Notes from the Past


Marginal control letters and /or numbers appeared on sheets of British stamps from 1881 (the first stamp to be so treated being the Penny Lilac) until 1947, when they were superseded by cylinder numbers.  Stamps with the marginal control attached have an added value to specialists.  Controls were references for accounting purposes, the figures being the last two of the year of issue and preceded by an index letter.  On photogravure issues controls had bars below, to left and right, or all round representing progressive periods during the year.  These too are collected and studied.

Cylinder Numbers

Photogravure (or rotogravure) rotary cylinders are each numbered as they are put into use, and the number record themselves on the margins of sheets of stamps of G.B.  Two sheets are normally printed side by side, one of which has a dot (of full stop) after the number.

- R. J. Sutton 6th edition revised by K. W. Anthony
The Stamp Collector's Encyclopaedia
Published 1966
Posted March 30, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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