The 2 Mark REICHSPOST


Each of the five vertical rows of the 2 Mark value can be identified. The Michel catalog illustrates and prices two types of this design. From the catalog illustrations, the difference lies in the loop at the top left of the stamp design. The Michel type II stamp comes from the second row of the counter sheet. There are actually other, more evident differences that make it easy to identify the stamp even if the loop is not visible. My thanks to my dear departed friend, Mike Jolly for supplying full sheets of the issue for my studies. May he rest in peace.
The Michel catalog illustrations are deceptive. They show the type I with a clear loop and the type II with the bottom portion of the look filled with color. The first illustration at the right is a "type I" while the second is a "type II".


Row 1


Row 2
Actually, all five vertical rows of the sheet can be identified. Keep in mind that ONLY the stamps of the second row are the catalog variety "type II".

Row 1

The shading in the big loop of cloth under the left raised arm of the right figure is very indistinct and contains a large "blob" surrounded by white.

There is a small colored dash within the left side of the foot of the right "2".

The top of the loop at the left top is filled with ink. (it is the bottom of the look in row 2 which is the catalog's type II. Although the partially filled loop could be mistaken for the type II, the shading of the cloth under the raised arm is very different between rows 1 and 2. If there is a colored blob, it is not from row 2 and hence, not the catalog variety II.

 

Row 2

The shading in the big loop of cloth under the raised left arm is very fine and well done. This is the only row that has a very fine, complete shading in this area. There are no major breaks or any trace of a color blob. This is the true characteristic of the catalog type II.

The left foot of the right "2" is clear of any color dot or dash.

 

Row 3

The shading of the loop of cloth under the left raised arm of the right figure is very indistinct and contains a large "blob" surrounded by white. This feature is identical with row 1. This row represents the other position of the same design that was used in row 1. Rows 1 and 3 are the only rows that show the color blob in the cloth shading.

The ball at the top left of the "2" is not completely outlined at the lower right. This defect appears to have been caused by poor separation of the electroplated layer from the transfer material or damage to the previous reverse design. A retouch added the horizontal shading lines but neglected the missing outline of the figure.

 

 

Each of the designs in the vertical strip of five underwent some re-engraving to replace minor design features lost in the electroplating duplication. There is proof of this. Within the shields, containing the German eagle at the bottom left and right of the stamp design, there are a number of dots. The placement of these dots vary from row to row but not within the rows. These were added when the plate was in the strip of five format. Although each row is different, identifying rows 1, 2 and 3 is easier done through other, more obvious characteristics. Unfortunately, the separation of rows 4 and 5 is best done by inspecting the dot placements in the shields. There is a minor difference in the shading of the loop of cloth but it is not easily recognized.

Row 4

The left four dots in the bottom row of the left shield are not in line. The third dot is much lower than the others.

The shading of the cloth loop under the left raised arm of the right figure is broken by an indistinct, almost vertical white area. This is similar to the fifth row but has a bit more shading in the break.

 

Row 5

The left four dots in the bottom row of the left shield are well aligned and in line. The third dot is in line with the others.

The shading of the cloth loop under the left raised arm is broken by an indistinct, almost vertical white area. This is similar to row four but has very little shading in the break.