraph Company 2s. Electric Telegraph Company 3s.
1s6d. Perf.10 Hiscocks H50 2s. Perf.10 Hiscocks H51 3s. Perf.10 Hiscocks H52
Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

RG/HW
Description
Perf.12½ Perf.10 Perf.11½
RH # Hisc. Rarity Mint Used RH # Hisc. Rarity Mint Used RH # Hisc. Rarity Mint Used
3d Buff RH42 H42 R1 30.00 50.00 RH47 H47 R2 40.00 60.00          
6d Scarlet RH43 H43 R1 25.00 50.00 RH48 H48 R2 50.00 60.00 RH53 H53 Unlisted 100.00 -
1s Orange RH44 H44 R2 30.00 50.00 RH49 H49 R1 40.00 60.00 RH54 H54 Unlisted 100.00 -
1s6d Rose RH45 H45 R1 50.00 - RH50 H50 R2 65.00 -          
2s Green. RH46 H46 R1 65.00 - RH51 H51 R2 70.00 -          
3s Blue           RH52 H52 R2 70.00 -          

Used prices for stamps cancelled as shown below.
Hiscocks lists (unpriced) a H44a with the description "as for No. 34(a) but with 'A' partially removed" !
This makes no sense as it implies that the RG/HW 1s was produced from the RG/JSF 1s Plate 3c, but it was not, the flaws are different.
Similarly it was not produced from RG/JSF 1s plate 1 or 2 either (yes, I did check).
Perhaps the report comes from a stamp with marks in that area?

 

RG/HW
Description
Perf.  12½ x 11½
RH # Hisc. Rarity Mint Used
1s6d Rose. RH45a H45a Unlisted - -

Anyone have a scan of this?

Walter Morley writing in the Fiscal Philatelist, March 1893, Acknowledges the Perf 10 and 12½ but not 11½ or 12½ x 11½.
He does however also list the following:

Perf. 9½3d, 6d, 1s, 2s
Perf. 10½6d, 2s
Perf. 121s
Perf. 131s

Clearly some differences of opinion here!
I think perhaps it was caused by the perforations still being rather unevenly spaced and, coupled with conversion to the nearest ½.
It is also possible there may be some scarce perforation varieties unrecognised in collections.
You might want to check yours.

 

Shortcuts to different RG / HW value details
3d 6d 1s 1s6d 2s

 

RG / HW   3d Ochre (perf.12½ phasing over to 10 between 329905 and 352229).

I have seen control numbers in the range 195945 to 384848.
242235 perf.12½
277701 perf.10
282905 perf.10
301656 perf.12½
317689 perf.12½
325570 perf.12½
329905 perf.12½
352229 perf.10
371038 perf.10

3d Column 1 3d Column 2 3d Column 3 3d Column 4 3d Column 5
3d Column 1,
3d Column 2,
3d Column 3
3d Column 4, 3d Column 5,
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.
 
3d Column 6 3d Column 7 3d Column 8 3d Column 9 3d Column 0
3d Column 6,
3d Column 7,
3d Column 8, 3d Column 9, 3d Column 0,
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Scan needed. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

Columns 1, 4 and 0 have shared characteristics and
Columns 2, 5 and 8 have shared characteristics.
Columns 3, 6 and 9 have shared characteristics.

  Columns 1, 4 and 0 Columns 2, 5 and 8 Columns 3, 6 and 9  
  1) Mark across left limb of the 'T' in 'TELEGRAPH'.
2) The left leg of the 'R' in 'THREE' is distorted.
3) Frame-breaks under first 'E' in 'THREE' .
1) The bottom left corner of 'T' in 'TELEGRAPH' is shaded.
2) 3 frame-breaks under 'THR' in 'THREE' .
3) Frame-break above 'S' in 'STAMP' .
1) White triangle in value tablet.
2) Frame-breaks under value.
 
  3d Column 1 3d Column 8 3d Column 3  
  Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.  

 

 

RG / HW   6d Scarlet (perf.12½ switching to 10 between 319497 and 334804).

I have seen control numbers in the range 58526 to 346450.

6d Column 1 6d Column 2 6d Column 3 6d Column 4 6d Column 5
6d Column 1,
6d Column 2,
6d Column 3
6d Column 4, 6d Column 5,
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.
 
