10 May 2010

1988 Khmer Culture Dance Error Stamps

In my last blog entry, I tell how the stamp catalogues mislead collectors into over spending on the 1986 "Plane over Angkor" and 1988 "Apsaras" stamps and franked covers.

This time it is the lack of information which misleads collectors into thinking they have found treasure.

In 1988 Cambodia issued a set of 3 stamps on Khmer Culture (Sc 912-914). The stamps show 3 folk dances:
  • 0.5r Trot Dance (Danse Trott),
  • 1r Chhayam (Danse Kantere), and
  • 3r Peacock Dance (Danse des Paons)

This 3v set has unlisted inscription mistakes on the 1r Chhayam and 3r Peacock Dance stamps.

On the 1r stamp, the Chhayam is mistaken as Peacock Dance (Danse des Paons), both the Khmer and French dance names are wrong, and the Khmer script for "Post" is mirror-flipped and printed on the lower left of the design. The upper stamp shown on the right is the usual one, lower is the error one.  See the following comparison:

On the 3r stamp, again both the Khmer and French dance names are wrong, Peacock Dance (Danse des Paons) mistaken as Chhayam (Danse Kantere). Other than that, the inscription "POSTES 1988" and the dance name in French are swapped in place.  See the following comparison:

Both the usual and error stamps are sold in Cambodia and abroad, they are common, common and common. Just to pay a little attention to the inscriptions when buying, collectors can catch the two versions easily at a dollar or two per set. In 1992 when the stamp set was surcharged by Cambodia Post, both the usuals and errors were used.

Knowledge is power, it protects you from being a gull. Unfortunately some people don't learn: last year I saw a German dealer sold each of the error at 100 euro, and just a while ago a big fat bunny bought online the 1r correct stamp at 149 USD from a French dealer. Surely the dealers danced the merry Chhayam on their way home.