General Telegraph 6d

Telegraph stamps of Great Britain.

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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. 
CheckList         Setup

 

The Electric Telegraph Company.

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
This company, founded in 1846, was the first of all the British telegraph companies and developed an extensive network of inland lines with
connections to continental Europe. Stamped prepaid forms were introduced in 1851 and are occasionally met with but these are beyond the scope of this
catalogue. Various dates have been quoted for the adhesive stamps but those given below derive from the records of the printers, Perkins, Bacon &
Co. Ltd. and are probably correct. The first issue (Nos. 1—21) were all derived from the same plate by altering the wording (distance or value)
below the words "FRANKED MESSAGE" by hand. There are thus 16 varieties of each stamp (the number of stamps in a sheet) except in the single
case indicated. When the company was purchased by the Postmaster-General in 1869 all plates and stamps in stock were destroyed so remainders
are not common.


Head Office at Lothbury, Bank of England.

Message Paper.

Though beyond the scope of Steve Hiscocks' catalogue, I think these are worth listing.
Individually numbered, single sheets of thin, coloured wove paper about 7¼ x 9 inches (18.4 x 22.9 cm).
They are watermarked with the name of the company in double-lined Roman capitals. Printer unknown, but L&H suggest 'probably Waterlow & Sons'.
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.
Notice that the 1/- one is marked 'FRANKED', as are all the other values I have seen except 2/6d (bottom) one which is marked 'FREE'.
E. D. Bacon mentions another 2/6d Message Form (Control 2824) but makes no mention of it being different. Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie

Larger sized images of both sides of the complete forms are shown at the bottom, now additionally with fronts of the 1/6d and 5/- from the Iain Stevenson collection.

The first types (1851?, Type A) had the control in the top-left corner.
Later (in 1853, Type B) there were price changes with the 1/- replaced by 1/6d, 2/6d replaced by 2/-, 5/- replaced by the 3/- and 4/-. These had the control on the right.

RH # Hisc. Message Form Description (1851?) Type Known Mint Used
RHF1 - 1/- Black and light-blue on pink within 50 miles. A 3+ - -
RHF2 - 1/6d (1853) Black and dark-blue on pink within 50 miles. B 2+'a few' - -
RHF3 - 2/- (1853) Black and dark-blue on green over 50 miles but within 100 miles. B 1+ - -
RHF4 - 2/6d (FREE) Black and light-blue on blue over 50 miles but within 100 miles. A 2+ - -
RHF5 - 3/- (1853) Black and dark-blue on blue over 100 miles but within 150 miles. B 1+ - -
RHF6 - 4/- (1853) Black and blue on white over 150 miles. B 1+ - -
RHF7 - 5/- Black and blue on white, over 100 miles. A 1+ - -

According to E. D. Bacon, these were still being advertised for sale in an advertisment of December 1855 (L&H says April 1855).

 

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 Receipts

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, issued 1st. 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, controls 1-10000). R4 1200.00 -
RH1a              '   '   '       No control number.   800.00 -
RH2 H2 20 words under 100 miles, black on blue (2s6d, controls 1-10000). R4 1000.00 -
RH2a              '   '   '       No control number.   800.00 -
RH3 H3 20 words above 100 miles, black on white (5s, controls 1-10000). 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. Control numbers of stamps used were required to be recorded by the clerks.

 

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 RH4a black on pale yellow. Proof of 1s6d Hiscocks RH8a black on pink. Proof of 2s Hiscocks RH9a black on green. Proof of 4s Hiscocks RH13a black on white.
Proofs of the 3d, 1s6d, 2s and 4s - courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

Some with serial numbers.

Electric Telegraph Company 1s RH6 Corner Block
This is an interesting corner-block of four of RH6, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
The control numbers imply that the previous sheet ended with number 16266. Since there were 16 stamps to a sheet
you would expect that to be a multiple of 16, but it isn't.

