5d Olive
Home Up d 1d 2d Grey 2d Blue 3d Brown 4d Brown 5d Olive 6d Violet 1/- Green

Key & Duty. Comb14

May 1892


This new value was invoiced and issued at the same time as the 2d on 1st May 1892. It covered the double Overseas Letter Rate and the Inland and Colonial Registered Letter Rate. Limited use values such as this one had a No. 1 key-plate of 120 and a duty-plate of 60, duty plate doubled in February 1896

There are three distinct colour-groups.

Bistre with reddish brown duty.
    These stamps all had to come from the two first deliveries, on 15 March 1892 of 60,000 and on 8 August 1892 of 120,000 stamps.

Yellow-bistre: 1895-98
Relatively scarce, come from a delivery on 18 September 1894 of 122,640

Olive-bistre: First seen October 1900


16 November 1895 120,400
15 April 1896 360,000
10 June 1896 557,280

It is quite surprising that 122,400 stamps were ordered. There was no great need for the 5d value. In 1892 and 1893 only c. 9,000 were issued, in 1894 it increased to c. 14,000 and the year after to 30,600. When the 1895 delivery arrived there were c. 140,000 stamps in stock.

It is even more surprising that permission was given to double the duty plate and print two more deliveries close together. As it turned out there were enough olive-bistre stamps to last to about New Year 1906 - and then, the PMG was even very lucky because he could not have foreseen that demand by 1904 would increase 6 fold reaching 185,000.

Melbourne printings

line perf 12.4 or 11 in equal numbers. line perf because the 120on plate 2x60 did not fit the 240on comb perforator.

these printings occurred on the only non-replaced DLR key&duty plate.


1 printing. bistre Aug 05. 120,000

2nd printing: Nov 05 bistre 600k

3rd printing: Jan 09 Olive green 480k

4th printing: 1912 pale green-yellow thin paper 120k line perf 12.4 only. wmk always to tail

printed as a double sheet on the just installed kangaroo press but cut in half for perforating I think (like the 3d)