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Europe/Other : Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

 

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Rhinelander
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20 Jan 2014
11:08:43pm
I should perhaps not be writing about this, since I am just a general collector of France and Colonies, going by major catalog numbers only and without much of interest to go beyond that. However, perhaps for that reason I am just particularly annoyed about the insufficient cataloging of the 1870 Ceres types in the Scott catalog. No doubt, numerous misidentified stamps must rest in collections and are getting passed on as the more expensive varieties – purposefully or out of ignorance.

If you compare the image provided in Scott for the 1870s Ceres types France Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6 you will see that it is identical. It is wrong.

But let's take it from the top. I encourage you to follow along in your Scott catalog. Turning to the French issues first, and let's take the 1 Centime value in design A7 as a starting point. There is a lithographed imperforated stamp, Scott #38 with a CV of $160/$115 unused/used (2010) and a typographed perforated variety, Scott #50, CV 45.00/13.00.

So far this appears to be pretty easy. Generally speaking why bother about the printing method, if it is imperforated it is a lithographed #38, and if perforated, it is a typographed #50.

Of course, if the margins are very close, one might suspect a #50 was doctored into a #38. Then, the ability to distinguish lithography and typography is critical. Scott also includes a correct statement, inserted before #38, that "on the lithographed stamps ... the shading on the cheek and neck is in lines or dashes, not dots. On the typographed stamps it is in dots."

Here is the imperforated lithographed set from my collection:

Image Not Found:


And here its perforated typographed sibling:

Image Not Found

NOW was is missing in Scott is a big fat warning about stamps in this same design existing from the French Colonies. For the casual collector, not really collecting France, the decision appears to be between number #38 and #50, one is perforated, the other not. Easy. However, you may not be aware that stamps in this Ceres design also were issued for the colonies. Because there is no warning in Scott, many collectors will have no idea that it is also necessary to check the back-of-the-book section of the Scott catalog. Specifically, there is a Scott #16 for the French Colonies. The design image French Colonies A6 is the exact same illustration used for France Type A7. The stamp has the same design, is also imperforated, they are both olive green, both have no watermark, but the catalog values for the Colonies #16 is only $13.00/14.50 as compared to $160/$115 for the France #38. Like I said, I don't want to know how many French Colonies #16 are getting passed on as the more expensive France #38. And this is just the 1 Centimes. The confusion for the 2 and 4 Centimes is identical, albeit the price difference is smaller.

I am not sure. Should I turn this into a cliff hanger? I.e,, can you figure out the difference between the France #38 and the French Colonies #16, the latter valuing only 10% of the former, based on the info in the Scott catalog in general and the design illustration in particular?





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Rhinelander
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20 Jan 2014
11:51:08pm
re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

Well, better not make it into a cliffhanger.

The first enormous deficiency in Scott is that the printing method is not stated for the French Colonies #16ff. These stamps are typographed, not lithographed. So the premier difference between a France #38 and French Colonies #16 is the printing method. I actually believe that distinguishing lithography and typography requires some experience, and is certainly easier with reference material. Not all collectors can do it. Well, what was the ominous note in Scott concerning the shading on the cheeks and neck? Lithography = lines or dashes; typography = dots. Would that apply also to the issues for the colonies, not just the perforated set France #50ff? Yes. Bingo. Michel, for instance, gives the full information that the French Colonies Ceres stamps are typographed and have the shading of the neck and cheek in dots, not lines (plus a specific note not to confuse these stamps with the lithographed imperforated issue for the main land).

I believe, however, I can do one better. Here are detailed scans of the two 1 Centime stamps from my collection:

Image Not Found

First, I like you to focus on the shading of the cheek and neck. Can you see the difference? There are shading lines on the left lithographed stamp, but dots on the right typographed stamp? I am not sure, but to me this is not as obvious perhaps without reference copies and a magnifying glass.

Well, not mentioned in Scott, nor Michel, there are actually other much easier distinguishing characteristics for these two stamps in addition to the shading of the neck and cheek. First, look at the inscription REPUB FRANC at top, especially the spacing of the dots at left and right of the lettering relative to the frame. Do you note how much shorter these words are on the left, lithographed stamp, compared to the right copy? Then further the letters "ST" of Postes at the bottom come close to the medallion on the left lithographed copy while on the right typographed stamp they keep away from it. Do you still rather want to focus on the shading of the cheek? I don't believe so Happy.

