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.
CheckList         Setup

 

Shortcuts to different sections
1857 1859 1860 Perforations 1861? 1867? Remainders Watermarks Cancels DETAILS Forgeries Red Controls Colours Plating / Calculator Sequence Control Types Stationery

 

The British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company Limited.

Head Office at 2, Exchange Buildings, Liverpool. London Headquarters at 58, Threadneedle Street, City.
The company also operated in Ireland and Scotland.

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
This company was formed in 1857 by the merger of the English and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co. (q.v.) and the British Telegraph Co. (q.v.) and was
bought out by the Postmaster-General in 1870. Stamps were lithographed in black by Mawdesley & Co of Liverpool on various coloured papers some
of which were taken over from the British Telegraph Company. The most common paper bears a sheet watermark consisting of a fist full of 'thunderbolts'
and the maker's name. Some stamps thus show no watermark while others show part of the pattern.
The design includes the signature of Edward Brailsford Bright,
the Company Secretary, as do the stamps of the English and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co. which preceded this Company.


My notes:
Ignore the yellow highlighted section, it arises from a nineteenth century myth that I explain in the 'Watermarks Section' below.
Stamps issued from the start and the relationship between the British Telegraph Co. and the Submarine Telegraph Co. was continued.

According to Lister (1961) "An interesting point is that in the Royal Charter granted to the Company, it was provided that Government
messages were to be given priority without payment in excess of the normal tariff. This service was widely used."

According to Langmead and Huggins (2003, p23) "Stamps were issued from the start," I have my doubts about that.
Their earliest forms of 1857 listed continental tariffs on the back, including some that could not have been paid using the stamps that they had.
Altona 17s 1d, Boulogne 7s 3d and Stockholm £1 3s 7d for example.
The July 1858 form did not list Altona or Stockholm. 3d stamps would have been needed for Boulogne. There is also the problem of paying for extra words.
It was 1860 before they had stamps of less than 6d. It is possible that pre-merger stamps were used for a while(resulting in the lack of BTC 3d stamps), or a mixture of stamps and cash.

 

1857

Combining information from Lister, Hiscocks and L&H gives:

1857(?) - Black Controls: Lithographed on wove paper by Messrs. Mawdesley & C0., 2 Castle Street, Liverpool.
For these, Hiscocks says Perf.11½ - 12½, and L&H (and Lister) say Perf.11½ - 12.
According to Raymond Lister the 1s6d watermark was "clenched" hands holding lightning (see below),
and the 4s used remainder paper from the British Telegraph Company (BTC, from the 18d stamps).
However he also said the 2/6d (H6) below was on "clenched" hands paper and that has proved to be wrong.
I think it likely that the buff as well as the green were BTC paper.

Size of sheets unknown. All known examples except this are in the Royal Collection.

British & Irish Hiscocks RH1
RH1  -  RH2, RH3 and RH3a are similar.
Ex. Lister. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

This is cancelled with six broken concentric circles.
The later ones appear to have seven.

RH # Hisc. Description Rarity Mint Used
RH1 H1 1s6d Black on pale Buff, Rouletted. R5 - -
RH2 H3 1s6d Black on White, Perf.12 R5 - -
RH3 H2 4s Black on Green, Rouletted. R5 - -
RH3a H2a 4s Black on Green, Imperf. x Perf.12 R5 - -

Note: I have rearranged these for better consistency.

Look here for an explanation of the table.

 

1858?

I was puzzled by Hiscocks' (Fig.2) use of a 3d stamp to illustrate a 6d stamp, H4 below:
Hiscocks appears to have 'doctored' Listers' illustration in line with his description : -
"As type 9 but with shaded control tablet, and not extending beyond centre label."
Since the only known copy is in the Royal collection, and the only image in circulation
is a 30 year old mockup, I decided to try my hand at revamping the mockup
to make it less confusing.

British & Irish Hiscocks Fig.2   British & Irish Hiscocks Fig.2   British & Irish Hiscocks H4 mockup
Hiscocks Fig.2 (1982) - for H4   Lister Type 9 (1961), also illustrated by SG (1912)   New mockup of Hiscocks H4 (not totally accurate)

 

This used the new "clenched" hands holding lightning watermark (see below).

RH # Hisc. Description RarityMintUsed
RH4 H4 6d Black on Pink, Perf.12 x12½ R5 - -

Langmead and Huggins list this without illustration.

I have subsequently seen an image of the actual stamp. It was illustrated in
black and white in the 1952 book by John Wilson on the Royal Collection

 

1859

1859 - Black Controls: For these, Hiscocks and Barefoot say Perf.11½ - 12½, and L&H (and Lister) say Perf.11½ - 12.
They seem to be a bit irregular. I'm going with Barefoot on this, say 12±½  x  12±½.

British & Irish 1s6d - 187284 British & Irish 2s6d #57656 7-Segment rings on BIM 4s BIM 5s - 51199
1s6d type courtesy of Martien Blank. 2s6d type courtesy of Mark Gibson. 4s type courtesy of Mark Gibson. 5s type courtesy of Steve Lawrie, Perf 12¼

 

RH # Hisc. Description Wmk. Rarity Mint Used
RH5 H5 1s6d Black on pale buff. T-Bolt R4 100.00 80.00
RH6 H6 2s6d Black on pale yellow-buff BTC R4 120.00 100.00
RH7 H7 4s Black on green. BTC R4 200.00 180.00
RH8 H8 5s Black on blue. BTC R4 250.00 230.00

The perforation was later changed and more denominations added, see below.

Value Perforation change between : difference
1s6d 187295 189608 2313
2s6d 57657 87035 29378
4s 199973 238845 38872
5s 51199 83710 32511

I would like to hear from anyone with examples that can narrow down where any of these changes occurred.

 

1860


1860(?) - Black Controls: Perf.13 - 13½

British & Irish 3d - 127091 British & Irish 6d British & Irish 1s British & Irish 1s6d
3d type (one of mine) 6d type courtesy of Mark Gibson   H10. 1s type courtesy of Mark Gibson   H11. 1s6d type courtesy of Steve Lawrie   H12.

British & Irish 2s British & Irish 2s6d British & Irish 3s British & Irish 4s British & Irish 5s
2s type courtesy of Steve Lawrie.   H13 2s6d type courtesy of Steve Lawrie   H14. 3s type courtesy of Mark Gibson   H15. 4s type courtesy of Steve Lawrie   H16. 5s type courtesy of Mark Gibson   H17.

 

RH # Hisc. Description Wmk. Rarity Mint Used
RH9 H9 3d Black on white. T-Bolt R2 50.00 40.00
RH9a           Type 2 control.   Unlisted 60.00 50.00
RH9b           Imperf. No Control.   Scarce 30.00 -
RH9c           Missing 'I' in 'MAGNETIC'   Unlisted - -
RH10 H10 6d Black on pink. T-Bolt R2 70.00 60.00
RH10a           Type 2 control.   Unlisted 80.00 80.00
RH11 H11 1s Black on lilac. T-Bolt R2 80.00 70.00
RH11a           Type 2 control.   Unlisted 90.00 80.00
RH12 H12 1s6d Black pale buff. T-Bolt R2 75.00 65.00
RH12a - One Shilling & Six Pence Black. T-Bolt Unlisted - -
RH13 H13 2s Black on yellow. BTC R2 150.00 120.00
RH14 H14 2s6d Black on yellow buff. BTC *** 220.00 200.00
RH15 H15 3s Black on rose. T-Bolt R2 250.00 240.00
RH16 H16 4s Black on green. BTC R3 300.00 250.00
RH17 H17 5s Black on blue. BTC R3 500.00 400.00
RH17a           Imperf. No Control.   Scarce 45.00 -

*** Langmead & Huggins give both perforations for the 2s6d value in their table (Pg.24) but omit RH14 from their scarcity listing.
They do however give the scarcity of a "2s black on dull buff paper" (rarity 2), perhaps this was meant to be 2s 6d ?

Can anyone resolve this discrepancy?

 

Two perforations.

British & Irish perforations.
Langmead & Huggins illustrate H5 with a picture of 187295 and mention 187288. Above are two stamps courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
On the left is 187288, compared with 189613 (H12). The change occurs somewhere between 187295 and 189608.

The perforation difference can be clearly seen. At first it was Perf.11½ to 12½, then later Perf.13 to 13½.
It would appear that the perforation for the 1s6d changed somewhere between controls 187295 and 189613.
Can anyone provide scans of any more perf. 11½ - 12½ stamps, they seem to be very scarce ?

 

Late 1861?

As above but change of design, 1/6d now written in full.
This has not previously been listed with a black control number and must be very rare.

British & Irish new 1/6d.
This has every appearance of being genuine. Image courtesy of Ian Pinwill.
To avoid re-ordering all subsequent Hiscocks numbers, I have included it as RH12a above.

 

Red Controls.

Common wisdom has it that these date from about 1862. Here is a table of highest controls for the values printed in both black and red.
If red was from 1862, then black controls would have been used for about 3 or 4 years, and red for 7 or 8 years. The red should therefore have got to twice the number of controls as black.
That is not the case. It looks like black controls were used for at least 5 times as long as the red. A date of about 1867, or later, would seem more likely.

Denomination Perf. 11½-12½ 1859?
Black Control
Perf. 13-13½ 1860?
Black Control
Perf. 13-13½ Date?
Red Control
6d - 554864 42982
1s - 929269 155412
1s6d (both) 187295 337462 199031
2s - 152323 1027
3s - 61514 12787

1867(?) - Red Control numbers: Perf.13 - 13½.

British & Irish 6d British & Irish 1s British & Irish 1s6d
6d. black on pink   RH18 1s. black on lilac   RH19 1s6d. black on pale buff   RH20
Images courtesy of Mark Gibson.

British & Irish 1s6d British & Irish 1s6d British & Irish 3s - 12787
2s. black on yellow   RH21 3s. black on rose   RH22 3s. black on rose   RH22a
Image courtesy of Mark Gibson. . Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Regarding RH22a: Walter Morley writing in the Fiscal Philatelist, March 1893, described a pair of 3s imperf. with red control numbers 12786 and 12787.
He illustrated these (in small black and white) and considered them to be genuine.

Walter Morley 1893 image of RH22a

Raymond Lister (1961) mentions the stamp, describing it as very rare, but making no mention of a pair. Hiscocks catalogued it as H22a without comment.
Langmead & Huggins (2003, page 23, last paragraph) suggested that the 12786/7 pair was in the Royal Collection, however the 1952 book by John Wilson on the Royal Collection lists only 1 example.
Since the single (Ex. Lister) example illustrated is 12787, then the one in the Royal Collection must be 12786.
L&H also say that control 12784 is also known, though it now has forged perforations.
Can anyone supply a scan of an RH22   (the Royal Collection didn't have one)

 

RH # Hisc. Description Wmk. Rarity Mint Used
RH18 H18 6d Black on pink. T-Bolt R2 150.00 120.00
RH18a           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 30.00 -
RH19 H19 1s Black on lilac. T-Bolt R2 100.00 90.00
RH19a           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 50.00 -
RH20 H20 1s6d Black on pale buff. T-Bolt R2 90.00 80.00
RH20a           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 50.00 -
RH21 H21 2s Black on yellow. BTC R2 150.00 120.00
RH21a           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 30.00 -
#RH21b           Black on dull buff. BTC R2 75.00 60.00
RH22 H22 3s Black on rose. T-Bolt R3* 400.00 350.00
RH22a H22a         Imperf.   R5 - -
RH22b           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 45.00 -

* The lack of examples suggests that they are rarer than that. L&H say that No 2066 is in the Tapling Collection.
It has a manuscript cancel and is imperf. on the left.
# These would appear to be colour changelings due to environmental problems. See 'Colours' below.

Remainders.

