Good, wrong or totally wrong part 2

In Newsletter 75, March 2006, I reported that three different types of errors can be distinguished: design errors, typographical errors and incorrect use in exhibitions. The first two types of error occur during the manufacturing of the stamps, the third by its use. However, there is one type of error that has not been mentioned in the article: perforation and cutting errors.
More about that later, first some more about misprints. And in particular about color, or rather the lack thereof. Where in the previous article extra ink drops or smudges on stamps have been discussed, here stamps which are completely lacking in one color get the attention. Best example is the stamp with missing helmet from Israel.

Scooter driver Israel with missing helmet

Not only stamps can miss a color, also postal stationery can suffer from printing errors. Compare the image of this Thai postcard with the card in your collection, and you'll immediately see that the background color of the vehicle is missing.

Post card Thailand with missing background color

Another type of error that occurs in printing, is a paper fold. During printing, the printing sheet can get folded. If the sheet is smoothed later, part is unprinted or the print shifted.

Express stamp USA with paper fold

Next there are perforation and cutting errors. This type of error occurs during the perforation in case of stamps, or the cutting of postal stationery. In general: when individual pieces are made from printed sheets.
In rare cases perforation faults are created deliberately. A good example is the so-called Farouk perforation. During the reign of King Farouk of Egypt, from 1936 to 1952, it was customary for the manufacturer to make one or two sheets of each stamp with oblique perforation for his own collection.

Express stamp Egypt with deliberately wrong perforation

In most cases perforation errors occur by chance and are only to be found in a few stamps or sheets in which the perforation is totally or partly missing, or in the wrong place, through the stamp image.

Express stamp USA with perforation error
Stamp USA with perforation error

Examples of this last category are the stamps of the USA (above) or Iran (below).

Stamps Iran with perforation error

But as I said, sometimes a perforation is missing totally or in part. Stamps where the perforation is completely absent, may be confused with non-perforated issues or color tests, although the latter often have colors that differ from the final versions. Partially missing perforation is clearly recognizable.

Sheet Rumania with missing perforation
Perforation below the stamps is missing

On the Russian stamp below on the left, the perforation on the left side is missing. To make that appendices are inextricably linked to the stamp the perforation between the two is sometimes deliberately omitted. A good example is the non-issued stamp from 1942 of Italy, with the Moto Guzzi and the propaganda slogan "Victory is ours".

Russian stap with missing perforation on the left
Stamp with tab from Italy with omitted perforation

Stamps with completely lacking perforation (and not being a non-perforated issue) are harder to find. Toothless specimens which occur during the design and proof printing prior to the actual production of the stamps, such as design proofs on actual stamp size, color proofs, perforation proofs, test paper, etc. are part of many collections.

Die-proof Niger
'die-proof’ with autograph of the designer and embossed imprint of the printer (lower left corner)

"Approved" design Bangladesh
Of this approved design only around 10 species exist

Examples of color proofs:

Dieproof Poland

Dieproof Camerun Camerun: dieproof blue in combination with red. Issue: multicolored 

  <-- Poland: dieproof brown. Issue: dark sienna

Cutting errors arise when stamps or cards, instead of being perforated, are cut to separate them. This occurs in stamps that are cut from a sheet for use in stamp booklets, but also in postal stationery cut from a sheet of eight as shown below.

Meghdoot card India with cutting error

Normal Meghdoot card India
On the normal card the * is on the left


Nico Helling


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