The 9 ½ x 12 Perforations of Queensland, 1882 issues.
By C. S. GRAHAM, Esq.
"The information regarding these issues which is available to the ordinary collector is so small that I venture this article in the hope that it will lead some more experienced collector to give us the benefit of his wider experience through the columns of this Magazine.
Gibbons’ 'catalogues, the "spot “penny (No. 176), two types of (Nos. 177 and 183), and 1/- type 11a (No. 178).
These are perforated 9½ horizontally and 12 vertically, but there are other variations not yet listed.
I have one specimen of No. 176 perforated 9½ at top and 12 at bottom and sides, another 12 at top and bottom and 9½ at sides, and yet another perforated 9½ on one side only, showing that the 9½ perforation not done regularly in horizontal vertical rows.
A specimen of 178 (1/-) shows the 9½ perforation at bottom and three parts of the way across the top, the remaining portion being perforated a distinct 12, with typical small holes.
In view of the very erratic perforation which characterised Queensland issues at about this period, I cannot help thinking that these examples point to the 9½ perforation having been done, either by the Post Office or by some other Government department, as an after process on certain sheets where the perforation was defective.
A specimen of No. 166 ("spot” 1d.), (of full size and with fair margins), imperforate on, three sides and part perforated on the other, lends further evidence to this theory.
Gibbons notes No. 179, ld. type 12 (no spot after "penny"), as occurring imperforate but does not catalogue the 9½ X 12 perforation of which I have a specimen and of which several examples are held by local collectors.
There are probably other varieties in the albums of our members, and the recognition and listing of these will depend to a great extent on the information from those who are fortunate enough to possess them.
One of the objects of the Queensland Philatelic Society is the preparation of a full catalogue of Queensland stamps, and the co-operation of members will be heartily welcomed."
Nevertheless Graham is partly right in that while the perf 12's were done in the normal manner in the normal location, the horizontal perf 9.5 was done at the Government Printing Office. The job was not wholly done at the Government Printing Office for reasons of control.
This machine was a rotary single-line wheel machine, perforating large round clean-cut holes gauging 9.5. It was obtained by the Queensland Government on 29 May 1883. Some accounts refer to it being sent to British New Guinea but according to Hausberg writing in 1906, as well as my own knowledge of New Guinea during this period, this is incorrect.