General Telegraph 6d

Telegraph stamps of Great Britain.

Select currency. Default = GBP (1.0)
GB £   US $   Can $   Aus $
Euro   Other

This site has been expanding. Click here for a site-map.

Railway Telegraph cancel on 10s
अनुवाद Übersetzen sie Traduisez ترجم
перевести Traduca Traduzca 翻译
Back to HOME
General Telegraph 6d Electric Telegraph Submarine British English & Irish British & Irish LDTC UK Electric South Eastern Railway London, Chatham and Dover Railway
General Telegraph Electric Telegraph Submarine British Telegraph English & Irish British & Irish London District UK Electric S.E.R. L.C. & D.R.
 
Bonelli Universal Private Telegraph Company National Telephone Company Army Telegraphs-1 Army Telegraphs-2 Railway Telegraph cancel on 10s Post Office Telegraphs Unusual Unexpected Contributions
Bonelli's Universal Tel. National Telephone Army Telegraphs 1 Army Telegraphs 2 Railway Post Office Unusual Unexpected Contributions

 


Prices have been brought up to date, and are for stamps in 'average' condition.  
The currency is now selectable, the default is British Currency (£).
  I have revised Hiscocks' original listing, though leaving references to the original designations. 
The new designations have 'RH' numbers (Revised Hiscocks) to avoid confusion.
CheckList         Setup

 

Shortcuts to different sections
1857 1859 1860 1862 Cancels Details Colours Plating / Calculator Sequence Control Types Stationery

 

The British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company Limited.

Head Office at 2, Exchange Buildings, Liverpool. London Headquarters at 58, Threadneedle Street, City.
The company also operated in Ireland and Scotland.

Formed in 1857 with stamps issued from the start.

 

British & Irish Hiscocks Fig.1   British & Irish Hiscocks Fig.2   British & Irish Hiscocks Fig.2
Fig.1 - for H1, H2 and H3  Hiscocks Fig.2 (1982) - for H4  Lister Type 9 (1961), also illustrated by SG (1912)

The first series looked something like Hiscocks Fig.1 above (Good scan needed).
All known examples are in the Royal Collection.

 

Combining information from Hiscocks and L&H gives:

1857(?) - Black Controls: For these, Hiscocks says Perf.11½ - 12½, and L&H (and Lister) say Perf.11½ - 12.
According to Raymond Lister he 1s6d watermark was "clenched" hands holding lightning (see below),
and the 4s used remainder paper from the British Telegraph Company (BTC, from the 18d stamps).

RH # Hisc. Desc. Rarity Mint Used
RH1 H1 1s6d Black on pale Buff, Rouletted. R5 - -
RH2 H3 1s6d Black on White, Perf.12 R5 - -
RH3 H2 4s Black on Green, Rouletted. R5 - -
RH3a H2a 4s Black on Green, Imperf x Perf.12 R5 - -

Note: I have rearranged these for better consistency.

Look here for an explanation of the table.

 

I was puzzled by Hiscocks (Fig.2) use of a 3d stemp to illustrate a 6d stamp, H4 below:
Hiscocks appears to have 'doctored' Listers illustration in line with his description:-
"As type 9 but with shaded control tablet, and not extending beyond centre label."
Since the only known copy is in the Royal collection, and the only image in circulation
is a 30 year old mockup, I decided to try my hand at revamping the mockup
.

British & Irish Hiscocks H4 mockup
New mockup of Hiscocks H4

 

This used the "clenched" hands holding lightning watermark (see below).

RH # Hisc.Desc.RarityMintUsed
RH4 H4 6d Black on Pink, Perf.12 x12½ R5 - -

Langmead and Huggins list this without illustration.

Can anyone provide a scan?

 

1859 - Black Controls: For these, Hiscocks says Perf.11½ - 12½, and L&H (and Lister) say Perf.11½ - 12.

RH # Hisc. Desc. Wmk. Rarity Mint Used
RH5 H5 1s6d Black on pale buff. T-Bolt R4 100.00 80.00
RH6 H6 2s6d Black on yellow buff BTC R4 120.00 100.00
RH7 H7 4s Black on green. BTC R4 200.00 180.00
RH8 H8 5s Black on blue. BTC R4 250.00 230.00

 

Watermark.

According to Langmead and Huggins, only the 2s, 4s and 5s stamps were on the earlier BTC paper,
the rest being the new 'clenched hands and thunderbolts' watermarked paper shown below.

However an example of the 2s6d shows that this too was on BTC paper.
This discrepancy may arise from the assertion of Philbrick and Westoby(1881) that the
thunderbolts paper also had a papermakers name on it.
As far as I am aware, this is a complete fiction invented to explain the assertion of M. Moens that the 2s stamp had a different watermark,
Philbrick and Westoby assumed that all the stamps would have the same watermark. If anyone does in fact have any stamps on thunderbolts paper that shows part of a papermakers name, I would of course want to hear about it.

According to Walter Morley in "The Fiscal Philatelist" March 1893, the 3d, 6d, 1s, 1s6d and 3s were watermarked 'diagonally, from left to right downwards, in lines of five "clenched" hands holding a forked streak of lightning.' they were in sheets of 60 stamps with 12 rows of 5 stamps, measuring 16 inches by 5 7/8 inches.

British & Irish thunderbolt watermark
This is an enhanced image to try to illustrate this, taken from a block of 8 stamps courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
More on this block later. I will try to improve on this image, as it is not as clear as I would like.

Walter Morley also says the ones on BTC paper (the 2s, 2s6d, 4s and 5s) were 5 stamps wide and measured "18½in. x 3½in. (outer edge to outer edge of stamps).

There is evidence of the 3d in a 5 x 12 format, but also evidence that the 6d and at least some later 2s 6d were in a 5 x 40 format.

 

BIM 2s6d numbered 139937 BIM 5s numbered 106136 2s-Frank
2s6d and 5s showing the end of 'TELEGRAPH' in the BTC watermark.
Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.
2s remainder showing part of 'Frank' in the BTC
watermark.   Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.

 

BIM 1s6d numbered 189608 BIM 3s numbered 61513 BIM 4s numbered 238850
1s6d and 3s showing parts of the 'clenched hands and thunderbolts' watermark.
Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.
4s showing part of the BTC watermark.
Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.

Admittedly the 4 shilling is not very convincing, I'm still not sure exactly which part it is from,
but this is in the colour of the BTC 18d stamp and by all accounts should be. The 'clenched hands and thunderbolts' watermark is fairly cluttered.

 

Two perforations.
British & Irish perforations.
Langmead & Huggins illustrate H5 with a picture of 187295. Above are two stamps courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
On the left is another from the same sheet as theirs, compared with 189613 (H12).

The perforation difference can be clearly seen.
It would appear that the perforation for the 1s6d changed somewhere between 187295 and 189613.
Can anyone provide scans of any more perf. 11½ - 12½ stamps, they seem very scarce ?