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, controls 1-50000) 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, controls 1-40000) R4 300.00 -
RH6a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.   200.00 -
RH7 H7 1s Black on pink (Plate 1, 7/17 May 1855, controls 10001-20000) Unknown 1200.00 1000.00
RH8 H8 1s6d Black on pink (Sept. 1855, made from 1s plate 1, controls 1-100000, A1-A60000) R4 600.00 -
RH8a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number. Unrecorded 400.00 -
RH9 H9 2s Black on green (17 Jan. 1855, controls 1-10000) Unknown - -
RH9a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.   400.00 -
RH10 H10 2s Black on blue-green (1856? Controls 10001-100000 and A1-A50000) R4 500.00 -
RH10a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.   - -
RH11 H11 2s6d Black on blue (22 June / 10 July 1855, controls 10001-20000) Unknown - -
RH12 H12 3s Black on bright blue (Sept. 1856, controls 20001-80000)                 ** Unknown - -
RH12a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.   - -
RH13 H13 4s Black on white (April 1856, controls 1-100000, A1-A70000) R4 500.00 500.00
RH13a              '   '   '       Proof, no control number.       ***   350.00 -

Look here for an explanation of the table.

Steve Hiscocks noted here:
Printings of the 1/- on yellow brown were recorded for 1854 and 1857 using different plates.
There were 16 varieties of each but how the plates may be distinguished is not known at present.


My notes:
The One Shilling Plate 1 and 2 ( H7 / H6 ) differences are detailed below.
** despite listing it as unknown, L & H say on Pg.6 that one is in the Royal Collection. Control No. 30312.
*** 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 clearly has a more upright 'g', it is from a different die.
The dot on the tail of the 'g' is also further to the right of the 'H'.
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.

 

Electric Telegraph Company 1s RH10 76705   Electric Telegraph Company 1s RH10 A15985
A couple of examples of RH10. These were produced about 1858. At that time the second batch of stamps from this plate were printed on greenish-blue paper.
The first batch with controls 1 to 10000, was delivered in 1855 printed on green paper, only plate proofs are known.
This batch had controls 10001 to 100000 and A1 to A50000. Illustrated is a manuscript Cancelled example numbered 76705 (from the top row of sheet 4794),
together with control A15985, the first stamp of the 1000th sheet of the A. series. - Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Over-view of plate manufacture and use, 1854-61.

The Perkins, Bacon plates went through a series of modifications which is documented in the 1927 book by E. D. Bacon.
I will attempt to tabulate this information in a more accessible form.

In February 1854 The Electric Telegraph Company decided to introduce adhesive stamps and asked Perkins, Bacon for suitable designs.
The Perkins, Bacon engraving book shows drawings made on February 22nd and March 1st, 10th and 23rd, 1854.

A master die was engraved 8th April, with the words "Above 100 miles", but without the words 'Incorpd. — 1846' and a roller-impression taken.
The first plate of 16 impressions (4x4) was completed on 8th May.
The word "above" was removed from the roller impression.
The second plate was made and the word "under" was added by hand to each of the 16 spaces making 'under 100' on 16th May.
The "10" of the distance was removed from the roller impression.
The third plate was made and "5" as well as "under" were added by hand to each of the copies making 'under 50' on 22nd May.

The words 'Incorpd. — 1846' were an afterthought and had to be added by hand to each of the 16 impressions on each of the three plates.
All three plates were made of steel, and because of the additions by hand, they all had 16 slightly different varieties.

These were printed and delivered in two batches in 1854:

Dates Type RH# Qty. Controls
May 23-30 under 50 miles, black on pink (1s) RH1 1600 1 - 1600
May 23-30 under 100 miles, black on blue (2s6d) RH2 6400 1 - 6400
May 23-30 above 100 miles, black on white (5s) RH3 6400 1 - 6400

Dates Type RH# Qty. Controls
June 1-24 under 50 miles, black on pink (1s) RH1 8400 1601 - 10000
June 1-24 under 100 miles, black on blue (2s6d) RH2 3600 6401 - 10000
June 1-24 above 100 miles, black on white (5s) RH3 3600 6401 - 10000

