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

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Posted 01/31/2023   12:21 am  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add orstampman to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This is a single die impression on thin paper with large margins, pasted to a card. I know it's pretty worn (kinda foxy though!), but am trying to determine the specific Scott listing. I am thinking 38TC1ae, but since the catalog valuation is $5000, I have my doubts. I think the overall size including the card is smaller than the full-size, so it may have been reduced. Thoughts?

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Posted 01/31/2023   06:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My first thought was that it is an essay, given that the outlining of the bottom portion of the stamp (forming "diamonds" in the LL and LR corners) does not seem to be present on the stamp. I'll refer to this as "strong lines at bottom." This attribute is not described in Brazer or the Scott Specialized. The attached comparison image takes your scan and compares it to Siegal Sale 866, Lot 22. Other examples of the stamp I've looked at don't appear to have the strong lines at bottom.

Brazer noted the distinguishing characteristic of the essay as having "Scrolls at each side of the 30 have only one outer shading line." The Scott Specialized repeats this, also citing "incomplete engraving." The strong lines at the bottom notwithstanding, I think the shading in the scrolls may be the key to identification as an essay or a TC, but it's is difficult to discern in your scan. I'd like to suggest rescanning at 600 dpi, cropping the image to focus just on the stamp, and reposting.

Two reference images are found on USPhila, at this link:
https://www.usphila.com/us/stamp/pr...t-38-page-11

There you will see two black examples listed as TCs. One of them (identified as TC1, large die proof) exhibits the strong line at bottom, the other does not (identified as TC5).

Your example is obviously a large die proof on untrimmed paper on card. The nature of the paper will also help to make a determination. Can you tell if it's India or proof paper?
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Edited by essay_proof - 01/31/2023 06:49 am
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Posted 01/31/2023   07:54 am  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, essay_proof, for your detailed observations and helpful link. Below is a cropped 600dpi scan, which appears to be the 38TC1 shown in the reference link. The paper is a thin tissue-like texture, so I believe it is India.

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Posted 01/31/2023   10:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stamp Hunting to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting thread guys.

Thank you so much for posting this orstampman, thank you essay_proof for such a clear and detailed analysis.
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Posted 01/31/2023   2:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You're welcome!

The strong lines at the bottom of the design have piqued my interest. At the moment, as far as I can tell, they don't seem to be present on the issued stamps. Technically, that would make this a TC die essay.

There's a recut-at-bottom variety listed in Scott, also mentioned in Brookman. Position 52L1. But this detail isn't illustrated in either book. If the recut was performed directly on the plate, as is my understanding of this process, then there wouldn't be a die proof of the altered/repaired design.

This is hypothetical... If the bottom was recut to strenghthen the lines on the die itself, that plate position would have had to be erased and re-entered (die > transfer roll > plate). This could result in a double transfer, and Scott & Brookman both list double transfer varieties. But not being a student of this issue, I'm just hypothesizing.

Here's some info from Brookman, who illustrates two TC proofs (p. 261), both of which appear to be plate proofs.

For the black proof, those lines are indistinct if not non-existent (the photo is fairly poor)
For the proof printed in "normal shade," the lines are quite distinct in the photo.

Now to p. 262 and his illustration of the "complete arrow head at bottom right" variety. To my eye, it looks no different from examples of the issued stamp I've looked at so far.

I'm not a student of this issue, so the best I can do is provide info from the literature, and relate my observations, and suggest some possibities.

BTW, great item! I'd be happy to have it, foxing and all. Has a lot of character. One last question... can you measure the card and post back with the size?
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Posted 01/31/2023   3:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The below are from Siegel. Not sure if they add anything to the discussion.


Quote:
30c Black, Large Die Essay on India (38-E1 var). 55 x 66mm and mounted on card, intense shade, incomplete design showing scrolls at each side of "30" with only one outer shading line
VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE ESSAY OF THE 30-CENT 1860 ISSUE.

Scott Catalogue lists this essay as cut to stamp size. This essay, with generous borders, is very desirable.





Quote:
30c Black, Large Die Trial Color Proof on India (38TC1). 75 x 82mm and with full die sinkage, detailed impression, light diagonal crease
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE LARGE DIE TRIAL COLOR PROOF OF THE 30-CENT 1860 ISSUE, WHICH SHOWS FULL DIE SINKAGE.



https://siegelauctions.com/lot_grd....tFirst=First
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Posted 01/31/2023   4:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Awesome!

Funny, I didn't encounter those in my Siegel search. Must... Try... Harder...

