THE SAINT VINCENT MISSING TENNIS BALL ERROR STAMPS
PRINTED BY THE FORMAT INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PRINTERS LTD.
The 1987 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships Error Stamps and What was Found in the Archive
In 1987 the Format International Security Printers Ltd. were commissioned By the St. Vincent postal authorities to
produce a series of stamps depicting the key players and winners of the 1987 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships.
1987 INTERNATIONAL LAWN TENNIS PLAYERS Scott #988-996, SG #1057-64, MS1065
According to prior written information and internet research the following findings will be presented and will stand
until solid evidence is presented proving otherwise........
In 1988 the infamous St. Vincent missing tennis ball errors on Scott# 990 and 991 appeared on the market. Some shady stamp
dealers presented these as legitimate errors and sold them to unknowledgeable collectors and dealers for large sums. In
actuality these 'errors' were produced by the Format Printers on purpose to promote collector interest in the Tennis issues.
Plates were purposely made with the tennis ball missing. During police raids on the company the plates
were one of the things found. As the images show there is no way the error can be made (such as missing yellow color),
since all colors are present. Some shady dealers/sellers who got hold of quantities of them presented these at the time of appearance stating
that only 200-250 of these 'errors' exist even though the printers revealed that more than that were produced. I estimate that
5,000+ were placed on the market. These made for collector errors fall right in line with other types like the 1987 Royal Ruby Wedding inverted
frame errors. They were produced only four months after the Tennis Players issue.
Any catalogs stating otherwise and written/produced in the '90s are inaccurate and possibly
biased toward the writers personal gains.
From present day analysis and personal buying endeavours these stamps have a value of no more than $2-3.00 for singles perforated or imperforate.
Anyone asking more is over inflating the value and should not be dealt with on any stamp dealings at all!
Imperforate versions of the error are on the market. They are available in full panes showing us the stock was saved. Because the printing
of this error was specially made I would estimate 3-5,000 exist of each stamp as imperforates. The printer would not go to such extent of
having special plates made without running a lot of stamps through.
It appears that only one or two press sheets were saved in the archive with the error. It is stated that only ten gutter pairs like the
one imaged exist.
The master proofs of which George Alvizos
was the main buyer of in the '90s are extremely rare! View the images for more information.
That basically sums up the details on the Saint Vincent 1987 Missing Tennis Ball Error stamps. It is always important to do the research before
investing in stamp errors and varieties. If you do not then it is likely you will get duped by a dealer who is unethical in nature.
For more information on the Saint Vincent and Dependencies 1987-8 Tennis Players stamps and varieties please visit my special page. View the Saint Vincent 1987-8 Tennis Players Stamps and Varieties Page here.
References taken from:
Stanley Gibbons Windward Islands and Barbados
The Trial Documents
Inventory list for the Format Archive by Robson Lowe
Online internet research