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Wednesday 27 July 2011

Georgia 1922 Soviet Pictorial Issue (Michel 31 - 35; SG 28 - 32)

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At the beginning of 1922, Georgia issued a five value set of pictorial postage stamps. These stamps are most commonly found with surcharges applied in 1923. The unsurcharged stamps, except for the 5000 r green, are quite scarce: this explains why forged surcharges are very rare - adding a surcharge will usually turn a scarce stamp into a common one.

The basic set of stamps was forged, though these forgeries are also quite scarce.

The unsurcharged stamps are worth looking for. The 500 rouble lowest value in red is very scarce, though both Michel and Stanley Gibbons commit the New Issue Fallacy of valuing it lower than the 5000 r highest value. Because of inflation, it is the highest value which is most common. In my stockbook, I have only one mint (no gum) and one used example of the 500 r stamp; in contrast, I have 33 copies of the 5000 rouble and, in addition, other copies in my Pick Anywhere at £1 stockbooks.

Stanley Gibbons lists shades on the five stamps of which the most interesting is SG 29a, the 1000 r Sower in sepia (dark brown) instead of (light) yellow -brown. They price this at £11.50 used and give a dash price ( too scarce to call) for mint. And they even add a footnote: "No. 29a was from a later printing, most of the stamps being destined for surcharge in 1923". If you look at the surcharged stamps, you will find that this is correct. With the machine surcharge "10 000" it is the dark brown stamp that you always see: I don't have a machine surcharged yellow-brown stamp.

Above, you can see my stockbook page for the unsurcharged 1000 r value. At the top, one mint and one used copy in sepia. I have had these for years, have never offered them for sale, and have never been able to add to the two illustrated. Have a look to see if you have one!

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