I've finally finished my monograph on the above subject and wanted to present it here first.
I won't dump the whole thing in one go; it'll be posted in sections.
If anyone spots any errors please let me know!INTRODUCTION
The De La Rue postage stamps of New South Wales were the fourth series issued in the colony, following the Sydney Views, Laureates and Diadems. They were the first surface printed stamps produced for New South Wales. The London printings of the 1d and 2d values were the only stamps produced outside of the colony during the nineteenth century.
The most in demand denomination in New South Wales was the 2d value. The second plate of the 2d Diadem was damaged very early in its life, and perhaps concerned that the repaired first plate of the 2d Diadem may suffer a similar occurrence, the Government made a pre-emptive move to acquire a new 2d plate in February 1861.
At this time, the printing of all postage stamps of Great Britain over the 2d denomination was carried out by De La Rue & Co., and it was to this firm that N. L. Merry & Co., the Agent in London for the Government, passed on the request.
Over the following fifteen years, De La Rue & Co. produced dies and plates for a further five values, as well as supplying paper for the production of the stamps by the Government printer in Sydney.
There is also the mystery of the 9d die, of a design very similar to the issued one shilling stamp.
The De La Rue stamps are the most neglected of New South Wales philately. It has been said in the past that these issues are not exciting enough, or too difficult, to study. Whilst these stamps are challenging to the novice, I have found them to be the most rewarding in all of my many years of collecting.
The designs produced by De La Rue were also used for various postal stationery items and these, along with the stamps, both normal and official, will be fully covered.
This monograph covers those stamps issued between 1862 and 1888, and brings together all of the information available about these stamps from various earlier publications, with new theories and discoveries made by the author.DE LA RUE & CO., PAPER AND PERFORATION
Thomas De La Rue founded the company that bears his name in 1821. The company secured their first postage stamp printing contract, for the Great Britain 4d carmine, in 1855. This was the first surface printed postage stamp in the world.
The company produced postage stamps for Great Britain and her colonies, including New South Wales. In 1874 they opened their London premises at Bunhill Row, the buildings being destroyed in the blitz in 1940.
The profile portrait of Queen Victoria was engraved by Jean Ferdinand Joubert de la Fertè, a refugee from post Napoleonic France. There are subtle differences in the portrait that was used for the 2d value compared to the other values, mainly noticeable in the ear and the diadem.
The watermark bits for the New South Wales stamps were handmade by De La Rue, with the paper manufactured by Chafford Mills, Fordcombe, Kent until late 1878, thereafter being made by Roughway Mill, near Plaxtol, Kent.
The London printings of the 1d and 2d values were comb perforated at Somerset House with their gauge 14 machine.