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Identifying Danish Inverted and Normal Bicolor Frame Stamps
 
by Jay Smith & Associates

Most beginning, and some experienced, collectors of Denmark are confounded by the so-called inverted (and normal) frames of the bicolor stamps. In some cases this confusion is justified by the poor illustrations in some catalogs and by the variable printing of some of the stamps. However, there are some easy ways to identify these stamps -- and proper identification can make a great difference in the value.

First of all, I must state the obvious: when a frame is classified as "inverted" (in relation to the central denomination), if the stamp is then turned upside down, the same points of identification will appear to be "normal". This simple, but sometimes not so obvious, fact can be a great help in the case of heavily canceled stamps. When examining the bicolor stamps, it is traditional to examine the upper left corner, however, if the upper left region is obscured by a postmark, one may turn the stamp upside down and alternatively examine the features now in the upper left corner (originally the lower right corner). Simply turn the stamp upside down; if it looks "normal" while upside down, then it is an "inverted" frame.

There are two excellent methods of examination. It is tradition to examine the juncture of the "vines" on the lower left side of the upper left corner. However, in my opinion, an even better point of identification is to "draw" (figuratively, please) between two "vine nodes" on the upper right side of the upper left corner. If this sounds confusing, it is....until you see the pictures.
Normal Frame Stamp  
Normal Frame Stamp

Red Circle:Notice that the black line drawn through the red circle slopes from southwest to northeast. Note that it crosses through two "vine nodes" -- that is the key.

Blue Circle:Notice that the two largest branches come together relatively far up the stem. Their join creates what looks like an upside down "V".
Inverted Frame Stamp  
Inverted Frame Stamp

Red Circle: Notice that the black line drawn through the red circle slopes from northwest to southeast. Note the two "vine nodes" through which the line crosses.

Blue Circle: Notice that the two largest branches come together relatively far down the stem. Their join creates what looks like an "X" or a cross, with a branch coming straight out the bottom.

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