General Telegraph 6d

Telegraph stamps of Great Britain.

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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

 

There is now a new website, put together by Ian Pinwill and Paul Ramsay, dedicated to the GB Post Office Telegraphs.
It includes information on the creation of the set and statistics on the current scarcity,
along with multitudes of images, including from the Royal Philatelic Collection.

 

The Post Office Telegraph Stamps.

1876 to 1881.

Steve Hiscocks wrote in 1982:
Following the passing of the Telegraph Act in 1868 the inland assets of the private telegraph companies were purchased by the Postmaster-General in
1869 and 1870 and integrated into a national system. Until 1876 postage stamps were used on plain forms or on forms incorporating a 1s embossed
stamp. Both telegraphically used postage stamps and stamped forms are outside the scope of this catalogue. Telegraph stamps were introduced on
1 February 1876 and the use of postage stamps after 24 April was forbidden. The first issue included the 1d, 3d, 1s and 5s. The need for further
values led to a second issue on 1 March 1877 (4d, 6d, 3s, 10s, £1 and £5) and on 1 April 1880 a ½d value was introduced. All telegraph stamps were
withdrawn on 1 November 1881 and remaining stocks were destroyed. Postage stamps have been used ever since.

Shortcuts to different sections:
watermarks ½d & 1d 3d 4d & 6d 1s 3s 5s 10s, £1 & £5 Notes & Perfins Statistics Panes
Essays Imprimaturs & Proofs Specimens Colour Trials Postal use Stationery Imperial Cables Telephone stamps

 

Perf. 14 except where otherwise indicated. For watermarks see above.

RH # Hisc. Desc. Issued Qty. Mint Used Earliest Known Use
RH1 H1 ½d orange, plate 5 (shamrock) >435,000 5.40 8.70 1 April 1880
RH2 H2 1d red-brown, plate 1 (shamrock) 8,400,000 11.00 5.20 17 February 1876
RH2a           inverted shamrock wmk in above - -
RH3 H3 1d red-brown, plate 2 8,400,000 18.80 5.90 4 February 1876
RH3a           inverted shamrock wmk in above - -
RH4 H4 1d red-brown, plate 3 8,400,000 27.30 9.10 30 March 1876
RH5 H5 3d carmine, plate 1 (spray sideways) 8,400,000 26.00 13.60 4 February 1876
RH5a           sideways inverted spray wmk in above - -
RH6 H6 3d carmine, plate 2 (spray sideways) 8,400,000 31.00 9.50 31 October 1876
RH6a           sideways inverted spray wmk in above - -
RH7 H7 3d carmine, plate 3 (spray sideways) 6,541,000 26.00 14.00 10 February 1879
RH7a           sideways inverted spray wmk in above - -
RH8 H8 3d carmine, plate 3 (crown sideways inverted) 1,860,000 47.00 21.00 13 April 1881
RH9 H9 3d carmine, plate 4 (crown sideways) 1,740,000 186.00 65.00 24 August 1881
RH10 H10 3d carmine, plate 5 (crown sideways) 1,200,000 100.00 40.00 15 September 1881
RH11 H11 4d sage green, plate 1 (garter sideways) 6,000,000 48.00 14.70 7 April 1877
RH12 H12 6d grey, plate 1 (spray sideways) 8,400,000 37.00 12.50 4 April 1877
RH13 H13 6d grey, plate 2 (spray sideways) 1,200,000 160.00 41.00 16 August 1880
RH14 H14 6d grey, plate 2 (crown sideways inverted) 600,000 56.00 28.00 13 January 1881
RH15 H15 1s green, plate 1 (spray) 8,400,000 35.00 23.00 8 February 1876
RH16 H16 1s green, plate 2 8,400,000 78.00 27.00 20 June 1876
RH16a           sideways inverted spray wmk in above - -
RH17 H17 1s green, plate 3 8,400,000 142.00 24.00 22 December 1876
RH18 H18 1s green, plate 4 8,400,000 110.00 10.50 14 June 1877
RH18a           sideways inverted spray wmk in above - -
RH19 H19 1s green, plate 5 8,400,000 71.00 10.00 25 September 1877
RH19a           sideways inverted spray wmk in above - -
RH20 H20 1s green, plate 6 8,400,000 100.00 19.50 8 June 1878
RH20a           sideways inverted spray wmk in above    
RH21 H21 1s green, plate 7 8,400,000 90.00 20.00 16 October 1878
RH22 H22 1s green, plate 8 8,400,000 19.00 23.00 12 February 1879
RH23 H23 1s green, plate 9 8,400,000 60.00 22.00 22 October 1879
RH24 H24 1s green, plate 10 3,120,000 81.00 21.00 2 March 1880
RH25 H25 1s brown-orange, plate 10 (sideways spray) 12,000,000 86.00 29.00 19 October 1880
RH26 H26 1s brown-orange, plate 11 (sideways crown) 4,000,000 40.00 18.00 15 January 1881
RH26a H26a         sideways inverted crown wmk in above 40.00 18.00
RH27 H27 1s brown-orange, plate 12 (sideways spray) 6,000,000 152.00 53.00 25 April 1881
RH28 H28 1s brown-orange, plate 12 (sideways crown) 2,000,000 128.00 38.00 10 September 1881
RH29 H29 3s slate-blue, plate 1 (spray) 2,400,000 33.00 16.00 10 April 1877
RH29a           sideways inverted spray wmk in above - -
RH30 H30 3s slate-blue, plate 1 (sideways crown) 12,000 750.00 300.00 28 September 1881
RH31 H31 5s rose, plate 1 (MX), Perf. 15 x 15½ 2,800,000 200.00 25.00 4 February 1876
RH32 H32 5s rose, plate 2 (MX), Perf. 15 x 15½ 300,000 770.00 95.00 5 March 1880
RH33 H33 5s rose, plate 2 (MX), Perf. 14 100,000 1000.00 80.00 1 November 1880
RH34 H34 5s rose, plate 3 (MX), Perf. 15 x 15½ 320 - -
RH34a H34a         plate 3, Imperf 80 - -
RH35 H35 5s rose, plate 3 (MX), Perf. 12½ 80? - -
RH36 H36 5s rose, plate 3 (Anchor), Perf. 14 100,000 1500.00 110.00 18 August 1881
RH36a H36a         on blued paper in above 1500.00 110.00
RH37 H37 10s grey-green, plate 1 (MX), Perf. 15 x 15½ 520,000 510.00 59.00 23 March 1877
RH38 H38 £1 brown-lilac, plate 1 (3 x shamrock sideways) 400,000 760.00 150.00 18 July 1877
RH39 H39 £5 orange, plate 1 (3 x shamrock sideways inverted) 84,000 900.00 320.00 30 October 1877
Book cover
For those that prefer actual books, this book was produced to record a display
of 20 frames of 16 sheets each covering P.O.Telegraph stamps.
Ian Pinwill is known for recording the statistics of the telegraphs stamps that are used on
this page, as well as providing many of the images.
Together with Paul Ramsay, Ian has also put together a website, mentioned on the cover,
dedicated to the GB Post Office Telegraphs.

