Search This Blog

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Shade Varieties Of The Large Queen Issue of 1868-1897

I had thought that my last post had addressed the request of one of my readers, but I had misunderstood his request. He wanted to know about the shade varieties of the Large Queen Issue, as well as perforations and papers for the purposes of doing an album layout. So I will write a post today about the shades, papers and perforation varieties on this issue before I return to my next post about the Admiral Issue of 1911-1928.

Overview

This is quite a complicated issue despite the fact that most of the values were only in use for a few years. The 15c value by exception was never replaced by any subsequent issue in Queen Victoria's reign, so that a very large number of printings were made, resulting in an extremely wide range of shades. Gerald Firth, who was the premier student of this stamp, wrote an entire book on it, which I do not have. So I cannot give you a full list of every single existing shade of this stamp. However, I can give you a group that is fairly representative of all the shades. This will prove to be sufficiently detailed for most collectors.

I also do not have a sufficient number of stamps at the present time to provide illustrations of the shades, so at this time my post will be a narrative post only. I will in time, as I acquire a sufficient number of examples to illustrate all the shades, present comparative scans, much as I have done for the Admiral Issue.

The Duckworth paper types are a bit problematic as well as there is no reference source that I am aware of, except perhaps the Duckworth book that lists every existing paper, shade and perforation combination. Therefore my list is an educated attempt to derive a relatively complete list, based on what I know about the issue. I would welcome additions to my list and other feedback.

For the paper 6's, I only allocate one space per printing. If you want both a watermarked and an unwatermarked example, understanding that they are essentially the same stamp from the same sheet, then you should double the number of spaces on your pages for paper 6 printings.

1/2c Black

This value was used up until 1882, well into the Small Queens period, so that in addition to the Duckworth papers, it should also exist on the horizontal and vertical wove papers of the Small Queen Period. I have generally seen this stamp on papers 2, 3, 4 and 6. According to Unitrade, it exists on paper 8 and paper 10. I have seen an example once on thin tissue white, which is paper 9b, although Unitrade's table does not acknowledge it. As for shades, the stamp exists in three basic shades:


  • A regular black
  • A very intense jet-black
  • A grey-black
I don't have any reason to believe that any of these shades are limited to any specific printing. It seems reasonable therefore to seek out one of each shade for each of the paper types in which this stamp is found. As far as perforations go, the stamps are either perf 12 (actually 11.9) of 11.5 x 12. The perf. 11.5 x 12 stamps are from 1873 to about 1877 and are from the Montreal printings. They will therefore only exist on the later paper types, being either paper 4, or 10. Unitrade says that this perforation is found on the Bothwell paper, which is strange, given that it is one of the first papers used. 

Thus, if I were preparing a specialized album for this issue, I would allocate 33 spaces for this stamp as follows:

  • Black, paper 2, perf. 12.
  • Intense black, paper 2, perf. 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 2, perf. 12. 
  • Black, paper 3, perf. 12.
  • Intense black, paper 3, perf. 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 3, perf. 12.
  • Black paper 4, perf 12.
  • Intense black, paper 4, perf. 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 4, perf. 12.
  • Black, paper 4, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Intense black, paper 4, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 4, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Black, paper 6, perf. 12.
  • Intense black, paper 6, perf. 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 6, perf. 12.
  • Black, paper 6, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Intense black, paper 6, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 6, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Black, paper 8, perf. 12.
  • Intense black, paper 8, perf. 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 8, perf. 12.
  • Black, paper 9, perf. 12.
  • Intense black, paper 9, perf. 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 9, perf. 12.
  • Black, paper 9b, perf. 12. 
  • Intense black, paper 9b, perf. 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 9b, perf. 12.
  • Black, paper 10, perf. 12.
  • Intense black, paper 10, perf. 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 10, perf. 12.
  • Black, paper 10, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Intense-black, paper 10, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Grey-black, paper 10, perf. 11.5 x 12.
This ignores the plate varieties found on this stamp such as the chignon, spur, H spur and line above P of postage varieties. Conceivably all of these could exist on each and every stamp above. So I would deal with these by either having just one example of each on a separate page, or you could create one page of 36 spaces for each of the varieties. 

