Saturday, December 25, 2021

Odd stamps : 01i Perfumed stamps

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Now the days are short and the nights are longer, we try to make it cosy at home.
Regardless if you turn your house into a lighthouse or not, lights add to create a nice atmosphere in your home.
So far, there are no stamps available that turn lights on in your house, but there's another option.

It has been a while, but I posted already some stamps with a frangrance.
The stamp(s) I present today fulfill your seasons' wishes.

The stamps were issued by Estonia, in november 2016.

The low value (€ 0.65) shows a bisquit in the shape of a snowflake, topped with ice sugar.

Estonia 643 - Christmas stamp 2016

The high value (€ 1.40) looks like a christmas three, but consists of a pile of figurines, (humans and animals) holding lights.

Estonia 644 - Christmas stamp 2016

The first stamp does not only shows a bisquit, it also smells like one.
It was printed with a fragrance of ginger and cinnamon.
Both stamps are autoadhesive, and to preserve the scent, it is best to keep them in a sealed (transparent) container.

See also my other post on this fragrance :

Friday, December 24, 2021

Czech Hradčany stamps - 1 haller 1.6

In 1918-1920 there was little time to print stamps for the newly formed country Czechoslovakia.
The Austrian-Hungarian empire was dissolved after the first World War, and new countries were formed. This included the need for own stamps. Due to the urge for stamps, many of the early printings were defective or at least with lots of irregularities.

The Czech Hradčany stamps can keep one busy for hours. With a bit of patience, you will easily find little (or large) flaws on the stamps.

Plate I, position 87

Plate I, position 87
The colour of the stamp is dark brown, due to the light on the photo, it appears yellowish brown.
Two flaws determinate the position on the sheet.
At first, we find an ink spot in the C of CESKO.

Plate I, pos 87, spot in C

The second mark, is right of the left branch. There we see a spot that is not suppposed to be there.

Plate I, pos 87, spot next to branch
For this position, there are no secondary (or not listed) flaws, as far as I could see.
With only two clear flaws, it might be difficult to find a copy, if the postal cancellation is hiding them.

The second Hradčany stamp is from plate II.

Plate II, position 03:

Plate II, position 03
Also this stamp has -only- two destinctive flaws.
At first, there is a small dot, outside the north east frame corner.
This is only visible with a nicely cut stamp with wide borders.

spot in the N-E corner

After lots of printing on this plate, the image became more and more blurred.
Not only the spot in the corner is visible, there are also multiple spots above the frame in general.
On early copies, only the corner spot is determinating for the position.

The second 'flaw' is much cooler.
Here, the sun is not round but egg-shaped.

egg-shaped sun
With only one stamp in your collection, it would be difficult to see if the sun is actually round or ovoid. Yet there is a tiny mark that can help you out.
'normal' sun

'ovoid' sun
On the roof, there is a tiny gap.
In the 'normal' sun, this gap is about halfway the diameter of the sun.
Compared to the 'ovoid' sun, the dots of the sun's border stop more or less at the small gap in the roof.
When comparing both versions, we clearly see the 'normal' sun is way closer to the 4th tower.

By the way the sun on the design, was never 'normal'.
According the design, this sun is rising in the west, Mucha took some 'artistic liberty' (or was it the sunset instead?).
In later designs, the sun was omitted.

to be continued ...

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Czech Hradčany stamps - 1 haller 1.5

More on the 1 haller Hradčany stamps of Czechoslovakia:
On this post, I will get deeper into two new plate I positions.

Plate I, position 57

There are some easy to find flaws on this stamp.

Plate I, position 57

One flaw on this position is the gap in the frame border, on top of the T.

The largest flaw can be found right of the right branch.
There is a dark line leaving the branch towards the image border.

Another flaw is the supplemental dots in the 3rd leaf.
There are also little distortions in the S of SLOVENSKA

One oddity is not described, so it might be coincidential, and not relevant for all stamps in this position:
an additional gap in the north east corner.

