With Compound Perforations 12x13x13x13
Discovery – posted November 2005
The first perforating machine used in Victoria gauged
12 or less. All stamps were perforated on this machine
from its’ introduction in early 1859 until October
1864, when it was retired for repairs. Soon afterwards,
a new perforating machine was introduced which gauged
just under 13. It was used exclusively until August
1865 when it, too, broke down and needed repairs. Luckily
the perforation 12 machine had been rebuilt and it was
brought back into service, followed soon afterwards
by the repaired perforation 13 machine in October 1865.
From that point, until July 1866, both machines were
in use at the post office.
During this period, there were a couple of occasions
when some printings were perforated vertically on one
machine and perforated horizontally on the other, thus
creating perforation 12x13 and perforation 13x12 varieties.
Until the discovery of this stamp in 2004, no examples
had been recorded with compound perforations where only
one side had been perforated on one machine and the
other three sides with the other machine. These might
only occur in rare situations where a row or column
of perforations had been omitted and subsequently corrected
using the other machine.
The example shown is the Four Pence Laureate, in rose
red, watermarked single lined 4, (sg121var), which was
issued in December 1865, and is the first example to
be recorded with this variety. This stamp has recently
been granted an RPSV certificate stating it is genuine
compound perforation 12x13x13x13. It is a companion
to 2 other unique Laureate examples in the Trillium
collection, which have similar compound perforation
A close examination of the scan will reveal that the
perforation holes along the top are larger than those
on the other three sides. One of the characteristics
of the repaired perforation 12 machine is the larger
holes (and thus sharper teeth between perforation holes)
that are seen in this stamp.
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