The other person mentioned on the cover, Stephen Lawrie,
provided many images of important items shown on my Private Telegraph pages.
His collection of those is soon to be auctioned by Grosvenor Auctions.

This book was published 22 June 2020 with an initial printing of 25 which quickly sold out.
Another printing is imminent, but pre-orders would be welcome as a guide to the print-run required.
Details can be found by clicking on the image above.

Look here for an explanation of the table.
This is modified, since L&H do not quote scarcities for these, only estimates for quantities issued.
The dates given for earliest known use are taken from the article by Ian Pinwill and Tony Finch in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of The GB Journal.
Should you have an earlier example that you wish to be recorded, please send a scan and I will update the list and forward the scan to the authors.

For used stamps, these quantities are rather academic since current scarcities reflect quantities 'rescued' rather than printed.
Since mint stamps could be purchased over the counter however, these quantities more acurately reflect numbers issued.

I have not quoted SG numbers since they are concerned about protecting the copyright on their numbers,
whereas Hiscocks explicitly allows the use of his numbers for non-profit purposes.

 

Watermarks:

The following watermarks were used, as viewed from the back with the stamp upright :

PO-Shamrock watermark PO-Spray watermark PO-Crown watermark PO-Garter watermark
ShamrockSpray of Rose (sideways)Crown (sideways-inverted)Garter (sideways)

 

PO-Maltese Cross watermark PO-Anchor watermark
Maltese CrossAnchor (sideways)

 

Halfpenny and Penny:

The Halfpenny and One penny stamps had the shamrock watermark. Plates 1 to 3 were used for 1d (1/2/76), plate 4 was never used, plate 5 was converted to the Halfpenny before use (1/4/80).
Plates 1 and 2 are known with inverted watermarks. Langmead and Huggins also list plate 3 with inverted watermark. There is an unconfirmed report of a halfpenny with inverted watermark.

Post Office Telegraph 1d plate-1 Post Office Telegraph 1d plate-2 Post Office Telegraph 1d plate-3 Post Office Telegraph ½d plate-5
1d plate-11d plate-21d plate-3the ½d started out as 1d plate-5

 

Imprimatur courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
Post Office Telegraph 1d imprimaturs

Issued stamp.
Post Office Telegraph ½d plate-5
Post Office Telegraph 1d imprimaturs - halfpenny die
The ½d was made from 1d plate-5 by removing 'ONE PENNY' and using a separate plate to print 'HALF PENNY' shown courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
Compare the alignment with the ½d above. This is described as "Temporary ½d Telegraph May 5.80", however it was never replaced.

 

Three pence:

The Three pence stamps had the spray-sideways watermark initially for Plates 1 to 3 (1/2/76). This meant there were wing margins on stamps with 'D', 'E', 'H' and 'I' in the bottom right corner.
From early August 1881, the stamps were printed on Crown-sideways watermarked paper for plates 3 to 5 (sideways-inverted for plate 3).
This required a change in the plate layouts so there were no longer wing margins.

Post Office Telegraph 3d plate-1 Post Office Telegraph 3d plate-2 Post Office Telegraph 3d plate-3
3d plate-13d plate-23d plate-3

 

Post Office Telegraph 3d plate-3 on Crown Post Office Telegraph 3d plate-4 Post Office Telegraph 3d plate-5
3d plate-3 on Crown watermark.3d plate-4   - courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions3d plate-5   - courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions

Note that plates 4 and 5 are very scarce.

PO 3d plate-3 inv.
On the 3d with spray wmk, all plates are normally sideways, but also known with sideways-inverted watermark.
SG and Stoneham both leave plate 2 unused and plate 3 used, unpriced. Langmead and Huggins do not list plate 3 sideways-inverted.

Ian Pinwill (who recorded the first example, GD, in the GB Journal) has now recorded 7 used at Bishopstoke on 23/9/80
with sideways-inverted watermark, and an additional 2 with normal (sideways) watermark.
We would both be interested to hear of more examples of Bishopstoke with similar dates.

On crown watermark, plate 3 is normally sideways-inverted, though Stoneham has this erroneously listed as sideways.

 

4d and 6d:

The Four pence has only plate 1 and is only on Large-Garter sideways watermarked paper (1/3/77) [NOT sideways-inverted as SG-Spec Vol.1 15th Edn. says]
These (should) have wing-margins on stamps with 'F' or 'G' in the bottom right corner.

The Six pence value started with Spray-sideways watermark for plates 1 (1/3/77) and 2 (June 1880) then switched to Crown sideways-inverted for plate 2 (Jan 1881).

Post Office Telegraph 4d plate-1 Post Office Telegraph 4d plate-1a Post Office Telegraph 6d plate-1 Post Office Telegraph 6d plate-2 on Crown
4d plate-1 4d plate-1, SPECIMEN Type 9 6d plate-1, SPECIMEN Type 11 6d plate-2 on Crown watermark.

Note that the 4d is normally watermarked sideways, NOT sideways-inverted as both the SG and Stoneham catalogues say.
There are however 3 known used examples of the 4d with watermark sideways-inverted.
Hiscocks makes no mention of watermark orientation. Langmead and Huggins give it correctly.

There is an example known of the 6d plate 1 with sideways-inverted watermark.
Note that the 6d plate 2 is commoner on Crown (sideways-inverted) watermarked paper than with spray.
Stoneham erroneously give 6d plate 2 Crown watermark as sideways instead of sideways-inverted.

 

One Shilling:

The One Shilling value was the basic rate for telegraphs and there were many plates used.
Plate 1 was issued 1/2/76 with sideways-spray watermark, and plates 2 to 10 were subsequently issued in green before the colour was changed to brown-orange in October 1880.
Plates 10 and 12 were issued in brown-orange on sideways-spray watermark until the watermark was changed to sideways-Crown February 1881.
Plates 11 and 12 were issued in brown-orange on sideways-Crown watermark. With plate 11, the watermark is about equally common sideways-inverted.

Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-1 Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-2 Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-3 Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-4
1s plate-1 1s plate-2   (Source: Andrew Higson) 1s plate-3, SPECIMEN Type 9 1s plate-4
 
Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-5 Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-6 Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-7 Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-8
1s plate-5   (with perfin, see note below). 1s plate-6 1s plate-7 1s plate-8, SPECIMEN Type 9
 
Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-9 Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-10 green Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-10 brown Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-12
1s plate-9 with crayon mark (see note below). 1s plate-10 green (amputated wing, (notes below) 1s plate-10 brown, SPECIMEN Type 9 1s plate-12 brown (sideways-spray wmk)
 Courtesy of Ian Pinwill
Stanley Gibbons describe plate 11 as
watermark Crown-sideways but give
the same catalogue value for
Crown-Sideways-inverted.

