Plate Errors Created During Transfer


As part of the preparation of the printing plate, it was first marked with a light grid to denote the positioning of the stamps. Alignment with this grid was not always perfect. In this strip it is easy to see that the roller and the plate were not set square, as each impression is rotated clockwise.

Plate 26


If the rocking in of the impression was rushed, a larger than normal bulge of metal would be pushed ahead of the transfer roller. In effect the metal 'flowed' forward, extending the design in the direction of the rocking. It appears on the finished stamp as a thicker top/bottom border extending above/below the lines of the corner squares. This is the opposite of a 'short transfer' in which the full extension of the design is not impressed upon the plate.

Plate 19
Plate 33
Plate 52


During the transfer of the impression, if the image was placed too low or too high, it would be erased by burnishing the area, and a second or 'Fresh Entry' made. The corrections are noted by the incomplete erasure of the original. The portions of the original design which were not obliterated show as markings in the margins or the clear areas of the design. In this copy from Plate 15, the original was placed too low.

Note the markings in the 'Stars' and the characteristic open N.E. top.
Parts of the shading forming "ONE" can be seen below the design.


Plate 19 - VGL in NE
When the mis-alignment was not sufficently in error to require a Fresh Entry, the final impression would often include a portion of the light 'Guide-Line' markings. Normally these lines would be burnished out in the finishing of the plate. When the lines fall within the design they could not be erased without distorting or damaging the impression and were left. Usually vertical Guide-Lines occur on the right side of the image, and horizontal Guide-Lines occur at the bottom. Exceptions are known, particularily with the H.G.L.s.

<- Plate 27
Note the extended Guide Line through the S.E. square.
Plate 19 - VGL in SE
Plate 42 - HGL through the top of "ONE PENNY"




Other Examples
G.B. Stamps
07/17/2003