AIRMAIL OF 1920

A special issue was prepared for the prepayment of the air fee required for the mail carried by the emergency flights to Helsinki in February and March 1920. Ordinary -definitive issue stamps had to be used for the required regularpostage. The AirStamp was invalid for regular postage. According to official information, the stamp was issued on March 13, 1920. An earlier availability of the stamps has been proved by the sizable numberof genuineflown coversof March 12 and a few of March 11.

Design by Karl Triumph.

Paper: greyish or white, soft.

Gum: Two different kinds of gum are known. The first one is a dull evenly applied gum, which occasionally has turned brownish. Later in the issue a shiny, irregular gum appeared. The irregular gum was mostly used for the 1923 surcharges and is seldom found in the original 1920 issue.

Print: Typographed by Joh. & Alma Paalmann in Tallinn in sheets of 200 - two panes of 100 each, separated by gutter. Gutter pairs are rare. Each pane is enclosed in a three-colored rectangular frame, the black portion measuring 3 1/4 mm wide. Only one printing, of which 238.315 were sold. The rest of the printing was used for the 1923 surcharges. The yellow color varies from light yelIow (most common) to dark brownish yellow. Color shifts are common.

Perforation: Imperforate.
A few postmaster perforations are known from Paldiski, Narva and Tallinn.

Proofs: Essays and negative enlarged copies of the first assembly are known.

Valid: Due to its late arrival, the legitimate use of the stamp was restricted to one flight only - March 15, 1920. Most covers offered on the market have not flown. Invalidated December 31, 1923.

Forgeries: Several forgeries are known, the most of which are easily detected.
Read more about the Estonian Air Mail forgeries.

Literature:
I. Weiner: Die 6 Zustande der ferfiggedruckten Bogen der Luftpostmarke Nr 1 von Eesti, Estonia No 25, 1939 and Eesti Filatelist No 29, 1983 (in German).
Donald McDonald: The Estonian Air Post. Stamp Collectors' Fortnightly, Vol. 37, Nos 94/95, 1931 and Eesti Filatelist No 14, 1973 (in English).
Eo Vaher: Plate flaws of the first Estonian Air Mail Stamp. Eesti Filatelist No 18/19, 1976 (in English).
P. G. Gleason: Estonian Airmail Forgeries, The American Philatelist. Vol. 89, No 9, 1975 and Eesti Filatelist No 18/19, 1976 (in English).
E. Sjögren: Distinguishing Features of Jaan Lubi Forgeries of Estonian Stamps II, Eesti Filatelist No 29, 1983 (in English).

32 Ei - 75
Mi - 14
Zu - 25
SG - 15
YT - 1
Sc - C1
 
Day of Issue:
1920-03-13
Perforation:
Imperforate
Issued:
238.315
SI Used for one flight only, March 15, 1920
Flown covers scarce

5 Mk.

1.50 3:-  

SI
MU
MI
SI and MU always together with regular stamps (to cover the regular postage)

    100:-
125:-
--
  Block of four 5x 5x  
  Téte-Béche with gutter  30:- 30:-  
C:1  Clear white paper +1.50 +2:-  
D:1   Uneven gum +2:- -  
E:1 Right 5 with thick neck. Pos. L 76 and L 87 +0.50 +0.50  
E:2 Missing outer line below right 5. Pos. R 13 +1:- +1:-  
E:3 Broken / Unterbrochenes (POS)T. Pos. R 89 +0.50 +0.50  
E:4  (I)S with hollow foot. Pos. R 31 +0.50 +0.50  
E:5 White spot under P(OST). Pos. R 43 +100:- +100:-  
E:6 White line above M(A). Pos. R 66 +0.50 +0.50  
E:7 Hump on right 5. Pos. L 10 +0.50 +0.50  
E:8 Black line in left 5. Pos. L 16 +0.50 +0.50  
E:9 Black spot in frame of right 5. Pos. R 33 +1:- +1:-  
E:10 Black dot between II(S). Pos. L 9 and R 9 +0.50 +0.50  
E:11 Mutilated aircraft. Pos. L 50 +20:- +20:-  
E:12 Mutilated (H)U -- --  
E:13 Mutilated left corner. Pos. L 93 and L 95 +0.50 +0.50  
E:14 Partly setoff +4:- +4:-  
G:1 Enlarged negative black copy of sheet assembly 50:-    

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.