Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Join Roman and Simon as we do our best to test the listings made by Kerr and later by Chan. What has been missed? Which overprints have been assigned to the wrong towns? What is genuine and what is suspect? - You get the idea......

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Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by Roman » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:41 pm

As exception to many other MLO-issues this stamp issue is "well" researched and listed in most Chinese LA catalogs... and here problems start which I hope we can work out together.

Kerr organized these stamps in two groups: "Hard Black surcharge" and "Oily Black surcharge".

First Question: Can we keep this two groups as separated groups?

My answer (please feel free to let me know your ideas as well): In short: No, in long: Is right, you will be able to find stamps you can organize without doubt in one or another group, but as well you will be able to find many stamps which you can examine hardly without coming to a clear final result in which group they belong because the mentioned group characteristics are very weak, they are something in between. My thesis here: The overprint was made by types by a machine which was manually operated. After some turns of overprints, the staff cleaned the machine using some oily clothes and restart to overprint the stamps. As the result the first rounds get an oily impression which got weaker over the time ends up in "Hard Black surcharge" and here the circle starts again.

I have no proof for this these, but I have a hard fact which supports this these: The Reorganization Committee of Rehe Post (熱河郵政整理委員會) in Chengde (承德) was found in September 1945 and was in charge of the postal work in Chengde and West Rehe. Around mid October 1945 the post office issued three stamps (5 角 / 1 分 [engr.], 2 元 / 6 分 [litho.] and 4 元 / 2 角 [litho.]), on January 19th, 1946 the Reorganization Committee of Rehe Post was renamed to Rehe Proviencial Postal Administration (熱河省郵政管理局) and issued in February 1946 two stamps (2 元 / 6 分 [engr.] and 4 元 / 2 角 [engr.]). So what I want to tell here? Kerr 23.1-5 and 23.6-10 are not two groups with oily or not oily overprint, here are two complete separated stamp issues mixed together! Issued by different postal organizations, released to different dates on different stamps. As the range of oily and not oily stamps goes smooth through both issues we can say the same post office made the overprints over the months, but the classification of Kerr two groups separated by oily or not oily overprint can't be correct.

1st issue (three stamps), follow by 2nd issue (two stamps):
Rehe-Local-Issue-(Chengde).jpg
Rehe-Local-Issue-(Chengde).jpg (584.95 KiB) Viewed 1889 times
Second question: How long were these stamps valid?

My answer (please feel free to let me know your ideas as well): All existing Chinese stamps catalogs write April 1946 but I feel this can't be correct. Chengde was occupied by the GMD in August 1946. What happend with the postal service in Chengde between April and August 1946 (but I'm not sure if even something happend)? Any covers existing in during this time period? What kind of stamps used the GMD start by August 1946?

To be continue...

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Re: Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by admin » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:18 pm

I agree the start date, the earliest I have seen is 10th October 1945. The latest is a dotted circle communist postmark 10. 35. 11. I am not sure if that is October or November 46. I also have an image of an example dated 2nd February 1946 with a Japanese style postmark.

There probably is only one set with different inks, although the oily rag idea could be right. To sort them I look at the back, if the back of the characters seem to have a yellowish smudge surrounding them (below the gum), then I class them as oily. If you can simply see a track of a black character then I assume they are not the oily set. The ordinary set bleeds through the paper to a much lesser extent - as you might expect.

Good research with the two regimes and separate issues - how did you find that out?
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Re: Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by Roman » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:23 pm

Do we really want to differ stamps which were printed over a couple of months with all possible more or less oily nuances into two sets? I don't think so. Let me bring out another example, how stamps are separated into types of close colors (as parable to a more or less oily impression). if you can find a dark blue and a blue stamp you need to prove that the stamps were two different prints (like dark blue was printed from 1878~1890 and blue was printed from 1890~1893), if you can't differ into definable prints the dark-blue and blue are just nuances of one color. As more or less oily impression happened through the whole period of time the stamp was overprint we have one print with more or less oily nuances. I don't want to make rules how to collect, of course you can put very oily and nearly oily free stamps each aside as different variety, but they are just not two different issues like Kerr stated.
Bleed-Through.jpg
Bleed-Through.jpg (252.61 KiB) Viewed 1881 times
Less oily - more oily:
less-oily-more-oily.jpg
less-oily-more-oily.jpg (339.12 KiB) Viewed 1881 times
This stamp issue is listed in all mayor catalogs. (for example Mizuhara JPS to The Postage Stamp Catalog of the Chinese People's Revolutionary War Period, etc.) here you can find many background information about this issue, and as usual many incorrect information. Mizuhara for example wrote only Kerr 23.1-5 were issued. No idea how he came to that idea. I think Kerr was also slightly confused about this issue, for example he shows the wrong location coordinates of Chengdu.

