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Image of advert for Dubarry Cosmetics

Stamp Booklets

I am involved in research into the stamp booklets of King Edward VIII. These booklets were sold at 2/-, 3/- and 5/- and were issued monthly for a short period, October 1936 until April 1937 and printed by Harrison & Sons. Nine of the booklets contained a coloured advert for Dubarry Cosmetics - image above.

Everything to make up a booklet was printed in sheets, these sheets made a total of forty booklets i.e. four across by ten down. The sheets were compiled in the order required known as the " mass ". The following would be a typical order, front cover, stamp sheet, advertising interleaf, stamp sheet, advertising interleaf, stamp sheet, postal rates interleaf, stamp sheet, back cover. This varied with the cost of the booklet and the various denominations of the stamps. The "mass" was then stitched so that it could be guillotined into 40 individual booklets.

Dubarry wanted a coloured advert inserted and despite being given exact measurements supplied sheets only half the size required. They started with the first 20 known as Plate 1. This was followed by Plate 2 similarly a sheet of twenty. Harrisons had to insert two of these sheets per booklet "mass". This caused friction as it would have made extra work and no doubt some wastage if the two half sheets moved.

We have reconstructed Dubarrys attempt at producing a 40 advert sheet known as Plate 3 - below. This failed as it had a central gutter so Harrisons had to cut it in half to remove the central gutter. So the 40 sheet was never achieved in a useable form. Image of adverts in sheet

From a collectors point of view there are collectable differences in the adverts these are known as settings. In Plates 1 & 2 - below, the left mirrors the right, so each advert appears twice, the minor differences are the settings. I am trying to understand how these occur in the printing process.

Image of adverts in plate 1 Image of adverts in plate 2

The reason for this is nobody previously has got anywhere near reproducing the 40 advert sheet. I am searching for the minor differences but struggling with what could be damage etc. Understanding the process should resolve this.

Q I am trying to understand the problems Dubarry were experiencing and have very limited knowledge of printing and was wondering if anyone is able to help me. I would like if possible to know the methods used to create the adverts, how the images were transferred, how the two halves were made into a plate etc.

Alan

 

This regular feature invites answers by email to members’ questions on an item of ephemera.

 

Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life