Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers and Shades

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Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers and Shades

Post by davpot »

Australia 1/6d Hermes stamp Airmail Papers and Printers and Shades discussion -

Something caught my attention the other day as I was reviewing my Hermes Airmails.

I know John Ash printed the 34 THICK PAPER and McCracken printed the WATERMARKED THICK AND THIN PAPERS, but whats the story behind the seemingly illusive THICK WATERMARKED ASH PRINTING?

I seldom see Imprints of this issue and am wondering if there is a way to tell the Ash THICK WMK PAPER from the McCracken of the same. Anyone have any price information on the Ash Thick Watermarked Imprint block? It seems like an elusive little item!

Thanks you Pros!

Dave :mrgreen:
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Re: 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Clive »

David,

As far as I know there isn't any way to distinguish between the Ash and McCracken chalk-surfaced printings, unless you have the imprints.

Actually, there are two Ash imprints, one with lettering of 42.5mm and the other of 38mm. The 42.5mm is ACSC 162za and is priced at $A100 mint never hinged and $A75 hinged mint. The 38mm is ACSC 162ze, $A125 MNH and $100 MH.

The McCracken imprint is ACSC 162zf, $A35 MNH and $A25 MH.

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Re: 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by davpot »

Thanks Clive: No wonder their elusive! They are on my "to find" list.

Just as soon as I pay off the pair of Green cancelled Kooka sheets I was offered. This stuff is addictive!!

And it doesnt help one darned bit that I lived in WA back in the day!

Dave :mrgreen:
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Re: 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Clive »

David,

A pleasure.

Those miniature sheets with the green cancel are very, very elusive - worth going into debt for. :wink: :D

The ASCS prices the mini sheets at $300 for the red cancel, $350 for the blue, and $500 for the green. An ordinary used MS is priced at $400 - there can't be too many genuinely commercially used MSs out there.

For the mint MS, ACSC prices are $225 MNH and $150 MH.

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by davpot »

Hello Clive et al:

In reference to the Hermes 1/6d brown watermarked stamp, I noticed in the ACSC that the THIN paper was issued in 1948, and about 1 year later the thin paper gray 1/6d airmail came out.

Am I correct in assuming that the dark gray airmail REPLACED the thin brown Hermes? Im wondering also why the thin paper watermarked brown hermes is so cheap IF IT WAS REPLACED ABOUT A YEAR LATER!

Im a little confused on this. Can anyone clarify? The THIN watermarked BROWN Hermes is pretty cheap after all these years.

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by pertinax »

BTW can anyone say what this?

Image

I asked the GOM a while ago and was told that someone had a mint imprint strip in the same colour.

I suppose it's easy to assign this to colour changeling status - but has anyone seen a changeling where the the colour wasn't patchy? I haven't, but then I collect mainly early GB.

Why is it that this stamp looks just like the shade of other red Australian stamps of this period??????


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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Global Administrator »

The original print Hermes is VERY easy to spot .. as it is NO WMK and on highly glazed chalk paper - and the rough guage perfs are totally distinctive.
Image
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=17229

As davpot has not offered us a scan at any point of WHICH he is talking about, I do not really understand his question!

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Clive »

David,
In reference to the Hermes 1/6d brown watermarked stamp, I noticed in the ACSC that the THIN paper was issued in 1948, and about 1 year later the thin paper gray 1/6d airmail came out. Am I correct in assuming that the dark gray airmail REPLACED the thin brown Hermes?

The 'thin' claret 1/6 Hermes, issued in February 1948, was replaced by the 1/6 grey-black Hermes in September 1949, so had a life of about nineteen months.
Im wondering also why the thin paper watermarked brown hermes is so cheap IF IT WAS REPLACED ABOUT A YEAR LATER! Im a little confused on this. Can anyone clarify? The THIN watermarked BROWN Hermes is pretty cheap after all these years.
True, it's cheap. I don't know why, guess it's the old supply and demand thing. There was a lot of speculative buying of late 1940s stuff and those items sell for next-to-nothing to this day, so perhaps the thin Hermes falls into that category.

Glen will know.