1c Brown Red

I have seen two basic shades on this stamp:

  • Brown red.
  • Venetian red
The Venetian red is much less brown than the brown red and closer to a pure red. I have not seen the Venetian red shade on the thin paper 1, but I imagine that it exists for all the other papers on which this stamp is found with the possible exception of paper 5, as only a handful of sheets were ever likely printed on the laid paper. 

Unitrade lists this stamp on Duckworth papers 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 9b. The only perforation is 12, which simplifies things considerably. 

So I would allocate 16 spaces for this stamp as follows:

  • Brown-red, paper 1.
  • Brown-red, paper 3.
  • Venetian red, paper 3.
  • Brown-red, paper 4.
  • Venetian red, paper 4.
  • Brown-red, paper 5.
  • Brown-red, paper 6.
  • Venetian-red, paper 6.
  • Brown-red, paper 7.
  • Venetian red, paper 7.
  • Brown-red, paper 8.
  • Venetian red, paper 8.
  • Brown-red, paper 9.
  • Venetian-red, paper 9.
  • Brown-red, paper 9b.
  • Venetian-red, paper 9b.
Again, the above list ignores the "burr to the left of the head"plate flaw. I do not know when that flaw was corrected, but it may exist on all the above printings, in which case you may wish to create a second page for it. 

1c Yellow Orange

This stamp had a very short life, being issued just a year prior to its replacement by the 1c Small Queen. As a result, it is only found on three papers: paper 9, 9b and 10. Papers 9 and 9b are very scarce, with the vast majority of stamps being found on the distinctive paper 10. Unitrade lists three shades, but I feel that two more can easily be added:

  • Yellow-orange
  • Pale yellow orange
  • Yellow
  • Deep orange
  • Reddish-orange
Again, I have not seen any examples on papers 9 or 9b, so I do not know if they exist in all five shades above. However, I would assume that they do. Again, all the stamps are perf. 12. 

So based on this, I would allocate 15 spaces for this stamp as follows:

  • Yellow-orange, paper 9.
  • Pale yellow-orange, paper 9.
  • Yellow, paper 9.
  • Deep orange, paper 9.
  • Reddish orange, paper 9.
  • Yellow-orange, paper 9b.
  • Pale yellow orange, paper 9b.
  • Yellow, paper 9b.
  • Deep orange, paper 9b.
  • Reddish orange, paper 9b.
  • Yellow orange, paper 10.
  • Pale yellow orange, paper 10. 
  • Yellow, paper. 10.
  • Deep orange, paper 10. 
  • Reddish orange, paper 10. 
2c Green

There are more shades on this stamp than Unitrade lists, with at least a green and dark green shade, in addition to the bluish green and emerald green shades. There is a very wide range of papers for this stamp with papers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 being found, although Unitrade does not list this stamp on paper 2. So far all the stamps I have seen on paper 10 are the emerald green shade, and all the blue greens that I have seen are paper 3. All of the paper 1's I have come across are deep green. That is not to say that these papers do not exist in the other shades, but rather that certain shades seem to be limited to certain papers. Again all stamps are perf. 12. 

Thus my layout for this stamp would consist of 19 spaces as follows:

  • Deep green, paper 1.
  • Deep green, paper 2.
  • Green, paper 2. 
  • Bluish green paper 2. 
  • Deep green, paper 3.
  • Green, paper 3.
  • Bluish green paper 3. 
  • Deep green, paper 4.
  • Green, paper 4. 
  • Bluish green, paper 4. 
  • Deep green, paper 5 - this is the laid paper of which only 3 copies are known. 
  • Deep green, paper 6.
  • Green, paper 6.
  • Deep green, paper 7.
  • Green, paper 7. 
  • Deep green, paper 8. 
  • Green, paper 8. 
  • Green, paper 10.
  • Emerald green, paper 10. 
This listing ignores the "needle nose" and "spur" varieties, each of which could potentially have their own page. 

3c Red

Unitrade lists three shades for this stamp, though I would say that there are easily five shades:

  • Red
  • Pale red
  • Orange-red
  • Rose-red
  • Brown-red
I do not believe that any of these shades are limited to any specific printing, as I have seen the laid paper, for example in more than one shade. The papers that Unitrade lists are pretty extensive, with paper 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8. There are no perforation varieties, with every stamp perf. 12. 

