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...

Monday, May 18, 2020

China "Reaping Rice" Stamps of 1913, 1915-19, & 1923: The Differences

1919 China Scott 241 13c brown "Reaping Rice"
First Peking Issue
Into the Deep Blue
The differences between the Junk, Reaper, and Hall of Classics three issues (1913, 1915-19, 1923) can be subtle. These iconic stamps of the Republic of China, the first regular issues for the Republic, deserve a close look, as, in my view, the issues are some of the most beautiful, ever. !!!

The Scott catalogue only has a written description, and then only includes some of the important differences. One has to search the internet, or have a specialized catalog such as the China Stamp Society Specialized Catalog of China to 1949 to truly evaluate and be certain of the differences.

So, with that in mind, I've already published the first part on the "Junk" design stamps. See...

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

This part will cover the middle denomination (15c, 16c, 20c, 30c, 50c, 13c) "Reaping Rice" design stamps.

(The differences among the higher denomination "Hall of Classics" stamps will be published sometime, but I need to obtain more material.)

If anything, the Reaper stamps have even more subtle differences than the "Junk" stamps, especially between the 1913 London Issue and the 1915-19 First Peking Issue. But, as is true of the "Junk" stamps, the 1923 re-engraved Reaper stamps have many more obvious differences.

I have made some 53 scans of the Reaper stamps for this post, and will cover each denomination. True, the signs for each denomination are the same for every denomination, but practice (especially with my cancelled stamps with some faults) makes perfect!

"Reaping Rice" Stamps - A Closer Look
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (Yuan) (1897)

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 not 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 15c Denomination

1913 London Printing

1913 Scott 212 15c brown "Reaping Rice"
London Printing
As one can see, I have mostly cancelled stamps that will present a challenge sometimes in spotting the significant markers. All the better to be aware of the many markers for each issue. !!

The marker I most look at first is the left foot placement of the reaper. See the next close-up..

1913 Scott 212 15c brown Close-up 1
London Printing
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle touches the grain. (diagnostic)
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

Comment: I find the most helpful marker is the planted foot touching the shadow. True, the Second Peking Issue has the same thing, but the shadow pattern is much different. Also the thick hat brim is helpful, but it is sometimes a judgement call.

1913 Scott 212 15c brown Close-up 2
London Printing
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees are about equal in intensity (especially in reference to the middle tree shadow). (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The Kuo and Yu characters are diagnostic - see close-up below.

1913 Scott 212 15c brown Kuo - Yu Close-up
London Printing
The kuo character (on the right): The left side vertical stroke is straight. (diagnostic)
The yu character (on the left): Top left stroke of yu is triangular, and the top almost touches the line above. (diagnostic)

Comment: True, the Second Peking Issue also has a kuo straight vertical stroke, but it is easy in other ways to tell apart the Second Peking Issue. So the kuo sign for the London Issue is helpful vis-a-vis the First Peking Issue.

Note: Now that the collector knows the location of kuo and yu, I will only show Close-up 2 scans for the other denominations, as the signs for kuo and yu are clearly visible.

1915 First Peking Printing

1915 Scott 231 Brown "Reaping Rice"
First Peking Printing
You will already note the large difference in color shades here between the London print (above) and the First Peking print, even though the catalogs only list "brown" as the color.

Note the left foot is clear of the shadow.

1915 Scott 231 Brown Close-up 1
First Peking Printing
The left foot of the reaper stays clear and never touches the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle is surrounded by white - is clear and does not touch the grain. (diagnostic)
The front hat brim is thin and upturned. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

Comment: I find most helpful the left foot clear of the shadow. The sickle is always "mostly clear" of the grain, but occasionally there is some tiny contact. The upturned thin brim is helpful when obvious.

1915 Scott 231 Brown Close-up 2
First Peking Printing
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees is weaker (less intense) for the middle tree. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The Kuo and Yu characters are diagnostic - see close-up below.

915 Scott 231 Brown Kuo - Yu Close-up
First Peking Printing
The kuo character (on the right): The left side vertical stroke bends to the left on top. (diagnostic)
The yu character (on the left): Top left horizontal stroke of yu is a short line, and is far removed from the line above. (diagnostic).

Note: Now that the collector knows the location of kuo and yu, I will only show Close-up 2 scans for the other denominations, as the signs for kuo and yu are clearly visible.

1923 Second Peking Printing

1923 Scott 260 15c deep blue "Reaping Rice"
Second Peking Issue
Obviously, for the 15c denomination, it is ridiculously easy to tell the Second Peking Issue stamp, as it is "deep blue" color rather than a "brown" color (London, First Peking Issue). The other denominations, though, have similar colors for all three issues. It is therefore still important to be able to know the signs for the Second Peking Issue. Admittedly, with only a modicum of attention, one should be able to rather easily identify the Second Peking Issue "Reaping Rice" stamp.