These were first issued on 2st. June 1854. On 21st. of June, J.S.Foudrinier, the Secretary of the company, sent a letter to Perkins, Bacon
requesting alterations to the plates, noting that they had not yet been hardened:
'We wish the words— "of 20 words—above 100 miles" — "under 100 miles" and "under 50 miles" obliterated in the three plates
and the words introduced in their place— "Two shillings and sixpence" to be printed on blue paper.
"Two shillings" to be printed on green paper.
"One shilling" to be printed on pink paper.
I shall be obliged by your sending me a proof.'
Perkins,Bacon then did all the erasures and added "Two shillings and sixpence" on one impression on one of the plates on June 28th.,
sending a proof of it for approval before continuing. The Engraving book shows that this plate was subsequently completed on July 12th.
Another plate was completed as "One shilling" on July 17th. and the last as "Two shillings" on July 19th.
It was not actually stipulated which plate should be used for what.

The following printings were made from these modified plates:

Note: 10000 stamps is 625 sheets of 16 stamps each.

Dates Type RH# Qty. Controls
17 Jan. 1855 2s black on green RH9 10000 1 - 10000
7-17 May 1855 1s [pink] RH7 10000 10001 - 20000
22 June / 10 July 2s6d blue RH11 10000 10001 - 20000

Persuant to new instructions from the Electric Telegraph Co. Two of the plates were again altered and a new plate made.
The 1s plate was altered to 3s on 9th August 1855
The 2s6d plate was altered to 1s6d on 9th August 1855
A new plate for 4s was created on 18 August 1855.
A new plate for 3d was created on 7 July 1857.
A new plate for 1s (plate 2) was created on 8 October 1857.
These three new plates were made from the original roller-impression after removal of "of 20 words — above 100 Miles."
It was then neccessary to add the value and 'Incorpd. — 1846' to each of the 16 impressions of each plate by hand again.

E.D.Bacon quotes a Tariff given for 1855 as follows:

Within a circuit of 50 miles1s. 6d.
Within a circuit of 100 miles2s. 0d.
Within a circuit of 150 miles3s. 0d.
Beyond a circuit of 100 miles4s. 0d.
To and from Dublin5s. 0d.

No charge was made for names and addresses of either
sender or receiver, and telegrams were delivered free within
half a mile of the Company's offices. The company had at
that date upwards of 350 stations in Great Britain and Ireland.


Subsequent printings (according to the records) :
The colours are not always given.
E. D. Bacon wrote on page 11 of his 1927 book:

There is a good deal of discrepancy in the list regarding the colours attached to the paper
of some of the values, where the where the colours are named.
The Three Pence is designated "yellow" and sometimes "straw," the One Shilling appears as "brown"
and "buff," and the Two Shillings as "green" and "blue." This probably arose from the divergent views
in which different employees of the firm regarded the colours, or the papers may not always have
been of uniform shade. The only difference of real importance is in the case of the Two Shilling value.

