Friday, 28 November 2014

Queen Victoria Fiscal Stamps - Part Four.

         In this, our last post on the QV Fiscal Stamps, we are going to look at the design of the long-type fiscal/postal series from 1880 and compare them with the 1882 2nd Side-Faced Issue. Then I have some examples of how the QV Fiscal Stamps were used, both for revenue stamp duty and for postage.

I love to enlarge these old stamps, blow them up as far as I can when I get a good quality image. It is only then that we can really enjoy the fine workmanship of these classic stamps. Often enlarging brings out details that are missed in the tiny images. For example in the image above of the 6/- Rose, look at the fine detailing in the scrolling work in the borders. Also, it was only when I enlarged the image that I discovered the ferns in the triangles in each corner. Notice the fine detail that has gone into Queen Victoria's crown.   

Five Different Designs.
I have looked at the long-type series a few times but mostly at the ones commonly used for postage. It was only when I gathered the entire series and placed them together on one page that I noticed there are actually five different designs. I then discovered that these stamps were designed at about the same time as the 1882 Second Side-faced Issue. Both sets were designed and engraved by W.R.Bock, then were printed by The Government Printer in Wellington. With this in mind, I went and had another look at both these issues again. I discovered there are some parallels between them so decided to post an 1880 QV Fiscal Stamp beside a similar 1882 Second Side-faced Stamp. While they are not exactly the same, you will definitely see the similarity in their designs.   

              1880 2/- Blue - The Circle.                          1882 3d Yellow  (2nd Side-Faced)

The first design I have called The Circle because of the frame around Queen Victoria's head is a complete circle containing the words 'NEW ZEALAND STAMP DUTY'. Notice the 3d from the 1882 2nd Side-Faced Issue is also very similar. In the Fiscal Series, this design continued from the lowest value, the 4d Orange, up to the 12/6 Purple (12 shillings & 6 pence). 

            £2 Violet - Part Circle.                       1882 1/- Chestnut  (2nd Side-Faced)

The next design I have called The Part Circle because while the circle appears at the top and bottom it doesn't go completely around. This design is first used on the 15/- Green and it continues until the £2 Violet. The idea was also used on the 1882 1/- Chestnut 2nd Side-Faced seen on the right.

             £5 Blue - The Square.                        1882 6d Brown  (2nd Side-Faced)

The next design we come to I called The Square for obvious reasons. The first of these was the £2 10/- Rose-Lake and they went to the £5 Blue. The Corresponding stamp in the 1882 2nd Side-Faced Issue was the 6d Brown. 

         £7 Maroon - The Hexagon.                     1882 8d Blue  (2nd Side-Faced)

The Hexagon is next, a design extending from the £6 Orange up to the £10 Blue. The frame around Queen Victoria is actually a circle with the wording set inside the hexagon. This same design was used on the 8d Blue of the 1882 2nd Side-Faced Issue.     
       £30 Red/Brown - Elliptical.                  1882 1d Red (2nd Side-Faced)

The final design for this stamp series is what I call The Elliptical. It is similar to the first design (see above) except the middle frame has taken on an elliptical shape. This design covers by far the greater part of this series of stamps, the first being the £15 Brown and going right up to the £1,000 Rose. An elliptical design was also used on the 1882 1d Red.
  £800 Bronze/Green - Elliptical.
A higher value of this last design.

Uses of the Queen Victoria Fiscal/Postal Issue.
 Postal Examples.

This is 1882 Cover sent Auckland to Dunedin 14/4/1882, bearing strip 4 1d blue Fiscal Stamps. This appears to be the correct postal rate and the cover carries a cancellation with a very clear date. Use of Fiscal Stamps for postage began in April 1882 so this would be among earliest recorded covers.

An interesting Combination Cover, Christchurch to Christchurch 2/11/1896. The stamps are 1867 1d Fiscal Die I Imperf,  1880 1/- Perf Fiscal Die II & 1d 1878 Blue. Notice the use of stamps older than the 1880 series we have been looking at above.

A Queen Victoria Longtype Fiscal Die II 1d purple and green used postally on a cover sent locally in Christchurch. With a date of 15/1/1906, it is very late usage for one of the Die II series. These two examples have surprised me because I didn't know the older two series were authorised for postage.

Fiscal Examples.
The first example I want to show you is a will where death duty has been paid using stamps. If you add up the amounts on the stamps in the top right corner you will see that £124 7/- was paid. All the stamps shown are from the 1880 Series.

The second document I wish to show you is a share transfer in which 2/ 6d was paid in Stamp Duty. This is a much older use of Stamp Duty showing a stamp from the Die II series.

The next two documents are both applications for a license. On the first 12/- (12 shillings) was paid while for some reason the bottom application required 22/-. Notice the use of King George V postage stamps to pay the 2 shillings on the first form while a 2/- Blue was used on the second. Both these examples from 1916 have stamps from the 1880 QV Long-type Series.

My final examples are both 'stamps on piece,' a term used to describe one or more stamps attached to part of a cover or document. In the first example, you can 8 Fiscal stamps were used plus a 1d Dominion. Notice the strip of 4 £400 stamps. This would be very rare to see a joined strip of used ones like this which is one of the reasons I've included it here.
The second 'stamps on piece' shows a selection of fiscal stamps plus a King George V definitive and a King George V Admiral.  


  1. Mary Another good post. You have really been digging into these older stamps.
    I liked the way you compared this Revenue set with the 2nd QV Side-Faced. There is a parallel there alright.
    Were these revenue stamp designs inspired by the 1st QV Side-Faced? It might be worth exploring that too.

    1. It is hard to tell just how much the 1st QV Side-Faced effected the design of these stamps but my guess would be, quite a lot. Certainly there is a strong connection between the two QV Side-Faced issues.

    2. I think that it is fairly obvious that both the 1882 2nd QV Side-Faced issue and the 1882 Revenue issue would have been inspired by the 1st QV Side-Faced issue.
      Both Side-Faced issues were designed by designers from Thomas De Lu Rue, England while the QV Revenues were a local, New Zealand design. I still agree with Mary that there is a relationship here.

  2. I enjoyed reading your blog pages on these stamps. You bring out some good points that I've not seen before. Certainly, I have noticed they look at bit the same but I had not picked up on the idea of a common designer and engraver. That makes perfect sense now.