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Essays - New South Wales 1p red Sydney View

In the New South Wales Stamp Collector's Magazine, No.2, April, 1880 Mr. Edward Buckley describes an essay in the possession of the New South Wales Postal Department as follows :

"View of Sydney, One Penny, with figures in foreground, which is in dashed lines, as in the ordinary types ; bale notinscribed ; on the hill two trees, and lower down a figure ; hill most minutely shaded ; houses touching, no clouds.Inscription, ' Sic fort is Etruria crevit ' (the ' ria ' in Etruria so crowded as to look like ' rm '), within plain circle inscribed 'segillum (sic) Nov, camb, aust.' In top corners Maltese cross, with radiating stars over the centres ; between them the word ' postage ;' tops of the letters ' p,' 'a,' and f e ' in a line, all the same size ; ' o ' and ' g ' smaller, and ' t ' decidedly larger. In bottom left-hand corner ' n,' and in the right ' l,' between them the words ' one penny.' Rough border at sides, between the centre circle and stars at top, or letters at bottom. Plain block ground. Printed on thin wove paper, with the old gum on the part not attached to the sheet ; colour, soft vermilion (probably toned with age). Note: The inscription ' one penny ' has been affixed in its place, a part of the stamp having been cut away for its reception ; but the colour of the printing is identical."

(discussion by unknown author from THE PHILATELIC SOCIETY, LONDON 1887)
From this not over lucid description, it appears as if some one (in the Post- office 1) had been experimenting in the formation of a new stamp, by cutting up and piecing together parts of others. Not having seen the specimen described, this can, at most, be a conjecture on my part. The bottom lettering ' N,' * L ' does not correspond, however, with any part of a stamp I am acquainted with, and whence those letters came, or what they mean, is to me incomprehensible.*

In addition to the foregoing, there are certain lithographed stamps, described by Sir Daniel Cooper in the paper he read before the Society 29th May, 1869. They certainly are not from a wood block, nor do they look as if reproduced by a transfer from a wood engraving. They are coarse in execution, and in general design like the stamp issued, save that the spandrels are filled in with a pattern of overlappingscale-work.

The paper is deep-toned yellow wove, and thin ; no watermark. The colour of the impression, full soft vermilion ; not gummed. The row contained several stamps, all identical, showing that by 1849 the Colonial lithographers knew enough of their business to produce a repetition of the same design, line for line like the original.An opinion, broached when these essays first came to light, that they were hurriedly prepared, to ensure a supply of One Penny stamps being ready by 1st January, 1850, seems likely to be correct ; but as a stock from the engraved plate was prepared in time, these lithographs were relegated to the category of stamps intended for but never actually put into use.

"Whatever be the fact, neither the public nor collectors have any reason other than for thankfulness that these stamps never served postal purposes.

According to Sir Daniel Cooper, these lithographs appear to be lithographic transfers by Clayton, from which I infer Sir Daniel draws this conclusion from the appearance of the essays themselves. I must own I should have hesitated before so doing.

With respect to the wood-engraved stamps, so circumstantially described by Mr. Calvert, it is difficult to suppose his memory could be so treacherous as to induce him to believe he had engraved eight of Well's block drawings with his own hand, unless he had really done so. These separate engravings must necessarily have varied from each other, thus showing that the essays lastly described cannot be those mentioned by Mr. Calvert. No copy appears to exist in the Colonial Post-office, indeed the existence of one anywhere has yet to be shown. Meanwhile the only information we possess is that afforded through Mr. Calvert's statements communicated to the Vice-President. (Ante p. 10.)

* They do not correspond with the initials of any of the engravers employed, so far as we are acquainted with their names. A Mr. Nicholas Nelson was an assistant for many years in the Sydney Post-office ; but I have not been able to trace any name there commencing with " L " about this period.

End of discussion by unknown author 1887

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Proof images from Hutson and Hull with the assistance of the Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria, Ashburton.

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