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Member postings for Fred Sellars

Here is a list of all the postings Fred Sellars has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

12/03/2020 10:32:24


Due to all the modifications made to the papers since 1958 when this type of watermark was first introduced, it would appear that 6 different types of paper was produced to print the Multiple Crown Wildings.

Therefore, I decided to compile a profile of the 6 variations with distinct identifiable differences that can be clearly seen in the scan.

(1) The original cream paper used to print the stamps up to the changeover date of 1962.

(2) The chalk-surfaced paper used to print commemoratives/definitives from around 1961 (2/- holiday booklets etc.)

(3) The whiter paper version from the previous cream papers, as per statement made by the GPO in 1962, the whiter papers being attributed to the water being filtered in order to remove any discolouration, which did not appear to be very successful or effective.


(4) Contaminated paper, due to some of the rag supplied being high in optical brightening agents, the contamination being in the form of fluorescent fibres in the finished paper (nicknamed FIB's).

(5) A possible oxidised paper in order to remove the contaminants by chemical means, giving a cream type paper similar to the pre 1962 creams.

(6) The fluorescent type paper with which to mask or camouflage the offending contaminants, created by using additional optical brightening agents whilst the paper was still in the pulp stage.

The first three types of paper are fairly well documented, but very little is known of the last three with the beginning of the contaminated fibres followed by the attempts to remove or camouflage them.

TO BE CONTINUED ? ...........

Thread: French perforation shift of the 50 centime "sower" .
11/03/2020 22:53:18

Over the last few days I have been attempting to add some extra photographs but it appears that a glitch has occurred, every time I try to add another picture I get the message.

"Unable to complete operation due to low memory" in the Stamp Magazines system

So it would seem that no further pictures can be introduced, I have already removed 5 photos,in the hope it would be remedial, but to no avail !

I have recently discovered some 5 ruble stamps of 1984 from the USSR both on different papers and different shades of print,alas I am unable to show you.

TTFN, Fred.

Edited By Fred Sellars on 11/03/2020 22:57:27

Thread: How times have changed !
08/03/2020 19:55:46

Thanks Gillian for your latest info on a previous discussion made .

In relation to Neil's comments over the unwanted additional amounts of high values, only time will tell, I recently visited a stamp fair and one dealer was selling u/m blocks of British stamps giving a 20% discount off face value, how long will it be before large discounts are given on the current issues .

The problem is Neil there are too many special issues coming out on a continuous basis in what appears to be an ever decreasing market, it's not just the unwanted higher values that poses the problem, but a glut of issues overall.

Thread: Crescent Moon Stamp ID
07/03/2020 12:30:42

No problems Robert, this is one of the reasons as to why this forum exists, in order for those in the know to help or enlighten others about many aspects relating to philately.

Have a nice day, Fred.

06/03/2020 18:14:39

May I suggest that when scanning a stamp in order for identification Robert, you remove it from anything that may obstruct the view such as a mount that seems to have been used.

"It can make all the difference for the identifier". Just a tip!

06/03/2020 16:56:05

Good afternoon Robert,

I think you will find this stamp listed under the country of Azerbaijan, and was first issued in 1919.

Regards, Fred.

05/03/2020 14:06:54

img_20200305_121942.jpgANOTHER REASON FOR WHITER PAPERS ! ..........

Whether you agree with me or not, there is a distinct identifiable difference between the "normal"and the "abnormal" of which the contaminants belong ! My concern is the fact that reference to these abnormal type papers are nowhere to be seen in any stamp catalogue that I am aware of, not only are the fluorescent fibres absent in listings but also the major differences of the cream type papers discovered regarding stamps issued long after 1962.

The two scans shown are of both variations, however, with the 6d violet phosphors I am unable to discover any fluorescent papers such as the ones found on the 10d 9½mm phosphor version.

TO BE CONTINUED...........


04/03/2020 11:35:35


The producers of the paper must have been in a bit of a predicament as was the GPO ! The water had previously been filtered in order to remove any discoloration so as to make the paper whiter than the original cream created prior to 1962, but another problem encountered with the contamination (fluorescent fibres) that had been removed chemically (oxidation) was the paper had reverted back to the original cream shade due to oxidation.

