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SAINT VINCENT GRENADINES BEQUIA LEADERS OF THE WORLD AUTOMOBILES AND TRAINS PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF STAMPS

The Cars and Trains Progressive Color Proof Stamps for Bequia Produced by the Format International Security Printers

A Specialized Study of the Varieties and Quantities Produced

Would YOU store YOUR specialized stamps this way?

Example of how the Police Evidence Stock was Stored
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. Arguments are welcome if you have the evidence to back it up!

In 1984 Saint Vincent Grenadines Bequia joined other commonwealth countries in the production and issuance of the Leaders of the World (LOW) Automobile and Locomotive series of stamps. Between 1984 and 1987 Bequia issued 7 sets of the Automobile series and 5 sets of the Locomotives series. This page will link to images of the existing Progressive Color Proof panes with enlarged images of the pairs in all stages so that collectors and dealers can define which progressive color proof belongs to which series and value.

As shown on the specialized pages the standard practices of the printer in most cases was to produce 3,000 sets of progressive color proofs for each value of a given series. For many series of the countries involved the progressives have either been lost or possibly never saved by the printer. One must understand that each value that was produced required 120 panes of 25 pairs (500 panes of 10 pairs of the later issues on the Saint Vincent Dependencies side) multiplied by the seven stages. That is a lot of panes! In other words 840 panes of 25 or 3500 panes of 10 just for one value!

Here is an image of the panes for just one value of Saint Lucia's 1985 Butterflies.
Stack of One Value of Progressive Color Proofs Produced by the Format International Security Printers

It measures around 9 inches by 13 inches by around 7 inches tall and weighs around 8 to 9 pounds! Now imagine storing around 500 of these somewhere. That would just be for the LOW Automobiles and Locomotives series! With the numbers of stamps produced you would need a warehouse of immense proportions to store just the progressives if the printers were so inclined to keep every value of every issue. Then think of adding imperforates, specimens, varieties on and on. Of course it was never done. Varieties and such were selectively saved. In many cases only a few press sheets were saved representing only a couple values of a given series. In many cases....nothing was saved. This is one of the many reasons that some series do not exist as progressives and why others may only have four of the eight values that exist as such and so forth.
Because of the difficulty of storing them many have been damaged over the years. Many have colors that were completely destroyed. Because of the stigma and misrepresentation by certain out of date "experts" and dealers who have placed upon them terms such as "wallpaper" and "junk" these rarities have been abused and mishandled over the years to the point of total destruction for many issues.

For the Bequia LOW Cars and Trains progressives most of the reprinted values that were saved were held in the police evidence stock taken in the raids against the printing company to be used against the owners and associated companies in the trials against them which ended up with not guilty verdicts on all charges. Sadly, the police are not stamp collectors and these varieties were literally thrown in police evidence bags, thrown into crates and stored under atrocious conditions until 2008 when they were released. All during the years having rumors spread by certain unknowing "experts" and dealers saying huge quantities of the issues would flood the market and devalue present day stocks of the issues. Not knowing nor realizing that what had in fact been confiscated under the impression of being "errors" was in fact only progressives, imperforates and specimen overprinted stamps which are not errors at all!

Looking at the quantities as a whole...yes millions. When looking at what was really there, proof that not one single issue was ever produced in the millions! A couple of these "experts" had a look at the crates in storage and with a quick glance assumed that the stamps were normal issues and imperforates. Probably the finals on top as was usually the case in the stacks. Without digging deeper they did not realize they were the progressives and such thus the rumors of "millions" of the LOW issues were in there. That stigma has remained in the minds of many collectors and dealers and needs to be changed. The vague references in the major catalogs need to be changed or ignored because they do not define correctly what exists. One of many reasons I have created these specialized pages.

