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1929 Health stamps 
Posted by:

New Member

7/5/2012, 5:06 pm

On 27 November 1929 the Government Printer was instructed to print 2M of these stamps and on 5 December a further supply was ordered. (per Handbook Vol1 p402)

Question 1.  Some blocks in my collection have buffer bars in the top margin and some don't.  Were these from the different printings; which were which; any other explanantion?

Question 2.  Some upper margins are 40mm; some are 13mm.   Some left hand and right hand margins are 20mm; some are 4mm.  It is unlikely that sheets was guillotined, as some later issues were, because sheets were only 80 stamps in 8 horizontal rows of 10.  Or was a "sheet" the result of cutting up an even larger printing.  Any other ideas?

All information would be welcomed.
Posted by:

New Member

8/5/2012, 8:29 pm

Re: 1929 Health stamps

Dear HarcourtB This is an interesting question. My theory would be this: That they used up the excess of Cowan paper from the 1927 printing of the two shilling and three shilling Admiral issues. Both issues were similar sizes and even the plate set up was in 8 rows of ten also the comb perforation machine used on the Admiral issue was the same. Having used up the excess paper ordered different sized paper to finish the printing. If the theory is correct it would suggest that the latter printing of the Help Promote Health issue, might have had different sized paper from the original issue. Do the buffer bars show up on this issue, if so this printing would be more likely to have had the correctly sized paper. What do you think? Kind Regards Kaka

Posted by:

New Member

21/5/2012, 12:40 pm

Re: 1929 Health stamps

Dear HarcourB
Having read your questions with interest I would offer you the following information.
Question 1
 a. The second printing of 2,000,000 stamps was at the request of The Commissioner of Stamp Duties, Wellington dated 5.12.1929 as follows
'The matter of Charity stamps tp be printed has been given further consideration, and,  in view of the fact that the Government Printing Office will be closed down for the Christmas holidays, it is deemed desirable to have a further two million stamps printed. I should be glad, therefore, if you would have an order placed for a further two million of the special stamps making the total number ordered four million

signed by

Therefore from this memo (copy in NZ P.O. Headquarter Archives File 55/16/20) the statement in Handbook Vol. 1 page 402 is based on this memo

b. A further sheet in this file states the following
'In sheets from the first printing there were no bars in the top selvedge, but it was found immeadiately that, owing to the softness of the plate , serious wear was developing at the place of contact with the pressure roller, therefore  it was decided to use "blocks" and impressions from these appear in the top selvedge in later printings. However as the printing progressed "wear" developed and this can be recognized, particularly in the fine shading lines on the veil to the right of the stamp, by the flattening of the lines to form a solid irregular triangle"

c. The issue of the stamp 11.12.1929 and withdrawn 28.2.1930 was accepted, but the re-issue  from 5.12.1930 and then withdrawn 28.2.1931 did cause some controversy. This was the same date as for the 1930 issue
A statement appears in NZ Stamp Collector Vol.XII No. 2 Sept. 1931 page 57  (paraphased) 'that the sales of the 1930 Health stamps was most dissapointing and there can be no question that the action of the re- issue  of the 1929 stamps had a considerable effect on the sales of the 1930 issue.
The official protest of the NZ Philatelic Council at least has had the effect of making the authorities consider their action, with the result that it is unlikely that any future issues will be treated in the same manner'

Question 2.

It has been possible to check 9 sheets of the 1929 Health stamp issue in the Te Papa archives, the only ones held are of the second printing.
The printing of the sheets all show the 80 stamp pane to be angled oh the sheet with the followin resulting measurement of the selvedges all measurement in mm

                          Sh 1        Sh2     Sh 3    Sh 4     Sh 5     Sh 6     Sh 7     Sh 8      Sh 9
Top Selvedge    39 -41   40 - 41  40-41  40-41  40-41   38-40   40-42  39-40    40-42 vaiation L to R
Bottom   ..        36-34     36-34    35-34  35-34  35-34   36-34   36-34   35-34    36-34      ..         ..
Left        ..         21-20    21-20    21-20   21-20  20-19   21-20   21-20   21-20    21-20  from top to bott' of Sh
Right      ..         7-8         7-8       7-8       7-8       8-9       7-8      7-8        7-8        7-8          ..               ..

From this sample without knowing the size of the sheets used it is possible the printed sheets 'could have been trimmed'
You have not made it clear in the description of your blocks if the ones with the wide upper selvedge are from the 1st or the 2nd printing, however I have seen examples from both printing with a wide top selvedge.
My thoughts related to your blocks are:
It is quite likely that the stamps were printed on Glockner printing machine which would have the sheet machine fed and the post office would not want to have large pieces of watermarked paper available to the public with the printed stamps and trimming would take place before issue from the printer. To have strict control on selvedge width would not be a factor.

I hope that this helps J-LW

Posted by:

New Member

27/8/2012, 11:59 am

Re: 1929 Health stamps

Other commitments have prevented me pursuing this question until recently, when I was delighted to read the contributions from kaka and J-LW.  My apologies for not responding earlier.

My particular thanks to J-LW for sharing this interesting research.  It gives excellent insight into both my questions and increases my understanding of the situation.  A great example of the value of the discussion board.

Thank you both again.  harcourtB.


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