I’ve been intending for some time now to post a scan of my most recent Philosateleain Post stamp on a first day cover I mailed to myself back in January. Spring cleaning and life in general kept getting in the way, but hey—I have a couple of minutes, so here it is!
I’m not at all surprised when I see one of my local post stamps with a big scrape across its surface—mail processing equipment seems to reach out and grab my stamps for some reason—but this one somehow made it through relatively unscathed. It’s a nice addition to my collection.
Apparent Washington coil stamp turns up in stamp dealer’s postcard box
While browsing through a box of postcards at the local stamp shop a couple of weeks ago, I ran across a card that caught my attention because it has what appears to be a coil stamp from the Washington-Franklin series, the third Bureau issue.
Although it’s obviously not one of the earliest coils since it’s not perforated 12 or 8½ vertically, even some of the later Washington-Franklin coils can if genuine have a catalogue value of a couple of bucks, so I paid the asking price of $0.50. You can probably imagine my surprise when I consulted my Scott catalogue that evening and realized that the stamp is an apparent Scott 443 with an on-cover catalogue value of $60!
As the Scott catalogue notes, the Washington-Franklin coils are frequently faked from trimmed sheet stamps or fraudulently perforated imperforate stamps, but this particular example has a few things going for it. The design’s size is right for a stamp from one of the flat plate printings; it’s tied to the postcard by the cancellation; and the July 6, 1914, postmark is just a few weeks after the earliest known use of the stamp.
There’s always the possibility that the sender was having a little fun and trimmed down a booklet stamp or perforated an imperforate stamp before affixing it to the postcard, but on the surface, at least, it looks good. I’ve shipped it off to APEX for expertizing, so we’ll find out what the experts say!
As mentioned previously, user Steve R. helpfully pointed out a mistake on one of my pages for official stamps, and he has since noted errors on a couple of other pages. Corrected versions of all of those pages are also included in this supplement in case you missed them.
How to insert batteries into Lighthouse L81 UV Lamp
I recently acquired a Lighthouse L81 switchable UV lamp so that I can check my stamps for tagging. It’s a neat little portable device that can be used to check for fluorescent or phosphorescent tagging, and it’s priced at a fraction of what larger models cost.
One of my first questions, though, was, “How do I put batteries in this thing?” It’s easy enough to remove the battery compartment door, but the battery orientation indicators molded into the plastic on the inside of the battery compartment are difficult to see if you don’t have the lamp tilted at just the right angle.
I did eventually figure it out, and thought I’d post a “how-to” video in case you have the same trouble I did.
Diagonal plate scratches on 14¢ American Indian stamp
eBay sometimes gets a bad rap in the philatelic community, and that’s probably not without reason. You definitely have to be careful, and there are some things (never-hinged classics with no certificate, for example) that I simply wouldn’t take a chance on. Buyer beware!
In spite of this, some pretty cool items can turn up. Take for instance this 14¢ American Indian stamp. I purchased it not because I thought it was the most beautiful example that I’d ever seen—the bottom perforations are atrocious—but because it shows a plate flaw, a pair of nearly parallel diagonal scratches running from the chief’s shoulder up toward the “N” in “UNITED”, with one of the scratches then reappearing in the left margin to the left of the “IT” in “UNITED.”
This sort of flaw is not especially valuable, and the scratches are less distinct than on a stamp I wrote about in November, but it was still an inexpensive and very cool acquisition.