Great Britain 1854 1s green (Die W.W.2), SG55
Great Britain 1854 1s green (Die W.W.2), SG55.
A very fine used example with four large margins, neatly cancelled by a crisp London City "22" numeral.
Most attractive, particularly with such large margins.
The Stanley Gibbons catalogue value is £1,000.
The Embossed postage stamps from Great Britain were issued during the reign of Queen Victoria between 1847 and 1854. They were a very important part of the communications revolution taking place at the time.
They included three stamp values - 6d, 10d and 1 shilling. The 1-shilling rate was for postage to the USA, the 10d to Europe, including France and Italy and the 6d covered the rate to Belgium. These higher value embossed stamp issues opened up postal communication worldwide. It brought about staggering growth in international trade as the perfect partner to the steamship and railways of that time.
Embossed British stamps are particularly interesting as they include three features that are unique to British philately – the method of die production, the method of printing and the use of silk thread paper.
Britain’s experimentation with embossed stamps only lasted seven years when they were replaced by new surface printed definitive postage stamps. The embossed printing process was ridiculously laborious. Stamps were printed one at a time on silk thread paper. The design was raised and recessed to create a rough surface. The working die had to be used to apply each impression individually to the printed sheet by hand. As a result, the impressions were usually poorly spaced, either being too close together or too far apart. It was quite common for stamps to overlap.
Postal workers would then often cut around the octagonal design before they were sold. In short, the process was totally ineffective. Few quality examples were produced from the printing process. Because of this, good quality examples are very desirable to collectors, but difficult to find. Finding a clean square-cut example with four clear margins is extremely difficult.
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