I see another difference between essay and proof that isn't noted in Scott or Brookman or the Siegel listing... There's a very thin oval line within the white oval surrounding the vignette in the TC proof. It's barely visible (if at all) in the essay, and in orstampman's example it's lighter but still there. Obviously hand-executed. As I said before, I'm not a student of this stamp but nevertheless this is an obvious difference. Perhaps, just perhaps, we can say that this attribute of the essay was "discovered right here, folks, right here on StampCommunity."

The 38TC1 example from Siegel has the distinctive appearance of a Schernkow reprint, though the 30 denomination is the only one not listed.

Did a quick side-by-side, and the die sinkage appears to be the same between the Siegel example (L) and orstampmans' (R).



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Edited by essay_proof - 01/31/2023 4:36 pm
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Posted 01/31/2023   4:55 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Speaking of awesome, that's a great side-side comparison of the Siegel essay and TC proof to this example. Great observations about the thin oval line and shading in the scrolls.

Die shrinkage margins: 60mm x 73mm
Die paper margins: 73mm(bot)/76mm(top) x 94mm(left)/92mm(right)
Backing card: 90mm x 130mm
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Posted 02/01/2023   04:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you get the item professionally repaired,
please let us know your route and the cost etc.

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Posted 02/01/2023   12:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When items like this pop up I always wonder about their life and where they spent it. Especially when something of which presumably very few were created seems by condition to not have been a collector's possession. If only it could talk.
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Posted 02/01/2023   4:46 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting that you bring that perspective to this item, rogdcam. This was found in one of many boxes of stuff, accumulated by a collector of stamps and related documents and ephemera. It was NOT in a special or specific location, and actually mixed within a layer of ephemera! Probably many years since it's seen open air!
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Posted 02/02/2023   03:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
orstampman, thanks for posting the dimensions of the proof. Yours is approx. 3.5" x 5". I know of only source which discusses dimensions of die proof card backings, and that's the Turner book on revenue essays and proofs so it may not be applicable here. But FWIW, yours fits somewhere in-between the size he noted for B&C card backings, "Medium" (4.5" x 6") and "Small" (3"x5", NBNCo).

I discussed your item with the members of my stamp club yesterday. One member sent me a scan of his 38P4 to compare with the items shown in this thread and it doesn't have the bottom frame line. I've also reached out to a few prominent collector/researchers on the question of whether this item should rightly be classified as a TC proof or an essay. I'll post back if/when I get feedback.
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Posted 02/02/2023   12:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Since there seems to be some confusion here I would like to comment.

In questions of this kind it is best to go back to basic principles and definitions. Any deviation from the design as issued necessarily classes the item in question as an essay. In this case, the item in question has a design element that the issued stamps do not; i.e. the framing element at the bottom.

Similarly, one of the Siegel items lacks an oval in the vignette frame that the issued stamps do have. Therefore that Siegel item is also an essay, but of a different die state than the first one in this thread.

None of the items in black in this post are identical in design with the issued stamps. Therefore they are only essays, and none is a Trial Color.

Those are the facts. I would be curious to know if Siegel referenced the PF for any of their ID work which they offered as a TC in black. If they did, then the PF needs to be informed of its error (if it does not already know).



BTW let me also point out that since the original item in this post shows full die "sinkage" (from impressing the original die into the card backed India paper) the proof has not been "mounted" to the card, it has been "die sunk." That may seem like a small distinction, but it makes a HUGE difference in the marketplace among those in the know. It is unfortunate that it suffers from "foxing" but a knowledgeable paper conservator could help restore it to a better appearance.
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Edited by essayk - 02/02/2023 12:23 pm
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Posted 02/02/2023   2:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you essayk for chiming in (I was hoping you would).

To summarize, so far...

1) The essay as described in Brazer, and subsequently in the Scott Specialized, lacks shading lines in the ornament at either side of "30", though only the right ornament is shown in the image below (blue arrows).
2) Neither Brazer nor the Specialized noted the lack of the thin oval line as a characteristic of the essay (red arrows).
3) As they are currently cataloged, both the essay and the TC proof include bottom frame lines that are not present in the issued stamps (green arrows). Thus, per essayk's analysis, the TC proof is an essay.

Another of my philatelic compatriots suggested investigating a few more leads, but this is where we're at for now. "To be continued..."

[Edited to amend description of shaded ornaments]
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Edited by essay_proof - 02/02/2023 3:25 pm
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Posted 02/02/2023   2:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I just noticed that the OP's example and Siegel TC1 scrolls at the top and bottom sides of "Thirty" and "Cents" also have lines that are not in the Siegel 38E1.
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Posted 02/02/2023   5:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essay_proof to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rogdcam, good eye!

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Edited by essay_proof - 02/02/2023 5:09 pm
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