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Ascension Island – In Search of the “Davit” Flaw

When presented with a classic Ideal or Crown album, there are always certain stamps with known rare varieties you automatically home in on, with the hope that they may just be lurking, and put away since the day they were purchased. The reign of King George Sixth being no exception, a wealth of flaws and varieties were gradually documented in the philatelic press and in specialist catalogues over the years, and even today new ones are being discovered by diligent philatelists.

One of the better known, and indeed scarcer varieties of interest to collectors, is that of Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. The striking series of Pictorial definitive stamps issued in 1938, has a common design for the 1½d and 2s 6d values, depicting the Pier with various buildings and cranes upon it. A plate scratch occurred at position R5/1, at the centre left of the design resembling a “davit” (a small crane used for loading ships), and can be found on all printings of each value throughout its life until 1953.


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