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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fine and Rare, Number 2

The "Fine and Rare" pages of this blog is a space where I sometimes share some of the "gems" (in my opinion) and favorites from my personal collections. Some will be rare, some will just be of exceptional quality, some will merely be unusual-- a few will be "all of the above."

Denmark 1915: 5 kroner brownish red, watermarked multiple crosses, perfed 14 x 14 1/2, depicting the Central Post Office in Copenhagen. Very fine used copy with the major variety "Plate flaw: KJØBFNHAVN instead of KJØBENHAVN in caption," AFA Catalogue No. 81x. 

The 5 Kroner "Central Post Office" stamp of Denmark has never been a common stamp. First issued in 1912 with the "large crown" watermark, then reissued in with the "multiple crosses" watermark, only about 86,000 copies of each stamp were printed. One stamp in each sheet of 50 has one of Denmark's most significant and widely recognized plate flaws: Instead of "KJØBENHAVNS" in the caption below the building, the word is "KJØBFNHAVNS."

This particularly nice example came to be in my collection by way of the APS's online "Stamp Store." It was actually a surprise-- I was looking for a nice copy of this stamp to replace the existing copy I had. You see, this stamp was mostly used on parcel cards, and most used examples have partial strikes of 2-3 postmarks, and I was ready for a nicer copy. Pleased to have found an attractive copy for a fair price, I was very excited to discover that I had actually acquired a major variety.

Just to make sure that everything was OK, I sent the stamp to Denmark to be examined and certified by Lasse Nielsen, Denmark's foremost philatelic authority. It came back with a "squaky-clean" certificate and remains one of the "best" stamps in my Denmark collection.

Although not listed by Scott, this variety is listed in the Danish AFA stamp catalogue as no. 81x. It is also included in other major European stamp catalogues. Because the "base" stamp already carries a fairly high value, the variety is even more expensive-- and quite difficult to find. It currently lists for 4200,- Danish Kr. (about US $820.00).