Saturday, 21 June 2008

Wilding High Values

Not really my subect ( but I will have a go ) and definately not a Machin Miniature sheet, ( sorry to all you fanatics ) but one of my favorites of late is the Castles of the Kingdom miniature sheet. Issued 22 Mar 2005 at the Issue price of £3.00.

This sheet with 2 x values of £1 and 2 x 50p was printed by Enschedé in lithography / Intaglio on OFNP with PVAl gum. Just my opinion but this adds a little spice to any collection. It is also better than some of the special issue miniature sheets that the Royal Mail are churning out like wallpaper in a bid to part collectors from their hard earned .


The Pre decimals were first printed in 1955 (recess) by Waterlow & Sons and a reprint was issued in 1958 by De La Rue. The Pre Decimal stamps had values quite different to the miniature sheet stamps.

They also had a St Edwards crown watermark. A third printing in 1959 by De La rue had a multiple crown watermark and again a fourth & fifth printing in 1963 and 1968 (1963 also multiple crown ) by Bradbury & Wilkinson. And to make things more difficult a change of paper in 68 with no watermark.

The £1 stamps in red and blue respectivly were originally pre decimal 5/- and 10/-. The Brown 50p and black 50p were originally 2/6 and £1 values

Sorting the original pre decimal high value castle stamps can be quite a daunting task, but a tip is to sort the St Edwards crown first, these are one of two either Waterlow or De La Rue. Multiple crown are are either De La Rue or Bradbury. Those without a watermark are also Bradbury.

There are several characteristics to seperate these further, ie: paper , perforations and dated postmarks on used copies.

Posted by Roy

2 comments:

Sébastien said...

The British Philatelic Bulletin published a 20 page fascicule about this series, its conception and career : 'The First Elizabeth II Castle High Value Definitives', ed. Royal Mail, 2005.

Are there more complete and exhaustive publications?

Machin Man said...

Sorry Seb,
as I have already stated this is not really one of my subjects.

I do have the Royal mail publication that you mentioned (a good read)however I am afraid I can notin all honisty tell you much more about these issues, prhaps someone else can?

I recommend reading a copy of Stanley Gibbons Specialised catalogue "Queen Elizabeth II Pre Decimal Issues, this does give a little insight.