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Global Administrator »

pertinax wrote:BTW can anyone say what this?

Image

I asked the GOM a while ago and was told that someone had a mint imprint strip in the same colour.

I suppose it's easy to assign this to colour changeling status - but has anyone seen a changeling where the the colour wasn't patchy? I haven't, but then I collect mainly early GB.

Why is it that this stamp looks just like the shade of other red Australian stamps of this period??????


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Strange one .. never seen THAT colour before!

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by PeterS »

Global Administrator wrote:The original print Hermes is VERY easy to spot .. as it is NO WMK and on highly glazed chalk paper - and the rough guage perfs are totally distinctive.
Image
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=17229

As davpot has not offered us a scan at any point of WHICH he is talking about, I do not really understand his question!
Glen, I think the question is regarding the difference between the printings of teh Thick, Watermarked, paper. The only way I know of is with the imprint. There are no other distinguishing features (so far as I know).
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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Clive »

Peter,

David's question was -
In reference to the Hermes 1/6d brown watermarked stamp, I noticed in the ACSC that the THIN paper was issued in 1948, and about 1 year later the thin paper gray 1/6d airmail came out. Am I correct in assuming that the dark gray airmail REPLACED the thin brown Hermes?

Im wondering also why the thin paper watermarked brown hermes is so cheap IF IT WAS REPLACED ABOUT A YEAR LATER! Im a little confused on this. Can anyone clarify? The THIN watermarked BROWN Hermes is pretty cheap after all these years.
It's not too difficult to tell apart the 1937 chalk-surfaced paper and the 1948 uncoated (thin) paper stamps; it's rather like the difference between the Robes thick and thins.

I'm not sure how helpful the imprints would be in all cases as both the 1937 and 1948 stamps come with McCracken imprints (although if it's watermarked and it's an Ash imprint it can only be the 1937 version).

But I think Dave's question was about the cheap price of the 1948 stamp, given that it was only on issue for about a year and a half.

Dave, there were over eight million of the 1948 1/6 Hermes issued, so it isn't exactly a small printing. And as I said, I think this issue may have been bought up by speculators. Whatever, it sure won't break the piggy bank - I bought a MNH imprint block of four yesterday on eBay for $5.50.

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by PeterS »

clive willingham wrote:Peter,

David's question was -
In reference to the Hermes 1/6d brown watermarked stamp, I noticed in the ACSC that the THIN paper was issued in 1948, and about 1 year later the thin paper gray 1/6d airmail came out. Am I correct in assuming that the dark gray airmail REPLACED the thin brown Hermes?

Im wondering also why the thin paper watermarked brown hermes is so cheap IF IT WAS REPLACED ABOUT A YEAR LATER! Im a little confused on this. Can anyone clarify? The THIN watermarked BROWN Hermes is pretty cheap after all these years.
It's not too difficult to tell apart the 1937 chalk-surfaced paper and the 1948 uncoated (thin) paper stamps; it's rather like the difference between the Robes thick and thins.

I'm not sure how helpful the imprints would be in all cases as both the 1937 and 1948 stamps come with McCracken imprints (although if it's watermarked and it's an Ash imprint it can only be the 1937 version).

But I think Dave's question was about the cheap price of the 1948 stamp, given that it was only on issue for about a year and a half.

Dave, there were over eight million of the 1948 1/6 Hermes issued, so it isn't exactly a small printing. And as I said, I think this issue may have been bought up by speculators. Whatever, it sure won't break the piggy bank - I bought a MNH imprint block of four yesterday on eBay for $5.50.

