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BEQUIA
1986 ROYAL WEDDING of PRINCE ANDREW and SARAH FERGUSON STAMP ISSUES

Information and Reference of What was Found in the Format Archive and Elsewhere

Varieties and Proofs

Would YOU store YOUR specialized 1986 Royal Wedding Uncut Press Sheets this way?

Example of how the 1986 Royal Wedding Police Evidence Stock was Stored
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding (1st issue) Stamps
THE SOUVENIR SHEET
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding (1st issue) Souvenir Sheet
Marquee for Golowe's Reference Site on the Format International Security Printers

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.

The 1986 Royal Wedding stamps issued for Saint Vincent Bequia are of interest because it appears that most varieties of both values have been retained. There is no documentation on them at all except for a vague reference to "a few overprinted" press sheets being saved. I will use the standards set for other countries in the series for quantities and values.

First I present the story about the tete-beches. It is an interesting story.

THE STORY

This part of the presentation is repeated on all the Eastern Hemisphere pages, so you can skip to the reprint section if you have already read this part.

The story began back in 1991 with the sale of the Format International Security Printers Archive due to the bankruptsy proceedings which caused the liquidation of the companies assets including the archive. At the time the trials against the company and affiliated companies and owners for the said fraudulent reprinting and production of varieties which was proven to be found not guilty of all charges was also happening. The British Metropolitan Police made numerous raids on the companies including raiding the printing company and confiscating anything that looked like stamp errors. They took several tons of philatelic material including progressive color proofs, specimen overprinted, imperforate proofs, on and on from the companies and the archive. Mainly involving the countries involved in the trials including Tuvalu and the islands, St. Vincent and dependencies, St. Lucia, Nevis, etc;.

The materials left in the archive were sold via Christie's/Robson Lowe in private treaties and several public auctions with the final auction being made in 1995. One of the major buyers of the archive was Mr. Kasimir Bileski, a famous stamp dealer in Canada. In his purchases he acquired the majority of uncut press sheets from all the countries involved in the 1986 Royal Wedding Omnibus Series. He became fascinated by the tete-beche formation of the sheets and began a heavy research into what they were for and what existed. He studied them among hundred's of other studies for around 16 years before his passing. In the sale of the archive several other dealers obtained some of the sheets and Mr. Bileski for years tried and did in fact locate and purchase most of them from them to reunite with his own.

I have produced a PDF file with Different Bileski Write-ups on the 1986 Royal Wedding Tete-beches. Most have never been seen publicly. You can download and read them here.

The Bileski Documents on the 1986 Royal Wedding Tete-beches

It is interesting here to note that during all this time it was unknown about the existence of the materials that were confiscated for the trials of the printer of which included a large quantity of the uncut press sheets and such of the Omnibus Series in many forms. I wish to note the exciting news at this point that not very many (if at all) uncut press sheets of the normal issued stamp pairs from the islands of Tuvalu were confiscated!

My interest in the series began in about 1998 when in my dealings with Mr. Bileski, he sent me a "bonus gift" in one of my purchases of a set of the tete-beche pairs from all of the countries involved. I followed his research and after his passing have carried it on to today. It has been a fun study and has advanced far beyond Mr. Bileski's study of the series.

After Mr. Bileski's passing, his estate was put up for auction in many different lots over a couple of years via R. Maresch Auction House. In several large lots over this time the materials from the Format Printers Archive were placed for auction. At this time I had not been dealing with Mr. Bileski for years and did not know of his passing. Several of the earlier sold lots were purchased by Mr. Karl Marquis, owner of KMPhilately. KMP broke the large lots into smaller random lots and began sales on their internet auction sales. THIS is when I discovered what had happened. I feverishly bid on many of the lots including the ones with the tete-beches and won most of them, but lost a few also. I reorganized them and reunited them and began the count. Over several years I have found the other buyers who were my competitors and purchased much and received the counts of what they have or had. The counts hold true with the documents written by Robson Lowe and Mr. Bileski my friends!

I have since taken the research even further! I have acquired the police evidence stock held in the police warehouse until 2008 on the Saint Lucia side! In the stock were hundreds of the press sheets still intact and much more cut for storage. Of these all the varieties as in the second issues, silver and gold overprints, Specimen overprinted, missing value, imperforates, progressives. A wonderful find!
With this stock I have been able to gain the evidence needed to come up with the quantities produced for all varieties on the eastern hemisphere side of the series!

