Thursday, August 19, 2010

Western Australia - Inverted Swan


The Inverted Swan, a 4-pence blue postage stamp issued in 1855 by Western Australia, was one of the world's first invert errors. Technically, it is a "frame invert".

In January 1855, additional 4d stamps were needed. When Alfred Hillman  brought the printing stone out of storage, he found that two of the impressions had been damaged, so he had to redo them. One of the replaced frames was tilted; the other was accidentally redone upside-down. The stone's block of 60 was transferred four times to make the printing stone, and 97 sheets were printed before Hillman discovered the mistake and corrected it, resulting in a total of 388 errors being printed.

However, the errors went unrecognized and unreported for several years. Only 15 complete copies, plus a part of a stamp in a strip of three, have survived. No unused copies are known.
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