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Hong Kong Machin Definitives (1992 - 1997)

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Posted 09/20/2021   07:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Johan Enschedé changed the composition of its Cartax phosphor with yellow fluor additive. It did so, because of problems with the brightness, or lack thereof, of the light signal after exposure to the uv lamp in Royal Mail's letter facing and sorting machines. The Deegam handbook lists these yellow phosphors for the British Machins printed by Johan Enschedé. The $1.30 stamps from 7-Eleven stamp books have the dull green AY2-type phosphor, whereas its $2.50 and $3.10 counterparts have the original bright greenisyellow AY-type phosphor.


Stamps from 7-Eleven stamp books (with yellow phosphor), fluorescence under a Leuchtturm long-wave uv lamp
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Edited by NSK - 09/20/2021 4:37 pm
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Posted 09/20/2021   5:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are three sources for these three stamps. The stamps were first issued in books of ten stamps sold at 7-Eleven stores. On 14 February 1997, the Hong Kong Post office issued another prestige stamp book. This was titled "Hong Kong Past & Present." The book was printed by Johan Enschedé. It contained three panes with small-sized Machin stamps printed in lithography. The panes also appeared as souvenir sheets. The panes from the stamp books are larger than the miniature sheets. The panes have the miniature sheets set within illustrated borders made to look like parchment. The miniature sheets and the panes from the prestige stamp books bear the inscription "Hong Kong Classics" and a serial number (7, 8, and 9).

According to the Deegam handbook the stamps from all three sources have AY-type phosphor bars. Only the $1.30 stamp from the books of ten stamps have AY2-type phosphor bars. On my stamps, the colours of the Machin heads are all deeper on the stamps from the miniature sheets as shown in below image.


Enschedé lithography stamps with phosphor bars from "7-Eleven" stamp books (top) and "Hong Kong Classics" souvenir sheets (bottom).
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Posted 09/21/2021   05:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Between 18 February 1994 and 14 February 1997, the Hong Kong Post Office issued 15 souvenir sheets with Ian Leung's Machin stamps. Eleven of the sheets had a single $10 stamp. In a blatant attempt to make collectors part with their money, most of these were printed in colours unique to a single sheet. Before posting these souvenir sheets, I shall first comment on the stamps themselves.

The first of the souvenir sheets was issued on the opening day of the "Hong Kong '94" stamp exhibition, 18 February 1994. This contained a single $5 stamp. Leigh-Mardon Pty Ltd. of Australia printed the sheetlet in lithography on fluorescent-coated paper. Since the stamp was printed on paper without a watermark, it is different from the stamp from the "A History of Hong Kong Definitive Stamps 1862-1992" prestige stamp book. Another difference is that this stamp was printed in only two colours, whereas that from the prestige book was printed in three colours.


$5 from "A Stamp Is Born" souvenir sheet, fluorescence under a Leuchtturm long-wave uv lamp


I already wrote three sheets were issued in conjunction with the "Hong Kong Past & Present" prestige book, on 14 February 1997. Johan Enschedé of the Netherlands printed the booklet and the sheets in lithography on OBA-free coated paper. These stamps also have yellow phosphor bars.


Enschedé stamps from "Hong Kong Classics" souvenir sheets nrs. 7-9, fluorescence under a Leuchtturm long-wave uv lamp



1994 & 1997, small-format stamps from souvenir sheets.
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Edited by NSK - 09/21/2021 06:15 am
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Posted 09/21/2021   06:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Enschedé stamps from "Hong Kong Classics" souvenir sheets nrs. 7-9, fluorescence under a Leuchtturm short-wave uv lamp


Enschedé stamps from "Hong Kong Classics" souvenir sheets nrs. 7-9, phosphorescence after irradiation by a Leuchtturm short-wave uv lamp
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Posted 09/21/2021   10:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The remaining eleven miniature sheets all had a single $10 stamp. This had the same format as the $10 stamp from counter sheets. Seven of these stamps were printed in colours unique to the sheetlet. Johan Enschedé printed all these souvenir sheets in lithography. It printed the counter sheets in gravure.