Electric Telegraph Company 1s. 6d Column 7 6d Column 8 6d Column 9 6d Column 0
6d Column 6, (slightly different shade to it's neighbour on the right !)
6d Column 7,
6d Column 8, 6d Column 9, 6d Column 0,
Anonymous. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

Here I have found a pattern that :
Columns 1, 4, 7 and 0 have shared characteristics,
Columns 2, 5 and 8 have shared characteristics and
Columns 3, 6 and 9 have shared characteristics.
  Columns 1, 4, 7, 0 Columns 2, 5 and 8 Columns 3, 6 and 9  
  1) Frame break above first 'E' of 'TELEGRAPH'.
2) Frame break above left of 'A' in 'TELEGRAPH'.
3) Frame break below 'G' in 'TELEGRAPH'.
4) Frame weak above '1' of '18' bottom left.
5) 'Intrusion' under 'd' of 'printed'
1) Frame break above 'NC' of 'PENCE'.
2) Small frame break below 'P' of 'PENCE'.
1) Diagonal line through first 'E' of 'TELEGRAPH'.
2) Frame break below right of 2nd 'E' of 'PENCE'.
 
  6d Column 7 6d Column 5 6d Column 9  
Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 1s.
This block of 6d courtesy of Steve Lawrie shows the constant flaws on columns 1, 2 and 3, as above
with an additional broken 'I' on column 1.

6d Column 4   6d Column 4   6d Column 4
To add a bit of complication, here are three from column-4, two have the broken 'I'.
It can be seen also on 121341 and 121351 above, but is not on 228350, 272541, 300517, 300520, 334804or 346450.
The only explanation I can think of is that the flaw was noticed and the plate repaired somewhere between 121354 and 228350.

 

6d Column 4   Electric Telegraph Company 1s.
60436 courtesy of victoire1 on ebay,
together with a much later one also from column-6 showing the same flaws.

 

 

RG / HW   1s Orange.

I have seen control numbers in the range 54281 to 941899
The 3d and 6d stamps did not reach the end of the counter. The sequence shows that perf.12½ came first, followed by perf.10

For the 1/- the counter reached the end for perf.12½ resulting in perf.10 with low numbers. The counter may have reached the end for perf.10 also.

There are also perf.11½ stamps, listed by Hiscocks (following Lister) but not listed by Langmead & Huggins.

Perforations:
12½ 312445
to
941899
10

54281
54297
124424
756967
780455

11½ 87369

 

1s Column 1 1s Column 2 1s Column 3 1s Column 4 1s Column 5
1s Column 1   (perf.10)
1s Column 2   (perf.12½)
1s Column 3   (perf.12½)
1s Column 4   (perf.10) 1s Column 5   (perf.10)
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Anonymous. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.
 
1s Column 6 1s Column 7 1s Column 8 1s Column 9 1s Column 0
1s Column 6   (perf.12½) 1s Column 7   (perf.10) 1s Column 8   (perf.12½) 1s Column 9   (perf.12½) 1s Column 0   (perf.12½)
Image courtesy of victoire1 on ebay. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. One of mine. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

Here there are similar patterns:

Columns 1, 4, 7 and 0 have shared characteristics and
Columns 2, 5 and 8 have shared characteristics.
Columns 3, 6 and 9 have shared characteristics.

Columns 1, 4, 7, 0 Columns 2, 5, 8 Column 3, 6 and 9  
1) The top point of 'G' in 'SHILLING' is cracked.
2) A 'tail' hangs from the right of the 'A' in 'TELEGRAPH'.
3) Frame-break below-left 'S' in 'SHILLING'.
4) Frame-break below first 'I' in 'SHILLING'.
5) Frame-break below 'o' in 'No' of control tablet.
6) Extra dot above 'i' of 'Electric'.
1) The top point of 'G' in 'SHILLING' is broken off.
2) Protrusion inward from frame left of 'N' of 'No' in control.
3) Protrusion outside stamp below '18' in bottom left corner .
4) Frame damage under 'S' and 'G' in 'SHILLING'.
1) The top point of 'G' in 'SHILLING' is intact.
2) Protrusion inward from frame left of 'N' of 'No' in control.
Shown for a comparison of perforations,
being the only scan I have of perf. 11½.

But notice also,
this is a column 2/8 stamp, not column 9 !!!
1s Column 7 1s Column 2 1s Column 3 1s Column 3
Perf. 10 Perf. 12½ Perf. 12½ Perf. 11½
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

1s No. 54297
I have found one inconsistency. This has the flaws I would expect to see on 54298.
I have found mis-numbering examples with other companies, so I presume that this is also mis-numbered.
It would be interesting to see other stamps from this sheet.

 

 

 

From all this, I suspect the following pattern of flaws among the 10 stamps of each row of RG / HW:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

For the 3d, 6d and 1s at least. It also looks the same as the pattern used for the RG/JSF 1s Plate 3a/b/c stamps.

 

As yet, I do not have many scans of the RG/HW higher values.

RG / HW   1s6d Rose (perf.12½ and 10)

Assuming these were also perforated with 12½ first followed by perf.10 then the perf.12½ must have reached the end of the counter
since the only scan of perf.10 I have has a lower number than the perf.12½ stamps.
Hiscocks also lists a Perf.12½ x 11½ type, but I have scans of only the three stamps below.

RG/HW 1s6d. RG/HW 1s6d. 2 RG/HW 1s6d. 9
Perf.10   courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Perf.12½   courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Perf.12½   courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

The two column-2 stamps appear to have some shared flaws that are not on the column-9 stamp.

 

RG / HW   2s Green (perf.12½ and 10)

Assuming these were also perforated with 12½ first followed by perf.10 then the perf.12½ must have reached the end of the counter
since the only scan of perf.10 I have has a lower number than the perf.12½ stamp.

RG/HW 1s6d. RG/HW 2s. 0
Perf.10   courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Perf.12½   courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Obviously, more scans are needed.

 

 

These scans have virtually all been supplied by Dr Mark Gibson and Steve Lawrie.
Can anyone help fill in any of the gaps ?

Somewhere between the first and the last Electric Telegraph Co. stamps,
Waterlow produced the stamps for the Bonelli's and Universal Private Telegraph Co.
They were done with a different pattern to what we have seen so far with the Electric Telegraph Co.

However I have not analyzed all of them yet:
1) The 10s Purple-brown is only known Perf.12½ so was presumably prepared after the other RG/JSF plates.
2) The RG/HW 3s blue is not known Perf.12½ so was presumably prepared after the other RG/HW plates.    

 

 

 

 

Continental Service     1861 - 1870

Electric Telegraph Company Continental Service Proofs.
Die Proof of Continental Service Stamps, Hiscocks H58
Courtesy Grosvenor Auctions. (ex. A.J.Lowe collection)

 

Two types in alternate columns.

Electric Telegraph Company Continental Service. Electric Telegraph Company Continental Service.
Plate Proof of Continental Service Stamps, Hiscocks H58. Another plate Proof of Continental Service Stamps, Hiscocks H58
Note the line through the 'T' of 'EIGHT'.
Image courtesy of Martien Blank. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

Electric Telegraph Company Continental Service block of 4
This block of 4 proofs shows the line through the 'T' of 'EIGHT' on one column.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Perf. 12 x 12½ Controls in black.

RH # Hisc. Desc. Rarity Mint Used
RH55 H55 3d Black. R5 - -
RH55a H55a         with vertical centre band R5 - -
RH56 H56 1s6d Black ? Unknown - -
RH56a H56a         with vertical centre band Unknown - -
RH57 H57 4s Blue Unknown - -
RH57a H57a         with vertical centre band Unknown - -
RH58 H58 8s Black. R5 - -
RH58a H58a         with vertical centre band R5 - -

Hiscocks also lists these overprinted with a vertical Bar (3d) and 4 Bars (8s) and gives them an 'a' suffix.   H55a 25.00 / 25.00,   H58a 50.00 / 50.00
These stamps were used for messages to Denmark, Hamburg and Hanover.

Electric Telegraph Company Continental Service.
Illustration from Philbrick & Westoby (1881), courtesy Steve Roberts.
The bands were apparently introduced to facilitate distinguishing them from the inland types shown above.
This is also shown with perforations and a control number.

