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'DRAKENSBERGS' in the 1954 Animal Issue

I am not really a philatest (stamp collector), more a postal historian with the emphasis on historian. What I offer here is an example of my philatelic ignorance. If anyone can help tell me what I have, I will be very grateful. Thanks.

I have had these 'Drakensberg' for some time and found them recently when looking for something else. I believe that I spoke to Tony Johnson, editor of SACS's 'The Springbok',  about them at a SACS meeting. At that time he collected them. I said I would show them to him once I dug them out. That was maybe five years ago. Here they are, Tony. I hope you are still interested.

I know very little about these other than that they are called 'Drakensbergs'. I am of the opinion, right or wrong, that these so-called 'Drakensberg' smudges are a result of cleaning the doctor blade on the margin or selvage of a sheet of stamps. I only have them on the 1d red-brown Black Wildebeest from Issue 1, Cylinder No. 12, and wonder if they appear on the sheets of other values?

If the doctor blade was wiped clean on a sheet, as I suggest, does this mean that they are not found on all sheets, only those in the print-run used to clean the blade. That being the case, am I right to assume that each Drakensberg is of unique design and relatively scarce?

Uploaded files:
  • Union-1954-Animals-Drakensberg1.jpg
  • Union-Animals-1954-Drakensberg-2.jpg

Tony Johnson, editor of 'The Spingbok', the quarterly magazine of SACS, (South African Collectors' Society), has emailed me in respose to the post about the Drakensberg flaws, above. He says that "When I saw it (the Drakemsberg flaw)  I immediately assumed it was a scratch in the cylinder caused by a small piece of chrome plating coming loose and becoming trapped and dragged over the cylinder by the doctor blade before being removed. This is a fault, occasionally but not infrequently, found with gravure printing. Hagger confirms this and suggests it exists in various states. These examples (of yours) seem to be quite advanced." Thanks for the advice, Tony.

With regards to the bottom two blocks, I saw something similar on BidorBuy. Its Drakensberg was an almost identical match to the bottom one shown above. As the problem grows with time, the two sheets of stamps from which the blocks came must have been close together in the print run. Both have the same smudge running up to the edge of the selvage. I had to laugh. The BidorBuy seller was promoting his as "DRAKENSBERG FLAW IN SELVAGE + RAIN SHOWER". I must remember that when I try to sell these!