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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
Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding (1st issue) Stamps
Nevis 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.

Dangerous modern fakes of this issue appearing first in 2014 are on the market. Fake imperforate souvenir sheets are on the market!
Visit the linked page to define all of them and what to avoid.

The Newly Discovered Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Forgeries.View my Page on how to Define the Newly Discovered 1986 Royal Wedding Forgeries here.
The 1986 Royal Wedding stamps issued for Nevis have an interesting twist as there is absolutely no information on the issues. It appears at this time that most everything has either been scattered, destroyed or lost in regards to the issues.
The normal issues are quite common for both the 1st and 2nd issues. A large cache of the 2nd issue has been retained due to evidence of sales on the internet. One can buy them in bulk from one dealer and I am sure if asked probably has full uncut press sheets still intact. At this time it appears that many of the varieties are either lost, destroyed or completely broken down to pairs and such.

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


I have found there to be two printing of the 1st series for all countries.
With Nevis the inscriptions are similar with Tuvalu issues as in they are black. I have found with Nevis that you can tell by them as the inscriptions for the country name are much blacker on the originals than on the reprints.
With Saint Vincent we have an anomaly. The reprints are similar with the Tuvalu issues for the 60c value yet the $2 value is similar to Montserrat and British Virgin Island issues! The originals have deeper toning than the reprints on the 60c and the reverse on the $2 values.
Following are the comparisons.

Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 498a Reprint Comparison
Note the darker toning on the originals.
The black color is much darker on the originals.

Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 498b Reprint Comparison
Again note the darker toning. Black background much darker on the originals.

Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 499a Reprint Comparison
Need I say more?

Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Scott 499b Reprint Comparison
Note the blacker tones on the originals versus the reddish hue on the reprints.

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.




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.


Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Gutter Blocks From Uncut Press Sheet of 80 Stamps
Nevis 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 only 1 uncut press sheets of the 60c value still intact.
At present I have only 1 uncut press sheets of the $2 value still intact. These were found in the Bileski Estate holdings. The possibility of these being unique is now very real!

Basing on 300 sheets being produced 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.

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 Nevis almost 70% considering the recovery of the intact press sheets as well.

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 gutters more so.

The known to exist count for Nevis:

Approximately 100 tete-beche gutter blocks and 100 straight-up gutter blocks of both values exist. Around 60-70 of tete-beche blocks. Around 80 to 90 of tete-beche pairs.

I personally have recovered from the Bileski side
The $2 value
76 tete-beche gutter blocks
73 straight up gutter blocks
64 tete-beche blocks
70 tete-beche pairs
For the 60c value
77 tete-beche gutter blocks
74 straight up gutter blocks
28 tete-beche blocks
70 tete-beche pairs

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.

Because of the formation of booklets only corners are the sure way of proof that they came from the press sheets. Only around 90-100 of each value probably exist now. Then divide that by 4 for the different corners. You see my point? Rare!

Pricing should run $12-15.00 for intact gutter pairs either tete-beche or not. Gutter blocks are double that.
Tete-beche pairs $4-5.00 and blocks at $8-15.00. These are less in comparison to the gutters because more were saved.
Stamp pairs or singles with the LARGE corner selvage should run at $10-15.00 each!
Intact uncut press sheets are in the extreme rare category if not unique now.

Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Tete-beche Blocks
Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Tete-beche Gutter Blocks


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 the overprint exist on the Nevis 1986 royal wedding stamps.


Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Perforated Large SPECIMEN Overprinted Stamps
Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding 60c Perforated Small SPECIMEN Overprinted Stamps
Nevis 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. None in tete-beche nor gutter form are on the market.
I did find the above imaged corners which does show how the sheets have been broken with no regard to the gutters.
Anyone with information or examples of this type overprint in tete-beche or gutter form please contact me with details.
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 recovered over half of the $2 value and very few of the 60c value. The imaged gutter blocks are from them.
The smaller overprint is from the second printing.

It is unknown if more still exist other than mine and the other portion which was purchased and being sold by several sellers.

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.

Because of lack of evidence of what exists pricing cannot be calculated. Specimen overprinted stamps are obviously rarer than the normal issued thus pricing should be higher for pair sets. Unless more gutters and tete-beche formations are found the large specimen overprint in this form would be very high prices. If only the 5 sheets with the smaller overprint are all that exist then you can see only 25 of each gutter block formation (tete-beche and straight up) and only 50 tete-beche pairs can be made. Only 50 pairs including corner pairs could also be made thus as you can see they all fall into the extremely rare category. If no more are found then they should command higher pricing.