 

1860(?) - Black Controls: Perf.13 - 13½

RH # Hisc. Desc. Wmk. Rarity Mint Used
RH9 H9 3d Black on white. T-Bolt R2 50.00 40.00
RH9a           Type 2 control.   Unlisted 60.00 50.00
RH9b           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 30.00 -
RH9c           Missing 'I' in 'MAGNETIC'   Unlisted - -
RH10 H10 6d Black on pink. T-Bolt R2 70.00 60.00
RH10a           Type 2 control.   Unlisted 80.00 80.00
RH11 H11 1s Black on lilac. T-Bolt R2 80.00 70.00
RH11a           Type 2 control.   Unlisted 90.00 80.00
RH12 H12 1s6d Black pale buff. T-Bolt R2 75.00 65.00
RH13 H13 2s Black on yellow. BTC R2 150.00 120.00
RH14 H14 2s6d Black on yellow buff. BTC *** 220.00 200.00
RH15 H15 3s Black on rose. T-Bolt R2 400.00 350.00
RH16 H16 4s Black on green. BTC R3 300.00 250.00
RH17 H17 5s Black on blue. BTC R3 500.00 400.00
RH17a           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 45.00 -

*** Hiscocks H14 lists a 2s6d on yellow buff paper. Langmead & Huggins mention this in their table (Pg.24) but omit it from the scarcity listing.
They do however give the scarcity of a "2s black on dull buff paper" (rarity 2), perhaps this was meant to be 2s 6d ?

Can anyone resolve this discrepancy?

 

1862(?) - Red Controls: Perf.13 - 13½.

RH # Hisc. Desc. Wmk. Rarity Mint Used
RH18 H18 6d Black on pink. T-Bolt R2 150.00 120.00
RH18a           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 30.00 -
RH19 H19 1s Black on lilac. T-Bolt R2 100.00 90.00
RH19a           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 50.00 -
RH20 H20 1s6d Black on pale buff. T-Bolt R2 90.00 80.00
RH20a           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 50.00 -
RH21 H21 2s Black on yellow. BTC R2 150.00 120.00
RH21a           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 30.00 -
#RH21b           Black on dull buff. BTC R2 75.00 60.00
RH22 H22 3s Black on rose. T-Bolt R3 250.00 240.00
RH22a H22a         Imperf.   R5 - -
RH22b           Imperf, No Control.   Scarce 45.00 -

The 1s6d value here is different to the one with black controls, in that the value is written in full rather than as '1s/6d'.

# These would appear to be colour changelings due to environmental problems. See 'Colours' below.

 

Cancels.

According to Raymond Lister (1961), the cancellations used were
"Six, sometimes seven, concentric and broken rings. (Black or blue.) Oval grid pattern with diamond shaped dots. (Black.)"

At least one of these cancels continued to be used after the Post Office takeover.

7-Segment rings on BIM 2s6d 7-Segment rings on 6d pair 7-Segment rings on ETC 1s !
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

I have never heard of this cancel on an Electric Telegraph Co. stamp, but here one is! An indication that these companies worked closely together, presumably at Liverpool ?

 

Details:

Black Controls.

I recently noticed an indicator that was fairly constant for each plate of each value but had several different forms.
I am hoping this can help me distinguish plates and put them in sequence.

British & Irish 1s6d F-flaw. British & Irish 6d F-flaw. British & Irish 1s F-flaw.
The first is from the 1s6d
perf. 11½ - 12½ stamp above,
which I can take to be the
earliest scan I have.
it is on all the 1s6d and
'ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE'
scans I have.
On all the 6d scans. All 'ONE SHILLING'
scans.

 

The 3d and 2s are more complicated. See under 'Plating'.

 

British & Irish 3d - 127091 British & Irish 3d - 220755 British & Irish 3d - 223371 British & Irish 3d - 339455
3d. black on white   H9 3d. Missing 'I' in 'MAGNETIC'  RH9b 3d. black on white   H9 3d. black on white   H9
One of mine. (with red style '2') 3d Error image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Anonymous - note the different control digit styles, '2's, '3's and '5's seem to be very distinctive.

From what I have seen of the lithographed stamps, each row of the sheets has the same sequence of impressions with the same sequence of constant flaws.
According to Walter Morley in "The Fiscal Philatelist" March 1893, these were in sheets of 60 stamps with 12 rows of 5 stamps.

I would have thought that these four 3d stamps would allow me to see some common flaws, but none are obvious apart from the downward stroke at the right end of the top panel.
What is apparent though is that they do not all use the same machine for adding the control numbers.
I would have thought that the numbers were important for accounting purposes and it would be simpler to keep to the same machine for each denomination,
but clearly this was not done. Has switching machines disrupted the numbering system?
More examples are needed.

 

British & Irish 6d British & Irish 1s British & Irish 1s6d British & Irish 2s
6d. black on pink   H10 1s, black on lilac   H11 1s6d, black on pale buff   H12 2s, black on yellow   H13  Perf. 13x13½
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 2s6d British & Irish 3s British & Irish 4s British & Irish 5s
2s6d, black on yellow buff   H14  Perf. 13 3s, black on rose   H15  Perf. 13½ x 13 4s, black on green   H16  Perf. 13 5s, black on blue   H17  Perf. 13¼ x 13
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson

 

 

3d

British & Irish 3d - lowest British & Irish 3d
Lowest Type 1 control. Highest Type 1 control seen.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Image courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d
Lowest Type 2 control seen. Highest Type 2 control seen.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

6d

British & Irish 6d British & Irish 6d
Lowest Type 1 control seen. Highest Type 1 control seen.
Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 6d British & Irish 6d
Lowest Type 2 control seen. Highest Type 2 control seen.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson.

 

1s

H11 lowest Type 1 number seen H11 highest Type 1 number seen
Lowest Type 1 control seen. Highest Type 1 control seen.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

H11 lowest Type 2 number seen H11 highest Type 2 number seen
Lowest Type 2 control seen. Highest Type 2 control seen.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Lowest and highest control numbers seen of H11, both 'red' (Type 1) style, plus some between with 'Type 2' controls.
Compare with the forged controls lower down.

 

1s6d (Perf.13 - 13½)

B&I 1s6d - 189608 British & Irish 1s6d
Lowest (courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson) and highest (courtesy of Steve Lawrie) controls seen.

 

2s

British & Irish 1s6d British & Irish 1s6d
Lowest control courtesy of Steve Lawrie, and highest control seen courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

 

Forged control numbers.
The stamps without control numbers have allowed forgers to add control numbers, and since these are line-perforated,
perforations can be added relatively easily. The best defence is education.

British & Irish 3d BIM 3d-324818 British & Irish 6d British & Irish 1s
3d. black on white   RH9a 3d with forged control and (presumably) perfs. 6d. black on pink (RH10a) with forged control added 1s with forged control and (presumably) perfs.
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie. One of mine. Image courtesy of Martien Blank.

Above is a 6d imperf with a forged black control number. Compare the style of the numbers with the items above.
To the left of it is the same digits rearranged on a 3d that has additional forged (I presume) perforations added. Similarly, a 1s on the right.
Note the style of the '2' and the two different style '8's.

