How to identify the Australian KGV Head Single Line perforations?

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How to identify the Australian KGV Head Single Line perforations?

Post by The Pom »

There have been a number of threads on this topic over the last couple of years, so I thought I'd put together a definitive guide on how to spot these stamps.

Q. Why do people want to know if a stamp is line or comb perf?

The comb and line perf stamps are given different catalogue numbers and values. In the case of the ½d Green it can mean the difference between a few dollars and ten thousand for a mint stamp (only around 10 mint examples are known).

Definitions:


From https://www.theolatheposte.com/info/definitions

Comb perforation - Stamps perforated by a comb machine, each beat of which perforates three sides of one column or row of stamps (one of the three sides completing the perforating of the preceding column or row). Distinguished by perfect registry of the holes at every postage stamp corner.

Line perforation - Stamps perforated in straight lines, all the horizontal (or vertical) lines being done first and then all the crossing lines. The two sets of perforations need not register at the corners of the stamps.

To tell whether or not your stamp is a line perf, there are a number of aspects you can look at. Some are characteristics to look out for when searching through a batch of stamps. Other aspects will then confirm or deny your initial impression.

1. What stamp is it?

Line perf only exists on the following KGV Heads:

½d Green single crown watermark.
Image
1d Red single crown watermark.
Image
5d Brown single crown watermark.
Image
5d Brown single crown watermark bright chestnut on rough paper, perf OS.
Image
If it is any other KGV Head, it's comb perf

2. What do the corners look like?

Comb perf stamps should always have corners that look like this.
Image
Note that the comb perforation process is not 100% accurate (this was nearly 100 years ago), so be aware that alignment irregularities will occur.

Line perf stamps will normally have corners that are random in alignment, though of course chance dictates that some will be aligned to look like comb perfs.
Image
Of course, if you are lucky, you may have a block of stamps. In this case it will normally show up nicely at the corners.
Image
Whereas on a comb perf block, the perfs at the corners will always intersect neatly like this.
Image
3. What do the individual perfs look like?

The machine used to produce the line perf stamps had large perf pins. This means that the perf tips on line perf stamps tend to be rather more "pointy" than those on comb perf stamps. This scan shows a comb perf on the left and a line perf on the right. The difference is not dramatic, but is quite easy to spot when you are used to it.
Image
Again, it should be noted that this is a generalisation, rather than an absolute test - there are comb perf stamps with larger holes as well. Both these blocks are comb perf.
Image
4. When was it postmarked? And where?

The line perf stamps were only available for certain periods, and some were only issued in certain States. A clear postmark can help to determine if a stamp is line perf or not.

½d Green. Seen between Dec 1915 and Nov 1916. Nearly all used in Vic, mostly in Melbourne, plus a few at PO's in Vic beginning with letters A-F. The only known usages outside Vic are at Sydney & Cessnock. Note that the census of these has greatly increased the number of known PO's, with dates seen through to 1917, and 2 examples cancelled in Tasmania.

1d Red. Any 1d Red dated prior to 7 Aug 1914 must be line perf by definition. Most examples are seen used through to the end of 1914, with the occasional use in early 1915. Available nationally.

5d Brown. Any 5d Brown dated prior to Aug 1917 will be line perf by definition. Available nationally.

5d Brown bright chestnut on rough paper, perf OS. Found from Sep 1920 through to early 1921.

5. What shade is it?

½d Green. Only known as Pale Emerald and Pale Green. Edit: Dull green (scarce) had now also been identified.

1d Red. Only known as Carmine Red (pale to deep) and Deep Red (semi surfaced paper).

5d Brown. Only known as Chestnut, Bright Chestnut, and Very Dark Chestnut (extremely rare).

5d Brown bright chestnut on rough paper, perf OS. Obviously only known as Bright Chestnut.

6. Do the opposite perfs line up?

On a comb perf stamp, any perfs which are horizontally or vertically opposite to each other should be in alignment. Look at this scan - the horizontal lines projecting from the top corners both pass through the bottom edge of a perf hole. They were perforated together, so will always align. The top and bottom edges were perforated in 2 separate actions of the comb perforator, so may not always align so well.
Image
On line perf stamps, perfs which are horizontally or vertically opposite to each other will not normally be in alignment, though it is possible.

Look at this scan - the horizontal lines projecting from the top corners pass through a perf tip on the left and a perf hole on the right. They were perforated in two separate actions, so will rarely align.
Image
7. What gauge are the perfs at the sides?

This is the confirmatory test, once all the quick visual checks above have been done.

The comb perf stamps were perforated 14.25 x 14, the line perf stamps were perforated 14.2.

