Plate Varieties of Danzig's First Air Nail Issue (revised)
In the September issue of the German Postal Specialist, we published a preliminary list of plate varieties of Michel No. 51. The traditional No. 51 I (Roman numeral suffix) was mentioned as an addition to the 1 Gulden distinctive types that were illustrated. Since there is no reason to deify the published variety, we are changing and expanding our list to include Michel’s example as No. 51 I (capital letter “I”, for reasons that will become more obvious).
This newer list may become short-lived, because Herr Schüler has additional information that may expand our knowledge of this interesting stamp. To answer his question and perhaps the puzzlement of others, the original varieties (e), (f) and (h) did not include sheet and field numbers, because we couldn’t find them on the two reference sheets used in the study. Perhaps (e) and (f) are examples of late and early stages of the same damaged field as it developed into more serious deterioration. We have copies of both of these varieties, and the damage is quite obvious; we doubt if the thin white line across (e) can be explained as a “thread across the plate during the printing process”. Variety (h) was an example from Bud Hennig’s collection, with field unknown. We hope that information in this issue will aid Herr Schüler in completing a definitive list, and we certainly look forward to hearing from him in the near future.
It should be noted that only 2 sheets were examined and that they are possibly the only 2 in this hemisphere. (As you can guess, they are alive and well in Chicago) If you have access to other sheets or large blocks that show positions, please notify us. Before the sheets were returned to Bud, we made a number of copies. This method didn’t produce sharp definition, but most of the breaks are visible. The acetate overlays should help to locate the varieties while referring to the description.
In the following revised list, new letters have been assigned in capitals, with the original letters in lower case. It may be best to hold off correcting your specialist article until all the votes are in from Germany, resulting in other modifications or additions. Whatever changes or additions are made in the future, please try to use these latest varieties (A thru L) as your basis so that the letters can remain stet.
Note also that the cliche containing 51 I moves from Field 83 to 93 but doesn’t appear as such in Field 23 as catalogued. There are aberrations in 23, but nothing like the famous one. One of the covers shown is from the late Curt Michaelis’ collection recently auctioned by Koerber. We found a small break in the wing that was similar to another in Bud’s group; therefore, it is designated Type H, Field unknown,
Danzig Report Nr. 24 - 3rd Quarter 1979, Page 2.
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