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10c Proof Head Scratcher

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Posted 04/12/2017   12:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add rlsny to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This is a stamp from my collection.

After a long interest in Roosevelt proofs, I decided about a year ago, to buy one set. I purchased a set from Siegel that was sold as 40P2-47P2. This stamp was included as the 10 cent stamp. When I examined it it was clearly not a 43 but more like a 68. I notified the auction house to see if perhaps they just sent the wrong stamp. They said no, this is the way the set was given to them. They offered me a refund for either the set or the one stamp, but I decided to keep it. I found a replacement for the 43P2 and now I had one nice extra proof.

Until recently I believed this to be a 68P2. After my recent studies however, I see this does not match any stamp in the Roosevelt album - at least not from what I know about them. The 40-47P2 series stamps have small margins, but the 1861 series stamps have wide 4-5mm margins. This stamp looks like the later stamp but with a narrow margin like the earlier stamp.

Head scratcher for sure.

Possibilities I can think of:

1- forgery - someone took another stamp - say a 68P3 and stuck it on a piece of cardboard to fill in a gap in his set and hope no one noticed.
2 - a legit 68P2 from an album that for some reason used narrow margins for the 1861 pages. Certainly possible, but no such examples are documented.
3 - a legit Roosevelt stamp but from a version of the album where the wrong die was used on the 1851 page. There are other errors like that known, but again, no documentation of such a case for this stamp.
4 - a waste product from the album production - an error that was found and not used, but someone got into the wild.

I doubt this will be easy to resolve. Because the stamp is glued to the cardboard a careful examination of the paper to see if it is the correct white wove paper used in the Roosevelt album looks difficult to achieve.

I'd be interested in your thoughts. At this point I'm assuming it is option 1, but it is certainly an odd thing to do. If you're going to make a forgery to complete a set, at least use the right stamp. If not for that purpose, making a forged Roosevelt proof is just odd to begin with. But at this point, I'm going on that assumption.



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Edited by rlsny - 04/12/2017 12:17 am

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Posted 04/12/2017   07:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I take it the narrow margin you are referring to is the card to which the proof is attached. If that is the case, there is a fifth possibility you did not mention and that is someone has trimmed the board, producing what you are seeing now. It looks to me to be a 68P2.

A sixth possibility is that it is a hybrid. These are India paper mounted on card and then die impressed. Usually, these are larger, about the size of the large die proofs (P1), but again, it could have been trimmed down. I've seen some of these before, not particularly on a 68 die.

I think it highly unlikely that anyone would forge just the one proof. That would be enormously time consuming and expensive to do, especially given the value of the proof.

The final possibility not mentioned is an essay. These are still popping up from time to time, and not listed in Brazer's work.

If it were in my collection, I'd send it to the Philatelic Foundation and let them puzzle it out for me.
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Posted 04/12/2017   10:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Speculating about possibilities is endless and not very productive. You must test the item.

Have you compared the backing board with the other examples you received from Siegel? Is it the same material? Here's another test. It is not well known, but in putting up the pages of proofs for the original Roosevelt albums, the intended stamp positions were indicated by the placement of a rectangle in ink which was a bit smaller than the proof that would cover it. Try to see if this item has such a box.

If the board is a close match but you don't see a box (or even if you do) consider the possibility that someone has tried to salvage a damaged P2. I can see at least three spots where toning of the paper is present (but does not effect the board backing). It is strongest on the edge of the bottom margin below the "E" of "TEN." Perhaps someone wanted to reduce that by trimming the margins, removing the backing and remounting the proof.
the proof may have been removed from its original board and had developed a thin as a result. To mask that someone else may have elected to remount it on cardstock similar to the original board.

For these or other reasons you need to establish that the proof and its backing were meant to be together as they are now.

So, look for the rectangle on the board under the proof. Check for it under all the proofs Siegel sent you, and tell us what you see.
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Posted 04/12/2017   11:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All good suggestions. One clarification. The margins I mentioned refers to the space between the design and the edge of the stamp - not the cardboard. 68P2 has about 4-5 mm space there this stamp has 1 mm or less. That's why it doesn't look like a 68P2.
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Posted 04/12/2017   12:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is a real 43P2 and a 68P2 to illustrate the problem. Notice how my stamp has margins like a 43P2 but the design of a 68P2.

I will follow up on the suggestions people have made.

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