One of the pleasures of collecting stamps is the feeling of satisfaction when you finally manage to fill an elusive gap in the collection. As the collection gets bigger then the gaps become fewer and the frequency of ‘satisfaction’ diminishes. It is therefore always a huge pleasure these days when something turns up that I don’t have and had been looking for.
The Britannia’s issued in the early 1870’s form a bit of a mish mash of papers and perforation with four different types appearing between 1870 and 1874. The new acquisitions to the collection are from 1872, printed on small star watermarked paper and are the irregularly perforated SG56 and SG57. I say ‘irregular’ in that they have quite a wide range of gauge, being p11 to 13 x 14½ to 15½ but they are most definitely ‘clean cut’ and lack the ragged appearance of the earlier ‘rough perfs’.
The green stamp is Barbados SG56 ½d green and the other one is Barbados SG57 4d dull vermilion.
Neither of these stamps was around for long as in 1873 they were superseded by a different ½d green (SG 58) and a new 4d dull rose red stamp (SG 59) although as you can see from the postmarks on these, they were clearly available for use for a couple of years after as they are cancelled 1873 and 1874 respectively.
The ½d green is also interesting in that it has no perforations at all on the top hinting that it may have been simply been cut with scissors from the top margin of the sheet. Without a suitable plating guide to verify this it is of course speculation but it does add to the interest of these stamps.
Whilst there was (and still is) a very nice SG58 already in the collection I was definitely missing the ½d green. Not any more. Another gap filled and a good day at the office 🙂