For the next one, we take a closer look at position 60 of plate I.

Plate I, position 60

Plate I, position 60

For this position, the key flaw is under the frame, below the value 1.

In the letter K there is a spot (mentionned flaw) but also in the O there is a spot (unmentionned).

On top of the 5th tower, there is a spot in the sky.
Two more - unlisted - flaws are left and right of this location.
We see a part of the sun missing (1 o'clock position), and on the other side, there is a gap in the right branch.

I even found another unlisted flaw, that might be coincidential, but still worth to mention.
It is a white dot next to the last spiral.

It would be great if other stamps from that same position would be available for comparsion.

to be continued ...

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Czech Hradčany stamps - 1 haller 1.4

In this post, I present two stamps on position 49.
The first one is from plate I, and the second one from plate II.

Plate I, position 49

plate I, position 49
For this position, all flaws are in the upper part of the stamp.
There is an additional spot in the frame, left of the 3rd spiral, above the P of POSTA, and on top of the frame, between the S and the T of the same word.

detail plate I, position 49
All dots of the sun are equal, except the one on the 10 o'clock position. This dot is bigger than the other ones.

The next stamp is on the same position, but on the second plate. Except for the position on the plates, there is nothing common on both stamps.

Plate II, positon 49

note: the colour of the stamp is dark brown as well, the picture below was taken with background light, which made the image look yellowish brown.

plate II, position 49

This stamp was not an easy one to determinate.
There is a clear gap in the frame right below of the last circle.
A second indication for position 49 (plate II) is a colour line under the M of Mucha (the signature).

There is another stamp with a gap in the right border frame, but this requires a connecting line between the C and the H of the signature.
With a closer look on the signature, my best guess is the line under the M.
Although the catalogs indicate a larger line than what i found on my copy, I must conclude that it is not the version with the connected  C and H.

detail of Plate II, position 49
Any suggestions are welcome.

To be continued...

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Czech Hradčany stamps - 1 haller 1.3

Two more varieties of the 1 haller stamp.
Both are from the first plate again.

Plate I, position 36

This is a very nice flaw. The P is open, where the curved line touches the vertical line.
In case this might be covered by a postal cancel, some other indications can help identifying the position.

Pl I, pos 36 - broken P

Right of the third circle, a spot can be found in the frame border.
A bit lower, right of the pigeon, there is also a spot outside the frame.
Finally there is a colour spot in the E of SLOVENSKA.

Plate I, position 36
There is an additional flaw which is not mentionned in literature.
I mention it as a possible additional flaw.
The branch of the right leaf is broken on the right hand side.
possible flaw position 36 (PL I)

Plate I, position 48

Another example of the same plate I, but now position 48.
This was a hard one  to determinate, as the described flaws are rather 'smal'

Plate I, position 48

In the south west corner, there are two gaps in the frame.
One is left of the tail of the pigeon, the other one is below the foot of the pigeon.

frame is broken twice

On the other side, a colour spot can be found under the tail of the right pigeon.
Also here it's a smal flaw, that easily is covered by a postal cancellation.

tiny spot under the wing

Finally when you look at the sun, there is a spot missing at 10 o'clock.
A combination of all flaws, result in the conclusion that it is position 48.

Two more remarks (not mentionned) of flaws that I found, can be coincidential, but I give them as additional information.

There is a clear colour spot above the left side of the T in POSTA.

colour spot above the T

And one of the spots above the value frame, has a line towards the oval.

Line under the spot

Those last two flaws are not determinating for the location of the stamp in the sheet.
But if would be interesting to see more of the same positioned stamps, to conclude if the flaws are permanent or not.

to be continued...

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Czech Hradčany stamps - 1 haller 1.2

In this post, I will present two more stamps from the 1st plate of the 1 haller stamp.

Both are from plate I.

Plate I, position 21

Below are two examples of the same stamp (and position).
In the P of POSTA, there is a colour spot (or break) at the top of the letter.
There is an additional spot in the sun, just above the roof.
Between the sun and the 5th tower, there is a spot that does not belong there.
Finally, there is a spot at the top of the value frame.

