The Samovar

Scott #60 with inverted background - naive question

oldteddy - 5/23/2011 at 11:34

This stamp has a background consisting of THREE parts:
1: Outer part - rhomboid dot pattern
2: The part under the dark elements of the main design - simple dot pattern.
3: Inner part - horizontal lines.
The following stamp has background significantly shifted left. We can see that ALL THREE elements are shifted.

10kop-used2-1-2.jpg - 360kB

The following stamp has an inverted outer part of the background, but I do not see the other two parts inverted.

10kop-used4-1-1.jpg - 334kB

1: My old eyes fail me and all three parts of the background are inverted.
2: Only outer part of the background is inverted. How could it be?

cec71 - 5/23/2011 at 21:07

My suspicion is the top stamp is not inverted. If you can imagine moving the background to the right I believe it would fit into the design correctly.


oldteddy - 5/24/2011 at 02:58

Yes, the top stamp is not inverted, I've shown it only to illustrate all three elements of the background.

My question is about the second stamp - the outer part of the background (rhomboid pattern) IS inverted. Are the other two parts of the background also inverted or not and if yes - how to see it?

GregMirsky - 5/31/2011 at 22:51

I always thought that all background elements were printed "in one pass", so if rhomboid dot pattern is inverted, everyting is inverted. There is no way to see that horizontal lines are inverted :). They would look exactly the same, unlike dots inside rhomboid pattern.

oldteddy - 6/7/2011 at 03:41

Greg; I humbly disagree - it's possible to see the horizontal lines inverted. Yes, they look just the same but THEY ARE IN WRONG PLACES. Also about the third element of the background - to the best of my knowledge nobody ever noticed it. I can refer to at least two publications in Rossica journal that mention only TWO elements of the background - those rhomboid dash-dot patterns and horizontal lines. And that third element also cam be seen inverted, as horizontal lines - they also look the same but they are in WRONG places.

GregMirsky - 6/7/2011 at 09:43


I still believe that all these elements were printed in "one pass".
Regarding "wrong place". IN THEORY I can agree, BUT practically - it is almost impossible to see because a picture of the stamp covering it all. Shape of pattterns with horizontal lines "almost oval" with two little corners at the bottom on the left and right. If somebody has printed "background only" variety ('print on gum" for example) - it would clearly illustrate this. I don't have it.
That is why originally Rimma Sklarevsky in his Rossica article suggested dots in the rhombus as "definitive" feature allowing to recognize stamps with inverted background. All other parts/areas offer much less help.

oldteddy - 6/7/2011 at 11:09


We can stipulate [1] that the easiest way to identify background inverts of this stamp is to look at those dots in the rhomboid pattern, we can also stipulate [2] that all elements of the background were printed from a single matrix, I never questioned ether [1] or [2]. My "beef" with Rimma Sklyarevsky (and some other authors) is that they all ignored (not noticed?) the third element of the background - small dot pattern, and nobody "defending" it - I decided to stand for it here and now (it doesn't change [1] or [2])

GregMirsky - 6/8/2011 at 00:33

I don't remember such publicaitons either, but may be none of the authors considered it important decades ago....

I also will check if anybody ever published picture of the background or if "missing frame variety" of this stamp exist where only background present and nothing else.

oldteddy - 6/8/2011 at 04:28

Yes, Greg, it would be nice to see such "background only" copy. I saw a couple of stamps with main design and much more significantly shifted background, where that third element is much better visible, but it's still not the same as "background only".