A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar


A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, May 1, 2020

China "Junk" Issues of 1913, 1915, & 1923: The Differences

1913 Scott 205 3c blue green "Junk"
London Printing
Into The Deep Blue
The first 1913-1923 regular issues of the Republic of China are popularly known as the "Junk, Reaper and Hall of Classics" issues. The 1/2c to 10c denominations have a design with a "Junk" sailing down a river with a train on a trestle crossing in the background. This blog post will cover the "Junk" issues, while future posts will cover the other designs.

My own opinion is the "Junk" stamp design is one of the most beautiful and iconic in all of classical era WW collecting. I hope you will enjoy the some 57 image scans I have included for this post about this gorgeous stamp.

Original post: China

But there is a problem.

There were actually three issues: The May 5, 1913 London Printing issue by Waterlow and Sons (19 stamps, 10 "Junk" stamps); The 1915-1919 First Peking Issue in Peking (BPMF) (22 stamps, 11 "Junk" stamps); and the 1923 Second Peking re-engraved Issue in Peking (BPMF) (22 stamps, 11 "Junk" stamps). All are engraved.
Note: "BPMF" = Chinese Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Peking

The London Printing issue and the First Peking issue have differences that require careful inspection of the stamp. In other words they can be confused, and in fact are confused by even intermediate collectors. The Second Peking issue has enough differences in design that usually this issue poses less identification problems.

The identification problems are exacerbated by the fact that the Scott catalog does not illustrate the differences, but has only a written account. And then Scott does not include all the important markers that help differentiate the stamps.

But this post comes to the rescue. !! I am helped in this regard as I am a member of The China Stamp Society, and I have their catalog (China Stamp Society Specialized Catalog of China to 1949 - H. James Maxwell, Editor - 2012).

I should mention, though, that my "Junk" stamps are nothing special condition wise: Most are used, some with heavy cancellations. All the more reason to be schooled in all the markers that make a difference!

The 1913, 1915 & 1923 "Junk" Issues: A Closer Look
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (Yuan) (1897)

OK, so how are we to approach the "Junk" issues?

I will present each denomination (1/2c, 2c, 3c, 5c, 6c, 10c) where I have an example from all three issues and compare/contrast. Some denominations (1c, 4c, 7c, 8c) are not shown as I did not have an example from every issue. For each denomination that is presented, I will point out difference markers.

There are some common differences each issue has....

Perforation: 
14-15 1913 London printing;
14 1915 First Peking printing;
14 1923 Second Peking printing.
Check the Perf if one is debating between the London print and the First Peking print. Note the London perf can vary between 14 and 15.

Paper: (Important!)
London: Hard - design can often be seen from back

First Peking: Soft and opaque - design nor seen from back

Second Peking: Early printings on thin soft paper; later printings on thick, stiff, hard paper (more common). Scott makes no mention of the types of paper. The China Stamp Society Specialized Catalog of China to 1949 actually separates out the Second Peking issue into thin soft paper types and thick stiff hard paper types, and gives them each a separate catalog number with a specific valuation.

Design:
London: sharp and clear
First Peking: dull and flat
Second Peking: sharp

Color:
London: Light and brilliant
First Peking: dull and flat
Second Peking: bright

The 1/2c Denomination

1913 London Printing
1913 Scott 202 1/2c black brown
London Printing
OK, here is the 1/2c London print. Shading fringe and lines are seen under the upper oblong panel. Vertical lines along sides making two groupings along the sides.

Whitecaps below the boat, but the whitecap above the "H" of CHINA does nor spike up to the boat (diagnostic).

1913 Scott 202 1/2c black brown
London Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are short and thin. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is long and thin. (diagnostic)

kuo character close-up
Pay attention to the left side vertical stroke
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is straight. (diagnostic)

Note: I will not repeat the separate kuo scan for the other denominations, as the kuo character can be seen with the Close-up 1 scan above. if the collector is confused about the location of the kuo character, refer back to this scan.

1913 Scott 202 1/2c black brown
London Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are fairly easily seen. (diagnostic, but  a judgement call)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern and the long flag on the right mast for the London print.

1915 First Peking Printing
1915 Scott 221 1/2c black brown
First Peking Printing 
Here is the 1/2c First Peking print. Heavier, thicker fringe lines are seen under the upper middle oblong panel. Vertical lines along sides making two groupings along the sides. Whitecaps are choppier and extend further on either side of the boat.

The whitecap above the "H" of CHINA spikes up to the boat. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 221 1/2c black brown
First Peking Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are longer and thicker. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is short and wedge-like. (diagnostic)

kuo character close-up
Pay attention to the left side vertical stroke
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is bent to the right on top. (diagnostic)

Note: I will not repeat the separate kuo scan for the other denominations, as the kuo character can be seen with the Close-up 1 scan above. if the collector is confused about the location of the kuo character, refer back to this scan.