 

British & Irish 1s British & Irish 1s6d British & Irish 2s
1s black on lilac   RH11a 1s6d. black on pale buff (red controls)   RH12a 2s. black on yellow   RH13a
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. One of mine
British & Irish 3s British & Irish 5s
3s. black on rose   RH15a 5s. black on blue   RH17a

For the series shown above, Langmead & Huggins list imperforate examples without controls as 'remainders and quite common'.
Hiscocks also says these are remainders and 'worth considerably less'

 

 

Red Controls: Perf.13 - 13½.

 

British & Irish 6d British & Irish 1s British & Irish 1s6d
6d. black on pink   RH18 1s. black on lilac   RH19 1s6d. black on pale buff   RH20
Images courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

 

British & Irish 1s6d British & Irish 1s6d
2s. black on yellow   RH21 3s. black on rose   RH22
Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.

Walter Morley writing in the Fiscal Philatelist, March 1893, described a pair of 3s imperf. with red control numbers 12786 and 12787.
He illustrated these (in small black and white) and considered them to be genuine remainders. Hiscocks lists this as H22a.


Below is a mockup in colour based on his illustration.

British & Irish 3s - 12786/7
A mockup of RH22a.

 

6d

H18 lowest number seen   H18 highest number seen
lowest and highest numbers seen of RH18, both courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

1s

H19 lowest number seen   H19 highest number seen
lowest and highest numbers seen of RH19, both courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE.

H20 lowest number seen   H20 highest number seen
lowest (courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson) and highest (courtesy of Steve Lawrie) numbers seen of RH20.

 

2s

H21 lowest number seen   H21 highest number seen
lowest and highest red numbers seen on RH21, both courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

Colours.

As with most of the early telegraph stamps on coloured papers, some seem to have faded or otherwise changed over the years.

British & Irish colours
It seems likely that these all started out the same colour. What happened?

British & Irish colours
Similarly with these. These things are nearly 150 years old. Some of them have been looked after well, others have had less caring owners.
This may be what Langmead and Huggins are referring to with their 2s "black on dull buff paper".

In the scarcity listing, they list them as equal scarcity, but I have only seen these two which seem to be just colour changelings.
Langmead and Huggins cite the existence of dull buff paper for these to suggest that if the
British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co. 3s stamp exists, it will be on dull buff paper.
Unless there are some 'real' dull buff 2s stamps around that I have not seen, this seems to be without support.
Though of course the British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co. 3s stamp may still exist in some colour.

Anyone have other examples of the 2s black on dull buff paper ?

If you value your collection, then you may want to consider how you look after your stamps.
Always use tweezers, avoid UV light and be aware that some paper and plastics can cause problems after a long time in contact.
Some information can be found at stamps.org. Consider using archival-quality materials if you are not already.

Soaking, or a long time in damp/humid conditions is another problem. 'Foxing' is caused by a fungus, if you have items with foxing, don't let it spread.
The colours were usually made with several components, some of which may have been fugitive.
If the yellow dye was made from a green and a red component, then anything causing deteriation of the green component will turn them pink,
in the same way as some Victoran green-blue postage stamps ended up blue.

 

 

Plating.

The examples from Steve Lawrie make it possible to try plating some of these.

Shortcuts to different sections
3d 6d 1s 1s/6d One Shilling & Sixpence 2s 2s6d 3s 4s 5s

On the evidence that at least some sheets having 12 rows of 5 stamps were used, and blocks of 20 stamps repeat (see 3d plating below),
I made a 'widget' to decode sheet-position and block position (1 + control mod-20) from the control number.
Click on 'popup' to open it in another small window.

Quantity of wasted control numbers (assumed at the beginning)

Enter a Control number to check  
       

Sheet (1+)Row (1->12) Column (1->5)Block-pos (1->20)
     


Calculator with adjustable row and column sizes.

Sheet (1+) Rows Columns Block-size Position
     

 

From what I have learned so far, the 3d and 6d at least seems to be repeating blocks of 20 stamps.
It is likely that each plate is defined by such a block, so my aim is to do that for each plate.

 

3d

British & Irish 3d - 339455 British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d
Anonymous. One of mine. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.
Note the long gash to the right of 'STAMP' which seems a variable feature of the 3d stamp.
Note also the mark between 'RI' of 'BRITISH'.

 

British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 0. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 1. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 2. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 3. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 4. British & Irish 3d F-flaw type 5.
3d with controls
Type 1 & 2 up to 402607
3d with control
406324.
3d with controls
406356 to 414618.
3d with control
417749.
3d with control
424367.
3d with control
424371.

 

Here is 18 out of 20 of the earliest plate I know of for the 3d (without the 'RI' flaw, block positions 4 and 5 are missing) - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Positions are sequential with 141821 = position 1 to 141840 = position 20 (i.e subtract 141820 from the control number).
British & Irish 3d - block 3 British & Irish 3d - block 4
The lowest control number seen 118254 (shown above, block position 14) matches 141834 with the same frame-break by 'IS' of 'BRITISH'.
This plate therefore spans at least 118254 to 141880 (the end of this sheet, see reconstruction below). This is 23626 stamps, all Type 1 control numbers.

 

Here are 4 selected last-column stamps at intervals of 2 rows (10 stamps).
The position calculator above also gives these 'Block positions' with 'wasted control numbers' set at 0.
British & Irish 3d matches
Flaws on 141830 match those on 141850. Flaws on 141840 match those on 141860. This indicates that there is a unit of 20 stamps (4 rows) that is repeated in the sheet.
Image courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

None show the 'RI' flaw seen above, so I looked for some among higher numbers in Steve Lawrie's scans and
found 10 stamps in the range 284261 to 402607 (118346 stamps), plus a couple from elsewhere:

British & Irish 3d - 284261
Block position 1.
British & Irish 3d - 284262
Block position 2.
British & Irish 3d - 284263
Block position 3.
British & Irish 3d - 390724
Block position 4.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 5.
British & Irish 3d - 284266
Block position 6.
British & Irish 3d - 390727
Block position 7.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 8.
British & Irish 3d - 390689
Block position 9.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 10.
British & Irish 3d - 388491
Block position 11.
British & Irish 3d - 390692
Block position 12.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 13.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 14.
British & Irish 3d - 339455
Block position 15.
British & Irish 3d - 419136
Block position 16. Courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson
British & Irish 3d - 214297
Block position 17.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 18.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 19.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 20.
These show the mark between 'RI' of 'BRITISH' clearly on most positions but not all. So would seem to be a different plate. 284266 does not show it, even though 284261 to 284263 do.
I have therefore included 214297 at position 17 because it did not match 141837 on the earlier plate at that position.
This plate therefore spans at least 214297 to 402607.
I have included Type 1 and Type 2 control numbers, though I am uncertain about the chronological relationship between them.
All these except positions 4 and 15 are courtesy of Steve Lawrie. Position 4 is courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

British & Irish 3d - 127091 British & Irish 3d - 223371 British & Irish 3d - 388491 British & Irish 3d - 424371
127091 this is position 11 on the first plate.
It matches 141831
These are both position 11 on the second(?) plate. They do not match.
Is it because this plate does not repeat every 20 stamps like the earlier one?
Or is it something to do with different types of control numbers (or both).
424371 this is position 11 on the third plate?
This has been re-perfed on the left side which measues about
Perf 12.3 whereas the other sides are Perf 13.
One of mine. (Type 1 control) Anonymous. (Type 2 control) Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. (Type 1 control) Courtesy of Martien Blank. (Type 1 control)

 

British & Irish 3d - 220755 British & Irish 3d - 339455
These are both position 15 on the second plate. They do not match. The first is missing 'I' in 'MAGNETIC'
Is it because this plate does not repeat every 20 stamps like the earlier one?
Or is it something to do with different types of control numbers (or both).
223371 (position 17) also does not match 388491 (position 11, see below).
One possibility is that 214297 (position 17) to 220755 (and a few either side) are from a different plate
to either the earlier or later ones.
'I' Error image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. (Type 2 control) Anonymous. (Type 1 control)

 

The 7 highest control numbers seem to be different again.
I show them below for comparison.