1923 Scott 260 15c Close-up 1
Second Peking Issue
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow, But, compared to the London Issue, the ground shadow looks quite different.  Here, long horizontal strokes make up the shadow. With the London Print, the shadow consists of elongated dots.
The sickle touches the grain.
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. There is a lot of shading lines on the hat all over, which differs from the London print.
Two squares under Cts within the oval panel ( as opposed to circles). (diagnostic)
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are cross hatched (as opposed to horizontal). (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 260 15c Close-up 2
Second Peking Issue
There are east pointing short shadows from the trees. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have been altered and there are no shading lines inside. (diagnostic)
The Temple of Heaven has strong shading lines and there is a door. (diagnostic)
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves have circles inside. (diagnostic)
The Kuo and Yu characters are diagnostic - see close-up below.

1923 Scott 260 15c Kuo - Yu Close-up
Second Peking Issue
The kuo character (on the right): The left side vertical stroke is straight. (similar to the London print)
The yu character (on the left): Top left stroke of yu slants downward and to the left. (diagnostic)

Note: Now that the collector knows the location of kuo and yu, I will only show Close-up 2 scans for the other denominations, as the signs for kuo and yu are clearly visible.

The 16c Denomination

1913 London Print

1913 Scott 213 16c olive green "Reaping Rice"
London Print
I should mention that the London Print catalog value for used "Reaper" stamps range from $2 to $5+. The unused stamps CV is considerably higher @ $20+ to $80.

But as it seems for all of China collecting, dealers have very little stock. 

1913 Scott 213 16c Close-up 1
London Print
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle touches the grain. (diagnostic)
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

1913 Scott 213 16c Close-up 2
London Print
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees are about equal in intensity (especially in reference to the middle shadow). (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke is straight. (diagnostic)
The yu character : Top left stroke of yu is triangular, and the top almost touches the line above. (diagnostic)

1915 First Peking Printing

1915 Scott 232 16c olive green "Reaping Rice"
First Peking Print
One will again note the change in color shade between the London print (above) and the First Peking print, although the catalog only lists the one color - "olive green".

1915 Scott 232 16c Close-up 1
First Peking Print
The left foot of the reaper stays clear and never touches the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle is surrounded by white - is clear and does not touch the grain. (diagnostic)
The front hat brim is thin and upturned. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

915 Scott 232 16c Close-up 2
First Peking Print
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees is weaker (less intense) for the middle tree. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke bends to the left on top. (diagnostic)
The yu character : Top left horizontal stroke of yu is a short line, and is far removed from the line above. (diagnostic).

1923 Second Peking Printing

1923 Scott 261 16c olive green "Reaping Rice"
Second Peking Printing
In my collection, the thick stiff paper is more common then the soft thin paper types for the Second Peking issue.

1923 Scott 261 16c Close-up 1
Second Peking Printing
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow, But, compared to the London Issue, the ground shadow looks quite different.  Here, long horizontal strokes make up the shadow. With the London Print, the shadow consists of elongated dots.
The sickle touches the grain.
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. There is a lot of shading lines on the hat all over, which differs from the London print.
Two squares under Cts within the oval panel ( as opposed to circles). (diagnostic)
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are cross hatched (as opposed to horizontal). (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 261 16c Close-up 2
Second Peking Printing
There are east pointing short shadows from the trees. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have been altered and there are no shading lines inside. (diagnostic)
The Temple of Heaven has strong shading lines and there is a door. (diagnostic)
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves have circles inside. (diagnostic)
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke is straight. (similar to the London print)
The yu character : Top left stroke of yu slants downward and to the left. (diagnostic)

The 20c Denomination

1913 London Printing

1913 Scott 214 20c brown red "Reaping Rice"
London Printing
Note the left foot is planted touching the shadow.

1913 Scott 214 20c Close-up 1
London Printing
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle touches the grain. (diagnostic)
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

1913 Scott 214 20c Close-up 2
London Printing
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees are about equal in intensity (especially in reference to the middle shadow). (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke is straight. (diagnostic)
The yu character: Top left stroke of yu is triangular, and the top almost touches the line above. (diagnostic)

1915 First Peking Printing

1915 Scott 233 20c brown red (brown-lake) "Reaping Rice"
First Peking Printing
The China Stamp Society Specialized Catalog of China to 1949 catalog sometimes has different (and more accurate) color designations for a particular denomination issue. I include those colors in parenthesis after the Scott designation.

