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Guide Lines to the Penny Black by P.C. Litchfield

This book provides a detailed description of each one of the 2880 stamps produced and the plates from which it was printed.

This book was originally published in September 1949 and remains an essential guide for anyone who collects Penny Black Stamps or who is interested in early Victorian line engraved issues. Litchfield takes the reader through the varied history of the Penny Black stamp providing clear explanations of how it was produced from its initial conception and design to the finished product. The book looks at the setting of the soft steel rollers, the hardened steel plates and defects in the printing technique that results in flaws.

Litchfield lists the position of every letter from AA, AB, AC etc. to TJ, TK and TL. He also notes the characteristics of a stamp that may help link the stamp to a particular plate. These oddities are printing defects such as the presence ray flaws, “O” flaws, guide lines or double impressions.

The book is currently out of print but second hand copies can be obtained from Amazon or Abebooks.

Hardcover: 224 pages #
Publisher: Robson Lowe Limited; 1st edition (1949) #





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