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THE FORMAT INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PRINTERS LTD. ARCHIVE

Information and Reference of What was Found in the Archive

Stamp issues for Gibraltar printed by the Format International Security Printers Ltd. and items found in the Archive

Flag of Gibraltar
Marquee for Golowe's Reference Site on the Format International Security Printers

GIBRALTAR

Gibraltar stamps printed by Format International Security Printers Ltd.

The history of the Format Printers with Gibralter stamps is quite a mystery. The only provable stamp printings for Gibralter was for some sets in 1979, 1987 and 1988. The mystery being what was found in the Format Printers Archive.

In 1975 the Girl Guides issue was produced and issued. It was printed by Harrison and Sons. Gibraltar 1975 50th Anniversary of the Girl Guides Stamps

The mystery is....what is this handpainted design shown below, doing in the Format Printers Archive? Image is from the ebay lots by George Alvizos who was a major purchaser of the Format Printers archival material.
Gibraltar 1975 50th Anniversary of the Girl Guides Handpainted Design of the 15p value

This shows a clear connection with Format and Harrison printers working together.

1979 DEATH CENTENARY OF SIR ROWLAND HILL
Scott# 378-81, SG# 416-19

Gibraltar 1979 Death Centenary of Sir Rowland Hill Stamps

1979 EUROPEAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM (EUROPA)
Scott# 382-4, SG# 420-22

Printed in sheetlets of 10.

Gibraltar 1979 European Telecommunications System (EUROPA) Stamps

Sheetlets of 10 Set
Gibraltar 1979 European Telecommunications System (EUROPA) Sheetlets of 10 Set

In 1982 the first series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer was non other than The House of Questa.
Gibraltar 1982 Naval Crests (1st Series) Stamps

The mystery here again is....what are a group of essays and proofs for the whole series from 1982 to 1991 doing in the Format Printers Archive? The image that was provided is way too long for this page so I have cropped out the matching essays with the series it is connected with. Firstly the description provided.
Gibraltar Naval Crests Series Essay Collection Description

Here are the essays connected with the 1st series.

Sketches on Tissue Paper for the 1982 H.M.S. Norfolk and H.M.S. Rooke Naval Crests
Gibraltar 1982 Naval Crests (1st Series) sketches for Norfolk and Rooke Crests

Small Size Glossy Plastic Photographic Bromide Proof for the 1982 H.M.S. Rooke Naval Crest
Gibraltar 1982 Naval Crests (1st Series) Bromide Proof for H.M.S. Rooke Crest

In 1983 the second series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer was none other than The House of Questa.
Gibraltar 1983 Naval Crests (2nd Series) Stamps

There are no essays in the lot for the 2nd series.

In 1984 the third series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer was Walsall Security Printers.
Gibraltar 1984 Naval Crests (3rd Series) Stamps

Here are the essays connected with the 3rd series.
Again, why are proofs for the 3rd series printed by Walsall in the Format Archive?

Medium Size Glossy Plastic Photographic Bromide Proofs for the 1984 Naval Crests 3rd Series
Gibraltar 1984 Naval Crests (3rd Series) Bromide Proofs

Large Size Glossy Plastic Photographic Bromide Proof for the 1984 H.M.S. Foxhound Naval Crest
Gibraltar 1984 Naval Crests (3rd Series) Bromide Proof for H.M.S. Foxhound Crest

In 1985 the fourth series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer was The House of Questa.
Gibraltar 1985 Naval Crests (4th Series) Stamps

There are no essays in the lot for the 4th series.

In 1986 the fifth series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer again was The House of Questa.
Gibraltar 1986 Naval Crests (5th Series) Stamps

Here are the essays connected with the 5th series.
Again, why are proofs for the 5th series printed by The House of Questa in the Format Archive?

