Great Britain 1839 "Whiting" Treasury Essay.
A superb, huge four margin example printed in red and black on thin white card by Charles Whiting using the Congreve printing method of interlocking plates (115 x 33mm). Endorsed "Post Paid/1d/Beaufort House".
In 1839 a Bill was introduced to Parliament to reform the postal system, reduce the rates and introduce uniform penny postage. Royal Assent was received on 17 August 1839.
Rowland Hill was appointed to the Treasury to oversee the implementation of his plan for a prepaid uniform penny postage system. A competition was announced inviting the public for suggestions on how this could be done called the "Treasury Competition".
The competition resulted in over 2,600 entries. Most were merely suggestions but some included varied examples of possible designs. Charles Whiting submitted examples of stamps printed by the bi-coloured method of compound printing, now in the Royal Philatelic Collection. For his suggestion, Charles Whiting received a prize of £100 (worth more than £10,000 in today's money).
Whiting submitted about 100 different designs and proposals over a period of time. The most fascinating were the suggestion using the Congreve method of printing simultaneously in two colours by the use of interlocking plates, which were separately inked.
None of the Whiting examples submitted are available to collectors. Those, such as this example, are sourced from contemporary examples which he reprinted for the Mercantile Committee's publication "The Post Circular" as well as examples of his own designs that he reprinted.
A most attractive and scarce piece of British postal history before the introduction of the penny black in May, 1840.
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