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MONTSERRAT
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

Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Stamps
THE SOUVENIR SHEET
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding (1st issue) Souvenir Sheet
Marquee for Golowe's Reference Site on the Format International Security Printers

Dangerous modern fakes of this issue appearing first in 2015 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 Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Forgeries.View my Page on how to Define the Newly Discovered Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Forgeries here.
The 1986 Royal Wedding stamps issued for Montserrat have an interesting twist as the single stamp pair issues are watermarked. They also exist unwatermarked. The watermarked paper shows that they were issued under the Crown Agents contracts thus not following the PDC contract rules for sole right to reprint the stamps. Yet they were obviously reprinted on unwatermarked paper. So we must theorize that the reprinting was authorized in some way. Perhaps the Crown Agents contract was purchased by the PDC or given to them. We may never know why because all records seem to be destroyed.

Both catalogs (Scott and Stanley Gibbons) are in error and conflict on this issue for Montserrat.
As of the time of this writing the following holds true on both catalogs and I will show what to correct.

1. Scott does not state anything about watermarks.
    Stanley Gibbons only shows sub-numbers for inverted watermarks on the 70c.

Both values exist watermarked and unwatermarked.
Both values have watermark varieties.
The 70c has inverted watermarks.
The $2 value has watermark reading up and reading down.
Because of the formation of the press sheets 25% having inverted watermarks exist, therefore, there price difference should be at least four times as high as normal watermarked versions.
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Booklet
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Imperforate Booklet

2.On the booklets Scott states "#616c contains 2 imperf panes. One pane
    contains 2 #615, the other 2 #616.
    Stanley Gibbons lists both the $8.40 Booklet which contains 3 panes of the 70c
    perforated.
    Stanley Gibbons also lists the $10.80 Booklet which contains the imperfs as Scott lists.

Scott Catalog needs to list the $8.40 booklet as well.

It is interesting that the Montserrat booklets are the only booklets listed as issued when booklets exist for every country that issued this series.

Next 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. Montserrat is easy to define as the original stamps are watermarked whereas the reprints are not.
With Montserrat the reprints have deeper toning as red and black were intensified. This makes the faces more "livid" in color. The black colors are deeper.
Following are the comparisons.

DIFFERENCES IN THE LETTERING ON THE 70c
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 615 Reprint Letter Differences The Country name and values on the 70c are light violet on the originals whereas they are dark violet on the reprints.

DIFFERENCES IN THE COLORS ON THE 70c
615a
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 615a Color Comparison Prince Andrew's hair is almost grayish on the originals whereas it is much browner on the reprints.
Note the deeper colors throughout on the reprint.

615b
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 615b Color Comparison Sarah's hair is much redder on the reprints
Note again the deeper colors throughout on the reprint.

DIFFERENCES IN THE LETTERING ON THE $2
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 616 Reprint Letter Differences The Country name and values on the $2 are light red (almost pink) on the originals whereas they are darker red on the reprints.

DIFFERENCES IN THE COLORS ON THE $2
615a
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 616a Color Comparison This one is a bit more difficult to see. The background is blacker on the reprints.

615b
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 616b Color Comparison Notice the faces are much redder on the reprints
Note again the deeper colors throughout on the reprint.

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.

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 PAIRS
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Gutter Pairs From Uncut Press Sheet of 80 Stamps
NORMAL PERFORATED LARGE SELVAGE STAMP PAIRS
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Large Selvage Pairs From Uncut Press Sheets of 80 Stamps
At present I have 4 uncut press sheets of the 80c value unwatermarked. 5 more sheets folded that are watermarked.
At present I have 4 uncut press sheets of the $2 value unwatermarked. 5 more sheets folded that are watermarked.

Basing on 300 sheets being produced as per the research on the Saint Lucia stock of each value we can calculate that 5 x 300 = 1500 of these gutter pairs could exist. The same number of tete-beche blocks could exist.

We must then separate these quantities by half being 150 sheets watermarked and 150 sheets unwatermarked. I believe that the watermarked sheets have almost all been broken though for normal issued stamps.

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%! For Montserrat almost 60%.

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 rare!