REPRINTS

I have found there to be two printing of the 1st series for all countries.
With Bequia one cannot define the difference well by the inscriptions as they are similar with Tuvalu issues as in they are black.
Following are the comparisons.

Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 232 Reprint Comparison
Note the darker toning on the originals.
Prince Andrew's hair is much darker on the originals.

Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 233 Reprint Comparison
Again note the darker toning. The greens are much darker on the originals.

Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 234 Reprint Comparison
Note again the darker toning of the faces on the originals.
Yet on the reprints Prince Andrews hair looks darker! This could throw you off.

Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 235 Reprint Comparison
Note the much deeper toning of the faces on the originals. A deeper bluish hue on Prince Andrews collar on the originals.

On this page we will try to break down quantities that exist to try to establish a value for the material. All varieties come from the uncut press sheets and the saved print runs. These numbers may change as more information becomes available.

An intersting note is that like the issues which have Princess Diana pictured the $2 issue from Saint Lucia is one of the rare stamps that pictures Betty Ford the wife of President Ford. Thus it appears that the $2 uncut press sheets have been broken more extensively.

Section 1 will deal with the single stamp issues and section 2 will deal with the souvenir sheet.

PRICING IS FOR VARIETIES FROM UNCUT PRESS SHEETS, NOT NORMAL ISSUED STAMPS

SECTION 1

THE PERFORATED VARIETIES

Normal gutter varieties etc.

Based on the configuration of the uncut press sheets we will base quantities on the Bileski method of cutting or breaking the sheets. Also included in the equations will be the fact of how many intact sheets still exist.

Please note that once the stamps are separated from the large selvage or gutter and or the tete-beches are separated they cannot be distinguished from the normal issued stamps or that they did not come from booklet panes.

FROM NORMAL PERFORATED UNCUT PRESS SHEETS

NORMAL PERFORATED GUTTER BLOCKS
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Gutter Blocks From Uncut Press Sheet of 80 Stamps
NORMAL PERFORATED LARGE SELVAGE CORNER STAMP PAIRS
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Large Selvage Corner Pairs From Uncut Press Sheets of 80 Stamps
Through my findings from emailed accounts and stocks purchased from the police evidence stock I have finally been able to come out with the quantitative figures of what was produced for the series in general. For all normal issued 1st and 2nd issues of the 1986 Royal Wedding stamp issues printed by the Format Printers, 300 press sheets of 80 stamps were produced. For the smaller island issues 150 were produced. Thus 12,000 stamp pairs were produced of each value for the main countries and 6,000 stamp pairs produced for the islands and dependencies.

At present I have 12 uncut press sheets of the 60c value still intact.
At present I have 8 uncut press sheets of the $2 value still intact. These were found in the Bileski Estate holdings.

Basing on 150 sheets being produced of each value we can calculate that 5 x 150 = 750 of these gutter pairs could exist. The same number of tete-beche blocks could exist.

This is not the case though as evidence shows that many of the tete-beches have been separated with no regard to their rarity. I found many broken sheets separated from the middle of the tete-bech pairs. Many separated from the gutters thus destroying the gutters. This has greatly decreased the number of tete-beches in both forms that can still exist. Looking back on the history of their sales in the market few are offered and when they are the owner usually only has one or a couple. This shows that very few have been saved intact.

In my acquisitions of the Bileski estate I have managed to reunite a major portion of the tete-beches he created of the 1st issue. For some countries almost 100%! With Bequia I have recovered around 90% of the Bileski stock.

Referencing from the Robson Lowe count of sheets found in the archive and the additional sheets recovered from the police evidence stock I can assure you that the tete-beches and gutters are pretty rare!

The known to exist count for Bequia:

Approximately 100 tete-beche gutter blocks and 100 straight-up gutter blocks of both values probably exist. Tete-beche blocks are available in various locations at very low pricing showing that quite a few must have been retained.
Tete-beche pairs are possibly more common although I do not see much being offered.

I personally have recovered from the Bileski side
The $2 value
68 tete-beche gutter blocks
66 straight up gutter blocks
9 tete-beche blocks
72 tete-beche pairs
For the 60c value
68 tete-beche gutter blocks
66 straight up gutter blocks
5 tete-beche blocks
83 tete-beche pairs

I wish to note here that with the sale of many of the varieties for the Bequia issue by one seller on eBay it appears that several of the normal issued versions in uncut press sheets have also been broken some being properly separated as gutters and tete-beches and some destroying the tete-beche and gutter formats. Of the normal 1st issue it appears the seller did or does not have many of the sheets. Possibly only a couple.

