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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Variety Focus: Denmark 1947 Railway Ferry with Double Railing

AFA Nr. 304, issued in 1947
In 1947, Denmark issued a set of three stamps to commemorate 100 years of railroads in Denmark. Whereas a number of varieties and plate flaws have been discovered on these stamps, it is only the 40 øre blue high value that has become known enough to be listed as a "major" variety in several larger stamp catalogues, including Danish AFA, and Swedish Facit.

The stamp features one of Denmark's (at the time) express trains at the ferry terminal, getting ready to roll onboard one of the railway ferries across Storebælt, the sound between the islands of Sjælland and Fyn. Today, Storebælt is served by a bridge, but in 1947 the only way to cross the water was on one of several ferry routes. Some of these ferries were large enough to take a number of railway carriage onboard for each passage.

Normal (top) and variety
This variety is called "double strikes of the railing of the ferry," and is a plate flaw that occurs in position 48 in only a part of the printing. A lot of collectors have actually never seen this variety, and the drawings in catalogues are not always very clear or obvious. The photo at left shows the difference as seen on actual stamps; the top photo is the normal version of the stamp, the bottom photo shows a lighter second line in part of the ferry railing.

This variety is listed in both the Swedish Facit catalogue, as well as Danish AFA. The current catalogue value is 220,- Danish Kr, or about US $42.50.