On the Saint Vincent side (including Bequia) of the police evidence most of the progressive color proof packs for the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives series were in two crates. The two crates were purchased in auction soon after their release in 2008 by a stamp seller on eBay under the user names of CityCollectibles and StampsInternational2010. From what was told to me by sources I will not name and I cannot verify it that the crates were "sold for peanuts!". The crates with Saint Lucia, Tuvalu and other unknown countries (I am thinking probably British Virgin Islands for one) did not sell at that time and were returned to the original owner, Mr. Jonathan Feigenbaum, son of the late Clive Feigenbaum.

Some time in 2011 under the user name of CityCollectibles the buyer began sales of the progressive color proof panes on eBay. Because of the random way in which the British Metropolitan police just threw the packs into the evidence bags and into the crates the seller CC found it to be too difficult and time consuming to reunite the different color proofs to their perspective values. Instead they took a number of random packs and took one pane from each creating lots of 25 to 100 panes and gave them a price range of $25-60.00 for each lot! The lots sold like hotcakes!

To those "experts" and certain dealers who run private forums and such that want to call this material "wallpaper" and "junk" and state emphatically "nobody buys this junk!", according to the sales on eBay of which all of it is now sold and gone....boo hoo for you!

In my recovery of Format material I was lucky enough to catch on to the sales of the Saint Vincent side of the police evidence stock. I began purchasing one of each of the random lots and thus have accomplished reuniting at least one set of each value that was in the stock for Saint Vincent and the dependencies. There are certain series (almost all of the automobiles series)that were not in the stock. Certain series again only four of the six or eight values were in the stock. It is now positive that these were reprints.

I note here that now many of the panes are being cut and sold as individual stamp sets. Because of the random way they have been dispersed all over the world many sets will never be fully recovered and thus we now have a new rarity factor. Owning a full set of panes will be an extreme rarity in the not so far future! In the beginning 3,000 sets were produced. Now the number of complete sets for many of the values may be cut in half or even more!

Many collectors and dealers are having a difficult time defining certain stages of the color proofs. The yellow stage in many cases is difficult to define as some are very hard to see clearly. Other stages because there are no inscriptions to define them.

I have created tables for the pane sets below and give the Scott Catalog numbers, Stanley Gibbons numbers (when possible) and the number of the pane. The links will take you to a page showing each progressive color proof pane and a closeup image of each pair in each stage.
Series that there are no panes available or clearly defined images cannot be obtained will be imaged as a group to show they exist.

For the yellow stage of the progressives I have imaged a modified embossed image to clarify them. You can do the same thing by scanning and then using an image editor to create an embossed view of it. The embossing modification highlights parts of the image that cannot be seen clearly thus giving you a clearer image of what stamp the proof is for.

Hopefully the pages will help collectors and dealers organize and present their progressive color proofs with more ease.

If there is no table then they were not in the police evidence stock.

Enjoy the show!

It appears at this time that the Stampdile network retained most series of the automobiles progressive color proofs. Since this is the case I am most certain that all or most of the panes were retained and possibly still exist intact. Because of the high price asked for each individual set I cannot obtain them thus images (and not good ones at all I might add) taken from the site will be used to show their existence and their format.

1st Series Railway Locomotives issued February 22, 1984

Four values of the 1st series trains progressive color proof sets were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for the trials against the printer and associated companies. They were retained until 2008 upon with their release the four values were auctioned off in bulk. The 5c, 25c, 35, and 45c values were sold on eBay in random bulk lots of 30-100 panes mixed with different series along with series from Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent Grenadines and Union Island in the year 2012 and sold out. They are now scattered across the world and many will never be reunited. Therefore the full intact pane sets are fast becoming exceedingly rare.
The other four values are available through the Stampdile network with an interesting twist.
The 5c, 25c, 35c, and 45c values are available on the Stampdile network in five stage form.
The 1c, 10c, $1.50 and $2.00 values exist in the six stage form. I note that in both forms the country name and the denomination are omitted until the final proof showing that at that time they were applied in a separate process. This is more evidence that the imperforate finals with missing denominations are either just another stage to the five or six stage sets or they are what was called "running proofs". None are found perforated which would put them in the status of "errors".
This shows that there was a reprinting of the progressive color proofs of at least four values of the 1st series Locomotives.
At this time it is unknown but very unlikely that the other four values were reprinted in the seven stage form.
The standard 3,000 sets were produced.