Remainders are normally taken to mean the imperforate stamps without control numbers. These probably originate from Messrs. Mawdesley & C0., 2 Castle Street, Liverpool, the company that printed the stamps.
They therefore represent unfinished examples of the last kind of stamps that were being produced. However, up until the time that the Post Office took control of their operation, the company was running,
as far as possible, normally. According to the back of their stationery, at that time they had 344 'Principle Stations' in the UK. Each of those would have had some stocks of stamps that could be considered to be remainders,
in that they were left over. It is likely that the majority of their mint stamps still in existence came from that source. Thus they also are predominantly from the then current stamps, earlier types being more scarce.

British & Irish 3d British & Irish 6d British & Irish 1s British & Irish 1s6d
3d black on white   RH9b 6d black on pink   RH18a 1s black on lilac   RH19a 1s6d. black on pale buff (red controls)   RH20a
One of mine Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Mark Gibson. Courtesy of Mark Gibson.

British & Irish 2s British & Irish 3s British & Irish 5s
2s. black on yellow   RH21a 3s. black on rose   RH22b 5s. black on blue   RH17a

For the series shown above, Langmead & Huggins list imperforate examples without controls as 'remainders and quite common'.
Hiscocks also says these are remainders and 'worth considerably less'. They do though help with determining the sequence of issues and with plating.
Flaws on remainders match those on stamps with red controls when they exist. 3d and 5/- stamps are not known with red controls.
There are no known remainders of the 2/6d or 4s, so presumably they were no longer being used when the P.O. took over.

 

 

Watermarks.

According to Langmead and Huggins, only the 2s, 4s and 5s stamps were on the earlier BTC paper,
the rest being the new 'clenched hands and thunderbolts' watermarked paper shown below.

However an example of the 2s6d shows that this too was on BTC paper.
This discrepancy may arise from the assertion of Philbrick and Westoby(1881) that the
thunderbolts paper also had a papermakers name on it.
As far as I am aware, this is a complete fiction invented to explain the correct assertion of M. Moens that the 2s stamp had a different watermark,
Philbrick and Westoby assumed that all the stamps would have the same watermark
If anyone does in fact have any stamps on thunderbolts paper that shows part of a papermakers name, I would of course want to hear about it.

According to Walter Morley in "The Fiscal Philatelist" March 1893, the 3d, 6d, 1s, 1s6d and 3s were watermarked
'diagonally, from left to right downwards, in lines of five "clenched" hands holding a forked streak of lightning.'
they were in sheets of 60 stamps with 12 rows of 5 stamps, measuring 16 inches by 5 7/8 inches.

British & Irish thunderbolt watermark
This is an enhanced image to try to illustrate this, taken from a block of 8 stamps courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
More on this block later. I have tried to improve on this watermark image for clarity.

British & Irish thunderbolt watermark

Walter Morley also says that the 2s and 5s (on BTC paper) were 12 rows of 5 stamps wide and measured "18½in. x 3½in. (outer edge to outer edge of stamps).

There is evidence of the 3d in a 5 x 12 format, but also evidence that the 6d and at least some later 2s 6d were in a 5 x 40 format.

 

BIM 2s6d numbered 139937 BIM 5s numbered 106136 2s-Frank
2s6d and 5s showing the end of 'TELEGRAPH' in the BTC watermark.
Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.
2s remainder showing part of 'Frank' in the BTC
watermark.   Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.

 

BIM 1s6d numbered 189608 BIM 3s numbered 61513 BIM 4s numbered 238850 BIM 4s numbered 238850 BIM 4s numbered 238850
1s6d and 3s showing parts of the 'clenched hands and thunderbolts' watermark.
Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.
4s showing part of the BTC watermark. ('NY')
Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.
4s showing part of the BTC watermark. ('k')
Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.
4s 199973 with ('BR') of the BTC watermark. courtesy
of Ian Pinwill. Stamp now owned by Mark Gibson.

Admittedly the first couple of 4 shilling images are not very convincing, but it turns out that the watermark is reversed, the first showing 'NY' of 'COMPANY', and the other showing the loop at the top of the ' k ' of 'Frank' (on the 2s above).
The last is taken with an iPhone using a light box and shows the 'BR' of 'BRITISH' very clearly.

 

Cancels

According to Raymond Lister (1961), the cancellations used were
"Six, sometimes seven, concentric and broken rings. (Black or blue.) Oval grid pattern with diamond shaped dots. (Black.)"

7-Segment rings on BIM 2s 7-Segment rings on BIM 2s6d 7-Segment rings on BIM 4s 7-Segment rings on ETC 1s !
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

I have never heard of this cancel on an Electric Telegraph Co. stamp, but here one is! An indication that these companies worked closely together, presumably at Liverpool ?

At least one of these cancels continued to be used after the Post Office takeover.
7-Segment rings on 6d pair
Image courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

 

DETAILS:


Black Controls.

I recently noticed an indicator that was fairly constant for each plate of each value but had several different forms.
I am hoping this can help me distinguish plates and put them in sequence.

British & Irish 1s6d F-flaw. British & Irish 6d F-flaw. British & Irish 1s F-flaw.
The first is from the 1s6d
perf. 11½ - 12½ stamp above,
which I can take to be the
earliest scan I have.
it is on all the 1s6d and
'ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE'
scans I have.
On all the 6d scans. All 'ONE SHILLING'
scans.

 

The 3d and 2s are more complicated. See under 'Plating'.

 

British & Irish 3d - 127091 British & Irish 3d - 220755 British & Irish 3d - 223371 British & Irish 3d - 339455
3d. black on white   H9 3d. Missing 'I' in 'MAGNETIC'  RH9b 3d. black on white   H9 3d. black on white   H9
One of mine. (with red style '2') 3d Error image courtesy of Mark Gibson. Anonymous - note the different control digit styles, '2's, '3's and '5's seem to be very distinctive.

From what I have seen of the lithographed stamps, each row of the sheets has the same sequence of impressions with the same sequence of constant flaws.
According to Walter Morley in "The Fiscal Philatelist" March 1893, these were in sheets of 60 stamps with 12 rows of 5 stamps.

I would have thought that these four 3d stamps would allow me to see some common flaws, but none are obvious apart from the downward stroke at the right end of the top panel.
What is apparent though is that they do not all use the same machine for adding the control numbers.
I would have thought that the numbers were important for accounting purposes and it would be simpler to keep to the same machine for each denomination,
but clearly this was not done. Has switching machines disrupted the numbering system?

 

 

3d

British & Irish 3d - lowest British & Irish 3d
Lowest Type 1 control. Highest Type 1 control seen.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d
Lowest Type 2 control seen. Highest Type 2 control seen.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

6d

British & Irish 6d British & Irish 6d
Lowest Type 1 control seen. Highest Type 1 control seen.
Courtesy of Mark Gibson. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 6d British & Irish 6d
Lowest Type 2 control seen. Highest Type 2 control seen.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Mark Gibson.

 

1s

H11 lowest Type 1 number seen H11 highest Type 1 number seen
Lowest Type 1 control seen. Highest Type 1 control seen.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

L & H list a Forwarding Form of 22 January 1862 bearing an example
of this numbered 79739 as being in the Royal Philatelic Collection.

 

H11 lowest Type 2 number seen H11 highest Type 2 number seen
Lowest Type 2 control seen. Highest Type 2 control seen.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Lowest and highest control numbers seen of H11, both 'red' (Type 1) style, plus some between with 'Type 2' controls.
Compare with the forged controls lower down.

 

1s6d (Perf.13 - 13½
The change from Perf.11½ - 12½, to Perf.13 - 13½ happens somewhere between 187295 and 189608.
)

B&I 1s6d - 189608 British & Irish 1s6d British & Irish new 1/6d.
Lowest (courtesy of Mark Gibson) and highest (courtesy of Steve Lawrie) controls seen. Only know example (courtesy of Steve Lawrie)

 

2s

British & Irish 1s6d British & Irish 1s6d
Lowest control courtesy of Steve Lawrie, and highest control seen courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

Forged control numbers.

The stamps without control numbers have allowed forgers to add control numbers, and since these are line-perforated,
perforations can be added relatively easily. The best defence is education.

British & Irish 3d BIM 3d-324818 British & Irish 6d British & Irish 1s
3d. black on white   RH9a 3d with forged control and (presumably) perfs. 6d. black on pink (RH10a) with forged control added 1s with forged control and (presumably) perfs.
One of mine. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. One of mine. Image courtesy of Martien Blank.

Above is a 6d imperf. with a forged black control number. Compare the style of the numbers with the items above.
To the left of it is the same digits rearranged on a 3d that has additional forged (I presume) perforations added. Similarly, a 1s on the right.
Note the style of the '2' and the two different style '8's.
On the perforations, although the controls appear to come from the same source, the perforations are different, though both quite well done.
The 3d is perforated about 13½ x 13¾, while the 1s is about 13 x 12¾.
Forged perforations have also been added to perfectly good stamps from the edge, top or bottom of sheets that had undesirable straight edges.

 

British & Irish 5s 456123 British & Irish 1s6d 612378
5s with forged control and (presumably) perfs. 1s6d with forged control and (presumably) perfs.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

This is interesting in that the numbers are in blocks, '123', '456' and either '789' or '7890'. The numbers are smaller and closely spaced.
On the 1s6d example, parts of adjoining numbers can be seen that were not completely masked. The perforation holes are a bit smaller than on the ones above,
with both measuring about 13¼. Considering the effort required to produce these, there are probably more about.

 

Red Controls: Perf.13 - 13½.


6d

H18 lowest number seen   H18 highest number seen
lowest and highest numbers seen of RH18, both courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

1s

H19 lowest number seen   H19 highest number seen
lowest and highest numbers seen of RH19, both courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE.

H20 lowest number seen   H20 highest number seen
lowest (courtesy of Mark Gibson) and highest (courtesy of Steve Lawrie) numbers seen of RH20.

 

2s

H21 lowest number seen   H21 highest number seen
lowest and highest red numbers seen on RH21, both courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

Colours.

As with most of the early telegraph stamps on coloured papers, some seem to have faded or otherwise changed over the years.

British & Irish colours
These 3 were probably on the same sheet. It seems likely that these all started out the same colour. What happened?

British & Irish colours
Similarly with these. These things are about 150 years old. Some of them have been looked after well, others not so well.
This may be what Langmead and Huggins are referring to with their 2s "black on dull buff paper".

In the scarcity listing, they list them as equal scarcity, but I have only seen these two which seem to be just colour changelings.
Langmead and Huggins cite the existence of dull buff paper for these to suggest that if the
British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co. 3s stamp exists, it will be on dull buff paper.
That was because they thought the 2s6d stamps were on thunderbolts watermarked paper.
If the British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co. 3s stamp still exists it will be on the paper later used for the B&I 2s6d stamp.

Anyone have other examples of the 2s black on dull buff paper ?

If you value your collection, then you may want to consider how you look after your stamps.
Always use tweezers, avoid UV light and be aware that some paper and plastics can cause problems after a long time in contact.
Some information can be found at stamps.org. Consider using archival-quality materials if you are not already.

Soaking, or a long time in damp/humid conditions is another problem. 'Foxing' is caused by a fungus, if you have items with foxing, don't let it spread.
The colours were usually made with several components, some of which may have been fugitive.
If the yellow dye was made from a green and a red component, then anything causing deterioration of the green component will turn them pink,
just as some Victorian green-blue postage stamps ended up blue by loss of the yellow.

 

 

Plating.

The examples from Steve Lawrie make it possible to try plating some of these.

Shortcuts to different sections
3d 6d 1s 1s/6d One Shilling & Sixpence 2s 2s6d 3s 4s 5s

On the evidence that at least some sheets having 12 rows of 5 stamps were used, and blocks of 20 stamps repeat (see 3d plating below),
I made a 'widget' to decode sheet-position and block position (1 + control mod-20) from the control number.
Click on 'popup' to open it in another small window.

Quantity of wasted control numbers (assumed at the beginning)

Enter a Control number to check  
       

Sheet (1+)Row (1->12) Column (1->5)Block-pos.(1->20)
     

Calculator with adjustable row and column sizes.
Stamps per sheet:
Sheet (1+) Rows Columns Block-size Sheet Pos.
     
Sheet #Row #Col #Block Pos.Sheet Pos.

The 'wasted' field is to accommodate the possibility that some stamps were printed, but not numbered due to quality problems.

 

From what I have learned so far, the 3d and 6d at least seems to be repeating blocks of 20 stamps.
It is likely that each plate is defined by such a block, so my aim is to do that for each plate.

 

3d

British & Irish 3d - 339455 British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d
Anonymous. One of mine. Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.
Note the long gash to the right of 'STAMP' which seems a variable feature of the 3d stamp. I need to call it something because it features heavily.
I will call it 'the spike'.      Note also the mark between 'RI' of 'BRITISH', I will call that the 'RI' flaw.

 

British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 0. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 1. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 2. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 3. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 4. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 5.
3d with controls
Type 1 & 2 up to 402607
3d with control
406324.
3d with controls
406356 to 414618.
3d with control
417749.
3d with control
424367.
3d with control
424371.

 

3d Plate-1 ?
Controls from 118254 (or below) to 141880 at least.

Here is 18 out of 20 of the earliest plate I know of for the 3d (without the 'RI' flaw, intact 'spike', block positions 4 and 5 are missing) - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Positions are sequential with 141821 = position 1 to 141840 = position 20 (i.e. subtract 141820 from the control number).

For this to be the beginning of a sheet, The calculator needs to be set to Rows=4, Columns=5, wasted=0

1 British & Irish 3d - block 3 British & Irish 3d - block 4 5
6 10
11 15
16 20

The lowest control number seen 118254 matches 141834 (shown above, block position 14) with the same frame-break by 'IS' of 'BRITISH'.
This plate therefore spans at least 118254 to 141880 (the end of this sheet, see reconstruction below). This is 23626 stamps, all Type 1 control numbers.

 

Here are 4 selected last-column stamps at intervals of 2 rows (10 stamps).
The position calculator above also gives these 'Block positions' with 'wasted control numbers' set at 0.
British & Irish 3d matches
Flaws on 141830 match those on 141850. Flaws on 141840 match those on 141860. This indicates that there is a unit of 20 stamps (4 rows) that is repeated to fill the sheet.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Sheet reconstruction - Earliest known plate of 3d.

The sheet spans controls 141821 to 141880 (probably) making a sheet of 60 stamps of which 27 are missing.
Can anyone supply scans of any of the missing stamps, particularly from the bottom row, 141876 to 141880 ?

British & Irish 3d sheet reconstruction. This shows a partial reconstruction for the 3d courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
It shows the end of one sheet and most of the rows of the next sheet.
It is shown quarter scale.

The previous sheet ends with control 141820.
If they were consistently numbered from 000001
with 5 columns and 12 rows to the sheet,
that would have been row 8 of sheet 2364.

I then show samples from 10 out of the next 12 rows.
I have no scans from 141841-141845,
though clearly a straight edge on the top or bottom of it
would not have matched the stamps on the adjoining row.

The same is also true for the bottom row, 141876-141880
at least must still have been there, giving 12 rows minimum.

This equates to 60 stamps per sheet, being 3 contiguous
panes of 20 different stamps.


This supports Walter Morley's statement about sheet sizes,
although it does not explain the apparent start on row 9.

To be fair, complete consistency always is asking a bit much,
but it is worth looking out for other examples showing sheet boundaries.
They may shed light on when the discontinuity happened.
It is possible that a different sheet size was used initially.

None of those stamps show the 'RI' flaw seen above, so I looked for some among higher numbers in Steve Lawrie's scans and
found 10 stamps in the range 284261 to 402607 (118346 stamps), plus a couple from elsewhere:

British & Irish 3d - 141837 flaws British & Irish 3d - 214297 flaws British & Irish 3d 148040 British & Irish 3d 182680
These are both block-position 17. They do not match. The first is from plate 1 with control Type 1.
The other is control Type 2. It would appear that there was a change of plate somewhere between
controls 141880 and 214281. I will assume the new one is plate 2.
The Control Type may or may not have changed at the same time.
Similarly, these two from block-position 20. do not match. The first is from plate 1.
They are both control Type 1. It would appear that there was a change of plate somewhere between
controls 141880 and 182680. I will assume the new one is plate 2.
The Control Type seems to have changed during the use of plate 2.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

British & Irish 3d - 220755 British & Irish 3d - 339455 British & Irish 3d - 141855
These are both block-position 15 on the plate-2. They do not match. The first is missing the
'I' in 'MAGNETIC' the other has the 'RI' flaw. The first is control Type 2, the other is control Type 1.
Is it because they are from different plates, or because the first is from row 3 and the other row 7.
Or perhaps the block-size is not 20 stamps on this plate.
The control numbers are a different font, the '55' matches earlier numbers than 220755 !.
141855 (plate 1) has the '55' matching 339455,
but not 220755 !
It is only the straight edge on 339455 that makes
me think that the control number might be genuine,
especially since its '4' is also tall.
'I' Error image courtesy of Mark Gibson. (Type 2 control) Anonymous. (Type 1 control) Courtesy of Steve Lawrie (Type 1 control)

British & Irish 3d - 127091 British & Irish 3d - 223371 British & Irish 3d - 388491 British & Irish 3d - 424371
127091 this is block-position 11 on the first
plate. It matches 141831
These are block-position 11. They do not match. 223371 is fairly close to 214297 with a similar flaw.
It is also the same control Type, so I think it is plate-2. 388491 is back to control 1 and has a slightly
different flaw. I will take this as plate-3 for now.
424371 this is block-position 11 on say plate-4.
This has been re-perfed. on the left side which measures about
Perf. 12.3 whereas the other sides are Perf. 13.
One of mine. (Type 1 control) - Plate-1 Anonymous. (Type 2 control) - Plate-2(a) Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. (Type 1 control) - Plate-2(b) Courtesy of Martien Blank. (Type 1 control) - Plate-3

 

 

3d Plate-2 ? - This is subject to revision since there appear to be contradictions
I have a few mismatches and no matches. I need to find some matches to resolve the discrepancies.
Can anyone help with that ?

Controls from 214281 (or below) to 388480 ? 419136? Position 15 (see above) suggests that this may be two plates mixed together.
with a boundary somewhere between 220755 and 339455. I will split Plate 2 into 2a and 2b, on the assumption of a new stone.

Plate 2a - I will take this to be below 280000 since they do not have the 'RI' flaw.

Not much left in this, but it does resolve some conflicts.

British & Irish 3d -
Block position 1.?
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 2.?
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 3.?
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 4.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 5.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 6. (reperfed)"?
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 7.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 8.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 9.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 10.
British & Irish 3d - 223371
Block position 11.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 12.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 13.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 14.
British & Irish 3d - 220755


Block position 15.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 16. Courtesy of Mark Gibson
British & Irish 3d - 214297
Block position 17.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 18.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 19.
British & Irish 3d 182680
Block position 20.
These show the mark between 'RI' of 'BRITISH' clearly on most positions above 280000, but not all. So would seem to be a different plate. 284266 does not show it, even though 284261 to 284263 do.
I have therefore included 214297 at position 17 because it did not match 141837 on the earlier plate at that position.
This plate therefore spans at least 214297 to 402607.
I have included Type 1 and Type 2 control numbers, though I am uncertain about the chronological relationship between them.
All these except positions 4 and 15 are courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Position 4 is courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

Plate 2b.

British & Irish 3d - 284261
Block position 1.
British & Irish 3d - 284262
Block position 2.
British & Irish 3d - 284263
Block position 3.
British & Irish 3d - 390724
Block position 4.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 5.
British & Irish 3d - 284266
Block position 6. (reperfed)
British & Irish 3d - 390727
Block position 7.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 8.
British & Irish 3d - 390689
Block position 9.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 10.
British & Irish 3d - 388491
Block position 11.
British & Irish 3d - 390692
Block position 12.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 13.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 14.
British & Irish 3d - 339455
Block position 15.
British & Irish 3d - 419136
Block position 16. Courtesy of. Mark Gibson
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 17.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 18.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 19.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 20.
These show the mark between 'RI' of 'BRITISH' clearly on most positions but not all. So would seem to be a different plate. 284266 does not show it, even though 284261 to 284263 do.
I have therefore included 214297 at position 17 because it did not match 141837 on the earlier plate at that position.
This plate therefore spans at least 214297 to 402607.
I have included Type 1 and Type 2 control numbers, though I am uncertain about the chronological relationship between them.
All these except positions 4 and 15 are courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Position 4 is courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

Something that actually matches.

British & Irish 3d - 406356 British & Irish 3d - 419136
406356 - Block position 16.
This has quite a few features.
419136 - Block position 16. This has matching
features, even though some are hard to see.

Note though that the 'spike' on the weak printing is complete, but not on the strong printing!
Perhaps the left is an old stone, over-inked, but the right is a fresh copy, under-inked.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Mark Gibson

In trying to sort these out, I have hit some apparent contradictions. I will therefore add some explanation about the note just above.
For this I am grateful to John Barefoot who on page 31 of his 2013 Telegraph Stamp book, under Colombia, wrote:
"In the litho process an original stone can quickly develop signs of wear and some collectors considered plate wear alone to be a certain indication of later printing. However,
a new stone can be produced with underexposed image giving an impression of wear (fine lines of the design tend to disappear) when it is in fact freshly produced."

I thus need to clarify what I mean by 'plate'. I will take it to mean the master, from which working stones are produced to print stamps from.
Replacing a working stone with a new copy from that master may produce minor differences.

 

The highest control numbers seem to be different again, but match remainders.
I show them below for comparison.

British & Irish 3d - 406356 British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d remainder British & Irish 3d remainder
406356 - Block position 16. from above.
This has quite a few features that match 419136.
424376 - Block position 16. is the highest
number I have seen. It does not match the other.
The left stamp of this remainder pair has similarities to 424376. Perhaps the broken I is
not constant. It also shows that the vertical line to the right of 'STAMP'
can be continuous and broken on the same stone.
214297 - Block position 17. from 2a above.
This also is not a good match for the right-hand remainder.
The numbers above about 420000 do not match the plate above, but match the remainders. Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 3d - 390727
Block position 7.
British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d
390727, block-position 7, from above These 3 are all block-position 7.   402607 and 414307 show the 'RI' flaw, but 424367 (one of the highest numbers I have seen) does not.
However the broken long vertical to the right of 'STAMP' seem to connect 414307 and 424367.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d Remainder 6 British & Irish 3d Remainder 5
424367 repeated together with a couple of remainders. These have a lot of similarities and a few differences.
None show the 'RI' flaw, but all have a small dot over the 'T' of 'BRITISH'.
Remainders are the leftovers at the end of the company, so this is from the last plate.
424367 courtesy of Steve Lawrie. The remainders are mine.

 

British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d remainder
These are block-position 9.   The last is one of the highest numbers I have scans of.
They share similarities, but there are quite a few differences, the short I for example.
This remainder also has the short I and some
other similarities. It also has differences.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

This pair has one with and one without the 'RI flaw', showing that they coexist on the same plate.
British & Irish 3d mixed
Indications are that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.
That would imply that these are from the last plate and that it had both types.
The left-hand stamp has a short 'I' in 'LIMITED', similar to 417749 just above.
Some other parts match, but not all.

The mark on the top of the 'T' of 'STAMP' on the left stamp is distinctive. So is the short 'I' in 'LIMITED'.
These characteristics can be seen in block-position 9 on the plate below, but not on the plate above.
Image courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.

 

Plate 3.
419136 and below are earlier than this plate. 419136 is on sheet 6986 which extends up to 419160. I will take this provisionally to only contain stamps above that.
At the moment some of these should therefore not be here - to be resolved.

British & Irish 3d
Block position 1.
British & Irish 3d
Block position 2.
British & Irish 3d - 406363
Block position 3.
British & Irish 3d - 406324
Block position 4.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 5.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 6.
British & Irish 3d - 414307
Block position 7.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 8.
British & Irish 3d - 417749
Block position 9.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 10.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 11.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 12.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 13.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 14.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 15.
British & Irish 3d
Block position 16.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 17.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 18.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 19.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 20.

