4d Green & Brown Handpainted Essays

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Accepted Design

Dated 24th June 1885
Provenance: Phillips collection in the National Postal Museum


Marginal Settings

Dated 12th January 1888. Dummy sheet produced by De La Rue to illustrate amendments to their first proposal for the layout of the 160-set printing plate. The perforated sheet shows eight light brown watercolour painted panels (indicating four rows of two panes, each comprising 4 rows of 5 stamps). Between each of the top three pairs of panels are short horizontal blocks. There is one stamp in G pane and one in H, both defaced with manuscript “Cancelled”. G and H panes also show the continuous marginal rules in green and brown as well as coloured bars just below pane E and above pane G. Pencil markings show the intention to continue these lines, either continuously or broken, along the edge of the panes and even that these blocks might be made up of vertical lines. Above panes G and H is the following manuscript: “On the sheet sent to W. Purcell, all four filling in pieces were like the above. It was only after reconsideration that I had the under slip altered on this sheet in order to show how the slips will have to be dealt with in the new plates with border lines”

Note: Wiseman states in “The De La Rue Years 1878-1910 Volume 2”, 1984, that there were two stamps in G pane and and there is a discoloured patch where one stamp has been seemingly been removed.

Dated 2nd February 1888. This dummy sheet continues the idea from the previous dummy sheet to have the pair of coloured above and below the panes, as well as continuing the marginal line around the whole of the pane.

Both of the dummy sheet essays came from the De La Rue archive and are now in the Royal Mail archive at Calthorpe House