1915 Scott 221 1/2c black brown
First Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern that extends beyond the boat. Note the spike whitecap that touches the boat. Note the short flag on the right mast for the First Peking print.

1923 Second Peking Printing
1923 Scott 248 1/2c black brown
Second Peking Printing 
The second Peking printing has specific characteristics that should be obvious by glancing at the stamp.

There are no shading fringe lines under the upper panel. (diagnostic)

The vertical lines along the sides form only one group. The second inner shading lines have been removed. (diagnostic)

The whitecaps are mostly gone below the boat. (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 248 1/2c black brown
Second Peking Printing Close-up 1
The shading lines within the top horizontal pearls are gone. (diagnostic)
There are no vertical fringe lines below the top panel. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is again long and thin, as it is with the London printing.

kuo character close-up
Pay attention to the left side vertical stroke
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is angled to the left at top. (diagnostic)

Note: I will not repeat the separate kuo scan for the other denominations, as the kuo character can be seen with the Close-up 1 scan above. if the collector is confused about the location of the kuo character, refer back to this scan.

1923 Scott 248 1/2c black brown
Second Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the whitecap pattern under the boat is mostly missing, replaced by dark water shading. (diagnostic)

Note the long flag on the right mast for the Second Peking print. (Similar to the London print, and different to the First Peking print (short flag).

The 2c Denomination

The 1913 London Printing
1913 Scott 204 2c yellow green
London Printing
The characteristic signs that were presented for the 1/2c for the three issues will be repeated for the 2c denomination (and all the denominations shown). By being aware of multiple diagnostic markers, if a particular stamp has some signs obscured by cancel marks, other markers should still be present.

Practice makes perfect!

For the London print, shading fringe lines are seen under the upper panel. Vertical lines along sides make two groupings along the sides.

Whitecaps below the boat, but the whitecap above the "H" of CHINA does nor spike up to the boat (diagnostic).

1913 Scott 204 2c yellow green
London Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are short and thin. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is long and thin. (diagnostic)
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is straight. (diagnostic)

1913 Scott 204 2c yellow green
London Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are fairly easily seen. (diagnostic, but  a judgement call)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern and the long flag on the right mast for the London print.

1915 First Peking Printing
1915 Scott 223 2c yellow green
First Peking Printing
Heavier, thicker fringe lines are seen under the upper middle oblong panel. Vertical lines along sides making two groupings along the sides. Whitecaps are choppier and extend further on either side of the boat.

The whitecap above the "H" of CHINA spikes up to the boat. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 223 2c yellow green
First Peking Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are longer and thicker. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is short and wedge-like. (diagnostic)
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is bent to the right on top. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 223 2c yellow green
First Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern that extends beyond the boat. Note the spike whitecap that touches the boat. Note the short flag on the right mast for the First Peking print.

1923 Second Peking Printing
1923 Scott 251 2c yellow green
Second Peking Printing 
The second Peking printing has specific characteristics that should be obvious by glancing at the stamp.

There are no shading fringe lines under the upper panel. (diagnostic)

The vertical lines along the sides form only one group. The second inner shading lines have been removed. (diagnostic)

The whitecaps are mostly gone below the boat. (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 251 2c yellow green
Second Peking Printing Close-up 1
The shading lines within the top horizontal pearls are gone. (diagnostic)
There are no vertical fringe lines below the top panel. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is again long and thin, as it is with the London printing.
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is angled to the left at top. (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 251 2c yellow green
Second Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the whitecap pattern under the boat is mostly missing, replaced by dark water shading. (diagnostic)

Note the long flag on the right mast for the Second Peking print. (Similar to the London print, and different from the First Peking print (short flag).

The 3c Denomination

1913 London Printing
1913 Scott 205 3c blue green "Junk"
London Printing
For the London print, shading fringe lines are seen under the upper panel. Vertical lines along sides make two groupings along the sides.

Whitecaps below the boat, but the whitecap above the "H" of CHINA does nor spike up to the boat (diagnostic).

1913 Scott 205 3c blue green "Junk"
London Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are short and thin. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is long and thin. (diagnostic)
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is straight. (diagnostic)

1913 Scott 205 3c blue green "Junk"
London Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are fairly easily seen. (diagnostic, but  a judgement call)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern and the long flag on the right mast for the London print.

1915 First Peking Printing
1915 Scott 224 3c blue green "Junk"
First Peking Printing
Heavier, thicker fringe lines are seen under the upper middle oblong panel. Vertical lines along sides making two groupings along the sides. Whitecaps are choppier and extend further on either side of the boat.

The whitecap above the "H" of CHINA spikes up to the boat. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 224 3c blue green "Junk"
First Peking Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are longer and thicker. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is short and wedge-like. (diagnostic)
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is bent to the right on top. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 224 3c blue green "Junk"
First Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern that extends beyond the boat. Note the spike whitecap that touches the boat. Note the short flag on the right mast for the First Peking print.

