PB Printings on PB plates
Single Pane plate, 240 on, 12 rows of 20. Value 1 pound
Die engraved by William, Humphrys, Jan 1843.
Printed in Aug 1853 By Perkins Bacon in London
Arrived in Fremantle January 1854
Issued August 1854
Qty Approx 1,000,000
Swan Watermark Paper
Approx 30,000 were damaged in transit and destroyed. A further local printing eventually occurred of 108 sheets partly to make up the damaged stock and mostly to get used to this new technology.
The 1d value was a blunder, brought about by the enthusiasm of the GB penny black and the wish to adopt a similar scheme. However the value was quite useless as local postage intra colony was 2d, inter colony 4d, and 'overseas' 6d. This required two, four or six stamps per envelope respectively and subsequent inefficiencies. The postal clerks must have got sick to death of tearing of strips of 6 stamps and their customers equally frustrated to find a place to put them on the envelope.
But, this was a new experience for the colony and although the stamps had arrived in February, it took a further 6 months before they were put on sale. The time spent between was used in setting up the initial regulations mandating the use of pre-paid postage stamps for mail, a consolidation of the damaged stock, and the distribution of cancellers along with printing the stamps locally. But, the main reason was, no one was overly enthusiastic at distributing what would be an very inconvenient value of no practical use. Even before the 1d arrived in the colony, preparations were made to have 2d and 4d values produced which delayed matters further.
Like the contemporaneous lithographs, and the short lived colonial printings of other PB denominations, these stamps are found imperf or, with a multitude of various roulettes, pin perfs, scissors, guillotines and kitchen knives. Examples are nice to have but can only be a fraction of the value of a four margin imperf. Giving them separate catalogue status is silly.
Proofs were pulled in 1902
The initial blunder.
In 1852, Governor Fitzgerald requested of the home office that a 1d plate be produced in London and 1 million stamps from it be supplied, by London, for his proposed reduced rate of postage.
It is difficult to know what possessed him to request such a useless value.
Accompanying the request was an equally confusing statement about rates of postage.
Which colony and colonies he was referring to must have meant 4d for to other Australian Colonies, 6d to the British Empire, and 10d including Europe
There was no mention of a 2d town rate, a 2d 'to Perth' rate, and a 2x2d rate town to town. (Customers were charged 2d to deliver to Perth and 2d to send it out again)
For the purposes of his request he noted that these rates would be reduced to
Again, no mention of local rates
Regardless Perkins Bacon were asked to quote for production of the 1d. It being assumed there was a 1d value local rate and that was what Fitzgerald wanted them for.
It didn't take long for the nonsensical nature of the request to be realised. Eventually, quotes were also asked for for 2d and 4d plates. But, by then, the 1d plate had already been produced and they weren't prepared to spend further money.
Separate to this, the Home Office decided that printing from the plates should be done in the Colony. Perceptively for all the later problems, they presumed there would be delays and stockpiles if printed in London.
So, in the end, Fitzgerald got, the plates he should not have asked for, and million stamps which he was supposed to print in the colony, not London.
At this point, London would not consider bearing the cost of new denomination plates, and told, hence forth to print everything in the colony regardless.
Thus, was the cause of the Lithographs until sanity prevailed.