These are in the range 406324 to 417749 at least.
All these images are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Apparent ranges:

Plate number (subject to revision) Lowest known highest known high - Low Characteristics
Unknown 1 118253 118252 Perhaps there was an earlier plate
1 118254 141880 23626 No 'RI' flaw, Type 1 controls
Unknown 141881 214296 72415 Type 1 controls, plates changed from 1 to 2
2a 214297 279999 65702 No 'RI' flaw, Type 1 controls, then Type 2 controls
2b 280000 419136 139136 Most 'RI' flaw, Type 2 controls then Type 1 controls
Unknown 419137 419160 23 Type 1 controls, plates changed from 2b to 3
3 419161 424376 5215 Most with 'RI' flaw, Type 1 controls. Match remainders.

 

Plating - 6d

Normally with 5 stamps per row, it would be expected that rows would consistently be numbered from 1 to 5 or 6 to 0 alternately as with the 3d blocks above.
With the 6d black Type 1 controls at least there is evidence of this being disrupted.

Starting with control number 1 at the beginning of the first sheet (of 60), The partial reconstruction (of sheet 2359) on the left below should start with 141481.
Instead it is a row and 2 stamps in advance of this.

The sheet on the right (sheet 3439) should start with 206341, but is 47 stamps ahead (9 rows and 2 stamps).
The stamp below that ends the row with 7 instead of 5 also.

British & Irish 6d reconstruction British & Irish 6d reconstruction 125927, 206337 and 410607 all end with 7 and
have a straight edge on the right side.
British & Irish 6d reconstruction British & Irish 6d-410607
All these are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

In the reconstruction above, stamps 141510/141511 do have flaws matching 141490/141491, so we know it is a repeating block of 20 stamps.

 

 

British & Irish 6d-strip of 3






141490 matches 141510.
141491 matches 141511.

This indicates a repeating block of 20 stamps,
4 rows of 5 stamps.
British & Irish 6d-block of 4

There are also some other matches though that might cause confusion.
British & Irish 6d-block of 6
The first 3 (shifted) columns with early Type 1 black controls.
The flaws on 141493 match 141495 and those on 141498 match 141500, except the bit marked in red that seems to have been retouched on 141500.

 

I will make a table as I did with the 3d stamps, putting stamps in the 20 positions of 4 rows of stamps.
I will get the positions from the calculator above using 7 for the number of wasted control numbers.

British & Irish 6d -
Block position 1.
B&I 6d - 141489/90
Block positions 2 and 3.
British & Irish 6d - 141491
Block position 4.
British & Irish 6d -
Block position 5.
B&I 6d - 141493-5
Block positions 6, 7 and 8.
B&I 6d - 141516
Block positions 9.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 10.
B&I 6d - 141498-9
Block positions 11, 12 and 13.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 14.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 15.
B&I 6d - 141503
Block position 16.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 17.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 18.
British & Irish 6d

Block positions 19.
B&I 6d - 125927
Block position 20.

Position 19 is courtesy of Mark Gibson. The others are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
I have noticed matching flaws for position 8 and position 16.



B&I 6d - 117175   B&I 6d - 141495
These two are both Block position 8 and have matching flaws. That indicates that this plate ranges from controls 117175 to 141495 (24320 stamps) at least.

For the moment I will assume that the lowest number I have seen (101446) also belongs to this plate and I have added it at position 19.

 

B&I 6d - 141503 B&I 6d - 141516 B&I 6d - 206336
Block position 16.
Compare this with 141516, position 9 on the right.
We have already seen that positions 6 and 8
are similar and 11 and 13 are similar
These two are both Block position 9 but DO NOT have matching flaws.
Is a new plate in use by 206336 ?   Or was 206336 a 'substituted cliché' replacing the original position 9 ?
'substituted cliché' are now known on Bonelli 6d stamps, and suspected on EIM stamps.
What other similar positions were there?    Clearly more examples are needed from this area.

 

Looking at the remaining stamps:

B&I 6d -
Block position 1.
B&I 6d - 206329
Block positions 2.
B&I 6d - 206330
Block positions 3.
B&I 6d -
Block position 4.
B&I 6d -
Block position 5.
B&I 6d - 206333
Block position 6.
B&I 6d - 410614
Block positions 7.
B&I 6d - 435975
Block position 8.
B&I 6d - 206336/7
Block positions 9 and 10.
B&I 6d - 206333
Block position 11.
B&I 6d - 410614
Block positions 12.
B&I 6d - 435975
Block position 13.
B&I 6d - 435981
Block position 14. Courtesey of Mark Gibson
B&I 6d - 206336
Block position 15.
B&I 6d -
Block position 16.
B&I 6d - 554864
Block positions 17.
B&I 6d -
Block position 18.
B&I 6d -
Block position 19.
B&I 6d - 318767
Block position 20.

Images are courtesy of Steve Lawrie unless otherwise indicated.

Neither of these plates has an example of position 1.
This is the only scan I have of a position-1 6d stamp:
B&I 6d - 155268
It falls between the regions that I can assign to plates.

I had two candidates for position 3.
B&I 6d - 206330   B&I 6d - 393010
I cannot see much in the way of common distinguishing characteristics between these two. They may or may not come from the same plates.

I had two candidates for position 20.
B&I 6d - 318767   B&I 6d - 410607
Again, I cannot see anything in common between these either. They may or may not come from the same plates.
I assume the perforations on the right side of 318767 are fake.

I have included the highest black control 6d that I have a scan of at position 17.
However, if the above two pairs do not match, then there may be another change of plate before then, between 318767 and 393010.

 

Red controls

These are from the last plate and match the remainders.
6d 42959  6d matching Remainder
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

On the red controls there is a scratch after 'SIXPENCE' that varies in strength, the last is barely perceptible. I have not seen it on black controls,
so these would seem to be from yet another plate.
6d scratch   6d scratch   6d scratch   6d scratch   6d scratch   6d scratch
The pattern is not obvious. Lowest control seen 28746, highest seen 42982.

 

Another flaw that I have only seen with red controls:
6d TELE flaw.
This is on 28746, 28758 and 42300. Interestingly, there is also just the dot by the 'T' on 28755, and just the dot over the 'E' on 42980.

- Images (except 42959) courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
42959 image courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

B&I 6d - R28746 B&I 6d - R28755
B&I 6d - R28751 B&I 6d - R42300
It is interesting that 42300 matches 28746.
In the black controls, there were a couple of matches between
column 1 and 3, but there was no image for column 5.
Perhaps columns 1, 3 and 5 match on some rows.

Assuming a sheet size of a multiple of 10 with a
maximum of 100, the only sheet sizes that put these on the
same row of a sheet are 10 and 50. For both, they would be
on the last row of the sheet.
There we have a problem, because 28746 does not
look like the last row of a sheet.

That suggests that they are not on the same row.
B&I 6d - R42980

These five stamps have straight edges consistent with sheets having 5 stamps per row, starting with 1 or 6.
However, the flaws marked on 28746 are repeated on 42300. 42300-28746 = 13544 which is (2259 x 6), (753 x 18) or (251 x 54) suggesting 6 stamps per row.
The flaws marked in magenta can be considered as a plate characteristic.
28751 (fitting 28746 above) is from Langmead & Huggins' book (colour plate 1), courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.
The other four are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

B&I 6d - R42972 B&I 6d - R42982 B&I 6d - R42959
42972 is courtesy of Mark Gibson. 42982 is courtesy of Steve Lawrie. 42959 is courtesy of Martien Blank.

These are the remaining scans that I have.

 

 

Indications are that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.

6d remainder pair - 1. 6d remainder pair - 2.
This pair is clearly from the left of the sheet. That and the flaws should help with plating. This pair both have scratches after 'SIXPENCE', though the right one is barely perceptible.
There are a number of flaws that may help with plating.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

 

Plating - 1s

British & Irish 1s T flaw
I have noticed a 'bump' on the top of the 'T' of 'STAMP' on many of the stamps.
It is on all 13 of the stamps with red controls.
It is on all 6 of the stamps with black controls Type 2.
Out of the Type 1 black controls, 6 stamps have it and 10 do not. I will refer to this as the 'T' flaw.

Here are 3 more flaws that are often found on these stamps, though sometimes faintly:

British & Irish 1s NK flaw British & Irish 1s Scroll flaw British & Irish 1s E flaw
'NK' flaw. 'Scroll' flaw. 'E' flaw.

The 'Scroll' flaw (or traces of) I have seen on stamps with and without the 'T' flaw.
The 'NK' flaw and 'E' flaw I have only seen on stamps that also have the 'T' flaw with the exception of 273124 below.

Going back to the 'T' flaw on Type 1 black controls, in sequence:
Have it: 273123, 782230, (782238, 782239), 929269.
Without it: 82515, 127756, (171923, 171924, 171925), 171928, 171931, 171937, 273124, 344134.

Without - plate 1 ?With - plate 2 ?
82515, 127756, (171923, 171924, 171925), 171928, 171931, 171937,
273124,
344134.
273123,
782228, 782230, (782238, 782239), 929269.
Black Type 2 controls 436040 - 707577
Red controls 14693 - 155412

 

The 273123 / 273124 (digitally re-joined) pair is interesting:
British & Irish 1s pair.
This pair look like they belong together in terms of perforation centring and vertical size.
However, the left stamp has the 'T' flaw and the right does not. If not for this pair, I would have said that this flaw is an indicator of a
new plate that started use part way through the 'black Type 1 period' and continued through the Type 2 and red issues.
This pair confuses things. I think that the 'new plate' is missing the flaw on a few stamps.

A reconstruction of what I think is part of plate 1 using one stamp from Mark Gibson and the others from Steve Lawrie.
British & Irish 1s plate 1 block

Strangely, 171928 has flaws matching the stamp above ! 127772 which should be block position 13, below 171928, does not match.
I have no explanation for that. The grid below has many gaps, perhaps when it is more complete the pattern will become clear.

At this point, I will add another distinctive feature which is perhaps more relevant, though belatedly noticed.

Early 1s V1 - 171926   Early 1s V2   Early 1s V3
Above is a progression from early examples, the first is taken from 171926, the others from more worn printings.

Early 1s 929269   Early 1s V1   Early 1s V1
Another progression from later examples, the first is taken from (black) 929269, the others from remainders, position 12 and 11.
Position 12 matches red control 155412.

 

Putting the low black control numbers without the 'T' flaw (82515 to 171937, 89422 stamps, Plate 1?) into a grid as above by position in a repeating 4-row block gives:

B&I 1s -
Block position 1.
B&I 1s -
Block position 2.
B&I 1s - 171923
Block position 3.
B&I 1s - 171924
Block position 4.
B&I 1s - 171925
Block position 5.
B&I 1s - 171926-7
Block positions 6 and 7.
B&I 1s - 171928
Block position 8.
B&I 1s -
Block position 9.
B&I 1s -
Block position 10.
B&I 1s - 171931
Block position 11.
B&I 1s -
Block position 12.
B&I 1s - 127773
Block position 13.
B&I 1s -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s - 82515
Block position 15.
B&I 1s - 127756
Block position 16.
B&I 1s - 171931
Block position 17.
B&I 1s -
Block position 18.
B&I 1s -
Block position 19.
B&I 1s -
Block position 20.

Position 5 is courtesy of Mark Gibson, position 13 is courtesy of Martien Blank. The others are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.


Putting the higher numbers, mostly with the 'T' flaw (273123 to 782239, Plate 2?) into a grid gives:

B&I 1s -
Block position 1.
B&I 1s -
Block position 2.
B&I 1s - 273123/4
Block positions 3 and 4.
B&I 1s - 686765
Block position 5.
B&I 1s -
Block position 6.
B&I 1s -
Block position 7.
B&I 1s - 686748
Block position 8.
B&I 1s -
Block position 9.
B&I 1s - 782230
Block position 10.
B&I 1s -
Block position 11.
B&I 1s - 707572
Block position 12.
B&I 1s - 686753
Block position 13.
B&I 1s - 344134
Block position 14.
B&I 1s -
Block position 15.
B&I 1s -
Block position 16.
B&I 1s - 707577
Block position 17.
B&I 1s - 782238/9
Block positions 18 and 19.
B&I 1s - 436040
Block position 20.

