A while ago I bought a used O80 with upright ornaments (ex Mackal), and I noticed the ornaments are considerably closer together on this stamp than on other stamps I had seen, e.g. in the Varaschini collection. In fact, after a few measurements I found the distance to differ remarkably between the members of the 142/143/O80 family, and also between the ornaments "up" and "down" varieties of the same stamp. Below are the approximate total distances covered by the two ornaments (including the ornaments, i.e. left edge of left ornament to right edge of right ornament):
Scott# ornaments distance [mm]
142 up 23
142 down 24
142a (red) up 23
142a (black) up 21
143 up 25
O80 down 24
O80 up (used ex Mackal) 21
O80 up (ex Varaschini) 23
Obviously, the ornaments of the ex Mackal stamp have the same short distance as the black overprint on 142a, while the Varaschini stamps are printed with the same setting as the red overprints: the picture below shows the O80 (ex Varaschini) with 23 mm distance, a #142a and the used O80 (ex Mackal) with 21 mm:
Currently I couldn't say if these are varieties within the sheets or
entirely different settings, but I tend to believe the latter. I only
have one complete sheet, an O80 with ornaments pointing down just like
the O80 sheet in the Varaschini collection, and both show no variation at all.
Anyway, I am curious if you also have an O80 with ornaments pointing up
and narrow setting.The narrow setting doesn't really work as an obliterator for the values on both sides simultaneously, and perhaps that's why (most) of these sheets were overprinted again in red, i.e. not accidentally, but on purpose?
Also, does anyone have a 143 with ornaments pointing downwards?