 

Directors' Message stamps (or more properly Franks)     JLR/JSF 1857?   And   RG/HW 1864 - 1870

JLR/JSF stamp of 1857c for the use of G.P.Bidder Esq only.
Lithographed on thick, blue, unwatermarked paper in sheets of 100 by Waterlow & Sons. Imperforate.

Hiscocks H60
Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-109.
Courtesy Grosvenor Auctions.
(ex.A.J.Lowe collection)

 

RG/HW stamp of 1864c for the use of Captain (Mark) Huish only.
There are two types that appear to have alternated on the sheets.

Hiscocks H62 - Type I   (mostly even numbers).
Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1002. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1012. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1014. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1032. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1058. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1074.
Courtesy Steve Lawrie. Courtesy Grosvenor Auctions,
Ex Hiscocks.
Courtesy of Martien Blank. Courtesy Mike-Holt.com,
Ex A.J.Lowe.
Courtesy Bill Barrell. From Langmead & Huggins' book (Fig.20),
courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society

 

Hiscocks H62 - Type II   (mostly odd numbers).
Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-994. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1005. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1011. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1015. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1027.
Courtesy of Mark Talbot. Courtesy of Martien Blank. Courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Hiscocks H62 - Type II   (mostly odd numbers).
Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1067. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1071. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1073. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1075. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1077.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Martien Blank. Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

I have scans of 6 even numbers with shared characteristics and 9 odd numbers with different shared characteristics.
Since writing the above, I have been sent a scan of 994 which I show above with the 'Odd' numbered stamps !

The reason is that 994 has the flaws normally seen on odd numbered stamps. It also has larger margins than is usual.
Langmead & Huggins also point out that this stamp is on a "paler shade of blue" to the others.
These stamps were supplied "in batches of 100 at a time" [Philbrick & Westoby (1881), page 328],
so this stamp is from a different batch to the others (1002-1077) that I have seen. It would be interesting to see more from this batch.

Interestingly, although 994 has good margins all around, on the next sheet most examples are cut into somewhere and
none show parts of adjoining stamps. 1014 and 1015 for example should show parts of each other.
They all appear to have been pre-trimmed for some reason.
This is very similar to serialised examples of The English & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company stamps.
With the English and Irish, indications are they were trimmed to fit a dispeser of some kind, perhaps Captain Huish trimmed his to fit a stamp box.

Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1073.  Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1074.  Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1075.
Here are three consecutive numbers from above. They do not fit together however you arrange them.
I can't help noticing the different colours of these that were printed together. In part this might be due to different environments in the last 150 years,
but may also be due to differences in scanners and/or post-production work.

 

Even Columns Odd Columns
1) Mark through the RH frame by second 'pearl' down.
2) Mark inside the frame under 'm' of 'prepayment', and mark above 'p'.
3) Mark inside the frame to left and another below-left of 'be' in 'be sent'.
4) Line through 'SE' and 'OF' of 'USE OF'.
1) Two dots near frame left of 'CAPTn'.
2) Two dots near frame low right of 'HUISH'.
3) Two dots below-left of 'sent' on bottom row.
4) Horizontal line through top row of pearls.

 

RG/HW stamp of 1864c for the use of Charles William Earle Esq only.
Lithographed on thick, blue, unwatermarked paper in sheets of 100 by Waterlow & Sons. Imperforate.

Hiscocks H63
Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-H63 - 111.
From Langmead & Huggins' book (Fig.19),
courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society

Notice that this also has large margins like the Captn Huish #994.

 

Directors' Message stamps were to enable directors to send telegraphs, presumably at a discount or free, in exchange for their signature.
The designs include the signatures of the Chairman, Secretary and the Director in question.

J.L.R. - J.S.F.     prior to 1859 R.G. - J.S.F.     1859-1863 R.G. - H.W.     1864
RH # Hisc. Desc. Rarity Mint Used
RH59 H59 "Honorable Robert Grimston" Unlisted - -
RH60 H60 "G.P. Bidder" R5 750.00 -
RH61 H61 "Thos. Brassey" R5 - -
J.L.R. was Chairman John Lewis Ricardo,
replaced by Robert Grimston (R.G.) in 1859
and died August 1862 (aged 50).
Philbrick & Westoby consider it likely that there
were once (1859 to 1863) stamps bearing the
initials R.G. - J.S.F, but none are currently known.
RH # Hisc. Desc. Rarity Mint Used
RH62 H62 "Captn. Huish" R3 150.00 -
RH63 H63 "Charles William Earle" R5 - -
RH64 H64 "Lord Alfred Paget" R5 - -

 

 

Samples 1875?

