Notes from the Past

St. Andrew's Cross

The name "St. Andrew's Cross" is given to the crosses printed on four blank spaces left in panes of some early stamps of Austria.  The crosses are composed of two simple diagonal lines across the blank space in the pane.

The same device has also been used on stamp-size blank "tabs" contained in some British stamp booklets.  The purpose of this is to prevent stamp forgers from having access to blank perforated and gummed stamp paper upon which to create forged stamps.

There is also a technical printing consideration that renders desirable the inclusion of a printing surface in such otherwise blank areas, and this is also the reason for the so-called "Jubilee Lines" on the sheet margins of many British stamps.  These additional printing surfaces help to reduce plate wear by balancing the inking roller. 

- Kenneth A. Wood
This is Philately - Volume Three Q-Z
Van Dahl Publications 1982
Posted October 26, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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