The 1880 Queen Victoria Longtypes are by far the most diverse set of revenue stamps printed in New Zealand. 14 different printings were made over the 51 year history of the issue (even long after Queen Victoria had died!) with different papers, watermarks and perforations evident between each issue. This, combined with the wide range of values, from 4d to 1000 pounds, makes this an exceptionally interesting set to study.
A History of the issue
By 1878 the die II revenue printing plates were beginning to wear. This resulted in options for their replacements being considered.
In 1878 and in the following years several important decisions were made by the New Zealand government. These resulted in major changes to both postage and revenue stamp production.
It was decided that for the 1d denomination which was most in demand of the revenue stamps, a new stamp of a completely different design was to be introduced. This resulted in the introduction of a smaller sized stamp (based upon the British 1d Inland Revenue stamp); initially this was printed in lilac (15th June 1878) and later in blue (14th December 1878)
New electrotype plates were made for the whole revenue series from dies engraved by W.R.Bock. The design was very similar to that of the earlier series, however for the lower values a plate was made for each denomination with the value incorporated, and the higher values a master plate with the word POUNDS was made, and the value in words was printed from type in the top label.
As the 1d was already provided for, the new plates covered denominations from 4d upwards.
The need for higher value postage stamps was raised. It was decided that postage and revenue stamps could be used for either purpose. The intention was that postage stamps should also be used for low value revenue purposes; a new series of stamps was placed on sale inscribed Postage and Revenue (the second side faces).
The authorisation of revenue stamps to be able to be used for postal purposes was also to help cover a temporary shortage in postage stamps due to delays in deliveryof the 1882 Second Sideface issue. This took the form of a February Advertisement in local newspapers authorising the 1d value for postal purposes, and the 22 April 1882 memo to Post Offices authorising all duty stamps for postal use. Genuine postally used examples from this period are rare and collectors should be aware that many faudulent examples exist. The only safe way to guarantee genuine postal use is on cover.
No alteration was made to the design of the revenue stamps but denominations below 2/- were withdrawn from sale. It was intended that postal needs for 2/- and upwards should be met by the use of fiscal stamps