What is a retouch as compared to a re-entry? This very question was posed to 2 experts of this topic, Ralph Trimble and Ken Kershaw. Ralph is past chairman of The BNAPS Re-entry Study Group and has a website devoted to displaying his research on the matter. Ken Kershaw has written books about the topic wherein he published his research with specifics  dealing with the Map Stamp.

The Query:

What is the difference between a Re-entry & a Retouch?

I.Ralph Trimble's response- Regarding the distinction between re-entry and retouch, re-entries always occurred from the misapplication of the transfer roll on the plate whether it be strengthening a worn impression, or entirely replacing a faulty transfer. Retouches involved the use of hand tools and the plate maker working directly on the impressions in the in the  steel by hand to strengthen worn or broken lines, or even try to hide the errant lines of re-entry itself. 

Re-entries are done by hand whereas Re-entries are achieved by transfer roll. These are important distinctions, and one which is consistently confused even by some experienced dealer and collectors.

II.Ken Kershaw's response - A retouch is is usually of limited extent, determined readily by the characteristic "hands on" quality. They are hand done using an engraving tool. Usually restricted to an engraved line but equally widely seen in lithographed stamps as well, and I have compiled three books on PEI lithographed stamps and all have good examples of retouches. In lithography the weak or missing part of the image is simply added to the lithograph simply using a grease based pencil. Again since they are done by hand they are usually readily seen in a computer scan at 1200 dpi or less.


There are several examples of both Re-entries and Retouches in the Map Stamp, which are found at various locations in the Black plates.

PLATE I - has two examples of re-entry on  Stamp 3 and Stamp 89.

PLATE II- has 11 examples of re-entries on Stamps at location - 7, 17, 27 , 37, 47, & - 9, 19, 29, 39 and  stamp 85 & 
                   at positions 91, 92   
               - it also has re-entries occurring along the cable in the bottom row of stamps from 91 to 100 as well as retouches                 in stamps 5, 60,  78, & 90.

PLATE  III- has a re-entry at position 47 and a myriad of retouches occurring in the cable along the bottom row of                            stamps 91 - 100 and position 100 has 2 other areas where retouches occur. Retouches also were done to the                       whole of the 10th row or positions 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100

PLATE V - This plate has a number of areas, which have been re-entered. There were Major re-entries made at positions                  29 and 90 and also Minor re-entries on stamps 1, 2, 3. 4, 5, 13, 12, 14, 15, 23, 28, 32, 42, 43, 44, 52, 53, 54,                      55, and 62, 64, 74, 82, 83, 87, 88, 92, 97, 99, & 100.