The below extract is taken from Hugh Jeffries column in the June issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly.
HUGH JEFFRIES COLUMN – SOME INTERESTING VARIETIES
Two from West Africa
Last September I illustrated an interesting-looking flaw on the 1884-91 3d. stamp of Gold Coast, which had been shown to me by Richard Lewis. The stamp has a misshapen ‘R’ in ‘THREE’ and had received a good certificate from the BPA.
I was able to position the stamp as R10/4 of one of the two panes on the plate by referring to a much less obvious variety elsewhere on the stamp, so all we needed to know was whether the ‘R’ flaw was present on other stamps from R10/4.
Unfortunately, I had no response to this myself, but the subject was picked up by the editors of Cameo, the journal of the West Africa Study Circle, to which Jeremy Martin responded with a scan of the bottom row of a sheet of 3d. stamps, showing the minor flaws on R10/4, but not, unfortunately, the ‘R’ flaw.
So we now know that the minor flaws (a break in the bottom left of the box around ‘COAST’ and a small nick in the triangle alongside it) are on R10/4 of the left pane, but we are still no wiser about the consistency of the ‘R’flaw. Have you seen one?
There are a number of ‘shared letter’ varieties already listed in the catalogue, Gibraltar SG 25a, Bahamas 152a and Mauritius 253a and 256a come immediately to mind), so here is a possible contender from Lagos, sent in by Peter Horlyck. Found by him at Stampex this year and on Lagos, SG 26, the 1884-86 1s. orange Queen Victoria, the ‘shaving’ affects the whole of ‘ONE’ and the ‘SH’ of ‘SHILLING’. As usual, I have to ask whether anyone else has recorded this one and is the sheet position known?
Watermark excitement in Australia
Watermark varieties have long been big in Australia, where an inverted watermark of which a small handful are known rates catalogue prices of tens of thousands, while a similar variety of equal rarity from almost any other country, with the possible exception of Great Britain, struggles to make it into four figures.
So, when a new Australian inverted watermark is discovered, it is always big news and I am grateful to leading Australian dealer Tony Shields, for notifying us that a used example of the 1942 1½d. green Queen Elizabeth stamp on C of A watermarked paper (SG 204) has been found with the watermark inverted and has been given a genuine certificate by the Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria.
This is a stamp which exists both with and without watermark, and as far as the used version is concerned is a considerably scarcer stamp on unwatermarked paper. Thus, you would think that the watermark would normally be checked, making it a surprise that this new variety has only just been found.
SG 204 is a very common stamp, present in almost every ‘schoolboy’ collection you will come across, so it’s got to be worth checking any that you have just in case—and if you cannot be bothered, at the time we went to press the discovery copy is still available from Tony Shields at firstname.lastname@example.org for A$20,000—that should get you looking!
This new discovery will, of course, be listed in the forthcoming 10th edition of the Stanley Gibbons Australia Catalogue, due to be published in a few weeks’ time.
Among the newly listed items is the distinctive ‘Extended wing’ variety on the 3d. airmail stamp of 1929 (SG 115). These were issued in booklets (SB24/a) as well as sheets, the booklet versions being identified by a small dot in the centre of the horizontal margin between the stamps. The ‘Extended wing’ only occurs in booklet panes, on R1/2 of a pane of four.