Great Britain - E.F.O.s

Errors, Freaks and Oddities

Many of the images link to a page with a full sized copy.

Here's some of the best (or worst) misperfs I've found.

Striking Misperfed 1d's

3 Misperfed Penny Reds
Sheet slippage and poor lighting conditions plagued the perforating process.

Striking Misperfed 2d's

3 Misperfed Tuppenny Blue
Plate 4 example, also showing
plate corrosion in "K" of "IK".

Plate 5, Large Crown, Perf. 14
Plate 8 and Plate 14 examples of lower sheet slippage.

1881 - 1d Lilac - 16 Dots

An example of a bisect of the one-penny value to pay the 1/2d rate, probably an unauthorized usage. That it went through the London Southwest District Office and was not stopped or surcharged seems unusual.

I'd appreciate comments if anyone knows about bisects being authorized at the time of this use.

Double Impression, probably from a 'kiss' of the plate, possibly happening as the sheet was either being positioned, or removed. The lower left is nearly normal, and the doubling increases towards the upper right.

1872 - 6d - Flawed Plate Numbers

Little mention is made in any of the reference works about this series of flaws. In Plate 11, the impression "NF" has what appears to be 'hooks' hanging off the serifs of the "1"s. There is also mention in an earlier work that "NE" has "distorted or doubled plate numbers" (Beaumont & Adams). While "NF" is curently listed by Gibbons, "NE" is not and I've not yet seen a copy. Note also the break in the bottom frame line. Plate 12 also has the same type of problem with at least two impressions. These are from a mint block of 4. Note the unusual appearance of the perforations. De La Rue used a 'comb' perforator, not a 'line' perforation system. In addition the block should have a wing margin at the left edge!

1912 - 1d - Mis-cut Mill Sheet

While most reference works and catalogues refer to this item as having a "misplaced watermark", the problem is really that the sheet was mis-cut at the mill resulting in the impressing of the stamps over what would normally be the selvedge of the sheet. You can see the 'single barbed arrows' indicating where the sheet was to have been trimmed. They are positioned (as viewed here) at the top of the marginal rule.

A sheet such as this would also provide several copies without a watermark.

1912 - 1/2d "No Cross" Flaw

No Cross on Crown

Presumed to be from 'short rocking in" of the transfer roller several impressions of the 1/2d and the 1d show this flaw.

Many other examples show a partial cross or extremely weak one. Only a completely void top rates the full value as listed in the catalogues.

"PENCF" Flaw

One of the loveliest flaws - to me anyway - is the "PENCF" of the King George V Mackennals. This flaw appears on two different plates, yet in exactly the same position: Row 15, Impression 12 (what would have been "OL" in the Check Letters). The plates were numbered 12 and 29. Both flaws were later repaired, and if the selvedge is present it is possible to 'prove' the plate by the thickness of the marginal rule.

The two items displayed by clicking on the small detail above, were scanned at the same time, illustrating the range of colors in this issue, partly due to World War I and the loss of German printing dyes. The later printing and more common shade for the variety, Chestnut ( 1921 - Plate 29? ) is on the top.