Third question: Why very different overprint settings for this issue existing? What is here the background? Does anyone has a complete sheet to check if we have here two different overprints or just different overprint settings in one sheet?
Different-Overprints.jpg
Different-Overprints.jpg (738.63 KiB) Viewed 1881 times

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Re: Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by admin » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:21 am

I don't think I am saying we should necessarily treat the oily and non-oily versions of these stamps as two different versions or chops. I agree, I think the only difference is the ink and this was not unusual at this time, supplies were restricted they used whatever was at hand.

Well done for noticing the different widths I had not spotted that. I think these are probably within the tolerance of deflection between a light stamper and a heavy handed stamper so maybe they are not different versions of the same chop.

If anyone is confused looking at these pictures please note that Chan shows the wrong image for Cheng te in his catalogue.

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Re: Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by doc032848 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:22 pm

Roman,

Great work here! My notes tell me the first set from there is 3 values, so you history is consistent with my old records of people who got them at the time.
But on your different spacings I do not agree they are the same. (Sorry Simon).
They may come from the same sheet, id est, overprinting set up, but the characters are different. The two on the left are different from each other as some of the characters are clearly different type. The same with the two stamps on the right.

That leaves us with the question: which is Cheng-teh, and which, either another locality, or a second overprint of Cheng-teh. I know there are sets from Lingyuan, Chih-feng, and possibly Chin-chou. I am almost to the point with, my book where I will be illustrating it again to make sure it is "air tight." Then I can show you what I have there.

Now I will try to show you a Chin-c
rsz_jinxian_or_zhengde.jpg
rsz_jinxian_or_zhengde.jpg (1.49 MiB) Viewed 1811 times
hou cover I have.

Maybe the type or spacing is different here, and perhaps help us.

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Re: Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by doc032848 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:08 am

Roman, Simon,

Here are illustrations of stamps in my collection with towns of origin given
Cheng-teh.jpg
Cheng-teh Rehe
Cheng-teh.jpg (64.51 KiB) Viewed 1797 times
Cheng-teh Rehe
Chi-feng.jpg
Chih-feng Rehe
Chi-feng.jpg (58.36 KiB) Viewed 1797 times
Chih-feng Rehe
Ling-yuan Rehe.jpg
Ling-yuan Rehe both types
Ling-yuan Rehe.jpg (112.19 KiB) Viewed 1797 times
Ling-yuan Rehe both types

The Cheng-teh I purchased as that. The above cover with Shanghai receiving mark was in the Kerr collection.

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Re: Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by admin » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:15 am

So it looks like these stamps were available up and down the railroad line between Cheng-teh and Chin Chou. That sort of makes sense.

The question now is, did the stamps come ready overprinted from Cheng-teh or did each PO have its own set of chops. My guess would be they all came from a single source, the stamps look type-set, with some minor differences between the setting of each overprint. This would explain the spacing issues mentioned by Roman. They clearly also had problems obtaining a supply of satisfactory ink.

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Re: Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by Roman » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:21 pm

George,

how do you know the stamps you posted have the following towns of origin?

1.) Chengteh (Chengde) 承德
2.) Chihfeng (Chifeng) 赤峰
3.) Lingyüan 凌源

For me this is speculative, because the stamps were printed in a, for that time, very "advanced and modern way" with types by a print machine. Such a possibility only the largest post offices had and not many smaller post offices along a railway.

You mentioned for no. 3.) "both types". Were the stamp printed in by two different settings or is this just a print variety in the same sheet? Do we have this variety also in other towns or denominations?

Please don't get me wrong, but before we can accept new varieties / settings or towns of origin we need more solid evidence.

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Re: Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by doc032848 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:46 pm

Roman,

I was of the impression that Kerr listed them all the way I have shown them to you. I also have a single stamp from Chih-feng that I have not shown as I don't think anyone has listed it.

Roman, in his last letter to me, my late dear friend Paul P. Hock, posed the question of this very group of stamps to me.
I have not tackled it yet as received a letter you have written to a friend marked "Decedee" can be painful. I also had to join forces with Philip Ireland to save his stamp collection (Hock's!!).

His house cleaner used to curse him in "Austrian" about his stamps AND PROMISED TO THROW THEM ALL IN THE TRASH WHEN HE WAS GONE!!!

Getting those stamps away from her was quite a story.

I agree with Simon that it makes sense that they were all made in one place but can that be shown with what I have shown here?

I am afraid I know of no multiples of these stamps mint or used. Do the stamps on my cover show a small multiple?

I think any variety should be listed of this type but with a note that current research has not completely allowed us to come to a conclusion that satisfied all the scholars.

Maybe I should show you all the stamps Kerr had in his collection so you will know what he listed.

George

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Re: Kerr 23.1-5 vs. 23.6-10

Post by Roman » Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:13 pm

George,

I think we can't organize these different overprint settings to specific locations. Here we really have too less information. It could be very possible the few exiting covers or single used stamps bear a cancel for this or that location and shows a specific overprint variety, but they are all from just the same sheet but a different sheet position (this is my thinking at the moment). Something similar I wrote about the heavy or less ink, we can mention it in a footnote but you can't separate them in groups of this.

This issue is official listed in many LA catalogs, so there should be quite an amount existing in Chinese collections, I will try to find out more.

Roman

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