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



The South Eastern Railway.

According to Philbrick & Westoby (1880), these were printed by typography in sheets of 24 (4 rows of 6 stamps).
According to Langmead & Huggins (2003), these were printed in sheets of 12 or 24.
Naturally I want to see what the evidence says.


Continuing research.


I have created a sortable table of these to aid comparison of stamps.
'Position' is within a block of 12.



You can mark a row by clicking on it and 'un-mark' it by clicking on it again.
Marking or un-marking it will display the associated image.
'Swap' swaps the images over, 'Step' opens the image following the last one in the list.
Small images can be made bigger by clicking on them, but it will not improve the resolution.
If you check 'Auto Magnify', images will be magnified as soon as they are opened.



AD Anonymous contributor.
AH Andrew Higson.
Anon Anonymous contributor.
IS Ex. Iain Stevenson, Courtesy Grosvenor Auctions.
L&H Langmead & Huggins book (colour plate 2).
Courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.
MG Dr. Mark Gibson.
Phil Phillips, Son & Neale.
RDS Roger de Lacy-Spencer.
SG Stanley Gibbons.
SL Steve Lawrie.
SP Steve Panting (me).

If anyone wants to send me a scan (300dpi or 600dpi)
of new items, I will happily update the information.



Plate layout:

South Eastern Railway 2s3d block.
The above is a digital reconstruction from 4 separate 2s3d stamps. It indicates that there were 6 stamps to a row with left to right numbering.
Number 1417 is from Langmead & Huggins' book (colour plate 2), courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.   Numbers 1418 and 1420 are courtesy of Stanley Gibbons,
1419 is courtesy of Steve Lawrie,   1423 is owned by Mark Gibson and   1424 is courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.


South Eastern Railway 2s9d pair. These fit in a left to right direction (courtesy of Mark Gibson) :
South Eastern Railway 2s9d pair.

Surprisingly, these do not, they fitted together like this :

South Eastern Railway 1s2d pair.
This is a digital reconstruction from 2 separate 2s9d stamps.
It indicates that there were 6 stamps to a row.
Number 619 is courtesy of Stanley Gibbons,
and 613 is courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Unusually, this digital reconstruction from 2 separate 1s2d stamps indicates that they were numbered right to left.

Number 2017 is courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions ,
and 2018 is courtesy of Mark Gibson.


Here are the 5 scans I have from the row fitted in right to left order (half size, click it for a larger image).
Though the perforations fit together quite well, the stamps are not well aligned vertically, perhaps explaining why well-centred examples are scarce.
South Eastern Railway 1s2d strip of 5.
2020 is courtesy of Steve Lawrie, 2021 is from Langmead & Huggins' book (colour plate 2), courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.
2017, 2018 and 2019 are courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson. Anyone have 2022 ?


. South Eastern Railway 1s. South Eastern Railway 1s.
South Eastern Railway 1s.
33505 dated 28/8/65 ?   Hiscocks H2b - 1s, Perf. 12½ Hiscocks H2b - 1s, Perf. 12½ (showing watermark) Hiscocks H2b - 1s, Perf. 12½ (showing watermark)
Courtesy of Mark Gibson. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.

Looking at the stamps above:

The two on the right are the only ones of these I have seen with selvedge.
They are also the only mint 1/- stamps I have seen.
It is interesting that the perforations run through to the edge of the sheet
leaving the top of the stamp imperforate. The Perf.9 2s3d control 1420
has selvedge and perforations all around, and reconstructed blocks indicate
6 stamps per row.

These two stamps do however represent a rare opportunity.
I always like to know the sheet formats, how many rows of how many stamps on the sheet. I have not been able to find this information for the South Eastern Railway in the works of other writers, although Langmead & Huggins refer to
"proof sheets of 24 (4 x 6)" and "a sheet of 12 of the 9d red".

These stamps give a clue, but I need starting assumptions:
That the control numbers are consistently applied to the stamps starting
      with number 1, and running left to right, top to bottom.

There are certain conventions about how many stamps in a sheet, often chosen to make accounting easier.
The stamp on the left, 33505, is clearly not on the top row since it shows part of the stamp above, so what size sheets would put number 53004 and 53053 on the top row but not 33505, given my assumption ?
SER 1s2d - 2068.
SER 2s3d - 1420.
SER 9d no control.

For many private telegraph issues, there
exist examples without control numbers.
These are no exception, Though I have
only this poor image. Apologies to
whoever owns this, I no longer know the
source of the image or who should be
Can anyone supply scans of this or any
other SER stamps ?

I made a 'widget' to decode sheet-position and block position from the control number.
Click on 'popup' to open it in another small window.

Calculator with adjustable row and column sizes.
Green indicates a match for the example, red indicates otherwise.

Quantity of wasted control numbers (assumed at the beginning)      
Enter value and press [return]   -   OR
Enter a Control number to check:
Rows and Columns per sheet can be changed.
Sheet (1+) Rows Columns Block-size Position
stamps per
stamps per
position of 53004
in its sheet.
position of 53053
in its sheet.
position of 33505
in its sheet.
10 5 4 3 5
12 6 12 1 1
15 5 9 13 10
16 4 12 13 1
18 6 12 7 7
20 5 4 13 5
21 7 21 7 10
24 6 12 13 1
25 5 4 3 5
28 7 28 21 17
30 6 24 13 25
32 8 12 29 1
35 7 14 28 10
36 6 12 25 25
40 5 4 13 25
42 6 42 7 25
48 8 12 13 1
49 7 35 35 38
50 10 4 3 5
56 7 28 21 17
60 10 24 13 25
63 9 21 7 52
64 8 12 61 33
80 10 44 13 65
100 10 4 53 5

The combination of these 3 constraints, seem to make it impossible to find a conventional sheet size with my assumptions.

Either the sheet size is unconventional or my starting assumption is wrong.
2 out of 13, 1/- stamps are from the top row.
The selvedge on these cannot be torn off, but that may not always have been true.
I have not seen any SER stamps with selvedge at the sides or bottom.
My sheet reconstructions suggest that most stamps with selvedge had it removed. That makes it harder to estimate the number of stamps per sheet.
The two from the top row are 49 apart.

I have added an 'offset' box to allow compensation for wasted control
numbers near the beginning.
Values from 7 to 11 (± whole multiples of 24) will
give acceptable results for a sheet size of 24 (or 48 ± multiples of 48).
No value works for a sheet size of 12 or 36.

SER 2s9d - 630. SER 2s9d - 675. SER 1s6d - 19053.

Selvedge at the top is a useful indication
of where the top of a sheet is.

Strangely I have no scans of stamps
with selvedge at the sides or bottom.
Anybody have any ?




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


Last updated 26th. August 2019

©Copyright Steve Panting 2012/13/14/15/16/17/18/19 except where stated.
Permission is hereby granted to copy material for which the copyright is owned by myself, on condition that any data is not altered and this website is given credit.


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