ONE PENNY
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DLR Printings on PB Plates

 

1874/5

Most collections contain fakes, not genuine copies of this overprint.

First - LOW - Overprinting

    10 December 1874. 100 sheets

2nd and 3rd - CENTRE - Overprints

    15 March 1875:  100 sheets

     9 April 1875:  100 sheets


The PMG, Mr. Helmich, who had been reprimanded in the past tor ordering too large quantities of stamps too early. was very slow and over-cautious when it came to ordering Penny stamps on 17 April 1874. lt seems at least odd that he ordered quarterly supplies ol e mere 24,000 stamps at a time when he ought to have nown that only about half a year's supply of the 1865 C 121/2 1d bistre remained in the Reserve Chest and that normal sales per quarter exceeded 36,000 stamps.


He drew the last 22,560 stamps available from the Chest on 30 July 1874, leaving only one sample sheet, These just carried him past the arrival of the first quarterly delivery arriving on 25 September 1874 and he drew the whole consignment on 16 October. By December he must have been looking in desperation for supplies, but finally he had to give in and ask the Governors permission to surcharge ONE PENNY on the 2d value. lt would have been interesting to read the Governorís comments when faced with the application, but they have not survived. It may be significant that Helmich only got permission to overprint 100 sheets.

Helmich must have welcomed the second delivery on 18 January 1875. because he was in dire need and drew the whole consignment the same day. However, his difficulties were far from over, though he had written to the Crown Agents on 17 December 1874 increasing the quarterly deliveries from 24,000 to 72,000 stamps. That third delivery arrived on 5 May 1875 and he promptly drew 100 sheets. Meanwhile, Helmich had twice again been forced to beg the Governor's leave to overprint 2d stamps.

The remaining 48,000 stamps from the third delivery were issued on 1 July 1875 and again the Fleserve Chest was depleted. lt was Helmlch's
good fortune that the 4th delivery arrived in the Colony on 28 July and this, with subsequent deliveries, relieved his supply situation _ until he again ran into trouble 10 years later.
 

 

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He|mich`s late and timid ordering of Penny stamps in 1874 created a crisis situation by the end of the year. The Reserve Chest was depleted and stocks at the Post Offices were running low with Christmas and New Year coming up. He had to ask Governorís permission to surcharge ONE PENNY on 2d stamps and, on 10 December 1874, he issued the new stamp. However, the 100 sheets printed would only cover 4 weeks supply. He was lucky, for just in time, on 18 January, 1875, he received 24,000 stamps from De la Rue which would see him through to late March, but without further deliveries expected before May he had to ask for more overprints, He was saved from further wrath, as meanwhile, a new Governor, William Cleaver Francis Robinson had taken office. On 15 March and 9 April the Government Printer had 100 sheets ready tor him. All 300 sheets were surcharged on 1872 printings of cc12.5 upright or reversed in about equal numbers in shades from light to deep orange.
 

The printing plate

Is believed to be, unusually, a full 120on covering all stamps of the sheet.


 

FORGERIES

Most collections contain fakes, not genuine copies.

Coarse imitations of both stamp and surcharge are abundant but easily recognised.  Better forgeries can be detected because genuine copies are:

bulletAlways CC12.5  upright. No other watermark, wmk position, or perf is valid.
bulletGenuine measures: P is 3mm high and the distance from right leg of first N to left leg of second N is 10.3mm
bullet 

 

TRIPLE AND DOUBLE LOW SURCHARGES

At least two trial sheets were used to position the overprint.  By mistake, or due to the desperate shortage, these sheets, were carved up and distributed to the Geraldton, Greenough Post Offices and the Fremantle Commissariat.

The Geraldton / Greenough examples have very low overprints bleeding into the perfs or stamp below.

The commissariat has the only known double print and positions of the triple strikes are quite different, indicating that least one other sheet was involved.

The 4 triple overprints known used at Geraldton are easy to recognize as they are cancelled with the 20/15-bars Numeral:
Copy GT 1: _ _is in the Royal collection. I have only seen a photo and it is not clear whether 20 shows, but as it is a 15-bars canceller there is hardly reason to doubt that it is the 20/15-bars.
COPY GT22 Ď , , . _ ,is in my collection. I aquired it in a Melbourne auction in 1975.
Copy GT 3: _ was in the Gartner-sale 1979 fetching a bid of Swiss Francs 18,000 or $A1D,0O0 at the exchange-rate of the day.

Copy GT 4:l first saw in a London-auction_May 1980. It sold for £7,100 or $A14.200.