OF THE RARITIES IN ESTONIAN PHILATELY
of an article by Vambola Hurt in Eesti Filatelist #24-25, 1979)
is no doubt that the most rare Estonian stamps are all items of the
semi-official Rakvere Issue and certain values of the Official Tallinn
(Eesti Post) Issue of 1919. The Rakvere stamps can be found only in
a very few collections. The original issue was very small and quite
a few of them seem for ever to be lost in the years of several wars.
Specially rare are the overprints on uncut wrappers. A complete wrapper
set is known only in one collection, unfortunately not all of them
in mint condition. Postal stationary overprinted in Rakvere represents
the same class of rarities. Specially the envelopes.
the number of "Eesti Post" stamps is bigger than given in
literature (according to H. Alver), relatively the issue still is
very small, specially the rubel-values. Unfortunately, the number
of forgeries is very high. Some of the fakes are of high quality.
It does not help that some of the forgeries have been approved by
the rest of the Estonian stamps some must be specially mentioned:
Flower Issue 15 kop. perforated.
Air Mail Overprints of 1923: 10 and 20 Mk perforated, and 45 Mk 2nd
The "Aita Hädalist" Issue.
perforated 15 kop. of the Flowers Issue is actually a perforation
trial ordered by the Postal Authorities. The trial was made on sheets
of printers waste from the 1st and 2nd printings (perf. 11 1/2). The
marginal stamps was not perforated on the outside. Therefore, there
are stamps perforated only on three or two (corner stamps) sides.
The trial was not considered successful and therefore not repeated.
The total number of the perforated stamps is not known. According
to Schönherr, the Post Office in Tallinn sold about 6.500 stamps
to a dealer, who sent most of them (minus 200 has been mentioned)
via Finland to Germany. The Package never arrived and its fate is
still unknown. It has been mentioned in the literature that a small
number of stamps was sold over the counter by the Post Office. The
exact figure is unknown. So, the total number of the stamps still
in circulation should not exceed 1000. Genuine items are very rare.
Most of the "perforated" stamps in collections are forgeries
or private perforations - to be recognised by good perforation quality
and the stamps mostly being from the 4th and 5th printings. Specially
rare is the stamp in block of four and naturally on cover. Probably
only 2 - 3 covers may exist.
issue of the 10 and 20 Mk airmail overprint of 1923 in Päevaleht
perforation was 300 resp. 2000. Specially of the 10 Mk only a few
genuine stamps still exist. Only 2 - 3 blocks of four are known. The
second overprint of the 45 Mk airmail was issued in 3.234 copies.
It can be rather easily recognised - the space between 5 and M is
more than 2 mm.
total issue of "Aita Hädalist" is small. Specially
seldom to be found are the horizontally unperforated stamps - issues
840 and 830. As blocks of four they exist only in 2 - 3 collections.
Naturally all covers are very rare.
Gull Issue 5 p.
According to Eichenthal the stamp exists on white carton paper and
also on grey paper. The same varieties are given by Weiner. Also Schönherr
mentions the carton paper. A few copies are known.
Gull Issue 35 p.
Only 3 - 4 copies of this stamp are known printed on silk paper. How
many originally were printed is not known.
Issue 2 1/2 Mk.
It is today practically impossible to find any item of this stamp
printed on horizontally ribbed paper, specially in mint condition.
It is known to exist only in very few collections.
Currency Overprints 1928 15 s.
For this issue a new printing of all stamps was made on the so called
last paper (wove pattern paper). However, the stamp is known also
on horizontally ribbed and thin paper. Both are extremely rare, specially
in mint condition and must be considered to be among the greatest
Pigeon 15 s.
From the middle of the thirties Estonian stamps were printed on white
chalk surfaced paper purchased from England. This was continued until
due to the war the deliveries were stopped. The last Estonian issues
was printed on German chalk surfaced paper, considerably greyer in
colour. This paper was used for the Carrier Pigeon Issue and also
for the reprints of the 15 s. President Päts and 1 s. of the
Coat of Arms Issue. A few sheets of the white paper still existed
in the stock and have been used in printing the 15 s. Carrier Pigeon
stamp. G. Westenberg explains that when a few sheets were damaged
at printing, replacements were ordered and a few sheets of white paper
were handed out. How many white sheets were printed is not known.
of Arms Issue, reprint of 1 s.