1915 Scott 233 20c Close-up 1
First Peking Printing
The left foot of the reaper stays clear and never touches the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle is surrounded by white - is clear and does not touch the grain. (diagnostic)
The front hat brim is thin and upturned. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

1915 Scott 233 20c Close-up 2
First Peking Printing
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees is weaker (less intense) for the middle tree. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke bends to the left on top. (diagnostic)
The yu character : Top left horizontal stroke of yu is a short line, and is far removed from the line above. (diagnostic).

1923 Second Peking Printing

1923 Scott 262 20c brown red (red-brown) "Reaping Rice"
Second Peking Printing
The re-engraved Second Peking printing has obvious characteristics. You should be able to spot at least five here.

1923 Scott 262 20c Close-up 1
Second Peking Printing
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow, But, compared to the London Issue, the ground shadow looks quite different.  Here, long horizontal strokes make up the shadow. With the London Print, the shadow consists of elongated dots.
The sickle touches the grain.
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. There is a lot of shading lines on the hat all over, which differs from the London print.
Two squares under Cts within the oval panel ( as opposed to circles). (diagnostic)
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are cross hatched (as opposed to horizontal). (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 262 20c Close-up 2
Second Peking Printing
There are east pointing short shadows from the trees. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have been altered and there are no shading lines inside. (diagnostic)
The Temple of Heaven has strong shading lines and there is a door. (diagnostic)
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves have circles inside. (diagnostic)
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke is straight. (similar to the London print)
The yu character : Top left stroke of yu slants downward and to the left. (diagnostic)

The 30c Denomination

1913 London Printing

1913 Scott 215 30c brown violet (plum) "Reaping Rice"
London Printing
I plan to get better copies of these issues when I find a source. As mentioned, dealer stock tends to be scarce.

1913 Scott 215 30c Close-up 1
London Printing
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle touches the grain. (diagnostic)
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

1913 Scott 215 30c Close-up 2
London Printing
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees are about equal in intensity (especially in reference to the middle shadow). (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke is straight. (diagnostic)
The yu character : Top left stroke of yu is triangular, and the top almost touches the line above. (diagnostic)

1915 First Peking Printing

1915 Scott 234 30c brown violet "Reaping Rice"
First Peking Printing
The reason the First Peking printing was issued in 1915 is, because of the Great War, it was difficult to get stamp supplies from London (1913 London print).

1915 Scott 234 30c Close-up 1
First Peking Printing
The left foot of the reaper stays clear and never touches the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle is surrounded by white - is clear and does not touch the grain. (diagnostic)
The front hat brim is thin and upturned. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

1915 Scott 234 30c Close-up 2
First Peking Printing
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees is weaker (less intense) for the middle tree. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke bends to the left on top. (diagnostic)
The yu character : Top left horizontal stroke of yu is a short line, and is far removed from the line above. (diagnostic).

1923 Second Peking Printing

1923 Scott 263 30c purple (deep purple) "Reaping Rice"
Second Peking Printing
I think an interesting sideline would be to obtain the many shades that are available for these stamps. As mentioned, catalogs don't seem to want to tackle this area.

1923 Scott 263 30c Close-up 1
Second Peking Printing
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow, But, compared to the London Issue, the ground shadow looks quite different.  Here, long horizontal strokes make up the shadow. With the London Print, the shadow consists of elongated dots.
The sickle touches the grain.
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. There is a lot of shading lines on the hat all over, which differs from the London print.
Two squares under Cts within the oval panel ( as opposed to circles). (diagnostic)
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are cross hatched (as opposed to horizontal). (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 263 30c Close-up 2
Second Peking Printing
There are east pointing short shadows from the trees. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have been altered and there are no shading lines inside. (diagnostic)
The Temple of Heaven has strong shading lines and there is a door. (diagnostic)
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves have circles inside. (diagnostic)
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke is straight. (similar to the London print)
The yu character : Top left stroke of yu slants downward and to the left. (diagnostic)

The 50c Denomination

1913 London Printing
I had an example, and then I didn't. ;-) I looked at my example I had in my collection, and after examining the stamp, realized it was a First Peking Issue stamp, not a London print. So as it did happen to me, don't feel bad if your own collection has identification mistakes.

However, since all denominations have the same signs for the London, First Peking, and Second Peking issues respectively, just evaluate your 50c London print using one of the other denomination's criteria.