As far as large selvage stamps go, 10 pairs can exist from each sheet, 5 from each side, thus 750 pairs. Not a lot with the millions of collectors out there.

Because of the formation of booklets only corners are the sure way of proof that they came from the press sheets. Only around 50-60 of each value probably exist now. Then divide that by 4 for the different corners. You see my point? Rare!

Pricing should run $25-35.00 for intact gutter pairs either tete-beche or not unless a huge cache is found which is doubtful.
Tete-beche pairs $5.00 and blocks at $10.00! They are rare but not exceptionally so.
Stamp pairs or singles with the LARGE corner selvage should run at $10-15.00 each!
Intact uncut press sheets are in the very rare category now.

NORMAL PERFORATED TETE-BECHE BLOCKS
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Tete-beche Blocks
NORMAL PERFORATED TETE-BECHE GUTTER PAIRS
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Tete-beche Gutter Blocks

NORMAL PERFORATED "SPECIMEN" OVERPRINTED STAMPS FROM UNCUT PRESS SHEETS

The above imaged format exist for the SPECIMEN overprinted stamps as well. There are two versions of the SPECIMEN overprint. The first being larger letters in italic in silver and the second being smaller block capital lettered in silver. Both types of SPECIMEN overprints exist on the Bequia 1986 royal wedding stamps.

SPECIMEN OVERPRINT VARIETIES

LARGE ITALIC SILVER SPECIMEN OVERPRINT ON 60c VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding 60c Perforated Large SPECIMEN Overprinted Stamps
LARGE ITALIC SILVER SPECIMEN OVERPRINT ON $2 VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding $2 Perforated Large SPECIMEN Overprinted Stamps
SMALL BLOCK CAPITALS SILVER SPECIMEN OVERPRINT ON 60c VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding 60c Perforated Small SPECIMEN Overprinted Stamps
SMALL BLOCK CAPITALS SILVER SPECIMEN OVERPRINT ON $2 VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding $2 Perforated Small SPECIMEN Overprinted Stamps
Documentation and evidence show that:
No evidence on the large specimen overprinted stamps has been released. Sale of them has begun on eBay from the Saint Vincent side of the police evidence stock thus showing a number of them still exist. It looks like the owner of the stock is breaking the sheets for most of them. He has offered four sets of the full uncut press sheets of them and I did purchase one set.
It has been documented that 5 intact perforated uncut sheets with the smaller SPECIMEN overprint existed quite a few years ago.
This was from the archive and documented on the Bileski/Robson Lowe end. They were all broken into gutters and tete-beche blocks and pairs.
I now have found that much more exists. A different seller on eBay has been releasing them in large blocks.
The smaller overprint is from the second printing.

I wish to note here that again several of the above imaged blocks show how many of the gutters and tete-beche formations are being destroyed in the separation of the stamps.

Based on equations from the Saint Lucia side of the police evidence stock and practices of the printer, it is estimated that 50 sheets of the large overprint were made thus producing 2000 sets whereas 75 sheets were made with the smaller overprint thus producing 3000 sets.

Here we must then calculate that for the perforated large and small specimen overprinted stamps. They are not rarer than the normal perforated gutter pairs above.
At present though the tete-beche blocks and pairs are rarer than normals.
They are being sold as intact gutters and tete-beches. Therefore pricing should be based more on the Saint Lucia equations.

Therefore for the perforated SMALL specimen overprinted at least $15-20.00 for intact gutter pairs either tete-beche or not.
Tete-beche pairs $6-7.00 and blocks at $12-15.00.
Stamp pairs or singles with the LARGE corner selvage should run at $10-15.00 each!

The larger overprinted gutter pairs, tete-beches etc. should command a 25% premium on top of that.

Again intact uncut press sheets are fast becoming into the extremely rare category now.

