Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Queensland Rarity or Forgery?

This is an article by Geoffrey T. Adams in Philately From Australia, vol 47, December 1995, p. 104 entitled Queensland Rarity or Forgery? and dealing with the QOEENSLAND flaw but on Die 1 not Die 2 where it normally occurs.

Queensland's first locally-produced stamps were S.G. Type 7 and as illustrated in their catalogue there are two dies of the l d stamp. Some of the Die II stamps have the spelling error QOEENSLAND" and these are fairly scarce.

About 25 years ago I acquired the illustrated example of the "QOEENSLAND" error on a Die I stamp. I have made enquiries both in the U.K. and Australia, without success, to find if any other example was known.

Someone with a very fine brush and a pot of white paint might have painted across the tops of the two limbs of the letter "U" to convert it into the letter "O", but there is no obvious evidence of this. Examination under ultraviolet light reveals nothing unusual and there is no evidence of paint staining on front or back. The stamp in question is Die I, matrix No. 2, watermark W6 (S.G. 135) and it has a genuine Caboolture postmark with a normal 131 numeral inside an oval of four rows of dots. It has obviously done postal service but the cancellation dots do not cover the letter "O" of QOEENSLAND". If this Die I stamp is a forgery, the perpetrator made the bad mistake of using a Die I stamp instead of a Die II stamp. I recently consulted Mr A.R. Butler, R.D.P., F.R.P.S.L. about this stamp as he made a special study of this issue when he was President of the Royal. He considers the stamp is genuine and genuinely used, and it may be a transient variety if a minute flake of copper from the plating of the electrotype detached itself at the moment of printing. This would leave a minimal depression which next time would not print and complete the conversion of "U" to "O". However, the copper plating was thin and the wound could be self-healing and after 'a few impressions filled with ink and resumed printing as a "U".

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