MONTSERRAT 1985 85TH BIRTHDAY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER STAMP ISSUES
Information and Reference of What was Found in the Format Archive and Elsewhere
Varieties and Proofs
Would YOU store YOUR specialized 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother varieties this way?
THE SOUVENIR SHEET
Information on this series is changing as more information is being discovered. This page and associated pages
will be updated as more information is made available.
Dangerous modern fakes of this issue appearing first in 2014 are on the market. They have the correct perf size!
Visit the linked page to define all of them and what to avoid.
The Newly Discovered 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth souvenir Sheet Forgeries.
The 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother stamps issued for Montserrat are a beautiful set and very colorful.
The series was quite a production for the Format Security Printers with the numerous images portrayed on the individual stamps
and souvenir sheets of the series. Numerous errors and varieties exist for this series thus making it quite a diverse and challenging
project to complete.
There is no information on the actual quantities produced of varieties and such but we can pretty much assert that the practices
of production for other series including the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives and the Royal Wedding series should
coincide with this series as well. Due to the standard principles involved with production of stamps depicting royalty the practices
would be the same for this series.
In my recovery of the Saint Lucia and Tuvalu side of the police evidence stock I also received a portion of the progressive color
proofs for the souvenir sheets from all the countries involved in numerous series. With Saint Lucia a major portion. With the Tuvalu and
Islands what remained was very small. I fear now that most has been lost or destroyed very probably by terrible storage conditions.
In the recovery some were found in packets which moisture had penetrated and basically destroyed them all. Some were still wet! As if stored
in a cellar! Even moldy!
In the acquisitions of the Bileski estate I got several lots of panes of the missing color varieties, perforation varieties, watermark varieties and
gum varieties. These being found in the printers archive. Even some of these were torn, wrinkled and damaged in ways from storage in the archive.
I therefore submit to you that apparently some varieties because of these conditions have now become very limited as to what the collector can
obtain and thus have become increasingly of higher value. Try to find certain varieties of these on the market and you will find it nearly impossible to impossible
On this page I will try to break down what was produced, estimated quantities and valuation of the material.
I will use 3 sections to do this. First being the single stamp issues, secondly the souvenir sheets and third being the unissued stamps.
With the souvenir sheets section I will be tallying up both for the one issued in 1985 and the restricted printing set issued in early 1986.
Let's get started!
THE PERFORATED SINGLE STAMP VARIETIES
I will base the quantities produced on the standards used for other series mainly being the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives Series which obviously
were of the same style as this series. Over and over again in the documentation recovered from the trials and directly from the printer the quantities
produced for varieties is generally always the same.
Interestingly enough as I stated in the introduction page for this series the progressive color proof Presentation Folders were not allowed to be reprinted
due to the reprint agreement excluding this from happening. Therefore in my opinion the progressives were only printed once.
For Montserrat progressive color proofs were retained including the first souvenir sheet!
This is an image of the advertisement made in the Urch Harris Commonwealth Stamp Catalog made back in 1987-88 for the 1985 Nevis 85th
Birthday Stamps and Souvenir Sheets and varieties.
More varieties have been found since this ad but it gives you an idea of what was available and pricing at the time.
For the normal issue being a popular topic and highly collected the quantities produced for the normal issue was around 75,000 sets.
I base this on quantities produced for LOW trains and cars for Nevis.
Pricing should run at the stated catalog values.
I have not seen any uncut press sheets of this issue.
NORMAL PERFORATED "SPECIMEN" OVERPRINTED STAMPS
Documentation and evidence show that:
Based on practices of the printer for other series 2,000 sets of specimen overprinted stamps were produced.
These are quite commonly sold on the market thus most of the sets must have been retained.
Pricing should run between $7-10.00 a set.
There are no varieties of the single stamp issues to report.
That basically sums up the perforated varieties.
THE IMPERFORATE VARIETY
Standard print orders and practices were for 5,000 imperforate sets. Another 3,000 would be produced for the progressive color proofs.
There appears to be no presentation folders for this set.
Pricing should run at $5-7.00 a set.
PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOFS
Standard practice was to print 3,000 sets of the progressives.
