Valira Torrent - bulletin of the Andorran Philatelic Study Circle. Issue 48, p6 (Oct 1998).

Copyright notice

Lucky finds .... The 4 peseta double perforation

by E. J. Jewell

4pta double perforation

"Old hands" will know the story but it may be worth putting on record for others not familiar with it.

During my visit to Andorra in June 1966, I called at the Spanish Post Office at Andorra la Vella and bought the stamps currently on sale. I took them back to my hotel and started to prepare some covers. As I was about to break up a block of 4 pesetas I noticed - just in time - that I had a bottom marginal pair with double perforation.

I hastened back to the post office, hopeful that part of the bottom rows of the sheet might still be there. I wanted to get all that there were but without making it too obvious what I was looking for lest the counter clerk should notice they were defective and withhold them from sale. If my luck was in, there could be a further nine pairs so I asked for eighteen 4 peseta stamps. The clerk looked in his counter book. Not enough and he was about to get another sheet but I had seen what I wanted. There were 16 stamps remaining from the bottom of the sheet. "No, those will do", I tried to say in my broken Spanish. Fortunately, he seemed to understand and I came away with a further eight pairs with the double perforation.

As will be seen from the illustration, the extra perforation cuts through the bottom row of stamps and the holes are out of step with those in the normal position. The two rows of perforation holes were not quite parallel so the separation will vary slightly according to the position in the row. I retained the pair with the widest separation and distributed the remainder to philatelic friends at the time. Their present whereabouts is unknown.

One pair, of course, remains unaccounted for - the one sold before I got there. In all probability, it would have been postally used and lost to philately but, if a hitherto unknown pair should turn up, mint or used, it should be possible to verify its authenticity by the alignment of the two rows of holes. The illustration here may, therefore, be a useful reference.

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Andorran Philatelic Study Circle / Hon. Librarian: E. J. Jewell / apsc@free.fr /
Updated 16 June 1998