Saturday, December 31, 2005

Brazil perforation varieties, part 1.

A great many Brazil stamps issued since 1890 can be found with perforation varieties not listed in general catalogs such as Scott, and many of these are not specifically listed even in specialized catalogs or in monographs. In several of these notes I'll mention what I know about perforation varieties, even though there's a great deal I don't know and don't know how to find out. In this particular note I'll discuss just the stamps printed on paper with the Watermark numbered by Scott as Wmk. 236 (coat of arms in sheet). Only some stamps in a sheet show part of the coat of arms, but all stamps produced on this paper are easily recognized, because the paper is thick and rather stiff, and stamps without any portion of the coat of arms show pronounced vertical or horizontal ribbing. This paper was first used for postage stamps in 1933, and last used for these in 1937. All stamps printed on this paper were engraved (intaglio). Unlike the low-denomination definitives of that period, these stamps were all perforated on line perforators, rather than on the single-row comb perforators used for low-denomination defins, and several different line perforators were available in the Mint (where these stamps were printed and perforated) at that time, so numerous perforation varieties are possible.

The stamps in question are Scott Brazil numbers 381-383 (and, unlisted by Scott, 380 on paper wmk 236 unused only), 386, 394-397, 404-406 (plus the recently discovered stamp like 406 with the country name spelled 'Brasil' mentioned in a previous note), 407-410, 418-425, 429-430, B1-B4, C37, and the Money order stamps (not listed by Scott) cataloged by RHM as D72-D79 plus minor varieties.

At least three different line perforators were used for these stamps, and I do not know all the permutations and combinations of these; in particular, I don't know what partial perfs may exist. But here's what I do know.

First off, imperforates are known to exist of Scott 381-383, 404-406 (plus the above-mentioned newly discovered stamp), 407-410, 418-425, and B1-B4; B1-B4 exist only imperforate. All these imperforates were valid for postage, but I know of none actually used for prepayment of postage except B1-B4. Whether imperforates of the money order stamps exist I have no idea.

Scott lists 381-383 as perf 11 and 11 1/2. I have 381 perf.11, 12 and 11x11x11x12; 382 perf 11, 383 perf 11 and perf 12. Scott 386 is stated by Scott to be perf. 12, and that's the only perf I've seen, but RHM says it exists perf. 11, 12 and compound of 11 and 12. Scott lists 394-397 perf. 11, 12. I have 394 perf 11, 12 and 12x11; 395 perf. 12x11; 396 perf 12x11; 397 perf. 12. Scott lists 404-406 perf 9 1/2, 11, 12; I believe the '9 1/2' is a typo. I have 404 perf. 11 to 11 1/2, 12, 12x11 and 12x11x11x11; 405 perf 11-11 1/2, 12x11-11 1/2, 12x11x11x11 and 11x11x12x11; 406 perf 11 to 11 1/2, 12, 12x11 and 12x11x11x11. Scott lists 407-410 perf 11, 12. I have 407 perf 11, 12 and 12x12x11x12; 408 perf 11 and perf 12; 409 perf 11 and perf 12; 410 perf. 11 and 11x12x12x11. Scott lists 418 perf 11, 12x11. I have it perf 11, 12x11, and 11x11x12x11. Scott lists 419-420 perf. 11, 12. I have 419 perf 12, 11x12, 12x11x12x12; 420 11, 11x12, 12x11. Scott lists 421 perf 11; I have it perf 11 and 12x11. Scott lists 422-425 perf 11, 11x12. I have 422-425 all perf. 11, 423-425 perf 12, 422 and 423 perf 11x12, 422 perf 11x11x12x11 and 423 perf 12x11x11x11. Scott lists 429-430 perf 11. I have both perf 11 and both perf 12.

For none of these stamps have i done a systematic search for what perfs occur; the ones I've mentioned are just what has come my way in old accumulations. My conclusion is that Scott (and every other catalog, including RHM) is either incomplete or vague or both about the perfs on these stamps, and that it would be an interesting investigation to find out what perfs occur on which of them. I suspect, without knowing, that for most of them almost any combination of 11, 11 1/2 and 12 could be found by sufficiently diligent search. Anybody feel like trying to get this sorted out?

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