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Watermarks On New South Wales Stamps - Share Your Research.

 
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Valued Member
Australia
231 Posts
Posted 05/14/2019   06:45 am  Show Profile Check fairdinkumstamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add fairdinkumstamps to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The Stanley Gibbons Australia catalogue indicates that some printers in the Australian colonies paid little attention to the watermark position and that consequently watermark varieties (inverted, reversed etc.) are frequently encountered. As such, they find it impossible to provide adequate prices for them.

Many collectors are therefore unsure of the rarity of specimens in their collection.

However, careful study of the stamps of the former colonies shows that while many issues are commonly seen with inverted watermarks etc., there are undoubtedly printings for which watermark varieties are rare.

The 2004 BW Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue (ACSC Kangaroos and the Early Federal Period 1901-1912) provided prices for watermark varieties on the state stamps issued during that period.

This topic is for philatelists to share information about the frequency of watermark orientations on the colonial New South Wales stamps in their own collection.

The bigger the sample size, the better, but small sample sizes are also welcome.

Members might also add relevant information from reliable philatelic sources (other than those mentioned above) regarding frequency of watermark orientation on the issues of New South Wales.

Please use the SG (Stanley Gibbons) catalogue identifier where possible. If you don't know the SG number, provide your catalogue identification and other members might be able to provide the equivalent SG number.

Example of format (numbers fabricated for demonstration purpose):

SG 253 1888 P 11x12 1d lilac View of Sydney
Watermark 40 (Crown over NSW - 2nd type)
Sample size: 50
Comment: 15 of 50 found to have inverted watermarks.

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https://www.fairdinkumstamps.com Fair Dinkum Stamps - Specialising in stamps from early Australia and the colonies, Australian philatelic literature, catalogues, stockbooks and accessories.
Edited by fairdinkumstamps - 05/14/2019 07:08 am

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Posted 05/14/2019   4:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Suggestion:
With dedicated investigation,as this thread requires, it would be advantageous to show and image of the Wmk, and another how it is seen from the Wmk tray. (eg seen from the back)
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Posted 05/14/2019   5:57 pm  Show Profile Check KGV Collector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KGV Collector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
with Rod.

Also if catalogue numbers only are used with no stamp name etc it limits the quality of the contribution for others that do not have a reference books to relate too.

Some of the specialist threads are starting to loose me with using numbers only.
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Posted 05/14/2019   11:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
With the exception of the De La Rue issues, I have only a limited collection of New South Wales.

I do have a fair bit of literature, including Hutson's book which is still the go to reference. The following information is from his book.

I've included a generic picture of each type under each description. The mint stamps are not mine. I'll break the information up over two posts to prevent potential glazing out.

The paper for the watermarked Laureates and the early Diadems is watermarked with a double-lined numeral that matches the face value of the stamp.

The 2d Laureate is known with the watermark inverted. It is rare. SG84-86; Sc.24



The watermark for the diadems is often found inverted and reversed (ie: the paper was printed upside down and the wrong way around). Reversed, inverted or sideways watermarks are really rare. SG88-101, 107-118, 131-172, 174-181; Sc.26-42, 44




Some of the early 1d and 2d De La Rue issues have a single lined watermark again matching the face value of the stamp. For the 1d and 2d, Hutson states the watermarks can be found in all four positions, some rare. He makes mention of the 2d with '1' watermark upright as a rare stamp. SG186, 191-94, 195-99; Sc.47-48.

For the 4d, he says he had this stamp with watermark inverted and no watermark. SG203-4; Sc.50




In 1871 a new paper with a watermark of a small crown over NSW appeared (SG Wmk 36, Scott Wmk 54). Except for some of the diadems the watermark is rare in any position other than normal upright. The following are mentioned in the text:

Perf. 13 1d, 2d, 4d, 6d, 1/- watermark inverted; 3d watermark reversed; 8d all four positions, common with marginal watermark

Perf. 10 1d salmon watermark inverted; 3d all four positions; 5d reversed and inverted is common

Perf. 13x10 1d salmon watermark inverted

Perf. 12x10 3d & 5d watermark in all four positions; 9d watermark reversed

SG207-221, Sc.52-60

In 1882 the watermark large crown over NSW appeared (SG Wmk 40, Scott Wmk 55). The diadems can be found in all four positions, otherwise the watermark is almost always normal upright.