British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d
These 3 are all position-7.   402607 and 414307 show the 'RI' flaw, but 424367 (the highest number I have seen) does not.
However two other flaws seem to connect 414307 and 424367.
Perhaps these all come from the same plate with different states of wear/inking
or perhaps there are more 'wasted numbers' between 141880 and 414307, or more than 2 plates.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 3d   British & Irish 3dBritish & Irish 3d
The first 2 are position-9, the last is position-7.   The last two are almost the highest numbers I have scans of.
If the first two are from the same plate, they would be expected to have similar characteristics and indeed have two or three.
The middle one also shares similarities with the last one. Is it coincidence or are they plate-characteristics of a different plate?
The last two also look much 'fresher'.
More scans needed.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

This pair has one with and one without the 'RI flaw', showing that they coexist on the same plate.
British & Irish 3d mixed
Indications are that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.
That would imply that these are from the last plate and that it had both types.
The left-hand stamp has a short 'I' in 'LIMITED', similar to 417749 just above.
Some other parts match, but not all.

The mark on the top of the 'T' of 'STAMP' on the left stamp is distinctive. So is the short 'I' in 'LIMITED'.
These characteristics can be seen in position 9 on the plate below, but not on the plate above.
Image courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.

 

These are the highest control numbers I have scans of, except the 2nd highest, 424367 (highest 424371) looks different again. This would have been position 7 but I put 414307 there instead.

British & Irish 3d
Block position 1.
British & Irish 3d
Block position 2.
British & Irish 3d - 406363
Block position 3.
British & Irish 3d - 406324
Block position 4.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 5.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 6.
British & Irish 3d - 414307
Block position 7.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 8.
British & Irish 3d - 417749
Block position 9.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 10.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 11.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 12.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 13.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 14.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 15.
British & Irish 3d - 406356
Block position 16.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 17.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 18.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 19.
British & Irish 3d -
Block position 20.

These are in the range 406324 to 417749 at least.
All these images are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

Apparent ranges:

Plate number (subject to revision) Lowest known highest known high - Low Characteristics
Unknown 1 118253 118252 Perhaps there was an earlier plate
1 118254 141880 23626 No 'RI' flaw, Type 1 controls
Unknown 141881 214296 72415 Somewhere in this range the plates changed from 1 to 2
2 214297 223371 9074 No 'RI' flaw, Type 2 controls
Unknown 223372 284260 60888 Somewhere in this range the plates changed from 2 to 3
3 284261 402607 118346 Most with 'RI' flaw, Type 1 & 2 controls
Unknown 402608 406323 3715 Somewhere in this range the plates changed from 3 to 4
4 406324 424371 18047 Usually 'RI' flaw, type 1 controls, marks above 'FRANK STAMP'

 

Sheet reconstruction - Earliest known plate of 3d.

British & Irish 3d sheet reconstruction. This shows a partial reconstruction for the 3d courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
It shows the end of one sheet and most of the rows of the next sheet.
It is shown quarter scale.

The first sheet ends with control 141820.
If they were consistently numbered from 000001
with 5 columns and 12 rows to the sheet,
that would have been row 8 of sheet 2364.

I then show samples from 10 out of the next 12 rows.
I have no scans from 141841-141845,
though clearly a straight edge on the top or bottom of it
would not have matched the stamps on the adjoining row.

The same is also true for the bottom row, 141876-141880
at least must still have been there, giving 12 rows minimum.

This equates to 60 stamps per sheet, being 3 contiguous
panes of 20 different stamps.


This supports Walter Morley's statement about sheet sizes,
although it does not explain the apparent start on row 9.

To be fair, complete consistency always is asking a bit much,
but it is worth looking out for other examples showing sheet boundaries.
They may shed light on when the discontinuity happened.
It is possible that a different sheet size was used initially.

 

 

Plating - 6d

Normally with 5 stamps per row, it would be expected that rows would consistently be numbered from 1 to 5 or 6 to 0 alternately as with the 3d blocks above.
With the 6d black Type 1 controls at least there is evidence of this being disrupted.

Starting with control number 1 at the beginning of the first sheet (of 60), The partial reconstruction (of sheet 2359) on the left below should start with 141481.
Instead it is a row and 2 stamps in advance of this.

The sheet on the right (sheet 3439) should start with 206341, but is 47 stamps ahead (9 rows and 2 stamps).
The stamp below that ends the row with 7 instead of 5 also.

British & Irish 6d reconstruction British & Irish 6d reconstruction
British & Irish 6d reconstruction

 

British & Irish 6d-410607 British & Irish 6d-393010
Another row ending with a '7', 410607. The top of a sheet ? - 393010.
All these are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

I am beginning to suspect that the figure of 60 stamps per sheet does not apply to all denominations.

I have seen evidence that it applies to (at least some of) the 3d stamps.
But I note that these two sheets start 141488 - 206328 = 64840 stamps apart = 1621 x 40. Suggesting 40 (or 20) stamps per sheet.

I note also that the only copy of the 2s 6d I have seen with a straight ege at the top is numbered 151364.
This sugests it is from the top row of the sheet following the one ending 151360 = 3784 x 40, but not divisible by 60.
This is only likely to work if the numbering restarted after the end of the Perf. 11½-12 stamps that were almost certainly 5 x 12.

The odd 2 (actually 7) stamps out though, seems to be consistent from at least 125927 to 410607 and needs to be taken into account in any plating efforts.
The 4s shown above (control 238845) ought to have a straight edge on the right if they were consistently numbered, but does not.

 

The beginnings of a pattern.
British & Irish 6d-block of 6
The first 3 (shifted) columns with early Type 1 black controls.
The flaws on 141493 match 141495 and those on 141498 match 141500, except that marked red that seems to have been retouched on 141500.
British & Irish 6d-block of 6
Here 1415 matches 141495, but 141510 above does not match 141500.

 

I rather expected 141489 and 141491 to match.
British & Irish 6d-strip of 3
But they do not appear to. 141490 does not match 141500 either.
But 141490 does match
141510 and 141491 matches 141511 (4 ROWS BELOW).
I thought 206333 might match 206336 or 206337, but it does not.

 

I will make a table as I did with the 3d stamps, putting stamps in the 20 positions of 4 rows of stamps.
I will get the positions from the calculator above using 7 for the number of wasted control numbers.

