Paper Heritage : 1992 Bosnia - Republika Srpska


At the time of writing, there is the only railway thematic issue for the Serbian-controlled area of Bosnia. (SG S.6, Domfil 992.6).; It consists of a 100d surcharge (with bars obliterating the original 1d on the Yugoslavia stamp) and, in Cyrillic, the words Republika Srpska (Serb Republic).

The original Yugoslav stamp exists in two perforation, 12 and 13, but, to date, I have only seen stamps in Perf 12 with this surcharge. A Registered cover sent locally in Banja Luka on 24.04.93 is shown below:


The stamps were printed in sheets/100 (10x10) with no marginal inscriptions. The surcharge is machine-overprinted but of fairly poor definition, not surprising perhaps for a wartime issue in a provincial town, Pale. In particular, there is often a vertical smudge between the 'r' and 'p' (appears like a 'p' and 'n') in the word Spncka and the inking is not uniform, leading to partially-printed bars and very weak areas in some letters. I have studied a full sheet of this issue, but it is not always possible to deduce from a single sheet which varieties are constant and which peculiar to the sheet I am examining. Below, I have only listed varieties I believe to be constant:


Major Varieties:
** Bars and Republika spaced only 1.5 mms (usually 4 - 4.5 mms) (Posn. 81). This stamp has a further minor variety, short lower bar at right) Upper Left stamp of left-hand scan above. Note: The colours of the scanned blocks/4 above are 'altered'.
** Thin top bar obliterating the old value (Position 61, i.e. Row 7, Stamp 1). Lower Left stamp of right-hand scan above.


Minor Varieties: ** Botton right of lower bar with an arc of black ink missing (Posn. 68). Single stamp above.
** Top serif of '1' (of '100') almost completely missing (Posn.7 and nearly as short also in Posns. 48 and 68). Left stamp of pair shown above.

The 'n' (Greek Pi) of 'Cpncka' seems in many positions to have been formed of two letters ' I ' joined together. The plan, it seems, was to join them at the top and leave them separated at the bottom of the newly-formed letter, perhaps by slightly doctoring the 'serifs of the ' I '. To the naked eye, it is fine, but, under a strong magnifying glass, certain anomalies are visisble. I have not attempted to produce a scan to show this feature but it produces two more minor varieties:
** Top bar barely continuous (Posn. 17. To a lesser extent, Posn. 49 shows this weakness).
** Bottom of the letter closed, forming a square rather than a 'n' (Pi). (About 20-25 times in the sheet/100)


Alignment of words of Overprint:
The two words are not consistently aligned, vertically. The extreme left edge of the 'C' of 'Cpncka' is aligned variously from the left edge of the 'e' of 'Peny6nnka' to the left edge of the first 'n' of 'Peny6nnka' (i.e the Pi, third letter; sorry I don't have the inclination to change my keyboard to Cyrillic for this article !). A few stamps, however, fall outside this general range:
** 'C' slightly to the right of the left edge of 'n'(Pi) in a handful of positions, most notably 47, 48 and 49). Position 49 is the bottom left stamp in the scan above. The two stamps in the top row are 'normal'.
** 'C' slightly to the left of 'e' (Posn. 50) Bottom right stamp in scan above.

Many of the minor varieties are unlikely to appeal to the majority of railway thematic collectors but, as I do not imagine that too many of you, or indeed too many Bosnia collectors, will have the opportunity to study a full sheet, I have taken the opportunity to publish this small study here now, as I am in the process of breaking up the sheet for resale.


A year or two later: I have now come across a block/4 of this stamp with surcharge inverted, shown above. The stamps are from sheet positions 1, 2, 11 and 12 and the surcharge from positions 100, 99, 90, 89 respectively. There are no significant varieties in these positions. This is the only example of an inverted surcharge on this stamp that I have seen; they would appear to be quite scarce. If this is a stamp you earnestly desire(!), please note that I shall be breaking up the block/4 and offering them individually on my retail list, link below.

As with the upright overprint, these inverted surcharges are also on the Perf 12 stamps of Yugoslavia. If anyone has these stamps, either upright or inverted, with any other perforation, do please tell me and I shall amend this article.

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