The following are mentioned in the text:

Perf. 10 6d and 1/- watermark inverted

Perf. 11x12 comb 4d inverted (not scarce) & 1/-

Perf. 12 6d inverted (not rare)

Perf. 12x10 6d inverted

Perf. 12x11 single line 6d inverted

SG222-237, Sc.61-68
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 05/14/2019 11:36 pm
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Posted 05/15/2019   12:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For the centennial issue, the 1d to 1/- values (proofs shown in non-issued colours below) were printed in sheets of 240 in 4 panes of 60, each 6x10, and the panes are tete-beche. Therefore, half the stamps have the watermark inverted.

Hutson mentioned a 4d in a deep rich red-brown shade, perf. 11 as very rare. All he had seen had the watermark inverted.

The 9d on 10d De La Rue on surfaced paper (SG236d, Sc.96) is mentioned with watermark inverted, all perforations.




For the record reign series (SG288-297, Sc. 98-100), the watermark inverted is common on the 1d Die I, 2d and 2d Die I. For the 1d Die II and the 2d blue perf. 12 the watermark inverted is rare.




For the 1899 SG Wmk 40 Sc. Wmk 55 on chalk surfaced paper (SG298-312, Sc.102-106C) Hutson says he saw only one 10d stamp with an inverted watermark. NB: The Scott listings here are confusing when compared to SG.

SG Wmk 65 (not shown in Scott but footnoted under Sc.68 - gap between NSW and crown 1mm instead of 2mm) - 3d and 5d all four positions; 4d 6d 8d 1/- all 50% watermark inverted; 9d and 10d known inverted (SG313-329)

For the Crown over single lined A watermark (SG333-349, Sc.109-119), the centennial issues are as before; the d, 10d and 2'6 are known with watermark inverted are are rare thus. The 2'6 is the same basic design as the 8d centennial.

For the 9d Commonwealth issue watermark inverted is common.



For the watermark crown over double-lined A (SG Wmk w11, Sc. Wmk 13) the watermarks didn't fit the stamps. Many show marginal letters and a few escape the watermark altogether. The centennial issues as before; the other values are common with watermark inverted except the 10d and 2'6 (SG353-363, Sc.121-131)

The registration stamp printed on debenture paper shows the watermark upright and sideways (SG106, 121-123 Sc.F1-F4).

I hope this helps
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 05/15/2019 12:21 am
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Australia
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Posted 05/15/2019   01:48 am  Show Profile Check fairdinkumstamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add fairdinkumstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
An outstanding start to this thread Bobby De La Rue - thank you very much.

I hope members can now build on your excellent information from Hutson with the numbers they find in their own collection.
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https://www.fairdinkumstamps.com Fair Dinkum Stamps - Specialising in stamps from early Australia and the colonies, Australian philatelic literature, catalogues, stockbooks and accessories.
Edited by fairdinkumstamps - 05/15/2019 01:48 am
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Australia
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Posted 05/15/2019   01:54 am  Show Profile Check fairdinkumstamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add fairdinkumstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rod222, I will try to throw together a collection of the watermarks so that they may be referred to by members as they post their findings.

Of course if a particularly rare orientation is presented, members could request the owner to show the reverse of the stamp so that we may all feast our eyes on it.

KGV Collector, the name is encouraged to be submitted as per my demonstration post - 1d Lilac View of Sydney. Additional information is always welcome.
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https://www.fairdinkumstamps.com Fair Dinkum Stamps - Specialising in stamps from early Australia and the colonies, Australian philatelic literature, catalogues, stockbooks and accessories.
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Posted 05/15/2019   02:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
FDS this may assist? 27-32 are NSW
Click to enlarge.
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Edited by rod222 - 05/15/2019 02:20 am
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Posted 05/15/2019   03:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From Plate X of Basset Hull

The first graphic is how the watermark looks from the front of the stamp, in its normal upright position. The second is how it is seen from the back.