To check, take a stamp which is always comb perf (a 1d Violet for example), and put it next to your possible line perf.

Line up the perf tips at one end and look to see if they stay in alignment or not.

If they do, unlucky, your stamp is a comb perf! This shows a comb perf 1d Red next to a comb perf 1d Violet.
Image
If they don't, your stamp is a line perf! This shows a line perf 1d Red next to a comb perf 1d Violet.
Image
Always on the lookout for Australian pre decimal First Day Covers.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by GlenStephens »

Superb guide, to a VERY hard concept for novices to grasp Chris. :mrgreen:

The LAST method in your great photos, using the 1d Violet, is the one I always use for any that have odd looking corners.

Pairs, blocks or even margin pieces offer an EXCELLENT guide of course, as this block I sold shows wonderfully. Members can clearly see if this was torn apart EACH stamp would have odd looking corners.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Very nice Chris - you've covered everything in great detail 8)
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by arls1 »

Thank you. Great info and well explained. (even a dunce like me can understand it better)
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV He

Post by howwible »

Chris,
Mate thanks for this.Now even I will be able to tell the difference between line and comb..I will be bookmarking this to keep..

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How to Identify Single Line Perf Australia Stamps

Post by fredr »

G'Day-how do you identify Single Line Perf Australia stamps-specifically,KG V Heads and Roos ?
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Re: How to Identify Single Line Perf Australia Stamps

Post by mac »

I do not know about these specific issues, but generally the differences between line and comb perforations are as follows:

Comb perforations are, as the name suggests, produced by punching horizontal and vertical holes in a single operation. If you can imagine the perforator looking like a comb, it will apply a set of holes for each row of stamps, the sheet advancing through the perforator one row at a time, closing the open top of the comb with each strike. This is repeated until the full sheet is perforated. This means that the holes at each corner of the stamp align horizontally and vertically, the stamp corners always being the same shape.
O
OOOOOOO
O
Line perforations are applied in two seperate operations, all horizontal rows and the sheet rotated and perforated for all vertical rows, one row at a time. As a result, the corners where the two different directions meet will be of different shapes, depending where the two lines cross.

This is a simplified version of what takes place, but should give some idea of what to look out for.
O
OOOOOO
O

Hope this helps!

(I have just checked this post, and the 'hole' illustrations, OK on the draft, are aligned on the final version. The top illustration is good for comb, the bottom one should be misaligned a little where the lines cross.)
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Re: How to Identify Single Line Perf Australia Stamps

Post by GUTTERS »

In the top right of your screen it say's
The Rules FAQ Search Members User Control Panel

Press search and type in Single line perf and you will get a few hits
Here is a good one


http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=12505" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: How to Identify Single Line Perf Australia Stamps

Post by GlenStephens »

GUTTERS wrote:In the top right of your screen it say's
The Rules FAQ Search Members User Control Panel

Press search and type in Single line perf and you will get a few hits
Here is a good one


http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=12505" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Yes the latter thread was active only YESTERDAY, and in this very forum. :shock:

Have merged.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by Raz »

Thanks to all, especially 'the pom' for the interesting info that even a layman like myself can understand. I have a few weeks work going through all my KGV's,and this is one more variety to look for. :roll: :roll:
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by clemo »

Chris wrote:

1d Red. Any 1d Red dated prior to 7 Aug 1914 must be line perf by definition. Most examples are seen used through to the end of 1914, with the occasional use in early 1915. Available nationally.

What are the possibilities of this being 1915? Could be a bit doubtful going by the SYDNEY datestamp, and would make it very late usage of this stamp.

Regards
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by The Pom »

It's certainly a line perf, but I couldn't comment on the possible date of the cancel - not my area.

I have a few 1915 uses, I'll have to have a look and see what my latest is.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by PeterS »

clemo wrote:Chris wrote:

1d Red. Any 1d Red dated prior to 7 Aug 1914 must be line perf by definition. Most examples are seen used through to the end of 1914, with the occasional use in early 1915. Available nationally.

What are the possibilities of this being 1915? Could be a bit doubtful going by the SYDNEY datestamp, and would make it very late usage of this stamp.

Regards
Image
The cancel is July 21 of an unknown year, since the Year is not displayed on the stamp. The 5 at top is a canceller number.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by clemo »

Thanks for the input, gents.

Pity the year slugs are missing. If it was 1914 I would have been quite chuffed to have a stamp that was used four days after issue.

Regards
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by KevinHedley »

This thread has been nominated as a contender for the "FAVOURITE thread of all time". Please look here for details - http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=15217
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by lafaronau »

Thank you now I am on track.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by mikibme »

Thank you very much, that was very helpful.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by Tinshed »

Nice guide 'The Pom'. Well illustrated and laid out.

