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Transvaal - Expertising - Are They Or Aren't They?

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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
721 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   12:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add backroads to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Here is a puzzling question that probably has occurred to most every collector at some time or another.

In the course of examining a collection, you find what could be a rare and valuable stamp or set. The big "However" revolves around a note in Scott's which says "Excellent forgeries exist." without giving much, if any guidance as to how to detect these forgeries.

Here is just such a set. Found in a collection purchased on eBay though not advertised and with the value in 2006 Scott's, if real, of $3750.00. But there is that small caveat - forgeries exist. Now, my immediate assumption is that I have a forgery but there is always the niggling question of whether the .0006 change of it being real pays off.

How does one go about finding out and is it worth the money and the effort of having an expert look at it? In a more general sense, what parameters should one use when deciding this question? Only with popular countries (GB, USA, Canada, Australia, France etc.) or any time the catalogue shows a rarity?

The set in question and the key value are shown below.









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Edited by backroads - 06/02/2011 12:47 pm

Pillar Of The Community
United States
3551 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   12:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jhlovell to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
nice set backroads, I am sure if anyone is going to offer an opinion they will probably want a couple more close ups, and I know that I would like to see a couple more close ups just cause I like to look at them. - Jeff
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
721 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   7:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add backroads to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Jeff - attached are the complete individual scans for the set. They are done a little more carefully - meant to remount them in Hawids anyway and this is a good excuse.

For anyone that wants to offer and opinion on their validity, please do. I haven't a clue. And that really is central to the whole expertising thing. Is it something that you do only when you are fairly confident of the stamp's authenticity? Or can you do it on a whim - just when you're curious? Note that I also do not have any idea of the cost involved. The last time I tried (decades ago) it involved some percentage of the actual value and that dissuaded me right there.

Scans of the real (or not) set. This was a page (not illustrated in the offer so a complete surprise) of a collection purchased in 2006. The lot itself appeared to be mainly new issues and "Investment Lots" purchased through a British dealer in the 1960's. Unfortunately, the name of the dealer was not recorded when I sorted the lot.



























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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
503 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   7:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Plateflaw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Probably reprints.

Are there any handstamps on the back of the stamps?

Ian B. Mathews (et al) in Transvaal Philately suggest that the only reliable way to evaluate examples of the 5 is to make photographic enlargements of the stamp and compare the perfs with the enlarged examples of genuine stamps in their book. The size, spacing and alignment of the perf holes, apparently, are the key. There are also a number of positional flaws on the genuine issues.

One problem with these is that when the work above was published in 1986, it was still unknown which of the four identifiable plates were used in the original printing of 70,140 stamps, and which plates were used for subsequent unauthorised reprinting.
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
721 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   7:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add backroads to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Full gum, lightly hinged, and absolutely no backstamps. Yes, I agree that the initial assumption that they are repreints or forgeries is absolutely the most likely one but ..... This seems to be one of those truly difficult sets to identify.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
503 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   8:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Plateflaw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Probably reprints, not forgeries.

The best test for forgeries with these is whether there are nine diagonal lines of hatching beneath the wagon. If there are nine lines, it isn't a forgery. If there are eight lines, it is a forgery.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
593 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   9:24 pm  Show Profile Check 64idgaf's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 64idgaf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Self education is the key here. The best reference is Handbook of Transvaal Philately by Maj.I.B.Mathews. These can be reasonably easily obtained on www.bidorbuy.co.za but this is a salutory lesson to all. The greatest benefit of joining philstelic society is getting access to their library. Check on options in your local area, join a club and research away.