According to Daniel Tangri all stamps but two had perforation gauge 14. The two remaining stamps gauge 14.5 x 14. I checked the perforations of these two sheets and found they had the same perforation gauge as the other sheets. This coincides with the listings on the online site that should not be mentioned here. This site gives a perforation gauge of 14.25. Since some listings measure in 0.25-steps and others in 0.5-steps, this is not a significant deviation. The standard gauge of 15 x 14 used for many British stamps is closer to 14.75 x 14.25. It is likely Enschedé used the same equipment for printing the Hong Kong stamps as it did for British stamps. The site does list one stamp with another perforation gauge, but it is not one of the two mentioned by Daniel Tangri.


S10 stamps from souvenir sheets.

Both the Deegam handbook and Daniel Tangri list all the $10 souvenir sheets as printed on OBA-free coated paper. Below image shows the stamps from the souvenir sheet issued on 23 februari 1996 with a strong fluorescence under long-wave uv light.

The yellow-fluorescing overprints of the words "HONG KONG" show little variation on my stamps. One stamp stands out with a yellow-green fluorescence. Another stamp shows a pale yellow fluorescent reaction.


Fluorescence under a Leuchtturm long-wave uv lamp
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Posted 09/21/2021   10:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Other than being printed in lithography and not gravure, the $10 stamps from the souvenir sheets differ from the counter sheet stamps by the fluorescent bar below the stamp. The fluorescent bar on counter sheets extends beyound the width of the printed area. The width of the fluorescent bar on the stamps from souvenir sheets coincides with the width of the printed area.


Yellow fluorescent bar below the design on high value stamps: short bar on miniature sheet stamps (top) and long bars on counter sheet stamps (bottom).
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Posted 09/24/2021   06:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Hong Kong Post Office issued its first souvenir sheet with Machin stamps of Ian Leung's design on 1 September 1992. The souvenir sheet commemorated the presence of the Hong Kong Post Office at the "Kuala Lumpur '92" fifth Asian International Stamp Exhibition. It was issued on the opening day of the exhibition that ran from 1 to 9 September in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The souvenir sheet was printed in Lithography by Johan Enschedé on OBA-free non-phosphorised paper. It contained a single $10 stamp in a blue colour, instead of the brown colour used for the counter sheet stamps. Below image shows the typical round corner perforations of the large-format stamps. The counter sheet stamps also have these corner perforations.



The souvenir sheet with a single $10 stamp in a new colour was a blatant attempt by the Hong Kong Post Office to cash in on the success of an earlier souvenir sheet celebrating the New Zealand 1990 World Stamp Exhibition held in Auckland. The sheets for that exhibition were in short supply. Hoping for a repeat, dealers bought large stocks of the 1992 and later souvenir sheets. As they were available in large numbers, a set of all sheets remains cheap to buy on eBay. Some dealers broke up sheets into sets of $10 stamps to turn over their stock of sheets.

* In my earlier post, I mentioned the souvenir sheets were issued from 18 February 1994. Obviously, this should have been 1 September 1992.
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Edited by NSK - 09/24/2021 09:36 am
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Posted 09/24/2021   09:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Hong Kong Post Office issued a further souvenir sheet on 6 July 1993. The souvenir sheet was the second in a series of souvenir sheets and stamp book panes titled "Hong Kong Classics Series." Sheet number 1 was issued for the 150th. anniversary of the Hong Kong Post Office, in 1991. Each sheet depicted classic Hong Kong stamps.

Sheet number 2 contained a single $10 stamp in a colour like that of the $10 stamp from counter sheets. The sheet, again, was printed in Lithography by Johan Enschedé on OBA-free non-phosphorised paper. The classic stamps depicted on the souvenir sheet were the four stamps commemorating King George V's silver jubilee, issued in 1935.

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Edited by NSK - 09/24/2021 09:39 am
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Posted 09/24/2021   12:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The next souvenir sheet was issued on 12 August 1993 to advertise the "Hong Kong '94" stamp exhibition. The exhibition was scheduled to take place from 18 until 21 February 1994. The souvenir sheet was printed in Lithography by Johan Enschedé on OBA-free non-phosphorised paper. It contained a single $10 stamp in purple, blue, yellow, and black.

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Edited by NSK - 09/24/2021 2:48 pm
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Posted 09/24/2021   2:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From 1 until 10 October 1993, Thailand's capital Bangkok hosted the Bangkok World Philatelic Exhibition 1993. The exhibition was sponsored by the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP). To celebrate its attendance at the exhibition, the Hong Kong Post Office issued a souvenir sheet on 5 October 1993.

The souvenir sheet was printed in lithography by Johan Enschedé on OBA-free non-phosphorised paper. Like the souvenir sheet issued for the Kuala Lumpur '92 exhibition, it contained a monocoloured $10 stamp. In this case, it was a green version of the stamp.

