Thursday, 26 June 2014

They're the same - but different: stamps from the Great War prestige stamp book

The Great War prestige stamp book will be issued along with the set of stamps on 28 July 2014.  
UPDATE: See foot of post for news about the pictorial stamps in the same booklet.

The book is printed by Joh Enschede en Zonen and all of the definitive stamps have been printed by Enschede before, so is there nothing new in this list?
10p orange-brown Machin MPIL M14L - previously in Buckingham Palace PSB
20p bright green Machin MPIL M14L - ditto
£1 bistre-brown Machin MPIL M14L - ditto

1st class England Lion country definitive - previously in British Army PSB 2007
1st class Scotland Lion country definitive - previously in British Army PSB 2007
1st class Wales Dragon country definitive - previously in British Army PSB 2007
1st class Northern Ireland fields country definitive - previously in Classic Locos PSB 2014
So let's compare them side by side, with the new stamps on the right in all cases.  In the case of the mixed pane, the phosphor bands on the Buckingham Palace pane have a more matt finish when held at an angle to the light, the new ones are less visible.  The iridescent layer appears to be easier to read on the new stamps.

10p - my new example is a lighter shade


20p - little to distinguish, apart from the phosphor


England 1st - most notably different in shade and density.  The silver is different (but is still silver), and the tail of the lion appears to be further from the left edge. The figure of value is lower.


Scotland 1st - the new one slightly paler. The apparent dark band at the left must be show through from the selvedge of the Army stamp.  The phosphor bands, whilst less visible when held at an angle to the light (the Army one is very matt), is more visible when viewed straight on!


Wales 1st - aside from the phosphor differences, there is a very distinct difference in shade here, almost like the sheet printing when the yellow ink was dropped.  These are printed in 4-colour process (plus silver) but the difference is very clear.


Northern Ireland 1st - again, not a lot of difference here, as you would expect as the 'old' version was only issued in February.  Both have the microprinted '©2001' at the foot of the figure '1' but it is very difficult to read as even this uses the four colours. But whereas the other countries' stamps have phosphor bands almost the same width as the British Army ones, this has much narrower phosphor bands than in the Classic Locos book (ie wider visible space between them).


£1 wood-brown (RM)/bistre-brown(SG).  The new version is lighter and the iridescent layer is easier to read.  The phosphor on the new stamp is not much different to that on the earlier one.


We can now clarify that the King George V 1d red reproductions are not labels, but are all imperforate, and the red is printed on cream to mimic the paper used originally.


The rest of the stamps, and the special postmarks for this issue are shown on our webpage.

UPDATE 18 August 2014
The pictorial stamps issued in sheets have two phosphor bands except for the 'Starburst' painting and 'We Will Remember Them' poetry stamps which are all-over phosphor.  We now know that all 6 pictorial stamps in the PSB have all-over phosphor which means that at least 4 will have a separate listing in some catalogues.  They are certainly different stamps and we have them in stock now.

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