2/03/2012 St Vincent & Grenadines
St. Vincent 1881 ½d in Red on Half of 6d Bright Yellow-Green
This fascinating stamp was produced in order to satisfy the requirement for the territory to have available a ½d stamp upon joining the Universal Postal Union in 1881.
As the delivery of the new ½d value would not arrive from the printers Perkins Bacon in England until December 1881, it was decided to make ½d Provisional stamps by overprinting and bisecting the current 6d Bright Yellow-Green stamp locally in Kingstown.
12 sheets of 60 stamps were overprinted '½d' twice in red ink and then the sheets were bisected vertically by lines of 12 gauge perforations. The total number of Provisional bisects produced numbering 1440.
The method of overprinting and the size of the printing block used, have long since been a subject of enthusiastic debate as the number of multiples is extremely small. Similarly the positioning of the varieties, the 'missing fraction bar' and 'straight serif to 1' are still unknown to any great certainty. There also exist several forgeries of the overprint, generally on the wrong stamp (dark green) and in thin script