Again intact uncut press sheets are extremely rare or no longer exist now.


All Values with Silver Overprint
Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding 2nd Issue Perforated Stamps with Silver Overprint
The 2nd issue had both silver and gold overprints. The gold overprinted stamps were never issued postally.
Presently no gold overprinted sets are available anywhere. Possibly lost, destroyed or never made. Still, they could appear as all the varieties for this issue for Nevis are a mystery.

At present due to what is being sold on the market a large cache of the silver overprinted version has been retained. With ads such as the below imaged we know this to be so.
Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding 2nd Issue Perforated with Silver Overprint Bulk Lot Advertisement
Research shows that we can safely presume 100 sheets of the Silver overprinted were made of each value thus producing 4,000 sets of pairs.
It is possible that that is double for Nevis judging from the availability on the market. With Tuvalu the popularity of Princess Diana caused the production of 300 sheets ending with 12,000 sets!

Pricing for tete-beche and gutter pairs and blocks cannot be calculated because of lack of evidence. It is possible that the seller offering the above imaged bulk lots only has the cut blocks and no intact press sheets. Evidence shows this is what happened to most of the normal issues for most of the countries. The press sheets are big and hard to store thus much was cut into blocks for storage. Here is an example of what happened to the normal issue for Vaitupu.

Packs of Blocks for Vaitupu 1986 Royal Wedding 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 for Saint Lucia with Silver Overprint errors
Saint Lucia 1986 Royal Wedding 80c 2nd Issue Perforated with Silver Overprint errors on Uncut Press Sheet
The 80c Value with Silver Overprint Inverted
Saint Lucia 1986 Royal Wedding 80c 2nd Issue Perforated with Silver Overprint Inverted
The 80c Value with Gold Overprint Inverted and Doubled
Saint Lucia 1986 Royal Wedding 80c 2nd Issue Perforated with Gold Overprint Inverted and Doubled
The 80c Value with Gold Overprint A' Cheval
Saint Lucia 1986 Royal Wedding 80c 2nd Issue Perforated with Gold Overprint A' Cheval
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.
For Nevis none have been seen. Still it is possible that they exist.


The 60c Missing Value Error
Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding 60c Perforated Missing Value Error
The $2 Missing Value Error
Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding $2 Perforated Missing Value Error
Please excuse the bad images. These are all I found of the missing value errors.
At present very few of these can be found on the market.
No tete-beche nor gutters of these seen. It is unknown what still exists.

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. It is possible that the bulk of the sheets were lost or destroyed. Until that fact is known 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.


Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding Imperforate Stamps
So far it seems only pairs and blocks of the 1st issue in imperforate form exist.
I would like to state that probably all of them are from booklet panes or from cut blocks that were going to be put into booklet panes. Unless they are in blocks of SIX or more or have large selvage on two sides or have full gutters in between they can never be verified as proofs coming from the uncut press sheets.
At present I have seen nothing of the sort available on the market.
You should be aware that many imperforate booklets and panes (stapled or not) 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


At present, none can be found.


At present, none can be found.


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 Nevis 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.



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

Nevis 1986 Royal Wedding (1st issue) Souvenir Sheet
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.

Nevis 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 only around 500 via the police evidence. Where the rest are is unknown. None are available on the market.

In accordance pricing should be around $25.00 each unless more are found.

Nevis 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.
I have acquired around 500 imperforate SPECIMEN overprinted souvenir sheets via the police evidence.
None are available on the market.

In accordance pricing should be around $25-35.00 each considering rarity unless the other pack is found.
No perforated copies have been found at present.

Nevis 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 around 450 sets of the above imaged via the police evidence. It is probable the rest are lost forever. The final is from the one pack that I found. I can find none available anywhere on the internet.

Pricing should be around $50.00 for each set unless more are recovered which is now doubtful.

A note on the above progressives:
You may have noticed there are two all colors proofs on many sets. This is because the full progressive color proof set has 9 stages. The eighth stage is the black addition. This particular set contains the 8th stage of which I found two packs. Many progressive color proof sets from many different issues have been and are being sold without this stage present thus they are not complete sets.
I have also 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 made for collector errors were made for this particular souvenir sheet.

This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Nevis 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: 10-Nov-2016 04:45 PM