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Variance In Rn Printing

 
 
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Posted 06/29/2019   08:46 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add revenuecollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've seen other occurrences of this, but this pair of checks showcases the variability of printing of RNs, as it exhibits differences both in color and positioning (although it's possible that some of the differences in color could be due to environmental conditions).

Despite the color of the RN imprint being visibly quite different, they are considered the same in Scott.

The RN numbering system in Scott is a mess, with a myriad of gaps in numbering where colors were consolidated and removed. This is especially true of yellows vs. orange. What is also bizarre to me is that even when distinct color shades ARE listed, they are not given subletter designations like you find throughout the rest of the catalogue.

To the RN novice or a lay person, the RN section of the Scott catalogue is a complete fustercluck. It's unlikely to see any revisions, however, as the longtime RN experts seem to be content with the section as is.

Anyhoo.... divergent rant over.



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Posted 06/29/2019   10:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As an example, what would you propose the Scott number and description of these two be?
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Posted 06/29/2019   10:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I concur that the RN section of the catalog has multiple problems; however, there have been significant corrections over the years. I think the RN-H listings were corrected within the last 10 years. Look at the listings in 1970s era specialized to see the changes.
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Posted 06/29/2019   11:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Scott Catalog lists the Type X with a vertical imprint (RN-X7d) so you would assume that none of the other imprints appear rotated.

Here is RN-B1a with the normally vertical imprint rotated to horizontal.

Here is RN-C1 with the imprint vertical.

Here is the RN-X7 with a diagonal imprint.
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Posted 06/29/2019   12:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revenuermd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Having collected the RNs for many a year and having had some influence on the listings, I find them quite okay. BUT those who collect the RNs also realize that the aesthetics and the location of use overwhelm the retail value. an RN-B1 used in Delaware commands a far great retail price than a similar RN-B1 used in New York City.

Might I add that this is no different than collecting documents with first issue revenues. Slight variations in color are not listed. Prices on documents from NYC and Delaware vary greatly in retail value. And beautiful aesthetics command substantial premiums.

Experience with the RNs is as essential as experience with first issue revenues in order to understand differences in retail value.
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Ron Lesher
Edited by revenuermd - 06/29/2019 12:34 pm
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Posted 06/29/2019   2:16 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think my point is being missed. I'm not talking about valuation. Of course there are going to be major differences that are dependent upon factors outside the scope of the Scott catalogue (state, business, type of document, vignette/aesthetics, etc.). My frustration is with the inconsistencies in what *IS* included the catalogue.

For example, the difference between "yellow" and "orange" is handled in different ways throughout the RN section:

1. RN-B1. Specific listings for orange, yellow orange, and deep orange with discrete prices for each... that are all the same price.

2. RN-C1. Same approach, but with several additional colors, with also a footnote "All examples of the previously listed 'yellow' have some red in them."

3. RN-C17. No breakout of colors, no footnote, but the term "(shades)" after the word orange. How does this differ from the explicit breakout of the shades above? Does this mean that there isn't as much variance in the shades of orange as the above? Dunno. It's not explained.

4. RN-C21. Same approach as RN-B1.

5. RN-D1. Same approach as RN-C17.

6. RN-D1. Combination of RN-C1 and RN-C17. "(shades)" after orange, and a footnote "All examples of the previously listed 'yellow' have some red in them and are included in the 'shades'".

7. RN-F1. Same footnote as RN-C1, but no breakout of colors or "(shades)".

8. RN-G1. Ditto

9. RN-J4. Same as RN-B1, but with "pale orange" instead of "yellow orange"

10. RN-M2. Same as RN-F1.

11. RN-P5. Ditto.

12. RN-T4. Same as RN-B1.

13. RN-W2. Similar to RN-D1.

14. RN-X6 "yellow" vs. RN-X7 "orange". This is the one place that there *IS* a distinction between yellow and orange... yet Castenholz and specialist dealers like Eric Jackson and Richard Friedberg only ever list material under RN-X7. The RN-X6 catalogue number is ignored... so why does it persist when others have been consolidated and the redundant catalogue number removed?

15. Numerous listings just with "orange" without any qualifiers at all.

It may seem like I'm being overly pedantic, but in a hobby where detail and specifics are critical, these distinctions and more importantly the *consistency* with which they are applied, are important.

Either the above need to be overhauled and aligned, or if there indeed *are* distinguishable differences in why the above are all listed differently, an explanation needs to be included in the introduction to the section. Does "(shades)" mean there are too many subtle shades to list individually? Does the lack of qualifier after "orange" mean there are no discrete shades? Without context, it just appears haphazard and sloppy.

I understand that, as with any specialty area, experience and expertise is required, however that doesn't excuse sloppiness in the way a catalogue is constructed, especially as revisions are incorporated over time.

A well-organized and well-written reference stands on its own without requiring unwritten assumptions or external references. Statements like "XXX is beyond the scope of this catalogue. See YYYY for more information" are useful... seemingly random and haphazard methods of listing without distinction are not, even if longtime collectors know that you pay attention to some items written in the section but not others because "everyone knows that..."

There are just too many inconsistencies in the wording of RN listings that imply meaning and distinction, sometimes in a very fuzzy sense, where none may actually exist...
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Edited by revenuecollector - 06/29/2019 2:18 pm
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Posted 06/29/2019   3:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Get a hold of an old Scott and see how really bad it used to be. Like many areas, it's tough to figure in the beginning.
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Posted 07/01/2019   10:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revinmn to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Color in reference to RNs has always been a problem, as there were no color standards in place when they were being printed. If you really want to be on a soap box about it, try comparing various printers' versions of what the catalog refers to as "olive green." One thing you will find is that imprints cataloged as olive on Butler and Carpenter designs are almost the same color as American Phototype Ds cataloged as "buff." Even within American Phototype listings, Type B "red" may be a vibrant clear color, or almost pink.

The catalog listings can be cleaned up better than they have been, but they will never be to the point to distinguish between the two shades of orange on the first examples. So one batch of ink was slightly different from the last one, or one of the checks sat in the sunlight for a while. Does anyone really care to that extent?

I've been asked to clean up the Type X listing, which has several problems a lot worse than the difference between yellow and orange - which can vary according to one's color perception anyway. The project always seems to be put off (on my end, not theirs.)
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Posted 07/01/2019   11:47 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
So one batch of ink was slightly different from the last one, or one of the checks sat in the sunlight for a while. Does anyone really care to that extent?


If that's the case, then the wording in the catalogue needs to be cleaned up and aligned. The problem is that the varied ways in which the listings are worded *IMPLIES* that there are distinctions to be made, when from what I'm reading, there aren't.

Those of you who have been specializing in RNs for 40+ years know to disregard certain elements of, and inconsistencies across, the RN listings... presumably this is why there is a collective shrug from those who have chimed in. What you are forgetting is that the status quo is NOT very helpful for the nonspecialist or new collector who is relying on the catalogue.

That's my point.
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Posted 07/01/2019   9:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revinmn to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Okay, why don't you write out what you think needs to be cleaned up, in detail by RN type and either Ron or I can try to make it happen. Don't post it here - send us an email.

Speaking for myself, I know that the section isn't consistent or as good a reference as it could be. But, believe it or not, it is a lot better now, at least for the Civil War designs, than it was not too long ago.
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