Clemo, my latest Single Line is 23 June 1915.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by alanchong »

Thanks for the guide. I learned many new things today!

With so many experts here in the stampboard, we can even setup an academy for Philately!

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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a guide

Post by selvedge »

Having read about the New Zealand varieties and now the in line perf varieties plus others previously mentioned, I wonder if it may be of use to start a new thread showing all these varieties plus others already known. There is a hell of a lot of good knowledge passed between the members here and newer collectors and juniors as well may find such a thread useful. Some members have already stated that knowledge gained has made them add another variety to their own lists to revise their spare stock to seek out the varieties listed. If there is a fear of listing duplicate varieties, I would be happy to vet the list first and then add them to the thread in an ordered manner. Lists could be sent to my email address for me to collate. I would then email them to a MOD or start a thread and then add to it on a regular basis.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by Global Admin »

A very active thread has evolved where photos of all the ~160 known copies of the ½d green single line perf stamps are logged in and illustrated.

A great resource and please folks add to it if you can!

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=17322
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by AMark »

A great post by The Pom.

Prior to this post I did not know there were line or comb perf's.
Now, I can see the difference between the two.
Thank you,

Cheers!

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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by Kloster »

Thanks for the picture help, it really does help us all.

Text can only do so much, but a picture tells a thousand words!

Sadly my 3 copies are all comb. perfs :( oh well, back to the chase!

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What is 'single-line' perforation?

Post by tricolours »

When talking about perforations it usually the number over a certain distance - at least that's my understanding. So, in examples like the 1932 Lyrebird why is its perforations given as single-line?
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by GlenStephens »

All explained above. :)
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Re: What is 'single-line' perforation?

Post by PeterS »

tricolours wrote: So, in examples like the 1932 Lyrebird why is its perforations given as single-line?
There were 2 types of perforator in use, a comb which looked exactly like that (a comb) that perforated 3 sides at one strike and each strike moved a across (or down) the sheet a row at a time.

Then there was the line perforator, which was a long row of pins that perforated a row/column at a time. One one direction was perforated (vertical or horixontal) the sheet was turned 90 degrees and each row/column was perforated, one after the other. Line perforations rarely lined up and it is particularly noticeable in the corners, like this block of line perforated 1d George V.

Notice the horizontal rows of perforations are of different lengths and the alignemt (especially at the corners) is poor.
Image
And a similar block comb perforated, the corners on the top of the block look offset, a result of a slight misalignment of the comb on the first strike (perforated the sides and base with each strike.
Image
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by tricolours »

Thanks for the information.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by 60022Mallard »

Image
Reference the 1d comb perf block.

My interest in perforations arises from the BMA Malaya overprints which were all comb perf.

My understanding of the comb perforators used then was that the leading edge of the sheet into the perforator remains unperforated and that the pins perforate the first row of the first stamp (I cannot say top because stamps have been perforated top to bottom and vice versa. Side to side is also seen) and two sides. "Side margins" being unperforated, partly or wholly perforated through according to the perforator. The opposite side to the leading edge being perforated through as the sheet leaves the perforator.

Once started I believe the comb rolls continuosly across the sheet meaning pins are always in contact with the sheet and so perf spacing should be regular with any missing pins or faults repeating, so do struggle to understand how the phenomenon shown has occurred. Do you have any other marginal examples of this stamp? I assume there would have been more than one printing of this stamp such that bottom to top and top to bottom perforating may well exist (Because of the non stamp sized gutter I would suggest side to side perforating was not used)

My illustration is of a left to right perforated block of stamps where sheet drag has caused the leading margin to be almost perfectly perforated, but in the 1d case the perf spacings are not overlapping like in this example.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by serenity »

Wow those are really nice perforations. I like how they are precise and clean cut!
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by luke_coolhand »

Image

Yes, I've done the reading but I'm still not sure. I would like your advice.

Image
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by The Pom »

The pair of 1d Reds on cover are definitely line perfs.

Nice cover.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by luke_coolhand »

Many thanks $200 vs $15 but I'm not selling just filling up a gap. My collection of line perf is this and the miniature sheet.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by Britcollector »

Thanks. Even I can understand this.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by phoff »

Again late to the conversation.
Were the KGV combs perfs uniformly top down - or bottom up - or from the sides - or random?

Separately, what is meant by -on in the phrase 240-on in B-W KGV Pg 4/41 discussion of printing plates?
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by PeterS »

phoff wrote:Again late to the conversation.
Were the KGV combs perfs uniformly top down - or bottom up - or from the sides - or random?