----->      

In my experience,
Crown-Sideways-inverted
appears to be the most common.
Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-11 crown Post Office Telegraph 1s plate-12 crown <-----      
Plate 12 Crown wmk. image source:
Andrew Higson
  1s plate-11 (sideways-Crown wmk) 1s plate-12 (sideways-Crown wmk)  

Note that the Stoneham catalogue gives T25 as plate 11 brown on spray watermark paper. It should be plate 10.
The shilling brown plate 11 is normally (about 80-90%) sideways-inverted as Langmead and Huggins say. SG and Stoneham say inverted.
SG prices them both the same, but Stoneham prices sideways-inverted unused slightly cheaper.

SG list plates 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 as also existing with sideways-inverted watermark, though only pricing plate 2 unused.
Stoneham lists plates 2, 4, 5 and 6 as also existing with sideways-inverted watermark, though only pricing plate 2 used and unused.
Langmead and Huggins list plates 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8 as existing with sideways-inverted watermark.
Anyone have examples ?

 

 

Three Shilling:

The Three Shilling value was issued 1st March 1877 on sideways-spray watermark (also known sideways-inverted). In August 1881, the watermark was changed to sideways-inverted-Crown
Those on Crown wmk are scarcer than the £5.

Post Office Telegraph 3s with wing   Post Office Telegraph 3s without wing
Both of these 'D E' stamps have Spray watermark, the stamp on the right has had the wing margin removed
and perforations added - fairly convincing unless you look closely and check perforations.

 

These on the other hand are genuine 3s wmk sideways-Crown,
legitimately lacking the wing-margins.
Post Office Telegraph 3s wmk crown Post Office Telegraph 3s wmk crown
NE and JD, Note the dates.   (images: courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions)
Post Office Telegraph Mint 3s wmk crown
Courtesy of Mike-Holt.com

 

 

Five Shilling:

The Five Shilling value started with Maltese Cross watermark, Perf.15 x 15½ for plates 1 (1/2/76) and 2 (1880) then switched to Perf.14 for plate 2 (1880).
Later (between 14 and 20 May 1881) Plate 3 was issued on sideways-Large-Anchor watermark, Perf.14.

Post Office Telegraph 5/- Plate 1 Post Office Telegraph 5/- Plate 2 Perf.15 x 15½
5s plate-1 5s plate-2   (Perf.15 x 15½)

 

Post Office Telegraph 5s. Specimen types
5s plate-1, SPECIMENs Types 8, 9 and 10   -   Courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

Post Office Telegraph 5/- Plate 2 Perf. 14 Post Office Telegraph 5/- Plate 3, Wmk Anchor Post Office Telegraph 5/- Plate 3, Specimen type 12
5s Plate 2   (Perf. 14)   with crayon mark (see note below). 5s plate-3   (Perf. 14), Wmk Anchor (sideways). 5s plate-3   Specimen type 12,   courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

 

10s, £1 & £5:

The Ten Shilling value (1/3/77) was only ever Plate 1, Wmk Maltese Cross, Perf.15 x 15½

Post Office Telegraph 10/- Plate 1 Perf. 14 Post Office Telegraph 10/- Plate 1, SPECIMEN
10s Plate 1 10s plate-1, SPECIMEN Type 9.

 

Post Office Telegraph £1
The £1 value was only ever Plate 1, Perf.14, wmk. Three Shamrocks (sideways). Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

 

Post Office Telegraph £5

Post Office Telegraph £5
The £5 value (1/3/77) was only ever Plate 1, Perf.14, Wmk three Shamrocks (sideways-inverted) as below.
Post Office 3-Shamrocks wmk.
On 26/8/81 the abolition of the telegraph stamps was authorized.
At the end of 1881, the £5 plate was converted for postal use in a way similar to the creation of the halfpenny.
Five Pound stamp.
As can be seen here the Postage and ornaments forme was not always perfectly aligned, as with the halfpenny.
Even after conversion, its use did not really change, it was still used as for telegraphic accountancy purposes.
See what Stanley Gibbons say about it.

 

Notes:

For those with a Stoneham Catalogue, T25 should be plate 10 not plate 11.

Perfins on telegraph stamps are surprisingly scarce.

PO Telegraph 1s plate-5 Perfin RA PO Telegraph 1s plate-5 Perfin RC PO Telegraph 6d plate-2 Perfin EC PO Telegraph halfpenny Perfin EC

Here is my RA again (as shown above) together with RC and a 6d plate 2 (crown wmk.) perfined J.B & B, courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.

The halfpenny perfined C / S.S.Co. (Cunard Steamship Co., Liverpool.) is another of mine.

It has been estimated that there are less than 100 examples known. However, as interest grows, more are coming to light. My revised estimate is about 200.
There are another 9 illustrated by The Perfin Society who have a large database.

PO Pound Telegraph with Ralli Perfin. PO Pound Telegraph with Ralli Perfin.
This is one of only 2 (currently) known examples of the Pound Telegraph stamp with a perfin.
Both have this perfin, which (currently) is not known on any other Telegraph stamps.
Courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.
Ralli perfin of Ralli Brothers, Merchants of Peter St, Manchester.
Courtesy of Jeff Turnbull, formerly Publications Officer
of the The Perfin Society.

I have now added a new page for GB Post Office Telegraph stamps with Perfins.

I would like to hear from anyone that has any more.

 

Railway cancels also seem scarce on Telegraph stamps.

Crayon marks are often found on Telegraphically used items (and parcel used). It is really, really not a good idea
to try and remove them, many good stamps have been ruined that way. Accept it as an important part of the stamp.

In a similar way, many wing margins (on telegraphs and postage stamps) have been cut off for either aesthetic reasons,
or simply to make them fit in a box on a printed album page ! In general it is not a good idea to do anything to a philatelic item that cannot be undone.

Post Office Telegraph 1s brown with guillotined wing.   Post Office 8d orange with guillotined wing.
the 1s brown though is sometimes found with a guillotined wing as with the 8d postage stamp of the same period.
1s. Image courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

 

Post Office Telegraph receipt.
Receipts could be obtained for 2d in stamps which were attached to the receipt and cancelled. This was the only legitimate source of used telegraph stamps !
The rest, along with the forms they were on, were supposed to have been pulped. Presumably this was primarily to protect confidentiality,
but considering the ready market available for the stamps (even before the Post Office Telegraph stamps), there were many that escaped this fate.

