Classic Ecuador stamp mystery – a possible wet print specimen?

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Going back to the topic of South American stamps, I started this year by giving my collection of a boost by adding nearly 400 new Ecuador stamps. With such large number you are inevitably bound to come up some unusual and interesting items. And here’s one of them:

1916 Ecuador. 1c definitive stamp with portrait of president Vicente Roca.

1916 Ecuador. 1c definitive stamp with portrait of president Vicente Roca. The left side stamp is of normal size, but the one on the right is clearly taller and slightly narrower.

This is a fairly common definitive postage stamp, and all in all none of the basic stamp catalogs I have say nothing special of this or the stamp series it belongs to. However what I have is two clearly different sized specimens:

A side-by-side comparison of stamp sizes.

A side-by-side comparison of stamp sizes.

What comes to my mind first is the possibility of wet printing. The fact that the dimensions of stamp & design are distorted in this way suggests this possibility. The alternative would be a forgery of some sorts, but as the perforation, design etc. seem highly identical I doubt it.

However, as the catalogs say nothing I’m feeling a bit puzzled. It would be highly unlikely that I would be the first to spot such a difference; likely the catalog editors have simply decided to drop out this piece of tidbit in favor of getting some extra space for more popular countries.

As usual, feel free to share your comments, questions and opinions on matter. Especially if anyone has access to specialized literature for the Ecuador stamps, I’d love to hear to what you can dig out.

Till next time, happy collecting!

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