Cylinder Blocks
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Cylinder blocks have markings in the margins that correspond with the printers identifying information, phosphor numbers, colour, etc. This method of collecting is favored by specialists as all the necessary proof and information of origin is evident as details in the markings.

These are usually collected in blocks of six (2 x 3). Harrisons small format stamps have the cyl number in the margin opposite row 18.

The primary sheet is guillotined into two, each half has the same cyl number. The right hand pane should have a full stop placed in the box next to the cyl number, this is known to collectors as the “dot pane, or sheet”. The left hand pane of the sheet being the “no dot sheet”.

See Left:   1p cyl 1 p47 no dot & dot panes from  Harrison & Sons Printers. This print shows the Harrisons Logo opposite row 20. Early printings did not have the security ellipses or the Logo.

The box to the left opposite row 18 shows the cylinder number. It is normal for the no dot pane to have a wider margin, this allows identification even if the markings are missing (usually in error). the phosphor cylinder number where applicable (if the stamp has phosphor bands) is normally to the left centralised in the first box.

These phosphor numbers can be found outside of the actual boxes either set up , down or missing in some cases. They are collectable as varieties and are catalogued in specialist lists.

Right: Missing £ sign

A D1 pD1 £2.00 cylinder block (no dot pane) from De La Rue. the De La Rue Logo is shown opposite row 20. This Block was issued with a missing pound sign, it was withdrawn soon after issue, but not before eagle eyed collectors noticed the error. These retail from £100 upwards.

 It was replaced with a new printing soon after. A 2nd cylinder had to be made after the re call, this had the markings D2. Several printings in different denominations from De La rue have different markings in the margin these at this time range from D1 - D3, also different phosphor cylinders exist.

On later issues the De La rue logo has been removed., sheet positions are shown by a dot in a grid. For more information on these issues please visit our sister site Machin Mania .

Chambon printing Press

Harrison & Sons also printed stamps on a press called the Chambon, these had a different sheet layout to the norm and were printed in double sheets of 100, the sheets were located one above the other, not side by side.

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The Chambon sheets  were separated by a horizontal gutter, this was the same size as the actual stamps but they were left as a blank label, the gutters running the whole width of the sheet. The cylinder numbers from these particular print runs appear opposite rows 8 or 18, only no dot panes exist.

The cylinder numbers from the top sheet are opposite Row 8 and are collected as a block of 8 (2 x 4) with the gutter below stamps 5 & 6. Stamps from the bottom sheet. The numbers are located opposite Row 18 sheet are collected as a normal block of 2 x 3. 

Chambon printings only affects 2 stamp issues in sheet form, these are both 10p values. The first is a two band FCP/DEX with 10 mm phosphor, the other is printed on PCP1/DEX with additional two 10 mm phosphor bands.

Large format photogravure: Machins were also printed in double panes with a central gutter. The cyl numbers appear in the top margin of each pane above the second stamp. The dot pane is to the left of the master sheet and the no dot to the right.

Redrawn numerals and security features. The Harrisons Hare logo was introduced in the margin . In Feb. 1997 De la Rue took a interest in the company and their logo appeared on all new cylinders. (see above left)

Questa, Waddington, Enschede and Walsall all produced cylinder blocks on their Machin sheet printed definitives, but because this is such a vast field I will use this as a cut off point at this time. I will try to expand on this subject in the near future. In the mean time if you want to study this fascinating subject further I recommend that you read a copy of one of the specialised Catalogues of Machine Stamps, here they are explained along with all perforation types etc. in great detail.

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