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Double Transfers, Re-entries, Plate Varieties In Us Stamps

 
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Pillar Of The Community

Germany
1293 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   06:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add stamperix to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello,

I asked this before, but I still don't have the complete picture of this.

In Canada and Australia (and also Germany) there are many plate varieties that are well-known and collected and searched for. They sell for thousands of dollars in auctions.

US stamps have a huge market which is also very strong these days (see last larger Siegel auctions). But one topic is nearly completely missing: plate varieties, double transfers, "re-entries" (like they call it in Canada).

There is a book by Loran French about the BEP plate varieties which I know and it's a great resource to find them but not help at all in getting an idea of value and commonness. Quite often we see here at SCF someone asking about a nice variety but usually the answer is "very nice!" and "to be found in French's book on page xx" or may be "not in French's book".

I understood that there is not a particular big market for those varieties in US stamps (although I don't understand how this developed to this point). And I don't want to force the market to find them more important :). I also understood that most important varieties are listed in Scott which helps indeed in getting the value.

What I still did not understand:
- is there any indication about value for the varieties that French lists but Scott does not?
- are most of the varieties in French's book quite common, or are there some - not listed in Scott - which appeared just 2 or 3 times?
- if yes, why is there no explanation about this in French's book or are they then not listed in Scott?

My understanding about plate varieties is (and I think this how it works in Canada, Australia, Germany):
- we need a constant variety
- if we have one: the variety is rare and valuable if there are only a few stamps known
- then this variety is always listed in the catalogue and we find auction results.

In US stamps this approach does not seem to work. Maybe there are just too many varieties and nobody ever cared about quantifying them?

---
just to add: I also know the plate varieties of the 1851 1 cent and 3 Cents which are listed indeed. As said I ask more about those varieties not listed in Scott and general the market of plate varieties as an own collecting area.
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Edited by stamperix - 02/06/2019 06:29 am

Pillar Of The Community
United States
6090 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   07:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are a few of us on the board who actively collect them. In general, double transfers and foreign entries only occurred in one position on one plate. So none are exactly common. There are some postage and revenue stamp exceptions to this, but for most stamps it is true. It is also true that most have low catalog values, but if a dealer finds one they will charge real money for them (found because it is marked, they don't look usually for them). I have been looking for years for a number of double transfers that I have never seen. Even where the position is known, does one really want to try to find and buy a complete pane of C7 for example, just to get the double transfer? I looked at a great quantity of examples for a couple of years before I found one. Unmarked, of course. It's a great collecting area if one loves the hunt.
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Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
4580 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   08:12 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Additionally, while there are quite a few of us who collect revenue stamp plate varieties, it is a comparatively small market. Add to that the fact that back-of-book material is still the "red-headed stepchild" of U.S. philately and gets very little love from auction houses and catalogue publishers. That has been trending in the opposite direction over the last 15 years, but it is still slow going.

Back-of-book material still holds plenty of discoveries to be found as it hasn't historically had the same level of focus as front-of-book material. It's quite exciting when previously undocumented or referenced but unknown in modern collecting items turn up.
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Pillar Of The Community
Germany
1293 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   08:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you both. This is the direction I thought about (by the way my question here is not only about back-of-book stamps, but more general about all US stamps from the beginning to the BEP time).

I see that there is not a big market about the varieties, but I don't see why the normal market rules don't work here but they do in Canada or Australia (and other countries, of course). If there is a constant variety, it's important how common it is. For a common variety there is no premium. For a scarce variety there is some premium, and for a rare variety there is a big premium.

Now let's go to the US stamps and for example French's book. There are thousands and thousands of varieties, also very obvious ones which I would like to own. Even if it' a small market, we would need a market value, but there is not. If there are nearly no auction results or dealers' prices, we will never know how much a certain variety is worth. Of course, you may say, put it on eBay and you'll see. But there is a natural relation between catalogue prices and sales (auction) prices, on have an influence to another (auction houses use catalogue prices to get the starting bid and catalogues say they use auction results for their values - hen and egg). Something that never appeared on any auction and has no catalogue value is not known as an important item (if it's not a really new stamp). So my eBay sale of a nice variety will be perhaps about 10 USD and I will never know if this variety was a rare one which existed only in 2 stamps in the world, or a common one where there are thousands.

Well, to make it simple again: is perhaps the difference that, for example in Canada, there are just very few constant varieties which are all known, while the US stamps were produced in the 19th and beginning of 20th century with so many "errors" that the US collectors just did not have fun in listing all of these?

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United States
4580 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   08:53 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From what I've seen, "flyspecking" is a much more accepted and prevalent practice with collectors of non-U.S.material, especially British Commonwealth, than with those collecting U.S. stamps. It's not as mainstream here.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6090 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   09:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It was a more widely collected area from the 20's to the 50's. Today it's only a few classics and a few really jumbo DT's that anyone mainstream really care about. More for the rest of us. :-)
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1699 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   10:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The access to good and usable reference material sometimes creates a market. In this vein, the work of Chase, Ashbrook and Neinken certainly helped create the strong market for US 1851 issue varieties.

As a collector going to shows, in the past, I would often run into dealers who weren't very plater-friendly. The problem was that looking for some elusive variety takes time and effort. You have to go through the dealer's stock with a magnifier to look for something, and often don't find anything. That doesn't always go over well with some dealers, who don't like people who aren't spending a lot of money, taking up chairs at their tables. That attitude probably hasn't helped encourage things.

