GB flaw is MUCH rarer than catalogue price suggests

Now, here’s a funny thing.

This GB George VI commemorative to mark the centenary of the 1d Black and 2d Blue

came out in 1940. It is a cheap stamp, a very cheap stamp.

But this particular one has an error on it, described in the SG Specialist Catalogue as Loop To Crown.

Here is a close-up of the flaw, the loop in question is on the right-hand side, near the base:

The aforementioned publication prices it at £150 mint; so more scarce than rare.

At that price you would expect every GB dealer to have it on their lists, and for there to be a number of them on Ebay. Only they haven’t, and there isn’t.

I asked one dealer, Brian Bayford of BB stamps, why this was the case. “You just don’t see them, “he replied.  The well-known GB dealer Arthur Ryan sold one “three or four” years ago but has not had one since.

According to the catalogue the error occurs on the sixth stamp in row six of sheets printed from Cylinder 3 no dot.

The problem is that no one seems to have seen the positional block for decades.

Another well-known dealer, Bill Barrell, told me he sent the block illustrated in the catalogue to Gibbons in the 1960s but has never seen a positional piece since.

He has a theory that, as the flaw was caused by a shallow scratch on the plate, it was just polished out – there was a war on after all.

Most stamps of that era can be bought in sheets but apparently not this one. One reason for that was that the stamps are twice the size of the ordinary definitive. On the first day of issue, May 6 1940, if you went to the post office to buy a stamp you would have been given one of these centenary anniversary stamps.

However, the next day they were only given out to people who asked for the commemorative – an attempt to save paper.  Asking for a whole sheet would have been seen as wasting paper.

When a dealer does have a copy they are guided by the Gibbons so price it at between £60-90, which strikes me as a bargain. I am certain they are much scarcer than that.

So should anyone reading this have a positional piece for sale, please be in touch . . .

Chris Forwood

liip on crown.JPG