Tuesday 10 March 2009

Robert Burns 250th Anniversary - miniature sheet phosphor positioning

Thanks to Alex Goodall for drawing my attention to the phosphor bands on this miniature sheet, which seems to affect most of the sheets seen so far. These very minor variations aren't easy to see on the FDC due to the brilliance of the white envelope, showing through the perforations. My own observations show a movement only to the left, not down as Alex reports:

* General - under x10 magnification and using long wave UV, the phosphor looks cross-hatched.
* A Man's A Man 1st class - RB clearly inset (by 0.5mm?) from perfs compared to normal copy.
* 2nd class Saltire Flag - CB appears to have slipped by <1mm as the phosphor has intruded more onto the 50p Thistle stamp. If you removed this stamp from the M/S it would clearly have a thin phosphor line top middle.
* The 1st class lion & 81p tartan have the LB shifted slightly left. If you look closely at the lions 'thumb' for want of a better description, the normal phophor stops just to right, while, on the shifted phosphor it stops neatly to the left! giving a slightly narrower LB. The effect on the 81p is the gap between two perfs.
* There is also a slightly but clear downward shift of the two bands down the 1st class lion and 81p, with more perf exposed but not quite getting to the stage of a phosphor bar.
* The RB of phosphor down the 1st class and 81p is clearly inset left (by 0.5mm?) giving a bar effect down both.
* The 1st class portrait has such poor phosphor any effect is lost, however, there appears to be a bright fluor effect just to the left of the perfs on the M/S itself.
This is the last Royal Mail special issue produced by Joh Enschede.

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