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This Appears To Be A Large Die Trial Color Proof Of Scott 38

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Posted 02/04/2023   11:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
orstampman, by any chance does this hhave gold leaf on the edges as if bound in a book?
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Posted 02/05/2023   4:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great question!

The latest... I've looked through what seem like innumerable examples of this stamp online, mostly on the Siegel website, and there's no sign of that lower frame line. Then a multiple came up in the Siegel search, prompting an involuntary "SMH," as in "why didn't I think of that first?" Attached is perhaps the clearest example of a block from the Siegel site.

What you will see at the bottom of several subjects, however, is some ink smudging. A well-known dealer sent me scans of black plate proofs which exhibit similar smudging, along with some journal articles to read, and mention of modifications to the transfer rolls. So while there's still work to be done, at the moment, all evidence is pointing to the conclusion that the TC proofs in black are actually TC essays.
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Edited by essay_proof - 02/05/2023 5:28 pm
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Posted 02/05/2023   6:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have been looking for more on these as well and found another example of a 38TC1 that Spink Shreves sold in 2011 (lot 165, see link below image). It is described as "ex-Finkelberg" which might help explain where the designation as a trial color rather than essay originated? It would be great to get James Lee's input on this. The image quality is not great, but you can see that bottom line.



https://stampauctionnetwork.com/F/f1339.cfm#25
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Posted 02/05/2023   7:19 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
hy-brasil, I checked and there is no gold-leaf or other coloration on this. No appearance of being previously bound.
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Posted 02/05/2023   9:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rodgcam, good find! I like the guidelines in that example.

I'm looking at a 2021 edition of the Specialized and there are only 2 items listed as essays, both black:

38-E1, an incomplete engraving, devoid of any inscriptions or value numerals
38-E2, quoting here: "incomplete engraving of entire design. Scrolls at each side of 30 have only one outer shading line."

The missing shading in the lower scrolls are sufficient to distinguish essay from proof, but as pointed out in this thread, there are other significant attributes that help distinguish the essays.

However, my take is that TC proofs in black with fully shaded scrolls and complete frame line have been mis-attributed as essays. I'm thinking that the only de facto trial color proofs are plate proofs.

Here's a nice look at some of these items, care of the Swedish Tiger:
https://www.theswedishtiger.com/38-scotts.html

Here's an item currently listed on ebay by Gary Posner. It's listed as a TC plate proof. Given the lack of bottom frame line, IMO this fits the bill as a TC plate proof.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/383505328776


This next item from Gary Posner seems questionable as described, i.e., "Trial Color Plate Proof." It has all the hallmarks of the complete design (shading in ornaments, thin oval, bottom frameline) which, so far, only appear on the die proofs (essays). But it is described as printed on India paper, with perfs added.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/383615333816

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Edited by essay_proof - 02/05/2023 11:25 pm
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Posted 02/06/2023   12:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I received a scan from Jim Lee of 3 examples of TC plate proofs in black. It is with his permission that I am posting it here. (I will ask him at some point if these are on India or stamp paper).

Note the differences in the bottom part of the designs, not just between those 3 examples but also in the design as engraved on the die. Jim sent this to me along with his suggestion that I follow the trail of information regarding the transfer rolls to help explain the differences between the design of the die and the design of the issued stamps. Looks like I'll be getting a stack of books from the APRL library in short order. Meanwhile...

From an article in the Nov/Dec 1993 issue of The Collectors Club Philatelist, Gene Reed noted that the 30 design was entered into the plate using a 4-relief transfer roll, with some "minor trimming at top and bottom." Trimming at the bottom is obvious, not so much the top. I'm venturing to guess that the inconsistencies in the bottom parts of the design, seen in these TC proofs as well as the issued stamps, reflects to some degree inconsistency in the trimming of the reliefs.

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Posted 02/06/2023   1:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So, what of the differences in the scroll engraving?
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Posted 02/06/2023   2:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rogdcam, not sure what you're asking. Have you seen the comparison of the unshaded vs. shaded scrolls on the previous page, last post?
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Posted 02/06/2023   2:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ah, thank you Essay! So, all of the TC's have the same ornament engraving. The top's and (mostly) bottoms have the main differences. Excellent work!
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Posted 02/06/2023   2:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, and thank you for fueling the research fire with your image finds.

