Double Prints Exist in the 1923 German Transfers Set
The 1923 German Transfers set is a 25-card set of stamps/transfers. ‘Card,’ of course, is the wrong word. These are stamps with reverse images so that, when affixed to a surface, they would appear ‘right side up.’ This particular set is known for a mostly bi-color theme of red and green ink, giving the stamps a bit of a Christmas theme.
In all, there are 25 in the set. The set is led by the likes of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. It is primarily made up of baseball players, although a few boxers are included in it, too.
What most collectors do not know is that some of the stamps were actually double printed.
See, while a complete set was sold as one sheet of unperforated stamps, only 22 different stamps exist. However, to print a full sheet of 25 (five rows, each with five stamps), the printer had to reprint three of those 22 to fill out the gaps. We know that because, while they are somewhat rare, complete unseparated sheets of these do still exist.
The three chosen?
Zack Wheat, Red Faber and boxer Georges Carpentier.
If you look closely, you can fin the duplicates. Both Faber and Wheat are in the second and fifth rows. Carpentier is in the first and fourth.
The three were all solid choices. Beyond solid, actually. All three are members of the Hall of Fame of their respective sports, though you could certainly make the case that reprint Ruth or Cobb would have been better and made the sheets more valuable.
Double printing a card can sometimes decrease its value. After all, if there are twice as many of a card, it makes sense that it would not be as valuable. In these cases, however, there’s not really any difference in value between these double printed cards and other similarly-priced single printed cards.
Why is that? Simply put, it’s such an obscure issue that few collectors know about it — let alone the fact that any are double printed. In addition, we’re talking about stamps that aren’t very high-priced as it is. These guys are Hall of Famers but Faber and Carpentier, when you can find them, aren’t worth much more than about $5-$10 each. Wheat is a bit more in demand but, even around, say $10-$20, you’re still talking about a pretty inexpensive item.
Assuming a fairly equal survival rate between the stamps, there should be about twice as many of these stamps than the others. But even that hasn’t affected the values that much.