Image courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

Later Post Office Telegraph receipt.
A later one dated 22/11/81 using postage & revenue stamps - courtesy of Andrew Higson.

 

It is unusual to find stamps still on a piece of telegraph form.
Post Office Telegraph receipt.
This image courtesy of Michael Goodlad who particularly collects stamps with
the check-letters MG (his initials) and would be interested in buying examples of GB Victorian stamps lettered MG if you have any.

 

Here is a virtually complete telegraph form (half size) of November 1881, shortly before telegraph stamps went out of use.
Post Office Telegraph form.
Presumably it escaped destruction because the message was on a separate sheet.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Here is an almost complete telegraph form of April 1884.
Post Office Telegraph form.
Again, presumably it is almost complete because the text to be transmitted for the journalist was on a separate sheet.
Image courtesy of Andrew G Lajer.

 

Peter Langmead and Alan Huggins list Post Office Telegraphs together with figures for the numbers issued.
The figures go some way to explaining the current scarcities and market values, but also highlight some anomalies
With the shilling for example, plates 4 and 5 are fairly abundant while I have yet to obtain plate 2, despite the fact that the same numbers were issued of each of them!.

Comparing the 1s plates 8 and 9 is also interesting, the figues below show that for plate 8 mint is twice as common as used, whereas for plate 9, used is nearly 3 times as common as mint.
Strangely though SG price both plates the same (Stonehams follow suit but with lower prices). Appropriate for plate 9 but ridiculous for plate 8.
It would seem that the current scarcities are an indication of times when quantities were 'rescued' from destruction.
All of my dateable plate 4 and 5 stamps (9) are dated in December 1877.

For the sixpence plate 2, the figures suggest that the Crown watermark should be half as common but the reverse seems to be the case.

Also the figures (and Stanley Gibbons) suggest that the 3d plates 4 and 5 should be much commoner than they are, commoner than the 10/- which they are not! I don't have either, but I have 5 examples of the 10/- .

 

Statistics:

I have discovered that a lot of work and statistical analysis has been done on this.

Relative Scarcity and Usage of the Post Office Telegraphs 1876 - 1882
Ian Pinwill & Tony Finch

Working over a period of 10 years, a database of 9874 examples of Post Office Telegraphs to date have been recorded from a multitude of sources, taking care to avoid duplication.
This constitutes 7778 used examples and 2096 mint. The results hold surprises even for a cynic like me, and I am sure many will find them hard to believe.

This first graph gives the percentages of the 7778 stamps for each type of USED Telegraph Stamp, from the commonest down to the rarest.

Post Office Telegraph USED scarcity
I now see why I don't have any 3d plates 4 or 5.
Why are the 5/- Plate 1 stamps so common? Because they were preferentially 'rescued', demand was higher for the high values
For similar reasons the £5 orange is now commoner than the 1s plate 6 in used condition, though not unused (see below) as the same rescuing process could not be done.

Condition is another matter. The larger a stamp is, the more likely that some part will be damaged.
The 'rescues' were also sporadic. Many of the telegraph stamps are dated in December 1877 for example.
Scarcity is therefor dictated by what was common at the time of 'mass escapes' rather than total numbers printed.


This graph gives the percentages of the total for each type of MINT/UNUSED Telegraph Stamp, from the commonest down to the rarest.

Post Office Telegraph MINT scarcity
Why does the graph look so different for Mint? For one thing, they could be bought over the counter, though probably only large companies bought them in any quantity.
The relatively high price though for some items seems unjustified. The £5 is no scarcer than the £1 but about 3 times the catalogue value !
In part this may be preferential buying by collectors, but I understand that the perforating of imprimaturs may have something to do with it.

 

This graph shows the percentage of used example as a function of the month of the cancel.
Post Office Telegraph Leaks
So it isn't just me that has a lot used in December 1877.
Notice though the steady continuous leakage. This is individuals across the country taking predominantly high values.
The peaks represent low as well as high values of whatever plates were in use at the time. The December 1877 peak accounts for the availability of the 1/- plate 4 and 5 today.
As well as many of the other anomalies mentioned.

 

  Fallback Graph.  
  Graph key.

The graphs above and below use this colour key.

In the graph above, the red indicates the numbers thought to have been issued. for the Half-Penny, only the numbers for the first year are known.
Since they were available for about two years, I have doubled that number for expediency.

The red is on 1/100th of the scale used for the stamps surviving,
so that if for a particular stamp, the red line is the same height as that for the used or unused then it indicates 1% survival.

In the graph below, I show scarcity against Catalog Prices. For the purposes of the exercise :
I have defined scarcity as 240 / log10(surviving)   and since prices range £12 to £14000 (I am using SG Specialised, 2008 Edn.15)
I have scaled the prices logarithmically also.

For those of you using a modern browser, the graph below will automatically update when columns are sorted.

The numbers on the left-hand scale are catalogue values. The numbers on the right-hand side are survivors from the sample.
So if you had a £5,000 SG voucher, would you prefer Mint 3s Crown, 5s plate 2 perf.14, 5s plate 3 or the £1 ?

 
 

 

size-up   You can lengthen or shorten the table with the arrows. Rows can be highlighted by clicking on them.   size-down
Graph name Plate Colour Perf.
The table can be sorted by clicking on the buttons at the top of the columns. Click again to reverse the order.
 
 
 
SG (2008) Stoneham (2010)
 
 
Fallback Graph.
 

This graph is controlled by the table above. Sort it how you want it. My thanks to Ian Pinwill for spending 15 years (and still going) compiling this data.

 

 

Panes:

Wing margins

Remember that the Spray Watermarked stamps should have wing margins if they are in columns (rows) D, E, H or I. So if the bottom-right letter is D, E, H or I then
you should have a wing margin, unless it is really Crown watermarked or the wing is chopped off and possibly fake perforations added.
For the fourpenny with Garter Watermark, wing margins should occur at columns (rows) F and G.

Post Office Telegraph 1d imprimaturs
3d Plate 3 watermark 'Spray', the middle third of a sheet showing the E and H Wing margins, (SPECIMEN Type 9)   -   courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

There are no wing margins with the Shamrock, Crown, Maltese Cross or Anchor watermarked paper.

 

PO Telegraph halfpenny pane PO Telegraph penny pane

PO Telegraph penny pane detail
PO Telegraph 3d pane
PO Telegraph 10/- pane
Some panes (illustrated at half-size) courtesy of Paul Ramsay.
The halfpenny has the (first ?) 'SPECIMEN' strike inverted, then corrected. The penny shows the ornate division marker. The 10/- colour trial is a quarter of the full sheet from top-right.
On three of these, "MARK" can be seen in the watermark in the corners.

