Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

30¢ bison double transfer variety

I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours at the TSDA San Antonio Stamp Show on Sunday, and stumbled across this beauty while browsing through a dealer’s stock book.

30-cent Bison stamp with double transfer evident in righthand '30' and word 'Postage'
30¢ Bison variety with double transfer

The 30¢ bison stamp is part of the Fourth Bureau issue. It was printed in sheets of 400 that were then split into panes of 100 for distribution to post offices. On one of the printing plates that was used, the design of one stamp was partially entered twice, resulting in this stunning variety. The double transfer is most obvious in the righthand “30” and in the “STAGE” of “POSTAGE.”

This is a remarkably easy variety to spot even with the naked eye, but it’s one that’s worth watching for since the catalogue value for a mint copy is roughly 10 times that of a normal stamp. If you can pick up the variety for the price of a normal copy, you’re getting a bargain.

When life is too busy for stamps

Out of curiosity, I just checked to see when I last posted something to this blog, and it looks like it was well over a month ago. Wow, where has the time gone?

As you might guess, the past few weeks have been very busy with family, church, and doing some freelance web development. The last of those has brought in a little bit of extra income, but it has also consumed the bulk of what little time I might otherwise have spent on stamp-related pursuits.

On the plus side, I’m hoping there might be a little breathing space over the next week or two. The days are just about long enough for me to once again start making an occasional meeting of the San Antonio Philatelic Association, and the Texas Stamp Dealers Association’s quarterly San Antonio bourse is scheduled for this coming weekend at the Norris Conference Center off Interstate 410. Hopefully I’ll get to pop in there for a couple of hours.

In addition to those activities, I’ll be working on the next issue of the Philosateleian Post Horn as well as the May–June issue of The Poster. Busy times, but hopefully some fun too after some very busy weeks!

New version of nonprofit stamp showing up in mail

I don’t receive much mail at all bearing stamps these days besides that sent by other collectors, but one new stamp I have seen on a couple of mail pieces is the newly modified version of the USA Nonprofit Org. issue. The stamp uses the same basic design as the version issued last year, but incorporates a blue border that adds a bit more color.

Non-denominated 5-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing blue 'USA' and red star
“USA” nonprofit stamp

One other change: the microprinted USPS, which appears within the lower curve of the “S” on the original stamp, is now nestled close to the top of the left leg of the “A.”

Microprinted USPS is located near top of left leg of 'A' on non-denominated 5-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing blue 'USA' and red star
Location of “USPS” microprinting

February 2017 TSDA San Antonio Stamp Show review

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had the opportunity to stop by the TSDA San Antonio Stamp Show last month. I’ve been wanting to share a bit more detail about my experience there.

Last month’s show as the first bourse I’d attended in probably more than a decade. When I lived in Florida, the local shows were always held on Saturdays, and I couldn’t attend. The TSDA show here was also held on Saturday, but it extended into Sunday.

I arrived at the show a couple of hours before its scheduled end, and there weren’t many other customers around the entire time I was there. My guess is the bulk of the selling activity probably took place on Saturday, but the lack of a big crowd made it easy to browse.

My first stop was at the table of George Watkins. George had a nice selection of United States stamps, and I found a mint copy of the flat plate 14¢ American Indian stamp with a pair of relief breaks.

Up next was Ken Scheller’s table. In addition to finding some Norfolk Island stamps for my landscapes collection, I spotted another 14¢ American Indian stamp—the rotary press printed variety with Canal Zone overprint. The stamp had some nice ink smearing, so I was happy to add it to my collection as well.

The third table I browsed was operated by Lynn Davidson-Stroh. Lynn had some truly oddball material—packets of high face value U.S. stamps, CSA facsimiles, Gulf War labels, and so forth, all of which I was happy to acquire. Lynn also had some very interesting locals dating back to the time of a Canadian postal strike in the 1970s, but I unfortunately had to pass on those as they were a bit out of my price range at the time.

All three of these dealers were very friendly and welcoming.

By the time I finished up at Lynn’s table, the bourse was wrapping up. I quickly snagged a packet of unused Japanese stamps from one dealer, and another American Indian from another, but unfortunately didn’t catch either of their names.

And that was my stamp show experience in a nutshell. I understand the San Antonio show is held quarterly, so I’ll be looking forward to hopefully making a repeat visit in May.

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