The Vinebre inverted center stamps are some of the rarest locals of the Spanish civil war philately. The few known are usually on covers
addressed to the dealer G. Resten in Paris, truly circulated, or to the company Zumstein & Co in Switzerland, with souvenir postmarks on
covers that never went through the mail.
Catalogs listed all these stamps with their varieties and with the pairs that can be formed due to them, but all listings were theoretical. All
examples known were on covers, and catalogs reproduced the posmarked stamps, as the images were digitally isolated from pieces stuck to covers. It was thought the inverted error should follow its counterpart with regular centers pattern to form pairs and to have varieties, but it was just a supposition because few inverted centers were seen not tied to covers.
Now, the finding of rose and orange tête-bêche and horizontal pairs (# 15 & 16), unlisted until now, has made possible to reconstruct the
positions of the stamps in a sheet, following the pattern of their regular issue counterpart:
So there were 5 stamps with simple characters and 20 with double characters in a sheet. But with 20 of this stamps, 5 se-tenant pairs and 5 tête-bêche pairs can be formed:
All positions marked in dark and clear blue form se-tenant pairs, one with double characters and another one with double characters.
Positions marked in dark and light green form tête-bêche pairs; despite all the stamps have inverted center, those in the light green column have also their frame inverted, as we also see on regular center stamps of this issue, and this is what creates this double inversion.
As we can see, if we cut a regular issue tête-bêche pair apart, we obtain individual stamps with no alterations, and if we do the same with
an inverted center, tête-bêche pair, we also get two separate stamps, both with inverted center.
And finally, stamps in the rose column are double character pieces that can’t form any kind of variety pair for their position in the sheet.
There are some additional varieties that can help fixing the position of some stamps in a sheet (marked as var on the scheme of the sheet):
Position 4: imprint “M C .. BONET Imp BARNA”
Positions 8 and 13: imprint “M C . BONET Imp BARNA”
Position 11: left sheet centermark
Position 15: right sheet centermark and imprint “M C BONET Imp BARNA.”
Position 18: imprint “M C . BONET Imp BARNA.”
Left and right centermarks on positions 11 and 15:
This issue is also one of the few examples where a picture was used to illustrate a stamp. The legend reads “Riu Ebre”, and the picture
shows the river going through a canyon known as “Pas de l’Ase”.
CATALOGUE OF VINEBRE INVERTED CENTER STAMPS
Blue and black
Green and black
Rose and black
Rose and orange