'Rainbow Trials'

David Rowse

THE PENNY BLACK postage stamp was an extraordinary creation. It was the first stamp that ever portrayed the effigy of a reigning Sovereign, and except for two minor instances which were quickly detected, the stamps were never forged. This is the story of how the colour was changed from Black to Red. Early in May 1840 Rowland Hill was advised that several red Maltese Cross cancellations had been removed by the public from the black stamps. Hill was immensely alarmed and immediately instituted a series of trials to establish satisfactory printing and cancelling inks: the so-called 'Rainbow Trials'.

The published work is hardbound and illustrated in full colour. It includes much previously unseen material, which has in the main been scanned directly from the original items, to ensure as accurate as possible colour reproduction. In total there are 180 illustrations, 146 of 'Rainbow' items, including 77 from the Royal collection.

Price £75 (GBPS members £67.50). ISBN 0-907630-16-2.