first published work on the plating of the Tughra stamps was
by Hugo Griebert in 1923. He demonstrated that the 20 paras
and 1 piastre thin paper stamps of the first issue were printed
using transfer groups of 12. In 1954 Arthur Linz showed that
the 5 piastres stamps were also printed using transfer groups
of 12. Finally in 1961 Orhan Brandt published a plating of the
transfer group of the 2 piastres stamp.
Adolph Passers 1939 book The Stamps of Turkey he
illustrated a large part sheet of the 1 piastre stamp. The sheet
was clearly 12 stamps across horizontally. Passer postulated
that there were also 12 stamps vertically, for a full sheet
size of 144 stamps.
1974 Tevfik Kuyas published an article in The London Philatelist
which clearly demonstrated that the sheets of the 20 paras stamps
had only 11 stamps in each horizontal row. He believed that
this happened because the 20 paras stamp is slightly wider than
the other stamps and it was necessary to erase one outside vertical
row to fit either the paper or the printing stone. Since all
vertical pairs of the stamps are printed tête-bêche
the selection of the top of the sheet versus the bottom of the
sheet is arbitrary. Guide lines were added between the stamps
after the transfer groups were printed on the stone. When one
vertical margin row of the 20 paras stamp was erased the guide
line next to it was not erased. This is why the 20 paras stamp
is the only value of this issue to show a marginal guide line.
Kuyas decided to call stamps showing the vertical marginal line
the right side of the sheet. He had a number of large blocks
and used them to partially reconstruct the full sheet. He went
on to theorize that the plate for this stamp had 20 stamps in
each vertical row, for a plate size of 220 stamps. In his study
Tevfik Kuyas identified and illustrated 28 different subtypes
of the stamp.
reading the Kuyas article I started my own study of the 20 paras
stamp, admittedly with much less material. In doing so I became
convinced that the plate for this stamp had 14 stamps in each
vertical row, for a full plate size of 154 stamps (11x14). This
is an ongoing study, and I cannot yet claim to have proven that
my plate size theory is correct. However, I have been able to
identify a number of additional subtypes by position, with 3
more probable subtypes.
layout of the sheet of 154 stamps is shown below.
method of plate positions consists of identification of Type
and Subtype and using the position of the stamp in relationship
to the guidelines around it.
measurement of the stamps to the guidelines is as follows. I
scan the stamp in as high resolution (600 dpi). I then measure
the distance from the outer line of the small squares in the
four corners to the guideline in millimeters. The measurement
is from the center of line in each case. These distances are
- upper left horizontal
- upper left vertical
- upper right horizontal
- upper right vertical
- lower left horizonatl
- lower left vertical
- lower right horizontal
- lower right vertical
far measurements are listed for only a small portion of the
stamps. One great difficulty is that most copies of this stamp
that one can measure do not show the full guideline around the
in time is should be possible to fully plate this stamp with
the Types, Subtypes, and measurements for all the guidelines.
fully prove the size of the sheet it is only necessary to plate
one vertical row from the margin of the sheet. The left margin
(no outside guideline) should consist of two Type 1 stamps,
five Type 6 stamps, two Type 7 stamps and five Type 12 stamps.
The right margin (with outside guideline) should consist of
six Type 2 stamps, one Type 5 stamp, six Type 8 stamps, and
one Type 11 stamp.
can use your help. If you have any stamps that are clearly from
the left or right margin of the sheet please contact me. I especially
need access to tête-bêche pairs or larger pieces.
With your help we may be able to finally solve this 140 year
Email to Pinar Ozand:firstname.lastname@example.org
to those who have helped:
Dr. Pinar T. Ozand
SUBTYPES: It should be kept in mind that a number of the subtypes
were introduced during the printing process. This means that
the lack of subtype characteristic does not necessarily eliminate
a stamp from a particular position.
THE PAPERMAKERS MARK: The 20 paras stamp shows the "Hammermill
Superfine" embossing. The embossing does not appear on
every sheet. However, when it does appear it should be in positions
67, 77, 78, or 88.
PLATING THE 20 PARAS POSTAGE DUE STAMP: This printing plate
was also used to print the brown postage due stamp. However,
there was also a second plate used to print this stamp. Apparently
the stamps of the second plate were not issued. They are also
normally found without the control band. Postage due stamps
can therefore be found with types and subtypes completely unrelated
to the plate of the normal stamp. It is necessary to keep this
in mind when attempting to locate the plate positions of the
postage due stamp.
THE CONTROL BAND: The control bands were probably applied using
rollers with the bands repeated on them. An example of the control
band is show below.