1880 1c & 12 mint with gum ???

I know that the 1880 issues are meant to have been issued without gum

But I have a 1c and a 12c mint that to my untrained eye look genuine but both have full gum on the back
Difficult to tell from the scans but the gum on both is quite wrinkled and yellow
I'm also aware that items with gum have been found to be forgeries

The 1c has what appears to be the initial V.K. in violet in the bottom right corner

Any thoughts, comments, ideas?


  • Hi Mik,

    I think there is there is a good possibility that some sheets were gummed. Reading Booklet 23 pg 5, Cockrill states that "previous experts" said sheets were sent out gummed. If they were "experts', then they must have seen gummed sheets!

    But Cockrill dismisses them and said they were regummed. Maybe some were sheets were regummed, but why? They were predominately only used for two years from mid-1880 to mid-1882, until the 8c and 16c stamps were issued. Then the Numericals were issued in 1885.

    Personally, I think some were gummed. Most not. I don't remember if any of the 1916 3c, 5c, 10c overprinted stamps were gummed or not. I'd have to check. Maybe some sheets were gummed before overprinting, and not all gummed sheets were overprinted.

    In the same article, page 7, Cockrill talks about all the 1898/99 cancels being valid and not CTO because there are so many dates! Well, I have all Cockrill's cancelled 1880 stamps it is obvious to me they are all CTO because there are tons of socked on the nose duplicates, even though there are so many dates! Plus, none are known on cover even though there are a zillion cancels! Only Waterlow stamps were used in the 1890s.

    My point is to be careful to differentiate Cockrill's opinions from his presentation of facts. Cockrill really doesn't explain why he dismisses "previous experts" on the gum issue. But most are not gummed.

    Your two stamps seem like the real deal.
  • I have a few mint 1916 overprints with perfect gum. When I say perfect I mean inspecting them under a microscope I saw nothing suspicious around the perfs. Also, looking at the few covers I have none of my 1916 overprints show any sign of glue around them. I don't see how they could have been affixed so perfectly with even the teeth sticking to the envelope if a glue pot had been involved and without leaving a trace. You would have to put the stamp on the glue pot, remove it carefully and place it on the envelope with tweezers. I don't see anyone in Liberia doing that. So yes, I agree, at least some of the sheets must have been issued with gum.
    However, I wonder if the whole no gum thing was simply the result of an accident, of the delivery getting wet so that they had no choice but to soak and dry the stamps to use them. Why would the 1880 issue have been sent out ungummed in the first place when the issues of the 1860s all had gum, and even the inland stamps which were basically issued at the same time also had gum? This never made sense to me.
  • thanks to both for the comments
  • Hi guys,

    I think the 1880 stamps were sent to Liberia in the late 1860s. Then Liberia decided not to issue them to save money and they sat around for a decade. There was no need, and all covers were marked "paid". The UPU put a stop to this in 1879. Thus, Liberia had to issue the stamps. That's why 1880 had the old 6c, 12c, 24c values when the rate was 8c.

    After they used up the 1c and 2c stamps (to make 8c), they had to issue new 8c and 16c stamps.
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