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Halfpenny Rose Red

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Halfpenny Rose Red
British 1870 half penny plate 13 stamps.jpg
Country of productionUnited Kingdom
Date of production1 October 1870 (1870-10-01)–1880 (1880)
DepictsQueen Victoria
Notability
  • First halfpenny UK stamp
  • Smallest UK stamp
Face value12d

The Halfpenny Rose Red, first issued on 1 October 1870, was the first halfpenny postage stamp issued in the United Kingdom.

The halfpenny stamp was introduced following a reduction in the postal rate for newspapers and postcards. It was designed to be approximately half the size of the corresponding one penny stamp and is notable for being the smallest UK postage stamp ever issued at 17.5 mm × 14 mm (0.69 in × 0.55 in).[1]

The stamps (nicknamed 'Bantams' due to their small size) were printed in sheets of 480 (20 horizontal rows of 24 stamps). They were line engraved and featured a bust of Queen Victoria in profile with '½d' on either side.

A plate number was engraved in the design, in the left and right side lace work. The plates were numbered from 1 to 20, but plates 2, 7, 16, 17, and 18 were not completed, plates 21 and 22 were not used and plate 9 is now scarce because it was a rarely used reserve plate. The stamps were watermarked with the word "halfpenny" that extended across three stamps.[2][3]

The stamp was replaced in 1880 by the surface printed Halfpenny Green stamp.

See also

References

  1. ^ James MacKay (1 September 1988). The Guinness Book of Stamps Facts & Feats. Guinness. ISBN 0851123511.
  2. ^ Stanley Gibbons Ltd, Specialised Stamp Catalogue Volume 1: Queen Victoria
  3. ^ Halfpenny Rose Red at pennyreds
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