A rare and unique combination of cracked plates. The plate cracking may have occurred from the weakening of the metal by having the original John Ash imprint removed and replaced with W.C.G. McCracken's imprint.
1) Very early state of cracked plate below McCracken imprint without perforation pip below*
2) Early state of cracked plate below McCracken imprint
3) Late (Intermediate) state of cracked plate below McCracken imprint
Perforation: 13½ x 14.
* ACSC Page 6/43 Note 5. Only one example has been seen showing a very early state of the crack without perforation pip below.
A “perforation pip” is a perforation guide mark to ensure accurate centring of perforations; markings were placed in the margins of sheets to identify pinning points where the sheets were secured prior to passing through the perforating machine.
To date this is the only combination of 1938 cracked plate stages of its kind in existence as no other very early specimen of the “no pip” variety has been located in 78 years, The current uniqueness of this very early stage crack is verified by the ACSC catalogue of Australian stamps.
The slight cloudiness of the stamps is due to the protective film they are inserted into as an added measure that the stamps are further protected from damage, especially accidentally separating the now delicate perforations; all stamps in my collection is treated that way though I will remove some single stamps for better clarity if necessary.