Saturday 8 March 2008

The Concept of a Newspaper Wrapper

What is a Newspaper Wrapper? Everybody seem to know! But if you have to define a Newspaper Wrapper using words, you end up with the problem of defining an elephant. When you see them, you know them, but describing them precisely and in a non-ambigious way is difficult.

Not wanting to turn this post into a linguistic, philosophical discussion, I will now mention some of the characteristics that I think normally cling to a Newspaper Wrapper:

  • Paper suited to be wrapped around a newspaper or similar object like a band.

  • Open in both sides.

  • Stationery, produced by postal authorities or privately manufactured from a plain piece of paper.

  • Pre-printed postage stamp/postage stamp/pre-philatelic payment.

  • Special cheap postal rate.

    But then, what about the label like pieces of paper stuck on the content? Like this one:

    What about a wrapper the content of which is printed on its inside? Like invitation or stock exchange data. What about the old cross-bands?

    Of course as a collector you decide yourselves what to include in or exclude from your collection. If you want to exhibit your collection this however will be some of the issues that you have to clarify and to draw your red lines.

    What do you think of this description of a Newspaper Wrapper? Come and debate with me.

    Have a nice day


    1. Saturday 1 March 2008

      Denmark 1882/84: Small and large corner figures

      In 1882 Denmark responded to a call from the UPU to issue stamps in colors green, red and blue carrying the rates valid for printed matter to another UPU country, lettercard to another UPU country and a normal letter to another UPU country.

      A green 5 and a blue 20 øre stamp were issued and letter cards with the face value of a red 10 øre. The subject was the same. Coat of arms in a kind of Victorian style. In 1884 the green 5 and the blue 20 øre stamps were reissued in a slightly different design and a red 10 øre stamp was added to the series.

      To collectors of Danish stamps there is an important difference between the stamps issued in 1882 and 1884. The first have small corner figures and the second have large corner figures, the collectors are told by most catalogs.

      Many times I have seen stamps with large corner figures for sale presented as if they have small corner figures. It goes without saying that the first are the rarest and more expensive ones since they were printed in much smaller quantities than the later ones.
      Collectors and dealers are however to some extent excused when mixing up the the two designs. The name "small and large corner figures" points to a difference in design, but if you do not have both types in front of you, what do you do? The difference is there, but it is not for everybody to see, if you cannot compare. Besides small and large are relative terms.

      Luckily there are other differences which are much easier to detect than the diferent sizes of the figures. The most important one is absence of color in a band around the crown. If the color fills out the whole area around the crown it is the 1882 printing, the rarer one. If there is a clear white band or line following the shape of the upper part of the crown it is the 1884 issue. You can hardly miss it if you know where to look. I add a picture of the 1882 issue.

      Take a good look at your Victorian style Danish stamps and report to me if you have problems.

      By the way. The 10 øre red does in fact alsoexist with small corner figures. However this is the result of a conscious printing error. Some clichées were damaged when the 10 øre 1884 issue was printed. As replacement the printers used clichées used for the 1882 letter cards which had small corner figures.

      That means we are talking about isolated clichées in sheets with large corner figures. These 10 øre stamps with small corner figures are of course very rare indeed. Below I show a wonderful pair of 10 øre red: The left stamp is an isolated clichée with small corner figures, the right stamp a normal clichée with large corner figures.

      You see the difference in the corners as well as with regards to the white line around the upper part of the crown?

      Enjoy looking for the different types, including the rare isolated clichées.