The Four Types of Trans Stamps

This is a more speculative section on the four types of Trans stamps and the years associated with them. Here are the years as best I have been able to piece them together:

Type I 1946-1949
Type II 1949
Type III 1950-1952
Type IV 1952-1953

Note that these years come from Bill H. I'm not the creator of them. And once again they need to be taken with the usual uncertainty in mind. So think of them as plus or minus a few years. They are all subject to change without notice.

Note also that Bill H stopped giving out information on precisely how he identifies different stamps in 2010. So what I've done is attempt to identify attributes which differ between the various examples I have in my gallery (about 80 stamp photos at last count supported in many cases by whole cymbal top and bottom photos). The advantage of my work is my methods of identification are fully documented while Bill's remain secret (until he publishes his book?). That is another reason this section is a bit more speculative. When Bill H reveals his information it may be based on different attributes. And I may have it all wrong, have trademarks in the wrong order, etc.

Trans Stamp Type I (1946-49)

Image: Trans Stamp Type I (Height about 1 1/8" or 28mm)


The above is from a cymbal Bill Maley had for sale, with annotations I've added. Thanks to Bill M for allowing me to use his photograph and for other assistance and encouragements along the way. You can see the vertical hatching which appears in the Z. This is the most obvious distinguishing feature of Type I. Unfortunately, the rest of this stamp is rather poorly struck so it is hard to see what other features might distinguish it. Fortunately, the presence of vertical hatching is enough to distinguish this Type I by itself.

The middle portions are legible, but outer portions towards the top and bottom are missing or illegible. The parts which are missing in this example are most of the Ottoman portion, and from Genuine on down in the English section. Yet this is a "classic" Trans Stamp pattern where the die was pressed in harder on the left and right extremes of the English portion, and on the right extreme of the Ottoman portion.

Image: Trans Stamp Type I - A Second Example


The above is another Type I. Notice this one looks different from the first example in that the dots in the Ottoman section look more like open circles (o) than closed dots (.) I suspect this is just an instance of the Ottoman portion being pressed in less completely than was the case in the first example. Since the MADE IN U S A is well preserved in this one, we can see that the E of madE is slightly to the left of the H of turkisH. Similarly the N of iN is just to the left of the C of Cymbals. So rather than a vertical alignment both of these elements are shifted just slightly to the left. This alignment distinguishes Type I from Types III and IV, which have different alignments. And thanks to an observation from Cliff DeArment, a second alignment as well: in Type I and II the K of tutrKish is over the M of Made, and the B of cymBals is over the A of U S A. Again there is a different alignment in Types III and IV as we shall see.

Image: Trans Stamp Type I - A Third Example


The above is a third Type I. Notice this one has the vertical hatching marks in many different sections of the stamp. They appear over on the right as well as the left. As we look at a number of Trans Stamps in this detailed section, they are variable as to whether they are pressed in more on the left, or the right, or both, or occasionally not visibly pressed in more on the left or right. And in the same way, the vertical hatching marks can be on the left, or the right, or both, or occasionally not visible in a photo.

Trans Stamp Type II (1949)

Image: Trans Stamp Type II (Height about 1 3/16" or 30mm)

type II

A tip of the hat to Mike Layton for this pic, and his strong encouragement and assistance in this project. And for measuring the height of a couple of his TS2s which has surprised us by coming out at 1 3/8". This is taller than Bill H had in his original essay for his Trans stamp: 1 1/8". I don't know whether that is because Bill was only talking about the one he illustrated. This is E in his article and probably a Type III, although it is had to say with the very low resolution postage stamp picture. I don't know what's up with any of this, but I'm giving the Type II a height because it seems to be new information. Different Trans Stamp types are different heights.

The Type II stamp is distinguished from the others by several specific things. The first is the positioning of the A of AVEDIS relative to the D of ZILDJIAN. In the other types (and in all the other Avedis stamps I've looked at) the A is before the D. But in the Type II stamp the A is to the right of the D. Similarly the S of avediS is to the left of the N of zildjiaN. Basically the AVEDIS is shrunk horizontally compared to the size it takes compared to ZILDJIAN. Scroll back to the Type I and you should see this. Basically the AVEDIS is shorter than in other stamps and looks centered over the DJIAN. If you have the AVEDIS and the ZILDJIAN visible in the stamp, you have your id.

But there are some additional things as well in case you need to fall back on them. The first is that in the Type II stamp ZILDJIAN is bold relative to the rest of the English text. Then there is height: the type II is about 1 3/16" or 30mm, versus the other 3 types which are about 1 1/8" or 28mm.

Image: Trans Stamp Type II - Height 1 3/16" (30mm)

type II measured

But there are other visual differences which mean you usually don't need the height measurement to be sure.

A third distinction is that in the Type II stamp there is relatively little gap between the bottom of the Ottoman section (the dot dot dash dash) and the start of the English section. This distinguishes the Type II from the other Trans Stamp types. I judge this by comparing the vertical size of the AVEDIS text to the gap above it before the dot dot dash dash. In the Type II this gap is about the same size as the height of the AVEDIS text. In the other Trans Stamp types the gap is bigger.

Image: Trans Stamp Type II - A Second Example

type II

In this second Type II example we don't have much to go on because the stamp isn't very well formed. But there is enough information given the A and D alignment to tell us it is a Type II trans stamp. If you didn't know this you might even think this could be a late 50s small stamp, or even a 60s stamp and we just can't see the three dots. The only other subtle feature which assures you it is a Trans Stamp is how Turkish Cymbals is pushed up close the the Zildjian. This was introduced as a particular feature of Trans Stamps before you came to this detailed page. Both pre Trans Stamps and Trans Stamps share this feature.

