Four Pence Laureate With Compound Perforations 13x13x12x13

New Discovery – posted January 2005

The first issues of the 4d Laureate were all perforated 12. The gauge on this early machine was somewhat erratic along the line of pins, but the essential characteristic is that it NEVER EXCEEDED gauge 12.

By October 1864, a new perforation machine was introduced that gauged 13. Once again, the gauge is a bit erratic, gauging from 12.3 to 13, depending on the location along the row of perforating pins.

During the summer of 1865, there were paper shortages that forced the post office to use Tasmanian paper watermarked with a double lined 4. The first printing on this paper appeared in August 1865, in dull reddish-rose. Some of this issue was perforated 12 on the repaired gauge 12 machine, and some of the issue was perforated 13 using the new machine. Still others, were perforated 12 horizontally and perf 13 vertically, although these are quite scarce.

This unique example, discovered in early 2003, was perforated along the bottom on the 12 gauge machine, and along both sides and the top on the gauge 13 machine. A May 2003 RPSV certificate accompanies this, stating it is genuine.

A close examination of the scan will reveal that the perforation holes along the bottom 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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