The Colours Used for the 1949 UPU Issue Common Design Stamps

The Colours Used for the 1949 UPU Issue Common Design Stamps

As explained in my previous post in which I outlined by general observations that came from a casual examination of half the common design stamps of this issue, I decided to take a close look at the colours employed to print the stamps. 

The following colour groups were used to print the various designs. Within each of these it is possible to find some variations, and I will outline what these are, after I have covered the basics. 

The Low Value Mercury, Globe and Plane Design

  1. Deep Blue - Aden, Aden - Kathiri State of Seiyun, Aden - Qu'aiti State of Shihr and Mukalla.
  2. Deep Dull Ultramarine - Antigua, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts Nevis, Tonga, Virgin Islands.
  3. Slate Violet - Bahamas, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Falkland Islands Dependencies, Hong Kong, Malta, St. Lucia.
  4. Blue Black - Bermuda, Gambia, Leeward Islands.
  5. Orange - Cayman Islands.
  6. Deep Magenta - Fiji, Nigeria, Seychelles, Trinidad & Tobago.
  7. Deep Purple - Gilbert & Ellice Islands, Malaya - Johore, Malaya - Kedah, Malaya - Kelantan, Malaya - Malacca, Malaya - Negri Sembilan, Malaya - Pahang, Malaya - Penang, Malaya - Perak, Malaya - Perlis, Malaya - Selangor, Malaya - Singapore, Malaya - Trengganu, Sierra Leone.
  8. Deep Bright Carmine - Ascension, British Guiana, Brunei, Gibraltar, Mauritius, North Borneo, Northern Rhodesia, St. Helena, Sarawak, Somaliland Protectorate. 
  9. Deep Blue Green - British Honduras, Nyasaland.
  10. Deep Red Brown - British Solomon Islands, Gold Coast, Jamaica, Pitcairn Islands.
  11. Dull Ultramarine - Basutoland, Bechuanaland Protectorate, Dominica, St. Vincent, Swaziland.
  12. Orange-Red: Barbados, Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika.

The scans below show these colours as used on this design:

Deep blue 1st design 1949 UPU

Deep blue

Deep dull ultramarine 1st design 1949 UPU issue 

Deep dull ultramarine

Slate violet 1st design 1949 UPU

Slate violet

Blue black 1st design 1949 UPU

Blue black

Orange 1st design 1949 UPU issue

Orange

Deep magenta 1st design 1949 UPU issue

Deep magenta

Deep purple 1st design 1949 UPU

Deep purple

Deep bright carmine 1st design 1949 UPU

Deep bright carmine

Deep blue green 1st design 1949 UPU issue

Deep blue green

Deep red brown 1st design 1949 UPU issue

Deep red brown

Dull Ultramarine - 1st design 1949 UPU Issue

Dull ultramarine

Orange red 1st design 1949 UPU issue

Orange red

    The Second Value Steamship and Hemispheres Design

    1. Deep Chocolate - Dominica, Montserrat, North Borneo.
    2. Greenish Black - Gilbert & Ellice Islands.
    3. Orange - Antigua, Gold Coast, St. Lucia, Virgin Islands.
    4. Scarlet - Aden, Aden - Kathiri State of Seiyun, Aden - Qu'aiti State of Shihr & Mukalla, Cyprus, Falkland Islands Dependencies, Hong Kong, St. Kitts-Nevis.
    5. Deep Reddish Lilac - St. Vincent, Seychelles.
    6. Deep Brown Olive - Grenada, Tonga.
    7. Very Deep Turquoise Blue - Nyasaland.
    8. Dark Blue - Ascension, Bahamas, Barbados, Basutoland, Bechuanaland Protectorate, Bermuda, British Guiana, British Honduras, British Solomon Islands, Brunei, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gibraltar, Kenya, Uganda & Tanganyika, Malaya - Johore, Malaya - Kedah, Malaya - Kelantan, Malaya - Malacca, Malaya - Negri Sembilan, Malaya - Pahang, Malaya - Penang, Malaya - Perak, Malaya - Perlis, Malaya - Selangor, Malaya - Singapore, Malaya - Trengganu, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, Northern Rhodesia, Pitcairn Islands, St. Helena, Sarawak, Sierra Leone, Somaliland Protectorate, Swaziland, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Zanzibar.
    9. Deep Grey Green - Jamaica.
    10. Slate Green - Southern Rhodesia.

    The scans below show the colours as used on this design:

    Deep chocolate 2nd design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep chocolate

    Greenish black 2nd design 1949 UPU issue

    Greenish black

    Orange 2nd design 1949 UPU issue

    Orange

    Scarlet 2nd design 1949 UPU Issue

    Scarlet

    Deep reddish lilac 2nd design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep reddish lilac

    Deep brown olive 2nd design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep brown olive