Below is imaged the four five stage sets and the four six stage sets retained and then links to the seven stage pane sets sold on eBay.

1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (1st series) Stamps

THE 1ST SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 5c, 25c, 35c, 45c FIVE STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
2,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (1st series) five stage color proof sets

THE 1ST SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 1c, 10c, $1.50, $2.00 SIX STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (1st series) six stage color proof sets

1ST SERIES LOCOMOTIVES REPRINT PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF PAGES
THE 5c VALUE 1944 2900 Class Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway 4-8-4
THE 25c VALUE 1893 No. 999 New York Central & Hudson River Railroad 4-4-0
THE 35c VALUE 1945 Niagara Class New York Central Railroad 4-8-4
THE 45c VALUE 1914 K4 Class Pennsylvania Railroad 4-6-2

1st Series Automobiles issued September 14, 1984

All the values of this series exist as progressive color proofs and are available on the Stampdile network. For the 1st series it appears that the older five stage process was used.
No seven stage sets known to exist. Therefore evidence points toward no reprinting of these progressives being done.
I note that now the country name and denomination are included on the black and yellow proofs thus cutting out the need for a separate process.

1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (1st series) Stamps

THE 1ST SERIES AUTOMOBILES PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
2,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (1st series) Color Proof Sets

2nd Series Railway Locomotives issued November 26, 1984

All values of the 2nd series trains progressive color proof sets were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for the trials against the printer and associated companies. They were retained until 2008 upon with their release the values were auctioned off in bulk. All values were sold on eBay in random bulk lots of 30-100 panes mixed with different series along with series from Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent Grenadines and Union Island in the year 2012 and sold out. They are now scattered across the world and many will never be reunited. Therefore the full intact pane sets are fast becoming exceedingly rare.
All values are available through the Stampdile network with an interesting twist.
The 1c, 5c, 10c, and 35c values are available on the Stampdile network in five stage form.
The 75c, $1.00, $2.50 and $3.00 values exist in a six stage form. I note that the six stage sets show the country name and denomination are on the black proofs. Why the final colors stage is missing is unknown which would make these sets a seven stage set. My theory is that at the time of the original printing the final colors stage was probably produced but found not to be necessary to store thus creating the six stage sets.
Invariably these two different versions sold on the Stampdile network are evidence that the seven stage progressive color proof panes sold from the police evidence stock are indeed reprints.
The standard 3,000 sets were produced evidenced by the quantities sold on eBay.

Below is imaged the four five stage sets and the four six stage sets retained and then links to the seven stage pane sets sold on eBay.

1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (2nd series) Stamps

THE 2ND SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 1c, 5c, 10c, 35c FIVE STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
2,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (2nd series) five stage color proof sets

THE 2ND SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 75c, $1.00, $2.50, $3.00 SIX STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (2nd series) six stage color proof sets

2ND SERIES LOCOMOTIVES REPRINT PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF PAGES
THE 1c VALUE 1908 Class S3/6 4-6-2
THE 5c VALUE 1903 Jersey Lily 4-4-2
THE 10c VALUE 1909 Thundersley 4-4-2T
THE 35c VALUE 1938 Cookham Manor Manor Class 4-6-0
THE 75c VALUE 1841 Borsig 4-2-2
THE $1 VALUE 1928 River IRT 0-8-2
THE $2.50 VALUE 1938 Earl of Berkeley Duke Dog Class 4-4-0
THE $3.00 VALUE 1910 George the Fifth Class 4-4-0

2nd Series Automobiles issued December 19, 1984

All the values of this series exist as progressive color proofs and are available on the Stampdile network. For the 2nd series the seven stage method was used. I note that the four high values are missing the all colors stage. I theorize that it is at this point the seven stage concept was born and the four values in seven stage form are the first printing in the new format where the all colors stage were retained.

