Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Stopping At The Trafic lights

Yesterday in between shopping for supplies, lounging around the pool, cleaning the car and dossing around in general I found myself with a couple of hours to spare. Nothing unusual there!

What to do now before dinner? After a deliberation I decided to surf the web for a while before the wife found me more jobs, she tends to leave me alone if she thinks I am working on something :-)

My first stop was this site to read up on any comments left over the last few days or so. By the way thanks to those of you who left them, we are always pleased to receive your thoughts.

My attention was then drawn to Larry's post on Machins with traffic lights which I read again. Larry stated that "In the Machin series, traffic lights only appear on the large-size photogravure high values"

Here is the second set of traffic lights I mentioned in my comments to Larry, these are situated in the bottom margin , under the second stamp from the left.

Deep in my mind I remembered seeing them somewhere else and I was pretty sure they were on a earlier Machin block, but which one? In a process of elimination I racked my brain, I then determined that they could only exist on a bi colored stamp of which there are only two from the pre decimal era. the bi-coloured 1/9 stamp is shown below left (without the printers marks)

Another memory flooded back, two years ago I sold some pre decimal blocks of 4 with printers check marks in the margin, but these were of the square type similar to the check dots at the bottom of the ATN printings.

Could I be imagining things? Am I cracking up? Do these really exist? Undeterred I set off searching the web to see if there was any reference to them. After what seemed like an hour but was actually two. I gave up, no joy whatsoever, I must have imagined it.

Having given up, my next stop was to check eBay just to see if anything of interest hit me. Well knock me down with a feather duster what did I find? You have guessed it and here it is! (left)

Or is it? This is not one of the bi -coloured stamps I mentioned above only 9d and 1/9 values were bi -coloured. The sellers description has not helped he just states it is a block with missing phosphor.

I have come to the conclusion that the darker mark could be a registration colour mark. But this still leaves the lighter one, is it a registration hole or an actual traffic light?.

I will leave this now for you the readers to decide, what do you know of these traffic lights (if they are in fact traffic lights). I do not profess to be an expert and I think this post kind of proves that. I am more confused now than I was before I started on this quest. HELP!

Lets have your views!


Adrian said...

Hi there!
The 1s6d is most certainly printed with two colours: turquoise & garter blue, so that makes three predecimal bicoloured low value machins! Apparently, copies exist with turquoise missing. Those would be nice with the traffic light bit still attached!

Machin Man said...

Thanks Adrian, I feel more at ease now. I have just checked the catalogues and realise I have made a mistake.

It is in fact the 1/6 & 1/9 stamps that have two colours, not the 9d as stated.

larry said...

Ooooh! I am so ashamed. Now I have to take off my Machin Expert cap and put on the dunce cap for a whole week! And on that I am going to put one of the 1/9 blocks with traffic lights that's sitting right in my collection.

Oh, woe is me.....