As far as I can tell, all of the TCs (as they are currently listed) have the same ornament shading. There are a total of 8 ornaments in the design: two at top, two at bottom, and two "acanthus scrolls" on each side. The top ornaments never received the additional shading treatment as did the other 6. That's why I didn't focus on them in the display on the previous page.

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Posted 02/09/2023   1:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you will permit a comment:

The pics of the three TC proof items Jim Lee sent you are distinguished from the so-called Trial color die proofs shown early in this thread by the absence of the bottom frame line. Jim's examples and one other shown earlier are the only items so far being shown here which can properly claim to be trial colors, and they are plate proof items only. The so called large-die "trial colors" in black as shown here are only essays, irrespective of how they are presently listed in Scott or understood by those offering them for sale. My suggestion to essayproof is that for the remainder of this thread you only designate as TC what you know or believe to be true trial colors.

This is important inasmuch as if it can be shown that the basis of the finally issued design for this stamp came entirely from transfer reliefs in which that frameline was shorn off, then there can be no Large die trial colors from the original state of the dies here shown so far. To reinstate the listing of large die trial colors, you would need to find an impression from a new laydown die of the truncated transfer roll relief(s) used for the plates. It might exist, but so far we have not seen an example showing full sinkage.

Apples are not oranges.
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Edited by essayk - 02/09/2023 1:51 pm
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Posted 02/09/2023   2:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi essayk,

Per my research into the history of 30 1860 stamp production so far, black was the color originally discussed (and approved!), but it became a moot point after TCC persuaded Zevely to consider a different color. Thus, IMO, all non-orange prints are trial colors.

Also from my studies, there has been a lot of confusion and/or mis-describing of which of the 30 archival items are plate proofs and cut-down die proofs. Earlier in this thread I surmised that all 30 prints sporting the complete bottom frame line are essays, even though the Specialized lists them as die proofs of some kind. So we are in agreement, apples are apples, even though they have been thought of as oranges.

Since this thread began, I have looked at innumerable images of the stamps, the essays, and the so-called proofs, and I have yet to find a) an example of the stamp sporting the lower frame line (that goes without saying at this point), or b) a proof in which that frame line is omitted. I'm not hopeful of finding one either!

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Edited by essay_proof - 02/09/2023 2:03 pm
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Posted 02/11/2023   12:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The three proofs you show us from Jim Lee are plate proofs without the bottom frame line. That they are black makes them trial color proofs, but they are plate proofs just the same. Perhaps what you meant to say is that you have not seen a plate proof in the issued color with the bottom frame line known from the die.

A key piece of missing information concerns the reliefs on the transfer roll. How many were used after hardening to make plates, and did all 4 have the bottom frame line shorn off? I hope the articles from Perry or the others will touch on that.
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Posted 02/11/2023   12:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks essayk. Point taken!

To clarify, I have not seen a plate proof in any color with the bottom frame line. Additionally, I have not seen a die proof* in which the bottom frame line is omitted save for a hybrid proof, but of course that doesn't count. (For anyone unfamiliar with this term, a hybrid proof is an imitation large die proof, made by cutting an India paper plate proof very close, mounting it on a larger piece of India paper, and die-sinking it on card.)

A Siegel power search revealed two offerings of hybrids, both listed as 46P1var. These are not listed in the Specialized. The outline of the cut-down plate proof is most easily seen in the sale 909 listing (see attached image) because it is a card proof. I believe that using card proofs in the making of hybrid large die proofs is highly unusual. EssayK, what are your thoughts on this?

This example of a hybrid does not show die sinkage, which itself is not unusual. Not all hybrids exhibit die sinkage.

Sale 909, Lot 1059
Sale 1007, Lot 2031

* Per the study outlined in this thread, the term "die proof" is really no longer applicable to any of the large die proofs (trial color or otherwise) for the 30-cent stamp as listed in Scott.

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Edited by essay_proof - 02/11/2023 12:58 pm
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