If anyone can answer this for me would be so very much appreciated I am looking through my Scott Standard Postage Stamp 2002 Vol.3 G-I catalog (pg 74) at my Germany stamps and in the Germany 1889-1900 REIGHSPOST 46 A9 stamp there is as follows 46 A9 3pf Brown a 3pf yellow brown b Imperf ---WHAT DOES IMPERF MEAN? c 3pf reddish brown I have this stamp in amazing condition but I am not sure which of the 3,,the one I have is just brown Thanks again everyone for your help! Dave
Imperforate means the stamp was produced without any perforations to help separate the stamp. You either had to use scissors/knife or tear by hand to separate the stamps.
Many of the earliest stamps were imperforate. The introduction of the perforation to stamp production also meant opening up the possibility that the production step might accidentally get left out. So on later stamps, when you see "imperforate" listed, sometimes it is an error stamp (they forgot to perforate that sheet of stamps); but sometimes they would deliberately issue a stamp in imperforate form, in which case it would NOT be considered an error.
And to confuse matters more, some modern self-adhesive stamps have straight die cuts. They lack perforations, but a method of stamp separation was still applied during production. With the stamp affixed to an envelope, it looks like an imperforate stamp. These stamps will not be listed in the catalog as "imperf". No catalog handy right now, but I recall one listing describing the stamp as "die cut" with no further information.