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Oceania/Australia : Inverted Watermarks

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Member ACCC (Australian Commonwealth Collectors Club of NSW)
27 Mar 2017
Watermark Varieties

Great care was taken to ensure that during cutting up of paper and when printing that no sheets were turned, thus creating watermark varieties, only six instances of inverted watermarks have been recorded, on the 2d mauve King (ACSC 189a), 4d Koala (ACSC 198a), 1/- Lyrebird (ACSC 209a), 2/- Kangaroo redrawn die (ACSC 41a), 2/6d Aborigine (ACSC 265a), and 10/- Coat of Arms Specimen only (ACSC 269xd).

The first inverted watermark (ACSC 189a) is very scarce and the condition shown in this post is very seldom seen. The others are very rare; there are only three Lyrebirds (ACSC 209a) recorded; the single used stamp is catalogued at $10,000 the other is a mint pair catalogued at $17,500.

Inverted watermarks also occur in booklet stamps of the 2d scarlet King (ACSC 188a) and the 2½d King (ACSC 230a). These are the result of the tête-bêche arrangement of the booklet plates for these stamps used to facilitate booklet manufacture.

The tête-bêche pairs derived from booklet plate spoils, and had come from the Note Printing Branch thefts of the 1940s. Probably less than 10 pairs are recorded. The Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue (2015) prices the tête-bêche pairs at $10,000 each.

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From left to right:

ACSC 188a) 1938. King George VI. 2d. Perforation 15 x 14. inverted watermark
ACSC 189a) 1941. King George VI. 2d. Perforation coil. Inverted watermark (very scarce)
ACSC 230a) 1942. King George VI. 2½d. Perforation 15 x 14. Inverted watermark

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