Images are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

B&I 1s - 686748 B&I 1s - 686748
686748 - Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. 782228 - Courtesy of Martien Blank.
I have two example scans of Block position 8 for this plate.
The mark on the 'H' of 'IRISH' is quite distinctive.
B&I 1s - 686753 B&I 1s - 782233
686753 - Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. 782233 - Courtesy of Mark Gibson.
I have two example scans of Block position 13 for this plate.
There are a couple of distinctive marks.

 

The red controls are on a plate similar to the one above, but different (Plate 3). The same plate is consistent in the range black 929269, red 17059 to 103799 at least and remainders.

B&I 1s - R64901
Block position 1.
B&I 1s - R64942
Block position 2.
B&I 1s - R132363
Block position 3.
B&I 1s -
Block position 4.
B&I 1s -
Block position 5.
B&I 1s -
Block position 6.
B&I 1s -
Block position 7.
B&I 1s - R69028
Block position 8.
B&I 1s - 929269
Block position 9.
B&I 1s - R69030
Block position 10.
B&I 1s - Pos'n 11 rem
Block position 11.
B&I 1s - R155412
Block position 12.
B&I 1s - R14693
Block position 13.
B&I 1s -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s - R64895
Block position 15.
B&I 1s - R43276
Block position 16.
B&I 1s -
Block position 17.
B&I 1s -
Block position 18.
B&I 1s - R17059
Block position 19.
B&I 1s - R103800
Block position 20.

Position 8 is courtesy of Martien Blank, Position 15 is courtesy of Mark Gibson.. The others are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

B&I 1s - 782230 B&I 1s - R64901 B&I 1s - R43270 B&I 1s - Unknown
Position 10 from plate 2. Two examples of Position 10, from plate 3, showing main constant flaws. This is very distinctive, it matches 929269
courtesy of Steve Lawrie..

B&I 1s - 782239 B&I 1s - R17059 B&I 1s - R26459 B&I 1s - R26459
Position 19 from plate 2, courtesy of Mark Gibson. 3 Examples of Position 19 from plate 3, showing main constant flaws. The highest number 103799 is courtesy of Mark Gibson.

 

H19 highest number seen Remainder
11/12 Remainder
Plate 3, block position 12, 155412 from above and a remainder, courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Another pair courtesy of Steve Lawrie, this showing position 11 as well as 12.



This is the block used to show the 'thunderbolts' watermark at the top. It has manuscript writing on the back saying "Sample of New Lot of Paper".
It is gummed, imperf. and without control numbers. What plate is it from ? The wording suggests the first plate, but the 'T' flaw rules out the earliest plate I have scans of.
British & Irish 1s plate 2 block

British & Irish 1s plate 2 block - back It has the 'T' flaw clearly on every stamp, the 'NK', 'Scroll' and 'E' flaws are also visible on some of them, ruling out plate 1. If these are remainders, then they should be plate 3.
I show the constant varieties on positions 10, 12 and 19 of plate 3 above. Together they exclude all possibilities other than that this block is from positions 1-4 and 6-9.
However the single examples of positions 1, 2, 3 and 8 shown in the grid above, strongly suggests that it is not from there either !    I show the constant varieties of positions 8 and 13 of plate 2 also. This block does not have a match for either, which rules out plate 2.

Unless I am making a big mistake somewhere, the block is from a plate that pre-dates any that I have scans of with control numbers (Plate 0 ?).
However, if so, then it is strange that plate 0 has the 'T' flaw, but plate 1 does not, only to reappear on the next plate.

The writing on the back suggests it is early and the paper is very thin. The way it is chopped off suggests that two stamps were subsequently removed, what would have been column 5, leaving the first 4 columns.

Examples with low numbered black controls needed,
or indeed any control numbers would help.

 

 

 

Plating - 1s 6d

Perf.11½ to 12½, changing to Perf.13 to 13½ somewhere between 187295 and 189608.

Here are two digitally-rejoined strips of 3 stamps with a number of constant flaws indicated.
British & Irish 1s6d block

The bottom block (with matching flaws) has control numbers 8820 ahead.
IF there are 60 stamps to a sheet, this represents exactly 147 sheets away.
British & Irish 1s6d block
The same flaws can be seen.

However the block of 6 immediately below that, does not match.
British & Irish 1s6d block
In theory, if the numbering is consistent with 5 stamps per row and 12 rows per sheet, this should be row 7, not the end of the sheet.
Clearly, either it was not (always) 12 rows to the sheet, and/or the numbering was not (always) consistent.

 

B&I 1s6d - 189616 B&I 1s6d - 192916 B&I 1s6d - 201736
These three match. 192916 is 3300 away from 189616. 3300 = (165 x 20) or (110 x 30) or (55 x 60).
201736 is 8820 away from 192916. 8820 = (441 x 20) or (294 x 30) or (157 x 60).
However 201736 does not match 201741 (5 away) or 201746 (10 away).
This indicates repeating blocks of 20, 30 or 60.

If 189616 matches 192916 and 201736 (on the same block as 201743).
Since the perforations on the block 201746-201753 indicate that it was joined to 201741-3,
then the same plate must have been used for at least the range 189616 to 201755. (12,140 stamps = 607 x 20)

 

I have again put stamps of this range (189616 to 201755.) in a grid for a repeating block of 20 stamps (4 rows). To make this line up with sheet boundaries, I have set the calculator to 15 'wasted stamps'.
However, I may have to use a block size of 30 stamps (6 rows). and set the calculator to 5 'wasted stamps'.
or use a block size of 60 stamps (all 12 rows). and set the calculator to 40 'wasted stamps',

B&I 1s6d - 192916 to 8
Block positions 1 to 3.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 4.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 5.
B&I 1s6d - 192921 to 3
Block positions 6 to 8.
B&I 1s6d - 201744-5
Block positions 9 & 10.
B&I 1s6d - 201746 to 8
Block positions 11 to 13.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 15.
B&I 1s6d - 201751 to 3
Block positions 16 to 18.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 19.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 20.

Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie, except positions 9 & 10 courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
This is just using two blocks of 6 plus a pair.

Problems come though, with the stamps that I have scans of below 189616 (including the Perf.11½-12½ stamps), or above
201755.

Outside range. B&I 1s6d - 187284 B&I 1s6d - 187288 B&I 1s6d - 189608 B&I 1s6d - 189613 B&I 1s6d - 201762
Stamp from above. B&I 1s6d - 201744 B&I 1s6d - 201748 B&I 1s6d - 201748 B&I 1s6d - 201753 B&I 1s6d - 192922
Position Position 9
187284 = Perf.11½-12½ courtesy Martien Blank, No Match.
Difference of 14460 (241 x 60)
Position 13
187288 = Perf.11½-12½, No Match.
Difference of 14460 (241 x 60)
Position 13
No Match. Difference of 12140 (607 x 20)
187288 to 189608 is 2320 (116 x 20)
Position 18
No Match. Difference of 12140 (607 x 20)
Position 7
No Match. Difference of 8840 (442 x 20)

Additional stamps with nothing to compare against:

B&I 1s6d - 187295 B&I 1s6d - 189614 B&I 1s6d - 189614
187295 (37459 x 5), Position 20
This is Perf.11½-12½.
189614, Position 19 237910, Position 15 (highest number known)

187295, the last stamp of a sheet, is from Langmead & Huggins' book (Fig.29),
courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.

The examples fall into a few groups:
187284 - 187288
189608 - 189613
192916 - 192923
201744 - 201755
and 201762
With the possible exception of the last,
these groups are mutually incompatible for a block size of 20.

 

Using a block size of 30 stamps (6 rows). with the calculator set to 5 'wasted stamps'.
gives me:

B&I 1s6d -
Block position 1.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 2.
B&I 1s6d - 189608
Block position 3. Courtesy of Mark Gibson.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 4.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 5.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 6.
B&I 1s6d - 201762
Block position 7.
B&I 1s6d - 189613
Block position 8.
B&I 1s6d - 189614
Block position 9.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 10.
B&I 1s6d - 192916 to 8
Block positions 11 to 13.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 15.
B&I 1s6d - 192921 to 3
Block positions 16 to 18.
B&I 1s6d - 201744-5
Block positions 19 & 20.
B&I 1s6d - 201746 to 8
Block positions 21 to 23.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 24.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 25.
B&I 1s6d - 201751 to 3
Block positions 26 to 28.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 29.
B&I 1s6d - 187295
Block position 30.

This has moved one and taken two out of the mis-matching category.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Our mis-match table then becomes:

Outside range. B&I 1s6d - 187284 B&I 1s6d - 187288
Stamp from above. B&I 1s6d - 201744 B&I 1s6d - 201748
Position Position 19
187284 = Perf.11½-12½ courtesy Martien Blank, No Match.
Position 23
187288 = Perf.11½-12½, No Match.

Stamps with nothing to compare against:

B&I 1s6d - 187295 B&I 1s6d - 189608 B&I 1s6d - 189613 B&I 1s6d - 189614 B&I 1s6d - 201762
187295, Position 30
This is Perf.11½-12½.

189608, Position 3

189613, Position 8 189614, Position 9 201762, Position 7

The Perf.11½ - 12 stamps 187284, 187288 and 187295 do seem to be on an earlier plate.
If we assume the Perf.11½ - 12 examples were from plate 1, then that ends between 187295 and 189606, perhaps when the perforation changed.
The second plate then spans 189606- to 201755+. Though there is no hard evidence for a block size of 30, it is not inconsistent and is seems more likely.

Realistically, the only reason for less conflicts with this, is that less stamps have something to compare against. I am not happy with this.
More examples are needed.

 

'ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE' (Red Controls).

A scarce block of H20, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
British & Irish one shilling & sixpence block
Positions 16-19, 21-24.
The units were clearly not laid out too well. This makes well-centered examples uncommon.

 

Using a block size of 20 stamps (4 rows). with the calculator set to 5 'wasted stamps'.
gives me 11 out of 20 :

B&I 1s6d - Red 87886
Block position 1.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 2.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 3.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 4.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 5.
B&I 1s6d - 131151-4
Block   positions  6  to  9.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 10.
B&I 1s6d - 131156-9
Block positions 11 to 14.
B&I 1s6d - 104000R
Block position 15.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 16.
British & Irish 1s6d
Block position 17.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 18.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 19.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 20.

Position 1 courtesy of Martien Blank, Position 17 courtesy of Mark Gibson. The other images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

4 positions have 2 alternatives :

B&I 1s6d - 131151-4
Block   positions  6  to  9.
H20 - 131158
position 13 is in conflict
H20 highest number seen
position 6 is in conflict

position 7
B&I 1s6d - 168933R

position 8 is in conflict
H20 lowest number seen
position 9 is in conflict
H20 - 85598
position 13 is in conflict

 

Using a block size of 30 stamps (6 rows). with the calculator set to 5 'wasted stamps'.
gives me 15 out of 30 :

B&I 1s6d -
Block position 1.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 2.
H20 - 85598
Block position 3.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 4.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 5.
H20 highest number seen
Block position 6.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 7.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 8.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 9.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 10.
B&I 1s6d - Red 87886
Block position 11.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 12.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 13.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s6d - 104000R
Block position 15.
B&I 1s6d - 131151-4
Block positions 16 to 19.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 20.
B&I 1s6d - 131156-9
Block positions 21 to 24.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 25.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 26.
British & Irish 1s6d - 160862
Block position 27.
British & Irish 1s6d 168933

Block position 28.
H20 lowest number seen
Block position 29.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 30.

Position 11 courtesy of Martien Blank, Position 27 courtesy of Mark Gibson. The other images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 1s6d forgery

Forged controls and perforations (27 bottom).
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
British & Irish 1s6d
Block position 27 (top).
Courtesy of Mark Gibson.
British & Irish 1s6d - 160862
Block position 27 (bottom).
courtesy of Mark Gibson.