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Edited by NSK - 09/25/2021 04:00 am
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Posted 09/25/2021   04:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The first national stamp exhibition "Hong Kong '94" took place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, from 18 until 21 February 1994. On the first day of the exhibition, the Hong Kong Post Office issued a souvenir sheet titled "A Stamp is Born." The sheet was printed in lithography by Leigh-Mardon Pty Ltd. on fluorescent-coated paper without watermark. The souvenir sheet contained a single small-format $5 stamp. This was a new variety because of the paper, but also because it was printed in one colour.

As the title of the sheet signals, the souvenir sheet shows the printing stages of the stamp. Next to the stamp are four printings from the four plates used for the printing of this stamp. These printed the Machin head, the fluorescent overprint of the words "HONG KONG," the background colour with the calligraphic Chinese characters, and the full image. From this, it can be seen the full image without the value indicator and the words "HONG KONG," were printed in one colour and one for the outlines of the Machin head.



Below image shows Leigh-Mardon used fluorescent-coated paper for the souvenir sheet. It also shows the weakness of the fluorescent overprint.


"A Stamp Is Born" fluorescence under a Leuchtturm long-wave uv lamp
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Posted 09/25/2021   04:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From 16 until 20 August 1994, Hong Kong hosted the Conference of Commonwealth Postal Administrations. To commemorate the occasion, the Hong Kong Post Office issued another souvenir sheet. The souvenir sheet was printed in lithography by Johan Enschedé on OBA-free non-phosphorised paper. It contained a single $10 stamp. Not being related to a stamp exhibition, the stamp is similar in colour to the stamps from counter sheets.

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Edited by NSK - 09/25/2021 05:27 am
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Posted 09/25/2021   05:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The next souvenir sheet celebrating the Hong Kong Post Office's attendance at an international stamp exhibition was issued on 1 September 1995. The occasion was the Singapore '95 World Stamp Exhibition held in Singapore from 1 until 10 September 1995. The souvenir sheet was printed in lithography by Johan Enschedé on OBA-free non-phosphorised paper. It contained a single $10 stamp. As usual for such sheets issued for stamp exhibitions, the stamp was printed in new colours. On this occasion it was ruby, yellowish olive, and brown.

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Posted 09/25/2021   07:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Hong Kong Post Office celebrated the 50th. anniversary of the end of World War II with a souvenir sheet issued on 9 October 1995. This was sheet number 6 in the "Hong Kong Classics Series." Like previous issues in this series, the souvenir sheet depicted classic Hong Kong stamps. In this case, the stamps depicted were those issued on 29 August 1946 to celebrate the anniversary of the victory over Japan and the handover of Hong Kong to the Royal Navy (30 August 1945).

The souvenir sheet was printed in lithography by Johan Enschedé on OBA-free non-phosphorised paper. It contained a single $10 stamp. Not being related to a stamp exhibition, the stamp is similar in colour to the stamps from counter sheets.



The previous souvenir sheet in this "Hong Kong Classics Series" was number two issued on 6 July 1993. Sheets number 3, 4, and 5 were booklet panes. They were not issued as souvenir sheets. Daniel Tangri, to whom I referred above, writes that Post Office staff detached the stamp panes from the "A History of Hong Kong Definitive Stamps 1862-1992" prestige stamp book (issued on 12 January 1994) to sell them to collectors. I posted these sheets on the previous page. As you can see, the sheets have rouletting on the left side that is typical for panes from booklets.
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Posted 09/25/2021   3:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The 11th. Asian International Stamp Exhibition took place in Hong Kong from 12 until 16 February 1997. On 23 February 1996, the Hong Kong Post Office issued the first of three souvenir sheets advertising this "Hong Kong '97" stamp exhibition. The souvenir sheet was printed in lithography by Johan Enschedé. It contained a single $10 stamp. This was printed in the new colours dark green, orange, and black.

Both the Deegam handbook and Daniel Tangri state Joh. Enschedé printed all souvenir sheets on OBA-free paper. As shown in the picture of all $10 stamps from these souvenir sheets above, this sheet was printed on paper with optical brightening agents (OBA) added to its coating. I had two sheets. I used one for the set of stamps and kept one as issued. Both show a strong fluorescent reaction under my Leuchtturm (Lighthouse) long-wave uv lamp.

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