Plate I, position 21

Plate I, position 21

In both stamps above, the blue markings are the described plate flaws.
I have indicated some oddities in yellow too. At first, with only one stamp on my desk, I presumed that the yellow indications were coincidental, but, with a second copy of the same plate position, it seems, that those irregularities might appear on all stamps of position 21 (Plate I).

The other marks (not determinating for the position without the flaws above):
There are spots in the 3rd spiral,
The left frame is broken next to the second circle, and the serpentine left of that second circle is broken too.
On the right branch is an additional spot.

Plate I, position 25

Plate I, position 25
Next example is position 25, still from the first plate.
This is an example of a huge flaw.
On the left hand side, there is a big scratch, between the second spiral and the first circle.
Also the circle is affected.

Further more, the L of SLOVENSKA has an extra white spot on the right.
Looking at the sun, we see an opening at 10 o'clock, at 2 o'clock and at 3 o'clock.

Since all 100 stamps of each sheet are described with their own specific plate flaws, and there are as many of each position, there is no additional value given to each of those stamps.
But it does add a new dimension to this easy-to-obtain stamp.

to be continued...

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Czech Hradčany stamps - 1 haller 1.1

The 1 haller brown stamp (design III)

different 1 haller stamps

There are small errors described for each of the 100 stamps on plate 1 and plate 2 of the 1 haller stamp.
With some luck, and a lot of time, you might be able to find one of each, and compile a full sheet of each plate.
Although the different positions in each plate are well described, I still have a number of these stamps, that do have plate flaws, but that are not mentionned in the lists, It might be coincidental errors that are not typical for determine a position on a plate.
Often, one error is determinating for the position, and other, small errors confirm the position.
Some of the minor errors do occur on multiple stamps as well.

Plate I, position 1

Plate I, position 1

On this stamp, we see a spot in the C of CESKO. There are other stamps with spots in that C, but here it's at the same level as the line in the middle.
At the same time, the V of VENSKA has an additional spot too:

detail of spot in V
In the 9th spiral, there is a colour spot, that doesn't belong there.
And finally, the 3rd heart is connected to the spot right of it.

All four of those flaws indicates that the stamp is the first one of Plate I.

to be continued ...

Friday, December 17, 2021

Czech Hradčany stamps - Introduction 0.3

So far I spoke about the 26 different values, issued on the Czech Hradčany stamps.
Including the main colour variations, we reached a number of 36 different (imperforated) stamps.

Now comes the 'fun' part. Each stamp was printed on sheets of 100 (10 x 10) stamps.
Below, I listed up the number of plates that are described, in bold are the rare ones...
For most stamps, 2 plates were used, resulting in 2 x 100 (200) possible variations:
design I : 3 h - 25 h - 30 h - 40 h
design II : 100  h - 200 h - 400 h
design III : 1 h - 50 h
design IV : 60 h - 80 h - 1000 h
design V : 10 h  - 20 h  - 30 h - 75 h - 120 h - 500 h

there are 4 plates described for the following stamps: (400 stamps per type)
design I : 5h - 10 h - 20 h
design V : 25 h

The 300 h (IV) has one plate described (100 stamps)
The 15 h (V) has 5 plates (500 stamps)
and the 5 h (V) has 8 plates (800 stamps)

A quick count makes a total of 15,000 (!) possible combinations possible...

Most of the described plate flaws are easy to detect, as they always occur in the same places on a stamp.
However, due to the average to poor printing quality, several irregularities can be found on the many stamps, that are not considered as plate flaws, but coincidental errors - and therefore not described in reference works.

design 1/2

In the first design, errors occur in each letter of POSTA and/or CESKO SLOVENSKA,
in one or more of the 10 leafs,
in one or more of the 4 hearts,
in one or more of the 2 pigeons,
in one the value shield,
in one or more of the 6 towers,
in one or more of the 8 spirals
in the sun, or the sunbeams,
in one or more of the 9 wavy lines under the central image,
on or outside the outer frame, including the signature MUCHA
sometimes in the plants on the left (3) or on the right (9).

design 3/4

For the next design, most point of attention are the same,
less errors are described in the plants in front, but now there is a curvy line on both left as right side of the image.
Additional are the 4 circles, two on each side.

design 5
For the last design, the sun is deleted, but a new element is added, the church in fornt.

to be continued...

