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Interesting DL watermark S  
 

 
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Valued Member
Germany
322 Posts
Posted 06/16/2017   03:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Hello,

I just saw this watermark and thought it looks a bit different from the "S" in DL watermarks I know.

The "S" seems to be wider and less inclined or "more round" than the other example I show as last image.

So the question appeared: Are there like "plate flaws" for watermarks? I mean there could also have happened errors in watermark production? Of course with this stamp the USIR is always in your head, and in a book I saw that the "S" of USIR is different from the USPS as well.

stamperix





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Valued Member
Germany
322 Posts
Posted 06/16/2017   2:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I searched a bit in the internet and didn't find any "errors of watermark production", but indeed I found two different versions of the "S" in a DL watermark. I made a picture here which shows:
- the known watermark graphics for USPS and the USPS "S" (photo I made)
- a watermark graphic and a scan of a USIR "S", both from here:
http://philatelics.org/~allan/shrop...usirwmk.html
- the photo of the "S" of the stamp I showed above

In my opinion (and also in the opinion of those who made these watermark graphics) there is quite a big difference between the "S" of the two watermarks. And also in the scans I can find exactly this difference. The watermark I showed above fits (of course...) very well into the "S" of the USIR graphic. These two just look more "round" and have different endings and another middle area.

I found also, that for a certified USIR stamp you need a "I" or "R". Sure, that's the easiest way. But hasn't there been made any research about the USPS and USIR watermark about their differences? Hasn't there been any article about the letters and their appearance? I think the images here just show it.



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Valued Member
Germany
322 Posts
Posted 06/19/2017   09:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
On stampsmarter it says:
It is thought by most authorities that the "U" and "S" watermarks of the normally watermarked "USPS" postage stamps are indistinguishable from their "USIR" counterparts, and that either a clear "I" or clear "R" is needed to fully authenticate the "USIR" variety.

What does mean "most" authorities? I think this is really interesting and I'd like to read more about this, in articles or books. I mean, in stamps all is about definition and detective work going down to a part of a mm, but in this case we just say that the "U" and "S" are the same although the "S" really appears different even without measuring? So perhaps the history of those watermark would help - were the old letters from the USIR just reused, or did someone design the USPS DL watermark with 4 "own" letters?

Also interesting: in the American Philatelist XXV from 1912 it says that the 4c had also the USIR - is that not correct anymore today?
It has just been announced that the 4 cent stamp of the 1895 issue, United States, has been found on the paper watermarked USIR for the revenue stamps. This is a most interesting discovery, which opens up the question as to how many values of that issue were printed evidently by mistake upon the paper intended for the ordinary revenue stamps. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing began manufacturing our postage stamps in 1894. In 1895, in consequence of a lot of counterfeit 2 cent stamps that were discovered, a watermark of the double-lined letters USPS (United States Postal Service) was introduced, and about the same time paper similarly watermarked USIR (United States Internal Revenue) was employed for the Playing Card revenue stamps then being printed by the Bureau. The same paper was naturally used for printing the Spanish War revenues issued in 1898. Quite evidently the use of the two similar papers in the same establishment resulted in the mix-up by which we gee the postage stamps on the revenue pa- per. The first value found was the 8 cent which came to light in 1899, we believe. No other value was found until 1910, when the 6 cent of the same issue turned up. And now we have the 4 cent. What will be the next value? Surely the chances are good for some others of the series!
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Valued Member
Germany
322 Posts
Posted 06/26/2017   07:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As I didn't find any further information about the "S" and "U" differences between the USIR and USPS double line watermark and there seems to be no knowledge about this also here, I did some more research by my own.

I took all better images of both watermarks I found in internet image search and made drawings above them to make the lines better visible. These drawings are quite exact. Please note the differences between the "S" of the USPS watermark (at the top) and the USIR watermark (at the bottom). It has another shape and size. (In black color the watermark I showed above.)

So I sill wonder:
- is there any historical knowledge about the usage of the letters "U" and "S" for these two watermarks?
- what about the article of the 4c stamp with USIR, has this been proven wrong?





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3616 Posts
Posted 06/26/2017   08:11 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...I took all better images of both watermarks I found in internet image search and made drawings above them to make the lines better visible. These drawings are quite exact...


You have analyzed watermark images, not actual watermarks. You do not know the image sources, but even worse you do not know if the images have been modified. For example, if the images have been resized then you have no way to determine if the aspect ratios were precisely maintained.

The variance in the images could easily explain why you think you are seeing differences.

If you feel that you have a rare stamp, send it in for a certification and please report back on the results.
Don
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
3964 Posts
Posted 06/26/2017   09:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The S watermarks are indistinguishable when observed first hand. The only method for being sure on USIR watermarks is to see an I or an R.
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Valued Member
Germany
322 Posts
Posted 06/26/2017   09:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, that's what I read everywhere, but I don't know why this is the case, so what the history of the two watermarks is? And at most places I read that most experts think so, but not all. So there has to be any research and discussion about it?

Don: Sure, that's important, but don't worry about the aspect ratio too much, as at least two of those stamps are my own and my own scans, and they fit very fine to the other USPS / USIR stamps I found in the internet. Also, of course I also played with the aspect ratio before to see if then the "S" letters would fit, but that's only the case for the first line (USPS) and the second line (USIR). The drawings though show the original watermarks.
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