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The contaminated papers of the multiple crown Wilding stamps

Fluorescent fibres

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Fred Sellars29/03/2020 12:54:10
370 forum posts
107 photos

It's not easy when researching a subject that very few people know about, as was the case when I first discovered low-high rates of luminous fibres in certain Wilding stamp papers whilst using a long wave ultraviolet lamp, at the time I was looking for different types of paper in respect of cream and whiter ones as per the information given in SG specialised catalogue volume 3. It was quite a surprise to discover these luminous fibres, as all the previous ones inspected did not contain any of these fibres that fluoresced under UV due to the fact that I didn't know previously that this type of paper existed as with most collectors.

It was due to this fact that I decided to inspect for similar type stamp papers to see if I could find anymore, which I did ! It would seem that when you look for something specific you tend to find it.

My first thoughts was that someone in the stamp trade  somewhere,must know something of their existence and know something about them due to the fact that they were so obvious In their identification.

It was then that I started to look on various websites on the subject covering this particular anomaly, but to no avail and could find nothing in the SG specialised catalogue relating to this phenomenon,  once again I drew a blank, as nothing was stated with regards to their existence based on the luminous fibres to be found.

The more negatives I came across the more interested I became, someone,somewhere must know of their existence surely.


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



Edited By Fred Sellars on 29/03/2020 13:00:08

Edited By Fred Sellars on 29/03/2020 13:09:29

Fred Sellars30/03/2020 10:57:46
370 forum posts
107 photos

CONTINUATION of contaminated papers ...........

In an effort to gain more knowledge/information of these luminous fibres, I contacted Hugh Jefferies at Stanley Gibbons, the editor of the specialised pre-decimal volume 3 catalogue to see if he could furnish me with any information, but all he could say was that he was very busy with regards to catalogues for Christmas and would get back to me sometime in the new year, that was in 2018 and nothing has been forthcoming since then.

I also approached the Royal Philatelic Society in London about the same time and sent them a scan of my findings, requesting any information that related to these luminous fibres as seen under ultraviolet light. I received a reply from a Mr Chris Harman who at that time was the chairman of the expert committee, he stated "we have seen a few examples of these varieties" and that was all he had to say on the matter, if these stamps were a "variety" then why was there no mention of them in the specialised catalogue ? From his comments I already knew that they existed and all I was left with was that they were a variety with no mention elsewhere.

At this point I was feeling rather dejected and despondent, I had contacted 2 major authorities in the philatelic world to get any details on these fluorescent fibres found in the paper, but to no avail with my efforts drawing a blank.

I needed to find more information, such as how this type of paper had been created and for what reason had they been produced.


Fred Sellars02/04/2020 07:42:43
370 forum posts
107 photos

CONTINUATION of contaminated papers .........

I believe there is much to be discovered in the modern world of philately empirically (using observations and/or experience).

The problem is that collectors, and dealers alike tend to rely on catalogues and other published works for guidance as to what exists or should exist. Many of the "respected authorities" appear to know less than they should and due to their prevailing attitude few "new finds" have been recently discovered.

It is only through other people's investigations and their perceptions "the pathfinders" with their reports that the authorities information has been obtained in the first place.

Therefore, with the above in mind, I decided to investigate further on these 50+ year old Wilding stamps in respect to the various different types of papers discovered.


Fred Sellars03/04/2020 14:08:42
370 forum posts
107 photos

CONTINUATION of contaminated papers .........

What initially sparked my interest was due to the fact that this type of paper was so much more different than any other British stamp paper seen before, and yet, there was no information about them in any publishings that had been made, therefore, they became cause for further study

The majority of these luminous fibres have been found mainly on the lower value definitives with values ranging from the 1d to the 1/6d in the multiple crown watermark issues, but some findings have been made with the commemorative also with same watermark, an example can be seen below taken under ultraviolet light then filtered into mono so as to enhance their presence.

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


Fred Sellars04/04/2020 14:12:58
370 forum posts
107 photos

CONTINUATION of contaminated papers ........

The scan below, is a further indication that no British stamp papers have been so contaminated before, and as previously stated there is NOTHING to indicate their existence as far as books/catalogues relating to this particular subject is concerned .

Many other values are similarly affected.

TO BE CONTINUED ..........img_20200404_133649.jpg

Fred Sellars06/04/2020 22:09:52
370 forum posts
107 photos

CONTINUATION of contaminated papers .......


As a consequence of these contaminated papers, my findings indicate that they were the prelude to the darker cream and fluorescent type papers produced post 1962. As to the timeline it would appear that no records have been published relating to when these changes were made, as it's all been kept a bit hush hush.



Edited By Fred Sellars on 06/04/2020 22:10:50

Fred Sellars21/04/2020 09:50:36
370 forum posts
107 photos

CONTINUATION of contaminated papers .........


Having had little or no success with Gibbons or the RPSL I decided a different avenue of approach that would give some answers would be the production of the paper itself. I already knew that various types of paper was composed basically of wood, grasses, rags, recycled paper and also possible other additives added to create the different types of paper required used for different purposes.

Other than this, I knew very little on the subject so my first port of call was the Google website making reference to the manufacture of paper, the answer given was that it is a two-step procedure whereby fibrous raw materials is first converted into pulp and then converted into paper.

The information given was very basic and was of little help, what I needed to find out was how this specialised watermarked paper was produced, as stamps are not printed on tissue paper or cardboard !

It was Harrison and sons of High Wycombe that had printed the stamps but on further investigation I discovered that the paper used had been manufactured elsewhere ! At a paper mill called Stowford mill located in the town of Ivybridge in South Devon by a firm known as " Wiggins Teape " and that the water used during the pulp stage was drawn from the nearby river Erme.

On further exploration of the web, I came across an interesting site by the name of " Ivybridge Heritage " of which gave quite a detailed history of the paper mill in question and also a short film as to how the procedure of paper making was carried out in 1962, this individual LINK can be found on " Watch Stowford Paper Mill online - BFI Player " .

The main constituent of this paper was not recycled paper or wood but 'rags' .



Edited By Fred Sellars on 21/04/2020 09:55:19

Fred Sellars25/04/2020 09:02:20
370 forum posts
107 photos

CONTINUATION of contaminated papers .......

The WWW is an amazing place to gain information that otherwise would have been hard to find elsewhere, and is now my first port of call (if you know where to look) when searching for details on any given subject.

The firm of Wiggins Teape has had quite a varied history since being founded in 1761 along with many other paper manufacturers over the years, mainly due to amalgamation, changing trends and technology.

It would appear that specific paper mills have concentrated mainly on the type of paper they produced best, a full history of the firm with its products and where they were produced along with their watermarks can be found in " Grace's Guide to Industrial History " and can be found on the following site their search engine will take you through the labyrinth, try not to get lost !

I suggest you first enter " Grace's guide Wiggins Teape 1934 review " on your own search engine for starters for anyone wanting to know about their papers, this site covers many other industries and is a mine of information, this is an ideal time to venture due to the confinement restrictions currently in operation.

Good hunting and stay safe ! Fred.


Fred Sellars01/05/2020 16:32:30
370 forum posts
107 photos

CONTINUATION of contaminated papers ........

Here is one of several photographs that is depicted on the Wiggins Teape and Co: 1934 review site in Grace's Guide.

It may not be to everyone's taste, but was essential in the mechanised production of paper at that time.

No doubt, the same principle applies today !



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