Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Conjecture about all 5c1E4t being from booklets

I have previously come across 5c stamps on the 1E4 paper. The two blocks in booklet format are on this paper. I have just realized that it is possible that the booklets were only printed on the 1E4 paper, and that this paper was only used for this purpose. If this statement is correct, then loose 5c1E4t are from the booklet printing, and this printing must have taken place on or soon after 1940, when the 1E4 paper was briefly in use.

Additional note (March 2009): Upon reading the article by Tenorio a second time, he specifically mentions that what I propose here is correct. The 1E4 paper WAS used for this printing, and all 5c1E4 stamps come from these booklets.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Answer to Rein (member::Stampboards) about the catalogs

The reason why I abandoned the use of all catalogs and went to the stamps is because only the stamps tell the correct story. I have gone through the cycle for each of these publications as follows:

1. Oh, great, this catalog has a classification I can use.
2. Ooops, I see a mistake here.....
3. Ooops, this is way off the mark......
4. Wait, what happened to this paper? It is not even mentioned.
5. I am done, next!

The Bardi material is very thorough, but following my test with the 50c stamps, of which I have several thousand, I realized that even this most advanced of classifications has confusing inconsistencies. Bardi gets pretty far, but not far enough. I even started a table that compared the papers I find with Bardi's findings and realized that his table is incomplete/inconsistent. With the limited amount of time at my disposal I can figure the stamps out quicker by looking at them than by translating those aweful Petrovich catalog numbers and Bardi's use of the m and M symbols to describe which way the watermark reads.

A complete critique of the catalogs is a subject worth pursuing, but it is lower priority for me because I still have not figured the series out to my satisfaction. Your comments on the watermarks have thankfully helped me move to a higher level of understanding: thanks!!!

This is my take on the catalogs at my disposal:

1. Scott is only useful to buy stamps on ebay because the numbers are used there. A few points:
a...The prices are not self-consistent. For example, the 1/2 centavo Straight Rays, the 05c2D, is extremely rare, but priced way lower than the relatively common 5 pesos unwatermarked grid, the 5pNGR. Every time I see a 5pNGR mint on ebay I roll my eyes.....it is always described as the greatest stamp of the series, and one comes up every month! It is even relatively common on cover.
b...The 20 pesos Scott 450 is really several stamps (1E1, 1E3, 1E4, CL1B, and two 1Ls), of which the first one, the one from 1936, is at least 10 times scarcer than most of the other ones. Scott does list the 20 pesos clay of 1943, but lists it as 'typographed,' which it may be, but the major distinction is that it is from the CL1B clay printing of 1943, which includes several unlisted values: 30c, 40c, and 2 pesos. The great rarity of the series is the 2 pesos CL1B from 1943. I came across this stamp randomly when I noticed the shiny look of it on a cover from World War II when I knew that the other clay is printed on very different colors and circulated in 1952....I could go on and on......

2. Klass/Kneitschel/Ediphila/Petrovich (now Mello-Tegglia) have combined a lot of additional information. Of these, Klass is the closest to a complete categorization for the regular issues, and Kneitschel for the officials. This is the reason why I have not uploaded the official section of Klass to my site, only that from Kneitschel. All share two characteristics that are very annoying and distracting:
a...A separation of the papers between foreign and Argentinean, even though it is unclear where this information came from. We know the Zarate papers, 1L5, are from Argentina and not much else. As I mentioned before, the catalogs can't even agree if it was Canada, England, the U.S., or the Netherlands. Deluca is the only reference I trust because it was published by the post office using official post office documentation. Deluca mentions nothing about the country of origin of the papers. Do we really know that the 1E2 came from Austria? There is work to be done here because, as you point out, if we know the country we can know more about the paper.
b...The numbering is universally confusing. Bardi used the Petrovich scheme, now adopted by Mello-Teggia, and it is the most confusing one of all. I have an excel spreadsheet with all of the numbers that at some point I would like to publish just to make the point.

I am not necessarily selling my scheme, but because it is non-sequential, I can change it as I figure out the series without having to renumber everything. For example, we do not know if any of the small format stamps were printed on the 1E2 paper. Every small format stamp I have come across from 1935 to 1944 is printed on 1E1, 1E3, 1E4, 2D and the two CL1 papers. If I find, say, the 3c San Martin Green on 1E2 paper, I can just call it 3cSMGr1E2, and I am done.

