Tete-Beche

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The greater number of collectors knows the meaning of the word tete-bech, but there are many of the younger collectors who neither know the meaning of the term nor its derivation. Of course it comes from the French, as do many other Philatelic terms. The term means that the top of one stamp corresponds in position to the bottom of the other. The word ‘tete’ means head and refers to the upper part of the stamp; the word ‘beche’ is used instead of bechevet. This is an old French word composed of the detractive prefix Bes (or bis) and the word chevet, derived from the Latin Capet head. The word tete is a redundancy, beche by itself being sufficient to indicate the idea of reversal.

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