Due to this, from my observations, I believe that another method was employed to treat these contaminants, rather than removing them by chemical means it must have been decided to mask or camouflage them by using additional optical brightening agents whilst in the pulp stage of its production, thus the fluorescent paper was born .

Not only would it solve the problem but it would also give a much whiter paper in line with what the GPO required for the "ALF" part of the the automatic sorting system that was in operation. I am not privy to the information as to which optical brightening agent compound was used in order to accomplish this, it could well have been chalk or China clay, but whatever it was it appeared to satisfy all concerned in resolving both problems previously encountered.

A new type of paper had been created to resolve the problems encountered for the Wildling multiple crown issue .

TO BE CONTINUED ..........

Edited By Fred Sellars on 04/03/2020 11:36:37

Thread: How times have changed !
03/03/2020 12:01:23

Talking of nostalgia, it was during the 1950s up to about the mid 1960s when collectors of British stamps still looked forward to a new commemorative issue coming out, between 1953 and 1960 inclusive (8 years), only 6 different sets of commemorative was actually issued and from 1960 up to 1965 issues started to become more frequent, especially their popularity partly due to the introduction of the automatic sorting system and the production of the phosphor tagged commemoratives of 1962, these versions became very popular with British stamp collectors with the added bonus of being a potential investment, as initially one could purchase a set for a few pence and within the space of a short time they could be worth a few pounds (it was better than money in the Bank) .

During the period between 1960 and 1965 (5 years) a total of 23 sets was issued excluding the phosphor varieties when comparing a total of 6 sets between 1953 to 1960 inclusive (8 years), it was obvious that the total number of commemorative sets was increasing but nothing in comparison to todays issues when you take into account that very few letters are being posted due to the advent of the email. How many more of these unwanted and unneeded commemoratives are going to be issued just for the sake of using stamp collectors as a "cash cow" by the Royal Mail to satisfy their shareholders .


Thread: GVI defin differences
28/02/2020 11:02:40

Good morning Chazz,

Further to my last contact with you, have you had any success ?

A further suggestion would be to contact the Royal Philatelic Society in London, their email address is, as I am sure they will be able to help you .

Again, let us know outcome .

Have a nice day, Fred.

26/02/2020 19:33:59

After a brief distraction due to the discovery of the fluorescent regional papers and the pre decimal Machin conundrum I can now continue with .


Earlier, I spoke of the need to remove the contaminants (fluorescent fibres) caused by some of the rags supplied being high in optical brightening agents caused by the use of detergents that contained stilbene dyes .

I am of the understanding that these particular optical brightening agents can be removed chemically with the use of a process known as oxidisation which nullifies the fluorescence in the fibres with the use of chlorine dioxide or ozone, and that degradation is more susceptible in the solution phase within the embodiment .

However, by the use of this method by removing the optical brightening agents it created a more yellow (cream) type of paper with no fluorescence under longwave ultraviolet light resulting in a "dead paper" .

From my observations this appears to be the case with some of the Wilding stamp papers found, printed post 1962 .

Another aspect I need to mention is that when comparing the original cream papers produced prior to 1962 you will find that this type of paper is more opaque, whereby the papers produced since 1962 are more translucent .


Thread: French perforation shift of the 50 centime "sower" .
25/02/2020 10:34:57

Amongst a plethora of unusual finds that I have obtained is this 1954 20 pfennig stamp of Germany which appears to have an additional overprint as such in the form of a " X• ", it's quite possible that this addition to the stamp was made unofficially or was it ?

Nevertheless, worth noting, have you ever seen this particular overprint before ? Or was it from a John Bull printing set .img_20200222_152015.jpg

24/02/2020 18:47:06

Since my earlier posting this afternoon I decided to search the web for any further information over this "EXPERIMENTAL" cancellation on the Indian stamps.

It was not the cancellation that was experimental but the post office itself, it signifies that an experimental post office was opened for a period of around 6 months in an area that appeared to need one, and if successful it would become permanent.

At the base of the cancellation is a code identifier, unfortunately this is partly missing on this piece.

So if you find any Indian stamps with this type of cancellation you will now know as to why it's there .