Clive
The initial question in this thread, which is what I was referring to, was how to tell apart the Ash and McCracken printings of the chalk surfaced, watermarked paper.
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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Clive »

Peter,

Whoops, sorry about that. I was still travelling down one of the side roads. :) :roll:

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by PeterS »

clive willingham wrote:Peter,

Whoops, sorry about that. I was still travelling down one of the side roads. :) :roll:

Clive
Clive, no problem. I find myself doing that rather frequently! :lol:
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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by davpot »

Pete and Clive: Many thanks for the clarification on the thin 1/6 airmail: 8 Million??!! Holy C***! I wonder what they were thinking? Very Interesting. I doff my cap to you two!
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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by PeterS »

davepotts wrote:Pete and Clive: Many thanks for the clarification on the thin 1/6 airmail: 8 Million??!! Holy C***! I wonder what they were thinking? Very Interesting. I doff my cap to you two!
Dave
Dave, 1/6d was the airmail rate to the UK. A lot of letters travelled between here and Britain in those days. :)
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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Jack »

I have a problem;

Image

This is on a cover I bought today. Note the date; 12 April 1936 paying a nice triple rate. The issue? the stamp on the left is far 'whiter' than the other two. Note around outer edges of the stamp; much cleaner/ no 'brown smudge'. As well, it is, by comparison, less good at taking the ink-- note how light it is above the globes. The lines are there, just very light. I have no real experience with 'papers' but it seems different but ACSC does not mention this.

Is paper variation known for this first issue?

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by PeterS »

Jack wrote:I have a problem;

Image

This is on a cover I bought today. Note the date; 12 April 1936 paying a nice triple rate. The issue? the stamp on the left is far 'whiter' than the other two. Note around outer edges of the stamp; much cleaner/ no 'brown smudge'. As well, it is, by comparison, less good at taking the ink-- note how light it is above the globes. The lines are there, just very light. I have no real experience with 'papers' but it seems different but ACSC does not mention this.

Is paper variation known for this first issue?
Jack, the chalk surfaced paper is no watermark and the stamps were line perforated. The watermarked thick and thin papers were both comb perforated. Hard to tell from teh scan but they all look to be comb? If so, then it is just a variation in teh inking that gives the difference in appearance.
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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Clive »

Jack,
peters wrote: Hard to tell from teh scan but they all look to be comb? If so, then it is just a variation in teh inking that gives the difference in appearance.
Peter, with an April 1936 cancel they are for sure and certain the 1934 no watermark perf 11 stamps.

Jack, there were six printings of the first Hermes. My copies show quite a variety of shades and more to the point, variations to the colour of the paper, ranging from snow white to almost tinted, like the ones on your cover.

Not sure about this but I fancy it might have something to do with the vagaries of chalk-surfaced paper. For instance, the 1935 1/- ANZAC is another stamp where the paper ranges from bright white to off-white. Also, that claret colour - the 1914 6d kookaburra shows a similar range of shades and paper colour - so just maybe that is also an influence.

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by PeterS »

clive willingham wrote:Jack,
peters wrote: Hard to tell from teh scan but they all look to be comb? If so, then it is just a variation in teh inking that gives the difference in appearance.
Peter, with an April 1936 cancel they are for sure and certain the 1934 no watermark perf 11 stamps.

Jack, there were six printings of the first Hermes. My copies show quite a variety of shades and more to the point, variations to the colour of the paper, ranging from snow white to almost tinted, like the ones on your cover.

Not sure about this but I fancy it might have something to do with the vagaries of chalk-surfaced paper. For instance, the 1935 1/- ANZAC is another stamp where the paper ranges from bright white to off-white. Also, that claret colour - the 1914 6d kookaburra shows a similar range of shades and paper colour - so just maybe that is also an influence.

Clive
Clive, thanks. For some reason (maybe it is the raging head cold I have!) I completely overlooked the bleeding obvious!
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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Jack »

Many thanks for the help, much appreciated.

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Re: Australia 1/6d Hermes Airmail Papers and Printers

Post by Clive »

Peter,
Clive, thanks. For some reason (maybe it is the raging head cold I have!) I completely overlooked the bleeding obvious!
I do it constantly.

And don't have a cold to excuse it. :(

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Phoenix Auctions 1/6d Hermes "Plate Proof" comments please!

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

I just received the latest Phoenix Auctions catalogue in the morning mail.

This cover is shown on the catalogue back cover:

Image

Here is the catalogue wording for Lot 1391:

"BW #161PP(1), unpriced, on a highly surfaced white paper (small fault) distinct from the normal, together with 3d and 6d Airmails tied by Catherine Hill Bay cds to 1937 (Jul 12) souvenir philatelic cover prepared by W.H. ("Bill") Hornadge, whose mother was Postmistress at this Post Office.