So based on the above, I would allocate 35 spaces for this stamp as follows:

  • Red, paper 1.
  • Pale red, paper 1.
  • Orange-red, paper 1.
  • Rose-red, paper 1.
  • Brown-red, paper 1. 
  • Red, paper 2.
  • Pale red, paper 2.
  • Orange-red, paper 2.
  • Rose-red, paper 2. 
  • Brown-red, paper 2. 
  • Red, paper 3.
  • Pale red, paper 3.
  • Orange-red, paper 3. 
  • Rose-red, paper 3. 
  • Brown-red, paper 3. 
  • Red, paper 4. 
  • Pale red paper 4. 
  • Orange-red paper 4. 
  • Rose-red, paper 4. 
  • Brown-red, paper 4. 
  • Red, paper 5. 
  • Pale-red, paper 5. 
  • Orange-red, paper 5. 
  • Rose-red, paper 5. 
  • Brown red, paper 5. 
  • Red, paper 6.
  • Pale red, paper 6. 
  • Orange red, paper 6. 
  • Rose-red, paper 6. 
  • Brown-red, paper 6. 
  • Red, paper 8.
  • Pale red, paper 8.
  • Orange-red, paper 8. 
  • Rose-red, paper 8.
  • Brown-red, paper 8. 
Again, like the other values, this list ignores the plate flaws, which on this value are the "goatee" and the "shaving nick" varieties. Like the other varieties, they likely do exist on all the above, so a separate page or group of pages can be designed to accommodate them. 

5c Olive Green

This stamp was not issued until 1875, so it does not exist on the large variety of papers that the other values are found on. Until this year, Unitrade only listed a single paper, the vertical wove paper, which was the only one that I have ever seen on this value. However, just this year they started listing the perf. 11.5 x 12 on horizontal wove, which is apparently just as scarce as the rare perf. 12. Unitrade, lists two shades: olive green and deep olive green, though I have seen a pale olive green as well. There are also three perforations: 11.5 x 12, 11.75 x 12, which is the most common and then 12. So based on this, I would allocate 12 spaces for this stamp as follows:

  • Olive green,vertical wove, perf. 11.5x 12.
  • Deep olive green, vertical wove, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Pale olive green, vertical wove, perf. 11.5 x 12. 
  • Olive green, vertical wove, perf. 11.75 x 12.
  • Deep olive green, vertical wove, perf. 11.75 x 12.
  • Pale olive green, vertical wove, perf. 11.75 x 12.
  • Olive green, vertical wove, perf. 12.
  • Deep olive green, vertical wove, perf. 12.
  • Pale olive green, vertical wove, perf. 12. 
  • Olive green, horizontal wove, perf. 11.5 x 12
  • Deep olive green, horizontal wove, perf. 11.5 x 12.
  • Pale olive green, horizontal wove, perf. 11.5 x 12. 

6c Brown

Unitrade lists four shades for this stamp, though there are quite a few more. Going through the stamps I have had in my stock in the past, I can see:

  • Deep dull brown
  • Dark brown
  • Black brown
  • Yellow brown
  • Chocolate brown
  • Deep reddish brown
There are no perforation varieties, with all stamps being perf. 12. There were two plates used to print the stamp and copies from each of the two plates can be identified. According to Unitrade, plate 1 stamps are found on papers 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9b and 10, while plate 2 is only found on papers 8, 9, 9b and 10. The black brown shade seems to be limited to the first printings on paper 2, while the yellow brown only seems to be found on paper 10. The other shades, in all probability will exist on all the other papers in both plates. 

