The 1884 Stamp Committee did not initially intend to alter the 1884 ½d slate-blue value, but proceed to after Warren De La Rue had submitted his final designs for the 1 1/2d to 1s values on 5th January 1885.
Four trials were sent to Jeffrey by Warren De La Rue on 10th January 1885, and are thought to be the following:
Handpainted essays were submitted to the Stamp Committee by De La Rue. At the 16th March 1885 meeting, Warren De La Rue recommended “orange” for the ½d, and the following day it was agreed that it should be “orange-red”. Warren De La Rue was then asked to produce yet more ½d designs with “Postage and Revenue”.
At the final recorded meeting on 13th April 1885, a ½d design with the “½d” in each corner was accepted, provided the corner ½ds were removed. It is not known when the final selections were sent to the Post Master General, be he accepted all the designs (except for the 2 ½d).
A piece with hand painted essays on white paper of all the approved designs, was signed and dated on the 11th June 1885 by W. C. Cousins.
History: Ex “Chartwell” (Spink 13th Oct 2011 lot 876 sold for £30’000+20%); Bought by Stanley Gibbons and for sale for £75’000; ex “Royal Palm” collection (Stanley Gibbons 25th Oct 2022 sold for £13’000+20%).