Dates Type RH# Qty. Controls Notes
5-1- Sept. 1855 1s6d pink RH8 10000 1 - 10000
20 Dec. 1855 2s RH10 10000 10001 - 20000 2
16 April 1856 1s6d RH8 10000 10001 - 20000
16 April 1856 4s RH13 10000 10001 - 20000
3-30 Sept.1856 2s green ? RH10 10000 20001 - 30000 2
3-30 Sept.1856 3s blue RH12 10000 20001 - 30000
14-31 Oct.1856 1s6d pink RH8 10000 20001 - 30000
14-31 Oct.1856 4s white RH13 10000 20001 - 30000
18 Dec.1856 1s6d RH8 2000 30001 - 32000
31 Dec.1856 1s6d RH8 7200 32001 - 39200
18-31 Dec. 1856 2s RH10 7600 30001 - 37600 2
14 Jan. 1857 1s6d RH8 800 39201 - 40000
28 Feb. 1857 2s RH10 2400 37601 - 40000 2
18 April 1857 4s RH13 10000 30001 - 40000
12 June1857 1s6d RH8 8000 40001 - 48000
12 June1857 3s RH12 8000 30001 - 38000
20 July 1857 1s6d RH8 2000 48001 - 50000
20 July 1857 3s RH12 2000 38001 - 40000
26 Aug.1857 3d RH4 10000 1 - 10000
7 Sept. 1857 2s RH10 2000 40001 - 50000 2
29 Oct. 1857 1s [buff] RH6 10000 1 - 10000 1
12 Nov.1857 4s RH13 10000 40001 - 50000
16 Nov. 1857 1s6d RH8 10000 50001 - 60000
4-12 Feb. 1858 2s blue RH10 10000 50001 - 60000 2
18 Feb. 1858 4s RH13 10000 50001 - 60000
27 April 1858 1s6d RH8 10000 60001 - 70000
20 May 1858 3d RH4 10000 10001 - 20000
17 July 1858 2s green ? RH10 1600 60001 - 61600 2
17 July 1858 4s white RH13 1600 60001 - 61600
21 July 1858 2s blue RH10 8400 61601 - 70000 2
21 July 1858 4s white RH13 8400 61601 - 70000
25 July 1858 1s6d RH8 10000 70001 - 80000
25 July 1858 3s RH12 10000 40001 - 50000
19 Nov. 1858 4s RH13 10000 70001 - 80000
Dates Type RH# Qty. Controls Notes
9 Dec. 1858 1s6d RH8 5040 80001 - 85040
15 Dec. 1858 1s6d RH8 4960 85041 - 90000
15 Dec. 1858 2s [blue] RH10 10000 70001 - 80000 2
7-8 Feb. 1859 4s white RH13 10000 80001 - 90000
24 Feb. 1859 1s6d pink RH8 10000 90001 - 100000
16 Mar. 1859 1s brown RH6 10000 10001 - 20000 1
24 Mar. 1859 3d yellow RH4 10000 20001 - 30000
26 Mar. 1859 3s blue RH12 10000 50001 - 60000
26 Mar. 1859 4s white RH13 10000 90001 - 100000
5-7 May 1859 2s [blue] RH10 10000 80001 - 90000 2
30 June 1859 4s white RH13 10000 A1 - A10000
9 July 1859 1s6d pink RH8 10000 A1 - A10000
5 Sept. 1859 2s blue RH10 10000 90001 - 100000 2
7-8 Sept. 1859 1s6d pink RH8 10000 A10001 - A20000
9 Sept. 1859 4s white RH13 10000 A10001 - A20000
20 Sept. 1859 3d yellow RH4 10000 30001 - 40000
16 Nov. 1859 1s buff RH6 10000 20001 - 30000 1
16 Nov. 1859 1s6d pink RH8 10000 A20001 - A30000
16 Nov. 1859 2s green ? RH10 10000 A1 - A10000 2
18-26 Nov. 1859 3s blue RH12 10000 60001 - 70000
18-26 Nov. 1859 4s white RH13 10000 A20001 - A30000
16 Jan. 1860 4s white RH13 8000 A30001 - A38000
19 Jan. 1860 4s white RH13 2000 A38001 - A40000
19 Jan. 1860 1s6d pink RH8 10000 A30001 - A40000
8-13 Mar. 1860 4s white RH13 10000 A40001 - A50000
13 Mar. 1860 2s [blue] RH10 10000 A10001 - A20000 2
13 Mar. 1860 3d straw RH4 10000 40001 - 50000
13-23 Mar, 5 Apr.1860 1s6d pink RH8 10000 A40001 - A50000
19 Apr. 1859 3s blue RH12 10000 70001 - 80000
20-23 Apr. 1860 4s white RH13 10000 A50001 - A60000
30 May 1860 1s buff RH6 10000 30001 - 40000 1
31 May 1860 4s white RH13 10000 A60001 - A70000
11 June 1860 1s6d pink RH8 10000 A50001 - A60000

Notes.

1 The records apparently do not distinguish between the plates. The 1855 printing was RH7 with controls 10001-20000 following on from RH1. After the new 1s plate was made on 8 October 1857, it would be natural to assume that the new controls 1-10000 on the 29th were from the new plate, but it didn't have to be. Control 8746 though shows that it was indeed from plate 2, controls in the range 10001-20000 are known from both plates. I have put corrections to colours in square brackets.
2 Only proofs of the 2s are known in what could reasonably called green, despite that having been the specified colour. The rest are blue-green at best. I illustrate 76705, A15698 and A15985. E.D.Bacon saw 86452. I have put corrections to colours in square brackets.