1915 First Peking Printing

1915 Scott 235 50c green "Reaping Rice"
First Peking Printing
The thin upturned hat brim is a good clue here.

1915 Scott 235 50c Close-up 1
First Peking Printing
The left foot of the reaper stays clear and never touches the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle is surrounded by white - is clear and does not touch the grain. (diagnostic)
The front hat brim is thin and upturned. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

1915 Scott 235 50c Close-up 2 (Example 1)
First Peking Printing
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees is weaker (less intense) for the middle tree. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke bends to the left on top. (diagnostic)
The yu character : Top left horizontal stroke of yu is a short line, and is far removed from the line above. (diagnostic).

1915 Scott 235 50c Close-up 2 (Example 2)
First Peking Printing
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees is weaker (less intense) for the middle tree. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke bends to the left on top. (diagnostic - see note below)
The yu character : Top left horizontal stroke of yu is a short line, and is far removed from the line above. (diagnostic).

Note: In this example, the kuo character is joined at top. But the vertical stroke does still bend to the left.

1923 Second Peking Printing

1923 Scott 264 50c deep green (green) "Reaping Rice"
Second Peking Printing
This looks more yellow green to me.

1923 Scott 264 50c Close-up 1
Second Peking Printing
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow, But, compared to the London Issue, the ground shadow looks quite different.  Here, long horizontal strokes make up the shadow. With the London Print, the shadow consists of elongated dots.
The sickle touches the grain.
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. There is a lot of shading lines on the hat all over, which differs from the London print.
Two squares under Cts within the oval panel ( as opposed to circles). (diagnostic)
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are cross hatched (as opposed to horizontal). (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 264 50c Close-up 2
Second Peking Printing
There are east pointing short shadows from the trees. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have been altered and there are no shading lines inside. (diagnostic)
The Temple of Heaven has strong shading lines and there is a door. (diagnostic)
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves have circles inside. (diagnostic)
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke is straight. (similar to the London print)
The yu character : Top left stroke of yu slants downward and to the left. (diagnostic)

The 13c Denomination

1919 First Peking Printing

1919 China Scott 241 13c brown "Reaping Rice"
First Peking Issue
The 13c brown was issued in 1919, and is considered part of the First Peking issue. There is no London print for a 13c denomination.

1919 China Scott 241 13c Close-up 1
First Peking Issue
The left foot of the reaper stays clear and never touches the ground shadow (diagnostic)
The sickle is surrounded by white - is clear and does not touch the grain. (diagnostic -see note)
The front hat brim is thin and upturned. (diagnostic)
Two round circles under Cts within the oval panel.
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are horizontal.

Note: I don't know if the 1919 stamp was altered a bit, but the sickle does touch the grain in spots here.

919 China Scott 241 13c Close-up 2
First Peking Issue
The linear dot like southeast shadows from the three trees is weaker (less intense) for the middle tree. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have shading lines inside.
The Temple of Heaven is not strongly shaded.
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves has vertical lines inside.
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke bends to the left on top. (diagnostic)
The yu character : Top left horizontal stroke of yu is a short line, and is far removed from the line above. (diagnostic).

1923 Second Peking Issue

1923 Scott 259 13c brown "Reaping Rice"
Second Peking Issue
The circles inside the long rectangular panel on either side are diagnostic.

1923 Scott 259 13c Close-up 1
Second Peking Issue
The left foot of the reaper is planted and touching the ground shadow, But, compared to the London Issue, the ground shadow looks quite different.  Here, long horizontal strokes make up the shadow. With the London Print, the shadow consists of elongated dots.
The sickle touches the grain.
The front hat brim is thick and nearly straight. There is a lot of shading lines on the hat all over, which differs from the London print.
Two squares under Cts within the oval panel ( as opposed to circles). (diagnostic)
The background lines for the side "wheat panel" are cross hatched (as opposed to horizontal). (diagnostic)

1923 Scott 259 13c Close-up 2
Second Peking Issue
There are east pointing short shadows from the trees. (diagnostic)
The arabesques above the inscription have been altered and there are no shading lines inside. (diagnostic)
The Temple of Heaven has strong shading lines and there is a door. (diagnostic)
The long rectangular panel to the left of the tree-leaves have circles inside. (diagnostic)
The kuo character : The left side vertical stroke is straight. (similar to the London print)
The yu character : Top left stroke of yu slants downward and to the left. (diagnostic)

1915 Scott 235 50c green "Reaping Rice"
First Peking Printing
Out of the Blue
I've been wanting to thoroughly review the "Reaper" stamps for a long time. Mission accomplished!

I hope this helps with your own China collection.

Comments appreciated!

No comments:

Post a Comment