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US #11A - In Search of the Elusive Plum Color  
 

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Valued Member
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Posted 11/08/2018   10:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tgswanner to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hey Gary. Congrats on the plum. Does someone at the PF have Chase comparible charts? I purchased a certified plum many years ago...sent it to Bill and he said that what a lot of agencies call plum is not the Chase plum (like the one I just purchased). Do certified plums that have been verified by Chase/Amonette match 'other' certified plums? Dang I hope that made sense.
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Posted 11/08/2018   10:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampcrow to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Gary if I understood your post correctly, the PF certified the stamp that Dr. Bill Amonette had already identified as plum?
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Edited by stampcrow - 11/08/2018 10:24 pm
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Posted 11/08/2018   10:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Classic Coins to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Greg, Thanks. I have no insight into what the PF has regarding 3-cent 1851 color charts. The post by chasa near the beginning of this thread has a link to images of PF-certified plums (as well as rejected plum submissions). Judging only by the PF images (you may need to re-run the search to get more results), they seem to vary in color by a wider range than the two specimens I recently sent in. Maybe they didn't have consistent scanner settings over the months/years?
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Edited by Classic Coins - 11/08/2018 10:46 pm
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Posted 11/08/2018   10:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Classic Coins to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
stampcrow, Yes. I wanted a cert in addition to Bill's note confirming it as a plum, to help me to sell it when that time comes.

My ulterior motive was to send two nearly identical colors to the PF; one ID'd by Bill, and one ID'd by me, to see if they would say yes to plum for both since they had both in hand at the same time. An interesting, but disappointing experiment for me.
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Edited by Classic Coins - 11/08/2018 10:52 pm
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Posted 11/08/2018   10:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampcrow to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Would you do it the same way, if you had it to do over again?
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Posted 11/08/2018   11:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Classic Coins to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Had to try it once. But the results of this experiment probably will deter me from sending the two stamps in the right side of the image to the PF for plum certs.
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Posted 11/09/2018   09:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AJ Valente to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Grayish claret is a range of color known to specialists since Dr. Chase's time. Plum is a designer color. One can have medium or pale versions of grayish claret, but the deep variety is the only one that receives the plum credential. Thus, a stamp (such as those shown here) may possess the same hue, but lacking color depth are classified simply as grayish claret.

As an aside, there is also a grayish claret variety of the 3-cent 1861. The 1863 rose claret has the usual sub-ranges of deep, medium, and pale shades. When I first encountered the grayish variety I had no idea what to make of it. Apparently it possessed more rose than usual, turning it grayish.

The current supposition is that during the transition from '56 rose brown to '57 claret something similar happened. Early printings in claret must have picked-up some residual rose ink, and thus turned grayish. As a transitional color, this may also explain their relative scarcity.
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Posted 11/09/2018   4:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
About 5 years ago, I bought a Plum #11A from Seigel's. It is currently in the bank, and my scan is over the size limit for SC, so I cannot show it here. When I ran across this thread, I clicked on the link to the PF to see 'all' the plums, but there were only 6 or 8 listed - AND NOT MINE!!!! Uh-oh! Anyway, I discovered that the PF often does NOT list plums under cat # 11 or 11A, but under 11VAR. I did a search of all certs and put a cat # of 11, but instead of selecting 'equals' in the drop-down box, I selected 'begins with', and put 'plum' in the Keyword box. Up popped 33 stamps. AND some of them are plums. Give it a try, and you can see more plums than the links on this thread.

PS, my plum was bought in Seigel Sale 1062, lot 110, and was described as:

"3c Plum, Ty. II (11A var). Position 55L3, large margins to clear, rich color in the true Plum shade, neat strike of grid cancel
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A RARE SOUND FOUR-MARGINED EXAMPLE OF THE 3-CENT PLUM SHADE.
Ex David Watt. Chase plating note on back with "Plum WFA" from Dr. Amonette. With 2007 P.F. certificate as No. 11 Plum "

I WOULD like to run across one that has not yet been attributed as such. Without an Amonette note, though, the PF may say it is something else. I would also like to know how many 'plums' Dr. Amonette gave his blessing to. As someone upthread said, I'd much rather have a guarantee from Dr. Amonette, than the PF (or any other certifying body) on this particular issue.
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Edited by mootermutt987 - 11/09/2018 5:07 pm
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Posted 11/09/2018   6:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Regarding the stamp submitted to the PF that came back as not plum - the LL stamp, I would concur that they probably got it right based upon what I can see in the scan.

