There is no doubt about it that inverted center stamps of the world are highly regarded and sought after by stamp collectors. A Lithuanian 60-cent “swallow” inverted center error stamp is shown below.
Fig. 1. Inverted center.
The issue was printed by lithography and all known printing errors are listed in the Specialized Lithuanian Stamp Catalogue (2012) published by A. Jankauskas. The catalog currently lists the following (main) printing errors:
- Vertical pair imperforate between (Fig. 2)
- Horizontal pair imperforate between (Fig. 3)
- Inverted center (Fig. 1)
- No watermarks (Fig. 4)
- Double paper (Fig. 5)
Is this a complete list of major errors?
In my stamp collection I have an imperforate pair, which I always assumed to be the horizontal pair imperforate between with trimmed perforations. It also has an expert’s mark – A. Brun on the back.
Fig. 6. An imperforate pair.
I recently came across yet another imperforate pair, which has inspired me to delve deeper into research on this subject. Much to my surprise, I discovered strong evidence that imperforate sheet(s) of the 60 ct stamps may have been inadvertently issued.
An imperforate block of 6 stamps was found to be listed on page 138 of the 1986 Dutch auction catalog De Nederlandsche Postzegelveiling, Select 86. A photocopy of the item can be seen on page 26.
Fig. 6. De Nederlandsche Postzegelveiling, Select 86, Auction catalog.
Fig. 7. De Nederlandsche Postzegelveiling, Select 86, Lot No. 7187 – C49(245U) 60c imperforate block of 6 (click to enlarge).
Fig. 8. De Nederlandsche Postzegelveiling, Select 86, Lot No. 7187 – A photocopy of 60c imperforate block of 6 (click to enlarge).
This will be a surprise to many, and certainly bad news for most of you who missed an opportunity to acquire the imperforate pair at recent eBay auction. Obviously, I would caution collectors not to purchase imperforate pairs with trimmed perforations, especially since crooks are very good at producing fakes as evidenced by the example shown below.
Fig. 9. Double inverted center (fake)
I would be grateful to colleagues for their comments on this topic.
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