Bermuda 1970-76 Flowers definitives – plate discovery

Some 17 values were first issued 6 July 1970 with multiple St Edward’s crown and block CA watermark – upright on the two portrait designs and sideways on the landscape designs. A  further seven values (repeats of existing designs) with sideways watermark were added to the series on 2 June 1975 to cater for postal rate hikes.

Four of the original values with sideways watermark – 5c, 6c, 12c, 30c – were reprinted between 13 June 1974 and 11 June 1976 with upright watermark.

Finally, the 2c (on 8 December 1975) and 6c (on 11 June 1976) were reprinted with diagonal (or spiral) multiple crown and block CA sideways watermark.

All values were printed in sheets of 100 (comprising four panes of 25 stamps). Each pane using a different set of plates made up of letters A, B, C and D respectively. The 12c Jacaranda was originally issued with sideways watermark using plates 1A–1A–1A–1A, 1B–1B–1B–1B, 1C–1C–1C–1C and 1D–1D–1D–1D. The change to upright watermark on 13 June 1974 coincided with plate changes to 1A–1A–2A–1A, 1B–1B–2B–1B, 1C–1C–2C–1C and 1D–1D–2D–1D. Or at least that was the originally held belief.

A plate 1D–1D–1D–1D block of the 12c has been discovered with upright watermark indicating at least part of the run was printed with the same plates used for printing on sideways watermark paper. It’s likely the plates developed a fault during printing on upright watermark paper as the change in plate numbers from 1 to 2 appears hasty with the 1 scrawled out and a 2 added in front. It’s unknown how many sheets of the 12c were printed using the original plates. Not many otherwise the plate sequence would have been spotted sooner.

Find a good range of Bermuda 1970-76 Flower definitives here.

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