1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (2nd series) Stamps

THE 2ND SERIES AUTOMOBILES PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1984 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (2nd series) Color Proof Sets

3rd Series Railway Locomotives issued February 1, 1985

At present the location of the 7-stage progressive proofs is unknown for the 3rd series locomotives. According to the list of requested reprinting shown on the introductory page at which time according to printing standards the progressive color proof panes were produced the 3rd series progressives were created around December 9, 1988.
For the 3rd series locomotives it appears that only the 25c and $2.00 values are available in progressive color proof sets. They are only available through the Stampdile network. The finals are being sold separately but combined once again they show the use of the six stage format.
The question is, what happened to the 7-stage reprints? I have a theory.
I show on the Bequia LOW Cars and Trains mainpage the fake 25c presentation folder. Note it has the 7-stage progressives for the 25c value. This makes it obvious that the stamp dealer who made the folder gained access to the 7-stage reprints. This dealer made numerous other such folders for other countries. You can look on the Nevis trains and cars page for other examples. This dealer probably purchased all of the panes for certain series from an inside source close to the printing company. Therefore the stock probably is stored (at least for some values) somewhere in Germany? Time will tell perhaps.

1985 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (3rd series) Stamps

THE 3RD SERIES LOCOMOTIVES SIX STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1985 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (3rd series) Color Proof Sets

3rd Series Automobiles issued June 25, 1985

For the 3rd series Automobiles it appears only the 5c, 25c, 50c, and $1.00 values were saved in progressive color proof sets. Again only available through the Stampdile network. Again in the six stage format.

1985 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (3rd series) Stamps

THE 3RD SERIES AUTOMOBILES SIX STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1985 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (3rd series) Color Proof Sets

4th Series Railway Locomotives issued September 26, 1985

At present the location of several values of the progressive proofs is unknown for the 4th series locomotives. According to the list of requested reprinting shown on the introductory page at which time according to printing standards the progressive color proof panes were produced the 4th series four low value progressives were created around September 30, 1988 and the two high values were created around November 12, 1988.
For the 4th series again it appears that only the 25c, 55c, 60c, and the 75c values are available as progressive color proof sets. As you can see it seems there is a pattern as to what was saved. The sets (values) that are saved are all printed on one press sheet whereas the missing values are either printed on individual press sheets or in multi country or you could call them combo press sheets. For the 4th series locomotives only the seven stage format appears to exist.

1985 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (4th series) Stamps

THE 4TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1985 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (4th series) Color Proof Sets

4th Series Automobiles issued September 26, 1985

At present the location of the progressive proofs is unknown for the 4th series automobiles. According to the list of requested reprinting shown on the introductory page at which time according to printing standards the progressive color proof panes were produced the 4th series progressives were created around November 12, 1988.
For the 4th series automobiles it appears that only the $1.50 and $2.00 high values are available in progressive color proof sets. The blue/red proof for the 45c value exists but no others are offered for this series. Interestingly enough the ones offered are in the six stage format. The finals being sold separately from the progressives in this case.
So what happened to the 7-stage reprints?

1985 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (4th series) Stamps

THE 4TH SERIES AUTOMOBILES SIX STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1985 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (4th series) Color Proof Sets

5th Series Automobiles issued January 29, 1986

At present the location of the four high value 7-stage progressive proofs is unknown for the 5th series automobiles. According to the list of requested reprinting shown on the introductory page at which time according to printing standards the progressive color proof panes were produced the 5th series four high value progressives were created around December 9, 1988.
The 5th series of automobiles is interesting in that we can see a transition between the six stage format to the seven stage format occuring. The two low values are in the seven stage format and the others in the older format. Again only available at Stampdile.
So where are the 7-stage sets?

