WEAVER AND SMITH 1922/28
A major regular issue with 11 different values in Mark currency. The 10 Marka grey stamp from 1928, though issued on a special occasion, will be treated as part of this issue. The surcharged issue in new currency in 1928 will be listed separately.
Design by Johan Theodor Björnström of Helsinki.
Paper: Specialists have described a wider variety of paper types, however, five distinctly different papers are accepted as a standard.
I. Firstpaper. A thin (0.06-0.07 mm) semi-transparent paper with smooth surface, but dull as far as the reflection of light is concerned. It is mostly called Ligat Paper due its origin from the Ligat Paper Mills in Latavia. It was used for all imperforate issues and for the following perforated values: 1/2, 1, 2, 2 1/2, 5, 9 and 10 (blue) Marka.
II. Second paper. A thin (0.065) pre-gummed paper with a horizontal mesh-pattern. By transmitted light the stamps show a grid of fine horizontal lines. Therefore this paper is called Horizontally Ribbed. It was imported Irom Germany and first used for printing the 3 Mk. value (March 1924) and later for 1, 2, 2 1/2 and 5 Mk.
III. Third paper. This paper is much thinner (appr. 0.05 mm) than other papers and therefore called Thin Paper. The design is easily visible on the back. It is believed that the paper is of German origin. It was used in 1925 for printing of five values: 5, 10 (blue), 12,15 and 20 Mk. One additional thin paper variety has been reported by both Schönherr and McDonald. The color is greyish and the barely visible mesh pattern is horizontal. It has only been recorded with the 10 Mk. (blue) value.
IV. Fourth paper. This paper is similar in thickness and texture to the second paper, but the mesh pattern is vertical, so called Vertically Ribbed. It was used from the early part of 1926 for the 1, 2 and 10 (blue) Mk. values.
V. Fifth Paper. Another thin paper (0.065 mm). The mesh pattern is very clearly visible. The design is less distinct on the back than on the third paper. This paper made its first appearance in the later part of 1926 and was used throughout 1927 until February 1928, when a special printing was made for the 1928 OPT stamps. This paper also is called Last Paper or Wove Pattern. It has been used for following values: 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 (blue and grey), 12 and 20 Mk.
Gum: In the beginning a brownish gum was applied to the first paper, both to the imperforate and perforated issues. This gum is viscous in consistency and grainy with bubbles. Later a clear white smooth gum was applied. The pre-gummed paper was introduced as the second paper and all Estonian issues thereafter have been printed on gummed paper. The gum on the second paper was grooved horizontally, on the fourth vertically. The gum on the third and fifth paper is clearwhite and smooth.
Print: The issue was printed in sheets of 400, arranged
in 4 panes of 100 stamps separated by gutters of height and width
of a stamp. The printing sheets were cut into four counter panes,
each containing 100 stamps. Only at the very beginning some printing
sheets reached the P.O.-s and the existing center stars and gutter
pairs originate from these sheets. These are rare, especially for
the perforated issue (only known with 1/2 and 2 1/2 Mk. values).
Perforation: It was intended to issue only perforated
stamps. A grave shortage of low value stamps, however, resulted in
the issue and sale of imperforate stamps, rather than delay the issue
for perforation. Shortly thereafter the perforated stamps appeared.
The perforation, 14 1/2 x 14, was done by a comb perforation machine.
The perforation was applied to the full printing sheets of 400.
Proofs: Only a limited number of proofs is known and these are rare. Also a few proofs of the 5 and 9 Mk. with the Weaver design are known. These are proofs of postal stationery and are very rare. Price: 40 USD. (Please note that all prices are estimates in USD, based on the average retail market of 1985, when the original catalogue/handbook was written. The prices are considerably higher today.)
Forgeries: McDonald reports that forgeries of the 1/2 – 2 1/2 Mk. values were produced in Latvia. The forged imperforate 3 Mk. value is known on several papers, mostly on the last paper, originating from the broad margins of the Final Air Mail issue. It has been printed with genuine pieces of plate, stolen from the GPW. Also the 9 Mk. Weaver Design proofs have been forged.
Valid until December 31, 1940.
Please note that all prices are estimates in USD, based on the average retail market of 1985, when the original catalogue/handbook was written. The prices are considerably higher today.