Decimal stamp booklets. - The 50p stitched issues.
by Ron Shanahan
A set of 8 designs was issued showing drawings of British flowers by Rosalie Southall, each of which was issued in a single edition on a turquiose-green cover.
British Flowers. designed by Rosalie Southall.
The first in the series was issued on February 15th 1971 and the cover illustration was of "Large Bindweed" (Fig 1)
It contained four stamp panes on Original Coated Paper (OCP).with Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) gum:-
One pane of 6 x 3p (2 band phosphor)
The third illustration was "Honeysuckle" and was inscribed August 1971 and issued on June 28th 1971.
The fourth illustration was "Hop" and was inscribed November 1971 and was issued on September 17th 1971. From this edition the paper was changed to Fluorescent Coated Paper (FCP)
There was a change of composition starting with the fifth edition which showed "Common Violet" and was inscribed February 1972 and was issued on December 24th 1971.
(Illustration shows cylinder B17on the ½p pane which also has the "dark flaw in hair"
Cover number six showed "Lords-and-Ladies", was inscribed May 1972 and issued on March 13th 1972.
Edition seven illustrated "Wood Anemone", was inscribed August 1972 and was issued on May 31st 1972.
The eighth and final of the flowers series showed "Deadly Nightshade", was inscribed November 1972 and was issued on September 15th 1972.
Canada Life series.
The first of this series was issued on January 19th 1973 but dated on the back February 1973. Though the cover design was changed and the '50p' moved to the bottom right of the cover instead of the top right, the stamp make up was as for the later editions of the flower series.
The second issue was released on February 26th 1973 and dated April 1973.
The third edition was issued on April 2nd 1973 and dated May 1973.
The fourth edition was issued on June 14th 1973 and inscribed August 1973.
On November 14th 1973 a booklet was issued with the Canada Life cover but with a change of colour to Moss green, the booklet value shown at top right instead of bottom right and with a completely new make-up. It consisted of two panes of 5 x 3½p stamps (2 band) with one blank label and one pane of 5 x 3p (centre band) with one blank label. The back cover was inscribed Autumn 1973 issue.
There were no suprising print runs in the 50p series. The largest was the Autumn 1973 issue and the smallest February 1973. What strikes me as strange is that the prices for the lower printings are less than those of the higher. For instance, the February 1973 issue with a print of only 497,880 is catalogued at £7 and the August 1973 with a run of 1,424,267 is catalogued at £12. This has cropped up before with the earlier issues and it is not just in catalogue prices, it is the same with dealers prices.
The panes from the first 4 editions each have seven variations of perforation types. Average catalogue prices range from about £5 for the 'P' type to about £35 for the 'APP' type.
As with other panes there are the usual crop of minor varieties, retouches, missing serifs, scratches etc. but a good one to look out for is pane UB39 - 3p x 6 with one broad phosphor band. It is catalogued at £550. Best of luck!.
Variations in make-up.
Edition 2 (Primrose) is listed with 'Stick Firmly' advert instead of 'Tear Off'.
The first edition has various combinations of panes with dextrin instead of PVA.
This is the last of the articles dealing with the 10p to 50p stitched decimal booklets and anyone who has been following the series will realise how varied the scope of a collection can be.
If anyone would like to exchange booklets, panes or information please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following information was received from Gordon Young,
Basically it is the contents (panes & stamps) of this issue which raises the price above other books in the series:-
This article is an extension to that which was first published in Vol. 3- Issue 1 of
The Machin interest group of The Philatelic Society of Canberra.