Two Pence Bell Design
With Mixed Perforations 12 and 13

New Discovery – posted November 2005

Only three copies of the Two Pence Bell design with mixed or compound perforations have been recorded. The example shown is a fourth example, which has not previously been documented. It is a most interesting stamp in several ways.

This stamp (sg178d) was initially perforated 13 but both vertical lines of perforations were too far to the right. The perforations along the right side created a larger than usual margin which was acceptable to postal officials, but the perforations along the left side cut severely into the stamp design. As a result, the sheet did not pass inspection, and it was set aside for perforation repairs before issue.

The repairs were done on the perforation 12 machine, thereby creating a mixed perforation variety. As well, the original line of perforations has an official repair strip pasted over it. The repair strip reinforced the paper where the original perforations were placed, making it more likely that the stamp would separate from the sheet along the new line of perforations, and it also made the misplaced perforation holes less visible.

This practice of the postal officials in Victoria to glue a narrow repair strip onto the backside of the stamp to cover the original line of perforations is seen frequently in stamps from the turn of the century, but this is the earliest example of such a repair I have found, and I cannot find documentation of any example that pre-dates this one.

All mixed perforation varieties emanating from Victoria are rare and this might be the earliest example known to demonstrate the practice of applying an official repair strip in such examples.


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