British & Irish 6d -
Block position 1.
B&I 6d - 141489/90
Block positions 2 and 3.
British & Irish 6d - 141491
Block position 4.
British & Irish 6d -
Block position 5.
B&I 6d - 141493-5
Block positions 6, 7 and 8.
B&I 6d - 141516
Block positions 9.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 10.
B&I 6d - 141498-9
Block positions 11, 12 and 13.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 14.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 15.
B&I 6d - 141503
Block position 16.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 17.
B&I 6d -
Block positions 18.
British & Irish 6d

Block positions 19.
B&I 6d - 125927
Block position 20.

Position 19 is courtesy of Br Mark Gibson. The others are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
I have noticed matching flaws for positions 8 and 16.


B&I 6d - 117175   B&I 6d - 141495
These two are both Block position 8 and have matching flaws. That indicates that this plate ranges from controls 117175 to 141495 (24320 stamps) at least.

For the moment I will assume that the lowest number I have seen (101446) also belongs to this plate and I have added it at position 19.

 

B&I 6d - 141503 B&I 6d - 141516 B&I 6d - 206336
Block position 16. These two are both Block position 9 and DO NOT have matching flaws.
Is a new plate in use by 206336 ?
The two stamps on the left appear to have a lot in common though! Coincidence?
Clearly more examples are needed from this area.

 

Looking at this other plate:

B&I 6d -
Block position 1.
B&I 6d - 206329
Block positions 2.
B&I 6d - 206330
Block positions 3.
B&I 6d -
Block position 4.
B&I 6d -
Block position 5.
B&I 6d - 206333
Block position 6.
B&I 6d - 410614
Block positions 7.
B&I 6d - 435975
Block position 8.
B&I 6d - 206336/7
Block positions 9 and 10.
B&I 6d - 206333
Block position 11.
B&I 6d - 410614
Block positions 12.
B&I 6d - 435975
Block position 13.
B&I 6d - 435981
Block position 14. Courtesey of Dr. Mark Gibson
B&I 6d - 206336
Block position 15.
B&I 6d -
Block position 16.
B&I 6d - 554864
Block positions 17.
B&I 6d -
Block position 18.
B&I 6d -
Block position 19.
B&I 6d - 318767
Block position 20.

Images are courtesy of Steve Lawrie unless otherwise indicated.

Neither of these plates has an example of position 1.
This is the only scan I have of a position-1 6d stamp:
B&I 6d - 155268
It falls between the regions that I can assign to plates.

I had two candidates for position 3.
B&I 6d - 206330   B&I 6d - 393010
They do not have much in the way of distinguishing characteristics. They may or may not come from the same plates.

I had two candidates for position 20.
B&I 6d - 318767   B&I 6d - 410607
They do not have much in the way of distinguishing characteristics. They may or may not come from the same plates.

I have included the highest black control 6d that I have a scan of at position 17.
However, if the above two pairs do not match, then there may be another change of plate before then, between 318767 and 393010.

 

Red controls

On the red controls there is a scratch after 'SIXPENCE' that varies in strength, the last is barely perceptable. I have not seen it on black controls,
so these would seem to be from yet another plate.
6d scratch   6d scratch   6d scratch   6d scratch   6d scratch   6d scratch
The pattern is not obvious. Lowest control seen 28746, highest seen 42982.

 

Another flaw that I have only seen with red controls:
6d TELE flaw.
This is on 28746, 28758 and 42300. Interestingly, there is also just the dot by the 'T' on 28755, and just the dot over the 'E' on 42980.

- Images (except 42959) courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
42959 image courtesy of Martien Blank.

 

B&I 6d - R28746 B&I 6d - R28755
B&I 6d - R28751 B&I 6d - R42300
B&I 6d - R42980

These five stamps have straight edges consistent with sheets having 5 stamps per row, starting with 1 or 6.
However, the flaws marked on 28746 are repeated on 42300. 42300-28746 = 13544 which is (2259 x 6), (753 x 18) or (251 x 54) suggesting 6 stamps per row.
The flaws marked in magenta can be considered as a plate characteristic.
28751 (fitting 28746 above) is from Langmead & Huggins' book (colour plate 1), courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.
The other four are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

B&I 6d - R42972 B&I 6d - R42982 B&I 6d - R42959
42972 is courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. 42982 is courtesy of Steve Lawrie. 42959 is courtesy of Martien Blank.

These are the remaining scans that I have.

 

 

Indications are that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.
6d remainder pair.
This pair both have scratches after 'SIXPENCE' that I have only seen on red controls.
Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

 

 

Plating - 1s

British & Irish 1s T flaw
I have noticed a 'bump' on the top of the 'T' of 'STAMP' on many of the stamps.
It is on all 13 of the stamps with red controls.
It is on all 6 of the stamps with black controls Type 2.
Out of the Type 1 black controls, 6 stamps have it and 10 do not. I will refer to this as the 'T' flaw.

Here are 3 more flaws that are often found on these stamps, though sometimes faintly:

British & Irish 1s NK flaw British & Irish 1s Scroll flaw British & Irish 1s E flaw
'NK' flaw. 'Scroll' flaw. 'E' flaw.

The 'Scroll' flaw (or traces of) I have seen on stamps with and without the 'T' flaw.
The 'NK' flaw and 'E' flaw I have only seen on stamps that also have the 'T' flaw with the exception of 273124 below.

Going back to the 'T' flaw on Type 1 black controls, in sequence:
Have it: 273123, 782230, (782238, 782239), 929269.
Without it: 82515, 127756, (171923, 171924, 171925), 171928, 171931, 171937, 273124, 344134.

Without - plate 1 ?With - plate 2 ?
82515, 127756, (171923, 171924, 171925), 171928, 171931, 171937,
273124,
344134.
273123,
782228, 782230, (782238, 782239), 929269.
Black Type 2 controls 436040 - 707577
Red controls 14693 - 155412

 

The 273123 / 273124 (unjoined) pair is interesting:
British & Irish 1s pair.
This pair look like they belong together in terms of perforation centering and vertical size.
However, the left stamp has the 'T' flaw and the right does not. If not for this pair, I would say that this flaw is an indicator of a
new plate that started use part way through the 'black Type 1 period' and continued through the Type 2 and red issues.
This pair confuses things. I think that the 'new plate' is missing the flaw on a few stamps.

A reconstruction of what I think is part of plate 1 using one stamp from Dr Mark Gibson and the others from Steve Lawrie.
British & Irish 1s plate 1 block

 

Putting the low black control numbers without the 'T' flaw (82515 to 171937, 89422 stamps) into a grid as above by position in a repeating 4-row block gives:

B&I 1s -
Block position 1.
B&I 1s -
Block position 2.
B&I 1s - 171923
Block position 3.
B&I 1s - 171924
Block position 4.
B&I 1s - 171925
Block position 5.
B&I 1s -
Block position 6.
B&I 1s -
Block position 7.
B&I 1s - 171928
Block position 8.
B&I 1s -
Block position 9.
B&I 1s -
Block position 10.
B&I 1s - 171931
Block position 11.
B&I 1s -
Block position 12.
B&I 1s - 127773
Block position 13.
B&I 1s -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s - 82515
Block position 15.
B&I 1s - 127756
Block position 16.
B&I 1s - 171931
Block position 17.
B&I 1s -
Block position 18.
B&I 1s -
Block position 19.
B&I 1s -
Block position 20.

