Ceylon: The Pence issues
By Kurt Kimmel RDP FRPSL & Patrick Pearson VRD RDP Hon FRPSL

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This book provides a comprehensive overview of the stamps of Ceylon, their uses, their printings and varieties. It also covers the postal stationery, being the earliest stationery issued by any of the British Colonies, as well as the revenue stamps, reprints and forgeries.

Patrick Pearson & Kurt Kimmel

Until the arrival of this important book, Ceylon had been one of the great classic countries of the world without a major book on its stamps and stationery. The early issues of Ceylon have been the subject of numerous articles in The London Philatelist and elsewhere by such eminent philatelists as Sir Edward Denny Bacon and Percy de Worms and a number of important collections have been formed and have been sold by the major auction houses worldwide.

This book was originally started in the 1980s when extensive research was undertaken by Patrick Pearson. However, it was not until more recently that the project reached completion with the input of Kurt Kimmel, whose collection today ranks as one of the finest collections ever formed of these great classics.

Based on the meticulous records kept by these two great philatelic students, this book covers in detail the die proofs; the plate proofs; the issued stamps; and the usages of the stamps. Throughout the book reference is made to the distinguishing features of various shades and varieties and to the relative rarity of each. The chapters are arranged by value and detail the evolution of each value from the first Perkins, Bacon imperforate issues; the clean cut, intermediate and rough perforations; the handover of the plates to De La Rue; and the De La Rue printings on the two different watermarked papers until the change of currency on 1st January 1872. Ceylon was one of the first countries of the British Empire to issue its own postal stationery and this has its own chapter. Other chapters are devoted to the unissued stamps overprinted "Service"; the fiscal issues printed by both Perkins, Bacon and De La Rue; fakes and forgeries; and the reprinted proofs and printers' samples.

Whilst this is not primarily a postal history book, the reasons for the issue of the stamps and the analysis of the rating of covers is given and there are chapters on the post office and postal markings; the postage rates; and the postal routes during this period.

The extensive appendices provide the source information for much that is in the book. These appendices cover the postal documents and other Ceylon government records; the printing and delivery records of Perkins, Bacon; and the De La Rue correspondence books and day books. Last, but by no means least, are the listings of major covers of these issues gleaned from the great collections; a bibliography; and extensive references to articles and auction catalogues over the last century.

Beautifully presented and profusely illustrated with some of the finest proofs, issued stamps and covers, this book will long be the definitive book on these important classic issues. It brings together the combined knowledge and collections of two great students of the issue into a book that will appeal both to the student of these issues and to those who enjoy looking at some of the finest classic stamps.

Patrick Pearson

The idea of a comprehensive book on classic Ceylon came originally from Patrick Pearson. He has formed a number of significant collections over his lifetime of collecting, including Western Australia, Iraq and Norfolk (England) postal history. However, his classic Ceylon (sold in 1983) was among the most important. Patrick has been well known on the international philatelic scene for several decades, having served on international exhibition juries, is a past president of The Royal Philatelic Society London, and has been a member of the Society’s expert committee for over 50 years, including serving for part of that time as its chairman. He is a signatory of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists and was most recently chairman of the RDP board of election. His collection of Ceylon won international acclaim, receiving gold medals on several occasions when shown competitively.

Kurt Kimmel

Kurt Kimmel has formed numerous collections covering different language areas of the world. Most recently his classic stamps of Venezuela won the Grand Prix International at Israel 2018 and his collections of Austrian Italy and classic Ceylon have all been awarded numerous medals up to large gold in international exhibitions. A Swiss national, he was a private banker and is the founder of the Kimmel Postal History Foundation in Kussnacht SZ and other charities. A national and international juror from 1965 until 2018, he was Swiss delegate to the FIP and served on several of the Commissions, including being president of the FIP postal history commission. An official expert on the classic stamps of Switzerland and the Austrian Empire, he has been a consulting expert to the AIEP. His international philatelic honours are numerous and include receiving the American Philatelic Society Luff Award; he was a signatory of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in Winchester in 2004.

Preface and Introduction


1 Genesis of the Issue

2 Six Pence

3 Order for the One Penny and Two Pence

4 One Penny

5 Two Pence

6 Order for the Five Pence, Ten Pence and One Shilling

7 Five Pence

8 Ten Pence

9 One Shilling

10 Half Penny

11 Order for the Four, Eight, Nine Pence, One Shilling and Nine Pence and Two Shillings

12 Four Pence

13 Eight Pence

14 Nine Pence

15 One Shilling & Nine Pence

16 Two Shillings

17 Three Pence

18 The surface printed One Penny

19 The envelopes

20 The ‘Service’ issue

21 The Fiscal issues

22 Post Offices and postal markings

23 Postage rates

24 Postal routes and packet mails

25 Specimens

26 Reprinted Proofs

27 Fakes and Forgeries


1 Postal Documents

2 Perkins Bacon printing and perforating records

3 Perkins Bacon Delivery Records

4 Ceylon Government memoranda

5 Summary of ‘included Perkins Bacon sheets’ with De La Rue deliveries

6 Printings on Saunders paper

7 De la Rue Printings 19 or 18 rows to the sheet

8 De La Rue Private Day Books

9 Correspondence Books

10 Perkins Bacon printing ink recipes

11 Ceylon Pence covers

12 Remainders and Finds

13 Bibliography and References


Table 2 Six Pence

Table 4 One Penny

Table 5 Two Pence

Table 7 Five Pence

Table 8 Ten Pence

Table 9 One Shilling

Table 10 Half Penny

Table 12 Four Pence

Table 13 Eight Pence

Table 14 Nine Pence

Table 15 One Shilling and Nine Pence

Table 16 Two Shillings

Table 17 Three Pence

Table 18 Surface Printed One Penny

Table 19 Rarities


Sample Pages