In all liklihood you have reprints but you never know..........
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1512 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   9:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bfranton to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Think that it was StampVirgin who connected me with a guy who would, for a modest flat fee, look at a high res scan and at least share if it was WORTH expertising. The actual cert requires sending actual piece. For newbies like me, when in doubt, short of the experts here on SCF, that is small price to pay. Hope Bill Weiss doesn't mind my sharing: weissauction@rcn.com He's been very great help to me. Barb
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
593 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   10:05 pm  Show Profile Check 64idgaf's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 64idgaf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Quote: "Think that it was StampVirgin who connected me with a guy who would, for a modest flat fee, look at a high res scan and at least share if it was WORTH expertising. The actual cert requires sending actual piece. For newbies like me, when in doubt, short of the experts here on SCF, that is small price to pay. Hope Bill Weiss doesn't mind my sharing: weissauction@rcn.com He's been very great help to me. Barb"

The problem here is that in all liklihood they are not the original issues and you can spend 100 x 'modest fees' for no result. I'm not demeaning Bill Weiss' offer, but I would always encourage collectors of all levels to develop their own knowledge, this will permit them to make a determination for themselves at no cost (except for the cost of the research materials) as soon as an opportunity is identified.

Have a look at your favourite on line auction site for the Transvaal issues and see how seldom the genuine article is offered.

A serious collector must develop their own expertise, 'outsourcing' this function removes you from the chase for the incorrectly described valuable item.

The more I learn, the more rarities I can identify.

I have expended a significant sum on my philatleic library and a great deal of time in research. The value of my collection is much greater than the amount outlaid for the items therein as a direct result of the knowledge I have gained.

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Edited by 64idgaf - 06/02/2011 10:10 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1512 Posts
Posted 06/02/2011   10:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bfranton to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That was the point... I asked SCF, I looked at catalogs and I was befuddled and there were reasons to ask questions. Bill told me without lots of expense. I think this is a good thing. <edit> There are many reasons to be pursuing the learning curve yourself... but there are some shortcuts, and this is a reliable one.
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Edited by bfranton - 06/02/2011 10:30 pm
Pillar Of The Community
Canada
721 Posts
Posted 06/03/2011   01:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add backroads to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would love to be able to research and have the resources in my own library to solve, at least to my own satisfaction, all the mysteries and conundrums that I run across in the course of collecting.

Unfortunately, I am too much of a magpie to ever become an expert at anything. I love stamps and am easily fascinated by them in all their variety. I can work my way through most things Canadian with my own library and with the help of people I know, but as I travel further from home my questions and small mysteries multiply.

Yes, I agree that building my Library and membership in a Stamp Club would both be wonderful but I find that much reference material is a one time use and the nearest Stamp Club is 500 miles away, in Vancouver. For me SCF has become both Reference Library and Stamp Club. In the few months since I found it, I have learned more about some areas of my collection than in the past twenty years. In the past two days I have asked two questions as diverse as this one and one about German Booklets of the 1930s. In both, there have been excellent answers and suggestions as to what direction to take.

So I am going to take the title of the book as supplied by 64idgaf and see if my Public Library can get it on interlibrary loan. I will use it as suggested by Plateflaw to check perforations against illustrations in the book. And if I am excited by what I find, I will use the email address supplied by Barb.

Thank you all for your contribution to my enjoyment of the hobby.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
503 Posts
Posted 06/03/2011   03:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Plateflaw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I will scan the relevant pages for you backroads. Send me your email address and I will email you a PDF.

It will save you a lot of mucking around.

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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
593 Posts
Posted 06/03/2011   05:26 am  Show Profile Check 64idgaf's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 64idgaf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Quote: "I will scan the relevant pages for you backroads. Send me your email address and I will email you a PDF.

It will save you a lot of mucking around"

Plateflaw, if there is any material in the book relating to the postage due issues, can I impose on you to scan it for me?

I have a good range of postage due research material and would be pleased to provide anything I have that you might want.

I do enjoy this community.

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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
503 Posts
Posted 06/03/2011   05:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Plateflaw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not a problem 64idgaf. There are five pages on Postage Due stamps and Taxe markings. Send me an email, and I will email a PDF by reply.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
503 Posts
Posted 06/03/2011   09:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Plateflaw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
PDF sent 64idgaf. Hope it is useful.


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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
593 Posts
Posted 06/03/2011   09:40 am  Show Profile Check 64idgaf's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 64idgaf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Gratefully received, many thanks.
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