Position 5 is courtesy of Br Mark Gibson, position 13 is courtesy of Martien Blank. The others are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.


Putting the higher numbers, mostly with the 'T' flaw (273123 to 929269) into a grid gives:

B&I 1s -
Block position 1.
B&I 1s -
Block position 2.
B&I 1s - 273123/4
Block positions 3 and 4.
B&I 1s - 686765
Block position 5.
B&I 1s -
Block position 6.
B&I 1s -
Block position 7.
B&I 1s - 686748
Block position 8.
B&I 1s - 929269
Block position 9.
B&I 1s - 782230
Block position 10.
B&I 1s -
Block position 11.
B&I 1s - 707572
Block position 12.
B&I 1s - 686753
Block position 13.
B&I 1s - 344134
Block position 14.
B&I 1s -
Block position 15.
B&I 1s -
Block position 16.
B&I 1s - 707577
Block position 17.
B&I 1s - 782238/9
Block positions 19 and 20.
B&I 1s - 436040
Block position 20.

Images are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

B&I 1s - 686748 B&I 1s - 686748
686748 - Courtesy of Steve Lawrie. 782228 - Courtesy of Martien Blank.
I have two example scans of Block position 8 for this plate.
The mark on the 'H' of 'IRISH' is quite distinctive.
B&I 1s - 782233 B&I 1s - 686753
782233 - Courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson. 686753 - Courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
I have two example scans of Block position 13 for this plate.
There are a couple of distinctive marks.

 

The red controls are on a plate similar to the one above, but apparently not quite the same. The same plate is consistent in the range 17059 to 103799 at least.

B&I 1s - R64901
Block position 1.
B&I 1s - R64942
Block position 2.
B&I 1s - R132363
Block position 3.
B&I 1s -
Block position 4.
B&I 1s -
Block position 5.
B&I 1s -
Block position 6.
B&I 1s -
Block position 7.
B&I 1s - R69028
Block position 8.
B&I 1s -
Block position 9.
B&I 1s - R69030
Block position 10.
B&I 1s -
Block position 11.
B&I 1s - R155412
Block position 12.
B&I 1s - R14693
Block position 13.
B&I 1s -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s - R64895
Block position 15.
B&I 1s - R43276
Block position 16.
B&I 1s -
Block position 17.
B&I 1s -
Block position 18.
B&I 1s - R17059
Block position 19.
B&I 1s - R103800
Block position 20.

Position 8 is courtesy of Martien Blank, Position 15 is courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.. The others are courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

B&I 1s - R64901 B&I 1s - R43270
Another example of Position 10 showing main constant flaws.
B&I 1s - R17059 B&I 1s - R26459 B&I 1s - R26459
Example of Position 19 showing main constant flaws. The highest number 103799 is courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson.



This is the block used to show the 'thunderbolts' watermark at the top. It has manuscript writing on the back saying "Sample of New Lot of Paper".
It is gummed, imperf and without control numbers. This seems to be plate 2.
British & Irish 1s plate 2 block
It has the 'T' flaw clearly on every stamp, the 'NK', 'Scroll' and 'E' flaws are also visible on some of them.
I think this is positions 6-9 and 11-14 on the sheet above. The pair below also looks promising.

H19 highest number seen Remainder

 

 

 

Plating - 1s 6d

Here are two digitally-rejoined strips of 3 stamps with a number of constant flaws indicated.
British & Irish 1s6d block

The bottom block (with matching flaws) has control numbers 8820 ahead.
IF there are 60 stamps to a sheet, this represents exactly 147 sheets away.
British & Irish 1s6d block
The same flaws can be seen.

However the block of 6 immediately below that, does not match.
British & Irish 1s6d block
In theory, if the numbering is consistent with 5 stamps per row and 12 rows per sheet, this should be row 7, not the end of the sheet.
Clearly, either it was not (always) 12 rows to the sheet, and/or the numbering was not (always) consistent.

 

B&I 1s6d - 189616 B&I 1s6d - 192916 B&I 1s6d - 201736
These three match. 192916 is 3300 away from 189616. 3300 = (165 x 20) or (110 x 30) or (55 x 60).
201736 is 8820 away from 192916. 8820 = (441 x 20) or (294 x 30) or (157 x 60).
However 201736 does not match 201741 (5 away) or 201746 (10 away).
This indicates repeating blocks of 20, 30 or 60.

If 189616 matches 192916 and 201736 (on the same block as 201743).
Since the perforations on the block 201746-201753 indicate that it was joined to 201741-3,
then the same plate must have been used for at least the range 189616 to 201755. (12,140 stamps = 607 x 20)

 

I have again put stamps of this range (189616 to 201755.) in a grid for a repeating block of 20 stamps (4 rows). To make this line up with sheet boundaries, I have set the calculator to 15 'wasted stamps'.
However, I may have to use a block size of 30 stamps (6 rows). and set the calculator to 5 'wasted stamps'.
or use a block size of 60 stamps (all 12 rows). and set the calculator to 40 'wasted stamps',

B&I 1s6d - 192916 to 8
Block positions 1 to 3.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 4.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 5.
B&I 1s6d - 192921 to 3
Block positions 6 to 8.
B&I 1s6d - 201744-5
Block positions 9 & 10.
B&I 1s6d - 201746 to 8
Block positions 11 to 13.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 15.
B&I 1s6d - 201751 to 3
Block positions 16 to 18.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 19.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 20.

Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie, except positions 9 & 10 courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
This is just using two blocks of 6 plus a pair.

Problems come though with the stamps that I have scans of below 189616, or above
201755.

Outside range. B&I 1s6d - 189608 B&I 1s6d - 189613 B&I 1s6d - 189614 B&I 1s6d - 201762
Stamp from above. B&I 1s6d - 201748 B&I 1s6d - 201753 B&I 1s6d - B&I 1s6d - 192922
Position Position 13
No Match.
Position 18
No Match.
Position 19
No Image.
Position 7
No Match.

This would seem to imply that as well as the minimum range being 189616 to 201755 (12,140 stamps = 607 x 20) ,
the maximum range is 189616 to 201760 (12,145 stamps = 2429 x 5). It is very unlikely that we have such defining scans.

This all presupposes though that, like others, the block size is 20.
The number of scans is very limited and our (my) initial assumption is based on a difference of 8820 between matching blocks.
As stated earlier, 8820 is 147 x 60, and I have taken the 60 to represent 3 blocks of 20. It could instead be 2 blocks of 30
Alternatively, 8820 = 252 x 35 or 126 x 70.
I think it most likely though that the block size is 30.