British & Irish remainder pair
Remainder pair, positions 27 and 28 (bottom).
Position 27 compares quite well with the one above, and 28 compares quite well with the one on the right.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
British & Irish 1s6d 168933

Block position 28 (top) from above.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
British & Irish 1s6d remainder

One more remainder courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

The only numbered two from the same Block Position (27), both courtesy of Mark Gibson, don't match very well, though there are similarities.
Either the plates change in this range, the block size isn't 30, or there was some kind of discontinuity (or a combination of these).
85592 does at least partly match Steve Lawrie's forgery on the left, which should be treated as a remainder and hence the last type.
As with the earlier 1/6d stamps, there are inconsistencies. More examples are needed.

 

British & Irish 1s6d remainder

A strip of four remainders, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
The first two match those above..

 

 

Plating - 2s

British & Irish 2s F-flaw type 3. British & Irish 2s F-flaw type 2. British & Irish 2s F-flaw type 1.
2s with
black controls
around 67000
2s with black controls
119823 and 120529.
2s with black control
152317 and red controls.

 

British & Irish 2s rem British & Irish 2s red British & Irish 2s black British & Irish 2s remainder
One of mine. (short ' I ' in LIMITED) Image courtesy of Mark Gibson. (Long ' I ') Image courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. With fake perf.14, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Note the major frame-break at top and various black marks.
I originally thought this would be constant on controls ending with '3' or '8', but that was when I thought they had a transfer block of 10.
If I arrange in chronological order and note the position, assuming a consistent transfer block of 20, then I get:
black 119823 would be block position (bp) 3 - undamaged
black 152323 would be block position (bp) 3 - some damage
red 1008 would be block position (bp) 8 - broken
remainders position (bp) 3? - broken.


The mark in the 'S' I have seen in Red: 1004, 1008, 1012 and 1025 but not 1009
Black: 119823, 120529 and 152317 but not 67740, 67749 or 67750.

The mark on the left is on all of the ones I have seen with a red control and the
3 highest black control numbers I have seen (119823, 120529 and 152317).
British & Irish 2s 119823
119823, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

column 2 column 3 (long ' I ' in LIMITED) column 4 column 5
British & Irish 2s strip

This strip (courtesy of Steve Lawrie) shows the 1008 position with frame-break and dot in 'S' next to the 1009 position without it.
Indications are that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.
This strip is clearly of the plate used with red controls. Note the variable spacing between stamps.
One thing though, some of the remainders like 1008 with the broken frame, have a short first ' I ' in "LIMITED" and some do not.
Damaged at some point ?


red 1008 (short ' I ' in LIMITED) red 1009?
British & Irish 2s block British & Irish 2s vert pair
red 1013 red 1014 ?
This block matches the centre two of the strip above and also shows the ones underneath.
It will be very helpful in plating.
Don't see any matches at the moment.
Image courtesy of raritiesstampauctions on ebay. Click it for a larger version. A pair of mine.

 

67740 (sheet 1129, row 12, bp 20) 67749 (sheet 1130, row 2, bp 9) 67750 (sheet 1130, row 2, bp 10)
British & Irish colours
Some of these are colour changelings, presumably due to pollution. Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

red 1009 (sheet 17, row 10, bp 9) red 1012 (sheet 17, row 11, bp 12) red 1025 (sheet 18, row 1, bp 5) red 1027 (sheet 18, row 2, bp 7)
British & Irish coloursBritish & Irish 2s 1027
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

H21 flaws   H21 red 1025
A remainder, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions, with similar flaws in the value tablet to red number 1025, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
1025 looks like the top-right corner of a sheet, position 5. Wasted control numbers set to zero works for that.

For the black control 108056 below though, wasted controls set to 55 is needed for a sheet size of 60, to put this at the top-left corner.
I did the same when working out the positions of the other two, though that might turn out to be wrong.

 

10856 - bp = 1 152317 - bp = 2 67750 - bp = 15
British & Irish 2s British & Irish 2s British & Irish 2s
The straight edge on the left indicates that
it was on the left side of a sheet.
The straight edge on 67750 indicates that
it was on the right side of a sheet.
The two together imply 5 stamps per row.
The stamp on the left shares many flaws with the one above.
It also has one of its own and one shared with the one on the right.

The dot after the 'R' is similar to that on the 'One Shilling & Sixpence' above.
It may be a guide dot, as it is close to the centre-line.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

British & Irish 2s Remainder 2 British & Irish 2s Remainder 3 British & Irish 2s Remainder SL 1 British & Irish 2s Remainder SL 2
Left marginal. Damaged 'A' in 'TELEGRAPH'. Various flaws that may be constant. A few more flaws.
My remaining remainders that may help with plating. Some more courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Plating - 2s6d

Perf.12 changing to Perf.13 somewhere between 57657 and 87035.
The Royal Collection lists a block of four Perf. 11½ - 12 and a single Perf. 13 x 13½.

British & Irish 2s6d #57656 British & Irish 2s6d #57657 British & Irish 2s6d #139937
57656 Perf.12 courtesy of Mark Gibson.
Again, this suggests 5 stamps per row.
57657 Perf.12 from Langmead & Huggins' book
courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.
139937 Perf.13 courtesy of Mark Gibson.

British & Irish 2s6d #146656 British & Irish 2s6d #87035 British & Irish 2s6d #141752
146656 Perf.13 courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Bottom-left of sheet.
87035 Perf.13 courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Right side of sheet.
141752 Perf.13 courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

7-Segment rings on BIM 2s6d # 151364/70 block
151364-5 digitally re-joined block. Perf.13. Top pair courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Bottom pair courtesy of Mark Gibson (Ex. Steve Lawrie !). From top-right of sheet.
It is clear they got to the 21st century by different routes.
The cancels on the left suggest this may have been a block of 6.

The watermark, courtesy of Mark Gibson, shows the top of the 'T' of 'THE' from
the BTC watermark on the bottom pair. The top pair above is unlikely to show anything.
Watermark on BIM 2s6d # 151369/70 pair

I only have 10 images of these stamps. 57656/7 appear to be from the bottom row of a sheet which is compatible with 20, 30 or 60 stamps per sheet, but not 40.
151364/5 looks like it may be from the top row of a sheet, but that would not be compatible with 30 or 60 stamps per sheet
unless the numbering was disrupted, or they were no longer 5 stamps to a row. This suggests only 20 stamps per sheet.

 

Plating - 3s

Plate 1 ?

British & Irish 3s #39126 British & Irish 3s British & Irish 3s #61514
39126 courtesy of Steve Lawrie - Perf.13.
Control Type 2
61513 courtesy of Mark Gibson.
Control Type 1
61514 courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Control Type 1

 

 

Plate 2 ?

British & Irish 3s - 12787

Flaws on the black printings are indicated in Cyan :
The 'T' of 'STAMP' is noticeably shorter.
The mark to the left of 'Edward' is quite feint and
not always visible.



Flaws additionally added before red
printings and remainders are indicated in Green:
The back of the '&' has a small mark.
There is a scratch through 'RIS' of 'IRISH'.
This is clearer on some than others, but all
appear to have traces on the 'S' at least.



In addition to these, there will be flaws specific to
  the transfer block position, plus possibly printing flaws. 

Illustration courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Interestingly,
this is the stamp illustrated in the 1900 catalogue
of Walter Morley.

After the printings with black controls, the same master was used to produce a new stone, but appears to have picked up some new flaws first.

Examples with control numbers are very scarce, but luckily remainders are fairly plentiful.

British & Irish 3s remainder British & Irish 3s British & Irish 3s - 12787
One of mine with a clear scratch through 'RIS'. Two similar courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Though the remainder is from the left margin, 12787 is known to have had 12786 on the left.

British & Irish 3s remainder British & Irish 3s British & Irish 3s pair
These have similar flaws. I have no idea why one remainder is stamped with '841' The left stamp is again similar, but the right has some strengthening of letters ?
One of mine Image courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions (Ex Iain Stevenson). Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

British & Irish 3s remainder British & Irish 3s remainder RBritish & Irish 3sIS
These two have similar flaws. From the left edge with marks under 'LIMITED'.
The rest of my remainders.

 

 

Plating - 4s

7-Segment rings on BIM 4s BIM 4s - 238844 BIM 4s - 238845
4s - 199973 4s - 238844
With Scratch top-center.
4s - 238845
Image courtesy of Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

BIM 4s - 238848 BIM 4s - 238850 BIM 4s - 259597
4s - 238848
With Scratch top-centre.
4s - 238850
Short 'I' of 'LIMITED'.
4s - 259597
Left marginal
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

L & H list a Forwarding Form of 25 October 1862 bearing an example
of this with concentric circles numbered 190881 as being in the Royal Philatelic Collection.

I have 5 scans, remainders unknown. It is unlikely that much will be learned about these without significantly more examples.
Unfortunately they are very scarce.

 

Plating - 5s

British & Irish 5s strip
This strip (courtesy of Steve Lawrie) shows a number of features like the frame break above the 'L' of 'SHILLINGS'.
Indications are that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.

British & Irish 5s.  British & Irish 5s                         British & Irish 5s.
The left stamp above has many features in common with the centre stamp, but the one on the right does not, instead it matches the last stamp of the strip above.
The remainders are mine, the image of control number 106136 is courtesy of Mark Gibson. I would not have expected the last digit to be a '6',
but if there are no discontinuities, 106136 is divisible by 8 so perhaps 4 or 8 stamps to a row.

BIM 5s - 51199 BIM 5s - 83710 BIM 5s - 106135 BIM 5s - 456123
5s - 51199 - Perf. 12½ 5s - 83710 - Perf. 13½ 5s - 106135 5s - forged 456123 and perforations
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 5s remainder pair British & Irish 5s remainder - 3 British & Irish 5s remainder - 4
A feature-rich pair with selvedge. Another couple of my remainders that might help with plating.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie. A couple of mine.

 

Sequence.

There are differing opinions as to whether red controls or black controls were used first for the Perf.13 - 13½ stamps.
Hiscocks lists black first. I initially thought red came first because the red controls I had seen were lower control numbers.
Also the style of the '2' is the same on all the red controls and the lower numbered black controls (Control Type 1),
changing to a distinctly different style on the later black controls (Control Type 2). Since then I have found that Type 1 was used again later.

Seeing Steve Lawrie's series for the 1s.6d stamps have made me reconsider, here they are again:

British & Irish perforations.
Perf.11½ - 12½ (H5) No. 187288 on the left compared with Perf.13 - 13½ (H12) No.189613 on the right.

The perforation difference can be clearly seen.
It would appear that the perforation for the 1s6d changed somewhere between 187295 and 189613 without any re-numbering.
It would seem reasonable to assume the same happened with other values.

The '2' on the earliest stamp on the left is very distinctive. I used to refer to this as the 'red' type because,
up to now it is the only type of red control numbers I have seen, but it would be better to call it Type 1.

British & Irish 1s6d British & Irish new 1/6d. H20 lowest number seen H20 highest number seen
This shows the highest black controls together with lowest and highest red on the modified type with value in full.
All the controls I have seen on all of this value are Type 1. All images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

It would seem that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.
These are known for the 'ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE' design written in full, but not the "1s/6d" design.
It seems likely that after the black controls, numbering started again with the red controls.

The same argument about the imperfs without controls can apply to the others.

Thus the Red Controls came last.

 

Looking now at the 'ONE SHILLING' value.

H11 lowest number seen H11 - 707572 H11 highest number seen
H19 lowest number seen H19 highest number seen Remainder

Lowest and highest numbers seen in red and black. All are Type 1 control, except the middle black one, 707572 which I will call Type 2.
The red numbers overlap the black numbers. It is also clear that the black numbers may have gone over 999999.
Did they then restart in red ? Also shown is a remainder that has a lot in common with the highest red control.
Only the lowest black control numbers do not have the 'T' flaw.
It looks like red came last for these. Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Similarly, under 'plating' it is also shown that the remainders match the red controls for the 6d and 2s values.

The evidence indicates that the stamps with red controls match imperf stamps without controls.
If these are indeed remainders, then red controls came last.

 

 

Control Types.

Here are comparison sequences of Type 1, Type 2 and (for completeness) the forged types that I have seen:

B & I, Control Type 1. Type 1
B & I, Control Type 2. Type 2
B & I, Control Forgery.  Forgery
Type 1
B & I, Control Forgery.  Forgery
Type 2

I have only seen three examples of the forgery type 1. They all use the same 6 digits, but in different arrangements.
Note the two different types of '8' used. Forgery type 2 is used in blocks of consecutive numbers with cropping at the ends.

 

Below is an update to the table provided by Langmead & Huggins, this shows the range of controls I have seen (or L&H's list).
I have left out the 2s colour changeling and the 'TWO SHILLINGS & SIXPENCE' that is only known as a proof.
I have also reversed the red and black controls for the Perf. 13-13½ stamps to reflect the sequence that evidence shows they were produced in.

Known combinations for British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co. stamps.
Denomination.Paper colour.Watermark.Perf. 11½-12½
Black Control
Perf. 13-13½Imperf.
No control.
Black ControlRed Control
'THREEPENCE'whiteThunderbolts 118254-174282
214297-284266
388491-424376
  *
'SIXPENCE'pinkThunderbolts 101446-206337
318767
393010-410614
435975
554864
28746-42982 *
'ONE SHILLING'lilacThunderbolts 82515-344134
436040-707577
782230-929269
14693-155412 *
'1s 6d'pale buffThunderbolts187288-187295 189608-237910   
'ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE'pale buffThunderbolts  337462 85592-199031 *
'TWO SHILLINGS'yellowBTC  67740-152323 1004-1027 *
'2s 6d'yellow-buff BTC 57656-57657 ** 87035-151365   
'THREE SHILLINGS'roseThunderbolts  39126-61514 2066, 12787 *
'FOUR SHILLINGS'greenBTC190881 199973-259597   
'FIVE SHILLINGS'blueBTC 44500-51199 83710-106136  *

The lack of 'Imperf. remainders without controls' for three of these, I would take to indicate that these were no longer in use at the time the company was taken over.
'*' indicates known to exist. They were remainders, and similar to the red-control types where they existed.
Control numbers in this colour are Type 2 control numbers, the others are Type 1.

Type 2 was only used intermittently, or perhaps represents a different cycle through the control numbers.

**
Langmead & Huggins indicate (page 23) that numbers 388884-388890 are also known in the Royal Philatelic Collection.
It is written under the heading of the first perforation, but was probably the second.

 


Initially 1s 6d, 2s 6d, 4s and 5s were produced Perf. 11½-12 with black controls Type 1.

At some point the stamps switched to being perforated 13-13½.

Also at some point new values were produced for 3d, 6d, 1s, 2s and 3s.
For thw 1s 6d at least, the control numbers appear to continue un-interrupted. Considering that the stamps were produced by Mawdesley and Co., it is possible that
the British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company Limited did not even know about the change in perforation.
It is also possible that small numbers of some of the other values remain to be discovered perf. 11½-12.

We know that the black control Type 1 numbering appears to have simply continued with the new perforation
and it is therefore likely that the first stamps of the new denomination were treated likewise.

There are 1s stamps with Type 1 control numbers up to 929269. For the 3d value, there are black controls type 2, but no red controls.
One possibility is that when the black type 1 control reached maximum, type 2 was used to distinguish them. Then when the maximum count was reached again, a switch was made to red type 1
and the 1s 6d was changed to have the value in full. the 6d also seems to be a different plate for red controls. A lot of speculation, but it suggests things to look out for.

One thing I find puzzling is that other companies had very consistent control numbering.
That does not appear to be the case with British & Irish.
Another point is the uncertainty of the number of rows of stamps in the sheet. Morley says 12, Lister thinks 6.
A possibility is that the original series was 12, but the new perforator could not handle this size and the new stamps were in a smaller format.
I need to look for evidence of sheet sizes of different values (and controls).

 

Stationery.

Stationery section links:

Shortcuts to different sections Stationery
Index
Transmitting form
([1.]
Delivery form
[2.]
Forwarded Form
[3.]
Messengers Ticket
[4.]
Message Receipt Forms
[5.]
Complaint Form
[32.]
Envelopes

Message sent. Form 1.

Jump to Message sent Form listing.

This appears to have been filled in pencil and erased. it has 1855 written on it which could be right. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-1-1855-1
The year is pre-filled with '185_'. A fancy border and an admonition to write distinctly. A pity they didn't tell their staff to do the same !

British & Irish Stationery - F1 1855

 

The year is pre-filled with '185_'  - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-1-1857-1
The fancy border is gone, but the admonition to write distinctly is still there.

British & Irish Stationery - F1 185_

 

"British and Irish in Connection with the Submarine Telegraph Company." - courtesy of Andrew Higson. - My Ref. BI-1-1865-1
Dated 7 July 1865.
British & Irish Stationery - front

The back lists major offices in London with an interesting reference to the London District Telegraph Company.
British & Irish Stationery - front

 

[1.] "In Connection with the Submarine & London District Telegraph Companies." - courtesy of Edward Coombes. - My Ref. BI-1-1867-1
An apparently unsent form of 186_ written by James Irving, ship broker from Carlisle. Size 172 x 230 mm. Back is blank.
"Limited" is in brackets, like the last form.

British & Irish Stationery Forwarding Form
Terms and conditions on the bottom. Not listed by L & H.

 

 

This is dated 26 November 1868. It is fairly similar to the last one - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-1-1868-1
The form number is gone and so is the admonishment to write clearly. I am assuming that this is later because "Limited" is no longer in brackets, but I could be wrong.

British & Irish Stationery Forwarding Form 1868
Terms and conditions on the bottom a little bit neater.

 

Message Sent Form listing.

Provisional Reference Date on form Dates used Size mm. London Stations Variants Illustrated
BI-1-1855-1 185_ - 167 x 208 - fancy border Yes
BI-1-1857-1 185_ - 170 x 224 - - Yes
BI-1-1865-1 186_ 7/7/1865 237 x 264 11 +LDTC Yes
BI-1-1867-1 186_ ? 172 x 230 - - Yes
BI-1-1868-1 186_ 26/11/1868 190 x 245 - - Yes

 

Telegram Delivery. Form 2.

Jump to Delivery Form listing.

Used 25 July 1857, Dublin to London. " 'LIMITED' in brackets - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1857-1
"In Exclusive ConneXion with the Submarine Telegraph Company." 'LIMITED' in brackets
2 lines for addresses.

British & Irish Stationery 25-7-57 - front
.
The back lists 165 'Principle Stations' and gives 48 'Examples of greatly reduced charges' for Continental Messages in £ s. d.
"The Stations in Ireland are given in Italics".
British & Irish Stationery 25-7-57 - back

The back states 900 Stations in Europe, listing 48 examples with charges from £0 7s 3d (Boulogne) to £1 13s 6d (Russia).
There is no tariff for inland messages, no hint of how many words are paid for with the Continental charges, and no idea of the cost of extra words or porterage.
That information perhaps depended on where you were sending from, and being posted at local offices. It bears the name of the Secretary Edward B. Bright.

 

Similar to the last, Used 11 November 1857 from Whitstable to Wrexham - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1857-2
Now only 1 line for addresses.

British & Irish Stationery 11-11-57 - front
.
The back lists 165 'Principle Stations in the United Kingdom' and gives 48 'Examples of greatly reduced charges' for Continental Messages in £ s. d.
"The Stations in Ireland are given in Italics".
British & Irish Stationery 11-11-57 - back

The back still states 900 Stations in Europe, listing 48 examples with charges from £0 7s 3d (Boulogne) to £1 13s 6d (Russia).
Leghorn, which was 13s 3d, is now blanked out.

 

The front is the same as the last, Used 18 February 1859 from Edinburgh to Hexham - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1858-1
Still only 1 line for addresses, causing a bit of a problem.

British & Irish Stationery 18-2-59 - front
.
The back has changed totally, adding "Magnetic Telegraph" at the top with the address, replacing "United Kingdom" with "England Ireland and Scotland" Wales is ignored,
despite listing stations at Cardiff, Newport and Swansea!  And no longer giving Irish stations in italics and breaking down the list of stations in the major cities.
172 towns/cities having Stations and gives only 37 'Examples of greatly reduced charges' for Continental Messages, now in only s. d.

British & Irish Stationery 18-2-59 - back

The back still states 1400 Stations in Europe and Africa, listing only 37 examples with charges from 6s 0d (Calais) to 37s 0d (Corfu).
"United States and British North American Provinces, by Special Arrangements."   It is dated July, 1858.

 

This is similar to the above, but used in Dublin, Ireland 26 March 1860 - courtesy of Edward Coombes. - My Ref. BI-2-1858-2
The front is the same, and the print date on back looks like July 1858 again, but the back is different.
The 5th line down ends with "COMPANY". On the last form that was followed by '(LIMITED,)'.
The formatting of all of that section down to the list of stations has changed.

British & Irish Stationery Irish 1852 Form - front


The back lists about 186 stations with the important ones capitalised and some places, like London, given a sub-list of stations.
British & Irish Stationery Irish 1852 Form - back
The 37 Continental charges are in Shillings and pence with charges from 6s 0d (Calais) to 37s 0d (Corfu), and there is mention of the
"United States and British North American Provinces" and the Corn Markets.
The form appears to be dated July 1858 with the name of the Secretary Edward B. Bright.

 

The front is the same as the last, Used 24 October 1861 from Newcastle to Stockton - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1861-1
Now three lines for addresses, and a charges to pay section added at top-right, and a new section at the bottom.

British & Irish Stationery 24-10-61 - front

The back is now has the 5th line ending with "(LIMITED,)", and 3000 stations outside the UK,
and 185 towns/cities with stations in the UK.

British & Irish Stationery 24-10-61 - back

The back now states 1400 Stations outside the UK, listing only 35 examples with charges from 4s 6d (Dunkirk) to 20s 6d (Constantinople).
For the first time, it now says under the Continental list with an asterisk against Elsinore and Hamburg, "* For every additional Word above 20, 4½d."
  It is dated July, 1861.

 

The front is similar to the last, except a line is drawn above the bottom section. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1862-1
Used 3 July 1862 from Edinburgh to Cupar, Fife.

British & Irish Stationery 3-7-62 - front

The back is now has the 5th line ending with "COMPANY", and 3000 stations outside the UK,
and 185 towns/cities with stations in the UK.

British & Irish Stationery 3-7-62 - back

The back states 3000 Stations outside the UK, listing only 35 examples with charges from 4s 6d (Dunkirk) to 20s 6d (Constantinople).
The list and pricing is the same as the last form, and It is still dated July, 1861.

 

The front is similar to the last, except the form number is missing the left bracket and the N.B. wording is reformatted. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1862-2
Used 16 August 1862 from Rome to Dublin.

British & Irish Stationery 15-8-62 - front

The back is now totally changed again, with 3500 stations outside the UK,
and now a simple list of 294 (42 x 7) towns/cities with stations in the UK without breaking them down.

British & Irish Stationery 15-8-62 - back

The back states 3500 Stations outside the UK, listing only 38 examples with charges from 4s 6d (Dunkirk) to 20s 6d (Constantinople).
The corn markets are now listed (9). Edward B. Bright is now listed as the General Manager.    It is dated May, 1862.

 

The front is totally changed, with the bottom half missing. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1862-3
"CONNEXION" changed to "CONNECTION", and the L.D.T.Co. is added. Used 10 April 1863 from Manchester to ?

British & Irish Stationery 10-4-63 - front

The back appears to be the same as the last, with 3500 stations outside the UK,
and simple list of 294 (42 x 7) towns/cities with stations in the UK without breaking them down.

British & Irish Stationery 10-4-63 - back

The back is the same as the last, listing only 38 examples with charges from 4s 6d (Dunkirk) to 20s 6d (Constantinople).
   It is still dated May, 1862.