PERFORATED 2ND ISSUE VARIETIES

60c Value with Silver Overprint
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding 60c 2nd Issue Perforated with Silver Overprint
$2 Value with Silver Overprint
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding $2 2nd Issue Perforated with Silver Overprint
60c Value with Gold Overprint
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding 60c 2nd Issue Perforated with Gold Overprint
$2 Value with Gold Overprint
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding $2 2nd Issue Perforated with Gold Overprint
The 2nd issue had both silver and gold overprints. The gold overprinted stamps were never issued postally.
There is no documentation on what still exists for these. I will base on the Union Island equations
I would like to note that because of the way the sheets are being broken the rarity factor for tete-beches is increasing as I write this.

Research shows that we can safely presume 150 sheets of the Silver overprinted were printed of each value thus producing 6,000 sets of pairs.
Here we must then calculate the pricing for the SILVER overprinted stamps a bit lower than the small specimen overprinted perforated gutter pairs etc. above.
Intact uncut press sheets are in the rare category now.

Research shows that we can safely presume 50 sheets of the Gold overprinted were saved of each value thus producing 2,000 sets of pairs.
Since there are the same numbers printed as the LARGE specimen overprinted stamps above we must then price the GOLD overprinted stamps at the same values.
Intact uncut press sheets are in the rare to extremely rare category now.

MAJOR OVERPRINT ERRORS

Because evidence is pointing to similar errors existing for Saint Vincent Bequia, I am presenting this section from the Saint Lucia page on these type of errors. At present none of these errors for Bequia are on the market but with the pieces I have received from other sources I suspect that the same holds true for Union Island issues.

In the police evidence stock we have found several uncut sheets with major errors of the overprint both in Silver and Gold! These uncut sheets of course were destined to be destroyed but were confiscated as evidence before this could happen. These sheets have multiple types of errors as in inverted overprints, A' Cheval overprints and just plain messed up overprints! Here is an image of one such sheet.

Uncut Press Sheet of the 80c Value with Silver Overprint errors
Saint Lucia 1986 Royal Wedding 80c 2nd Issue Perforated with Silver Overprint errors on Uncut Press Sheet
These errors are true errors and thus are very valuable. Research is ongoing as to what that should be as some of the sheets have very different variations of errors meaning some pairs are unique.
As I stated earlier so far I have not seen any of these errors for Union Island. If you should see or have them please contact me with details.

THE PERFORATED 1ST ISSUE MISSING VALUE ERROR

The 60c Missing Value Error
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding 60c Perforated Missing Value Error
The $2 Missing Value Error
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding $2 Perforated Missing Value Error
A bit of bad news for sellers overinflating prices.
In my study of the printing practices of the printer I have seen these type of stamps in other countries. A good example being the Guyana Reichenbachia Orchids series. Several stamps were produced with different values and the same stamp produced in this fashion as well. The value being placed at a later time. It is possible these stamps may not be made for collector errors at all but produced to be printed with new values at a later date. Perhaps in conjunction with the 2nd issue overprints. There are no documents on the production of the 1986 Royal Wedding issues so we may never know. Standard printing practices for the made for collector errors was for 3,000 of a given stamp. That would mean only 75 sheets would be made. Given evidence that a higher number of sheets were produced fall outside the normal practices of the printer. They are an interesting novelty nonetheless and a mystery still.

Evidence shows that 100 sheets were produced making 4000 sets possible. Thus the same rules should apply as the small specimen overprinted stamps above as far as value.
Based on these numbers and other research one should value these at around $5.00 a pair. Gutter pairs and blocks and selvage pairs should be priced close to the same (or a little less) than the perforated small specimen overprinted stamps above.

This basically sums up the perforated varieties of the single stamp sets.

FROM IMPERFORATE UNCUT PRESS SHEETS

So far there exists imperforate proofs including finals and imperforate SPECIMEN overprinted sheets. Also imperforate missing value errors. This totally disputes the statement in Stanley Gibbons that imperforates come from booklets.
STILL one should be aware that many imperforate booklets and panes do exist. Please visit my page on the 1986 Royal wedding Booklet Panes for more detailed information on what to look for when buying the proofs versus buying the booklet panes.

The 1986 Royal Wedding Booklets

IMPERFORATE PROOFS OF THE 60c VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding 60c Imperforate Proofs
IMPERFORATE PROOFS OF THE $2 VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding $2 Imperforate Proofs
Documentation and evidence show that:
Evidence shows that 75 sheets were produced making 3000 sets possible. Another 75 sheets would be included with the progressives.
The problem is, no progressives seem to be available. Either lost, destroyed or still to be discovered.
Thus we can see that these are in the same class as the perforated small specimen overprinted stamps above unless more are found.