 

Using a block size of 30 stamps (6 rows). with the calculator set to 5 'wasted stamps'.
gives me:

B&I 1s6d -
Block position 1.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 2.
B&I 1s6d - 189608
Block position 3. Courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 4.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 5.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 6.
B&I 1s6d - 201762
Block position 7.
B&I 1s6d - 189613
Block position 8.
B&I 1s6d - 189614
Block position 9.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 10.
B&I 1s6d - 192916 to 8
Block positions 11 to 13.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 15.
B&I 1s6d - 192921 to 3
Block positions 16 to 18.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 19.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 20.
B&I 1s6d - 201746 to 8
Block positions 21 to 23.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 24.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 25.
B&I 1s6d - 201751 to 3
Block positions 26 to 28.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 29.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 30.

This has moved one and taken two out of the mis-matching category.
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Our mis-match table then becomes:

Stamp left over. B&I 1s6d - 189616 B&I 1s6d - 187284 B&I 1s6d - 187288 B&I 1s6d - 187295
Stamp from above. B&I 1s6d - 189616 B&I 1s6d - 201748 B&I 1s6d - 201748 B&I 1s6d - 201748
Position Position 11
Matches.
Position 19 Position 23
No Match.
Position 30

I have added a new scan from Martien Blank (187284), and 187295, the last stamp of a sheet is from Langmead & Huggins' book (Fig.29),
courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society. The only one that does not match now is a Perf.11½ - 12 example. The other two may not match either.
If we assume the Perf.11½ - 12 examples were from plate 1, then that ends between 187295 and 189606, perhaps when the perforation changed.
The second plate then spans 189606- to 201753+
More examples are needed.

 

'ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE' (Red Controls).

A scarce block of H20, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
British & Irish one shilling & sixpence block
Positions 16-19, 21-24.
The units were clearly not laid out too well. This makes well-centered examples uncommon.

 

Using a block size of 30 stamps (6 rows). with the calculator set to 5 'wasted stamps'.
gives me:

B&I 1s6d -
Block position 1.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 2.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 3.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 4.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 5.
H20 highest number seen
Block position 6.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 7.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 8.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 9.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 10.
B&I 1s6d - Red 87886
Block position 11.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 12.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 13.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 14.
B&I 1s6d - 104000R
Block position 15.
B&I 1s6d - 131151-4
Block positions 16 to 19.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 20.
B&I 1s6d - 131156-9
Block positions 21 to 24.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 25.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 26.
British & Irish 1s6d
Block position 27.
B&I 1s6d - 168933R
Block position 28.
H20 lowest number seen
Block position 29.
B&I 1s6d -
Block position 30.

Position 11 courtesy of Martien Blank, Position 27 courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. The other images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 1s6d
Block position 27.
British & Irish 1s6d
Block position 27.

The only two from the same Block Position (27), both courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson, don't match.
Either the plates change in this range, the block size isn't 30, or there was some kind of discontinuity (or a combination of these).
As usual, More examples are needed.

 

 

Plating - 2s

British & Irish 2s F-flaw type 3. British & Irish 2s F-flaw type 2. British & Irish 2s F-flaw type 1.
2s with
black controls
around 67000
2s with black controls
119823 and 120529.
2s with black control
152317 and red controls.

 

British & Irish 2s rem British & Irish 2s red British & Irish 2s black
One of mine. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson. Image courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
Note the major frame-break at top and various black marks.
I thought this would be constant on controls ending with '3' or '8', but it is not on 119823.
It is on black control 152323 though, but apparently repaired.

The mark in the 'S' I have seen in Red: 1004, 1008, 1012 and 1025 but not 1009
Black: 119823, 120529 and 152317 but not 67740, 67749 or 67750.

The mark on the left is on all of the ones I have seen with a red control and the
3 highest black control numbers I have seen (119823, 120529 and 152317).

British & Irish 2s strip
This strip (courtesy of Steve Lawrie) shows the 1008 position with frame-break and dot in 'S' next to the 1009 position without it.
Indications are that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.
This strip is clearly of the plate used with red controls. Note the variable spacing between stamps.

British & Irish 2s block
This block matches the centre two of the strip above and also shows the ones underneath. It will be very helpful in plating.
Image courtesy of raritiesstampauctions on ebay. Click it for a larger version.

 

H21 flaws   H21 highest number seen
A remainder, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions, with similar flaws in the value tablet to red number 1025, courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

 

British & Irish 3d British & Irish 3d
Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
The stamp on the left shares many flaws with the one above.
It also has one of its own and one shared with the one on the right.

The dot after the 'R' is similar to that on the 'One Shilling & Sixpence' above.
It may be a guide dot, as it is close to the centre-line.

 

Plating - 2s6d

British & Irish 2s6d #57656 British & Irish 2s6d #57657 British & Irish 2s6d #139937 British & Irish 2s6d #141752 7-Segment rings on BIM 2s6d # 151364
57656 Perf.12 courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson. 57657 Perf.12 from Langmead & Huggins' book (Fig.31),
courtesy of the Great Britain Philatelic Society.
139937 Perf.13 courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson. 141752 Perf.13 courtesy of Steve Lawrie. 151364 Perf.13 courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

I only have 5 scans of these. 57656/7 appear to be from the bottom row of a sheet which is compatible with 20, 30 or 60 stamps per sheet, but not 40.
151364 looks like it may be from the top row of a sheet, but that would not be compatible with 30 or 60 stamps per sheet
unless the numbering was disrupted, or they were no longer 5 stamps to a row. This suggests only 20 stamps per sheet.

 

Plating - 3s

British & Irish 3s  British & Irish 3s  British & Irish 3s British & Irish 3s
Examples with control numbers are very scarce, but luckily remainders are plentiful. These at least can provide some information if in multiples or from the sheet edge.
61513 Courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson, next is courtesy of Steve Lawrie, third is mine, and last, but certainly not least,
is a curious item courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions (Ex Iain Stevenson) with perhaps a trial control number.
Not very practical for the 4-digit, 5-digit or even 6-digits of some of them.

 

Plating - 4s

British & Irish 4s  British & Irish 4s
Only 2 scans and remainders unknown. It is unlikely that much will be learned about these without significantly more examples.
238845 courtesy of Steve Lawrie and the close 238850 courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson.

Plating - 5s

British & Irish 5s strip
This strip (courtesy of Steve Lawrie) shows a number of features like the frame break above the 'L' of 'SHILLINGS'.
Indications are that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.
It really needs some examples with control numbers though.

British & Irish 5s.  British & Irish 5s.  British & Irish 5s
The left one has many features in common with the end stamp above, but the one in the center, does not.
Instead it matches the one on the right, the only scan I have with a control number, courtesy of Dr. Mark Gibson.
I would not have expected the last digit to be a '6', but if there are no discontinuities, 106136 is divisible by 8
so perhaps 4 or 8 stamps to a row.

 

Sequence.

There are differing opinions as to whether red controls or black controls were used first for the Perf.13 - 13½ stamps.
Hiscocks lists black first. I initially thought red came first because the red controls I had seen were lower control numbers.
Also the style of the '2' is the same on all the red controls and the lower numbered black controls,
changing to a distinctly different style on the later black controls.