 

 

Essays

In 1875 (20th February), T.Boucher suggested a modification to the existing halfpenny stamp for telegraphic use.
Boucher essay 1875
This essay was not adopted but may have influenced subsequent designs.
Illustration from Langmead & Huggins' book (Fig.76), courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.

 

A number of essays were prepared by De La Rue in 1875 and 1876.

Hand-painted essays - 1.
Hand-painted essays - 2.
Hand-painted essays - 3.
Unique Hand Painted Essays from the De La Rue Archives. These are in black and Chinese white on thick card,
Ex. A. J. Lowe   —   Images courtesy of Andrew G Lajer.


PO 1d essay.   PO 3d essay.   PO 1s essay.
PO £1 essay.
Series A, horizontal format essays of the 1d, 3d and 1/-, together with a hand-painted essay for the £1 (dated '96 in error for '76)
from the A.J.Lowe collection sold by Phillips on 2 November 1990.
Images courtesy of Phillips, Son & Neale.

 

 

Imprimaturs

½d and 1d. Courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 1d imprimaturs

Post Office Telegraph 1d imprimaturs   Post Office Telegraph 1d imprimaturs - halfpenny die
Note the different shade of 'HALFPENNY'.   The weirdly perforated block was in the same auction lot.

 

3d. Imprimaturs, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 3d plate 1 imprimatur Post Office Telegraph 3d imprimaturs
The Auction description (Sale 62, Lot 1134) for plate 1 says "Langmead records only six known letterings, of which four are in institutional collections."

 

3d Plate Proofs, courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

PO 3d plate 3 proof.   PO 3d plate 4 proof.
Plate Proofs of the 3d are known from plates 2, 3 and 4.   Anyone have an example of Plate 2 ?

 

4d. Imprimaturs, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 4d imprimatur

 

4d Plate Proofs, courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

PO 4d plate 2 proof.
Plate Proofs of the 4d are known from plate 2 only.

 

6d. Imprimaturs, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 6d imprimatur   Post Office Telegraph 4d imprimatur

 

6d Plate Proofs.

Plate Proofs of the 6d are known from plates 1 and 2.

PO 1s plate 8 proof.
Plate 2 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Anyone have an example of plate 1 ?

 

 

1s. Imprimaturs, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 1s imprimatur
  Post Office Telegraph 1s imprimatur   Post Office Telegraph 1s imprimatur

 

1s Plate Proofs.

Plate Proofs of the 1/- are known from plates 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9.

PO 1s plate 8 proof. PO 1s plate 9 proof.
Plate 8 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Plate 9 - courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

Anyone have any examples of the others ?

 

3s. Imprimaturs, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 3s imprimatur Post Office Telegraph 3s imprimatur

 

3s Plate Proof, courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

PO 3s plate proof.

 

5s. Imprimaturs, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 5s imprimatur Post Office Telegraph 5s imprimatur Post Office Telegraph 5s imprimatur
These all have Maltese Cross watermarks.

 

5/- Plate Proofs, courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

PO 5s plate 2 proof.   PO 5s plate 3 proof.
Plate Proofs of the 5/- are known from plates 1, 2 and 3.
Anyone have an example of plate 1 ?

 

10s. Imprimaturs, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 10s imprimatur

 

10s Plate Proof, courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

PO 10s plate proof.

 

 

£1. Imprimatur, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 10s imprimatur

 

£5. Imprimatur, courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

Post Office Telegraph £5 imprimatur

 

Here is a die proof with pencil marks indicating areas of improvement
Post Office Telegraph £5 proof.
Image courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

£5 Plate Proof, courtesy of Andrew G Lajer.

Post Office Telegraph £5 plate proof

 

 

 

 

"SPECIMEN" Types 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 were used on P.O. Telegraphs.

 

PO Telegraph 3s colour trials Type 8
PO Telegraph 3s colour trials Type 11
Some 3s colour trials.

The top row, brown-lilac, pale ultramarine, dull mauve followed by
slate-blue, dull claret and grey-green
have Type 8 overprint, courtesy of Paul Ramsay.
The one at the bottom, in the issued slate-blue colour has a Type 11 overprint (Distinctive 'M'). Courtesy of Mike-Holt.com.

Type 12 overprint was only used on 1/- plate 11 (orange-brown) and the 5/- plate 3 shown above.
Post Office Telegraph Mint 3s colour trials
Imperfs with SPECIMEN overprints, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
Type 10
Type 9
Type 9
Type 10
Type 9

 

4d Colour Trials, courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

PO 4d colour trials Type 11
These were in a slightly deeper colour than the issued stamp (see the Type 9 specimen above).
This is Type 11 overprint. They also exist with Type 8 overprint.
  Anyone have an example ?

 

6d Colour Trials, courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

PO 6d colour trials Type 8   PO 6d colour trials Type 11
These were in a slightly deeper colour than the issued stamp (see the Type 9 specimen above).
Type 8 on the left and Type 11 on the right.

 

 

10/- Colour Trials, courtesy of Paul Ramsay.

PO Telegraph 10/- colour trials Type 8
The top row, brown-lilac, pale ultramarine, dull mauve followed by
slate-blue, dull claret and grey-green
all have Type 8 overprint.

The issued colour (grey-green) is also known with Type 11 overprint shown below courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

Post Office Telegraph 10/- Colour Trial Type 11

 

£1. Colour Trials, courtesy of Paul Ramsay.

PO Telegraph £1 colour trials Type 8
On the left, brown-lilac, pale ultramarine and dull mauve on the right
slate-blue, dull claret and grey-green all have Type 8 overprint.

The issued colour (brown-lilac) is also known with Type 11 overprint shown below courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

Post Office Telegraph £1. Colour Trial Type 11
The manuscript 'E' indicates the fifth colour out of six.

 

£5. Colour Trials, courtesy of Paul Ramsay.

PO Telegraph £1 colour trials Type 8
On the left, brown-lilac, pale ultramarine and dull mauve on the right
slate-blue, dull claret and grey-green all have Type 8 overprint.

Pale ultramarine and printings in gold are also known with Type 11 overprint.

Post Office Telegraph £5. Colour Trials Post Office Telegraph £5. Colour Trials
Type 11 overprint on pale ultramarine courtesy of Ian Pinwill. Type 11 overprint on gold courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

Post Office Telegraph £5. Colour Trials The Sun, June 28, 1838
For the sake of interest, This is part of the front page of 'The Sun' of June 28, 1838 commemorating the Coronation of Victoria.
It is printed in gold ink and a notice on the back says it is done at 'immense expense' but is still the usual price for subscribers,
though has to be more for Non-subscribers.
They give praises to 'the great ingenuity of the firm of De La Rue and Co., to the perseverance and exertions of Messrs. Clowes and Son,
to the great skill of Mr. Edward Wyon the modeller, and to the talents of one of the first engravers of the age.'

