Thursday, 9 November 2017

Underprints Vs Overprints

I often get into arguments (or should I call them heated discussions) with other collectors, take this debate for an instance.

Many catalogues and dealers refer the discount backing printing on certain stamps as under prints but actually they are overprinted on the layer of gum. I feel to save confusion and separate these issues from overprints we should call them gum overprints. But this would entail all current catalogues and dealers lists to be re-printed.

Due to the amount of work involved I can not for the life of me see that this would happen. But just for the record I will still persist to call them gum overprints.

One person wrote to me suggesting these were very rare. I reminded him "If you collect used stamps these overprints get washed away with the gum during soaking, so yes they may be rare to collectors of used stamps." for clarity as mint stamps they are affordable and widely available.

Now to my second argument. I will take the 17p value gum overprinted double lined star with a wallpaper pattern to get the point across. These stamps (this stamp) can be sourced from booklets Pillar Box and the Pond life series 1 and  2.

If we look at the image above it clearly shows two different versions of the same stamp (there are others), admittedly they are only different from the gum side but they ARE quite different so should they not be catalogued as different stamps?

left over paper stocks of the single star type were also used for the printing of the 12p values in sheet form, these appeared as a multiple star laid out on the whole sheet. Several versions of the overprint occur on the stamps akin to a multiple watermark. Again these are quite different when one compares them. Different stamps?

Lets get the party (argument) started and have your views.


Ian - Norvic said...

As this appears to be a joined pair, the star underprints are the same.

If the underprint also exists with the top of the star pointing left instead of right that would be a sideways inverted underprint.

Anonymous said...

2 x joined pairs, what would they be if they were seperated. 4 x seperate stamps with varable overprints ?

Larry R said...

I'll throw in my two pence. The use of the term "underprint" for something printed underneath the stamp is well established. I got out my yellowing copy of SG Specialised Volume 1 which says (in Appendix B) "These overprints (on the face of the stamps) or underprints (on the backs of the stamps)..."

I admit that the term is not self-evident. This is why Royal Mail calls the lower line(s) of text on Post & Go stamps underprints - because they are under other lines of texts. That usage is NOT well established, but it does make sense. "Gum overprint" is indeed better for these Machins, but maybe the term "back print" would be best. As you note, no doubt "overprint" will remain.

On your second point, I agree with Ian. These underprints should be treated like multiple crown watermarks. For watermarks, only if the crown is sideways or inverted (in other words, a different orientation, not just placement) do we consider them to be different stamps. The same should go for these stars.


Anonymous said...

Back print sounds less confusing, we use this term for fasimils.Underprint - overprint is confusing it reminds me of the wombles song.