Ai Li-Shan


In 1944 the Pacheng Book and Printing Company, Fukien Province printed stamps of the Central Trust Design (with addition of secret marks added to those already existing). This arrangement was necessary due to the difficulty of transporting stamps from Chungking to the free areas of southeast China. The printing was done in Nanping.


At this time in the war, there was a severe shortage of paper. It was necessary to utilize what ever paper could be found, resulting in the many paper types (including some watermarked paper). There was also the problem of the various sizes of paper to be found. In order to utilize the smaller sizes, plates were modified from the standard 20 x 10 format. This was done in 10 transfers of 4 x 5 for the 200 subjects.


Many years ago, I was fortunate in finding a sheet of the 30c Pacheng Central Print in the unusual size of 150 stamps. This of course brought up the question of the sheet layout. My first thought was that a complete different plate was involved. However, this was not the case. The sheet is laid out in a 4x5, 4x5, 3x5 and 4x5 format. They removed two vertical rows from the transfer to make the 15 vertical rows.



The transfer is the same as from the regular plate, figure 1 being the complete transfer. There are two rather distinct transfer varieties to determine the position. Figure 2 is the first stamp in the transfer, figure 2a shows a close up of the dot in upper left foliate. Figure 3 is the 11/20 position; figure 3a is the dot in right 3 variety. In the case of the 3x5 transfer, the positions are 1 and 9 respectively.


I have never heard of any surcharges being applied to the smaller sheet. The only way to discover such a surcharge would be a block showing the Figure 2a and 3a with only two stamps between! My sheet is the perforation 12.5 on native paper. You will note the very bad condition of the perforating pins, certainly a long way from a straight line! If you have a complete sheet of any other values with this unusual layout, or can identify a surcharge on this sheet size, please advise the editor.