Leith has the distinction of having the earliest of all Scottish Experimentals and had two basic Types although both appeared to have been subsequently recut to produce other Types with noticeable differences. Types 3 and 4 are very similar to the early Edinburgh Experimental marks.

Type 1


Characteristics: One line top and bottom and three lines separating the Town name and the date; note only the month and year are shown which therefore can produce problems for me to be precise as to EKD/LKD

Proofed: June 1855

EKD: 21st July 1855 (SPG state having seen 18th July 1855)

LKD: 22nd October 1855

Months of Use:

1855 5 14 7 5


Known Codes: None

Scarcity Rating: F (Rare)

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Type 2

wpaa44a149_0fCharacteristics: As Type 1 but a Code space has been cut into the three lines between Town and date. Additionally the day of the month is now shown.

Proofed: 24th October 1855

EKD: 27th October 1855

LKD: 16th May 1856 (SPG state having seen 19th November 1856)

Months of Use:

1855 1 11 10
1856 5 9 12 10 5


Known Codes:

A E F M N X + *
8 10 1* 5 10 7 15 4


Scarcity Rating: E (Scarce)

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Type 3


wpa356430f_0fCharacteristics: This Type 3 seemed to have originated from an error by Kirkwood who produced a duplex which included the word ‘Paid’ instead of ‘Leith’ (top image). It seems that this was discovered immediately and the error was rectified that same day. Note the similarities of the two proofs: a) there is a minute break in the bottom short bar to the left of ‘221’, b) there is a break in the bottom short bar to the right of ‘221’ and c) if the bars below the bar immediately below ‘221’ are joined they rest very slightly above the dater circle (important when comparing with Type 4)

Proofed: 3rd May 1856

EKD: 19th May 1856

LKD: 22nd May 1856

Months of Use/Known Codes: Only two examples has been seen by me. One has Code E and the other is difficult to ascertain

Scarcity Rating: H (Very Few Recorded) – one of the rarest of these Experimental Postmarks but not to be confused with Type 4

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Type 4

wpcec820f9_0fCharacteristics: There was another ‘Leith Paid’ handstamp issued 2nd May 1856 (similar to type 3 above albeit a day earlier) and my original prognosis was that this Type 4 was a recut of that mark. I now do not believe this to be the case as a) the Proof Books evidence that the dater part of the ‘Leith Paid’ cancellation was ‘cut from the case’ and b) the ‘killer’ part had five short bars each side of ‘221’. My current view is that this Type 4 is a recut of Type 3 particularly bearing in mind that no Type 3 has been found past the Proof date of this Type.

The dates should differentiate between Type 3 and Type 4 but also in this Type 4 none of the ‘bar breaks’ are evident and also if you continue the broken bar immediately below the bar below ‘221’ then it would break into the dater circle (unlike Type 3).

I am happy to be shown evidence that I am wrong in my above assumption.

Proofed: 22nd May 1856

EKD: 24th May 1856 (SPG state having seen 20th May 1856 which is not impossible as Proof Book dates are not always reliable albeit that would conflict with this being a recut of Type 3)

LKD: 7th November 1857

Months of Use: During the period June – July 1857 examples in Blue are seen

1856 2 6 7 8 5 7 6 6
1857 7 7 3 3 5 6 8 8 7 8 1


Known Codes:

A E F M N X + *
12 15 8 4 15 16 20 10

Sometimes the + looks like only four points (see image) – are they the same?

Scarcity Rating: D (Not Common) and G (Very Rare) for examples in Blue

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