All values exist as imaged.
Pricing for each value set should be at $10-15.00.
THE SOUVENIR SHEETS
Following is the rundown of what is known to exist in regards to the souvenir sheets.
THE PERFORATED ORIGINAL SOUVENIR SHEET
Documentation and evidence shows that:
At present at least 5,000 copies of this issue were produced. Probably more. This is based on the following evidence found in the St. Lucia holding.
1.) 3,000 copies have been found in the police evidence.
2.)These are for sale by numerous internet sellers and stamp dealers.
3.)One dealer of Format Material (mentioning no names) is selling bulk lots of 5 seeming to have many copies.
This is a popular series collected by many collectors and thematic collectors thus demand is higher.
Because of these factors pricing for this souvenir sheet should run at average Scott listed pricing of $3-5.00.
VARIETIES OF THIS SOUVENIR SHEET
Documentation and evidence shows that:
At present based on practices of the printer at the time 2,000 imperforate souvenir sheets were made.
Another 1,500 were produced with the progressive color proofs.
The set of progressive color proofs is available on the market for this souvenir sheet showing they have been retained.
The quantity that still exists is unknown.
Pricing cannot be obtained for any varieties of this souvenir sheet.
Until quantities are documented on the progressives standard pricing if all are retained should be $25-35.00 a set as imaged.
THE RESTRICTED PRINTING SOUVENIR SHEETS
The perforated $3.50 Restricted Printing Souvenir Sheet
The perforated $6.00 Restricted Printing Souvenir Sheet
The restricted printing souvenir sheets were asserted to be around 2000 being printed by Robson Lowe. They are readily available at numerous locations on the internet.
This shows that all were retained. I believe now that it was closer to the standard 5,000.
Accordingly pricing should be at $3-5.00 each unless evidence of a lower number being produced is found.
A NOTE The image below shows availability of the imperforate and specimen overprinted varieties for the restricted printing souvenir sheets.
THE RESTRICTED PRINTING IMPERFORATE SOUVENIR SHEETS
The limited numbers printed of the normal issue would make one believe that the imperforate varieties would fall under lower numbers.
I do not think this to be the case. Evidence is showing that standard practices were used for the varieties. Therefore I would estimate that at
least 3,000 to 4,000 were produced. Sorry to say but this makes the imperforates valued at regular issued values.
They are readily available on the market.
Accordingly pricing should be at $3-5.00 each unless evidence of an even lower number being produced is found.
THE RESTRICTED PRINTING SOUVENIR SHEETS WITH SPECIMEN OVERPRINT
Documentation and evidence show that:
At present based on practices of the printer at the time 1,000 perforated and 1,000 imperforate of each were made.
There does not appear to be an imperforate variety.
The Specimen overprinted sets are available (though not to often) in various locations and listed by Rushstamps.
Accordingly pricing should be at $10-15.00 a set.
THE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOFS OF THE SOUVENIR SHEET
Again I can find no sets of these available anywhere on the internet.
Some were sold in the final sale of the archive though so they do exist.
THE MISSING SILVER OR GOLD BORDER AND INSCRIPTIONS ERRORS
At this time I cannot find the $6.00 value available but suspect because the imperforate versions are, it will show soon.
This "error" is found on both the values of the restricted printing souvenir sheets for Saint Lucia. Standard practices of the printer were to produce 3,000 sets of missing color errors. I
believe this to also hold true for this type of error. It is sold quite commonly on the market showing they have been retained.
The reason I know? Because I have retained around 2,000 copies of the Saint Lucia variety via the police evidence. This is a made for collector error. It is an interesting novelty.
Pricing should run at $5.00 each.
THE IMPERFORATE MISSING SILVER OR GOLD BORDER AND INSCRIPTIONS ERRORS
Practices of the printer would produced at least 1,000 of each of these if it were a made for collector error.
Noting this is probably and most likely simply the final stage before inscriptions progressive color proof in which case 1.500 were made.
Pricing should run at $7-10.00 each.
At this time there is no evidence that any other errors were made for this particular souvenir sheet.
This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Montserrat 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother souvenir sheets.
As new information and evidence is found it will be added to this page.
