Queen Elizabeth, Wilding stamps

Great Britain
'Wilding' Postage stamps issued 1952-1967 during
the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Sheet markings on the Wilding issues, including cylinder numbers, marginal arrows, punch holes, colour registrations, sheet numbers.

Compared to the George VI period a wide variety of markings have been introduced in the Elizabethan issues to facilitate new elements such as registration of multicoloured stamps, ensuring that the cylinders are applied in the correct sequence, aids to registration of perforation, colour dots to ease checking for omission of colours and so on. The writing on the margins on these illustrations have been applied only to the scanned images, not on the stamps themselves.

Marginal arrows


These arrows appear in the middle of each of the four margins of all photogravure sheets. They can be shaped as a "V" or as a "W" and they can be either hand engraved or photo-etched.

Perforation guide holes

These large circular punched holes occur on all reel-fed printings in various positions. They are an indication of the type of perforator used. They occur unboxed, in a single box and also in double boxed. The 2d stamp on the left also shows a sheet number.


Cylinder number

This always occurs in the left hand margin opposite row 18 stamp number 1. In double pane cylinders the no dot pane is on the left and the dot pane on the right.


The one on the left (the 8d stamp) is cylinder 4 no dot, and the one on the right is 15 dot.

Autotron marks

These are found on reel fed multi-chrome printings. These examples are 13mm long bars, one for each colour. They were initially stippled and then photo-etched as solid bars. Sometimes duplicated they give a check, electronically, on the registration of colour during the printing. The solid bars were formerly known as Jubilee lines as they first appeared on the stamps issued for Queen Victoria's Jubilee. In the Wilding issues they were always co-extensive not continuous and were in different widths.


Colour registration

These are shown as crosses or short bars, one for each colour of the printing. In the case of the 1966 World Cup Winners, the colours were also numbered and written in the right hand margin of the upper sheet. The block below also shows a marginal arrow, and the sheet number.

click here for a larger image.

Plate numbers

These identify the plate used for the printing. The Bradbury Wilkinson printings of the Castles series high values were printed in paired plates. The numbers were on the left pane and the 'A' numbers on the right pane. Figure 10

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