Examining the Plate number 77

The Plate number on the 1858-79 issue

There is no doubt that all impressions produced from a steel roller on a steel plate must be identical in every respect unless the plate is worn or inking vagaries apply. Every printed plate number MUST be identical in its shape and position to the next.

There is also absolutely no excuse for a pristine plate, such as Plate 77, a plate that only printed a handful of sheets, to print plate numbers that are anything other than clear and IDENTICAL every time.

There are no “acceptable tolerances” in this case as far as the shape and position of the number ‘7’ is concerned.

This page illustrates that major differences between the 7s from the accepted Plate 77 stamps do exist. These differences can not exist if the impressions were produced from one, the Plate 77, roller.

For the sake of interest this page will also provide evidence that the identical ‘faulty’ impressions of the plate number ‘8’ in ’81’, one of the early plates documented to have been repaired in 1868, were repaired in 1865.

Illustrated below is an image of a block of Plate 90 stamps from this issue that clearly demonstrates the fact that the plate numbers are identical.


1d red plate 90 - Copy



Examining the shape and position of the figure ’77’


In his article in the July-August 2015 issue of The London Philatelist Christopher Harman RDP Hon FRPSL on behalf of the Expert Committee illustrates both the Tapling stamp BA and the Royal stamp AB in original size and a modest enlargement of the panels with the plate numbers, however he fails to focus and properly enlarge the plate number itself.

This fundamental omission is unacceptable as a close study of the plate numbers on these two stamps is the prime interest in this case and the only point of concern as it reveals details which any serious philatelist must study and question.

Failure to illustrate any of the other accepted Plate 77 stamps which are limited to only six accepted examples is also not what one would expect from what is intended to be a detailed study.

Illustrated below are enlarged images of the ‘7’ on the right side and left side panels on the accepted ‘Plate 77’ stamps.

The fact that there are visible differences between the 7s must cast doubt in the mind of every serious philatelist who has an interest as to the way that these iconic stamps were produced
Added to this the fact that there are serious irregularities in the Border lattice-work as also illustrated on this site, one must now also question their origin.

Please take the time to examine the shape and the position of the figure ‘7’ very carefully.



Publication1 LHS


Publication1 RHS

Illustrated below are images of the other two accepted Plate 77 stamps PI and LL.

It is unfortunate that sharp impressions of these stamps are not to hand. However, for the sake of completion, a focus on the 7s is illustrated which again indicates that these two stamps, as with the others illustrated above, again do show anomalies in the shape and position of the 7s.




Repairs to Plate 81 impressions

Evidence exists that the early plates were repaired well before the documented repair date of 1868 in the Perkins Bacon record books

Below is an image of a Plate 81 impression from stamp PH that would give the reader an indication of these repairs.

Full illustrated details can be found under the link “The Important Documented repair Date of ‘1868’” on this site

81 close ups