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Lot 264 Great Britain SG#HP31-HP33 5/- Black on Terracotta 1967-1971 Pre-Decimal Machin Heads Issue, Three Complete Booklets From October & December 1969 and February 1970, Various Fluorescence Levels For Covers and Interleaving Pages Various Covers VFNH

Lot 264 Great Britain SG#HP31-HP33 5/- Black on Terracotta 1967-1971 Pre-Decimal Machin Heads Issue, Three Complete Booklets From October & December 1969 and February 1970, Various Fluorescence Levels For Covers and Interleaving Pages Various Covers VFNH

A specialized group of three examples of this 5/ booklet from the 1967-1971 Pre-Decimal Machin Head Issue. The contents have the following characteristics:

Paper type: Vertical wove paper, chalk surfaced and giving a hibrite reaction on the front, and a high fluorescent flecked reaction under UV on the back (HB/HF-fl).

Printing method: Photogravure

Rate page features: October 1969, December 1969 and February 1970 on page.

Printer: Harrison and Sons

Perforation or die cut: 15 x 14 comb (Type I)

Stamp colours: 5d indigo blue.

Gum Type: smooth cream PVA with an eggshell sheen

Head Type: Head B

Phosphor: 2 side bands, clearly visible

The covers display the following characteristics:

Cover fluorescence: Dull or low fluorescent on front and back

Cover seal type: unsealed

Cover design: Mompesson House and Cumberland Terrace

Cover binding type: stitched with black thread

Interleaving inside? Yes, 5 double sided pages of text, giving different fluorescent reactions under UV as follows:

  • Page 1 - low, medium or high fluorescent
  • Page 2 - low, medium or high fluorescent
  • Page 3 - dull, low, or medium fluorescent
  • Page 4 - low, medium or high fluorescent
  • Page 5 - low or medium fluorescent

Cover Colours: Teracotta with black printing

Counting mark on cover?: On one booklet

The Gibbons catalogue value for F-65 mint examples of these booklets is £7. This translates to $11.90. The booklets offered here grade between 72 and 77 as follows:


Cover freshness: 10/10

Centering of the panes: 45/70 and 50/70 (average of both panes)

Condition of cover edges: 5/5

Freshness of the panes: 5/5

Absence of visible cover flaws or stains: 5/5

Condition of interleaving and contents: 3/5 (perfs trimmed on two edges of one pane) or 5/5 (good perfs all around)

The white chalk-coated papers of the panes do exhibit variations under long-wave ultraviolet light. Generally they vary from high fluorescent to hibrite. These differences can be seen from the front of the stamps, but are most dramatic when viewed from the back of the stamps. The attached scan shows just how dramatic these differences can be.

In addition to visible and noticeable variations in colour shades in normal light, many of the values in the set show clear differences in the composition of the printing ink when viewed under UV light, with some stamps appearing to be a darker version of their issued colour under UV, some appearing to be a much lighter colour, and others appearing to be a different colour entirely.

The bust of the Queen varies between printings also. Head A has a relatively flat bottom to the bust, whereas Head B has an extra curve added at the base that makes it look rounded. These two types are found on most of the values, though a few are only found with Head C, which is similar to Head B, but with a more three dimensional effect.

In addition to the listed gum differences of PVA and gum Arabic, the PVA gum can also be found in smooth and streaky versions.

The perforators used also vary, and the differences lie in whether the vertical perforations extend into the selvage:

  • Type I - vertical perforations do not extend into the selvage, so that selvage is fully imperforate at the vertical sides.
  • Type I(1/2v) - as above, but one corner of the selvage is skimmed off.
  • Type AP - Side perfs extend all the way through the selvage, but the middle row of perforations do not.
  • Type P - all perforations extend all the way through the selvage.

Finally the phosphor bands can be found in different strengths ranging from very obvious to the naked eye to almost invisible to the naked eye. Also, there are the listed variations in band orientation, such as 2 side bands, one centre band, 1 side band, etc.

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