1986 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (5th series) Stamps

THE 5TH SERIES AUTOMOBILES SIX STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1986 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (5th series) 6 stage Color Proof Sets

THE 5TH SERIES AUTOMOBILES SEVEN STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1986 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (5th series) 7 stage Color Proof Sets

6th Series Automobiles issued December 23, 1986

For the 6th series automobiles we have a strange anomoly. The 90c value is available only in the five stage format. This being the oldest style of progressives logically one would not think this later series would exist this way. Therefore the question of reprinting arises. The problem with defining if a reprinting of the progressives was done is that there are no other sets at present that can be found in a different format than the ones imaged. Thus no evidence that this series was reprinted. Therefore until such evidence is shown the standard of quantities cannot be changed.

1986 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (6th series) Stamps

THE 6TH SERIES AUTOMOBILES 90c FIVE STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SET
2,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1986 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (6th series) 90c 5 stage Color Proof Set

THE 6TH SERIES AUTOMOBILES SIX STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1986 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (6th series) 6 stage Color Proof Sets

7th Series Automobiles issued July 22, 1987

The 7th series of automobiles appear to only be available through the Stampdile network. All are in the six stage format. This shows strong evidence that the sets were not reprinted.

1987 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (7th series) Stamps

THE 7TH SERIES AUTOMOBILES SIX STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1987 Bequia Leaders of the World, Automobiles (7th series) 6 stage Color Proof Sets

The following sets were reprinted in a new format. Printed in panes of ten pairs.
The progressive color proofs are not noted on the reprint invoices but were produced at the same time as the normal issues.
Basing on the availability of the panes sold by CityCollectibles which for the panes of 10 extended farther and as of March 2013 they were still selling smaller lots of them. I believe the production of the sets of progressives was increased.
500 panes of 10 for each color being produced thus producing 5,000 sets instead of the printers standard earlier of 3,000 set. The panes were packaged in packets of 100 panes and were much easier to store in the new format.

5th Series Railway Locomotives issued November 16, 1987

All eight of the 5th series reprinted trains progressive color proof sets were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for the trials against the printer and associated companies. They were retained until 2008 upon with their release they were auctioned off in bulk. As with the 1st series, they were sold on eBay in random bulk lots of 30-100 panes mixed with different series in panes of 10, along with series from Saint Vincent Grenadines and Union Island in the year 2012 and sold out in 2013. They are now scattered across the world and many will never be reunited. Therefore the full intact pane sets are fast becoming exceedingly rare.

Evidence is now pretty substantial that the sets in the police evidence stock were mostly reprints of existing series. At least for Bequia. Stampdile is the origins of all the issues and the store has been invaluable as a reference and comparison of the existing progressive color proofs. The sets were posted in the online store much closer to the time of their production and the sets offered have not been altered much over the years as you can see with the poorer quality imaging and such. The differences in the number of stages shows us the evidence of reprinting. There is no other explanation for the missing final colors stage on the six stage sets except for the fact that the six stage sets are from the original print runs.

1987 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (5th series) Stamps

THE 5TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES SIX STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF SETS
3,000 sets estimated to have been produced.
1987 Bequia Leaders of the World, Locomotives (5th series) 6 stage Color Proof Sets

5TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES REPRINT PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF PAGES
THE 15c VALUE 1860 SER Class 118 (Later Class E) 2-4-0
THE 25c VALUE 1877 K.E.P.V. Class G3 0-6-0
THE 40c VALUE 1880 K.B.St.B. Class D Ⅵ 0-4-0T
THE 50c VALUE 1960 Louisville & Nashville Railroad Class U25B Bo-Bo
THE 60c VALUE 1915 Hull & Barnsley Railway Class LS 0-6-0
THE 75c VALUE 1961 Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Krauss-Maffei C-C
(including error panes)
THE $1 VALUE 1934 GWR A.E.C. Diesel Railcar B-B
THE $2 VALUE 1847 LNWR Cornwall 2-2-2 (Re-built 1858)

This concludes the study of the progressive color proofs produced for the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives series issued by Saint Vincent Grenadines Bequia. I hope that this clarifies them for everyone who enjoys the collecting of these beautiful works of art.

Your friend and fellow collector and researcher,
JLowe

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