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Control numbers
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Author:  boblynn [ Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:32 am ]
Post subject:  Control numbers

I know nothing about KGV - my interest is prestamp- but a friend has asked me the following questions re control numbers and I would much appreciate help in answering -
1 why were the control numbers on SG 351-396 on the left side of the panes ( position R10/2) except for the penny values (position R10/12)?
2 why was only the 6d value printed by Somerset House instead of the usual Harrisons? Also - is there a reason they chose a serif font for the control number instead of the usual sans- serif font?
Many thanks
Bob Lynn

Author:  stephen bainbridge [ Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Control numbers

hello bob. a very interesting and thought provoking question. looking further back to the Edward vii issues Harrison Printers took over the printing contract from Somerset House during 1911. the low value stamps had the same control positions as the 1912 - 1924 issues. it may well be that Harrisons adopted this practice of control positioning purely as their own way of printing sheets of stamps?. indeed, this postioning was used throughout their entire printing contracts including the modern machine series. again, the same could be said for the Somerset House printings. the ' full stop ' may have been a way of visibly identifying their own printings. Harrison once again resumed their contract for the provisional printings of the 6d.value in 1934 where once again, the control was positioned under row 20/2. perhaps we shall never know for sure but until someone comes up with a different answer, this is my own line of reasoning based on years of studying of the Typograph issues. I hope this helps?. steve.

Author:  mozzerb [ Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Control numbers

Regarding the "why did SH continue to print the 6d?" question, I'm not a GV expert either, but to the best of my knowledge, this was a consequence of the fact that the 6d was heavily used for fiscal purposes (the "revenue" part of the "Postage & Revenue" inscription) and so it was especially important that it was printed in ink that would make attempts to remove pen cancellations obvious.

I'm not sure if SH kept printing of the 6d in order to keep tight control or simply because Harrisons couldn't do what was required, but as I understand it the latter reason was why there was no GV photogravure 6d -- they did not have a suitable ink. The problem must have been solved (or discounted) by 1939 when the George VI 6d was issued.

Author:  stephen bainbridge [ Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Somerset House Controls

the specialised four kings volume 2 page 155 gives one the answer as to why the 6d. value was never issued. during February 1935 production of this stamp commenced but Harrisons were unable to obtain a satisfactory impressions from the cylinders in ' doubly fugitive ' ink required for this denomination. thus, no registration sheet was approved. production was abandoned in May 1936 after a staggering 21,484 of 240 had been printed!. presumably at Harrisons cost. subsequently, all were destroyed except for reference examples. during 1934, Harrisons were printing the new Photogravure stamps having no 6d. value the Typograph 6d. values life was extended and printed by Harrisons. the final series of control printings for the 6d. value were under A37, B37 ( scarce ) C38 and D38 respectively. the 6d. value was used until stocks ran out in 1939. in summary, from the events described it would be logical to assume that Somerset House did require stamps that were anti - fraudulent. a note on control positioning, the initial position for the Photogravure stamps was the same as for the recess printed stamps. their followed two more positions these being in the left margin opposite Row 19 stamp 1 and later printing formats opposite Row 18 stamp 1. This cylinder position is still in use today.

Author:  boblynn [ Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Control numbers

thank you so much everyone, for the very useful replies!

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