 

 

 

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. Also the ones on white paper are often very 'toned' today due to oxidisation.

 

July 1860.

Perforated by Perkins, Bacon using a machine from James Griffiths in June 1860.
The 23-inch row of pins was un-evenly spaced, giving a variable gauge of 14 to 16½ according to E.D.Bacon, 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.
L&H also say the perforations are irregular from 14 to 15½. I make the first 3 of these about Perf.15½

Here are the 3d controls 56280 and 56281 (H14), together with a 4/- control A91920 and A91928 (H20, all half size).

Electric Telegraph Company perforated 3d - 56280 Electric Telegraph Company perforated 3d - 56281 Electric Telegraph Company perforated 4s - A91920 Electric Telegraph Company perforated 4s - A91920
3d. Hiscocks H14 control 56280 3d. Hiscocks H14 control 56281 4s. Hiscocks H20 control A91920 4s. Hiscocks H20 control A91928
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.
I make this 14-14½ at the top, 15-15½ bottom
by left 15-15¾, right 15¼-15¾
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Perforated.


RH # Hisc. Desc. Rarity Mint Used
RH14 H14 3d Black on pale yellow (July 1860, controls 50001-70000) R5 1000.00 -
RH15 H15 1s Black on yellow brown (March 1861, controls 40001-50000) Unknown - -
RH16 H16 1s6d Black on pink (Aug. 1860, controls A60001-A90000) R5 - -
RH16a     '   '   '   Imperf, control number top-right *   - -
RH17 H17 2s Black on dull blue (July 1860, controls probably A20001-A40000) R5 - -
RH18 H18 2s Black on green. (probably does not exist) - - -
RH19 H19 3s Black on bright blue (December 1860, controls 80001-90000) Unknown - -
RH20 H20 4s Black on white (Aug. 1860, controls A70001-A100000) R5 1000.00 -
RH21 H21   '   '   '   Imperf, control number top-right *
(January 1861 ? Controls A100001-A110000)
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.
106071 is in the Royal Collection.

 

Printings according to E. D. Bacon in 1927:

Dates Type RH# Qty. Controls Notes
9-17 July 1860 3d straw RH14 10000 50001 - 60000
9-17 July 1860 2s green RH17 10000 A20001 - A30000 2
16-21 Aug. 1860 4s white RH20 10000 A70001 - A80000
16-21 Aug. 1860 1s6d pink RH16 10000 A60001 - A70000
20-26 Sept. 1860 2s green RH17 10000 A30001 - A40000 2
27 Sept. 1860 1s6d pink RH16 8000 A70001 - A78000
27 Sept. 1860 4s white RH20 3200 A80001 - A83200
3 Oct. 1860 4s white RH20 6800 A83201 - A90000
23 Oct. 1860 1s6d pink RH16 2000 A78001 - A80000
6 Nov. 1860 4s white RH20 8000 A90001 - A98000
7-13 Dec. 1860 1s6d pink RH16 10000 A80001 - A90000
7-13 Dec. 1860 3s blue RH19 10000 80001 - 90000
7-27 Dec. 1860 4s white RH20 2000 A98001 - A100000 1
7-27 Dec. 1860 4s white RH21 10000 A100001 - A110000 1
13 Dec. 1860 3d straw RH14 10000 60001 - 70000
20 Dec.1860 2s green RH17 10000 A40001 - A50000 2
7 Mar. 1861 1s buff RH15 10000 40001 - 50000  

Notes.

1 Apparently there was a problem with the perforating macne on this batch of the 4s. The first 2,000 were perforated, the remaining 10,000 were delivered imperforate.
2 Langmead & Huggins (Pg.6) state that A.38248 is greenish-blue paper and in the Royal Collection. It is likely that they were all blue-green, despite being described as green as was specified.

 

 

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. ETC 5s 3750. 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 three of the 10s, two from the same row of the same sheet, 3982 and 3986. The other badly damaged, numbered 2902 with 'cancelled' written across it.
They 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 130.00 120.00
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.

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.

