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Selvedge markings on 1970 Defintives. 
Posted by:
JE

New Member

20/4/2010, 6:08 pm



I purchased a block of 6 of the 30c Mt Cook National park with the colour registration block in the bottom right selvedge. Next to the block are the words 'side lay' in blue lettering  I guess this has something to do with the printing process, but can someone explain further. Is this common to all plates for this stamp or just those from plate 4 / 4a as the example I have has the deep brown-stone shade(3).

Thank you for your help.
Posted by:
VR

New Member

23/4/2010, 12:36 am


Re: Selvedge markings on 1970 Defintives.

Hi

This is an interesting selvedge marking which appears only on the one printing of the 30c. Surprisingly it is not mentioned in the CP Catalogue or the RPSNZ Handbooks.

We had a Society meeting a number of years back on the subject of "marginal markings". The 30c 'side lay' was discussed but, apart from agreeing that it was a term used in printing associated with registration of the sheet or paper reel, no conclusion was reached.

A web search for the term produces the following definition:-

"Device on the feed board of a printing machine for controlling the lateral alignment of the printing paper"

Clearly registration is important and this is generally achieved by some manual or optical alignment but why the printer should actually place the words 'side lay' in the margin remains a mystery - unless of course anyone else can throw light on the subject.

VR

Posted by:
Rob Davie

New Member

23/6/2010, 9:55 am


Re: Selvedge markings on 1970 Defintives.

 Hi Paul

Apologies for my much delayed response to your query on this Discussion Board. Other than comments already made by others I am not aware of any professional or technical reason why a printer would add the words "side lay" to the margin of a print run. Typically professional printers and their staff would be very adept at managing the placing of paper into and onto print machines, much of this task being fully mechanised anyhow. 

The only use inferred by the term "side lay" could be the side against which the stock of paper is placed to ensure accuracy of alignment but as this is a readily recognised element within a paper feed system, and the words only appear after the printing process this would seem a totally unnecessary clarification.

One highly unlikely thought could be the pre-printing of watermarked sheets so that in the final printing process these sheets are always aligned correctly and so ensure watermarks are always the right way up. The only way to verify or test this would be to see if the alignment of these words differs even slightly from the registration of images on different sheets from different batches of stamps. This could indicate that watermarked sheets were pre-prepared for final printing with the words "side lay" already on them rather than these words being printed at the same time as the rest of the stamp images. Another test for this hypothesis would be to see if these words appear on the margin of other values within the same range of stamps. This might indicate that a common batch of watermarked paper was pre-prepared for printing and used by the final printer across different values of the same issue.  

However I remain highly sceptical that the not insignificant cost involved in such a pre-printing process just to ensure the correct alignment of watermarks would not be consider. An option might be if this was an experiment to test if this helped eliminate the potential of inverted watermarks ... and was then felt to be too complicated and expensive and subsequently dropped ...

Hope these reflections stimulate further debate even if not actually helping solve the riddle ...

Looking forward to observations and thoughts from others 




Rob Davie

PO Box 214391, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Email: rob@davieconsult.com
Posted by:
VR

New Member

20/7/2010, 1:02 pm


Re: Selvedge markings on 1970 Defintives.

I have added some illustrations of the item under discussion.


The term 'Side Lay' appeared only on sheets printed from cylinders 4444 as shown in the left hand of the two blocks below. The pair to the right is from an earlier printing without the wording.

Whilst this term is known to be associated with the printing process there is, so far, no explanation as to why it should be printed on the sheets of stamps.

If anyone has anything to add we would be delighted to hear.

VR



 

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