Saturday, 3 November 2007

A Jewel of Danish Philately: 48 sk. block of 4

At a recent auction held by Enger in Norway one of the jewels of Danish Philately was sold for a considerable sum: A block of four of 48 skilling bi-colored issued in 1870.

The block is special in two ways. All four stamps have the so-called "thick frame". All 48 sk. have that frame so the 48 sk. does not exist with the thinner frame that is the frame common to most bi-colored editions. As always there are exceptions and I shall revert to them in a later post.

The other reason why the block is special is because the stamp in the South East corner has the inverted frame. Yes you are right. A thick inverted frame. In one sheet of 100 of 48 sk. stamps only two stamps have the inverted frame. The two stamps with the inverted frame are called isolated inverted thick frames, which is natural since the other 98 stamps in the sheet have the normal thinner frame.

How does one recognize a thick frame? Yes! it is a bit larger than the normal frame. In fact if you measure the corner feather North East we are talking about 0.2 mm. A normal feather measures 2.6 mm. A thick feather 2.8 mm. But it is not just the feathers that are bigger. The whole frame is a little bit bigger.

If you face a real thick frame you cannot miss it, however – and there is always an however – the clichés of the normal frame do become worn and sometimes a stamp from a printing having been printed wholly or partly with worn cliché’s do look as if they have thick frames. They do not. I show you one of each. First a genuine thick normal frame followed by a stamp printed with a worn cliché of a normal thinner frame.

Enjoy the 4 block because you will probably not be able to see it live. The purple color very easily fades when exposed to natural bright light and therefore the block is not likely to be shown at public exhibitions and fairs.

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