Separately, what is meant by -on in the phrase 240-on in B-W KGV Pg 4/41 discussion of printing plates?
The KGV comb perforated 3 sides at one strike then moved to strike the next column (or row), thereby perforating the final side of the previous column (or row). Missperforations and double perfs are not uncommon. Occasionally you would get a jump and a single perf hole would appear to be missed.

although I stand to be corrected, I believe the comb was a horizontal one and was applied down the sheet, perforating all stamps in one row at one time

240 on refers to 240 stamps being printed at once. Each plate was made up of 120 impressions (2 panes of 60 separated by a central gutter, 10 rows of 6 stamps in each pane). For many values, especially the letter rate stamps, 4 plates were locked together, creating a 480 on printing. After printing, the sheets of 240 impressions were guillotined into the post office issued sheets of 120 impressions.

BW KGV pg 4/41 refers to the Australian Commonwealth Specialist Catalogue (ACSC) which is published by Brusden White (BW), Specifically it refers to section 4 (the KGV volume), page 41. On that page there is a discussion about the printing plates used for producing the KGV Heads postage stamps.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by phoff »

Thanks, Peter.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by GlenStephens »

luke_coolhand wrote:
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by wilbaer »

Great guide - will help hugely with my future philatelic endeavours. Many thanks
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"Hi needing help with a 1d kgv is it single lined Perf??

Post by nesa13 »

Hi Glen & Stampboard members,

"Cudo's Glen for starting this wonderful informative site off & the gate keepers that keep it running smoothly."
"I know my avatar isn't up yet, have been trying to put up my image from photobucket with no success."
"Needing expert advise on a Australia Kgv 1d stamp inverted second watermark type 2, I've found amongst an allotment I bought some years ago,only now have I given time to go through the box."
Wanting to know if this stamp is single lined perf?
All advice is much appreciated.
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Re: "Hi needing help with a 1d kgv is it single lined Perf?

Post by nesa13 »

"Sorry for the qaulity of the photo's I need to update my scanner."
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Re: "Hi needing help with a 1d kgv is it single lined Perf?

Post by Global Admin »

nesa13 wrote:"Sorry for the qaulity of the photo's I need to update my scanner."
Buy a Canon Lide .. most of us get great results with those.

Your 1d red looks comb perf to me.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by nesa13 »

Thanks for the advice will get one soon :)
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by nesa13 »

Excellent information on this thread,really needed a guiding hand with concerns with single line perforation.
Thanks "The Pom"for keeping us informed.I have over 400 kgv to go through and only started on them properly last week,hopefully get off my trainer wheels for the up grade soon.Thank's for sharing the knowledge. :)

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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by Stewart »

G,day to All,

Is the stamp on the right the elusive 1/2d line perf stamp, single watermark Crown over A

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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by PeterS »

Stewart, not for mine. You need to put it against a 1d Violet to be certain, but don't get your hopes up!
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by Global Admin »

Stewart -- both are comb perf.
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by Stewart »

Thanks gentlemen, I will just have to keep looking, thanks for your responses

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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by fromdownunder »

Congratulation to The Pom who has been nominated on the thread linked to below as one of the nominees for the Australia Post 2012 Year Book for the month of September 2013 for this thread.

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8100

The monthly prize is one of twelve Year Books donated by Australia Post which totals over $1,200 in value for Year Books which they donate annually to support Stampboards and stamp collecting in general.

Australia Post have already indicated that they will continue to support Stampboards and the valued members of this Board, and provide a further 12 Year Books to this competition throughout 2014.

Congratulations to The Pom on your nomination.

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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by Stewart »

G,day,

I have lined up a 5d brown KGV stamp with the 1d violet stamp,the water mark C of A, the top perfs are 13.5 and the side perfs are measure overall 14.2, that is only the first and last perfs line up at 14.2 and do not line up right through. Is this stamp legitimate?
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Re: Spotting the Australian KGV Head single line perf - a gu

Post by Global Admin »

stewart wrote:
I have lined up ..............
No you did not even get close to lining them up ANYWHERE.

The simple test below seems very common sense to me but then, common sense is not as common as many think!

The Pom wrote:
To check, take a stamp which is always comb perf (a 1d Violet for example), and put it next to your possible line perf.

Line up the perf tips at one end and look to see if they stay in alignment or not.

If they do, unlucky, your stamp is a comb perf! This shows a comb perf 1d Red next to a comb perf 1d Violet.
Image/centre]

If they don't, your stamp is a line perf! This shows a line perf 1d Red next to a comb perf 1d Violet.
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