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Cut Squares, General Identification Help

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Valued Member
United States
493 Posts
Posted 05/11/2013   12:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jobi01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Those lower 3 are dark violet and it is white paper. The lower right is purple on white.We tend to think of white as the bright white in use on envelopes today. Creamy white, off white, plain white, many varieties. Now add environmental variables and those whites shift in tone toward brown or grayish (and, yes there are both brown and grayish war papers). Oriental buff is basically pink. Manila is a paper type, not a color and definitely nothing like the color of a manila folder. Something like 15 shades of Manila are identifiable against color samples. The circular dies were in production from 1915-1950 so a lot of paper variety but the colors are pretty obvious except for the window sill specials.

An id guide to the circular dies is available on my website: http://jobi.bizhosting.com
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Valued Member
United States
55 Posts
Posted 05/14/2013   12:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PK stamper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello. Hope I put this question into the right thread. I have a question on the way squares are cut and saved. I have some that have been cut round and others with multi faceted. Is there a prefered way of cutting and saving these squares and how much envelope should be saved if you are not saving the full envelope/postcard?
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 05/14/2013   1:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cut squares are no longer a preferred method of saving postal stationery. Most collectors today prefer the entire cover be retained. If that's not possible, then the cut square should certainly be cut in a "square" (rectangular) format and should always be cut large enough so as to encompass both the indicia and the postmark in their entirety.

No collector today would trim a cut square round. That was done decades ago to accommodate spaces in some stamp albums. It's frowned upon today.

I would point out that there are many postal stationery items, especially those from the 19th and early 20th century, that cannot be identified by just a cut square. In those cases, if you have the entire cover it would be imperative that it be retained as such and never trimmed down to only a "cut square".

Of course, any collector is free to do what they want, but cutting down a cover to a cut square diminishes its value so significantly that most collectors just won't do it (and rightly so).
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Valued Member
United States
55 Posts
Posted 05/14/2013   7:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PK stamper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the guidance. Most of the time I keep the entire envelope if I can but I have some of the Cut squares that are tore off or badly handled. I will try to keep as much as possible. Thanks again.
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Posted 05/14/2013   10:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ThomasGalloway to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just to add one little bit to wt1's post:

Cut squares that are "full corners" (see diagram, where the red lines are the two cuts that make the full corner cut square) are more prized by most cut square collectors. The margins to the left and below the indicium should be slightly larger than those at top and to the right (my diagram may appear to violate this advice).



Someone with more knowledge of the cut square market might opine on what a jumbo full corner is and just how big one should make them.
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United States
493 Posts
Posted 05/16/2013   6:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jobi01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Scott Specialized Catalog includes a grading guide in the notes just before the postal stationery listings. Various envelopes issued through the years make nicely centered items difficult for some issues. Optimum size is bigger is better or whatever fully covers the space allocated in your album. Many early cut squares are cut close because the early albums were stingy with space. CTS (cut to shape) was also a popular affectation in the early years but reduces the value to 1-2% of catalog.
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United States
1609 Posts
Posted 12/21/2013   06:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike33 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This thread is very helpful - thanks for all the identification tips

Here are a couple unfortunate casualties of past collector's practices :(

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Valued Member
United States
493 Posts
Posted 12/25/2013   4:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jobi01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, the ubiquitous CTS (cut to shape)which generally reduces the value to 1-2% of catalog and sometimes, like the U19 (the 1c at left) to zero. The U9 (10?) in the middle is a one step below a space filler, as the 10c. Some very skillfully trimmed CTS have been "restored" by pasting them onto paper of the same color as the stamp is printed upon. While these restorations can look mighty nice, they are still low on the value scale.
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788 Posts
Posted 02/09/2014   4:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add acanalizo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The UPSS now offers a publication that can be easily downloaded. One for 19th Century and the other for 20-21st Century catalog of US postal stationery. Hundreds of pages in each catalog, easy to work.
Really a must for any serious US postal stationery collector. They also offer an ePublication for US postal cards. I find myself always referring and learning from them.
http://www.upss.org/code/epublicati...4fe47e863e86
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United States
493 Posts
Posted 02/11/2014   5:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jobi01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, and the UPSS digital catalogs are updated more frequently than the paper versions as well as being less expensive. The specimen overprinted envelope catalog is also available in digital form.

Bill Lehr
Member, editorial committee UPSS 19th century, 20th century and specimen envelope catalogs
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452 Posts
Posted 03/04/2014   11:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add LarryBruce to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I hope you can see the picture in this link I wanted to know if the war dept stamps matched the catalog UO21 3c dark red washington amber?? it lists for $40,000.00 in my scott catalog I just got this in a batch of cut squares off eBay in the mail today.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...hoto_comment

i saw you all here talking of paper colors and printed your examples - if they do match where would someone go to sell such an expensive item surely not eBay?
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Pillar Of The Community
1849 Posts
Posted 03/04/2014   11:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kevin504 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
LarryBruce....
Are you refering to your #UO36??
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452 Posts
Posted 03/04/2014   11:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add LarryBruce to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
UO20 is posted with picture in the scott catalog from the us post office. it is the same color as my war dept stamps.i posted here is the pic of the catalog

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...pe=1&theater
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452 Posts
Posted 03/04/2014   11:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add LarryBruce to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is my stamp cut squares put up next to this forums color examples posted earlier in this thread.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...pe=1&theater
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Posted 03/04/2014   2:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ThomasGalloway to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm inclined to agree with kevin504. Your scans/photos are not of sufficient quality to get really good opinions from the rest of us.

Try posting a 300+ dpi scan of just the one stamp you believe to be a UO20.
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