As I understand it the ink contains actual gold, presumably mixed with yellow ink. The difference in colour between the example above
and the one to the left, is presumably down to how well the scanner handles this combination. They are both from the same column (C)
of the same sheet, only the bottom half, AH-DN having the 'SPECIMEN' overprint, AA-DG without.
£5 gold without overprint courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

 

1881 Colour trials with the 3d.   These were in orange, blue and green on plate 3, perf 14. Crown Wmk.

Post Office 3d colour trials.   Post Office 3d colour trials.   Post Office 3d colour trials.
Since the Post Office had abandoned the use of Telegraph stamps when these were made, it is thought
they were used as samples in tendering for business as was done with the 3d United Kingdom Electric Telegraph Company stamps.
Images courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

 

Recipes for the 3s, 10s £1 and £5 colours, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph 3s. Recipe

Post Office Telegraph 10s. Recipe

Post Office Telegraph £1 and £5. Recipes

 

 

 

Postal use.

Telegraph stamps were sometimes used postally, though never officially authorized. Here are some examples courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

Post Office Telegraph stamps used postally - 1881
23 Nov. 1881

 

Post Office Telegraph stamps used postally - 1883
29 Aug. 1883

 

Post Office Telegraph stamps used postally - 1883
25 May 1893

 

The above stamps were all used in London after it had been agreed to abolish the Telegraph stamps.
The one below was sent from Lurgan in Ireland while the 6d plate 1 was still being used for telegraphs.
Post Office Telegraph 6d used postally - 1878
This was sent from Lurgan in Ireland on 16/1/1878, arriving in Cape Colony on 8/2/8[sic]
It has manuscript "Charged in error", so presumably the stamp was initially not deemed acceptable.
I was puzzled by the manuscript '3' in blue, but I am told it is the cost of the inland transport.
Image courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

Here is an even earlier one, sent from Hastings on 29/3/77 to Japan.

PO Telegraph early 1/- plate 3, used postally
1/- plate 3 used postally - back It has a shilling plate 3 telegraph and a 2d plate 15 stamp.

It also has an interesting Hong Kong Marine Sorter mark
(Singapore to Hong Kong) of 30/4/77 ?

and Yokohama arrival backstamp of 13/5/77 ? .

Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
Images courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

This one is much later.
Post Office Telegraph halfpennies used postally - 1883
This was used to pay a late fee on 29 June 1883 at New Cross, London on a cover to St. Petersburg, arriving in July (it looks like an inverted 21 for the day).
All the stamps are perfinned W.B / S Co (Perfin Society reference W 0790.02) for Wm. Brandt's Sons & Co. (4 Fenchurch St, London).
Only two other examples are known of this perfin on telegraph stamps and they are also halfpennies used postally on the same day.
Image courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

This Registered Letter was sent from Wigan on 22/9/90 to Wellington, New Zealand.
Post Office Telegraph 6d used postally
It has a 6d plate 2 crown watermark (no wing) and another shillings worth of 'Jubilee Stamps'.
Image courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

This was sent from Bethnal Green on 26/12/90 to Halifax, Canada.

Post Office Telegraph 3d used postally
3d used postally - back It arrived in Halifax 9th January 1891. A very late usage.
It has a 3d plate 1 lettered OA.
There is another loose 3d stamp recorded with this perfin for 26 Dec, unknown year,
with check letters ?B. I'm guessing this was OB used on the same day.

The stamp is perfinned G.B / &Co (Perfin Society reference G 0480.01M)
Image courtesy of Martien Blank.

Postal use of PO Telegraph stamps then is known at least from 29/3/77 to 26/12/90
I guess as long as everyone got paid, the fact that these stamps were not authorized for postal use didn't bother too many people!

 

This is an unusual one:
Sorting Tender cancel
Cancelled on the Glasgow to Carlisle Sorting Tender, 19 December 1878, courtesy of Ian Pinwill.

 

 

Stationery

My Note: Whilst, with a lot of help, I have made a good start covering the Stationery of the Private Telegraph Companies,
I have here only a shadow of the range covered in the Langmead & Huggins book of 2003.
Theirs went into great detail, covering 1870 to 1954. This goes only up to KEVII and all of it is scanty with no listing,
giving only a brief overview at best of what was produced. I have to confess that it is not something that I am wildly enthusiastic about,
though I know that some people are. To those I would say that if you are prepared to supply images, I am prepared to illustrate them here,
giving due credit of course.

 

Essays were prepared in 1868 for stamps to prepay telegraph charges.
1s Post Office essay in green  1s Post Office essay in black
This type is known in green and black and a similar type with the Queens head at the center facing right in the same colours is also known.
These were not adopted. Instead it was decided to adapt the octagonal design used for postage stamps and stationery.
Illustrations from Langmead & Huggins' book (Colour Plate 7), courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.

Telegraph forms using 1s embossed stamps were available 5th February 1870. The date plugs on this indicate the date of printing.
The 6d became available from October 1885 after the rate was reduced. The 10d for international use,
was initially printed in blue (April 1889) to distinguish it from postal use, but reverted to brown in 1892.
An example is shown below.
1s Post Office Telegraph Stationery   10d Blue Post Office Telegraph Stationery   10d Brown Post Office Telegraph Stationery

The 6d started with date plugs, but later the date plugs were replaced by 'florets' (with 5 or 9 dots) and later still disappeared entirely.
6d Post Office Telegraph Stationery   6d Post Office Telegraph Stationery   6d Post Office Telegraph Stationery

6d Perfined RF&Co
WC&Co perfin

My Reference RFC-1
Perfin Soc. Ref. R 1810.02a
Perfin User Suspected user:
Robinson Flemming & Co Ltd
London EC3. (Merchants)
Image courtesy of: Jeff Turnbull

This has date plugs of 6 / 10 / 85

6d Perfined Stationery
WC&Co perfin

My Reference WC-1
Perfin Soc. Ref. W 1130.03
Perfin User W Caudery & Co.
1 Fenchurch Ave, Fenchurch St, London EC. .
Image courtesy of: Jeff Turnbull

 

1s green 26-1-72 Form front   1s green 26-1-72 Form back
1s green Postal Telegraph Card (date plugs read 26/1/72), showing front and back (previously stuck down).
The back has a coat of arms and a"NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC".

 

Postal Telegraph Cards were available for use from 1872 to 1876, but little used.
Used 1s Postal Telegraph Card 1872
This is the only recorded example, dated February 28, 1872.
Illustration from Langmead & Huggins' book (Colour Plate 8), courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.

