Key to Types Legend

There are many clues that allow us to identify the types of these cards. Some of them are sufficient, some are necessary. The easiest and fastest way to tell the type of a card is to get acquainted with the keys that are considered sufficient. Those will let us identify the printing and type in just one go. If that fails, you can always dig deeper and start discarding other types with other necessary keys.

For instance, if a card has a rosette in the bottom chain, that card can only be a Type 3.2. Next!

I’ve been able to gather a list of key identifiers that have allowed me to identify even the hardest cards: Some used cards are very difficult because marks and stuck paper make the task extremely challenging. For instance:

Have fun!

Next is the the list of identifiers. Try to memorize the acronyms for each of them because I use them in my catalog.

  1. First Line (FL)
    Its length is a critical key to identify the correct printing and type.
    Measurements include parenthesis
  2. Second Line (SL)
    Its length is a critical key to identify the correct printing and type.
    Measurements includes periods if any
  3. Links
    Help identify many types. Usually called by number and direction (not counting corner). I.e.- Third link from right on top chain.
  4. Outer Border (OB)
    External bold line surrounding the whole card
  5. Outlier Rosette
    Helps identify one type.
  6. Frame (F)
    Thin line between chains and inner part of the formula card.
  7. Chains
    Chain of links around the card. Usually called by its position: Top Chain (TC), Bottom Chain (BC), Left Chain (LC), and Right Chain (RC).
  8. U Alignment (UA)
    Position of the middle of U of “UNIVERSELLE” compared to the word “DE” below.
  9. Double Border
    Double border of the space for the stamp. There’s a Vertical Border (DVB) and a Horizontal Border (DHB)
  10. Middle Chain (MC)
    Its links or surrounding borders helps identify some types.
  11. Inner Border (IB)
    Inner fine line, close to the outer border


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