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1935 w/marks 
Posted by:

New Member

29/6/2009, 3:35 pm

This query must have been asked many times.

Can anyone help.
What is the easiest/ best way  to sort out the watermarks of the 1935 Pictorials ???

Posted by:

New Member

15/7/2009, 5:29 pm

Re: 1935 w/marks


Not an area I collect but I did have a quick look in Robin Gwynn's book "Collecting New Zealand Stamps" (highly recommended to all with an interest in NZ stamps whether as a generalist or specialist). Even he admits this is a difficult area, particularly on the smaller stamps. I will try and summarise his approach to sorting this issue. Those who have more specialist knowledge in this area will, hopefully, add their tricks for sorting.

His approach is based on sorting used stamps, mint can be trickier still, although if you can get copies with margin it is slightly easier.

The following applies to all stamps except the 8d and 9d (see later for those).

  1. The multiple watermark was introduced in 1936 so if you have copies dated 1935 (or the first two months of 1936) they will be single watermark.
  3. The original 'fine' paper was replaced in 1942 by a 'coarse' woodpulp paper. This has a yellowish toning and is more like newsprint. Held up to a strong light the multiple watermark should be readily visible so should not present problems.
  5. For all the others then 'mesh' is a helpful approach to sorting. The mesh is related to the way the paper is made and the fibres are laid down. Mesh is generally described in relation to the watermark and may be described as VM (vertical mesh) or HM (horizontal mesh). The single and multiple watermark stamps of the 1935 issue had different meshes. So how does that help? Well if you hold a stamp in your hand it will begin to curl (if not breath gently on it) and it should curl from side to side if the mesh is vertical - these stamps will be single watermark. If it curls from top to bottom the mesh is horizontal - these stamps will have multiple watermark. This 'curl test' is useful for sorting many issues. [the 8d is different - see lower down]
  7. The other point to note is that the single watermark was 'registered' - in other words it was designed so that, for the small stamps at least, each stamp should have a single 'NZ and Star' per stamp. With the larger (2½d, 5d, 2/- and 3/-) stamps two per stamp. Therefore if you can see any part of other stars or N or Z it must be multiple watermark.
  9. The NZ is also generally broader and the stars closer together with multiple watermark.
The 8d value is slightly different:-

One issue of this stamp has multiple watermark upright. Apply the 'curl test' and this will curl from top to bottom in the expected fashion.

However, for most of the 8d printings, sheets were used sideways and therefore the watermark was sideways. The mesh of the paper, which is always described in relation to the watermark, will therefore appear to be the wrong way round.

If you can determine that the watermark is sideways then (for the 8d value only) those that curl from top to bottom will be single watermark and those that curl from side to side will be multiple watermark. Different to the other values described previously. Remember this is for those copies of the 8d stamp where you are certain the watermark is sideways.

The 9d value is different for other reasons. There were two sizes of design:-

First sort out any of the larger design - these will have single watermark.

Unfortunately mesh (and the curl test) does not help sort the later small design which could be either single or multiple watermark. It is notoriously difficult. Maybe others can help here. Once again if you can get a marginal copy this will help as if, when held up to the light, there is any 'NZ and Star' watermark visible in the margin then it is multiple watermark.

I hope that helps.

I would welcome contributions from those who have more experience in the stamps of this period as to how they sort the 1935 issue.

Posted by:

New Member

30/7/2009, 11:50 am

Re: 1935 w/marks


You could not have chosen a more difficilt subject.

There are two watermarks used in the 1935 issue papers.

         [a] Single or Registered Paper
         [b] Multiple or all over paper

Single Watermark only used  on the Wiggins Teape paper. The spacing of the Watermark Stars bewteen the N and Z is about 1cm.
In the single watermark paper the rows of the watermarks appear one above the other.
Other clue to single watermark is if you have a stamp with selvedge and there is a letter or part of a letter,NEW ZEALAND POSTAGE in the selvedge, then it can only be a single watermark. As Multiple papers do not have this.

Whereas in the the Multiple Watermark it is nearer 1/2 cm and the ZN of the watermark and stars are very much broader.and the rows are in alternate positions.

The best indicator to look for are signs of a watermark or part of a watermark in the alternate diagonal position in realation to the other watermarks. 

For example a stamps shows part of the watermark ZN at the bottom of the stamp and a star vertically above at the top of the stamp, it must be a single watermark.

On the multiple watermark paper the nearest watermark above in the the alternate position that is diagonally, instead of vertically above. 

A more simple method to check watermarks- ie 'the curl test' place the stamp in the palm of your hand and lightly breath on it.

Single Watermark Stamps with upright watermark tend to curl in wards for the sides.

Multiple watermarks stamps curl from the top and bottom, that nis the curl is parrell with the direction of the paper mesh.

The 9d 1941 smaller design is an exception as it has a vertical mesh.

Mesh and coarse a fine papers is a story for another day.

Hope this is a some help.


Posted by:

New Member

9/8/2009, 10:21 am


Thanks very much for the helpful coments.I will try again.I did think of buying thro' a dealer and be sure ?.Thanks again Colin G7IAU


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