Queen Victoria Penny Lilacs
IntroductionThe Penny Lilac was the first stamp that was printed after the change in policy to unify the Postage and Revenue aspects of the Inland Revenue. The Customs and Revenue Act that came into force on 1st June 1881 allowed the 1d Venetian Red to be used on receipts and the 1d receipts stamps (revenue stamps) to be used as postage. Production of these receipt stamps ceased, with the stocks being sent out in response to orders for postage stamps. This amounted to about a fortnights total usage, after which the 1d Penny Lilac Unified Issue was sent out. This was the first stamp to be inscribed 'POSTAGE AND REVENUE'. Prior to this, the stamp just stated POSTAGE.
The first issue was on 12th July 1881 and had 14 dots in each corner. later that year, on 13th December, a second issue was forthcoming with 16 dots in each corner. This second die was created as the inscription on the first die was too cramped. There were only 2.3 million sheets of Die I printed, but approximately 14m sheets of Die II, thus making the 14 dot version highly collectable.
Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1881. (44 VICT. On. 12.) ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS.
Section 47. On and after the first day of June one thousand eight hundred and eighty-one any stamp duties of one penny which may legally be denoted by adhesive stamps not appropriated by any word or words on the face of them to any particular description of instrument, may be denoted by adhesive penny postage stamps; and on and after that day postage duties may be paid by the use of penny adhesive stamps not appropriated by any word or words on the face of them to postage duty, or to any particular description of instrument.