To sum it up: I believe Scott is wrong to give the same design "A7" to the lithographed and typographed sets. Yes, differences are minor, but discernible. Moreover, the differences are important. The issues for the French Colonies Scott #16ff are essentially the typographed stamps France Scott #50ff, but imperforated. This relationship between the series is obscured by missing information and usage of an identical illustration in the catalog for France design A7 and French Colonies design A6.

Needless to say, I have to alert you to France #50ff with cut perfs to resemble Colonies #16ff. However, the perforated stamps have very narrow margins not leaving much meat for fabrications. For used stamps, colonial cancellations are a reliable identifier. Forgeries of these stamps also exist, but the primary source for collectors being taken probably are Colonial stamps passed on as those of France, or trimmed perfs.

Hope that was helpful.

Arno

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towards2112
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21 Jan 2014
10:02:19am
re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

Thank you !Applause
Most informative.

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smaier
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Sally

21 Jan 2014
02:23:46pm
re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

I don't collect France (yet) but this was still interesting. Thank you Arno.

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rrraphy
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Retired Consultant

21 Jan 2014
07:14:03pm
re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

Thanks Arno, this was very informative.
In a general way, I wish there was an easy way of distinguishing between typographed and lithographed. After all these years, I must admit I still don't know, and always look for other clues!
rrr...

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"E. Rutherford: All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
TuskenRaider
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01 Oct 2014
12:34:37am
re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

Hi Everyone;

I followed along in my catalog and with my own copies of this issue and here are some things I would like to add.

Sometimes differences that are pointed out are obscured by a heavy cancellation. So the more differences that
are noted for identification the better.

1) The letters in 'postes' are considerably taller on the left litho stamp, as well as the two 'C's on either
side of the postes.

2) The two letters 'N' & 'C' of FRANC are wider on the typo stamp on the right. Not by a lot, but side by side
you can see they are slightly wider.

3) Maybe it is how heavily these stamps were inked when printed, but the dots in the medallion seem to be
larger in the example on the left litho stamp.

As a casual collector of France I appreciate the information presented here. Very good observation. This was a
very valuable post.

Keep on stampin
Ken Tall Pines


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Rhinelander
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01 Oct 2014
08:14:59am
re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

I can update this thread with French Colonies, Scott #18 & 19, which I added to my collection in the past months. Not to repeat myself, but if you go to your Scott catalog, you will see that the design pictured (A6) is wrong. The stamps clearly are typographed and show the wide spacing of REPUB FRANC at top, apart from the other characteristics of the typographed set discussed here. The stamp pictured in Scott is France #38. The colonial Ceres stamps are the French typographed set #50ff, but imperf.

Image Not Found

The relative scarcity of these two values stems from the fact that issued in October 1876 and April 1876, respectively, they were already superseded in June 1877 by the new stamps in the Peace and Commerce design. Also, all colonial stamps were issued as needed, and there just did not appear to be much use of these two values. Not all colonial stamps were used in all colonies. The 4 centimes was only used in Cochinchina. The vast majority of the 2 centimes stamps were also used in that same colony only, but a few apparently were used in Reunion and perhaps other places. One has to recognize that because the stamps were printed from the same plates as the contemporaneous issues for France, the denominations were those needed for the French postal rates, but colonial postal rates were completely different (and differed also from colony to colony). There was no (single) use for many of the denominations available, while no stamps existed for some of the most common postal rates in the colonies.

BTW, I am not the first to recognize the misleading design image used in the Scott catalog. I have seen this noted in Frank Aretz (1941) useful little book "Know your Stamps."

Thanks Kentallpines, for finding this useful and adding additional design differences.

Arno

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tonyfinch

24 Oct 2014
10:53:52pm
re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

If anyone really wants to go into details it would probably be advisable to get the French Yvert & Tellier or - even better - the Maury catalogues which show these differences well. Maury actually shows colour photographs of every stamp which can be of immense help, especially if you don't read French.

