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Gibraltar

The 6d also had three perforations and shades on the perf 13 printings. It is most remarkable for the extraordinary number of re-entries on 1942-50 printings, and their extent. R1/3-4, for example, have major doublings affecting the top frames, castles at top and much else besides. Elsewhere, there are numerous re- entries to the sky. Find a block of the 6d New Constitution stamp (more or less any block!) and look at it at arm’s length. You will probably see variation in the depth of colour of the central vignette. The darker examples will have been re-entered, although this will not always be visible in detail, even with a glass. In addition, there are some good plate flaws, those which affect the frame plate being in common with the 1/- to 10/- values. These include the ‘curl in 6’ on R2/2 and the ‘bullet hole’ on R10/3 (these two on later printings) and the ‘head oval’ flaw on R10/6 for the first two printings only. The perf 13 6d can be found with either a ‘D’ or a ‘G’ scratched onto the selvedge above R1/3; as usual, these are believed to be unofficial checker’s marks.

The 1/- to 10/- values each appeared in three perforations and have frame flaws in common. The broken ‘R’ on R9/4 is extremely scarce on the definitive high values. It exists in two states, initially exhibiting damage around the shaded area of the ‘R’ and, later, with the damage much more pronounced. Although highly catalogued, examples are worth every penny of the SG-listed prices. They are hardly ever available. Fortunately, for those who merely wish to have one example of a flaw, the 1/- New Constitution has the flaw and is not too hard to find! Other flaws and re-entries (including the re-entries on R1/3-4) exist on the 1/-. The 1944 printing has a grey-black vignette, which is listed separately by Commonwealth. The 2/- has a similar pattern, with three good perf 13 shades and one excellent plate flaw, the R9/3 ‘seagull’ flaw, which resembles a bird on the statue’s head. All of these achieve Commonwealth listing, as do shades of the 5/- and 10/- perf 13, the 10/- (slate-black and deep blue, black and dark blue) being particularly distinct. Try using an ultraviolet lamp on this value – you may be surprised! The £1 had four printings. There are shades, but the main differences are to be found in the papers, the initial printing having streaky gum.

Several values’ more elusive perforations are very difficult to find in nice used condition, especially the 5/- and 10/- perf 14. Parcel cancels were the norm and CDSs unusual. Therefore it is necessary to beware of faked cancels, including ‘Madame Joseph’ productions. Chambers illustrates a £1 with a part 1925 ‘Madame Joseph’, not surprisingly omitting the year date!

The 1937 Coronation set is quite straightforward, but the 1946 Victory pair have a wealth of plate flaws, including (on the 3d value) ‘two buoys’ on R1/6 and the ‘flight of steps’ at R4/5. The ½d can be found with a ‘W’ outside R1/1, with or without an underscore. The Silver Wedding pair and UPU issues are simple enough, although finding the different Plate number combinations on the 3d and 6d UPU is not easy. The New Constitution set has a goodly number of plate blemishes and can be a cheap way to study these. The 6d is known with double overprint; there seem to have been four sheets of this, from study of existing examples. We sold a wonderful piece a number of years ago, a top marginal block of four from positions R1-2/2-3. This included three different categories of variety; the double overprint, the ‘curl in 6’ on R2/2, and the major frame re-entry on R1/3. Quite a display item, which would cap a showing of Gibraltar’s issues of the reign! Edmund Chambers’ book was produced in a print run limited to 50 and I count myself fortunate to possess one. The bad news is that they are sold out. The good news is that a CD-ROM edition may be made available – if you are interested, contact the Gibraltar Study Circle. If you can’t find the Study Circle’s address ask us for details.

Acknowledgements;

Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps 1840-1952
Commonwealth King George VI catalogue, 19th Edition
Edmund Chambers and the Gibraltar Study Circle, ‘Gibraltar; Collecting King George VI’, 2003 Owen Cock
Paul Kayfetz