 

1s green PRIORITY Post Office Telegraph Form
1s green PRIORITY Post Office Telegraph Form (date plugs read 1/8/74), courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

6d Post Office Telegraph Form - front
6d Post Office Telegraph Form A. 1. (without date plugs), Printed by McCorquodale & Co. Ltd.
with an imprint reading "100.000—7/98.  Wt. 7870—653.", which I take to mean 100,000 printed July 1898.


The back now has a space for the senders name and address at the top, and a "NOTICE TO THE SENDER OF THIS TELEGRAM."
6d Post Office Telegraph Form - back

 

6d A1S/E Post Office Telegraph Form - front
6d Post Office Telegraph Form A1S/E (without date plugs), Printed by Wyman & Sons Ltd.


The back has a "NOTICE TO THE SENDER OF THIS TELEGRAM" with the space for the senders name and address at the bottom.
6d A1S/E Post Office Telegraph Form - back
The back also has the printers imprint.


I have another one almost identical to this, but different at the bottom of the front and back :
6d A1S/E Post Office Telegraph Form - front
The front has a purple "ENLISTED", still with the Wyman & Sons Ltd imprint.


The back has a purple "A. H. LEIGH & Co.," and the Wyman & Sons Ltd imprint is missing.
6d A1S/E Post Office Telegraph Form - back


An unstamped Post Office Telegraph Form, with Coat of Arms, Printed by Jas. Truscott & Son, London, and dated 3 May 1877.
PO Telegraph Form - 3-5-77
There is nothing on the back.

 

Fairly similar to the last, but with different Coat of Arms and Printed by Harrison & Sons, London. Dated 10 January 1885.
PO Telegraph Form - 10-1-85
There is nothing on the back.

 

Similar to the last, but with a changed layout. Still printed by Harrison & Sons, London. Dated 6 February 1888.
PO Telegraph Form - 6-2-88
There is nothing on the back.

 

Similar to the last, even the Coat of Arms, but with a slightly changed layout and now printed by Eyre & Spottiswoode, London. Dated 10 July 1896.
PO Telegraph Form - 10-6-96
There is nothing on the back.

 

This appears to have been ordered by telephone from Direct Mail Group. It has a form number of "(81596) Hw."
Dated 21 September 1964.
PO Telegraph Form - 15-9-1964
There is nothing on the back.

 

 

 

A new type of round 1s version inscribed 'TELEGRAPHS' was introduced in August 1875.

1s Post Office Telegraph Stationery   1s Post Office Telegraph Stationery   1s Post Office Telegraph Stationery
Date plugs 12/12/77, used in Dundee 30/4/78.   Date plugs 13/2/79, used at Liverpool Exchange 28/6/79.   Date plugs 19/7/79, used at Old-Steine, Brighton 23/12/79.
London, Brighton and South Coast Railway



1s circular green Post Office Telegraph Stock Exchange Form
Inland Stock-Exchange telegraph form with date-plugs of 6/5/81, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

10d Brown Post Office Telegraph Large-Format Form
10d brown Foreign and Colonial Telegraph form courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

Post Office and Submarine Telegraphs form
A Post Office and Submarine Telegraphs form of 13/9/71 - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Post Office Telegraph form with perfin Post Office Telegraph perfin
Mc Corquodale & Co. Ltd. form with   G M / & G   perfin courtesy of Jeff Turnbull.

 

Post Office Telegraph form with perfin Post Office Telegraph perfin
Later Mc Corquodale & Co. Ltd. form with   G M / & G   perfin courtesy of Jeff Turnbull.

 

Post Office Telegraph form with perfin Post Office Telegraph perfin
Wy. & S., Ltd form with   G M / & G   perfin courtesy of Jeff Turnbull.

 

GM&G perfin

My Reference GM-1
Perfin Soc. Ref. G 3400.01
Perfin User Ginner, Morton & Goddard
Eastcheap, London.
Image courtesy of: Jeff Turnbull


 

Very different, especially the Coat of Arms, no indication of the printer, but an apparent form number of "Con. 29a." at the bottom-left.
Dated 8 November 1914.
PO Telegraph Form - 8-11-1914
There is nothing on the back.

 

6d KGV Post Office Telegraph piece of 3 June 1939
A 6d Post Office Telegraph piece of a similar design, used at Candleriggs Glasgow on 3 June 1939.

 

An Overseas Telegram sent to Pakistan on 26 September 1964. The £1 stamp has been punched before affixing.

PO Telegraph Form - 15-9-1964 - front

The back now has information and conditions
PO Telegraph Form - 15-9-1964 - back
It also has "AMA Co. Ltd. 34/64984 866" on the bottom-left and "A29" on the bottom-right.

 

 

A Telegram with pre-punched stamps to Scotland, sent 16 July 1964.

PO Telegraph Form - 16-7-1964 - front

The back has information and conditions with the name and address of the sender.
PO Telegraph Form - 16-7-1964 - back
The bottom-left has "—McC—51-6878" which I take to mean McCorquodale & Co. Ltd., and "A" on the bottom-right.

 

 

A similar but larger Telegram with more space for stamps, sent 17 October 1964.

PO Telegraph Form - 17-10-1964 - front

The back has information and conditions with the name and address of the sender.
PO Telegraph Form - 17-10-1964 - back
The bottom-left has "70567  (7874}" which is not very informative, and "A / C" on the bottom-right.

 

A similar but smaller Telegram. At the top, under the stamps, it says "POST OFFICE / INLAND TELEGRAM / FOR POSTAGE STAMPS".
Unlike some forms, it does not say that stamps can be added to the back, but clearly there is limited space on the front without invading other areas. Sent 29 August 1964.

PO Telegraph Form - 29-8-1964 - front

The back has information and conditions with the name and address of the sender.
PO Telegraph Form - 29-8-1964 - back
The bottom-left has "—McC—51-3326" which I take to mean McCorquodale & Co. Ltd., and "A" on the bottom-right.
I do not know the significance of "3326" in place of the earlier "6878".

 

Very similar to the last but with a different printers imprint. The 5/- stamp has not been damaged. Sent 12 September 1964.

PO Telegraph Form - 12-9-1964 - front

The wording on the back is the same as the last except the very bottom.
PO Telegraph Form - 12-9-1964 - back
The bottom-left has "H.P. Ltd., 51-8732. ", there is nothing on the bottom-right.

 

This is the same form as the last. The 10/- stamp has been pre-punched. Sent 31 December 1964.

PO Telegraph Form - 31-12-1964 - front
At the bottom, as usual, it says "The particulars on the back of this form should be completed".

I include this as an example in which it wasn't. The front has the reference "24478" which probably supplies the information.
PO Telegraph Form - 31-12-1964 - back
As with the last, the bottom-left has "H.P. Ltd., 51-8732. ", there is nothing on the bottom-right.