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Author/Postings
Members Picture
Rhinelander

Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
20 Jan 2014
11:08:43pm

I should perhaps not be writing about this, since I am just a general collector of France and Colonies, going by major catalog numbers only and without much of interest to go beyond that. However, perhaps for that reason I am just particularly annoyed about the insufficient cataloging of the 1870 Ceres types in the Scott catalog. No doubt, numerous misidentified stamps must rest in collections and are getting passed on as the more expensive varieties – purposefully or out of ignorance.

If you compare the image provided in Scott for the 1870s Ceres types France Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6 you will see that it is identical. It is wrong.

But let's take it from the top. I encourage you to follow along in your Scott catalog. Turning to the French issues first, and let's take the 1 Centime value in design A7 as a starting point. There is a lithographed imperforated stamp, Scott #38 with a CV of $160/$115 unused/used (2010) and a typographed perforated variety, Scott #50, CV 45.00/13.00.

So far this appears to be pretty easy. Generally speaking why bother about the printing method, if it is imperforated it is a lithographed #38, and if perforated, it is a typographed #50.

Of course, if the margins are very close, one might suspect a #50 was doctored into a #38. Then, the ability to distinguish lithography and typography is critical. Scott also includes a correct statement, inserted before #38, that "on the lithographed stamps ... the shading on the cheek and neck is in lines or dashes, not dots. On the typographed stamps it is in dots."

Here is the imperforated lithographed set from my collection:

Image Not Found:


And here its perforated typographed sibling:

Image Not Found

NOW was is missing in Scott is a big fat warning about stamps in this same design existing from the French Colonies. For the casual collector, not really collecting France, the decision appears to be between number #38 and #50, one is perforated, the other not. Easy. However, you may not be aware that stamps in this Ceres design also were issued for the colonies. Because there is no warning in Scott, many collectors will have no idea that it is also necessary to check the back-of-the-book section of the Scott catalog. Specifically, there is a Scott #16 for the French Colonies. The design image French Colonies A6 is the exact same illustration used for France Type A7. The stamp has the same design, is also imperforated, they are both olive green, both have no watermark, but the catalog values for the Colonies #16 is only $13.00/14.50 as compared to $160/$115 for the France #38. Like I said, I don't want to know how many French Colonies #16 are getting passed on as the more expensive France #38. And this is just the 1 Centimes. The confusion for the 2 and 4 Centimes is identical, albeit the price difference is smaller.

I am not sure. Should I turn this into a cliff hanger? I.e,, can you figure out the difference between the France #38 and the French Colonies #16, the latter valuing only 10% of the former, based on the info in the Scott catalog in general and the design illustration in particular?





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Rhinelander

Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
20 Jan 2014
11:51:08pm

re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

Well, better not make it into a cliffhanger.

The first enormous deficiency in Scott is that the printing method is not stated for the French Colonies #16ff. These stamps are typographed, not lithographed. So the premier difference between a France #38 and French Colonies #16 is the printing method. I actually believe that distinguishing lithography and typography requires some experience, and is certainly easier with reference material. Not all collectors can do it. Well, what was the ominous note in Scott concerning the shading on the cheeks and neck? Lithography = lines or dashes; typography = dots. Would that apply also to the issues for the colonies, not just the perforated set France #50ff? Yes. Bingo. Michel, for instance, gives the full information that the French Colonies Ceres stamps are typographed and have the shading of the neck and cheek in dots, not lines (plus a specific note not to confuse these stamps with the lithographed imperforated issue for the main land).

I believe, however, I can do one better. Here are detailed scans of the two 1 Centime stamps from my collection:

Image Not Found

First, I like you to focus on the shading of the cheek and neck. Can you see the difference? There are shading lines on the left lithographed stamp, but dots on the right typographed stamp? I am not sure, but to me this is not as obvious perhaps without reference copies and a magnifying glass.

Well, not mentioned in Scott, nor Michel, there are actually other much easier distinguishing characteristics for these two stamps in addition to the shading of the neck and cheek. First, look at the inscription REPUB FRANC at top, especially the spacing of the dots at left and right of the lettering relative to the frame. Do you note how much shorter these words are on the left, lithographed stamp, compared to the right copy? Then further the letters "ST" of Postes at the bottom come close to the medallion on the left lithographed copy while on the right typographed stamp they keep away from it. Do you still rather want to focus on the shading of the cheek? I don't believe so Happy.

