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Sunday 18 October 2015

Russia 1917 Imperforate Arms Stamps - Do OBRAZETS overprints exist?

I have a collection of 1917 Russia Imperial Arms Imperforate stamps, mainly designed to show the earliest dates and place of use - these were stamps without a First Day of Issue. I have Blogged about this before on this site.

In yesterday's Kaj Hellman auction and in a previous Cherrystone auction, mint blocks of ten with OBRAZETS overprints have been offered and sold (at good prices). In every case, I looked at the blocks and a ??? came into my mind because all the overprints were slightly mis-aligned (not perfectly level). Normally, great care was taken with OBRAZETS overprints - they are always perfectly level, parallel to the base line of the stamp.

A ??? also came into my mind because the imperforates were not really a stamp issue, but simply the result of a decision taken in 1917 to release unfinished stamps to post offices because of practical difficulties in completing the perforation process.

So I wonder if OBRAZETS overprints were really made on these stamps. Do readers have any opinions or evidence? Overprints should be typographed, though the careful application of the overprint may mean that the normal indentation on the reverse is not easy to see. But it will be there.

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