Great Britain

Imprimaturs

The term 'Imprimatur' simply means 'let it be printed' and it refers to the first stamps or sheets printed from a finished printing plate. Before a stamp plate was finally approved for production, one last step was to take an impression from it so that it could be examined in its entirety for any blemishes. After checking, such sheets might be marked 'Approved' or 'Print' and were often retained in the archives of the printer concerned. They might be perforated or imperforate and examples subsequently taken from the sheets are desirable, in part because they show the impressions in their optimum state before any wear had taken place.

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