A new discovery and believed to be a unique usage (normal on cover accompanies). [It is believed that this stamp came from special display boards of current Australian stamps. These were made up in 1935 and used for display in Post Offices. Only one example, other than this lot, exists in private hands.]"

Now there is no doubt that this is a superb and unique cover and to me it's totally legit, but I'd like some comments by members here on the appearance of the 1/6 Hermes in relation to the other stamps and to the cover itself.

I have my opinion but I'd like some others please :idea:
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391 - comments please!

Post by Brummie »

You mean it looks too fresh and was added yesterday? The J in the date is also too low, if you look at the others they are higher.

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391 - comments please!

Post by Allanswood »

Very hard to say that that stamp is tied to cover.
The postmarks all applied at the same time seems to have missed most of the ink on that stamp.

It is a very white stamp though. Maybe the highly surfaced coating made it avoid a heavier cancel?
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391 - comments please!

Post by Kainnikanada »

I tried to join a couple of letters that are opposite each other - there is some guessing since not all letters are cleanly struck.

Hopefully two different combinations might provide a comparison.

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391 - comments please!

Post by David Benson »

Most probably the 1s.6 has been removed for close inspection and then not exactly replaced to the correct position,

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391 - comments please!

Post by Philanthropist »

It is an "interesting" item in MHO.
Bill would have used good stamps, perhaps the OS overprint etc, with a high catalogue value stamp perhaps being removed by some ......... for their collection/resale?
Covers were not highly valued by some ..... for many years
The 1/6 was first issued in 1934, the second on 31/10/1937 and the third in 1948.
Can someone comment on
a) the 1/6 air mail variety, perhaps after a viewing?
b) Does the 1/6 make a correct rate for this time and address.
c) the other strikes are good, and clear?

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391 - comments please!

Post by revenuecollector »

David Benson wrote:Most probably the 1s.6 has been removed for close inspection and then not exactly replaced to the correct position,

David B.
I realize that this is accepted practice when it comes to postal history expertization, but to me it is anathema.

In my opinion, once a stamp is removed from cover or document, it's an off paper stamp and the original document usage has been destroyed. I wouldn't touch it under any circumstances.

Breaking an egg and then putting the shell pieces back together doesn't make it equal to its original state.

I hate the practice.

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391 - comments please!

Post by aethelwulf »

Philanthropist wrote:b) Does the 1/6 make a correct rate for this time and address.
Being a philatelically-created cover, if the franking is overpaid would be no surpise.
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by PPA »

Just to clarify a couple of points.
There is no indication that the 1/6d stamp has been lifted and replaced or has replaced another stamp.

The 1/6d is properly tied and all postmarks are consistant.

The rate at the time was 2/1d making this cover overcharged by 2d. Fairly normal for a philatelic cover.

I believe the poor postmark impression is partly a product of the shiny white paper but also partly caused by the cancel not striking 100% flat.

I hope that clears a few misconceptions up.
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by DJM »

That 1/6d has aged pretty well compared to the other two stamps and the envelope it's on....

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Global Administrator »

Image
Image
I see no evidence of a 'lifted' stamp (why would anyone bother, for goodness sakes?)

I see no evidence of a fake postmark.

All I see a sun faded 1934 1/6d Hermes. :lol:

It is stated to be no wmk, single line perf 11 on chalky paper - as is the normal issued stamp from 1934, which is Dull Claret.

So the only difference is the colour. And the abnormally white bleached paper. The usual colour stamp is shown above from the same auction lot. Neither photo colour adjusted by me.

The ACSC does curiously indeed list one "Dull Lilac" known on a display sheet and states that is a "Plate Proof".

Thankfully it is not priced, or the ebay fakers would be hard at work knocking them out with the help of the Sun's rays.

I have no idea where they got that idea from it is a "plate proof".

Indeed significantly, the ACSC DO say however: "there is some question whether the dull lilac shade represents the colour as originally printed".

