I am going through a Romania collection that I bought in October, stamp by stamp, set by set and sorting, cataloging and in some cases mounting on pages.
I don't have a specialized catalog of Romania though I wish I did. The Scott Classics catalog and the Michel Europa catalog don't have any minor varieties and almost every Romanian stamp has variations from 11 to 14.5 for perfs during this early period. A perfect example is Scott 240, the 25 bani overprint of the 1909 King Carol 1, 1 bani stamp issued in 1909.
Below are some scans of this stamp to illustrate what I mean.
The first two outermost stamps on the left and right are perf 13.5, the middle stamp is perf 13.5 x 11.5.
It is also interesting to compare the three overprints as all three differ from one another in various ways. The first stamp has good centering of the overprint and overall the overprint has solid thick lines with no serifs on the typeface used.
The center stamp has a thick 5 with an extended lower curl and there is inconsistency in the thickness of the "bani" denomination below the "25".
The bottom stamp has what look like serifs on the "25" and overall the typeface of the overprint has a thinner appearance.
I am having to create blank pages for each issue just to mount all of the minor and major varieties of these stamps.
By the way, a good resource since I don't have a specialized catalog is www.romaniastamps.com/. This page goes into exhaustive detail about each issue if Romanian stamps interest you at all but it can also be a bit disorganized so going through the page takes some getting use to.
Similarly, Scott 241, overprinted "1918" on the King Carol I, 5 bani and 10 bani stamps has the same perf variation but also a lot of variation in the lightness or darkness of the overprint, though, at least for the 4 stamps I have, there is little variation to the shape of the overprint.
The left-most stamp is perf 11.5, the three others are all 13.5. It should also be pointed out there is a lot of variation on the quality of the perforations. A number of them can be said to have rough perfs, like the right-most and left-most stamps, however, the two in the middle seem to have had a cleaner run through the perforating machine.
Again, looking at the 4 overprints grouped together, there is enough variation to make things interesting. The overprints are labeled a through d below. Overprint c, as far as I can tell was never postally used, even though it lacks gum. The overprint had so much ink when it was applied that it look as if there is ink spatter on the face of the stamp and it looks as if a corner of the rectangular type used to imprint the overprint is on the face of the stamp.
Overprint b is the most off-center and is the only stamp that was clearly postally used.
Which leads me to another question...many of the stamps of early 20th century Romania are unused or mint-hinged depending on your preference yet Scott seems to value the mint stamps higher than used. It seems to me it should be the opposite.
Scott 242, the second of the "1918" overprints has a similar variation in perfs with the first 4 stamps in the row below being all 13.5 x 11.5 and the right-most stamp being 11.5 x 13.5.
Similar to Scott 241, the 10 bani below has variations in the intensity of the overprint inking with some lighter and some darker and ill-defined due to over-inking. You can see the roller coaster variation on where the overprint is stamped on the face of the stamp in this scan.
Looking at the next issue, from 1919 (Scott 245), we have another overprint for the Recovery of Transylvania and the Return of the King to Bucharest. These are the same King Carol 1 stamps as before and, of course have similar variations in perfs, not noted in Scott.
The 1 bani denomination in black below is 13.5. On all these issues the overprint is pretty consistent in terms of shape but again with some variation in ink intensity.
I seem to have a lot of perf varieties on on my stock page for the next two in the set of 3. Below is Scott 246, the 5 bani King Carol 1.
Perf varieties are as follows and also labeled below: 13.5, 11.5 and 13.5 x 11.5.
So now I am excited and this is why I have been so methodical going through this collection that I purchased. Below are the varieties of Scott 247 including perf variations listed in the descriptions.
Also, however, note the inverted overprint on one of the two 13.5 perf varieties. I did not realize I had this until tonight as I was going through these stamps.
So, below, the perfs are 13.5, 11.5 for the next set of two and 13.5 x 11.5 for the set of three.
I am looking forward to creating a separate page just for all the different varieties and the inverted overprint is a real prize to me!
interesting- I looked at the scans before reading the text and didn't even notice the inverted overprint- Is that a symbol of the returning of the King?
It doesn't say in Scott but on the Romania Stamps page, he calls it the monogram of King Ferdinand. I don't know Romanian history but apparently there was a transition at this time as the next set of stamps, issued in 1920 depict King Ferdinand and not Carol.
King Carol the 1st died in 1914- I wonder if WWI was the reason that no new stamps were produced until the war ended? Ferdinand was married to the Duchess of Edinburgh which tied them (apparently ) to the allied side of the Great War
interesting where stamps lead us!!
Stanley D. Brown
APS member # 139241 Sacramento Philatelic Society # 2144 Great Britain Philatelic Society # 1526 Belgian Philatelic Study Circle
I was thinking the same thing. King Carol has had a bit of a rehabilitation in modern Romania since the end of the Ceaușescu regime. The wikipedia pieces regarding Romania and the Romanian Royal Family are pretty interesting. I find myself going down these rabbit holes quite a bit when I am working on my stamps.
Yes, it's a great benefit of stamping that you end up learning lots of history, geography and culture too. I spend a lot of time on Wikipedia when I spend time on some "dead country" in particular. Have learned a lot about the French colonization of Africa over the last year, for example!
I have a copy of Rolf Weinbrecht's German-language specialized catalogue for stamps from 1858-1947 (image below nabbed from the aforementioned romaniastamps.com website). The various perforations are listed there, but the typeface variation seen on your overprint is not. It does mention, as does Michel's Southeast Europe catalogue, that dark red overprints are forgeries. My Michel (at least 10 years old) does not mention the inverted overprint - Weinbrecht does, without giving a price though. LP = "Liebhaberpreis" = sort of like going to a restaurant and the menu shows "Catch of the Day" and the price is only listed as "current prices".
Ryan , I should note here that the inverted overprint is one of the few variations that Scott lists but it does not fetch that much of a premium. My old 2009 catalog notes a used copy for $2.00 but that is a catalog price and it doesn't really matter to me anyway. Overprint variations and perf variations are pretty much nonexistent in Scott, however, which is really frustrating.
The above catalog looks intriguing. This exists also: