Spot The Difference #24

Spot the Difference if you Can #24

One of my casual collecting areas is France & their old colonies & protectorates. Last year, I purchased a mixed France Collection from a European dealer while I was on a trip. Having just recently sorted through the collection, I found about 300 stamps of the Peace & Commerce issues. I knew there were some varieties to watch for, but I could not remember, hence the following article to remind me & other collectors to be on the lookout.

These two stamps are from the 1876-1892 set of France, but they are common to all French issues of the same type (Peace & Commerce). There are multiple paper varieties but all were Engraved & many are overprinted or surcharged.  I found two stamps in particular in this series that have a very minor visible difference. The varieties have a significant value difference, & I was pleasantly surprised to see this in my lot. Many stamps in this series warrant careful attention, but many collections do not have the specific knowledge about the varieties. The stamps shown here are Sc# 65 & 77. The stamp on the Right is worth about 10 times as much as the one on the left.($1050 vs $105).

France Sc#77 & 65

One difference lies in the inscription text in the lower left part of the inner frame. There are two Types. You will likely need a magnifier to see the difference or a good scan of the stamps at 600 dpi to clearly see the difference

Type I:              N of NV is Beneath the B of REPUBLIQUE
Type II:             N of NV is Beneath the 1st U of REPUBLIQUE

France Peace & Commerce Type I & II


These differences are not difficult to discern even if you only have the one stamp to look at.

If you collect the French areas, be on the lookout at auctions online  in mixtures as many dealers do not have the time to sort through the stamps. You should be able to  find some varieties if you are patient.
These differences are listed and imaged in EzStamp

Happy hunting