Post by crazyquilter on May 23, 2014 12:40:23 GMT -5
I was working on some Stamps of Spain and found numbers on the back of the stamps. They are Control Numbers not Scott numbers. The Control numbers are in different colors of ink. If you have a Scott Catalog and want to see what I am writing about look under 1901-05 King Alfonso #272
Thank you kacyds and JanetC for your help and the idea to start this thread.
If you ever found anything on the back of a stamp please share your find with us. Or if you find something like I did and need help please don't be afraid to ask.
For the members who want to read about control numbers, I found this :
Eh, it was on my list of things to do. Hey don't laugh, I actually got around to making a list of things to do (it was on my mental list of things to do).
One of the "B" countries I finished a week or so ago had a control number on the back of the stamps. It was printed on every 5th stamp of the sheet.
A lot of those are from coil stamps of some European countries. In the US, coil stamps are easily distinguished by the parallel straight edges. But for some other countries where there are no straight edges on coil stamps, the control number on back is often the only way to distinguish between the coil and sheet version of the stamps.
The US also experimented for a brief period with counting numbers on the back of every tenth coil stamp.
I have discussed this set of stamps in the October competition, so I will not go into detail here; but it deserves a mention under this thread title and is as far as I know a unique kind of underprint. In brief, Fascist-occupied Montenegro issued this set in WW2 to commemorate the 19th century epic poet (and prince ... and bishop!) Petar Nyegos. On the back of each stamp were lines from his poems. For a translation of some of them and a discussion on why they were produced, see stampbears.net/thread/882/rayb-exhibit-wreath-mountains
Twice in its short stamp issuing life Fiume produced stamps carrying a charity surcharge - a set of 12 on 18th May 1919 to raise funds for student education (with a surcharge of 5 lira on all denominations), and a single stamp (with a surcharge of 2 corona - approx 2 lira) in aid of the Grossich foundation. I guess this was a medical charity, since Grossich ran the local hospital and was known for his pioneering work in surgery and public health; but it is quite possible it was an educational or other charity to which he had lent his distinguished name. Anyone know for sure?
[I've been gazumped. This is the continuation of three posts up.]
These are often described as security underprints. It always struck me that this was unlikely since once stuck on the envelope it was impossible to see it - so it could hardly help weed out forgeries. Besides which the underprint is so simple it would hardly cause any problem to a forger competent enough to forge the stamp on the other side. However in order to produce this contribution to the thread I have had a deeper think about it, and in fact it now seems to me increasingly possible. Here is what I have thunk:
The problem of the above argument relies on a fear of postal forgeries being made. This is to the nth degree unlikely. The rate of surcharge is so high (100 times face value on the lowest denomination!) that there can have been very little public demand for them for postage in Fiume. And certainly no local resident would consider buying a cut-rate 'hookey' one from a bloke in a pub. If these were to sell at all it had to be direct to foreign stamp collectors. Forgers might well be working from an illustration or from a copy stuck on cover. If so they would have no way of knowing about the underprint and so their mint copies would give the game away.
Even so, it is not impossible that the underprint was intended as a reminder to postal officials that these stamps were different to the ordinary. The fact is that the figure of surcharge is very well hidden (towards the bottom of the right hand border) and it would be easy for postal officials to miss it and charge ordindinary rate only; this would be a serious loss to the PO since they were obliged to hand over to the charity the full surcharge for each stamp 'missing presumed sold' from their stock.
Certainly they did not exactly sell like hot cakes. From December onwards there were large quantities of them left to be revalidated for ordinary postage at the non-surcharge rate:
(There were in fact two overprints - thick and thin - used for this, but since this thread is only about the underprints I have illustrated only the thick variety.)
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