To sum it up: I believe Scott is wrong to give the same design "A7" to the lithographed and typographed sets. Yes, differences are minor, but discernible. Moreover, the differences are important. The issues for the French Colonies Scott #16ff are essentially the typographed stamps France Scott #50ff, but imperforated. This relationship between the series is obscured by missing information and usage of an identical illustration in the catalog for France design A7 and French Colonies design A6.

Needless to say, I have to alert you to France #50ff with cut perfs to resemble Colonies #16ff. However, the perforated stamps have very narrow margins not leaving much meat for fabrications. For used stamps, colonial cancellations are a reliable identifier. Forgeries of these stamps also exist, but the primary source for collectors being taken probably are Colonial stamps passed on as those of France, or trimmed perfs.

Hope that was helpful.

Arno

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towards2112

21 Jan 2014
10:02:19am

re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

Thank you !Applause
Most informative.

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www.towards2112.com
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smaier

Sally
21 Jan 2014
02:23:46pm

re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

I don't collect France (yet) but this was still interesting. Thank you Arno.

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rrraphy

Retired Consultant
21 Jan 2014
07:14:03pm

re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

Thanks Arno, this was very informative.
In a general way, I wish there was an easy way of distinguishing between typographed and lithographed. After all these years, I must admit I still don't know, and always look for other clues!
rrr...

Like
Login to Like
this post

"E. Rutherford: All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
Members Picture
TuskenRaider

01 Oct 2014
12:34:37am

re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

Hi Everyone;

I followed along in my catalog and with my own copies of this issue and here are some things I would like to add.

Sometimes differences that are pointed out are obscured by a heavy cancellation. So the more differences that
are noted for identification the better.

1) The letters in 'postes' are considerably taller on the left litho stamp, as well as the two 'C's on either
side of the postes.

2) The two letters 'N' & 'C' of FRANC are wider on the typo stamp on the right. Not by a lot, but side by side
you can see they are slightly wider.

3) Maybe it is how heavily these stamps were inked when printed, but the dots in the medallion seem to be
larger in the example on the left litho stamp.

As a casual collector of France I appreciate the information presented here. Very good observation. This was a
very valuable post.

Keep on stampin
Ken Tall Pines


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Rhinelander

Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
01 Oct 2014
08:14:59am

re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

I can update this thread with French Colonies, Scott #18 & 19, which I added to my collection in the past months. Not to repeat myself, but if you go to your Scott catalog, you will see that the design pictured (A6) is wrong. The stamps clearly are typographed and show the wide spacing of REPUB FRANC at top, apart from the other characteristics of the typographed set discussed here. The stamp pictured in Scott is France #38. The colonial Ceres stamps are the French typographed set #50ff, but imperf.

Image Not Found

The relative scarcity of these two values stems from the fact that issued in October 1876 and April 1876, respectively, they were already superseded in June 1877 by the new stamps in the Peace and Commerce design. Also, all colonial stamps were issued as needed, and there just did not appear to be much use of these two values. Not all colonial stamps were used in all colonies. The 4 centimes was only used in Cochinchina. The vast majority of the 2 centimes stamps were also used in that same colony only, but a few apparently were used in Reunion and perhaps other places. One has to recognize that because the stamps were printed from the same plates as the contemporaneous issues for France, the denominations were those needed for the French postal rates, but colonial postal rates were completely different (and differed also from colony to colony). There was no (single) use for many of the denominations available, while no stamps existed for some of the most common postal rates in the colonies.

BTW, I am not the first to recognize the misleading design image used in the Scott catalog. I have seen this noted in Frank Aretz (1941) useful little book "Know your Stamps."

Thanks Kentallpines, for finding this useful and adding additional design differences.

Arno

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tonyfinch

24 Oct 2014
10:53:52pm

re: Distinguishing France Ceres Scott Type A7 and French Colonies Type A6

If anyone really wants to go into details it would probably be advisable to get the French Yvert & Tellier or - even better - the Maury catalogues which show these differences well. Maury actually shows colour photographs of every stamp which can be of immense help, especially if you don't read French.

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1 Member
likes this post.
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