Willem3-errors

Notable plate flaws on the Willem III stamps of 1870

The Willem III issue was printed by Joh. Enschede and Sons of Haarlem in the Netherlands from 1870 and for nearly two decades. The twelve different values exist with many variations of colour, paper type, and perforation and present the collector with interesting challenge on a moderate scale. The quality of the stamp printing (though not always of perforation) seems consistently high and very few notable plate flaws exist.


The plate flaw of the broken C found on the 12.5 cent value is well-known: it is catalogued in the NVPH catalogue as 10 Hp. I have found two other striking plate flaws on the 50 cent and 2.5 Gl stamps that merit a similar acknowledgement in the catalogue.

White dot in the north-west corner square. This striking flaw appears to have been caused by ann errant fragment of metal lodged in the printing plate. I have found it on stamps of comb perforation 12.5 x 12 (15 F). The position in a sheet is unknown to me.


The secondary flaw on this position is a fine horizontal line under the E of CENT.

As is the case with the flaw on the 50 cent above, a metal fragment must have entered the cliche of the 2.5 gl. and resuted in a small white dot in the Hermes sceptre top right.


The flaw must have been a constant for I have managed to identify it on the line perforation 14 with small and large perforation holes (16 A, 16 B), and on the later comb perforation 12.5 x 12 (16 F).

Line perforation 14 x 14, small holes

Line perforation 14 x 14, large holes

A Dutch collector, who does not wish to be named, has informed me of a recurring plate flaw in the 1 cent value - a white horizontal line in the north west corner. He claims to have seen this flaw in pos. 5,55, 155 (and possibly in pos. 105 also). 

Comb perforation 12.5 x 12,