On the half a million different stamps of the world, at least 4000 mistakes can be found. These include wrong dates, names of animals that do not belong to the images, and other errors. The inventory is from the Frenchman Jean-Pierre Mangin, who has collected the mistakes in his book "ERRORS ON STAMPS", issued by the French catalogue maker Yvert & Tellier.
When the number of erroneous stamps is divided by all stamps that have been issued since 1840, this makes 1 mistake per 1250 issues. The Netherlands score above average, with 12 errors. This contains clumsy ones, like the wrong year of birth of Erasmus (1469, and not 1466 as stated on the stamp from 1936). More interesting is the error in the series of stamps dedicated to the Olympic Games 1956 in Melbourne, Australia. They had a surcharge, intended for the sportsmen who should go to this country. However, the Dutch delegation has never left, because the government decided to boycott the games because of the Russian invasion in Hungary. According to author Mangin, the collected money has afterwards been used for the rebuilding of the invaded country. With his inventory, the Frenchman is also teasing the makers of the Dutch Special Catalogue, because, according to them, the roughly 200.000 Dutch Guilders surcharge of the Olympic stamps from 1956, has been spent to the Dutch Olympic Committee. Anyway, in comparison to other countries the Netherlands make rather modest mistakes only.
Amongst the large blockheads is certainly Romania, at the moment front runner with the largest number new issues per year. On a stamp of 1990, the Romanian Post lets play the soccer game Germany - Spain as part of the World Championship of that year. However, this game has never been held.
Also England is corrected. Precisely the French Flag has been placed wrong on an English stamp. This concerns the stamp with the Concorde, the supersonic plane that has been built by the 2 countries. Another special mistake is the stamp from the Italian Post, where the colours of a traffic light have been printed upside down. Especially painful because the subject of this stamp is stimulating traffic safety.
Also our collection of the motorcycle theme contains errors, like for instance the block from Togo, with motor cross as an Olympic Sport:

Read for you in the Algemeen Dagblad, with acknowledgement to Gerrie Coerts
(translation Paul Essens)


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