THE UNISSUED SOUVENIR SHEETS
THE PERFORATED SOUVENIR SHEETS
This is a rather interesting variety because again there is no fully documented information on them.
Back in 1990's Kasimir Bileski purchased the unissued sections of the archive being sold by Christie's/Robson Lowe. At that time the above
images mini souvenir sheets were found in the archive. Robson Lowe wrote in the inventory list that 250 of each value were found. Here is an image of that section.
I have a theory developed by the printing practices at the time. At that time the restricted printing of the 1985 Queen Mother's 85th Birthday souvenir
sheets was also in process. The restricted printing was estimated by Robson Lowe to be between 500-2,000 souvenir sheets printed. I personally would
go with 2,000 printed because of the availability on the market today. Several dealers selling them in bulk lots of 5 and such.
Therefore my theory is that the same holds true for the unissued 85th Birthday souvenir sheets as well! These same dealers are selling them in the same
way and they are available in numerous locations all over the internet.
Pricing should therefore be around $10-15.00 for a set of the Montserrat version.
Now I come to the fascinating part on these.
Try to find these as imperforates, as specimen overprint, with errors, as progressive color proofs. You won't find them.
But guess what!?! There does exist a couple varieties!
In the Robson Lowe inventory list was a section describing both the 60th Birthday and 85th birthday unissued souvenir sheets on composite
uncut press sheets! Here imaged is the page on them.
At the time this was written Robson Lowe did make errors on what he deemed were unissued values. There were a couple for other countries though! Those will be defined
on their own specialized pages.
In my recovery of the Bileski estate items, I was able to recover a major portion of the souvenir sheets that made up these two composite press sheets!
You see, Mr. Bileski cut them all into his favorite format. Souvenir sheet PAIRS. Therefore the uncut press sheets (at least to my knowledge)
no longer exist.
Now I present to you the only images in the world of the rebuilt composite press sheets which in all probability will never be reassembled again!
First Composite Press Sheet Described by Robson Lowe
Second Composite Press Sheet Described by Robson Lowe
Therefore there are a few varieties that are in the status of extremely rare to unique. Unique because Mr. Bileski cut the souvenir sheet pairs in several
different ways when he cut up the sheets. Unique in the sense that the composite press sheets themselves differed in that some had certain souvenir sheets imperforate whereas on others
they were not. At this point I am calculating 5 or 6 of the first imaged sheets had the imperforates. The second imaged sheet had no imperforates.
Combinations are different and I do not have them all. Perhaps you have one. Please email me information and images if you like!
Below are images of the combinations I have for the Montserrat 85th Birthday.
Noting there were no Montserrat 85th Birthday unissued souvenir sheets on the second composite sheet.
The 55c Montserrat 85th Birthday paired with the 90c Montserrat 85th Birthday
The 55c Montserrat 85th Birthday paired with the $1.50 Montserrat 85th Birthday
The 90c Montserrat 85th Birthday paired with the 75c British Virgin Islands 85th Birthday
The 90c IMPERFORATE Montserrat 85th Birthday Single Souvenir Sheet From a Composite Press Sheet
The $1.15 Montserrat 85th Birthday paired with the 10c British Virgin Islands 85th Birthday
The $1.50 IMPERFORATE Montserrat 85th Birthday paired with the 25c British Virgin Islands 85th Birthday
The $1.50 Montserrat 85th Birthday Single Souvenir Sheet From a Composite Press Sheet
All of these combinations are extremely rare. From 1 to 3 are all that exist for most! Below I image a diagram showing why this is so.
I got a major portion of the second sheet which Robson Lowe stated there were 5 of. You can see from the diagram how the combinations varied.
Therefore any of them (even the singles) are of extreme rarity.
Mr. Bileski's pricing would be around several hundred dollars each.
Pricing should be around $50-75.00 for a pair and $50.00 for a single. The imperforates are worth $2-400.00 for singles
and $3-500.00 for pairs depending on the combination.
There does exist more varieties of these as in progressives and specimen overprinted that were sold in the final sale of the archive.
Not many were there I might add.
This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Montserrat 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Omnibus series.
As new information and evidence is found it will be added to this page.