1915 King George V Surface Print

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1915 King George V Surface Print
Cat. Mint Unhinged Mint Hinged Fine Used
½d Green 29a $5.40
1½d Orange Brown 29b $18.00
1½d Grey Black 29c $36.00
2d Yellow 29d $10.80
3d Brown 29e $40.50
Set of 5 29f $105.15

Surface printing, which is much less expensive than recess printing, had only been intended for the halfpenny green stamp. However, cost savings during the First World War combined with the halfpenny war tax led to unexpected demand for slightly higher values and the decision was made to surface print the other values in this set.

The grey black surface printed 1½d stamp replaced the 'local' surface print (1915 King George V Local Print issue) which were not engraved with sufficient accuracy. Perkins, Bacon in London produced new 1½d plates at the same time as the new 2d and 3d plates were produced. The colour of the 1½d stamp was later changed from grey black to orange brown because light cancellations did not show up on the original stamp.

The surface print stamps have a different design to the recess and local print stamps. The surface print stamps have horizontal shading on George V's face and neck, while the recess and local have diagonal shading. The background on the surface and local prints has a clear diagonal pattern, while the recess print stamps have a very fine and complex pattern of alternating arcs with a criss-cross hatching over the top giving the appearance of almost solid shading. The local print is very coarsely drawn with rather poorly spaced diagonal shading lines on the face and neck.
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