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Czech Hradčany stamps - Introduction 0.2

In my previous post, I introduced the 5 basic types of the Hradčany stamps of former Czechoslovakia.
Without much effort, a set of 26 stamps can be collected, to have 'one of each'.
However, this inexpensive stamp can open a new world if you are willing to take a closer look.

selection of Hradčany stamps
All issues, with the design type mentionned

1 h : dark brown (III)
3 h : violet (I)
5 h : light green (I) / also deep green (I)
5 h : bluish green (V) / also dark green (V)
10 h : red (I) / also dark red
10 h : yellowish green (V) - watch our for forgeries!
15 h : brick red (V) / also brown red (V)
20 h : bluish green (I)
20 h : carmin red (V) watch out for forgeries!
25 h : blue (I) / also light blue (I)
25 h : purple (V) / also black-white (V)
30 h : yellowish olive (I)
30 h : light red violet (V) - watch out for forgeries!
40 h : orange red (I)
50 h : purple (III)
50 h : blue (V)
60 h : yellowish orange (IV) / also reddish orange (IV)
75 h : greenish black (V)
80 h : olive (IV)
100  h : brown (II)
120 h : grey (V) / also silver (V)
200 h : ultramarine (II) / also violet blue (II)
300 h : greyish green (IV)
400 h : bluish violet (II)
500 h : brown (V)
1000 h : reddish violet (IV) / also bluish violet (IV)

Starting with 26 basic stamps, adding 10 know colour variations, we already have 36 stamps.
The rare ones are in bold.

So far only the imperforated stamps are subject to this post.
In later issues, the stamps were produced with perforations too.

common mix of

to be continued ...

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Czech Hradčany stamps - Introduction 0.1

In the early days of newly created country Czechoslovakia, in 1918, a set of 26 stamps were issued between 1918 and 1920.
All over this issue, 5 designs were used : 

Design 1 and 2 are very similar:
for the lower values, 3, 5, 10, 20, 25, 30 and 40 haller, the texts 'POSTA' and 'CESKO - SLOVENSKA' are white on a coloured background (design 1).

design 1

In the higher values (100, 200 and 400 haller), the texts become coloured, and the background is white.

design 2
In 1919 a renewed design was made.
The word 'Cesko-Slovenska' is now horizontally placed. (design 3) - 1 and 50 haller

design 3
Later that year, a design error was corrected: the sun does not rise in the position behind the castle, and was therfore removed. All other items remained the same. (design 4) - 60, 80, 300 and 1000 haller.

design 4

Finally, from August 1919 on, a fifth design was used. The bush in the front of the design was removed and replaced by a full design of the Saint Nicholas church (design 5).
This design was used for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50, 75, 120 and 500 haller.

design 5

Besides the obvious differences in the designs (mainly 1 - 3 and 5), a number of elements return in all designs:

design 1-2

design 3 - 4

design 5
Each design has the word POSTA and CESKO-SLOVENSKA somewhere written,
Below the image is a field for the value,
In the central image, we see 6 towers,
There are branches left and right, each with 5 leafs, so 10 leafs in total,
At the bottom, we see 2 doves and 4 hearts,
Each design has a number of spiral decorations, 8 in design 1 and 2, 10 in all other designs,
There are wavy lines in design 1 and 2 on a horizontal line, and split into two verical lines in the others,
In design 1, 2 and 3 there is a sun with rays - in design 4 and 5, the sun is gone (corrected).

This small introduction will help you in the following episodes, to find out which position several stamps had in the plates that were used for the printing.

to be continued ...