So while a PO window display sheet may exist with this stamp affixed and being in a pale colour, I cannot see how it is regarded by anyone (other than the current hopeful owner!) as being a "plate proof".

IMHO it is simply a faded 1/6d. Gee -- fancy that! A PO window sheet fading in the light. :lol:

I have seen many 1/6d Hermes in this faded shade due to sunlight or bleach.

So we have here a stamp on the same paper, same no wmk, and same perf - but screamingly obviously bleached by sun or otherwise - the normal 6d Smith and 3d air alongside being on normal yellow toned paper, making it abundantly clear that it has been artificially bleached somehow before being affixed.

Enter Bill Hornadge into the scenario. He was the greatest stamp entrepreneur this country has ever seen, and founded 'Stamp News' and Seven Seas Stamps.

Bill was 19 at this time in 1937 and very active philatelically. And he most certainly was once living in Catherine Hill, and many of his early covers are from there.

The superb FDC cover catalogue I have in stock shows this exact design cover with a MAY 1937 cancel. See below.

The July cover is over-franked by 6d .. Airmail to Europe was 1/9d (according to AAMC page 276 at base) , and to England 1/6d at this time.

The German recipient clearly pasted his address and a "Mit Luftpost" label onto a blank cover, and mailed that back to Hornadge to mail to him. Bill ran as can be seen, stamp magazines and a cover exchange club.

Did Hornadge affix a many year's old sun faded mint 1/6d stamp laying around, that might have once been on a display sheet at his mother's Post Office?

What evidence is there he did not? The new watermarked 1/6d Hermes in a different perf was about to be released, after all.

This one has a paper chip/divot out of the face - and was possibly like that before being affixed, and otherwise not usable.

Does this cover have a certificate that it is anything other than one bearing a sun faded stamp? No.

Is this cover worth the $5,000 estimate? We will all know that in a few weeks. :)

Image

Image

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by David Benson »

Glen,

check out the circle at the base of the stamp and also the alignment of the date in the centre,

I also agree with you that without a certificate stating it is a Plate proof then it should not be described as such,

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Global Administrator »

David Benson wrote:Glen,

check out the circle at the base of the stamp and also the alignment of the date in the centre,
David Benson - the cancel month alignment is identical on all strikes IMHO.

David Wood who posted above me (while I was typing my reply actually!) and has the cover in his hands, is one of Australia leading cds experts at PPA, and he too agrees the cds is kosher.

I mentioned the chip/divot from stamp surface, if that is what you refer to re "circle"?.

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by PPA »

Just another small but relevant point about the 1/6d.

The paper of this stamp is a shiny highly-surfaced white paper, completely different to the papers used for any of the normal 1/6d stamps.

The fading theory does not account for the completely different paper.

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by GlenStephens »

David, the standard chalk coated paper is by definition highly surfaced and smooth.

Witness the superb print quality on the same "thick" paper (chalk faced) 1937 "Robes" from same year, versus the thin ordinary paper of later on from same plates.)

Why wouldn't a sun faded stamp be on far whiter paper - and still highly surfaced?

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by David Benson »

David Wood,

It doesn't bother me one iota if the stamp has been lifted and replaced, it is done every day and has no relevance to it's value,

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Thank you all for your comments especially those from PPA.

My reasons for raising this as a topic were:

1. When I first looked at the cover I was surprised at how bright the paper was on the 1/6 Hermes in comparison with the other stamps and the cover itself. I can understand that the paper type was a major factor in that, yet it's so damn bright :!:

2. The other query I have is regarding the lack of cancellation showing on the 1/6 Hermes. There are only very small parts of the CDS and they are on the stamp edges.

The stamp surface is at the same height for all three, yet there is no visible ink showing on the bulk of the 1/6 stamp surface. How could that have occurred when the other CDS's are all very crisp and clear :?: More pressure on one side of the CDS when struck on the 1/6 is not the answer.

Any further thoughts on the above, particularly point 2. :?:
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Global Administrator »

Lakatoi 4 wrote:
2. The other query I have is regarding the lack of cancellation showing on the 1/6 Hermes. There are only very small parts of the CDS and they are on the stamp edges.