Perf. 15 well-centered, No controls.
Since Waterlow did not use perf.15 before 1875, it is thought these were produced as samples of their work.
With the possible exception of the 3s, these are from a new set of plates that were not used to produce stamps for the Electric Telegraph Company.

Differences:

3dthe originals all had frame-breaks around the value tablet.
1sthe originals had a white control tablet.
1s6d the originals had the value sloping.
2sthe originals had a distorted 'W' in 'TWO'.
4s this value was not used for the H.W. stamps. If it had been, it would probably have had a white control tablet.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 3d. Electric Telegraph Company 1s. Electric Telegraph Company 1s6d.
3d. Perf.15 1s. Perf.15 1s6d. Perf.15
Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 2s. Electric Telegraph Company 3s. Electric Telegraph Company 4s.
2s. Perf.15 3s. Perf.15 4s. Perf.15
Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

RH # Hisc. Desc. Mint Used
RH65 - 3d Buff. 50.00 -
RH66 - 1s Orange 50.00 -
RH67 - 1s6d Rose 50.00 -
RH68 - 2s Green 50.00 -
RH69 - 3s Blue 50.00 -
RH70 - 4s Black 50.00 -

 

Cancellations:

 

7-Segment rings on ETC 1s ! Electric Telegraph Company 1s6d with pen cancel. Example cancel Electric Telegraph Company 1s with LY cancel.
British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co. cancel
on 1s. (very unusual) - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
24/5/62 pen cancel on 1s6d. "L.Y." cancel in red - courtesy Steve Lawrie.
Dated 21/2/1862 on JSF 3s perf. 12.
The same cancel on JSF 1s plate 1.
courtesy Steve Lawrie.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 2s6d with LV cancel. Example cancel Example cancel
looks like Oct 12 / 1864 and "LV" for Liverpool?
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.
Roches Point ?
courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
The same type cancel
courtesy of Andrew Higson.

 

Later ones have "Electric & International".

Electric Telegraph Company 3d with KX cancel. Electric Telegraph Company 3s with LY International cancel. 4s Column 5
"KX" cancel - courtesy Steve Roberts.
I thought initially that 'KX' stood for Kings Cross.
However, Steve Roberts informs me that it was actually the Stock Exchange branch office, until the code was changed by Mr Scudamore.
A cancel for No.64 Old Broad Street Station.
Courtesy Steve Lawrie.
Similar with blue cancel.
Courtesy Steve Lawrie.

 

 

Raymond Lister (1961 book, page 13) gives a list of cancels used, though without illustration.

1)"THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH COMPANY"
inside circle.
"INCORPORATED / 1840"
in centre. (Blue.)
2)"THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH COMPANY"
arranged in circular form (no outline) around date etc. in three lines. (Red.)
3)"THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH COMPANY"
arranged in circle (with outline) around date etc. in three lines. (Blue.)
4)"THE ELECTRIC AND INTERNATIONAL TELEGRAPH COMPANY"
within double oval. Address within inner oval. (Blue.)
5)"- THE ELECTRIC & INTERNATIONAL - TELEGRAPH CO. "
Date in centre. (Indigo.)
6)"- THE ELECTRIC & INTERNATIONAL - TELEGRAPH CO. "
Address in centre. (Blue and Black.)

Receipt stamp? for Sheffield.
This is perhaps an example of the last used at Sheffield
Courtesy of Mark Talbot, bought from Steven Allen off ebay.

This rendition of the cancel on the H13 at the top, does not appear to be in the list.
Receipt stamp? for Sheffield.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 2s6d with LV cancel.
This is similar to the cancellation type 4) described above.



Though not used as a cancel here, this matches the description of Type 4 cancel above. - courtesy Dr Mark Gibson.
Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.



A similar usage. - courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.
Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.

