2006 Learnu Dragons

A set of 4 triangular stamps featuring a scantily clad lady and a baby dragon. There are both imperforate and perforated versions of these stamp, and some colour and shade variations for some values. There were different printings of these stamps, repeating that of the Continentals.

The original stamps (Type I paper (thinner with matt gum and perf 11.75) may have been a 6D amber and a 9D jade. These were replaced by the 6D brown and 9D bright green stamps while the original stamp names persisted on the sheet selvedge. All four of these stamps can be found as imperforate, straight cut issues. These stamps were followed by a 5D deep blue, and a 7D red, still Type I. The stamps were printed in sheets of 12 with bases of the triangles adjacent, and it must be assumed that sheets were prepared for all, even where these have not been generally available to collectors. All stamps were inscribed CENTRO POSTAG LAERNU. Tantalisingly, these original stamps have a small black letter in the top diamond, a different letter for each stamp. These letters indicate that there are different 2 sheets per issue. One has, in reading order, the letters D, E, F, I, H, I, P, Q, R, U, T, and S. The other (probably) has A, B, C, L, K, J, M, N, O, X, W and V. Perhaps the good folk of Laernu could use these to include coded messages with their post. The sheet titles and description in the selvedge, may appear above or below the stamps.

The mixed value sheets seem to have been a later printing, using Type II paper (glossier with shiny gum). Again in sheets of 12, with three of each value, these were made available to collectors, whilst a larger sheet with 24 stamps was presumably used to be broken up for individual stamps. Stamps from both of these sheets lacked the small letter in the top diamond. The 12 stamp sheets are perf 11.75, while the 24 stamp sheets are perf 11. At some point an even glossier paper was used (Type IIa). Suggestions that this was because the stamps were printed on the gummed side is misleading because the stamps known about are also gummed on the reverse. However this may mean there are gum-fronted examples in collections.

At some point there was a minor but recognisable revision of the design, at least with the 7D Red. The side lettering is coloured while the bottom lettering is white. Both the Dragon Lady and her hand maidens are pale cream highlighted; all other stamps have them white and pale stamp colour shaded respectively. Also the pale lines below the side text have a broad colour band above.

These stamps were originally intended to decorate post and consequently not generally for sale. Therefore they are often found cancelled and on piece with Laernu franks. One se-tenant pair, perhaps uniquely, was perfinned for use on mailing of Valentine’s Day stamps. . Other perfinned examples exist and may be unique examples. Some unused singles and sheets were made available later via the Little Bags of Sticky bits.

The stamps are 53 mm wide and 26.5 mm tall, and are perf 11.5, by the Olathe Post, USA or perf 11.

9 8a  10 8c

11 9bs   12 10ss

13 10ssp

Imperf triangle 10i

2006 Laernu Dragons

SK NumberTypeDescription
775D Blue dragon perforated - with top letters (A through to X) Type I paper, perf 11.75
7s1Sheet of 12 (top row letters D E F)
7s2Sheet of 12 (top row letters A B C)
7mDeeper Blue perforated- without top letters (from mixed sheet) Type II paper, perf 11
7mgAs above with glossier paper
7maAs 7m but perf 11.75
86D Amber dragon perforated with top letters (A through to X) Type I paper, perf 11.75
8s1Sheet of 12 (top row letters D E F)
8s2Sheet of 12 (top row letters A B C)
8iImperforate
8b6D brown perforated with top letters (A through to X) Type 1 paper, perf 11.75
8bpMisperfed - extra line right side. With letter
8bs1Sheet of 12 (top row letters D E F)
8bs2Sheet of 12 (tope row letters A B C)
8biImperforate
8bsiImperforate sheet of 12
8m6D Dull Yellow Ochre perforated without top letter (from mixed sheet) Type II paper, perf 11
8mgAs above with glossy paper
8maAs 8m but perf 11.75
97D Red dragon perforated without top letter (from mixed sheet) perf 11
9s1Sheet of 12 (top row letters D E F)
9s2Sheet of 12 (top row letters A B C)
9m7D Red dragon without top letter (from mixed sheet) perf 11
9mgAs above with glossy paper
9maAs 9m but perf 11.75
9bPerforated with coloured text and cream background
9bsSheet of 12
9bsiSheet of 12 imperforate
109D Jade dragon perforated with top letters *A through to X) Type I paper, perf 11.75
10s1Sheet of 12 (top row letters D E F)
10s2Sheet of 12 (top row letters A B C)
10iImperforate
10siImperforate sheet of 12
10b9D Bright Green with top letters (A through to X) Type I paper, perf 11.75
10bs1Sheet of 12 (top row letters D E F)
10bs2Sheet of 12 (top row letters A B C)
10biImperforate
10bsiImperforate sheet of 12
10m9D Deep Green perforated without top letter (from mixed sheet) perf 11
10mgAs above with glossy paper
10maAs 10m but perf 11.75
10miImperforate
10ssSe-tenant sheet of 12 with 3 each of 7a, 8a, 10a, 11a perf 11.75
10ss2As above but sheet of 24 with stamps in blocks of 6, perf 11
10sspPair of 8 and 10 each perfinned 1402 twice across both stamps
10ssp2Pair of 8m and 10m perfinned 150413 across two stamps
10ssp3Pair of 7m and 9m perfinned 1504 across two stamps (franked on piece)

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