Great Britain: Telegraphs: 1876-81 £5 essay.
Printer: Thomas de La Rue & Co.
Large areas of the British Isles were without telegraph services in the 1860s. This led to a demand for the private telegraph companies to be nationalised and the telegraph network was taken over by the Post Office in 1870.
Special stamps were used to pay for telegraph services in a similar way to postage stamps. Exhibited is the unique original artwork or essay for the £5 stamp.
Trails for colour for the £5 were made, and one in gold was prepared but rejected as being too costly to print! It was issued in 1877 in orange, and in 1882 was issued as a postage stamp after the substitution of the word "POSTAGE" for the word "TELEGHAPHS" in the design.