Latvian Philately - Apsit

Map varieties and errors

Stamps printed on a finished map

The maps used for printing were unfinished; that is, their backs were not yet printed, with one exception. One stamp sheet was printed on the back of a map that was printed, so a very small number of stamps were printed on the black text of the map back.

This backside of a German military map folded into sixths shows the region, RUSSLAND, and scale, 1: 100 000. Its folded size is 14cm wide and 18.1cm long.

non blank map back

Two adjoining blocks of 4, type IIa, map S18 Illukßt, printed on the text RUSSLAND / 1:100 000. There are the only blocks known with this variety. The other stamps that could be identified with this variety would be printed on the text S18 Illukßt, because this was about the only printing on map backs.

The same area on a folded 1917 German military map of S18 Illukßt, type Ib. The type IIa map shown above with stamps is from an earlier edition of this map. Types IIa and Ib are very distinct, and both editions of Map S18 were used to print stamps.

If you have an example of an S18 type IIa map or type Ia stamps, please let us know. We welcome further information.

The bottom right corner of the finished military map S18 Illukßt shown immediately above; folded size 13.1cm wide and 17.8cm long. Stamps printed stamps on this map name probably exist.


Set-offs [offsets, German Abklatsch]

In wartime printing conditions, and haste to deliver the first stamps to the new government of Latvia as soon as possible, the printer sometimes placed a printed sheet of map stamps on top of one that wasn't quite dry. As a result, red ink from the still-wet stamps on the sheet beneath transferred to the bottom of the sheet on top. Thus the bottom of the sheet on top, which was a map, showed red print. This set-off is often called an offset or Abklatsch. Faint or light set-offs are common; heavy set-offs are more unusual.


Heavy set-off, block of 4, map N14 Schlok. This set-off includes the plate number II and appears to be set-off from a sheet of the same map.


Medium set-off, block of 4, unidentified map.

Light set-off, block of 4 and adjacent single, O17 Linków.

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Updated Fri, 2010-02-05 .
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