 

This would seem to be a very early Telegram Delivery Envelope of 1848 - courtesy of Andrew Higson.
Electric Telegraph Company Stationery 1848.
Electric Telegraph Company Stationery 1848.
Electric Telegraph Company Stationery 1848.

 

 

For the sake of interest:

Mark Talbot drew my attention to an ebay item that I would otherwise have missed.
Electric Telegraph Seal. Electric Telegraph Seal. Electric Telegraph Seal.
Electric Telegraph Seal. Electric Telegraph Seal.

This is described as:
"A fine brass seal with turned wood, believed Lignum Vitae, ornate handle.
The brass seal measures 24mm x 18mm and the overall length is 92mm. It weighs 57 grams."
Images courtesy of   " silent_whistle "

 

An interesting use of a 1/- remainder, presumably cancelled by favour in 1882.
ET remainder on Registered cover.
This was part of the A.J.Lowe collection sold by Phillips in November 1990.
Image courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer

 

First franked forms courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

ET One Shilling Form - front.
ET One Shilling Form - back.

ET Two and Sixpenny Form - front.
ET Two and Sixpenny Form - back.
The watermarks can be clearly seen.

 

 

 

Other Stationery.

A delivery form (204W) of 8 November 1854 courtesy of Andrew Higson.
The front lists offices in London
and contains the message received.
Both front and back are headed "The Electric Telegraph Company"

Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.


The back gives a list of towns/cities falling under the different tariffs.

Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.

 

A delivery form (204W) of 25 November 1854? courtesy of Andrew Higson.
The front now says 320 Stations in Britain
and stresses 'reduced rates' and its links to Europe.
The front is headed "The Electric and International Telegraph Companies" and illustrates their seals.

Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.


The back now lists offices in London with the message received.
It is still headed "The Electric Telegraph Company".


Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.
Though not explicitly dated 1854, the 1855 form below has a different back.

 

This form, courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson, is dated 1855 and has the same front.
The back though can be seen through the front as having the same dual company names.

Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.
Over 320 Stations in 1855.

 

A delivery form (Form L) of 13 February 1866.
The front now says "Upwards of 1000 Stations in Great Britain and Ireland
stressing 'reduced rates' and its links to Europe.
Additionally though, it is now signed by the secretary H. Weaver and dated August 1865.
The heading is now "The Electric and International Telegraph Company" ("Company rather than Companies"), but in a small font.
Porterage has been added at the bottom.

Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.


The back of Form L now has a longer list of offices in London with the message received.
It is headed "The Electric and International Telegraph Company".


Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.

 

A delivery form (Form C) of 18 November 1869.
The Company name is now in a larger font.
It is now signed by the secretary H. Weaver and dated August 1867.
A Tariff for Britain and Ireland has been added to the Porterage at the bottom.

Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.


The back of Form C lists offices in Northern England with the message received.
The heading "The Electric and International Telegraph Company" is now in larger size.


Electric Telegraph Company Stationery.

 

1861 Forwarded Form 277W - front
Electric Telegraph Form 277 - front.

Back
Electric Telegraph Form 277 - back.
277W Forwarded Form 1861 with 3s RG/JSF perf.12 stamps.
Control numbers seen: 4136, 4151, 4383, 4385, 4393, 4397, 4399, 4419, 4435.
According to Langmead & Huggins (page 14) Dr Iain Stevenson has recorded 6 examples in the range 4110 to 4498. They illustrate 4385.
This indicates stamps used from at least 4 different sheets. However, loose stamps are also known from sheets in this range:
4124, 4127, 4128, 4132, 4145, 4250, 4209, 4213, 4284, 4309 and 4432 are shown above.
In addition to these, Steve Lawrie also has: 4133, 4170, 4204, 4243, 4310, 4364, 4388, 4392, 4440, 4478, 4494, 4501, 4511, 4512, 4516 and 4535.
I have 4214 and 4219, both of which are damaged and without gum. Perhaps many of the known loose stamps have been removed from forms like this.
L & H list this 3s stamp as rarity 2 ("Probably 50-100 copies exist"). I only know of 5 stamps outside of the above range.
This would all suggest that 10 to 20 of these forms still exist.

 

 

 

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Contact:   Emale
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Last updated 14th. May 2017

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