Based on these numbers and other research one should value these the same as the above mentioned specimen overprinted stamps.
WARNING: please be very careful in purchasing these imperforates as previously shown most come from booklets and are not actual proofs and thus do not have the value of the actual proofs.

IMPERFORATE SPECIMEN OVERPRINTED PROOFS

IMPERFORATE SPECIMEN OVERPRINTED PROOFS OF THE 60c VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding 60c SPECIMEN Overprinted Imperforate Proofs
IMPERFORATE SPECIMEN OVERPRINTED PROOFS OF THE $2 VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding $2 SPECIMEN Overprinted Imperforate Proofs
Only the small block capital lettered overprint exists in imperforate form. Documentation and evidence show that:
Evidence shows that 50 sheets were produced making 2000 sets possible.

Based on these numbers Gutter pairs and blocks and selvage pairs should be priced at the same pricing of perforated GOLD overprinted stamps shown above.

IMPERFORATE MISSING VALUE ERROR PROOFS

IMPERFORATE MISSING VALUE ERROR PROOFS OF THE 60c VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding 60c Missing Value Error Imperforate Proofs
IMPERFORATE MISSING VALUE ERROR PROOFS OF THE $2 VALUE
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding $2 Missing Value Error Imperforate Proofs
Documentation and evidence show that:
At least 25 sheets were produced making 1000 sets possible. Thus these do have a rarity factor. We will base on 50 sheets.

Based on these numbers Gutter pairs and blocks and selvage pairs should be priced the same as imperforate specimen overprinted imperforates above.

PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOFS

At present there is no evidence that progressive color proofs of the single stamp issues were saved.
Possibly all were destroyed? Possibly still in the Police Evidence waiting to be discovered? Time will tell.

This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Saint Vincent Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding single stamp issues printed by the Format International Printers Ltd.
As new information and evidence is found it will be added to this page.


SECTION 2

THE SOUVENIR SHEET

Following is the rundown of what was saved in regards to the souvenir sheet.

THE PERFORATED SOUVENIR SHEET
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding (1st issue) Souvenir Sheet
Sorry to say but this may shock a few sellers and buyers.

Documentation and evidence shows that:
At present at least 5,000 copies of this issue were saved. Possibly 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.

Because of these factors pricing for this souvenir sheet should run at average Scott listed pricing of $3-5.00.

THE IMPERFORATE SOUVENIR SHEET
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Imperforate 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. I have acquired around 2,500 via the police evidence.

In accordance pricing should be around $10.00 each.
At present there seem not to be hardly any of the progressive color proofs left. In our receipt of these only a couple packs of final colors without inscriptions were in the shipment. Possibly the 9th which is missing in most progressive proof sets. We believe most may have been destroyed. Still searching. If this is the case then the finals from the progressive side will also be sold alone with the final color ones without inscriptions.

THE PERFORATED AND IMPERFORATE SOUVENIR SHEET WITH SPECIMEN OVERPRINT
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated SPECIMEN Overprinted Souvenir Sheet
Documentation and evidence show that:
At present based on practices of the printer at the time 1,000 of each were made.
We found none in the the police evidence. They hardly ever appear to be on the market. Most Destroyed?
I found the above imaged perforated souvenir sheet with a rarely offered progressive color proof set.
No imperforate versions seem to exist. This could change.

In accordance pricing should be around $25-50.00 each considering rarity unless a lot more are found to exist.

THE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOFS OF THE SOUVENIR SHEET
Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding Progressive Color Proofs of the Souvenir Sheet
Documentation and evidence show that:
At present based on practices of the printer at the time 1,500 progressive color proof sets of the souvenir sheets were made.
I have acquired only the above mentioned via the police evidence. It is possible almost all are lost forever.
This set is being sold on the Stampdile network. Unknown how many they still have.

I have noticed that the final color progressives for other country souvenir sheets are sometimes being sold as an error as it does not have the silver inscriptions. This is not correct. It would only be an error if it was perforated. At this time there is no evidence that any errors exist for this particular souvenir sheet.

This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Saint Vincent Bequia 1986 Royal Wedding souvenir sheet. As new information and evidence is found it will be added to this page.

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UPDATED LAST ON: 23-Jan-2015 01:31 PM