 

Raymond Lister reported the 1s imperforate without control being known postally used on registered covers cancelled in Liverpool on 24th May 1882.
Certainly there does appear to have been a joker in Liverpool. They are presumably cancelled by
favour like the Totton examples, since they certainly were never valid for postage.
Electric Telegraph Company 1s. Electric Telegraph Company 1s.
This example is dated 16th December 1881.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
This squared-circle example is dated 24th May1882.
Image courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
(Ex. Iain Stevenson)

 

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 5s 10s

 

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.
Ex Iain Stevenson, Courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. 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 3d Column 9
Column 0 - Ex Iain Stevenson,
courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
Columns 0, 1 and 3 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

At the moment these are all the scans I have, but it forms the basis for comparisons. Anyone have more ?

 

 

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. Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. 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 Col-7. Plate 3 Col-7 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 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.

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

1s Column 1 1s Column 2 1s Column 6 1s Column 8
1s Column 1,
Characteristics as plate 3a.
1s Column 2,
Characteristics as plate 3a.
1s Column 6,
Characteristics as plate 3a.
1s Column 8,
Characteristics as plate 3a.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image 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).

Plate characteristics still inherited from plate 3a.
Lowest seen 11619A, highest seen 127268A.

1s Column 1 1s Column 2 1s Column 3 1s Column 4 1s Column 5
1s Column 1. This is still like plate 3a. 1s Column 2. This is still like plate 3a. 1s Column 3 needed. 1s Column 4 needed. 1s Column 5. I presume this is like plate 3a.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.     Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

1s Column 6 1s Column 2 1s Column 2 1s Column 2 1s Column 0
1s Column 6 needed. 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. 1s Column 0 needed.
  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 133750).

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 numbers 111544 and 131801 are 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. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. 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 2 examples so far, controls 111544 and 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 - 111544 2s Plate 2 - 131801

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.   (Perf.12½) Column 2.   (Perf.12) Column 3. Column 4. Column 5.   (Perf.12)
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. 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.

 

4s Column 4
Then there is this curious item, It appears to be a poor copy of a stamp, in slate grey,
including the control number, on rather yellowish paper, perforated about 13¾.
It all seems very amateurish, apart from the fact it appears to be comb-perforated!
The originals were all line-perforated 12 or 12½.
Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

 

RG / JSF   5s Purple (perf.12 switching to 12½ somewhere between 8806 and 14169).

I have seen control numbers 3750, 8806, 14169 and 18011.

ETC 5s 3750. ETC 5s 8806. ETC 5s 14169. ETC 5s 18011.
3750 Perf.12. Dated 28-3-1863 8806 Perf.12.
(Roches Point)
14169 Perf.12½.
(Columbine Quay, Queenstown)
18011 Perf.12½.
My only 4 images, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

8806 and 14169 (Columns 6 and 9) appear to have the value written the same way, with a distinctive first 'S' and 'G'.
3750 has a larger 'V' than the others.

 

 

RG / JSF   10s Purple-Brown (perf. 12½).

I have seen control numbers 1335, 2795, 2902, 3982 and 3989.
If there are any Perf. 12 at all, they must be below control 1335.
Most are used at Roches Point or have manuscript 'Cancelled'.

ETC 10s 1335. ETC 10s 2795. ETC 10s 2902. Electric Telegraph Company 10s 3982. ETC 10s 3989.
1335 Perf.12½.
(Roches Point)
2795 Perf.12½.
(Roches Point)
2902 Perf.12½. 3982 Perf.12½. 3989 Perf.12½.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Anonymous image. Image 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?

I have also not (yet) seen H53, but I have seen a H54.

 

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

I have not seen H45a. Anyone have a scan of H45a?

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 often very rough, 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 242235 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
313485 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 50410 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. One of mine 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. 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.
The lowest number I have seen,
50410 showing the same flaws on column 1.
  Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.  

 

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 50410, 121341 and 121351 above, but is not on 228350, 272541, 300517, 300501, 300520, 334804 or 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
319278
356446
359643
407420
412056
443379
472664
483736
530760
728431
941891, 941892
941899
10

54281
54297
124424
150745, 150746
707907
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.

 

Electric Telegraph Totton   1s No. 54297
For the sake of interest, here is another Totton example.
Unusually though, this has actually been through the post,
Apparently to Bristol.
Ex Alain Stevenson. Image courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
  I have found one other 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, or the perf. 11½ sheet above.

