Background

In 1985, to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary (1886-1986) of the publication of Frederick Sander's Reichenbachia (a series of lithographic prints showing orchids and named in honor of Dr. Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach of Hamburg, Germany), the country of Guyana began issuing a series of postage stamps showing each of the 192 paintings taken from the four volume set. Each of the paintings carried the name of the plant(s) depicted, a plate number (1 through 96), and was identified by the series number (either Series I or II). These were reproduced on the Guyana stamps, e.g. (DISA GRANDIFLORA Plate No.15 (Series 2)).

Charles Vaughn, Guyana’s Reichenbachia Orchid Stamps - An Identification Guide, 1998, states:

“… In the end Guyana has released over 900 stamps. Not only were the 192 basic plates of the Reichenbachia reproduced, but they also surcharged, and/or overprinted many of the stamps. Unwatermarked paper was used for most issues, but sometimes they printed the basic stamp on both unwatermarked and watermarked paper. Eventually, many plates were printed in several denominations. In addition, they issued many overprints and surcharges with several (different) type faces.

… Collectors should be aware that after the death of the Guyana agent in the United States, and the bankruptcy sale of the archives of Format International Security Printers Ltd. many previously unknown (Reichenbachia orchid) stamps came to the market. Some of these are likely genuine printing errors with less than one hundred copies in existence. Others, however, are simply unissued items that Format was not authorized to, or simply hadn’t, distributed.”


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