    Very deep turquoise blue 2nd design 1949 UPU Issue

    Very deep turquoise blue

    Dark blue 2nd design 1949 UPU Issue

    Dark blue

    Deep grey green 2nd design 1949 UPU Issue

    Deep grey green

    Slate green 2nd design 1949 UPU Issue

    Slate green

    The Third Value Mercury, Letters and Globe Design

    1. Slate - Barbados, Kenya, Uganda & Tanganyika, Northern Rhodesia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone.
    2. Orange - Aden, Aden - Kathiri State of Seiyun, Aden - Qu'Aiti State of Shihr & Mukalla, Basutoland, British Guiana, Malaya - Johore, Malaya - Kedah, Malaya - Kelantan, Malaya - Malacca, Malaya - Negri Sembilan, Malaya - Pahang, Malaya - Penang, Malaya - Perak, Malaya - Perlis, Malaya - Selangor, Malaya - Singapore, Malaya - Trengganu.
    3. Deep Reddish Lilac - Antigua, Bermuda, Dominica, Gibraltar, Mauritius, Montserrat, Nigeria, Nyasaland, Somaliland Protectorate, Trinidad & Tobago.
    4. Prussian Blue - Bahamas.
    5. Deep Blue - Cyprus, Falkland Islands Dependencies, Gilbert & Ellice Islands, Gold Coast, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Southern Rhodesia.
    6. Deep Bright Reddish Purple - Bechuanaland Protectorate, Brunei, Gambia, Grenada, Leeward Islands, St. Kitts Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Swaziland, Virgin Islands, Zanzibar.
    7. Deep Grey Olive - Ascension, Cayman Islands, St. Helena.
    8. Deep Bluish Green - British Solomon Islands, Falkland Islands, Pitcairn Islands, Sarawak. 
    9. Indian Red - North Borneo.
    10. Chocolate - British Honduras, Turks & Caicos.
    11. Carmine-Red - Fiji, Malta, Tonga. 

    The scans below show these colours as used on this design:

    Slate 3rd design 1949 UPU issue

    Slate

    Orange 3rd design 1949 UPU issue

    Orange

    Deep reddish lilac 3rd design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep reddish lilac

    Prussian Blue 3rd design 1949 UPU issue

    Prussian blue

    Deep blue 3rd design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep blue

    Deep bright reddish purple 3rd design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep bright reddish purple

    Deep grey olive 3rd design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep grey olive

    Deep bluish green 1949 UPU issue

    Deep bluish green 

    Indian red 3rd design 1949 UPU issue

    Indian red

    Chocolate 3rd design 1949 UPU Issue

    Chocolate

    Carmine red 3rd design 1949 UPU issue

    Carmine red

    The Fourth Value - UPU Emblem Design

    1. Carmine - Bahamas
    2. Deep Blue Green -  Bermuda, British Guiana, Gibraltar, Gold Coast, Leeward Islands, St. Kitts Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Zanzibar.
    3. Blue Black - Ascension, Brunei, British Solomon Islands, Malaya - Johore, Malaya - Kedah, Malaya - Kelantan, Malaya - Malacca, Malaya - Negri Sembilan, Malaya - Pahang, Malaya - Penang, Malaya - Perak, Malaya - Perlis, Malaya - Selangor, Malaya - Singapore, Malaya - Trengganu, Malta.
    4. Red-Brown - Antigua, Basutoland, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Kenya, Uganda & Tanganyika, Tonga.
    5. Dull Ultramarine - Aden, Aden - Kathiri State of Seiyun, Aden - Qu'aiti State of Shihr & Mukalla, British Honduras, Fiji, Gilbert & Ellice Islands, North Borneo.
    6. Brownish Yellow Olive - Barbados, Bechuanaland Protectorate, Dominica, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands.
    7. Orange-Red - Falkland Islands Dependencies, New Hebrides, Northern Rhodesia, Somaliland Protectorate.
    8. Slate Violet - Gambia, New Hebrides, Sarawak.
    9. Deep Purple - Cyprus, Jamaica, Montserrat, New Hebrides, Pitcairn Islands.
    10. Deep Violet Blue - New Hebrides, Nyasaland.
    11. Agate - Mauritius.
    12. Deep Magenta - Hong Kong. 

    The scans below show these colours as used on this design:

    Carmine 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Carmine

    Deep blue green 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep blue green

    Blue black 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Blue black

    Red-brown 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Red brown

    Dull ultramarine 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Dull ultramarine

    Brownish yellow olive 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Brownish yellow olive

    Orange red 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Orange red

    Slate violet 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Slate violet

    Deep purple 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep purple

    Deep violet blue 4th design 1949 UPU Issue

    Deep violet blue

    Agate 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Agate

    Deep Magenta 4th design 1949 UPU issue

    Deep magenta

     Looking at the above, there are several curious observations that emerge. Firstly, most of the four designs employed roughly the same number of different colours to print all the stamps. The design showing the least amount of colour variation is the second one, with 10 different colours, while the first and fourth designs both used 12 different colours. Secondly most of the colours used were not used very much - with many being used to print the stamps of just 1-3 colonies, while each of the designs had a dominant colour that was used for the largest number of colonies:

    • First design - deep purple - used for 14 colonies/states.
    • Second design - dark blue - used for 40 colonies/states.
    • Third design - orange - used for 17 colonies/states.
    • Fourth design - blue-black - used for 16 colonies/states.

    An obvious question that arises is why were a few colours used so often to the exclusion of the others. Unfortunately the uniformity that arose from what in my opinion was the over-use of the above colours, did much to diminish the overall appeal of the set, which could have been greater if the other colours were used more often. 

     Now that we have the basic colour groups identified, we can start to look for shade variations within those groups. However, that is a topic I will have to deal with in a future edition of this post, after I have had an opportunity to study my stamps a little more thoroughly. 

    Next article Design Type Differences on the 1949 UPU Issue Common Designs

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