Stamp Site of the Week

by John Hillson, F.C.P.S.


Plate Proof

The Small Queens issue was printed by the British American Bank Note Company using the same vignette as for the Large Queens Half Cent value, which in itself was the same as for the other denominations in that series but with a reduced circumference. The reduced size allowed for more stamps to be engraved on the printing plates, which sped up production.

The stamps in this series, which spans more than 25 years, were printed at different locations, resulting in subtle differences among them that appear at first sight to be difficult to discern. With a little practise, and using the clues provided in this publication, you will quickly be able to allocate most of the Small Queens that you come across.

The illustration on the left is of the One Cent die proof, showing lathework. It was the first Small Queen to be designed, proofed and plated.


This publication has been created to serve both as an introduction to the Small Queens and as a ready reference for the major aspects about the series. If you are new to this website, I suggest you begin by reading the story of the Printing Periods. Study of the series itself, because of its longevity and complexity, can provide a wholly absorbing pastime, but a word of warning however absorbing, one should never take things too seriously stamp collecting in any of its guises should above all be fun!

About the author.

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  Tony Brown.

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Updated: May 24, 2019