What is a "short set"

One of the items in the last auction was described as a "short set". During the auction the question raised what this actually means.

"Short set" is a term that is used in philately to indicate a set of stamps that mostly consists of only the lower values of a complete series. Such sets can exist when only a few stamps from a complete issue are normal values used for franking, and the other (most times higher) values don't represent a normal postal rate, but are (almost) only meant to generate profit for the Postal Service.
In this case it concerned the series "De Gaulle" from Uganda from 1991. The total issue exists of 7 stamps and a block, but through the trade channels also sets with the 4 lowest values only were offered, thus a "short(ened) set". Off course these stamps have been issued in larger amounts than the complete series. Fortunately for us the motorcycle stamp belongs to the lower values.

De zegel van Uganda met De Gaulle

Also a lot of East Block countries had an arguable issueing policy during a long time. There the values for normal use were sold at the post office counter, but some stamps could only be obtained through the philatelic service, for a higher price than the normal (postal) rate and for "hard" currency (like dollars, west marks and guilders) only. These values were called "blocked values".
As example our East-German motorsports stamps from 1963 of 10, 20 and 25 pfennig. The two road racing stamps have been issued in an edition of respectively 3.5 and 5.5 million, but the edition of the motorcross stamp of 10 pfennig was only 1.1 million.

Serie Oost-Duitsland met rechts de "Sperwaarde"

Hans de Kloet



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