Mutants - Lin Yangchen
©Lin Yangchen

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Coconut tree climbers ascend with the aid of a rope lashed between the feet to produce friction against the trunk. They sometimes train monkeys to do the harvest instead. The coconut's scientific name Cocos was itself derived from the Portuguese word for "monkey", on account of the three spots on the nut that make it look like a monkey's head (McCurrach 1960).

The Crown Agents ordered De La Rue to print more stamps of various denominations as pre-war stocks turned out to be insufficient (Proud 2000); see Vousden (1996b) for printing and overprinting locations by denomination. Due to post-war disorganization and constant changes of policy, stamps were dispersed all over the shop and orders were unrealistically small and numerous (Barker 1993, Cockburn 1998), creating a fertile breeding ground for variations, plate flaws and printing errors; see Cameron (1950), Wells (1963, 1968), Pratt (1968), Ruffle (1964), Stanway (1992), Tyre & Stanway (1991), Glover (1994), Peters (1994a), Robinson (1994), Hale (2002), Crabtree (2012), Pollard (2000a, 2012), Brown (2015, 2017a, 2017c), Chum (2015), Cockburn (1998, 2015, 2016a), Murray Payne (2015a,b), Morris (2017) and Staffeldt (2017).

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 multi-pronged 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. Peter Cockburn (comm. 2017), however, attributed these varieties to variations in plate pressure.

Close-up of the 'white forehead'.


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