Large Size Glossy Plastic Photographic Bromide Proofs for the 1986 Naval Crests 5th Series
Gibraltar 1986 Naval Crests (5th Series) Bromide Proofs

In 1987 the sixth series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer now was Walsall Security Printers.
Gibraltar 1987 Naval Crests (6th Series) Stamps

Here are the essays connected with the 6th series.
Again, why are essays for the 6th series printed by Walsall in the Format Archive?

Sketches on Tissue Paper for the 1987 H.M.S. Charbydis and H.M.S. Eagle Naval Crests
Gibraltar 1987 Naval Crests (6th Series) sketches for Charbydis and Eagle Crests

In 1988 the seventh series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer again was Walsall Security Printers.
Gibraltar 1988 Naval Crests (7th Series) Stamps

There are no essays in the lot for the 7th series.

In 1989 the eighth series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer for the 8th series was BDT Security Printers.
Gibraltar 1989 Naval Crests (8th Series) Stamps

There are no essays in the lot for the 8th series.

In 1990 the ninth series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer for the 9th series was The House of Questa.
Gibraltar 1989 Naval Crests (8th Series) Stamps

Here are the essays connected with the 9th series.
Again, why are essays and proofs for the 9th series printed by The House of Questa in the Format Archive?

Sketches on Tissue Paper for the 1990 Naval Crests 9th Series
Gibraltar 1990 Naval Crests (9th Series) sketches

Transparent Plastic for the 1990 Naval Crests 9th Series H.M.S. Wrestler Frame
Gibraltar 1990 Naval Crests (9th Series) transparent Plastic for Wrestler Frame

In 1991 the tenth and final series of the Naval Crests series was released. The printer for the 10th series was Walsall Security Printers.
Gibraltar 1991 Naval Crests (10th Series) Stamps

Here is the essay connected with the 10th series. Not mentioned in the description of the lot.
Again, why are essays for the 10th series printed by Walsall in the Format Archive?

Sketch on Tissue Paper for the 1991 Naval Crests 10th Series H.M.S. Hesperus Crest
Gibraltar 1991 Naval Crests (10th Series) Hesperus sketch

These essays show us the deep connections between the printers of which most collectors do not know about. They show us that during the 80's, even if in the background, the Format International Security Printers were involved in producing the stamps of Gibraltar.

There was one more hand-drawn essay set offered by Mr. Alvizos for the 1990 150th Anniversary of the Penny Black I will show after the following two sets which were produced by the Format Printers and issued.

1987 GUNS AND ARTILLERY
Scott# 508-20, SG# 569-81

Gibraltar 1987 Guns and Artillery Stamps

1988 EUROPA TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
Scott# 524-7, SG# 588-91

Issued in numbered sheetlets of five pairs.

Gibraltar 1988 EUROPA Transport and Communication Stamp Pairs
Sheetlets of Five Pairs
Gibraltar 1988 EUROPA Transport and Communication Stamp Sheetlet Set

Here is more evidence that the Format Printers were involved all the way to 1990 as the set of Preliminary Hand-drawn Essays for the Penny Black Anniversary set was found in the Format Printers archive. The set was printed by The House of Questa.
I have shown on my page about the ties between the House of Questa and the Format Printers that both operations were located next to each other.
To deny the fact that they were working together all through the 1980's just does not hold water anymore as even this evidence shows it to be true.
Gibraltar 1990 150th Anniversary of the Penny Black Stamps
Gibraltar 1990 150th Anniversary of the Penny Black Souvenir Sheet
Hand-drawn Essays of the 1990 Penny Black Anniversary Set Found in the Archive
Gibraltar 1990 150th Anniversary of the Penny Black Hand-drawn Essay Set

These were the stamps that the Format International Security Printers Ltd. were involved in for Gibraltar. The company went into Bankruptcy and was liquidated starting in 1989.

References taken from:
Stanley Gibbons Online Catalog
Scott Catalog
Inventory list for the Format Archive by Robson Lowe
Internet Research

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UPDATED LAST ON: 18-Dec-2016 06:31 AM