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Stamp Perforation: the Somerset House Years 1848 to 1880

Downloadable Files

Stamp perforation varieties have become a popular area to collect, however, copies of the book Stamp Perforation: The Somerset House Years — 1848 to 1880 are increasingly difficult to find.

The Royal Philatelic Society London, along with the authors, are delighted to provide a large section of this book as a Portable Document Format (PDF) download, free to collectors, together with some additional downloads. The intention is to generate feedback from as many collectors as possible so that the authors can provide a comprehensive update in due course.

You may click on the links provided on this page to download the files.

Stamp Perforation: The Somerset House Years  1848 to 1880Originally published in 2006, Stamp Perforation: The Somerset House Years—1848 to 1880 was the culmination of a number of years of research and collaboration. Parts 1 and 2 of the book dealt with the history and introduction of perforation, whereas Part 3 covered perforation varieties, with a large section on constant perforation varieties, commonly known as broken perforation pin varieties.

The perforation combs were often repaired within a few days so the number of plates used at the time were limited in number - this makes plating the 'stars' issues with a constant perforation variety much easier.

The intention with this 109-page PDF extract (which includes the majority of Part 3) is to share the information with as many collectors as possible. We hope this results in encouraging collectors to check their collections for additional plates or varieties, as well as dates of use. This is not just to improve the accuracy of the constant perforation varieties listings and scarcity ratings, but perhaps more importantly to acquire and refine information to enable a wider field of study, for example, the dates of use regarding specific plates, before and subsequent to the fire at Perkins Bacon's premises.

This free 109-page extract as a PDF document is available for download (free of charge) on this link: Click here.


Additional resources

For the broken pin varieties on Archer, 1d/2d 'star', and surface printed issues, perforation pin illustrations have been produced in Microsoft Word document file format so that collectors can simply copy & paste to add them to their album pages. They can also print them on clear A4 acetate sheets to use as overlays to check their varieties on and off cover. These illustrations are available to download here:

Illustrations - Surface printed broken pin varieties

Click here to view Illustrations - Surface printed broken pin varieties Click here to view the PDF file.

Click here to view Illustrations - Surface printed broken pin varieties Click here to view the Microsoft Word document.


Illustrations - Line engraved broken pin varieties

Click here to view Illustrations - Line engraved broken pin varieties Click here to view the PDF file.

Click here to view Illustrations - Line engraved broken pin varieties Click here to view the Microsoft Word document.