1969, 26 May

Printer: Format International Security Printers
Designer: Victor Whiteley
Sheet Size: Tete-beche pane of 8 stamps with illustrated border on two sides, individual stamps in a sheet 5 x 5 and individual stamps in a sheet 5 x 2 (P. 13 1/2)
Perf.: 11 and 13 1/2

Each sheet of 16 stamps was comprised of two sets of the stamps, with a thematic margin on the bottom and right side. The stamps are attractive but the margins detract from the over all appearance of the sheet.

The stamps are laid out horizontally, with the top two rows and the bottom two rows each forming a complete set.

When visiting Mr. Mosden in Las Vegas I was taken to a house where he had the majority of his stock of stamps (Worldwide) were stored, and where he maintained an office. At the time he was not with us and I was glancing through a display book of material and saw a partial sheet of the Striped Butterfly fish stamp, with a notation that the seaweed around the edge of the stamp was a different color. The same day I had purchased complete sheets of the individual stamps with CTO cancelations, therefore I was aware that the stamps were issued in two different formats; 1) Two complete sets in the sheet with the decorative border and, 2) Complete sheets of each stamp, individually printed (25 stamps per sheet - 5 x 5). There was no time to negotiate for the color variety, but later he mailed it to me. I was anxious to get it as any "error" or variety, after the Baroody contract was rare. To my surprise, it was a partial sheet of a format I had not previously seen. The layout was again horizontal with only two rows of 5 stamps, with a clear margin around them. The perforation also differed from the other two sheets, as did the CTO.

The discovery added a piece to the over all puzzle, but created additional problems. Bernhard Ducker of Golfstaaten-Philatelie, Germany, many years ago had offered both the 1968 Arab Mother's Day and Children's Day sets with two different perforations, 11 and 13 1/2.

This had been a mystery as no catalog mentioned two different perforations. Now I knew that others probably existed.

Referring to my sparse collection of full sheets, I realized that I really did not know the sheet layout of most of the stamps as they were offered in the Dubai Post Office. All the sheets I had were CTOs and many did not have plate number, or the name of the printer at the bottom. I had been operating under the assumption that the sheets with the plate numbers and the printer's name were printed for sale in the Post Office. I had assumed that part of the printed stock of sheets had the CTO cancelation printed on them and were sold at a discount by the Agency. I was now discovering that the sheets of many stamps had two different CTO cancelations - with and without a date in them, different sheet layouts and different perforations. I was also under theimpression that all the sheets of the single stamps were Canceled To Order, but recently a dealer who had read an article I had written, wrote that he had had sheets with no CTO markings on them.

21 July - Explorers of Arabia

21 March - Arab Mother's Day, 1969

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