Lilacs and Greens 1883/4


The Customs and Revenue Act of 1881 had the aim of unifying the stamps used for postage and revenue purposes. The design and production for these took place over a period of time, and in the interim the 1d. Venetian Red and the 1d. Receipt stamps were permitted to be used for both purposes. The 1d. Lilac was issued in July 1881 as the first unified stamp. The continuing process for other stamp values was delayed while consideration was given to unification matters associated with fugitive inks, parcel post and telegraph use. Previous stamp designs printed in Lilac and surcharged 3d. and 6d. in carmine were issued in January 1883 as a stopgap.

The unified set of stamps was issued on 1st April 1884, while the 9d. value was issued earlier on the 1st August 1883. Together these 10 stamps were referred to as the "Lilacs & Greens" Issue. The issue had a relatively short usage. They were replaced by similar values with the issue on 1st January 1887, subsequently known as the "Jubilee" stamps as their release coincided with the 50th year of the Reign of Queen Victoria.

This 16 page display illustrates various aspects of the Lilacs & Greens issue such as a rare set of essays, Imprimaturs, Die Proofs for the Small Head of Queen Victoria, two Dies with impossible corner letters, 9 Dies of 1½d to 1s values and one of an unissued 5d from Die I, 'Specimen' overprints, imperforate copies including rare 3d. values, a perforation 12 trial, colour trials, a cancellation trial, and official overprints for use on Government Parcels.


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
  2. The Scheme
  3. Imprimaturs – Slate-blue and Purple Values
  4. Imprimaturs – Dull Green Values
  5. Die Proofs – Small Head Die
  6. Die Proofs – 1½d to 4d
  7. Die Proofs – 5d
  8. Die Proofs – 6d to 1s
  9. Specimens – Slate-blue and Purple Values
  10. Specimens – Dull Green Values
  11. Imperforate
  12. Perforation Trial
  13. Colour Trials
  14. Further Colour Trials
  15. Cancellation Trial
  16. Government Parcels