Thursday, 31 December 2009

TCTC Notations

Happy New year

For my fist post of 2010 I give credit to someone else's work (actually three peoples work).

I was visiting the CDDstamps on stamps blog earlier this week and found this rather interesting article written by Michael Dodd who is the the blog owner.

There is also a interesting comment (which I missed on my original visit) left by Charlie explaining the differences between coil, booklet and sheet stamps. As I missed it I thought other visitors may have done the same so I have copied it for you.

I know Michael and Charlie wont mind me copying it and pasting it here as they will want to share it with you.

Determining coil from a sheet is simple with either sharp young eyes or a 10x glass
The stamps are printed in sheets and then the strips are cut either top and bottom or left and right sides. The cutting runs down the center or nearly the center of the line of perforations. That gives the tips of the perfs a distinct sharp straight line cut.
The other two sides are torn which means the separation of the tips of the perfs is somewhat raggedy.
As a shorthand, Doug Myall has devised the TCTC notation with "T" being "torn" and "C" being "CUT". A sheet stamp is "TTTT" since it is torn on all four sides. A coil is either "TCTC" or "CTCT". That is the top, right side, bottom and left side in order.
On the other hand a booklet mini sheet may also have some "Cut" perforations, but will never be the two opposite sides. Depending on where the stamp is, or was, in the sheetlet that notation will be;
"CTTT" from the top middle,
"CCTT" from a top right hand corner,
"TCTT" from the right middle,
"TCCT" from a bottom right corner,
"TTCT" from the bottom middle,
"TTCC" from the left bottom corner,
"TTTC" from a left middle and finally
"CTTC" if the stamp was on a left top corner.
These possibilities exist because a booklet mini-sheetlet can consist of four, six or more stamps arranged either vertically or horizontally.
So with a little practice it becomes quite easy to determine if a stamp is from a sheet ---"TTTT", a coil ---"TCTC" or "CTCT", or a booklet which will have either a single cut side or two adjacent cut sides as listed above.


GBStamps said...

It should be pointed out that there are a number of exceptions to the general TCTC rules with regards to booklet stamps.

Prestige booklets, except for the first two - the Cookbook and the first Wedgwood - all have margins printed round the stamps, so all stamps are TTTT.

Also, many booklets were assembled at least partly by hand, resulting in torn edges where one would expect cut ones.

Myall describes and pictures all of these in Chapter 9 of the Handbook. Collectors using the TCTC method for identification should be aware of these exceptions.

Of note, the Machin Collectors Club catalog recommends using the same identification methodology (though without Myall's notation), but it does not give the reader any indication that there are exceptions.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Larry for the update.

nnnnnn said...

it gets more and more complicatd!!

Thanks Larry amd thanks Roy for reposting.. always good to spread teh word

Happy New Year and Best wishes

Michael cddstamps