The stamp surface is at the same height for all three, yet there is no visible ink showing on the bulk of the 1/6 stamp surface. How could that have occurred when the other CDS's are all very crisp and clear :?: More pressure on one side of the CDS when struck on the 1/6 is not the answer.

Any further thoughts on the above, particularly point 2. :?:
That is not an issue I don't feel Tony. The colour certainly IS!
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The 1/6d is properly tied and all postmarks are consistent.
Global Administrator wrote:David Wood PPA who posted above me (while I was typing my reply actually!) and has the cover in his hands, is one of Australia leading cds experts at PPA, and he too agrees the cds is kosher.

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Rod Perry »

The thread relating to this item prompts me to add some information which may be enlightening. Firstly, allow me to advise that the ACSC listing of this item (161PP(1)) came about when a c1935 Post Office display board was brought in to my auction business in the 1990s. The 1/6d Hermes mounted on that board was obviously quite different in shade to any I had seen.

The normal dull claret shade does not have the blackish ink content present in the mounted example, and although the stamp, and some other contemporary stamps present in the mounted arrangement, displayed a slight degree of "dullness", owing to exposure to natural and/or artificial light for perhaps a decade or more (the 10/- Kangaroo was a notable exception; the pink is highly susceptible to fading).

The Editor of ACSC, Geoff Kellow, and I concluded that the ink used for the 1/6d Hermes was sufficiently colourfast that light exposure could not create the dull (blackish) lilac "cold" shade from a normal "warm" dull claret.

The term "Plate proof" was chosen to list the variety. On reflection, "Colour trial" or just "Trial" may have been a better terminology, as will be indicated later. Before proceeding to those technical's, I will add some further background information relating to the subject item at Phoenix (Lot 1391).

This item was recently purchased on eBay for a very modest sum, from a vendor in Germany, where it's probable that the item has reposed since 1937. It was offered as nothing special, just an airmail cover. The buyer recognised the 1/6d variety, and it was subsequently shown at a meeting where Geoff Kellow, Paul Fletcher (present proprietor of ACSC) and myself were present.

Paul was first to comment on the striking whiteness, and highly surfaced nature of the paper, which also appeared thicker than the normal chalk-surfaced paper used for this stamp issue, which was confirmed by comparison with a normal. The distinctive shade is deeper, undeniably more "blackish" in comparison with the dull lilac I had discovered, and another example of the variety which was able to be accessed and compared.

Incidentally, the census for the "dull lilac" variety in private hands is now four examples, one handstamped "SPECIMEN", all emanating from Post Office display boards; another is in Australia Post archival collection, on intact display board.

It is a fact that the Note Printing Branch initially experienced difficulty with the printing of the 1/6d Hermes. According to N.P.B. records (see ACSC Page 5/44, footnote 2), an initial printing was made in October 1934 on watermarked paper, but was deemed unsatisfactory, subsequently destroyed, and recourse was had to coated paper.

I suggest it is possible that more than one coated paper was trialed at the time, and that our subject item is one such. Why would a 1934 printing not be used until 1937? Enter the "Pile Theory"; the first sheets printed are most likely to be the last to be issued. A printer piles sheet upon sheet, the most recently printed being the first to be distributed, given they are at the top of the pile.

The involvement of Bill Hornadge, whose mother was Postmistress at Catherine Hill Bay (the P.O. where cover was serviced), is tantalizing, but is probably coincidence. That small Post Office is unlikely to have been issued with a display board; the example brought to me in the 1990s was said to have come from Melbourne G.P.O., and it is believed that only the largest P.O.'s received this special production, an early attempt at stamp publicity it would appear.

Even if it was issued with a board, Bill was unlikely to have helped himself to the mounted stock (!), or to have recognized that at least one sheet/part sheet of 1/6d Hermes in his mother's stock was "special", not at age 19. Bill would write in Stamp News, by his own admission, he couldn't tell one Kangaroo watermark from another! Bill was a great philatelic entrepreneur, rather than a Philatelist.