 

 

Imperial Cables.

With the completion of the All Red Line in 1902 and availability of long-distance radio-telegraphy, it became viable for the Post Office to enter the fray about 1925.

Post Office Telegraphs Via Imperial "The All British Route". The form is dated June 1927 and it was used 27 July 1928.
New Zealand to London.
Imperial PO Telegraph Form - 8-11-1914
There is nothing on the back.

 

By 1929 the spirit of cooperation had held sway over cutthroat competition and Cable and Wireless Ltd. was formed to share out the cake.


Imperial & International Telegram of 20 January 1931
This is very similar to a 1927 telegram of the Eastern Telegraph. Image courtesy of Bill Glover at Atlantic-Cable.com

 

Post Office Telegraphs Via Imperial with a map of the world. The form is dated June 1934 and it was used 15 January 1935.
Imperial Telegraph Form - 15-1-1935 - front

The back has information about the location of Telegraph Offices.
Imperial Telegraph Form - 15-1-1935 - back

 

Cable and Wireless Via Imperial wartime telegram. The form is dated September 1942 and it was used 15 August 1943.
It is stamped "OVERSEA" and the origin is coded as ISA1069. It has a "Passed by Censor"" mark.
Imperial Telegraph Form - 15-8-1943 - front

The back has a lot more information about the location of Telegraph Offices and the head office.
Imperial Telegraph Form - 15-8-1943 - back

 

 

Telephone Stamps.

Hiscocks added the following 2 notes:

Note 1. These stamps may be used for payment of telephone accounts and
              are hand cancelled on presentation at Post Offices or Telephone Offices.
              The GPO is reticent about what happens to them next but they are
              presumably checked centrally and subsequently destroyed.
              They are not available genuinely used.
Note 2. Cards on which they may be collected as a form of saving towards
              telephone bills are available from Post Offices.

 

1979 (29 January) White wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 15 x 14½(£1) and 14½ x 15(£5).

Post Office Telephone £1 stamp Post Office Telephone £5 stamp
Type 1  -  RH1 Type 2  -  RH2

Hiscocks Type 1 and Type 2
Forgeries of the £5 are known, they are perforated 12½ x 13 with brighter colours.

 

1985 Telephone £1 + £5 stamps
Type 3  -  RH3 Type 4  -  RH4

Images of Type 3 and Type 4 courtesy of Martin Robinson (Mareval2 on ebay).
Harrison and Sons produced these by photogravure. The £5 has the unusual feature of individual serial numbers.
Despite all the security features, forgeries were again produced of the £5 and these were withdrawn 13 February 1987.
I have no details of the forgeries. The originals are perf.14

 

RH # Hisc. Type. Desc. Mint Used
RH1 H1 1 £1 deep olive, lime green, black and gold 1.25 -
RH2 H2 2 £5 brown, crimson, yellow, black and gold (28/8/79) 6.00 -
RH3 - 3 £1 pale blue and mauve (1985) 7.50 -
RH4 - 4 £5 yellow, green, blue and black (1985) 30.00 -

 

Post Office Telephone - RH5 Post Office Telephone - RH6 Post Office Telephone - RH7
Type 5  -  RH5 Type 6  -  RH6 Type 7  -  RH7
1987 mage courtesy of Jeff Turnbull. 1990 and 1992 images courtesy of Mark Talbot.

 

RH # Hisc. Type. Desc. Mint Used
RH5 - 5 £1 bright purple and pale lilac (1987) 5.00 -
RH6 - 6 £1 emerald, pale blue-green and pale blue (1990) 3.75 -
RH7 - 7 £1 blue, siolver and red-brown (1992 ?) 5.00 -

 

Post Office 1993 stamp
Type 8  -  RH8

1993. John Barefoot indicates that the security punch hole is consistently placed.
For the other images I have, that is true. For this one however, it looks like the sheet was rotated 180° when punched.
John Barefoot's image has the security punch hole at the bottom-left.
I do not know the relative scarcity of the two types. Image courtesy of Mark Talbot.

RH # Hisc. Type. Desc. Mint Used
RH8 - 8 £2 bronze, grey, pink and blue (1993) 2.50 -
RH8a - 8        security punch at bottom-left 2.50 -

 

Post Office 1994 stamp
Type 9  -  RH9

1994? Image courtesy of Mark Talbot.

RH # Hisc. Type. Desc. Mint Used
RH9 - 9 £2 pale blue, grey and black (1994 ?) 2.50 -

 

Post Office 1996 stamp Post Office 1996? stamp dated 1995
Type 10  -  RH10 (with training bars) Type 10  -  RH10 (used 1995)

1995? Image with training bars, courtesy of Mark Talbot, together with a used one of mine dated April 1995.

RH # Hisc. Type. Desc. Mint Used
RH10 - 10 £2 blue-grey and blue (1995 ?) 2.50 -

 

Post Office 1995 stamp Post Office 1995 stamp used 1997
Type 11  -  RH11 Type 11  -  RH11 (used 24 March 1997 in Barrhead, Scotland)

1996? Mint image courtesy of Mark Talbot, together with a used one of mine that seems to be dated March 1997.

RH # Hisc. Type. Desc. Mint Used
RH11 - 11 £2 blue-grey, grey, mauve and pale blue (1996 ?) 2.50 -

Here are some examples used in a telephone card with the stamps cancelled in 1996.
The card is shown half normal size with inside followed by outside. The cancel is shown twice normal size underneath.

Post Office 1996 card - inside

Post Office 1996 card - outside

Post Office 1996 card - cancel On the back it says "This card can only be accepted if all the
sections below have been completed."
Clearly they have not been. Perhaps there was a full card
accompanying it that had the details filled in.
The cancel appears to be dated 17 April 1996.
Used in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

 

 

 

Post Office 1997 stamp Post Office 1997 stamp - used
Type 12  -  RH12   courtesy of Mark Talbot Type 12  -  RH12 (used in Dartford, December 1998)

1997 ?

RH # Hisc. Type. Desc. Mint Used
RH12 - 12 £2 brown, mauve and pale grey (1997 ?) 2.50 -

 

John Barefoot lists a £2 issued in 1998 and another in 1999.
I need images of these.

 

Post Office 1999 stamp
Type 15  -  RH15

1999? Image courtesy of Mark Talbot.

RH # Hisc. Type. Desc. Mint Used
RH13 - 13 £2 blue, grey and salmon (1998 ?) 3.00 -
RH14 - 14 £2 purple, pale blue and grey (1999 ?) 6.00 -
RH15 - 15 £5 pale blue, grey and silver (1999 ?) 10.00 -

 

The use of Telephone Savings Stamps was discontinued in 2000.

 

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

 

Last updated 7th. February 2021

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