Notes from the Past

"Z" Grills -- Low Priced

Most U. S. collectors have difficulties with the grilled stamps of 1867, etc., and especially so with the "Z" grills, Scott's Nos. 85A to 85E.  Scott describes the Z variety as, "Grill about 11 x 14 mm.," and a count of the rows as varying from "13 to 14 by 17 to 18 points," with this additional aid for identification, "On the Z grill the tips of the pyramids are very short horizontal ridges."  This arrangement of the grill points is different from any of the other grill stamps listed.

As an aid in the study of this "horizontal" characteristic, acquire and study some of the long postage due stamps of Peru, Scott's No. J2 to J5, issued during the period of 1874-79.  These are low-priced stamps and the grills, so far as I have observed, are Z grills.  Not the identical Z grills used on the U. S. issues, because the Peruvian grill measures about 9 x 14 mm., (about 12 x 18 points), but the ridges of the grill points run in the same horizontal form.

The Peruvian postage issues of 1874-84, Scott Nos. 21 to 30, were also grilled.  These grills measure about 10 x 12 mm. on the lower values and about 12 x 15 mm. on the 50¢ and 1 sol values.  These, however, are not Z's, but again are not the grills used on the U. S. issues.  These peruvian issues noted were all furnished by the National Bank Note Co., N. Y., who, while they held the U. S. stamp contract produced the grilled issues from 1857 until 1871.  The Peruvian work was done after they lost the U. S. contract.

- George B. Sloane
Sloan's Column
August 25, 1956
Posted July 30, 2000

Editor's Note:  Scott now lists the regular issue grilled stamps as Nos. 21 to 29.  Inexplicably, one number has disappeared.

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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