 

 

 

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)

I have few scans, but 307525, 322946, 323002, 507016, 586765 are Perf.10
360031, 421382, 421389 are Perf. 12½

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 scans of perf.10 have both lower and higher numbers than the perf.12½ stamps.
Hiscocks also lists a Perf. 12½ x 11½ type.

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.

 

3d Column 7 RG/HW 1s6d. 3d Column 7 3d Column 7 3d Column 7
Column 1 - Perf. 12½ Column 2 - Perf.10 Column 3 Column 4 Column 5 - Perf. 10 - Like Col-2
Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.   courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Need Scan. Need Scan. Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

3d Column 6 3d Column 7 3d Column 7 RG/HW 1s6d. 9 3d Column 7
Column 6 - Perf. 10 - Broken 'E' in 'TELEGRAPH' Column 7 Column 8 Column 9 - Perf.12½ - Like Col-6 Column 0
Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. Need Scan. Need Scan. courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Need Scan.

 

A pattern is emerging that is consistent with the one shown just above for the RG / HW.
2 = 5, 6 = 9 giving repeats at intervals of 3.

 

 

 

RG / HW   2s Green (perf.12½ and 10)

I have few scans, but 175437 and 286394 are Perf.10
145452, 187309 and 204160 are Perf. 12½

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 scans of perf.10 have both lower and higher numbers than the perf.12½ stamps.
Hiscocks also lists a Perf. 12½ x 11½ type.

 

3d Column 1 2s Column 2 3d Column 3 2s Column 4 3d Column 5
Column 1 Column 2 - Perf. 12½ Column 3 Column 4 - Perf. 10 Column 5
Need Scan. Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. Need Scan. Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. Need Scan.

 

3d Column 6 RG/HW 2s col 7. 3d Column 8 2s Column 9 RG/HW 2s. col-0
Column 6 Column 7 - Perf. 10 Column 8 Column 9 - Perf.12½ x Perf.12¾ Column 0 - Perf.12½  
Need Scan. courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Need Scan. Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

 

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
Similar proofs exist without the alternate centers at the bottom.
Courtesy Grosvenor Auctions. (ex. A.J.Lowe collection)

 

Two types of Eight Shillings exist in alternate columns.

Electric Telegraph Company RH55a. Electric Telegraph Company Continental Service. Electric Telegraph Company Continental Service.
RH55a - 3d with vertical bar.
L&H say Controls 566, 570 and 944 of the 3d are also known.
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 Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Martien Blank. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

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

 

Lister and Hiscocks say Perf. 12, 12½ (I'm not sure what the comma means). L&H say Perf. 12 x 12½ and John Barefoot says Perf. 12 to 12½. I make the illustrated RH55a to be Perf 11¾
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 - -

 

 

 

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.
Courtesy Steve Lawrie.
As illustrated by Walter Morley, 1900
Courtesy Grosvenor Auctions,
Ex Hiscocks.
Courtesy of Martien Blank. Courtesy Mike-Holt.com,
Ex A.J.Lowe.

Hiscocks H62 - Type I   (mostly even numbers).
Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1058. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1074. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1076.
Courtesy Bill Barrell. From Langmead & Huggins' book (Fig.20),
courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society
Courtesy Grosvenor Auctions,
Ex Iain Stevenson.

 

Hiscocks H62 - Type II   (mostly odd numbers).
Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-994. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1001. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1005. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1011. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1015.
Courtesy of Mark Talbot. Courtesy of Paul & Les Bottomley. 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-1027. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1033. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1067. Electric Telegraph Company Directors' Message-1069.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Ex-Andrew Higson, now mine. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy Grosvenor Auctions,
Ex Iain Stevenson.

Hiscocks H62 - Type II   (mostly odd numbers).
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 Martien Blank. Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

I have scans of 7 even numbers with shared characteristics and 12 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 I have so far only 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 that 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 dispenser 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. There are probably no multples of these.
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.


Based on the scans I have for numbers: 994, 1002, 1005, 1011, 1014, 1015, 1027, 1032, 1033, 1058, 1067, 1069, 1071, 1073-1077.

