The 1952 Ashmun Inverted center stamps.

I was thinking about the "inverts" and the
fact that they are called errors.  There may have been a no
kidding 25 cent inverted center stamp that started this mess. (Sanabria 101a / Von Saleski PE-C500) I believe (but
have no hard evidence) that Sanabria induced Peckmore to print
the 50 cent
(Sanabria 102a / Von Saleski PE-C501) with an inverted vignette conveniently inserted in
the frame correctly so he could market the air mail "inverts". Face it, the 50cent with a true printing error would not be real pretty.  I don't think this would be an error. I also think this opened the flood gates and suddenly we had complete sets of them printed.  Von Saleski only lists the 3 and 4 cent as "inverts" but all the bicolor stamps exist. So the point is, are the invert errors commonly found really errors??  I don't think so. I would love some input from other collectors on this.

Please note: I am not a Liberia Collector per se. I collect the ABNCo printed issues, the 1949 "Love of liberty" and the 1952 Ashmuns of course. 


  • I agree.  A non-manufactured invert would have the vignette over the frame and not neatly placed within the intended area.  So are the stamps with the vignette inverted over the frame truly errors or just a different variety of manufactured inverts?

    The printer, H. L. Peckmore and Sons is known to have printed MANY varieties of not only the stamps from Liberia but other countries as well.  I doubt it took much persuasion, if any, for Peckmore to create these varieties.

  • edited December 2017
    The well placed inverted centers were obviously done intentionally. However, a shifted inverted center doesn't prove that it's an error. The printer would be smart enough to know that an inverted center not shifted into the frame when it should be is a clear giveaway of what's really going on, so he might also produce a few "genuine" errors for people who prefer the real deal.
    We will probably never know for sure, but I am very suspicious about most of the inverted centers and other "errors", not just the ones printed by Peckmore. The listing in Martin Sellinger's Inverted Center Stamps of the World Catalog clearly makes Liberia the world champion of inverted centers. Liberia's complete second pictorial issue of 1906 exists with neatly placed inverted centers (but also some shifted), and this set was printed by Perkins Bacon, a respected printing firm; a printing firm that managed to deliver almost flawless products for other countries, but when working for Liberia they suddenly began to screw up? PB's inverted centers for the Gibson issue of 1903 and the pictorial sets of 1906 and 1909 are highly sought after, and no one seems to get worked up about their dubious origin - not anymore, anyway. BTW, PB also produced the 1897 inland stamp, a stamp where it would have been very easy to overlook an inverted center when the only difference between top and bottom of the frame is the number of "pearls" (13 vs. 11). No inverted centers have been found yet (inverted centers do exist for the mustard shade, but this one was never issued). I assume the stamp just wasn't interesting enough. It was produced to be used, not with the collector in mind. And, voilà, no inverted centers!
    I think Peckmore's big mistake was that they were too honest about the character of their "errors". In his article "Two years ahead of time! The second Yehudi Ashmun Liberian stamp issue" (LPS Journal Jan/Mar 2012) William Woytowich shows an ad placed by Peckmore in 1950 featuring "frame only" errors of the upcoming Ashmun issue. Bad idea! It seems everything is OK as long as collectors can trick themselves into believing in "true" errors, but when the already obvious becomes too obvious they go mad.
    Personally, I don't care. I collect what I like, and I have come to terms with the fact that stamps are big business. I doubt any country would be motivated to issue new stamps every other month, if collectors wouldn't buy them. If it weren't for us collectors, there would be much less stamps in this world - and I suspect there would be almost no errors ;-)
  • edited March 2018
    I agree that the inverted centers were purposely printed, and I too don't care as I really love that Ashmun issue.
    In my collection I do have what might be considered a true invert error of Scott 336, the 5c Ashmun.

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