24/02/2020 14:12:10

Over the past few weeks I have been sorting through some kiloware purchased some years ago, and an interesting item was discovered, it concerns 2 Indian stamps ½Anna and a 1Anna with an unusual cancellation "EXPERIMENTAL" dated the 23rd of May 1947 just prior to the partition of the Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan on the 15th of August 1947.

Does anyone have any information as to why this type of cancellation was implemented ?img_20200224_134547.jpg

Thread: Identifying a Stamp's Country of Issue
23/02/2020 14:37:38

Hi Gillian,

It's not always easy to identify a stamps origin with some of the older issues that don't use the Latin alphabet, especially for the newcomer to the hobby, even with European stamps the novice may not realise that stamps of Switzerland have the name of Helvetia or that Sverige is the name used for Sweden on it's postage stamps, it's a learning curve gained with practice and experience.

In some cases an identification can be obtained by a symbol such as crossed scimitars with a palm tree over them (Saudi Arabia) or chrysanthemum petals (Japan), fortunately, many stamp producing countries these days now have additional text in the Latin alphabet such as (Nippon) again for stamps of Japan, other characteristics for identification can be the currency used or the person depicted on the stamp .

As Paul has mentioned if in doubt always ask, preferably with a picture of the said item, as a picture is worth more than a 1000 words .

If you still cannot identify its origin send a picture to the forum, it's easy peasy !

TTFN, Fred.


Edited By Fred Sellars on 23/02/2020 14:45:18

23/02/2020 00:28:50

Good evening or is it good morning Gillian,

I was just about to go to bed when I read your plea for help to identify unusual stamps, try this site it may help.

Good luck and goodnight, Fred.

19/02/2020 10:11:05

With regards to the possibility of the chalk-surfaced paper being reversed during the printing stage of the pre-decimal Machins excluding the exemptions, a previous thread posted on this forum related to a similar incident with regards to some of the the multiple crown Wildings discovered with a reversed ribbing in the laid paper due to an incorrect feed whilst applying the watermark via the dandy roll, therefore it is quite plausible that this could have happened with some of the Machins in my previous scan .

To refresh your memory of the previous thread by the name of "Multiple crown Wildings printed on reversed "laid paper"" posted on the 12th August 2019, attached is a scan of the anomaly discovered, leading me to believe that this could have happened to some of the pre-decimal Machins .

I can only suggest you draw your own conclusions on the matter !


Edited By Fred Sellars on 19/02/2020 10:25:16

Thread: Ultra violet radiation of multiple crown Wilding definitives.
17/02/2020 12:39:25

On reflection, and after further investigation/observations made, it is becoming more obvious that these " FIB'S " (fluorescent fibres) was in fact a contamination brought about by the use of rag supplied being high in optical brightening agents due to detergents in a small % of the rags used .

This being the reason for the production of fluorescent papers in order to counteract the appearance of the fluorescent fibres (the contaminants) by using a camouflage or masking technique so as to hide the offending contaminants (fluorescent fibres) .

I believe also that attempts were made to remove the fluorescent fibres by chemical means with the process of oxidisation due to the fact that some papers appear to be the same colour as the original cream papers under long wave ultraviolet light but more translucent, as with all the the other papers produced after 1962, giving rise to the fact that there was 4 variations of papers used excluding the chalk surfaced ones since 1962 of the multiple crown watermark .

The variations are as follows .........

1) Papers whiter than the original cream papers due to water filtration .

2) FIB'S due to the contaminants found in some of the rag supplied .

3) Fluorescent papers, in order to conceal the fibres with additional optical brightening agents .

4) Cream type papers, due to the removal of the fluorescent fibres by chemical means .

All of which can be defined with the use of a long wave ultraviolet lamp .

16/02/2020 11:03:59

Another aspect to take into consideration regarding the pre-decimal Machins is, if these stamps were coated for the (A L F) as part of the automatic sorting system, why coat them on the rear if they are not chalky papers ?

Can anyone give an explanation to the conundrum ?

15/02/2020 16:43:45

As an afterthought, could it be that some of these stamps was printed on a chalk-surfaced paper with the paper reversed ? It's either one or the other !

Food for thought .

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