Trans Stamp Type III (1950-52)

Image: Trans Stamp Type III (Height about 1 1/8" or 28mm)

type III

This is a nice and complete Type III. The first thing which distinguishes this from the earlier Types I and II is that the the E of madE is directly under the H of turkisH. Similarly the N of iN is directly under the C of Cymbals. Compare this alignment with the Type I and II, and you can pick the difference. And thanks to an observation from Cliff DeArment, a second alignment as well: in Type III and IV the R of tutRkish is over the M of Made, and the A of cymbAls is over the A of U S A. Again there is a different alignment in Types I and II.

In case this portion of the stamp isn't visible, here is another way to distinguish a Type III and the other types. There are some subtle spacing differences between the two dots and the two dashes (the bottom of the Ottoman section). In schematic form:
Type I ..  _ _ (dots very close together)
Type II + III . . _ _ (dots a bit further apart)
Type IV .  .  _  _ (dots and dashes equally spaced)

So if you can see this section of the stamp you can distinguish a Type IV from a Type III or II, and those two from a Type I.

The little line under the raised o of Co isn't straight in this example. It fans out (gets wider) towards the right edge. This sometimes happens to the Z in other examples. The fanning out seems to be a result of just how hard that edge was pressed in. We'll see a Type IV example later.

Image: Trans Stamp Type III - Slightly Tricky

type III

This Trans Stamp shows no particular pressed in edges on the right or the left. So how do we know it is a Trans Stamp?

Can we pin down which Trans Stamp it is easily?

It has a Type III alignment of the H of Turkish over the E of madE, and the C of Cymbals over the N of iN. That's enough. And it also has the Type III spacing in the dot dot dash dash, as a second confirmation. The important lesson here is that not 100% of Trans Stamps will have the more firmly pressed in edges.

Trans Stamp Type IV (1952-53)

Image: Trans Stamp Type IV (Height about 1 1/8" or 28mm)

Type IV

This is a Type IV stamp. There are a number of small things which are distinctive about the Type IV.

In the dot dot dash dash at the bottom of the Ottoman section, the dots are the same distance apart as the dashes. Equal spacing is unique to the Type IV. If you can see this section then you have your ID.

The next diagnostic feature of the Type IV is that the E of MADE IN USA is slightly to the right of the H of TURKISH. Same with the N of iN and how it sits under the C of Cymbal. In the Type III the E is nicely aligned over the H, and the C over the N. In Types I and II the E and N are shifted to the left. Three distinct alignments. The type IV alignment is shown with arrows in purple in the next example.

And thanks to an observation from Cliff DeArment, a second alignment as well: in Type III and IV the R of tutRkish is over the M of Made, and the A of cymbAls is over the A of U S A. Again there is a different alignment in Types I and II.

The two dots above the 9 looking character in the Ottoman section (actually the V of Avedis in Ottoman) aren't centered right above it. One is directly above and the other is off to the right. This is annotated on the next example in red. In the first 3 types the two dots have a different spacing. They may be centered over the 9 in all the other stamps (not just Trans Stamp Types I, II and III) but I haven't checked through my research collection to check that yet. But it is diagnostic of the Type IV versus the other Trans Stamps.

Image: Trans Stamp Type IV - A Second Example

Type IV

This second example is more complete and gives us a chance to introduce a few more diagnostic features. The entire line MADE IN U S A appears to be in a larger font height than the Genuine Turkish Cymbals. This wasn't quite clear in the first example, although the alignment could be determined.

There is a vertical stroke (circled in green on the pic) and in the Type IV it is dead vertical. In the other types it curves over slightly to the right at the upper end.

Some Additional Examples

Image: Trans Stamp Type ??? - A Tricky Example

type II

This stamp shows a fault I call "hole in the middle", for obvious reasons. They don't all have this big a hole. When this happens, you lose any identifying features in that central area. In this case we have lost a lot. But if we use the vertical alignment criterion this is a Type I or II. But can we pin it down further?

So I'd say that even though I don't really see any vertical hatching in the Z this is a Type I. It may just be that the image is enough out of focus that the hatching detail is lost. Or it may be that the hatching doesn't always appear and is dependent on the way the die is pressed in. My identification isn't 100% sure, and other opinions are happily accepted. But I think we've got the measure of this one. Also note that the "hole in the middle" fault is not restricted to any particular sub types. I've got examples of this pressing fault occurring on different stamps.

And now for another troublesome one. Thanks to bongomania on DFO for this example of an 18" Trans weighing 1540g. This stamp seems to have aspects of Type I and II in the Ottoman section, but Type III alignments in the English section. It's not the world's best image, but I think there is enough there to suggest that there may be more going on than previously documented.

Image: Trans Stamp with features of I and III

Trans unkn

The comparison I'm making in the Ottoman section is only based on the dot dot dash dash at present, but I've now got a little homework to see if there are other features which can help us out with this one.

Here ends our little diversion into the details of the types of Trans Stamps. I'm sure there are some other ways to tell them apart, but I have found that the features I've shown here are usually sufficient. They are spread around the different parts of the stamp so that usually some diagnostic portion will be legible.

go to Avedis by Years

or go to the gallery

or back to the introduction page

text first published 17 Jan 2015 5:50 PM
text last updated 26 Mar 2017 1:05 PM

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