The Queenslander (Brisbane) of 28 April 1900 carried the announcement that the Cabinet had approved of the issue by the Postal Department of a limited number of stamps in aid of the Patriotic Fund.  Fred Elliott, of the Queensland Government Printing Office, prepared seven essays showing possible designs for 1d and 2d stamps. These designs were submitted to Cabinet about the middle of April 1900 and two designs were selected.

The artist's hand drawings were painted in black and greys on a white board - 105 × 180 mm. On the reverse side is a rectangle anticipating the final size of the stamp and perhaps initialled JBC with a date of 4.5.00.

Elliott's essays were printed photographically on thin card and retouched in Indian ink and Chinese white. Each essay consisted of several aspects - all of which were considered when developing the final designs. The newspaper described the designs (see the captions) and added "it is gratifying to find that we have an artist capable of such work.  The larger drawings are remarkably fine, and the stamp-size pictures also show up well. If the stamps come out in the same way, the department will be well satisfied".

The order of presentation is:

Only one example of each of five essays is recorded. For the 1d design, featuring the troop ship, three examples are known (although one example is badly damaged). There are two examples known of plate proofs featuring three essay designs. In the second composite shown below, the central design is unknown in the normal size.

The descriptions below include comments from "The Queenslander" and Scudder (2013, 334-6).

The first six essays below were listed in

Designs with 1d denomination.

Essay 1 QV essay Vert

1d essay prepared early during the design process.

The Queen's head is placed in a white circle.

The Queensland Infantryman on the right is holding a sword.

"PATRIOTIC FUND" is not in italics.
ONE PENNY is white and serified.

The above image has been extracted from a composite die proof and is the only known example.

1d Essay prepared later in the design process and close to the final design.

This essay, in the original drawing, was apparently shown as a twopenny stamp but it was made a one-penny issue.

On either side at the top are the figures "1900" and beneath this "Queensland" in a semi-circular shape, with "Postage" below in a straight line. Then follows the picture of the Queen's head in a slightly shaded circle.

Beneath this image are two Union Jacks, between which stand an Imperial Infantry Sergeant (left) a blue-jacket and a Queensland Mounted Infantryman (right). All three hold rifles. Around the sides is flower work and on the bottom "Patriotic Fund," with the figure denoting the amount of the stamp separating the two words.

F. Elliott is in the lower right corner.

Only one photographic essay is recorded of this design. 

BELOW: 1d Essay with troopship "Cornwall" having its stern to the front just leaving the Pinkenba wharf on 1 November 1899
and carrying the First Queensland Contingent from Brisbane.

QUEENSLAND POSTAGE is in white in an unframed arc while the 1d is in small white circles.

Boat Essay 4

Size of photographic essay: 45 × 81 mm.


Damaged essay
The second example of the essay featuring the troopship has been badly damaged. It is shown at left.

The essay is mounted on a presentation card which has been snapped from the D of QUEENSLAND to the TI of PATRIOTIC. The card has then been repaired with archival tape but the damage is clear from the front.

Size: 130 × 150 mm.

Millennium Auctions April 2005 Lot 164.
Prestige Philately June 2009 Lot 1206.

Prestige Philately June 2010 Lot 456.

 

Essay 5
The Artist's hand painting is in shades of violet and white on board (170 × 98 mm). It is also known as the top design in the vertical composite die proof.

Only one photographic essay is recorded of this design.
Size: 84 × 48 mm.

1d Essay - but the design was not adopted.

The stamp depicts the engagement of the Queensland Mounted Infantry at Sunnyside, Cape Colony in late December 1899. The Queenslanders figured very prominently.

QUEENSLAND POSTAGE is coloured in an arc across the top.
The 1d is in coloured circles in each top corner.

The subject depicted might have been chosen for one of the issued stamps if the picture was larger. It was however too big for adequate treatment on a small stamp. 

In addition, the design was considered to be too violent for a postage stamp design.

 

 

Designs with 2d denomination.

RH zinc
2d essay from the left of the composite zinc etched master.

The Queen's head has a background of coarse lines. Her eyebrows are not clearly defined and her eyes are looking ahead.
The horse of the Mounted Infantryman on the left is facing away from the Queen. The Infantryman slightly leaning back is looking back to the Queen and he has a rifle on his shoulder.
The side of the troop ship on the right is in view.
The masts have clearly defined rigging.

