25 August 2012

Errors, Freaks and Oddities of Cambodian Stamps

Errors, freaks and oddities (EFO) have been adding surprises and pleasure to philately since the Penny Black time. Cambodia has her own EFO too, however they score very low market value because little attention has been attracted.

EFO are three different things. Error is a production mistake replicated on many stamps. The most stunning and well known post-1979 error is the inverted farmer:

This invert error of the 500r threshing stamp from the 2000 definitive set is resulted from a sheet of partial prints being carelessly re-inserted into the printing press upside down for the pink colour.  A sheet (at least) of 99 stamps in CTO is found to have this inverted centre.

Errors can be made in the graphic design process.  Recent design errors include the 2005 Flowers (Lotus) issue, the 2006 Dolphin issue and 2008 Aquatic Plants issue. They have been covered in my previous blog entries.

Freak is a one-time mishap in the production process. Misperforation is a typical freak:

Oddity involves mirror production mistakes yet the final products are within the bounds of usability. Common oddities include colour misregistration and interference in inking by foreign objects. Below shows an ink interference on a 1986 "Halley's Comet" stamp, and the famous "white pole" on a 1980 "National Liberation" stamp which is the result of minor colour shift.

Essays, proofs and official imperforated stamps are not considered as EFO. Collectors are advised that valid EFO have to be from legitimate source, which is to say, they are obtained either from post office counters or authorized sales agencies.

Items smuggled from printers or post office archives are not considered EFO, they are classified as printers' waste or illegal materials denounced by philatelists and rejected in exhibitions. The following shows a printer's waste of Cambodian 1994 "World Cup" single colour proof on Lao 1994 "World Cup" full colour proof: