BMA Malaya plate flaws - Lin Yangchen
  • BMA Malaya plate flaws

©Lin Yangchen

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A coconut can fall and hit you on the head
And if it falls from high enough can kind of knock you dead

Frederick Seidel

The notorious 'falling coconut' plate flaw just below the lowest frond on the right-hand palm, from the London printing of Plate 1 (Hale 2002). Like shark attacks, falling coconuts hitting people are rare but dangerous enough to be documented as a categorical cause of death.

Close-up of the 'falling coconut'. The appearance of the flaw suggests that it was due to some kind of contamination or disturbance during the electroplating process rather than to an accidental knock on the finished plate.

High chance of falling coconuts: a branched coconut tree (Furtado 1924) in Malaya.

Parts of the plates of the Die II 2c orange and 6c grey seemed to have worn out faster than usual, producing progressive 'white forehead' varieties in which the frontal facial features of the king were increasingly devoid of lines (Cameron 1950, McClaren 2001, Pollard 2001, Toh 2001, Chang 2003). Such differential wear and tear may be a consequence of the plate having infinitesimal deviations from perfect flatness.

Close-up of the 'white forehead'.


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