Queen Isabella II - Blue Error Edition
Paper: Rives Heavyweight Buff, 175 grams
Paper Size: 9.5" x 13" [Quarter Sheet]
Image Size: 4" x 5"
Collage Stamp: 1851 Spain Scott #8 [print from a letterpress cut]
Edition Size: 50
Inks Used: Van Son Rubber based inks [Transparent 10: Process Blue 1; Black .001]
Date Cut: 27 May 2014
My series of postage stamp print replicas has always featured a genuine stamp collaged to the print where the artist signature normally sits. This has restricted the choice of subject to those inexpensive stamps, usually under a dollar each, that I can find 50 copies of on eBay auctions. Then on May 13, 2014, I found a cliche of the famous 2 reales stamp of 1851 featuring Queen Isabella II on eBay. The vendor, Typetiques, starts their auctions at $9.99, but just to be safe I put a maximum bid of $65 on my snipe website (which hides the bid until the last 6 seconds) and hoped for the best.
A cliche is the term in Philately (the study of postage stamps) for the single element that is brought together with others to comprise a compound printing plate. Normally these are multiple identical cliches bound together in a unit for printing sheets of stamps at a single pressing. It seems some time in 1851 the printer got the cliche for a 2 reales stamp mixed in with the other cliches for the blue 6 reales. On printing the official orange-red 2 reales was produced as a blue version along with the normal blue 6 reales stamps. Only a few were ever produced, and now only three are known, the most famous owned by the British Museum. The value for collectors is astronomical; most appraisers won't venture past saying, "Whatever the market will bear," the same as saying "priceless." Even the normal orange red stamp is far beyond my ability to afford.
My cliche is certainly a modern replica of the famous cliche (I think!), and I was on pins and needles as the end of the auction drew near. My final winning bid: $10.49 + $3.50 = $13.99. Whew!
The deluxe edition with an integrated linoleum block and foundry type was printed for the Printers Guild at their monthly meeting on June 7, 2014. [Font: Heavy Caslon 12 pt (Case 409)]
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