The ½ d Great Britain Stamp
The ½ penny overprint stamp originates from the line-engraved halfpenny issue of 1870. From the fifteen plates that were produced for the Great Britain issue, a substantial number was used in Cyprus during the 1878-1880 period when the Island was initially taken over by the British Government. When the decision was taken to use stamps with the word “CYPRUS” on them and there was no time to print ones, the six values comprising the overprinted issue were used and thus overprinted. For the ½ penny, plates 12, 15 and 19 were used, the later of which being the rarest with only two sheets having been overprinted.
The line engraved ½d postage stamp of 1870 is the predecessors of the first Cyprus stamp which was part of the 1880 overprinted issue. The stamp was chosen for the fact that it was useful in order to make up the various rates as well as by itself it could be used as either a postcard rate locally or for soldiers letters. The die proof, printed in black on India paper, after strengthening and hardening
An 1871 Ormond Hill die proof on thin yellowish white paper in dull lilac rose, close to the final colour of the actual stamp.
Great Britain imprimaturs for plates 12, 15 & 19
Great Britain issued stamps for plates 12, 15 & 19
Cyprus overprinted of the Great Britain stamps