Jean Sperati's Printing Press
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This press belonged to Jean Sperati. Stamps to be copied were prepared by making the paper transparent. Using a gelatine dichromate process and colour filters, he created printing plates on glass or celluloid using contact photography. The paper of a low value stamp was prepared by removing the image so that only the texture of the paper and any watermarks remained. Separate colour plates were then created and using this press, printed onto the prepared paper. Once the plates existed colours could be altered, cancellations could be added, and valuable stamps could be created for his demanding customers. This was a highly skilled process needing a good knowledge of chemistry, photography and inks as well as precise registrations during printing to convince stamp experts that the stamps were authentic. The dichromate process was popular for a time but was overtaken by silver bromide.