Black prints, historically, were special printings of stamps, printed in black ink, intended for press releases. Of course, as soon as philatelic bureaus realized that collectors sought these limited quantity items, they started printing them just for the philatelic market. France and Liechtenstein, to name 2 of which I am aware, make black prints available to order along with regular issues. Other countries create black prints which they give as gifts to standing order subscribers, or they include one with their annual year pack or yearbook as a bonus to buyers of those items, or, they will create special black prints to hand out at philatelic exhibitions.
Here is one I purchased recently. It is a black print of just the engraved vignette by Martin Mörck. The basic stamp is Iceland, Scott Nr 1119 (2007) marking the centenary of Danish King Frederick VIII's visit to Iceland. It makes a nice addition to my Martin Mörck collection of engraved stamps.
Last Edit: Jun 27, 2020 14:05:02 GMT -5 by youpiao
Starting a thread on these was on my future list of things to put on my daily Stampy Things to Do list! I was originally going to put a black print I found in the "When you don't organize/document your collection..." thread, and then put the rest in its own thread.
But I guess I'll just piggy-back onto this thread!
Add Sweden and Hong Kong to your list.
Sometimes there's a fine line between black print, test print, black proof, proof prints... in fact, I think Sweden post office calls them test prints.
When I refer to black prints, it's usually specifically for the entire stamp printed in black (i.e., looks basically the same as original, but not in color). But there doesn't seem to be a commonly accepted definition of the term, other than it has to be in black ink.
Post by coastwatcher on Jun 27, 2020 16:26:13 GMT -5
Thanks for starting this thread youpiao! Before this, I wasn’t even aware that there were such things as “Black Prints!” You could learn something new about philately every minute of your life and still not even come close to learning it all!
“The President of today is just the postage stamp of tomorrow.” ~ Gracie Allen
I collect US, Canal Zone, Hawaii, Canada & Provinces, Rhodesia, British Virgin islands, British Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia, Great Britain, Iceland, Third Reich Germany and whatever catches my eye.
Correos of Spain went one better, last year. They issue a few pruebas de artista (artist’s proofs) each year. These are reproductions, usually in black, of the actual emissions. Recently, they have been attaching a pure silver or gold reproduction of the stamp to these artist’s proofs. These come in a blister that is stuck to the proof. The back of the proof is used as a certificate of authenticity.
In 2019, Correos celebrated the centenary of the former Palacio de Comunicaciones on Plaza de Cibeles. For most of the century after the inauguration of the premises, it has been the head office of Correos. As the name suggests, the building was the centre of communications as it also housed the telegraphs and telephones companies. The souvenir sheet included a € 5.20 stamp depicting the main entrance to the building. A 24-carat gold reproduction of the stamp comes affixed to the proof sheet. It can be yours for € 18 plus postage and packaging, as it remains available from Filatelía. The yearbooks come with spaces and mounts for these proofs.
2019, Spain, Centenary of the Palace of Communications (Madrid)
As a special present, Correos included a limited-edition lithographed print of a quill drawing of the Palacio de Comunicationes as it appears on the souvenir sheet. The centre of the print was embossed (golpe en seco) to resemble a perforated stamp. The actual stamp that is part of the miniature sheet is not reproduced in this print.
2019, Spain, Centenary of the Palace of Communications (Madrid), limited edition print ex 2019 yearbook
In 2007, the building became Madrid’s new town hall.
Last Edit: Jun 28, 2020 4:00:28 GMT -5 by salmantino
Post by I.M. DeBear on Jun 28, 2020 17:49:57 GMT -5
There are dozens of different Austrian black prints. A quick check just now shows over 800 lots of them on that big auction site. A surprising number of other countries make a showing in a search for 'black print'.
OK, finally got around to uploading these and will now post!
As alluded to earlier, the current usage of the term black prints includes what others have called test print, black proof, proof prints... over the decades. The way we use the term today, the Penny Black would be a black print! The reality is, philatelic definitions are usually determined by usage, and dealers often lead the way in this respect -- leave it to dealers to totally redefine mint panes as mint sheets!
Normally, I only consider a multiple colored stamp that has been reprinted in its entirety in black ink (or grayscale) as a black print. Everything else, I consider to be black proof, black test print... But I'm probably alone in this respect. So for the purposes of this thread, I'll include what dealers also refer to as "black prints".
Here is an example of what I would strictly call a black print. The original normal multiple color S/S is shown first, followed by the same S/S in grayscale (only the Control Number is in color).
Scott Hong Kong #605(25Aug1991), Hong Kong Post Office, 150th anniversary. 2018 Scott catalog mint = $15
Scott Hong Kong #605v(25Aug1991), Hong Kong Post Office, 150th anniversary. 2018 Scott unlisted 2004 Yang Hong Kong catalog for 150th Anniversary Commemorative Album (book contains 23 complete mint sets and black print) = HK$1500 (~US$192 in 2004) -- black print is item of value from album -- recent typical sold price of black print alone is US$100-$150
25,000 albums were produced, and the black prints were individually numbered in red for each book -- mine being #10086.
Scott actually does mention items that are not valid for postage, but rarely and usually as a footnote (can't think of an example off the top of my head). They don't assign a catalog number. So some dealers will append a "v" to indicate a Scott-mentioned or Scott-unmentioned variety.
They are not valid for postage, as far as I know. Although there is nothing printed on the complete Hong Kong Post Office 150th Anniversary black print S/S to indicate it is not valid for postage. As noted, it is identical to the color version except for the red control number near the top left corner. The other "black prints" or "color cinderellas/souvenirs" (e.g., PRC) typically have the denomination deliberately omitted.
Looking back the Hong Kong Post Office 150th Anniversary black print, I just noticed that the "150th" on the black print is in black, whereas in the original S/S it was uncolored! Interesting -- looks like they made a special plate just for this black print?!?
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