The known to exist count for Montserrat:

Approximately 100 tete-beche gutter blocks and 100 straight-up gutter blocks of the both values exist. Very few of the tete-beche blocks exist. Probably more than 100 of the tete-beche pairs exist.

I personally have recovered from the Bileski side
The $2 value
76 tete-beche gutter blocks
74 straight up gutter blocks
5 tete-beche blocks
63 tete-beche pairs
For the 70c value
75 tete-beche gutter blocks
74 straight up gutter blocks
5 tete-beche blocks
76 tete-beche pairs

All the above are unwatermarked. More are available on the market from buyers from the same source.
In my purchases of the Bileski stock I recovered several of the uncut press sheets also thus not all 26 referenced in the Robson Lowe inventory list were broken.

We will base pricing for tete-beches and gutters at the possiblity of 150 of each existing.
This is for the unwatermarked version. At this time I believe almost all watermarked versions were separated much the same way as the Tuvalu Island issues were thus destroying the tete-beche and gutter formations!
Therefore it is possible that the watermarked sheets I have recovered may be the only possible source to make these varieties from making them extemely rare!

As far as large selvage stamps go, 10 pairs can exist from each sheet, 5 from each side, thus 1500 pairs. Not a lot with the millions of collectors out there. Now consider how many have had the large selvage removed.

Pricing should run for unwatermarked versions at $25-50.00 for intact gutter pairs either tete-beche or not. I have no calculation for watermarked at present.
Tete-beche pairs $8-10.00 and blocks at $25-50.00.
Stamp pairs or singles with the LARGE selvage should run at triple catalog values.

Intact uncut press sheets are in the extreme rare category for either watermarked or unwatermarked now as you can see.

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

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. It appears that only the smaller block capital lettered overprint exists on the Montserrat Royal Wedding stamps.

SPECIMEN OVERPRINT VARIETIES

SMALL BLOCK CAPITALS SILVER SPECIMEN OVERPRINTS
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Small SPECIMEN Overprinted Stamps
Documentation and evidence show that:
No evidence that large italic specimen overprinted stamps exist. None can be found on the market.
It has been documented that 10 intact perforated uncut sheets with the smaller SPECIMEN overprint existed years ago in the Bileski purchases.
The smaller overprint is from a second printing. Mr. Bileski broke all the sheets into gutters and tete-beche blocks.
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 smaller overprinted stamps that they are 4 times rarer than the normal perforated gutter pairs etc. above.
Therefore pricing should be at least $50-100.00 for intact gutter pairs either tete-beche or not.
Tete-beche pairs $15-25.00 and blocks at $50-100.00.
Research is still ongoing to find if the other 65 sheets were saved which is fast beginning to look like they were not. If not, then these SPECIMEN overprinted stamps are much rarer and should be considered even more valuable.

Again intact uncut press sheets are in the extreme rare category now if any still exist at all.

PERFORATED 2ND ISSUE VARIETIES

At present the 2nd issue does not seem to exist in gutter form nor tete-beche form! There are bulk lots of them being sold on the market but they are stated to be in blocks of 10. The gold overprints seem not to exist. None can be found.
Research is still ongoing on this. At present we have found nothing in regards to uncut press sheets for this issue. Nothing appears to be on the market. Have all the sheets been broken? Time will tell.

MAJOR OVERPRINT ERRORS

Nothing seems to exist.

THE PERFORATED 1ST ISSUE MISSING VALUE ERROR

Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Missing Value
A bit of news on this one folks. There still exists at least 11 full uncut press sheets of the $2 value of these. 4 uncut press sheets of the 70c value.

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 the higher number of sheets produced for other countries in this series it falls outside the normal practices of the printer. They are an interesting novelty nonetheless and a mystery still.

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 the same as the normals above.

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

FROM IMPERFORATE UNCUT PRESS SHEETS

At present time only imperforates from Booklet Panes seem to exist. Imperforates cut for booklet panes also exist. No uncut press sheets, gutters nor tete-beches seem to exist in imperforate form.
It is possible a stock of them may be somewhere but at this time nothing else is available on the market.
Since the progressives exist then the finals also exist. The problem is if they are not taken from a corner, or are tete-beche or have gutters in between or are in blocks of 6 or more, one cannot tell if they are the proofs or taken from imperforate booklet panes which appear to be quite common.

PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOFS

Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Progressive Color Proofs They are available on the market. 3,000 pairs of each value exist according to the standard practices of the printer.

Based on findings a set of color proof pairs of either value should be valued at $15-25.00.
Gutter pairs and tete-beche blocks should be valued at $25-50.00 if they exist in this form. Due to the practice of cutting the sheets into panes of 20 and 40 for storage it is doubtful that any gutters still exist. Tete-beche blocks may still exist.

This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Montserrat 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 unissued souvenir sheet.

THE PERFORATED SOUVENIR SHEET
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding (1st issue) Souvenir Sheet
It is estimated that 6,000 normal issued souvenir sheets were produced. This is based on practices by the printers during the time. Usually quantities of souvenir sheets in respect to the single issued stamp sets was around 30% of the quantities issued. Because there are no documents we will base the figures at the highest rate of 50%. Catalogue values for the normal issue are thus in perspective.

Because of the reprinting of the issue the souvenir sheet is a mystery. At present I have not seen the souvenir sheet with watermarks. There is a difference between the "original" souvenir sheets and the Reprints. The gum on the reprints is completely different. Much whiter whereas on the "originals" it has a greenish tint to it. Here is a scan showing them.
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Gum Comparison of the Souvenir Sheet
THE IMPERFORATE SOUVENIR SHEET
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Imperforate Souvenir Sheet
Documentation and evidence show 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. We have acquired very few via the police evidence. At present none seem to be on the market.

Because of the seeming rarity of these and the possibility that many were destroyed pricing should range around of $25.00+.

THE PERFORATED AND IMPERFORATE SOUVENIR SHEET WITH SPECIMEN OVERPRINT
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Imperforate 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 have acquired 462 imperforate SPECIMEN overprinted souvenir sheets via the police evidence.

In accordance pricing should be around $20-25.00 each considering rarity.
No perforated copies have been found at present.

THE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOFS OF THE SOUVENIR SHEET
Montserrat 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.
We have acquired several of the colors via the police evidence. The full set does exist as shown. Again it appears that possibly several of the colors have been lost or destroyed extensively. I am still researching this.

Normally pricing should be around $25.00 for each set but with the possibility of much being destroyed or lost the price for a complete set could be steep now!

A note on the above progressives:
Notice there are not nine stages. The eighth stage is the black addition. These sets were and are being sold without this stage present thus they are not complete sets. We have noticed that the final color progressive is also 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 made for collector errors were made for this particular souvenir sheet.

THE MISSING SILVER INSCRIPTIONS ERROR OF THE SOUVENIR SHEET
Montserrat 1986 Royal Wedding Missing Silver Inscriptions Error Souvenir Sheet
Based on practices of the printer at the time 1,000 errors of the souvenir sheets would have been made.
The quantity that exists of this variety is unknown but I can say it is not seen often on the market.
Again I would like to note that this "error" falls in line with the missing value stamps shown above. Could it be possible that this souvenir sheet was made this way for a possible change in value and/or a change in country name perhaps? We may never know. It is odd though that the printer would make these simple errors of no value and no inscriptions etc; on such a large scale. The commonality of them being quite noticeable. If they were misperforated as in way off the mark etc; then that would be grounds for calling them "errors".
It has been stated that they are possibly "running proofs" where the printer runs a bunch to test final colors and positioning of the perforations. For imperforate versions with missing denominations...simply testing the final colors for whatever reasons.
Please understand these were confiscated right from the printing company and from their archive. If the same type of raids were done on say Waterloo or the ABN company would not the printing trials, running proofs ect; also be considered "errors" and possibly included with the actual made for collector errors to boost the evidence against the printer in the trials? Think about it. With the rumors and over exaggerated calculations and such written in biased articles years ago many stamps printed by the Format Printers have been and are mistakenly classified as errors. There are no other type of "errors" for this souvenir sheet.

This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Montserrat 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: 11-Nov-2016 12:10 PM