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Australia
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Posted 05/15/2019   04:52 am  Show Profile Check fairdinkumstamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add fairdinkumstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The NSW double lined figures of value watermarks, composed of various scans, reversed and then as they appear from the back:


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https://www.fairdinkumstamps.com Fair Dinkum Stamps - Specialising in stamps from early Australia and the colonies, Australian philatelic literature, catalogues, stockbooks and accessories.
Edited by fairdinkumstamps - 05/15/2019 05:08 am
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Posted 05/15/2019   05:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you very much, Bobby, great information.

As I don't know the book: How does Hutson list those varieties, does he list them like in a catalogue, or is it more a description? So if you are writing above that a watermark is "rare" or "very rare", are those his words, or do you translate his given statistics or values into "rare"?

But I think what we see now already is a missing link between Hutson and any catalogue of today. SG writes at the beginning of the colonies' chapter in the Australia catalogue:

"Reversed, inverted [...] watermarks are frequently encountered. [...] only those watermark varieties occurring on stamps printed in Great Britain are included in the following listings."

Well, when I look through all those pages, I find watermark orientations given for the following colonies (and not only for GB-printed stamps):

New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria:
In all those cases the orientation was wrong by 90, so sideways instead of upright and viceversa. I did not find a single SG entry for an inverted watermark (maybe I did not find it?). So if we would believe in SG, only sideway/upright errors are worth collecting as all others are just common and not even worth a catalogue entry with a dash. Which can't be true of course.

The exception is Western Australia, here we find a good listing for all watermark orientations.
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Posted 05/15/2019   05:22 am  Show Profile Check fairdinkumstamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add fairdinkumstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamperix,

It is not that the inverted watermarks of colonial NSW are all common or not worth collecting. As mentioned before, some are quite rare and all are worth collecting.

Stanley Gibbons state that some entire printings had the watermarks 50% inverted and 50% upright while on others the inverted watermarks were restricted to odd sheets. This last part is where the rarities lie.

They appear not to have access to sufficient reliable information about the number issued of each watermark orientation, thus "under the circumstances it is impossible to provide adequate prices for such items".
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https://www.fairdinkumstamps.com Fair Dinkum Stamps - Specialising in stamps from early Australia and the colonies, Australian philatelic literature, catalogues, stockbooks and accessories.
Edited by fairdinkumstamps - 05/15/2019 05:23 am
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Posted 05/15/2019   05:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi stamperix,

The book is much more a description than a catalogue. They are his words, not mine. Hutson had one of the last, if not the last, research collections from before WW2. His book is based almost 100% on what he had in his possession. He died in 1963 and Spink auctioned his collection in February 2013.

To complement what you've quoted from the SG Australia catalogue, which is also stated at the beginning of the Australia listings in the 2018 Empire & Commonwealth catalogue, the latter states "The catalogue now lists inverted, sideways inverted and reversed watermark varieties on Commonwealth stamps from the 1860s onwards except where the watermark position is completely haphazard or, due to the method of printing, appear in equal quantities..." My bolding.
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 05/15/2019 05:52 am
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Posted 05/15/2019   06:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you both.

I also saw the Spink auction before, but I could not look at it without registering. It would be interesting if some watermark orientation varieties were for sale there? (especially those stamps you mentioned above as rare?)

Yes, the SG information box says more than I quoted. But all in all in really looks more like some text that was written to delete something from their todo-list :). And I don't see the connection of the listing policy to the stamps printed in GB. But we don't need to talk about SG too much, it's clear that the catlaogue is no help for collecting the watermark orientation varieties of the colonies.

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Posted 05/15/2019   06:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll have a look at the Spink catalogue tomorrow and see what it says.

The connection of SG's listing policy only covering the stamps printed in the UK is that those stamps were printed to more exacting standards (ie: quality control) than those printed in the colonies.
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 05/15/2019 06:12 am
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Posted 05/15/2019   5:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I had a look at the Spink catalogue and there are many lots that mention watermark varieties, particularly inverted reversed. The problem I have is that the ratio of watermark varieties to the total number of stamps mentioned in any given lot seems very high. This leads me to think that Hutson kept the varieties as he found them, as you do!
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