1923 Second Peking Printing
1923 Scott 252 3c blue green "Junk"
Second Peking Printing 
The second Peking printing has specific characteristics that should be obvious by glancing at the stamp.

There are no shading fringe lines under the upper panel. (diagnostic)

The vertical lines along the sides form only one group. The second inner shading lines have been removed. (diagnostic)

The whitecaps are mostly gone below the boat. (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 252 3c blue green "Junk"
Second Peking Printing Close-up 1
The shading lines within the top horizontal pearls are gone. (diagnostic)
There are no vertical fringe lines below the top panel. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is again long and thin, as it is with the London printing.
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is angled to the left at top. (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 252 3c blue green "Junk"
Second Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the whitecap pattern under the boat is mostly missing, replaced by dark water shading. (diagnostic)

Note the long flag on the right mast for the Second Peking print. (Similar to the London print, and different from the First Peking print (short flag).

The 5c Denomination

1913 London Printing
1913 Scott 207 5c rose lilac "Junk"
London Printing
For the London print, shading fringe lines are seen under the upper panel. Vertical lines along sides make two groupings along the sides.

Whitecaps below the boat, but the whitecap above the "H" of CHINA does nor spike up to the boat (diagnostic).

1913 Scott 207 5c rose lilac "Junk"
London Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are short and thin. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is long and thin. (diagnostic) Note: hard to see here, but it is discernible under the cancellation.
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is straight. (diagnostic)

1913 Scott 207 5c rose lilac "Junk"
London Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are fairly easily seen. (diagnostic, but  a judgement call)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern and the long flag on the right mast for the London print.

1915 First Peking Printing
1915 Scott 226 5c rose lilac "Junk"
First Peking Printing
Heavier, thicker fringe lines are seen under the upper middle oblong panel. Vertical lines along sides making two groupings along the sides. Whitecaps are choppier and extend further on either side of the boat.

The whitecap above the "H" of CHINA spikes up to the boat. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 226 5c rose lilac "Junk"
First Peking Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are longer and thicker. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is short and wedge-like. (diagnostic) Note: one can discern the flag under the cancellation.
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is bent to the right on top. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 226 5c rose lilac "Junk"
First Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern that extends beyond the boat. Note the spike whitecap that touches the boat. Note the short flag on the right mast for the First Peking print.

1915 Scott 226 5c  "Junk" Color Shade
First Peking Printing 
This is a quite dramatic color shade difference for the First Peking printing 5c denomination - here, a deep lilac color. Of interest, the  China Stamp Society Specialized Catalog of China to 1949 does not list color shades for these issues for some reason.  But internet sites state that shades are found, but are not listed in most catalogs.

1923 Second Peking Printing
1923 Scott 254 5c claret (rose mauve) "Junk"
Second Peking Printing
The second Peking printing has specific characteristics that should be obvious by glancing at the stamp.

There are no shading fringe lines under the upper panel. (diagnostic)

The vertical lines along the sides form only one group. The second inner shading lines have been removed. (diagnostic)

The whitecaps are mostly gone below the boat. (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 254 5c claret (rose mauve) "Junk"
Second Peking Printing Close-up 1
The shading lines within the top horizontal pearls are gone. (diagnostic)
There are no vertical fringe lines below the top panel. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is again long and thin, as it is with the London printing.
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is angled to the left at top. (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 254 5c claret (rose mauve) "Junk"
Second Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the whitecap pattern under the boat is mostly missing, replaced by dark water shading. (diagnostic)

Note the long flag on the right mast for the Second Peking print. (Similar to the London print, and different from the First Peking print (short flag).

The 6c Denomination

1913 London printing
1913 Scott 208 6c gray "Junk"
London Printing
For the London print, shading fringe lines are seen under the upper panel. Vertical lines along sides make two groupings along the sides.

Whitecaps below the boat, but the whitecap above the "H" of CHINA does nor spike up to the boat (diagnostic).

1913 Scott 208 6c gray "Junk"
London Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are short and thin. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is long and thin. (diagnostic)
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is straight. (diagnostic)

1913 Scott 208 6c gray "Junk"
London Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are fairly easily seen. (diagnostic, but  a judgement call)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern and the long flag on the right mast for the London print.

1915 First Peking Printing
1915 Scott 227 6c gray "Junk"
First Peking Printing 
Because of the heavy cancellation, this is where one might need all of the diagnostic signs to positively identify the stamp!

Heavier, thicker fringe lines are seen under the upper middle oblong panel. Vertical lines along sides making two groupings along the sides. Whitecaps are choppier and extend further on either side of the boat.

