Sunday, April 4, 2010

Re-entries, Double Transfers, Triple Transfers, and Shifts

Until the past few weeks I have never really spent time to understand the differences between re-entries, double or triple transfers, and shifts.  Despite spending a couple of decades as an active collector and the past 5 years focused on the 1898 series of revenues in which double transfers and possibly shifts are common, I couldn't classify a pile of stamps confirmed with these qualities into their types.   It is obvious on some stamps that at least one of these errors in transfer is present.  Below on the left side are images from a shown in a post a few weeks back.  The right side images are from a "normal" stamp, or a stamp without any evident transfer errors.  To the eye these differences are obvious.  But which entry error do I have here?  

Below the stamp images are the Scott explanations of these phenomenon just for reference.  Meanwhile, I'll describe what I see, with a little help from Dave Thompson who sent me this image. 

Left 2 with re-entry marks; Right 2 normal

On the left two above is evidence of a "westward" transfer, with ink marks inside the two to the left of the edge of the numeral.  Compare the normal two on the right.
Left "TED" with re-entry evident; Right "TED" normal

The left image comes from the same stamp as the left two above.  But it is not obvious to me whether there is evidence of more westward transfer errors here, or whether there is some southern movement as well.  The ink dots inside the letters T, E, and D look like more of a southern shift to me, which would indicate that this stamp is scarce triple transfer variety.

The batlleship series has many of these types of errors.  Pubications like the Bureau Specialist focused on these types of errors across numerous issues, and this type of philatelic study has been popular over the years.  I doubt many practice it now.  But while the Scott guidance on these errors might not be of much use these days to most revenue collectors, here it is:

2010 Scott Specialized Catalog page 22A:

Double Transfer: The condition of a transfer on a plate that shows evidence of a duplication of all or a portion of the design.  A double transfer is usually the result of the changing of the registration between the relief and the plate during the rolling of the original entry.  Occasionally it is necessary to remove the original transfer from a plate and enter the relief a second time.  When the finished re-transfer shows indications of the original transfer, because of incomplete erasure, the result is known as a double transfer.

2010 Scott Specialized Catalog page 22A:

Re-entry:  When executing a re-entry, the transfer role is reapplied to the plate at some time after the latter has been put to press.   Thus, worn out designs may be resharpened by carefully re-entering the transfer roll.  If the transfer roll is not carefully entered, the registration will not be true and a double transfer will result.

2010 Scott Specialized Catalog page 22A-23A:

Shifted Transfer:  In transferring, the metal diplaced on the plate by the entry of the ridges, constituting the design on the transfer roll, is forced ahead of the roll as well as pressed out at the sides.  The amount of displaced metal increases with the depth of the entry.  When the depth is increased evenly, the design will be uniformly entered.  Most of the displaced metal is pressed ahead of the roll.  If too much pressure is exterted on any pass (rocking), the impression of the previous partial entry may be floated (pushed) ahead of the roll and cause a duplication of the final design.  The duplication appears as an increased width of frame lines or doubling the lines.  The ridges of the displaced metal are flattened out by the hammering or rolling back of the plate along the sapce occupied by the subject margins. 

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