Seeing Steve Lawrie's series for the 1s.6d stamps have made me reconsider, here they are again:

British & Irish perforations.
Perf.11½ - 12½ (H5) No. 187288 on the left compared with Perf.13 - 13½ (H12) No.189613 on the right.

The perforation difference can be clearly seen.
It would appear that the perforation for the 1s6d changed somewhere between 187295 and 189613 without any re-numbering.
It would seem reasonable to assume the same happened with other values.

The '2' on the earliest stamp on the left is very distinctive. I used to refer to this as the 'red' type because,
up to now it is the only type of red control numbers I have seen, but it would be better to call it Type 1.

British & Irish 1s6d   H20 lowest number seen   H20 highest number seen
This shows the highest black control together with lowest and highest red on the modified type with value in full.
All the controls I have seen on all of this value are Type 1.

It would seem that the imperfs without controls are the remainders left over when the company was taken over.
These are known for the 'ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE' design, but not the 1s/6d design.
It seems likely that after the black controls, numbering started again with the red controls.

The same argument about the imperfs without controls can apply to the others.

 

Looking now at the 'ONE SHILLING' value.

H11 lowest number seen H11 - 707572 H11 highest number seen
H19 lowest number seen H19 highest number seen Remainder

Lowest and highest numbers seen in red and black. All are Type 1 control, except the middle black one, 707572 which I will call Type 2.
The red numbers overlap the black numbers. It is also clear that the black numbers may have gone over 999999.
Did they then restart in red ? Also shown is a remainder that has a lot in common with the highest red control.
Only the lowest black control numbers do not have the 'T' flaw.
It looks like red came last for these. Images courtesy of Steve Lawrie.

Similarly, under 'plating' it is also shown that the remainders match the red controls for the 6d and 2s values.

The evidence indicates that the stamps with red controls match imperf stamps without controls.
If these are indeed remainders, then red controls came last.

 

 

Control Types.

Here are comparison sequences of Type 1, Type 2 and (for completeness) the forged type that I have seen:

B & I, Control Type 1. Type 1
B & I, Control Type 2. Type 2
B & I, Control Forgery. Forged Type

I have only seen three examples of the forged type. They all use the same 6 digits, but in different arrangements.
Note the two different types of '8' used.

 

Below is an update to the table provided by Langmead & Huggins, this shows the range of controls I have seen (or L&H's list).
I have left out the 2s colour changeling and the 'TWO SHILLINGS & SIXPENCE' that is only known as a proof.
I have also reversed the red and black controls for the Perf. 13-13½ stamps to reflect the sequence that I think they were produced in.

Known combinations for British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co. stamps.
Denomination.Paper colour.Watermark.Perf. 11½-12
Black Control
Perf. 13-13½Imperf.
No control.
Black ControlRed Control
'THREEPENCE'whiteThunderbolts 118254-174282
214297-284266
388491-424367
  *
'SIXPENCE'pinkThunderbolts 101446-206337
318767
393010-410614
435975
554864
14693-155412 *
'ONE SHILLING'lilacThunderbolts 82515-344134
436040-707577
782230-929269
14693-155412 *
'1s 6d'pale buffThunderbolts187288-187295189613-201762  
'ONE SHILLING & SIXPENCE'pale buffThunderbolts  85594-199031*
'TWO SHILLINGS'yellowBTC 67740-1523171004-1025*
'2s 6d'yellow-buffThunderbolts57657 **141752 *
'THREE SHILLINGS'roseThunderbolts ***
'FOUR SHILLINGS'greenBTC190881238845  
'FIVE SHILLINGS'blueBTC44500-44516* *

The lack of 'Imperf. remainders without controls' for two of these, I would take to indicate that these were no longer in use at the time the company was taken over.
'*' indicates known to exist but I have no control number information yet.
Control numbers in this colour are Type 2 control numbers, the others are Type 1.

Type 2 was only used intermittently, or perhaps represents a different cycle through the control numbers.

**
Langmead & Huggins indicate (page 23) that numbers 388884-388890 are also known in the Royal Philatelic Collection.
This would suggest high usage from an early date.

 


Initially 1s 6d, 2s 6d, 4s and 5s were produced Perf. 11½-12 with black controls Type 1.

At some point the stamps switched to being perforated 13-13½.

Also at some point new values were produced for 3d, 6d, 1s, 2s and 3s.
For thw 1s 6d at least, the control numbers appear to continue un-interrupted. Considering that the stamps were produced by Mawdesley and Co., it is possible that
the British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company Limited did not even know about the change in perforation.
It is also possible that small numbers of some of the other values remain to be discovered perf. 11½-12.

We know that the black control Type 1 numbering appears to have simply continued with the new perforation
and it is therefore likely that the first stamps of the new denomination were treated likewise.

There are 1s stamps with Type 1 control numbers up to 929269. For the 3d value, there are black controls type 2, but no red controls.
One possibility is that when the black type 1 control reached maximum, type 2 was used to distinguish them. Then when the maximum count was reached again, a switch was made to red type 1
and the 1s 6d was changed to have the value in full. the 6d also seems to be a different plate for red controls. A lot of speculation, but it suggests things to look out for.

One thing I find puzzling is that other companies had very consistent control numbering.
That does not appear to be the case with British & Irish.
Another point is the uncertainty of the number of rows of stamps in the sheet. Morley says 12, Lister thinks 6.
A possibility is that the original series was 12, but the new perforator could not handle this size and the new stamps were in a smaller format.
I need to look for evidence of sheet sizes of different values (and controls).

 

Stationery.

Telegrams sent.

"British and Irish in Connexion with the Submarine Telegraph Company." - courtesy of Andrew Higson.
Dated 7 July 1865.
British & Irish Stationery - front

The back lists major offices in London with an interesting reference to the London District Telegraph Company.
British & Irish Stationery - front

 

 

Telegrams received.

"In Exclusive Connexion with the Submarine Telegraph Company." - courtesy of Steve Lawrie.
Dated 11 November 1857.
British & Irish Stationery - front

The back lists 165 'Principle Stations' and gives 48 'Examples of greatly reduced charges' for Continental Messages in £ s. d.
British & Irish Stationery - back

 

"In Exclusive Connection with the Submarine Telegraph Company." - Notice change of spelling 'connexion' -> 'connection'.
Dated 29 December 1864.
British & Irish Stationery - front

The back gives more information and lists 344 'Principle Stations' and gives 48 'Examples of greatly reduced charges' for Continental Messages in s. d.
It goes on to say "The Wires of this Company are led into the CORN MARKETS at"
Listing Liverpool, London, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Wakefield, Newark and Birmingham.
British & Irish Stationery - back

 

"In Connexion with the Submarine and London District Telegraph Companies." - courtesy of Dr Mark Gibson.
British & Irish Stationery

 

A later one
British & Irish Stationery

 

 

Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.
Contact:   Emale
Please include the word 'Telegraphs' in the subject.
Alternatively Yahoo Group   Yahoo-Group   is a forum.

 

Last updated 16th. Sept. 2017

©Copyright Steve Panting 2012/13/14/15/16/17 except where stated.
Permission is hereby granted to copy material for which the copyright is owned by myself, on condition that any data is not altered and this website is given credit.

 

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional  Valid CSS!