Even Columns (except 994) Odd Columns (plus 994)
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. Description 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. Description Rarity Mint Used
RH62 H62 "Captn. Huish" Type I (even) R3 150.00 -
RH62a H62 "Captn. Huish" Type II 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:

Early ones have 'The Electric Telegraph Company', later ones have 'Electric & International Telegraph Co.'

 

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. ETC 5s 8806. Example cancel Cork 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.
Cork Station - now clearly.
Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

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 Message forms.

FRANKED MESSAGE PAPER / PRICE ONE SHILLING - Front and back, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
ET One Shilling Form - front.
ET One Shilling Form - back.

 

FRANKED MESSAGE PAPER / PRICE ONE SHILLING AND SIXPENCE - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
This was needed due to a price increase of the lowest rate in 1853.
Note that the 1/- example above is numbered 3189 at the top-left of the page. The 1927 book 'The stamps of The Electric Telegraph Company' by E. D. Bacon
illustrates the 1/- example in the Royal Collection numbered 38323 at the top-right, as the 1/6d below. He also states that the 1/- numbered 29930 is in the Ferrari collection.

ET One Shilling and Sixpenny Form 5449 - front.

 

FRANKED MESSAGE PAPER / PRICE TWO SHILLINGS - Front, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
ET Two Shillings Form - front.

This is for distances over 50 miles, but within 100 miles.

 

FREE MESSAGE PAPER / PRICE TWO SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE - Front and back, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
ET Two and Sixpenny Form - front.

E.D.Bacon describes another 2/6d form as being endorsed in red with:
"This 2s. 6d Message Paper can only be used for distances within a circuit of 100 miles."
ET Two and Sixpenny Form - back.
The watermark can be clearly seen on this. This is numbered 7588, number 7666 of the Iain Stevenson collection is illustrated in the L & H book, it is dated 14th July 1854 but not filled in.

 

FRANKED MESSAGE PAPER / PRICE THREE SHILLINGS - Front, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
ET Three Shillings Form - front.

This was for distances over 100 miles, but within 150 miles.

 

FRANKED MESSAGE PAPER / PRICE FOUR SHILLINGS - Front, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
ET Three Shillings Form - front.

This was for distances over 150 miles.

 

FRANKED MESSAGE PAPER / PRICE FIVE SHILLINGS - Ex Iain Stevenson, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
Part of the watermark can be seen. It is now in the Steve Lawrie Collection.
ET Five Shillings Form - front.
This was for use over 100 miles. It is the only known example of this value.

 

 

 

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: 4110, 4136, 4151, 4383, 4385, 4393, 4397, 4399, 4419, 4435, 4498(on piece).  
This indicates stamps used from at least 4 different sheets.
However, loose stamps are also known from sheets in this range:
4124, 4127, 4128, 4131, 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.
The Iain Stevenson collection has a mint 4233 and a cancelled 4131 (shown on the right)
which may indicate that at least some of these forms were actually used.
L & H list this 3s stamp as rarity 2 ("Probably 50-100 copies exist").
So I know of 50 stamps of which 10 are on complete forms.
I only know of 7 stamps outside of the above range used for forms.
This estimate would all suggest that 12 to 25 of these forms still exist.

I really doubt that I know of half of the existing examples, most of the ones I know of are
from a collection completely off the L & H radar and there may well be others with similar quantities.
Then there is the Royal Philatelic Collection! I think there must be a lot more than L & H estimate.
3d Column 1
Image courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

Receipts.

FRANKED MESSAGE PAPER / PRICE ONE SHILLING - Front and back, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
ET 1855 receipt - front.

ET 1855 receipt - back.

This is a receipt dated 29 October 1855
used at Mincing Lane, London
for a message to Brighton.
Images courtesy of Arkadiy of Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.
Contact:   Emale
Please include the word 'Telegraphs' in the subject.
Alternatively Yahoo Group   Yahoo-Group   is a forum.

 

Last updated 15th. Nov. 2018

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Permission is hereby granted to copy material for which the copyright is owned by myself, on condition that any data is not altered and this website is given credit.

 

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