Identifying the Australia KGV 2d Red Die 3 Imprint Plates

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satsuma
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Identifying the Australia KGV 2d Red Die 3 Imprint Plates

Post by satsuma »

Probably like many before me, I've struggled to grasp how to identify the different plates used by John Ash for the KGV 2d Die 3 from imprint characteristics.

The ACSC catalogue has an unusually sparse amount of information in this regard; nothing about the marginal lines, and no listed varieties for L47,L48,L59,L60 nor for R49,R50,R55,R56.

It may be that better identification techniques are mentioned in even more specialist catalogues, but if your interest is in collecting imprints rather than varieties per se; the expenditure required is arguably somewhat excessive given the comparatively low value of the stamps.

So to address this I've created this guide. Any mistakes are mine and I welcome help to correct them.

This information is applicable to the small multiple watermark perf 13½ ACSC 102 and 102OS; and C of A watermark 103, and 103OS.

First off to identify an imprint as Die 3 you need to look no further than the lettering. If it is san-serif it is Die 3. If it's not san-serif it's not Die 3.

There is one unusual characteristic of the marginal lines that needs to be kept in mind. Unlike most imprints, the distinction between continuous lines and co-extensive lines is not as clear cut as usual. In most other cases the co-extensive lines have a break next to the gutter, like this:

Gutter of "normal" co-extensive line
Gutter of "normal" co-extensive line


In the case of the Die3 stamps all plates have a continuous line from the left of L60 to the right of R55 whether the rest of the line is co-extensive or not. This makes it much harder to identify in blocks of four which kind of marginal line has been used.

Plate 1
2d Die 3 Plate 1
2d Die 3 Plate 1


Plate 2
2d Die 3 Plate 2
2d Die 3 Plate 2


Plate 3
2d Die 3 Plate 3
2d Die 3 Plate 3


Plate 4
2d Die 3 Plate 4
2d Die 3 Plate 4



It can be seen that Plate 4 is really only being identified by the absence of characteristics. It may be that the extended tail of the comma after Ash is also an identifier but I don't have enough material to confirm that one way or the other.

The comment about variable wear on plate 3 can be better understood by comparison, like this:

Stages of wear Plate 3
Stages of wear Plate 3


Note that this clearly shows the continuous marginal line under the gutter but the co-extensive breaks further from it.

I hope this guide helps you not pull your hair out in frustration over identifying the Die3 imprints.

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