The same procedure as above seems to have occurred. Even less copies
are known. No cancelled stamp has been found.
Issue 35 p.
Printed on both sides. According to Schönherr only one printing
sheet was sold. It is very probable that one more sheet has existed
as after the war a few slightly different copies (colour and gum)
have come to the market in Sweden. The origin of these can be tracked
to the original printing house in Nõmme.
Gull Issue 5 p.
Lemon yellow and pinkish yellow. In the very beginning red was mixed
in the printing colour, but this was discontinued. According to Schönherr
about 10.000 stamps were printed. The number of the lemon yellow variety
is unknown. Both varieties are almost impossible to find. I have not
seen them in mint condition.
Ship Issue 1 and 5 Mk.
The printing sheet of 200 was cut into two counter sheets already
in the Printing Works. A very few printing sheets were sold uncut.
From these tèté-bèché pairs with gutter
are known. 1 Mk can be found more easily - also at least one complete
printing sheet does exist. The tèté-bèché
pairs of 5 Mk. are extremely rare.
Ship Issue, inverted center piece, 5 Mk.
According to McDonald the variety doubtless has been printed with
genuine plates. The printed sheets probably found their way directly
to collectors and were never sold at counter. However, this has not
been proved. Supposedly the stamp was printed in two printing sheets.
Both distinctly different. Only a very few copies still are in existence.
Quite a few forgeries are known. To be recognised by the very white
paper and a somewhat smaller frame. The forgery is very well done
and has betrayed even experienced collectors.
Mail Overprint 10 Mk. perforated.
In one or two sheets one row has not been perforated. Thus pairs exists
unperforated in the middle.
One sheet of the stamp on horizontally ribbed paper is known partially
(?) imperforate. The imperforate copies are very rare.
Currency Overprints 1928, 2 and 5 s.
When printing the 2 s. and 5 s. values, a serious displacement took
place. The result was that the two s´s being above the year-figures.
That also means that one row lacks the s's. Schönherr says that
one sheet was partly used in the War Ministry before detected and
withdrawn. A few mint copies also exist. The 5 s. variety is more
rare. Probably one counter sheet of each value was delivered and sold
1928, 10 s. imperforate.
According to Schönherr one counter-sheet did reach the counter,
the other three were noticed and withdrawn. The variety is very rare,
specially in block of four.
Exhibition 1928, imperforate.
One counter-sheet reached circulation (by the help of Mr Teetsov?).
After the war from the stock of proofs in the Government Printing
Works an additional number found its way to the collectors. It is
known only in a few collections. Specially rare as block of four.
Surcharges 3 Kroon/300 Mk.
On one sheet the blue burelage has been printed twice. This variety
was detected quite late so that most copies had been used up. Belongs
to the group of greatest varieties, specially in mint condition.
of Arms Issue 5 s. and 20 s.
Fault of perforation, one or several sides imperforate (20 s. always
only one side imperforate). Probably only one sheet partially or completely
sold. Today known only 4-5 copies.
The first Estonian stamp booklet was produced in 1930. The stamps
of the Coat of Arms Issue were used - one block of six of the 5 Senti
value and three blocks of six of the 10 Senti. As the price of the
booklet was rather stiff, not many were bought by the collectors.
Only a very limited number (less than 10?) still exist today.
varieties could be mentioned of which today only a very limited number
still can be found in collections:
Flower Design 15 K - large P.
2. Number Design 10 p - half of the zero missing.
3. Viking Ship Issue 1 Mk and 5 Mk - strongly shifted center piece.
4. Airmail 5 Mk - white spot.
5. View of Tallinn 50 p - pair with gutter.
6. Weaver/Blacksmith - pairs with gutter.
7. Weaver/Blacksmith - partially imperforate.
8. Blacksmith 5 Mk - print on patched paper.
9. Coat of Arms 10 s - printed on the gummed side.
10. Coat of Arms 15 s yellow and 1 s - double perforation.
11. Coat of Arms 15 s - leopard with five paws.
the issues from the German occupation period have been excluded. Also
on purpose the colour varieties of the Flower Design Stamps have not
been mentioned - they are quite easy to "manufacture". A
chapter for itself would be the rarity of certain stamps
on cover. Quite a few "common" stamps are extremely
difficult to find on cover.