So based on this, my layout for the 6c would include 55 stamps as follows:

  • Deep dull brown, plate 1, paper 2.
  • Deep dull brown, plate 1, paper 3.
  • Deep dull brown, plate 1, paper 4.
  • Deep dull brown, plate 1 paper 6.
  • Deep dull brown, plate 1, paper 7.
  • Deep dull brown, plate 1, paper 8.
  • Deep dull brown, plate 1, paper 9.
  • Deep dull brown, plate 1, paper 9b.
  • Deep dull brown, plate 1, paper 10. 
  • Dark brown, plate 1, paper 2.
  • Dark brown, plate 1, paper 3.
  • Dark brown, plate 1, paper 4.
  • Dark brown, plate 1, paper 6. 
  • Dark brown, plate 1, paper 7. 
  • Dark brown, plate 1, paper 8.
  • Dark brown, plate 1, paper 9. 
  • Dark brown, plate 1, paper 9b. 
  • Dark brown, plate 1, paper 10. 
  • Black brown, plate 1, paper 2. 
  • Yellow brown, plate 1, paper 10. 
  • Chocolate brown, plate 1, paper 2.
  • Chocolate brown, plate 1, paper 3.
  • Chocolate brown, plate 1, paper 4. 
  • Chocolate brown, plate 1, paper 6. 
  • Chocolate brown, plate 1, paper 7. 
  • Chocolate brown, plate 1, paper 8. 
  • Chocolate brown, plate 1, paper 9.
  • Chocolate brown, plate 1, paper 9b. 
  • Chocolate brown, plate 1, paper 10. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 1, paper 2. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 1, paper 3. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 1, paper 4. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 1, paper 6. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 1, paper 7. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 1, paper 8. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 1, paper 9. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 1, paper 9b.
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 1, paper 10. 
  • Deep dull brown, plate 2, paper 8
  • Deep dull brown, plate 2, paper 9. 
  • Deep dull brown, plate 2, paper 9b. 
  • Deep dull brown, plate 2, paper 10. 
  • Dark brown, plate 2, paper 8. 
  • Dark brown, plate 2, paper 9. 
  • Dark brown, plate 2, paper 9b.
  • Dark brown, plate 2, paper 10. 
  • Yellow brown, plate 2, paper 10. 
  • Chocolate brown, plate 2, paper 8. 
  • Chocolate brown, plate 2, paper 9. 
  • Chocolate brown, plate 2, paper 9b.
  • Chocolate brown, plate 2, paper 10. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 2, paper 8. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 2, paper 9. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 2, paper 9b. 
  • Deep reddish brown, plate 2, paper 10. 
Now, I do not know for sure whether all the above stamps exist or not. However, I would rather design pages with spaces for them and then re-design them at a later date when it became clear that certain stamps do not exist, than to leave them out. 

12.5c Blue

Unitrade lists only two shades, blue and milky blue. However, I believe that there are at least five shades as follows:

  • Deep bright blue
  • Milky blue
  • Bright milky blue
  • Deep blue
  • Deep greenish blue
There are no perforation varieties, and Unitrade lists this stamp on papers 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 10. All the shades appear to exist on all papers, except for the milky blue, which is only found on paper 10. 

Based on this, I would allocate 25 spaces for the basic stamp as follows:

  • Deep bright blue, paper 2. 
  • Deep bright blue, paper 3. 
  • Deep bright blue, paper 6. 
  • Deep bright blue, paper 7.
  • Deep bright blue, paper 8. 
  • Deep bright blue, paper 10. 
  • Milky blue, paper 10. 
  • Bright milky blue, paper 2.
  • Bright milky blue, paper 3.
  • Bright milky blue, paper 6. 
  • Bright milky blue, paper 7. 
  • Bright milky blue, paper 8.
  • Bright milky blue, paper 10. 
  • Deep blue, paper 2.
  • Deep blue, paper 3. 
  • Deep blue, paper 6. 
  • Deep blue, paper 7. 
  • Deep blue, paper 8. 
  • Deep blue, paper 10
  • Deep greenish blue, paper 2.
  • Deep greenish blue, paper 3.
  • Deep greenish blue, paper 6. 
  • Deep greenish blue, paper 7. 
  • Deep greenish blue, paper 8. 
  • Deep greenish blue, paper 10. 
15c Grey Violet/Grey

Unitrade splits this stamp into two catalogue numbers, #29 and 30, even though it is really one stamp. As I stated in the overview, it is the most complicated stamp of the Victorian era, with specialists spending a lifetime studying it. That being said, it is not practical in this post for me to list every single shade that has been documented, as there are dozens. However, I can add a few to Unitrade's listing that I think you are likely to see and can distinguish fairly easily. 

