Notes from the Past


The accepted philatelic meaning is a water-soluble and fugitive ink, with a dye base that runs when wetted, and fluoresces under the quartz lamp (ultra-violet ray).  The Q.V. 1900 1s. green and carmine, K.E. VII 1911 1d. aniline pink, both of G.B., and some modern netherlands issues are examples.  In August 1949 the Expert Committee, Royal Philatelic Society, London, Made a lengthy decision in regard to 1d. aniline scarlets of G.B., K.G. V, in which they laid down that 'it has now been decided to reserve certificates in respect of aniline stamps for specimens which show unusual translucence, unusual brilliant of tone on the surface and extreme reaction to the quartz-ray lamp'.  Stanley Phillips writing in G.S.M. of March 1949, defined a true 'aniline' as one with a peculiar quality of brightness coupled with a suffusion of colour on the surface of the stamp, and the colour showing through to a marked degree on the back'.  Where the use of such inks is suspected, stamps on paper should be most carefully 'floated off' [soaked], and the surfaces protected from rubbing -- even when dry.  Strictly speaking, most modern inks have an aniline (coal-tar) base, but the colours in question were developed and used designedly to prevent erasure of post- and penmarking, and to prevent re-use.  In the Scott catalogue there is quite a useful list of such susceptible stamp issues.
- R. J. Sutton 6th edition revised by K. W. Anthony
The Stamp Collector's Encyclopaedia
Published 1966
Posted March 15, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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