There are three printings of the 1913- junk and train design. The most obvious difference is in the area between the top of the junk and the curved frame containing six chinese characters.
The original issue, known as the London Printing.
Issue Details: Recess Printed by Waterlow & Sons, Perf 14-15, Issued May 1913
Railway-related values: ½c, 1c, 2c, 3c, 4c (red), 5c, 6c (grey), 7c, 8c, 10c
SG 268-77....Scott 202-11....Michel 148 I - 158 I (there is no 150 I)
Yvert 145-55 but my rather old Yvert does not list the London and First Peking Printings separately
Distinguishing Feature There is a fringe (a row of vertical lines) from the bottom of the curved frame pointing towards the junk. In the London printing, these lines are thin and short.
The second issue, known as the First Peking Printing.
Issue Details: Recess Printed, Chinese Bureau of Printing, Peking, late 1914
Railway-related values: ½c, 1c, 1½c, 2c, 3c, 4c (red), 5c, 6c (grey), 7c, 8c, 10c
SG 287-97....Scott 221-30 + 240(1½c)....Michel 148 II - 158 II
Yvert: Comment as above.
SG lists two colours of the 1½c, the original (and cheaper) deep reddish-violet (SG289a) and a dull violet shade in 1919 (SG 289). SG also lists both Dies of the 10c (SG 297 Die I, SG 297a Die II, see below for scan and description)
Distinguishing Feature As in the London Printing, there is a fringe below the curved frame with six chinese characters. In the First Peking Printing, these lines are longer and also thicker, therefore appearing to be closer together. If in doubt, examine the bridge carrying the train, in particular the bridge supports, which resemble an 'm'. The left side of the 'm' at the extreme left of the stamp usually appears weak and short in the London printing but longer and stronger in the First Peking issue.
The third issue, known as the Second Peking Printing..
Issue Details: Recess Printed, Chinese Bureau of Printing, Peking, 1923 and later
Railway-related values: ½c, 1c, 1½c, 2c, 3c, 4c (grey), 4c (olive, 1926) 5c, 6c (red), 6c (brown ,1933) 7c, 8c, 10c
SG 309-21....Scott 248-48 + 275 (4c olive) 324 (6c brown)....Michel 187-98 + 278 (6c Brown)
Yvert: 180-90 including 185A (4c olive) and 187A (6c brown)
Distinguishing Feature This is the easy one. There is no fringe at all!
Notes on the above issues: All were issued with gum. Both First and Second Peking issues may be found in booklets but all of these are very expensive.
SURCHARGES AND OVERPRINTS There are numerous surcharges and overprints on these main issues for China, but I shall only list below those which could give rise to some confusion:
1930-32: There are three different printings of the 1c / 3c surcharge:
SG 367..Mi.228 IIa 1c/3c with RED surcharge on the Second Peking printing
SG 368..Mi.228 IIb 1c/3c with BLACK surcharge on the Second Peking Printing
SG 371..Mi.228 I 1c/3c with RED surcharge on the First Peking Printing
Provincial Surcharges and how to recognize them (from left to right, in order below):
I have listed the issued values only those issues which may not be fully covered in a simplified catalogue listing, i.e. the issues for Sinkiang.
MANCHURIA: (also known as Kirin and Heilungkiang): Five horizontal characters, the central one with four 'feet'
SZECHWAN: Five horizontal characters, central character is of three vertical strokes
YUNNAN: Five horizontal characters, central character principally comprised of a box-shape
SINKIANG (two scans): (also known as East Turkistan): Five vertical characters. In the fourth illustration above, the first character is 'out of line', being set to the left of the other characters. In the fifth illustration above, the first character is 'in-line'
The Issues of Sinkiang:
1915: Stamps of the First Peking printing, overprinted with the first character of the overprint 'out-of-line'. Values issued (10) as for China First Peking except that there is no 1½c value. (SG 1-10...Michel 1 I - 11 I, not Mi. 3 I)
1916: Stamps of the First Peking printing overprinted with the first character of the overprint 'in-line). Values issued (11) including the 1½c (SG 17-27...Michel 1 II - 11 II)
1924: Stamps of the Second Peking printing (overprinted with characters 'in-line'). Values issued (13) as for China (SG 47-59, Mi. 31-42 + 103 for the 6c brown).
Sinkiang Offical Perfins All three of the above regular issues may be found perforated with four characters for use by official government departments, as shown in the illustration on the right, although, in my experience, these perfins seem much scarcer on the 1924 - Second Peking - issue than on the the 1915 or 1916 issues.
They are found with almost equal frequency normal (as shown in the illustration, seen from the back) or reversed. Little care seems to have been taken over which way the stamps were facing.
They may also be found, though less frequently, inverted and inverted-and-reversed. Keeps the brain busy, I promise you!
They are not uncommon stamps, except for the ½c value, which is very scarce.
In theory, one would only ever expect to find used stamps on the market. Although I have never seen a mint example, I imagine one or two of them exist somewhere!
If you're still wondering about Die I and Die II, this only applies to the First Peking issue of the
10c, - here's where to look:
At the top of the stamp, in the centre, there is a row of seven 'pearls'. Just to the right of the right-hand pearl, there is a dark swirl of colour inside the end of the 'flower' or 'scroll'. In Die I (the left stamp), there is a dot of colour within this scroll, in Die II (right stamp), this dot of colour is missing. In both stamps in this scan, this feature is below the tenth perforation along the top, counting from the left. Prices are similar for Dies I and II and this comment is also true for Sinkiang, where both types were overprinted.
There also exists a Postal Forgery of the 10c Blue. It's not too bad an attempt but printed by lithography and therefore necessarily of poorer appearance. Well worth adding to your collection for comparison, though, if you spot one.
Finally, some of the Junk / Reaper / Hall of Classics stamps, the latter two being designs
for the higher values in the sets, may be found with 'anti-bandit' chops or controls,
applied after some stamps were looted. These anti-bandit chops are normally only encountered
on the high values, mostly the Dollar values (the Hall of Classics design). The chops vary
in design and colour, depending on where they were handstamped, and, although I have never see one on a junk design
value, it is possible a few may exist. Shown below is a small piece with a $1 Hall of
Classics with violet anti-bandit chop applied at Wuxi ( formerly Wuki ), with a Second Peking 10c without
handstamp tied to the same piece.
I am obliged to Garry Francis for his assistance in identifying the town of this anti-bandit chop.
I hope this has been of some help; good hunting for the material; China is rarely easy to find. .
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