The whitecap above the "H" of CHINA spikes up to the boat? (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 227 6c gray "Junk"
First Peking Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are longer and thicker. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is short and wedge-like. (diagnostic)
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is bent to the right on top. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 227 6c gray "Junk"
First Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern that extends beyond the boat. Note the spike whitecap that touches the boat? For this example, the spike whitecap is hard to see because of the cancellation. Other signs may need to be used.

Note the short flag on the right mast for the First Peking print.

1923 Second Peking Printing
1923 Scott 255 6c scarlet "Junk"
Second Peking Printing 
Well, the Second Peking printing is quite obvious here, because of change in color! (Gray to Scarlet).

Be that as it may, the second Peking printing has specific characteristics that should be obvious by glancing at the stamp.

There are no shading fringe lines under the upper panel. (diagnostic)

The vertical lines along the sides form only one group. The second inner shading lines have been removed. (diagnostic)

The whitecaps are mostly gone below the boat. (diagnostic)

The 10c Denomination

1913 London Printing
1913 Scott 211 10c dark blue (deep blue) "Junk"
London Printing
For the London print, shading fringe lines are seen under the upper panel. Vertical lines along sides make two groupings along the sides.

Whitecaps below the boat, but the whitecap above the "H" of CHINA does nor spike up to the boat (diagnostic).

1913 Scott 211 10c dark blue (deep blue) "Junk"
London Printing Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are short and thin. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is long and thin. (diagnostic)
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is straight. (diagnostic)

1913 Scott 211 10c dark blue (deep blue) "Junk"
London Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are fairly easily seen. (diagnostic, but  a judgement call)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern and the long flag on the right mast for the London print.

1915 First Peking printing
1915 Scott 230 10c dark blue (deep blue) "Junk"
First Peking Printing; Die II
Note: the First Peking 10c dark blue is found with two dies, as we will see in a moment.

Heavier, thicker fringe lines are seen under the upper middle oblong panel. Vertical lines along sides making two groupings along the sides. Whitecaps are choppier and extend further on either side of the boat.

The whitecap above the "H" of CHINA spikes up to the boat. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 230 10c dark blue (deep blue) "Junk"
First Peking Printing; Die II Close-up 1
Shading lines within the top horizontal pearls.
The vertical fringe lines below the oblong top panel are longer and thicker. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is short and wedge-like. (diagnostic)
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is bent to the right on top. (diagnostic)

What about the Die II? It has no dot in the scroll next to the farthest right pearl. (See next image below to also locate.)

1915 Scott 230 10c dark blue (deep blue) "Junk"
First Peking Printing; Die I Close-up 
Image from China Stamp Society Catalog to 1949
The Die I has a dot in the scroll. By the way, Scott does not mention the First Peking printing 10c Die I/Die II stamps. They are of equal value.

1915 Scott 230 10c dark blue (deep blue) "Junk"
First Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the characteristic whitecap pattern that extends beyond the boat. Note the spike whitecap that touches the boat. Note the short flag on the right mast for the First Peking print.

1923 Second Peking Printing
1923 Scott 258 10c blue "Junk"
Second Peking Printing
The second Peking printing has specific characteristics that should be obvious by glancing at the stamp.

There are no shading fringe lines under the upper panel. (diagnostic)

The vertical lines along the sides form only one group. The second inner shading lines have been removed. (diagnostic)

The whitecaps are mostly gone below the boat. (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 258 10c blue "Junk"
Second Peking Printing Close-up 1
The shading lines within the top horizontal pearls are gone. (diagnostic)
There are no vertical fringe lines below the top panel. (diagnostic)
The flag flying on the right mast is again long and thin, as it is with the London printing.
The left side vertical stroke for the kuo character is angled to the left at top. (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 258 10c blue "Junk"
Second Peking Printing Close-up 2
The diagonal lines embedded within the sails are more difficult to see. (soft sign)

Note the whitecap pattern under the boat is mostly missing, replaced by dark water shading. (diagnostic)

Note the long flag on the right mast for the Second Peking print. (Similar to the London print, and different from the First Peking print (short flag).

1915 Scott 225 4c scarlet "Junk"
First Peking Printing 
Out of the Blue
I hope by repeating the diagnostic signs for each denomination, the collector has had enough practice so they can tackle their own collection with confidence. !!!

I really enjoyed writing this post. I remember, as a ten year old, puzzling over these "Junk" stamps, and trying to separate them out into the correct issues. So this post is dedicated to my ten year old self. ;-)

Note: The scan image for the 10c dark blue First Peking Printing; Die I Close-up is found in the China Stamp Society Specialized Catalog of China to 1949 - H. James Maxwell, Editor - 2012, and is used here for educational purposes. I am also indebted to the catalog for much of the diagnostic information presented here.

Comments appreciated!

2 comments:

  1. Cool! you helped me a lot, giving all those differences, making it indeed easier with heavy cancellations

    ReplyDelete