The Germans in the 1930s loved their airmail stamps of the world, and Bill being an international correspondent in the 1930s would upon request gladly have facilitated a contrived cover, bearing the three current airmail stamps of Australia (which explains why the rate is overpaid).

The comment in ACSC "There is some question whether the dull lilac shade represents the colour as originally printed" (Page 5/43), written in 2007, was prophetic. The Phoenix cover, containing the stamp as printed, well stored without undue exposure to light as happened to the display boards, shows the unaffected trueness of the shade, and high quality of the paper it's printed upon. Personally, I think the quality of production of this stamp is superior to the regular issued stamp.

The keen eyes of Stampboards members, initially focusing upon the postmark and tie applicable to the subject stamp is commendable. However, I concur with the assessment made by David Wood of Phoenix that the postmark is not an issue with this item.

Is it feasible that a "trial" stamp can be pressed in to postal service? The remarkable imperforate plate proof pair of the 2/- Kangaroo on the commercial cover once in the "Gray" collection (Lot 587) I suggest puts paid to that question.

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Rod, thank you for this information, it's invaluable :!:
Rod Perry wrote: The keen eyes of Stampboards members, initially focusing upon the postmark and tie applicable to the subject stamp is commendable. However, I concur with the assessment made by David Wood of Phoenix that the postmark is not an issue with this item.
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You mention that thicker paper was used for the 1/6d Hermes. Perhaps that may have caused the CDS strike to bear only on the adjacent stamp and the edges of the 1/6d thus missing the bulk of the surface of that stamp :idea:
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Rod Perry »

Yes, Tony, I think you're right about the paper thickness contributing to the cancellation inconsistency.

David Wood actually eludes to that possibility above, stating:

"I believe the poor postmark impression is partly a product of the shiny white paper but also partly caused by the cancel not striking 100% flat."

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod Perry wrote:
The Editor of ACSC, Geoff Kellow, and I concluded that the ink used for the 1/6d Hermes was sufficiently colourfast that light exposure could not create the dull (blackish) lilac "cold" shade from a normal "warm" dull claret.
Rod this stamp changes colour dramatically. Peter E here once gave "Mrs Gas" a toned sheet of these, and they all turned into spectacular colour changeling's, that looked identical to this stamp on cover, as I recall.

Cost him a fortune that little exercise. :lol:

You agree your display sheet of window specimens were sun affected, and the violet group generally do strange things in sun or chemical exposure.

The normal 1/6d Hermes being on chalk faced paper is rather thick of course.

David Wood confirms the stamp on this cover has NOT been lifted -

"There is no indication that the 1/6d stamp has been lifted and replaced"

So how anyone can decide it is "thicker" than a normal, without being able to measure the thickness in any way is a rather amazing skill. :)

And to say Bill Hornadge preparing a cover with a weird stamp on it is "probably coincidence", is a long bow to draw. :D

Where he got the stamp none of us will ever know, but it being a sun bleached copy from Newcastle PO window display etc would not be beyond the realms of possibility. Bill was an Entrepreneur of the first order as you know.

The fact it seems a one-off from Bill as most of his covers are still about, points to it not being sheet stock, but a single Bill sourced from somewhere - i.e. possibly a window display sheet.

When I see a Committee cert saying it is a Plate Proof/Trial Print I'll be a lot more convinced. 8)

Maybe you can tell us how it reacts under UV, as of course that would be basic test number #1 it was subjected to?

I wrote recently of this set of PNG 1952 Defins below that had been hand-stamped "Specimen" in violet - near all of the hand-stamps had sun faded away as can readily be seen. The only one I can make out is the 1/-.

Genius buyer paid $3,262 on estimate $300. So the Phoenix cover may indeed surprise!

That Aust WW2 era sheet with similar 'specimen' hand-stamps that you or Leski sold decades back may well have seen that SPECIMEN handstamp sun fade at times if they were on display at other than MEL GPO.

I sold Arthur Gray the 1/-, 5/-, 10/- and £2 3rd Wmk perf OS CTO with an identical violet "Specimen" handstamp, decades back - for a relative pittance.