The very first printings of this stamp were in a red-lilac and then in the very early 1870's the shades are purple, containing no grey, or slate. Then in about 1873, the shade moves to greenish grey, becoming blue grey by 1875. Then in 1880, there is a printing on the thick carton paper in deep violet, and this shade is also found on horizontal wove. Around the late 1880's we begin to see the deep blue shades, with the Studd's cold blue appearing in 1887-1888.  After this, until the stamp was replaced is when we see the grey-violets, deep slates, slate violets, brownish grey violets, greys and so forth. 

So for ease of organization, I would divide this stamp into four groups:

  • Printings made before 1873
  • The period from 1873-1880
  • The period from 1881-1888
  • The period from 1888-1897
In my listings below I have completely ignored plate flaws and other varieties, such as the "pawnbroker" variety. As far as I know, these can be found on all printings, so you could potentially make additional sets of pages following my groupings if you decided to include those in your collection. 


Printings made before 1873

In this first period, we have three basic shades:

  • Red lilac
  • Greyish purple
  • Grey, without being a deep slate, or having any significant tinge
The red lilac shade is found on papers 2 and 3, while the greyish purple is found on papers 6, 7 and 10. All the stamps in this period are perf. 12. So for this period, I would allocate 7 spaces as follows:

  • Red lilac, paper 2
  • Red lilac, paper 3
  • Greyish purple, paper 6.
  • Greyish purple, paper 7.
  • Greyish purple, paper 10. 
  • Grey, paper 3.
  • Grey, paper 10. 
Printings Made Between 1873 and 1880

This period includes all the major rarities of this value, including the script watermark, and the deep violet on carton paper. There are five basic shades during this period:

  • Greyish purple
  • Greenish grey
  • Deep bluish grey
  • Bluish grey
  • Deep violet
The paper during this period is generally a horizontal wove paper similar to that found on the Small Queens, with the thick carton paper being the exception. The greyish purple is generally found only perf. 11.5 x 12, while the greenish grey is found both perf. 12 and perf. 11.5 x 12. The two bluish grey shades are perf. 12 only, and finally, the deep violet is found on both the thick carton paper and horizontal wove paper. So on this basis, I would allow 8 spaces as follows:

  • Greyish purple, perf. 11.5 x 12. 
  • Greenish grey, perf. 11.5 x 12, no watermark.
  • Greenish grey, script watermark, perf. 11.5 x 12. 
  • Greenish grey, perf. 12. 
  • Deep bluish grey, perf. 12. 
  • Bluish grey, perf. 12. 
  • Deep violet, horizontal wove, perf. 12. 
  • Deep violet, perf. 12, thick carton paper. 
Printings Made Between 1881 and 1888

In this period all the stamps are perf. 12 and all are usually found on either a horizontal wove, or more commonly a vertical wove paper, with fairly coarse mesh. There are generally four shades that predominate:

  • Deep slate
  • Slate-grey
  • Deep blue
  • Bright cold blue - nicknamed Studd's Cold Blue. 
During this period bluish hues dominate, even in the slate and slate-grey. The brownish grey violets and grey violet shades which are the most common, come in the last period. The Studd's cold blue is very distinct and occurs only on a late printing made between 1887 and 1888. Therefore, for this period, I would allocate four spaces - one for each shade above. 

Printings Made After 1888

Here, the paper becomes exclusively a poorer quality vertical wove, with a tight vertical grain. Many, many subtle shade variations exist during this period, through all of them fall within three broad shade groups as follows:

  • Grey violet
  • Slate violet
  • Brownish grey violet
So here, I would say that three spaces should suffice, with maybe as many as nine spaces if you want to include a deep and pale version of each shade. 

So in all 22 spaces should cover all the basic varieties of this stamp. However, you could easily expand this tenfold if you really want to get into the Firth shade names. 

Hopefully, this post was somewhat helpful to those of you considering how to design your album pages for this issue. If nothing else, it hammers home how extensive a basic specialized collection of this set really is and how you can spend a lifetime completing it, especially if you are picky and only collect superbly centered VF stamps. 








1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, I never realized just *how* complex these LQs were. Your willingness to take the time to summarize this info is most appreciated, and perhaps will encourage Unitrade to consider some expanded coverage regarding shades so that it is easier for new collectors to this and other early Canada issues to know what is out there. Again THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    ReplyDelete