Caveat emptor scans/colors, etc ... but to be a plum, it really has to have zero/no hint of the 'red' color in it. Its kind of a dreary color. The UL certified stamp appears to have the lack of a red hue to it that is required for a plum. The LL stamp definitely has more red in it than it is allowed to have in order to be a plum.
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Posted 11/09/2018   9:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampcrow to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Mooter-
Quote:
I WOULD like to run across one that has not yet been attributed as such. Without an Amonette note,

Agreed

tx-
Quote:
... but to be a plum, it really has to have zero/no hint of the 'red' color in it. Its kind of a dreary color.

Agreed
I call it the "un-color".
With all the beautiful colors this stamp can be found, Orange Brown, Clarets, Brownish Carmines etc., it's this ugly beef bullion color that commands a large premium.
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Posted 11/09/2018   9:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Classic Coins to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I like to call the color mud.
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Posted 11/09/2018   9:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Classic Coins to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
mootermutt987, thanks for the PF search tips. I tried your method, and found a plum on cover that I used to own (cert number 359218).

This cover has an interesting history, as the stamp had been lifted off the cover prior to being certified, and by the looks of the stamp, it may have been harshly bleached on two corners.

I looked through my scan records and found that when I bought the cover it did not have Bill Amonette's notes on back, but when I sold it it did, so I sent it to Bill after I bought it. I sold it in February 2005 because the stamp was pretty messed up, and I had a new replacement; the ex-Amonette plum above that I bought in February 2005.

So this cover may not have been confirmed by Bill before it got certified, but I can't conclude that from my records.

Here are some scans I took of the cover (with the back before and after Bill's signature) and the cert:







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Posted 11/10/2018   08:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AJ Valente to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are some points overlooked here leading to conjecture that should be addressed.

In a prior post Classic Coins gives us an illustration regarding this color, and in addition a flowery explanation as to Dr. Chase's mysterious change in heart. It's said that between the 1930s to 1954 he "changed his original idea as to the color." This is a nice story, unfortunately somewhat removed from reality.

At some point the Color Naming Committee headed by Dr. Ammonette settled on using Ridgeway color chart by convention. There are some pros and cons to using designer colors, for a more esoteric discussion see my earlier post on color naming conventions.

Now, looking at the color chips in Ridgeway, one comes to Plum and, you guessed it, it doesn't look anything like a deep claret. The next best thing was a deep grayish claret. The Committee could have simply dropped the name from the 3-cent color chart, but in the interests of continuity they choose not to.

The change in color was not arbitrary, rather it came about owning to the process that the Committee agreed upon. Dr. Chase was not part of the process, but Dr. Ammonette certainly was.

Color is one of those things that everyone sees differently, and it's a natural right to do so. Having said as much, if the color doesn't agree with the sensibilities, then the person to blame is Ridgeway, not any of our beloved philatelists.
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Posted 11/10/2018   08:35 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You cannot accurately ID colors without a ambient lighting source being defined and standardized.

And what about the color changes over time?
Don
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Posted 11/10/2018   1:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Classic Coins to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
In a prior post Classic Coins gives us an illustration regarding this color, and in addition a flowery explanation as to Dr. Chase's mysterious change in heart. It's said that between the 1930s to 1954 he "changed his original idea as to the color." This is a nice story, unfortunately somewhat removed from reality.


Quote:
The change in color was not arbitrary, rather it came about owning to the process that the Committee agreed upon. Dr. Chase was not part of the process, but Dr. Ammonette certainly was.

AJ, My "flowery explanation" in my 5/31/2017 post that was "somewhat removed from reality" was a direct quote from the 2005 Hulme/Amonette article in Chronicle 206.

The 2005 Chronicle article stated that the plum color change to "The Real Plum" was revealed in Dr. Chase's 1954 color chart. This is held up by the 2005 Chronicle article. So are you suggesting that the color change came about from the Color Naming Committee and not from a 1954 Chase color chart?
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Edited by Classic Coins - 11/10/2018 1:24 pm
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