Those are not recorded in ACSC yet, but they do exist, and clearly are genuine, so clearly stamps other than the MEL GPO sheet had it applied.

https://www.glenstephens.com/snaugust11.html
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Rod Perry »

The u/v test showed the subject stamp did not react any differently to a normal, Glen. I'm not aware if a light-affected example of this stamp issue would react differently under u/v to a stamp which had not been so affected? I'll place a normal on the window sill and let you know the answer to that quandary in due course!

The measurement of thickness without removing stamp from cover is made by measuring the thickness of stamp on cover combined, and then deducting the thickness of just the cover from the total. The stamp was slightly thicker than a normal. I don't now have those measurements, but will repeat the exercise when I go to Melbourne for Phoenix sale. An opinion only was sought at the Kellow/Fletcher/Perry gathering.

I agree, Glen, the Bill Hornadge connection is an unlikely "coincidence". Let's just say I had that familiar gut-feeling that this item was not an unnatural confection when I inspected it several months ago. You know the feeling, that inexplicable sixth sense which comes with years of experience.

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Allanswood »

If you want to speed up the UV test, by my current experiments, 10hrs in the direct Aussie sun (spring/summer with winter = double the time to 20 hrs), is the equivelent of 1 month on a window sill getting non-direct exposure. :)

SO what I do is take a scan at the end of each day and build a run of colour changes.
For example then 6 days = 6 months in a shop window.

The other thing I find is that paper left in the sun (for a long time) tends to tone beige as well, unless it's modern highly treated paper. Toned like common newsprint turns in just a couple of hours.

I can't think of anytime that long term exposure to light will turn paper whiter.


The other thing to do is examine the ink under high magnification and look for pigments.
I'm playing with 1,000x at the moment, but I think even stronger would be the go.


I'm still trying to get my head around the missed CDS. If the paper is thicker and thus sitting prouder (higher), off the cover, then it should have been the first area to have been inked by the CDS and not missed. The other 3 strikes are complete and very well inked and executed for the 4th to have missed so much.
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Allanswood wrote: I'm still trying to get my head around the missed CDS. If the paper is thicker and thus sitting prouder (higher), off the cover, then it should have been the first area to have been inked by the CDS and not missed. The other 3 strikes are complete and very well inked and executed for the 4th to have missed so much.
This is what I think could have happened. Please excuse my poor sectional drawing, totally out of scale and the angles are wrong but you get my drift with this (I hope):

Image

So basically the adjacent stamp is lower than the 1/6d. The CDS strikes most of that but then only locally near the perfs on the 1/6d. Hermes.

I know the paper will compress a bit which should have nullified the angular effect, but it's all I can think of to explain the lack of ink on the majority of the 1/6d.
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by revenuecollector »

Also, keep in mind that while that is a pictoral representation meant to show the effect, the actual angle is going to be nowhere near that large. A difference in thickness of tenths or hundredths of a millimeter is not likely to skew the application of the cancel that much.

The surface composition of the stamp in question is likely to have a far greater effect.

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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by Rod Perry »

The following images demonstrate just why I just love Philately.

A collector from Sydney, who has read this discussion, has sent me these images of a cover he obtained when he was in the UK in the early 1990s, and given permission for use here.

The images are:

1. A cover showing ANOTHER of this curious dull blackish lilac on highly surfaced white paper
2. Close-up of subject item
3 and 4. Normal 1/6d cover supplied by the collector, and close-up, which for convenience allow readers to make ready comparisons.

The last word in Philately will never be written. And that's a good thing.

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Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Phoenix Auctions - Lot 1391, 1/6d Hermes - comments ple

Post by GlenStephens »

March 1936 from Melbourne, and July 1937 from Newcastle NSW.

So much for the "last sheet in the stack" theory above Rod. Or indeed a single sheet theory. 8)

The MEL cover scan is heavily under-exposed I notice. Be interesting to see a normal exposure scan of it.

Which will look rather more like this (with a rather normal looking 1/6d) where the typed address looks like normal exposure -
Image
Not this underexposed version -
Image
Image

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