Wednesday 9 September 2020

Queen: Another startling perforation error.

Back in July I reported on a strange shift of rouletting and iridescent printing on the definitive
pane from the Music Giants IV: Queen prestige stamp book.  No others have been reported, but it would be expected that more exist, so I urge you to check your booklets.

Could anything be more surprising than that?  Well yes, and on a product that many collectors don't pay any attention to.

As well as the two Collector Sheets (aka Smilers or Generic) Royal Mail produced two 'Fan Sheets' one featuring four copies of the 'A Night at the Opera' stamp and the other the 'Album Covers Collection' featuring all eight gummed stamps in one sheet, not se-tenant, but individually separated.

Although not se-tenant, one would expect that these stamps would all be perforated in one strike of the perforator.  Whether web-printed and cut, or sheet-printed, the most efficient way of perforating is to have all the holes punched at once, just as would happen on a miniature sheet of se-tenant stamps.

So how to explain this:

Not immediately obvious from the front, it stands out when the sheet is turned over!  IF the perforations are all struck at once the only way this single error could occur is for the perforations for part of the sheet to be still under the perforator when the second strike occurs.  The perforations for the 'News of the World' stamp (the green one at the top right) would hit the lower left of the sheet - but even then, the perforations for the 'Night at the Opera' stamp to its left would clip the sheet, due to the gap between the stamps being less than the gap between the erroneous perforation and the edge of the sheet.

So has anybody any other suggestions?

This was first reported to me via Twitter, by @BetterPhilately who mostly covers the stamps of India and the USA on the blog   Take a look, and take a wider look on Twitter and other social media.

Although many readers of this blog collect only GB stamps - and many of them seem to collect only Machins - there's a philatelic world out there to explore, and you'd be surprised how much people are willing to share their collections and knowledge.


  1. Just rechecked my fan sheets and all are perfect with no additional perforations, maybe there are a few with extra perforations - A whole new type of "error" to collect if it takes your fancy!

  2. As Queen Fan Sheet number 1311 displays this perforation error, I would assume that sheets 1310 & 1312 are the best bet to find a similar error.
    Unfortunately, I have sheet 2065 so no chance for me!

  3. Perforating each stamp separately may initially seem illogical, but given the small print run creating a new perforation comb would probably be too expensive or time consuming. It would've been cheaper to take a comb used for the prestige booklet panes, remove some of the sides, and then use this. I have told this is what is done with the combs used by Australia Post, which come from Germany, and suspect Cartor would use similar combs. I agree that sheets with similar numbers would probably exhibit the same error as these would've been perforated in bundles.


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