The internet changed everything there, of course, as one can now hunt for varieties from home.

A nice thread on early US varieties for reference: http://goscf.com/t/53670

I don't know what it is about other countries that makes variety collecting more common. I enjoy watching the Canada forum here and all of the discussions on them.
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Valued Member
103 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   12:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Loupy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In America it's fast food, fast cars, fast women, fast stamp dealers, and fast stamp collectors - got that blank space filled and time to move on to the next empty space, if you've seen one, then you have seen them all. I flyspeck specializing on US # 720 and have been very disappointed with sales of duplicate varieties, so I just hang on to all mine now and hope for a deeper approach by US collectors at some time in the future. In the meantime I am the weirdo with the loupe examining common stamps at stamp shows while the dealers call security to "get that guy out of here, he's slowing things down." "Hey buddy, need a set of MNH Zeps?" I have bills to pay you know...
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Valued Member
United States
313 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   1:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
In the meantime I am the weirdo with the loupe


quoted from the guy named Loupy

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Edited by rismoney - 02/06/2019 1:12 pm
Valued Member
103 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   1:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Loupy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
LOL!
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Valued Member
Canada
410 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   2:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting thread. I naively assumed (not having tackled my US stamp collection as yet) that the practices in Canadian stamp collecting were comparable to those for the US. Fascinating to see how stamp communities in various countries have focused on different areas - "flyspecking", varieties, errors, centering, grading, gum condition...
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Pillar Of The Community
Germany
1293 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   3:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you again. I give some examples. It's not actually small flyspecking (although I like that, too), but also very obvious things.

For example, Scott 331 has even an entry in Scott called "Double transfer" valued 0.75 USD used. While I am not a longterm collector, I have seen hundreds of 331 for sure, and never saw a double transfer. In French's book there are mentioned at least 15 different double transfers, from small to really important.

Which one is meant in Scott?
Is a double transfer on this stamp really only a value difference of 35 Cents? If I saw a nice double transfer of this stamp I would pay more for sure.

Another example:

Isn't that a nice variety which is very obvious and not to be overlooked? Have you ever seen such a stamp? Well, it's not listed in Scott.

Last example:
there are entries "recut in hair" in Scott for 499 and for 546.
The difference in value (used) just for this variety is:
499: about 2300 USD
546: 20 USD

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2049 Posts
Posted 02/06/2019   11:25 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are simply far too many CPVs listed in French for Scott to list and value - if they tried the catalog and its price would explode in size.
VCalue depend not only on scarcity (supply) but also demand. Many issues were printed by more than one plate, so scarcity will depend on the life of the plate AND in when in the plate's life the variety appeared. A double transfer will be there the plate's entire life. A crack could appear early or late in the plate's life. A really obvious variety could get discovered quickly and cause the plate to be pulled, leaving a small supply. Demand will vary based on how popular the normal stamp is. Also the more dramatic the variety, the more people will want it.
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Pillar Of The Community
Germany
1293 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   03:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, all that is true in general, but it's not true for plate varieties in US stamps :). That's why I started this thread.

I don't think that it's only a thing of demand and the size of the market.

Catalogues are very important to many people, some see it as a bible when collecting. So the power of catalogue value is big. If for example the variety of the 527 above (which I don't own) would appear in the next edition of Scott, also with dashes only, each collector who sees it would check all of his 527. If it would appear on eBay, the bidding would be much higher. And perhaps it's even sold at an auction, and then we have a high value in Scott at the end. So it's not that easy always to say it's a thing of demand.

Also, in French there are many very very obvious varieties which are not listed in Scott. So I am not talking about those flyspecking experts only who are only a few.

What could be true is just, that there are way too many varieties in French (and maybe also in earlier issues of US stamps) that they can't be listed in Scott and that most collectors don't have interest to varieties in general.

Is that true? Can we perhaps say that in US stamps there are more varieties than in any other country?

Well, if I think about it, no answer is possible as long as we don't know how many stamps exist for each variety.

Could it at the end be possible that the work of French itself has created the situation that there are too many varieties listed in his book and everybody lost interest in quantifying anything? Would there be higher values if there was not this French's book and only, let's say, 100 varieties listed directly in Scott?
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Pillar Of The Community
Germany
1293 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   03:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Or to add another thought to my last one: It's true that not all of the varieties in French can be listed in Scott, but at some time there must have been the decision to list nearly nothing. What caused this - maybe just the huge amount of data in French's book and not enough researchers to support him, and no interest from Scott to get to know which varieties in this ocean of varieties are rare?
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
500 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   6:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Caper123 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
stamperix - I like to collect varieties (some say flyspecking) too. I am not sure why Scott lists items at all if they cannot give a value. I doubt though they want to be the organization that 'classifies' varieties. It would be interesting to hear their reasoning for listing some but not others. French (and Chase too) is a great resource for varieties but not complete.

I find 'varieties' myself on occasion and then begin to look for repeats of the same so I can confirm they were not merely one-off accidents in the printing process. Foe example, found this Sc #295 the other day with a straight line thru the "...ve se..." of "COMMERATIVE SERIES" near the top of the stamp. Not listed in French.




Value...probably no more than normal. Just an EFO or ink smear...jury is still out.
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