Die 1 printed by TS Harrison & AJ Mullett and first issued on 1st May 1924. Die 2 printed by John Ash in 1930 but never released for postal use.
The Fourpence-halfpenny value was first printed by TS Harrison in 1924 using a single electro developed from a secondary die derived from a blank master die (Die 1). Harrison made 3 printings of the 4&1/2d Violet Die 1 on Single Watermark paper between April 1924 and December 1925. AJ Mullett also made a single printing on Single Watermark paper in May 1926.
John Ash made a single printing of the 4&1/2d Violet Die 1 on Small Multiple Watermark paper which was perforated using the perforation 14 Comb perforation machine in August 1927. Ash made a further 3 printings of the 4&1/2d Violet Die 1 between June 1928 and July 1929 using the 12.5 X 13.5 Comb perforation Machine.
In 1930 John Ash engraved a new 4&1/2d Die (Die 2) using the blank master die and constructed two new plates derived from this new die. The 4&1/2d Violet Die 2 was printed on Small Multiple Watermark paper and perforated 12.5 X 13.5. This stamp was never released for sale due to an increase in postal rates, but existing stocks were overprinted with a "FIVE PENCE" surcharge reflecting the new rate. Only 200 sheets were set aside for collectors' sets and these were cancelled-to-order. A very small number of sheets, perhaps only a couple sheets, were not cancelled-to-order, and these were possibly set aside for restricted distibution. Some mint 4&1/2d Violet Die 2 stamps have survived from these uncancelled sheets, but they are very rare.
Standard texts used to identify 4&1/2d varieties are:
Wajer, BM, 1990, Commonwealth of Australia, The George V Fourpence Halfpenny, Die 1 , Michael Eastick & Associates.
Wajer, BM, & Edwards, DJ, 1990, Fourpence Halfpenny, Die 2 and Surcharge, Michael Eastick & Associates.
(Both monographs are combined in a single publication)
Kellow, J (Ed.), 2014, The Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue: King George V, Centenary of the King George V Definitives, 1914-2014, Brusden-White.
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