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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1764 Posts
Posted 04/19/2017   12:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ron Burns wrote up the American hard paper in a recent article for the USPCS Chronicle. It will be online later this year. He postulates that with the merger in 1879 old stocks of the paper National had used in the late 1860s became available, and American used them a bit at a time.



Quote:
Were there later National printings that used the ink intended for the Continental? Or did Continental print some stamps with National plates?


Why suppose that these stamps looked this way the day they were made?

Continental took significant measures to distinguish its products from those of National. Since 1861 Willian Ormsby had pushed for the creation of Continental because he did not respect the leadership at National who were willing to do business with the Confederates at the time. The use of their plates was initially a hot issue, but apparently by 1873 that had cooled to the use of color alone to distinguish product, since they had made no new plates from the upper denomination dies they had altered.

For the six cent they HAD produced new plates, and those make the distinction. The problem with color variation is that over time, and under various storage conditions, the color differences are less pronounced. Since neither of your stamps bears a secret mark, they both started out from the presses at National. The one on the right is not as fresh in appearance, and appears to have toned in the direction of a not-so-fresh Continental. I really don't believe there is anything more to it than that.
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Valued Member
United States
112 Posts
Posted 05/08/2017   11:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Douglas Andrew Willinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Why suppose that these stamps looked this way the day they were made?

...The one on the right is not as fresh in appearance, and appears to have toned in the direction of a not-so-fresh Continental. I really don't believe there is anything more to it than that."

Perhaps. I really need to research this matter more.

For instance, taking a damaged copy of the more reddish National 6 cent printing that has good color, and subjecting it to light for some time.

And also looking at cancel dates, to see if there is any indication that this is instead an original color variation rather than from aging.

However, please note that the ink is better defined on the stamp on the right in the design's outer boxed area.

Could this be from oxidation?
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1764 Posts
Posted 05/09/2017   11:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would suggest that "oxidation" (do you really mean sulphuretting?) is the least of your worries.


Until you are able to pinpoint the aging factors that acted on the right stamp you will not be able to simulate its change. Chemicals and gasses in the air near the stamp, dust, humidity acting on the stamp or envelope paper, tones of light and its intensity. All these are potential factors above and beyond the nature of the original printed color. That doesn't even begin to factor in the nature and quality of the storage conditions over the years, or differences due to the rate of change. All that's a lot of variability to try to control.

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