 

The front is similar to the last except the N.B. formatting is different. Used 29 December 1864 at Stockton. - My Ref. BI-2-1863-1

British & Irish Stationery - front

The back now lists 344 'Principle Stations', 3500 stations outside the UK, and gives 39 'Examples of greatly reduced charges' for Continental Messages.

British & Irish Stationery - back

The back lists 39 examples with charges from 4s 6d (Dunkirk) to 47s 9d (Alexandria).
   It is undated.

 

The front has changed wording "The following Message forwarded from ___Station"..."and received at___Station". - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1864-1
Used 8 March 1865 from London to Carlisle.

British & Irish Stationery 8-3-65 - front

The back now lists 344 'Principle Stations', 3500 stations outside the UK, and gives 39 'Examples of greatly reduced charges' for Continental Messages.

British & Irish Stationery 8-3-65 - back

The back is the same as the last, listing 39 examples with charges from 4s 6d (Dunkirk) to 53s 0d (Alexandria).
   It is undated.

 

This has added wording below the addresses that adds a 14 day limit to enquiries. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1866-1
ConneXion spelled with an X, no Charges section. Used 17 June 1865 from Liverpool to Carlisle, the back is blank.

British & Irish Stationery 17-6-65

 

Similar to the last but 'Connection' spelled correctly and has charges section. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1866-2
Used 23 February 1866 from Liverpool to Carlisle, the back is blank.

British & Irish Stationery 23-2-66

 

The only noticeable difference between this and the last, is the lack of a Form Number. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1866-3
Used 26 May 1866 from Honoon? to Carlisle, the back is blank.

British & Irish Stationery 26-5-66

 

This has added wording below the addresses that adds a 14 day limit to enquiries. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1866-4
ConneXion spelled with an X, no Charges section. Used 28 January 1868 from Glasgow to Carlisle, the back is blank.

British & Irish Stationery 28-1-68

 

The front has added wording below the addresses that adds a 14 day limit to enquiries. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-2-1866-5
Used 22 May 1868 from London to Carlisle.

British & Irish Stationery 22-5-68 - front

The back is the same as last, listing 344 'Principle Stations', 3500 stations outside the UK, and giving 39 'Examples of greatly reduced charges' for Continental Messages.

British & Irish Stationery 22-5-68 - back

The back is the same as the last, listing 39 examples with charges from 4s 6d (Dunkirk) to 53s 0d (Alexandria).
   It is undated.

 

Delivery Form listing.

Provisional Reference L & H number Date on form Dates used Size inches Size mm. Address lines Back UK Stations Non-UK Examples Low Rate High Rate Variants Illustrated
BI-2-1857-1 - 185_ 25/7/1857 7.3 x 8¾ 186 x 223 2 Printed 165 900 48 7s 3d £1 13s 6d - Yes
BI-2-1857-2 - 185_ 11/11/1857 6½ x 8.4 166 x 214 1 Printed 165 900 48 7s 3d £1 13s 6d - Yes
BI-2-1858-1 - July, 1858 18/2/1859 6¾ x 8.8 171 x 224 1 Printed 172 towns 1400 37 6s 0d 37s 0d 1, X Yes
BI-2-1858-2 - July, 1858 26/3/1860 6¾ x 8¾ 172 x 223 1 Printed 172 towns 1400 37 6s 0d 37s 0d 2, X Yes
BI-2-1860-1 #4 February, 1860 ? 6 x 8½ 152 x 216 ? Printed ? towns 1400 ? ? ? ? ? No
BI-2-1861-1 - July, 1861 24/10/1861 6.8 x 9.2 173 x 234 3 Printed 185 towns 1400 35 4s 6d 20s 6d 1, 4, 6, X Yes
BI-2-1862-1 - July, 1861 3/7/1862 7 x 10.1 178 x 257 3 Printed 185 towns 3000 35 4s 6d 20s 6d 2, 5, 7, X Yes
BI-2-1862-2 #7a May, 1862 16/8/1862 6.9 x 10.1 175 x 256 3 Printed 294 towns 3500 38 4s 6d 20s 6d 3, 4, 8, X Yes
BI-2-1862-3 #7 May, 1862 10/4/1863 7 1/8 x 10.2 181 x 259 3 Printed 294 towns 3500 38 4s 6d 20s 6d 3, 4 Yes
BI-2-1863-1 - 186_ 4/5/64-20/1/65 7¾ x 9.8 197 x 249 3 Printed 344 3500 39 4s 6d 47s 9d 3, 5 Yes
BI-2-1863-2 #8 July, 1863 ? 7 x 10 178 x 254 ? Printed ? towns ? ? ? ? ? No
BI-2-1864-1 - 186_ 8/3/1865 7.7 x 10.1 196 x 257 3 Printed 344 3500 39 4s 6d 53s 0d 3, 5 Yes
BI-2-1866-1 #11 ? 186_ 17/6/65 7.6 x 10.8 194 x 275 3 Blank - - - - - 9, X Yes
BI-2-1866-2 - 186_ 23/2/66, 14/5/66 7¼ x 9.9 184 x 251 3 Blank - - - - - 5, 9 Yes
BI-2-1866-3 - 186_ 26/5/66 7½ x 10 191 x 253 3 Blank - - - - - 5, 9 Yes
BI-2-1866-4 - 186_ 28/1/68-16/4/69 7.6 x 10 192 x 255 3 Blank - - - - - 9, X Yes
BI-2-1866-5 - 186_ 22/5/1868 7.7 x 9.9 196 x 252 3 Printed 344 3500 39 4s 6d 53s 0d 3, 5, 9 Yes

L&H list 13 delivery forms, but most are not specific enough to cross-reference with these. I have added some that were definitely not already on the list.
Interestingly, a few of the 1857 continental rates would have needed 1d stamps or coin to pay.

Variants:

1Variant 1
2Variant 2
3Variant 3
4 5
Variant 4 Variant 5

X = CONNEXION spelled with an X.
6 Variant 6
7 Variant 7
8 Variant 8
9 Variant 9

 

Forwarding Form. Form 3.

L & H list two Forwarding Forms used in 1862, both bearing adhesive stamps.
They have the wording "In Connexion with the Submarine Telegraph Company" and have plain backs.
They are in the Royal Philatelic Collection.

[3.] "In Connection with the Submarine & London District Telegraph Companies." - courtesy of Edward Coombes. - My Ref. BI-3-1865-1
London to Carlisle. Dated 6/10 1865. Size 167 x 246 mm. The back is blank. Not listed by L & H.
British & Irish Stationery Forwarding Form
The Steve Lawrie collection contained another one used 8 June 1867 that looked the same except printed on better quality paper.

 

Forwarding Form listing.

Provisional Reference Date on form Dates used Size mm.    Stations   Notes Illustrated
BI-3-1865-1 186_ 6/10/1865 167 x 246 - Printed in red Yes

 

Messenger Ticket. Form 4.

This was used 30 April 1864. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-4-1864-1

British & Messenger Ticket 1864

 

Messenger Ticket listing.

Provisional Reference Date on form Dates used Size mm.    Stations   Notes Illustrated
BI-4-1864-1 186_ 30/4/1864 185 x 133 -   Yes

 

 

Receipts. Form 5.

A problem with these is that the year was pre-filled "18__" with the hopeful expectation that the clerk would add the extra 2 digits. All too often it was just too much trouble for them.
Fortunately the back evolved fast enough to be able to guess the decade. There are at least 4 different types.

Used 3 August 1856 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-5-1864-1

British & Irish Receipt 1856
The back shows 11 London Offices and 55 Principle Stations. Edward B. Bright is the Secretary.
A disclaimer has been added taking no liability beyond their own lines.   Used 2 November 1860 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-5-1864-1

British & Irish Receipt 1860
The back shows 10 London Offices (swapping Old Broad St. and Cornhill for Threadneedle Street) and 61 Principle Stations.

 

   Used 11 July1864 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-5-1864-1

British & Irish Receipt 1860
The back shows 18 London Offices (swapping Old Broad St. and Cornhill for Threadneedle Street) and 55 Principle Stations.
Used 5 March 1864 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. - My Ref. BI-5-1864-1

British & Irish Receipt 1864
The back shows 13 London Offices, adds LDTC stations and lists 57 Principal Stations. Edward B. Bright is now General Manager.

 

Receipt Form listing.

Provisional Reference Date on form Dates used Size mm.   London Offices    Principal Stations Authority Illustrated
BI-5-1856-1 18__ 3/8/1856 169 x 101 11 55 Edward B. Bright, Secretary Yes
BI-5-1860-1 18__ 2/11/1860 170 x 95 10 61 Edward B. Bright, Secretary Yes
BI-5-1864-1 18__ 11/7/1864 170 x 97 18 55 Edward B. Bright, Secretary Yes
BI-5-1864-2 18__ 5/3/1864 169 x 93 13 57 Edward B. Bright, General Manager Yes

 

 

Complaint Form 32.

This was used 2 May 1864. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Size 214 x 184 mm. - My Ref. BI-32-1864-1

British & Irish Message Form of 2 May 1864

 

Complaint Form listing.

Provisional Reference Date on form Dates used Size mm.    Stations   Notes Illustrated
BI-32-1864-1 186_ 2/5/1864 214 x 184 -   Yes

 

 

Envelopes.

These appear to have been printed on a variety of 'off-the-peg' envelopes, in a variety of sizes.
In the later years, the delivery forms were fairly consistent in size and shape, but
in the early days there were frequent changes and envelope sizes may have needed to change accordingly.

 

This envelope (size 137 x 77 mm) of 26 March 1860, has a black printed header 'British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co / Immediate'. Courtesy of Edward Coombes.- My Ref. BIM-Env-1860-1

British & Irish Stationery Irish 1852 Form - front  British & Irish Stationery Irish 1852 Form - back
British & Irish Stationery Irish 1852 Form - back
The flap embossing looks generic.

A business envelope from B & I, Liverpool to London dated 29 March 1860 showing embossing on the back - courtesy of Edward Coombes.

British & Irish 1860 envelope  British & Irish 1860 envelope

British & Irish 1860 envelope embossing
Closeup of embossing.

 

Envelope, possibly 1861 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.- My Ref. BIM-Env-1861-1
This has 'COMPANY' written in full.

British & Irish Envelope - front  British & Irish Envelope - backBritish & Irish Envelope - seal
This again looks generic. A similar embossed seal to the one on this envelope flap has also been seen on an 1869 envelope of
the Universal Private Telegraph Company, but this looks earlier.

 

Envelope of 15 March 1868, - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.- My Ref. BIM-Env-1863-1
These are found with a number of different seals, but all basically with or without charges to pay.

British & Irish Envelope - front  British & Irish Envelope - backBritish & Irish Envelope - seal
This bears the seal of the Submarine Telegraph Company that the British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company was connected with.

 

Envelope of unknown date, with Charges to pay - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.- My Ref. BIM-Env-1866-1

B & I Envelope A - front  B & I Envelope A - back
"CHARGES TO PAY"
B & I Envelope A - seal

An early Magnetic Telegraph wax seal.

 

Envelope of unknown date, - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

B & I Envelope B - front  B & I Envelope B - back  B & I Envelope B - seal

A presumed later Magnetic Telegraph wax seal, with fingerprint preserved for posterity.

 

Other envelopes, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

British & Irish Envelope - 1863 British & Irish Envelope - 1866
An envelope of 1863. - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. An envelope of 1866. "CHARGES TO PAY" - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Provisional Reference Date on form Date used size mm. Colour Logo on flap ? Comments
BIM-Env-1860-1 - 26/3/1860 137 x 77 black on dull buff generic - 1   'CO.' 
BIM-Env-1861-1 - 24/10/1861 ???? black on white generic - 2   'COMPANY' 
BIM-Env-1863-1 - 10/4/1863 ???? light blue on white -   'Pay Nothing ...' 
BIM-Env-1866-1 - 14-2-66 ???? light blue on white -   'Charges to Pay' 

 

 

Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.
Contact:   Emale
Please include the word 'Telegraphs' in the subject.

 

Last updated 6th. August 2021

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