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An Introduction to the Silver Jubilee Stamp Booklets of 1935
IntroductionThe stamps used in the Silver Jubilee booklets were, because of their double size, printed in a unique sheet arrangement of four blocks spread over the two halves of the printing cylinder. Each pane of the primary sheet had the stamp images arranged in two blocks.
On the left hand - or no stop - pane, the first block was 20x4 stamps, with the sheet margin at left and the two left hand stamp columns upright. The sheet margin was cut down to leave enough space for binding the panes into the books. The next two columns were inverted with a double width binding margin at right, with the final block of 20x2 stamp images upright.
The right hand - or stop - pane of the primary sheet had a mirror arrangement of the no stop pane, in that the first block of stamp images was 20x2 with the images inverted and a double width binding margin at right, followed by a further block of 20x4 stamp images arranged so as to present the first two columns upright, the final two columns inverted with a binding margin at right, formed from the cut-down outer sheet margin.
The cylinder numbers appeared, as normal, in the left-hand margin of each pane of the primary sheet but, because the left margin of the stop half of the primary sheet was removed prior to the four-stamp panes being made into books, only cylinder numbers from the no stop panes appeared in the issued booklets.
The corner stamp at each of the four corners of both panes of the primary sheet had a vertical line running the full height of the stamp, in the margin. Because the margin between the no stop and stop panes of the primary sheet was removed, only the stamps at the four outer corners of the primary sheet were issued with these lines. As they were used as cutting guides the lines were often completely removed, and examples on the issued stamps are therefore not easily found.
The outer margin on both sides of the primary sheet showed a square bracket opposite the gutter between rows 6/7, with the open side towards the stamps, thus: [ in the left margin, and ] in the right margin. A further pair was placed in the outer margins opposite the gutter between rows 14/15 for the same purpose, but only the lower pair was punched. These perforation guides were provided so that the holes needed to fit over lugs on the perforating machinery to propel the sheet forward between each beat of the perforating head could be seen to be in the correct position. The ends of the upper pair can sometimes be found on the issued booklet panes, showing as short horizontal lines in the binding margin. The hole punched through the lower pair of guides appears as a quarter circle on the issued panes.
An illustration of the arrangements detailed above is provided on page 2.