In addition, there may be a 1E6 paper from the early 1940s that may come out of these better measurements you are making, and a 1L6 paper.....Moscatelli mentions a third narrow (short rays) Straight Rays paper, which I called 2N but never looked for....much work left to do here.

And the officials are even more poorly categorized. It is easy to find the 30c departmentals on the 1E1 and 1E2 papers, yet no catalog mentions that there are two distinct papers. All 25c departmentals are 1E2!

To conclude, my over-arching plan is to let the stamps do the talking, and once I have made significant progress, I will come back to all of these catalogs and map them to my findings. To get the classification right, in my humble opinion, we have to look at all aspects at once:

1. PPGW: paper, perforation, gum, and watermark.
2. postal use from singles, blocks, and covers.
3. plate varieties that can help us separate early plates from late plates.

I thank Rein again for collaborating with me and teaching me about the papers!

His comments and enlightening measurements of the base paper grids may be found in pages 4 and 5 of:


The 20c and 1p regulars and DEPOFs in Deluca

Deluca mentions some key information about the 20cJMG/20cMG and the 1pL/1P.

According to Deluca:

1. 10,000,000 of the 20cJMG were printed, and 2,495,551 were destroyed when the 20cMG was introduced November 21, 1936, the latter with an initial printing of 5,000,000.
3. 3,000,000 of the 1pL were printed, and 700,000 were destroyed when the 1p was issued February 1, 1937.
4. 407 specimens each of the 20cMG and the 1p were overprinted 'MUESTRA' and sent to the U.P.U.

Here are the quantities Deluca mentions were delivered for the DEPOF issues of the 20cJMG and the 1pL:

Here are the dates of issue mentioned by Deluca for the 20cMG and the 1p DEPOFs.

Also mentioned in Deluca is that a total of 60.030.317 DEPOF were delivered in 1936. Judging by the stamps I have, most of these were 5c, 10c, and 30c.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Some comments on categorizing the papers

Following up on Rein's (member of Stampboards) comments, I have the following comments:

1. The assumption that there is a Wavy Rays watermark and a Straight Rays watermark is questionable. I use these two references only to simplify the subject. In reality, most of the watermarked papers have a unique watermark. The exception is the watermark shared by the 1E1, 1E3, and 1L1 papers.

2. Even though I originally labeled the 1E and 1L papers to mean that the 1 referred to Wavy Rays, it is more reasonable to use the 1 as a category number, and not as a reference to the type of watermark. By this I mean that the 1E papers are in a category of 5 papers with 4 distinctly different watermarks, and the 1L papers are in a category with 5 papers each with a unique watermark.

3. The paper has three characteristics: (a) the consistency and color of the pulp, be it opaque, white, gray; (2) the watermark as defined by its dimensions; (3) the grid, when discernible, and the relative angles of the rows of dots or ellipses, when discernible.

4. The vertical and horizontal versions of some of the watermarks should be from rolls of paper that were manufactured differently. It may be determined in the future that the two types are two separate watermarks.

Picasa web albums of the 1E and Straight Rays papers

2C and 2D examples showing the watermark

These are 2C examples (diffuse, grayish paper).

There are 2D examples (clear, bright white paper).

Measurement of the 1E4 grid

Here are several examples. I am not able to determine a direction for this roll based on the elongation of the dots.

Measurement of the 1E3 grid

Here are two examples. I am not able to determine a direction for this roll based on the elongation of the dots.

The watermark can sometimes be somewhat unclear for the 1E3 paper.

A scan of the 1E2 paper

I do not find a clear grid for this paper.

Measurement of the 1E1 grid

As explained by Rein (member of Stampboards), the direction along which the ellipses are longest in this paper is the direction in which the roll was made. Here are two examples. I find the grid aligned in the horizontal direction in reference to the RA. If the grid was found running along the perpendicular direction, that would constitute a separate watermark.

Printing press used to print these definitives

The caption reads:

"Two color typographic rotary press 'Goebel' model B.P.M. used by the Mint (Casa de la Moneda) to print postal stamps. It was acquired in 1935, even if installed in its printing shop (taller) since November 1930 in test mode (a titulo de ensayo)."