This blog is devoted to the 2nd Queensland sideface stamps with the Queen's head in a coloured oval (1882-1895). It is a work in progress and aims for comprehensiveness. The stamps come from my and other collections, Ebay, and online auction catalogues. Use the pages, labels or the search function to search the blog.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Queensland 2nd Sideface Reglet flaws (Frame Flaws)

The 2nd sideface issues exhibit a number of frame flaws.

Where there are additional lines or ink marks outside the frame these can be caused by reglet flaws or "ink squeeze". They are not compartment lines, which only occur on prints from plates made by the Perkins Die and Mill process, namely the Australian 1914 1d. and the New Zealand 1909 Dominion 1d.

A "reglet flaw" is a line appearing in colour in the margin of the stamp and caused by the reglet working up to printing height, being inked, and depositing ink on the paper.

Reglet flaws can occur only in cases in which the printing base consists of several or many separately mounted electrotypes clamped together by pressure to make the form.

"Reglet" is the printer’s term for a strip of wooden furniture, or sometimes a strip of metal, for spacing; reglets are used between the individually mounted electrotypes to keep their subjects the required distance apart. Usually the reglets are below printing height, and should remain there throughout the printing, locked in position in the form by the pressure applied by printers’ furniture and quoins. 

So the electrotypes should be held tightly in the chase by means of wedges or reglets, thin wedges of wood that were normally hammered down below type height and therefore did not print. Sometimes however the stress on the chase during printing caused a reglet to rise and reach type height. It would then receive ink and print as a thick line.

Reglet flaws are only found on the outside of electrotypes. Usually the flaws produced by a reglet have individual characteristics and this may assist in plating. However, when a reglet flaw occurs, it does so after the form has been at press for some time. As a result, identically positioned stamps from the same printing may be found without and with a reglet flaw, and sometimes with a flaw that progressively increases in length.

"Ink squeeze" is the term used by printers to designate small accumulations of excessive ink along the edges of a line caused by the ink roller depositing ink not only on the surface but also slightly over the edge of each relief line or area on the printing base.

Ken Scudder in Queensland Postage Stamps 1879 - 1912, p. 185, has a different take, describing these lines as follows:

"These lines originate from the lead moulds not having been cleaned up. In stamping the lead moulds fine amounts of lead are squeezed out. These would normally be cleaned off before the moulds were placed in the electroplating bath. This does not appear to have occurred to many of the moulds from which the plate electros were produced. Neither would it seem were some of the resulting electros cleaned up thus leaving the squeezes to print."

If Scudder is correct then these lines should be plateable. I would imagine that both types of ink squeezes occurred.

Whatever the reason, these are not caused by damage to the plate or the stamp.

Examples can be found for the various issues here:

1 Shilling

2 shilling

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