QUEENSLAND POSTAGE is in white on an unbroken scroll.
PATRIOTIC FUND etc is in white on a black background.
1900 is in a simple shield in black on a white background.

Known as a proof on the zinc etched master as well as being a photographic essay (52 × 93 mm).

This design and the next two designs were not considered to be appropriate because of the Queen looking at the rear of the horse.

RH zinc
2d essay from the left of the composite zinc etched master.

The Queen's head has a background of finer lines. Her eyebrows are clearly defined and her eyes are looking slightly upwards.
The horse of the Mounted Infantryman on the left is facing away from the Queen. The Infantryman is sitting more upright and looking back to the Queen and he has a rifle on his shoulder.
The troop ship on the right is more front on and has less rigging.

QUEENSLAND POSTAGE is in white on a folded scroll which has vertical shading lines.
PATRIOTIC FUND etc is in black on a white background in a narrower box.
1900 is in a more ornate shield in white on a black background.

Known as a proof on the zinc etched master as well as being a photographic essay (52 × 93 mm).

QV Essay 2 QV Essay  3
2d Essay - sometimes regarded as being the poorest of the designs.

The Queen's head is in a larger central shaded circle extending to the lower band and date shield. Her eyebrows are clearly defined and her eyes look tired.
The horse of the Mounted Infantryman on the left is facing away from the Queen. The Infantryman is looking ahead and is holding a rifle in front of him.
The side of the troop ship on the right is again front on.
The rigging has returned to the masts but the wharf is gone.

QUEENSLAND POSTAGE is in white on an solid coloured background but the scroll is divided into two parts.
PATRIOTIC and PENCE are in coloured letters on light backgrounds.
FUND and TWO are in white on darkened coloured backgrounds.
The band is wider than for the previous two designs.
1900 is in an ornate shield in white on a dark background.
Has F. Elliott in the lower right corner.

Known only as a photographic essay (47 × 83 mm).

The side designs were interchanged and the lettering was changed
to prepare the final design.
2d Essay with unadopted images.

It shows the bust of the Queen wearing a more defined dress and no earrings.
On the left is a Mounted Infantryman on horseback facing the Queen. A kneeling Infantryman is behind the horse and another mounted infantryman is in the distance.

On the right is a standing Mounted Infantryman holding a rifle and facing half-left. Two blue-jackets are working a gun behind him.

QUEENSLAND POSTAGE is in white with no scroll or background.
The words TWO PENCE are in a short arc in dark letters.
PATRIOTIC FUND is in coloured letters on an incomplete banner..

1900 is in both top corners in ascending then descending size.
Has F. Elliott in the lower right corner.

Known only as a photographic essay (52 × 93 mm).

The words "F Elliott Delt" are just outside the design in the lower right corner.

Only known example and no hand printed essay recorded.

Horse Essay 6
2d Essay with no image of Queen Victoria.
It shows three mounted Colonial Queensland Infantryman all facing to the right and carrying rifles in different positions.

The figures, especially the one in the foreground, were large for the stamp design.

QUEENSLAND POSTAGE is in white in an arc across the top of the image.
PATRIOTIC and FUND 1900 are in two arcs at the base separated by the horses hooves.
There is a white "2" on each side above the two arcs in bordered circles having a bark background.

Known as a photographic essay (58 × 89 mm)
as well as a photographic reproduction of the original hand painted design and mounted on a recessed stout card (130 × 150 mm).

Composite die proofs.

As the designs were being developed, some zinc dies were produced to print images. Scudder is the only previous source
to have made a reference to these - mainly because the items have not been available on the market for some time
or they have not been exhibited.

3 zinc dies

Essay designs based on drawings by Fred G. Elliot, the Government lithographic artist for the 1d and 2d denominations.
Details of each design are given above.
The proofs are from zinc masters on a single piece of wove paper (79 × 192 mm).

Provenance: Alan Griffiths.
Spink October 2012 Lot 1389.

Vert 3 unused essays Composite essay designs based on Elliot's original drawings.

The central image is not known separately.

It shows the Queen's head in side profile looking left in a white background. The flags of Great Britain and Queensland are shown on either side below the Queen. A Mounted Infantryman on his horse is underneath and between the flags.

Printed on glossy card
(103 × 51 mm).

Prestige Philately 8 March 2011, Lot 736.

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