Message Board

Time Period:   Username Search:
Order By: Keyword Search:
   Reset Filters


Posted Apr 25, 15 8:04 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Rob -

You lucky dog!  WESTPEX is still on my bucket list.  Maybe 2017....

Posted Apr 25, 15 0:11 by Rob Faux (robfaux)


Since I don't know most of you by sight, I thought I'd post and make the note that I am at Westpex (a rare treat for me).
I wear the Cincinnati Reds cap.  So, if you don't think I'm too frightening, feel free to say hello and introduce yourself.
Of course, many of you many not check the board while you're here - but in case you do.
And, while you are at it, you can criticize my attempt at exhibiting.  Or my taste in baseball teams.  But, I still bet I can beat you all in a weeding contest.

Rob Faux

Posted Apr 24, 15 11:33 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Argentine Cover


The 1892 rate was 8 centavos per the 1892 PL&R. Arfken indicates there was no surtax charged between 1890 and 1894 (based on Postal Guides). The additional 2 centavos was overpayment, which is ok, as I wanted to completely eliminate the possibility of a surtax (2nd - 4th class type mail do not seem probable i.e. 500g in letter size envelop)

The cancel on the 1 cent due is also interesting as the circular "advertised" date stamp appears to be used provisionally as a precancel in Cleveland which was using brushstroke precancels at the time.

Posted Apr 24, 15 9:58 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Argentina Cover

Ray, the cover is prepaid. The 1c due is for advertising at destination post office and is not related to deficient prepayment.

Posted Apr 23, 15 23:20 by richard babcock (babcock)

Gordon Eubanks

Nice article in the Chronicle this month.The Charles Hirzel U.S. collection.Pg 126.


Posted Apr 23, 15 18:55 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Argentine Postal Rate 1892

Thanks Terence. I was wondering what the contents of that book were.

Apparently this is a UPU question as I could not find in PL&R 1892. Arfken states the surtaxes were an optional charge countries could make in addition to standard UPU rate. Initially, he states, there were about 69 countries which used surtaxes but by 1892 only 36 did so.

There are several possibilities with this cover.
1. The surtax was 2 centavoes in 1892
2. The NY clerk overlooked the surtax charge if 4 centavoes
3. There was no surtax and sender overpaid
4. This is not 1st class mail

Any ideas?


Posted Apr 23, 15 18:21 by Bill Weiss (weiss111)

fake ebay sales


Email me privately and i'll steer you to the details of those multiple sales of the same item over a period of time. Richard doesn't want that kind of discussion on this board.

Posted Apr 23, 15 11:05 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Oversized Card Two Cent Rate

Here is a recent item I picked up at Garfield Perry. It shows a nice 2 cent rate for an oversized card. The color scan below the card shows what the picture looks like when the card is unfolded.


Posted Apr 23, 15 11:02 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Interesting Ebay Listing

The following scan of the 356 pair and cert has been listed at least 5 times over the past several months by different sellers. It has been up for auction, it shows being sold, and then it gets relisted again by a different seller. It seems very unusual to me. I wonder if the item gets sold, submitted for a new cert, and something is wrong with the pair and is returned.


Posted Apr 23, 15 9:33 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Havana 1987

Recalling his AMERIPEX 86 glory, Les Winick had written in Linn's that no Cuban exhibits were at the show because only youth exhibits had been entered. I sent a copy to a friend at the federation. Back came an invitation to inspect the FIP-qualified gold and vermeil exhibits of classic Cuban stamps and postal history  that had been entered and rejected.

Left to right: José Abreu, who was showing me his exhibit; Hector Marchena, president of the FFC and an FIP judge who had applied to be Cuba's commissioner; José Luís Guerra, director of the National Postal Museum and author of several books on classic Cuba; and yours truly.

I also met José Capote, who showed me his rejected exhibit. He too was an FIP judge, who later defected to this country while en route to an FIP show in Europe. Capote worked for several years at Amos Press, valuing stamps for the Scott catalog. I have lost contact with him, but I believe he eventually became a lawyer.

After the meeting at the clubhouse, I went to the dedication ceremony for a stamp and a commemorative cancel hosted by Cuba's cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo, and then to a youth stamp exhibition at Ciego de Ávila.


Posted Apr 23, 15 7:59 by Terence Hines (thines)

Rates from Argentina to US

The basic rate to the US in 1892 was 8 centavis per 15 grams for letters, 4 centavos for post cards . 10 centavos for registration and 4 centavos for a return receipt. "Other articles" per 50 grams - 2 centavos. This from the Postilion primary sources series vol. 4.

Posted Apr 22, 15 20:51 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Argentine Postal Rate 1892

Does anyone have a listing for the Argentina surtax rate in 1892 for basic single rate mail to the US?

Posted Apr 22, 15 15:30 by Matthew Healey (matthewhealey)


Ken, many thanks for that. Somehow I knew you would reply first :-) And thanks also for disambiguating the two postal museums. I had not realized there were two.

Posted Apr 22, 15 15:09 by Stephen Knapp (essayk)

7c Banknote Type B Specimen overprint

Pardon the intrusion, but several of you are well connected in the hobby. Can anyone give me any tips or leads for the whereabouts of a 7c Continental Bank Note issue with the type B Specimen handstamp overprint in blue?

It has been listed in the US Specialized at least since 1947, but I have not seen it illustrated anywhere. One was offered for sale in in 1998 in Siegel sale #802, but it was not illustrated then either. To my knowledge it has not surfaced since then.

Does anyone here recall hearing of one or seeing one in recent memory?

Posted Apr 22, 15 6:35 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Auschwitz and Philately

From today's New York Times:

Mr. Gröning first started talking about Auschwitz with associates and his two sons after a fellow collector at his stamp club fiercely denied the Holocaust.

Posted Apr 22, 15 6:12 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Cuban Postal Museum

In the 1980s the Cuban Philatelic Federation (FFC, P.O. Box 2222, Havana) arranged my visits to the Cuban Postal Museum so that the grand old man of Cuban philately, José Luís Guerra, would accommodate my research interests in the vaults. Guerra is long dead, but whoever is the current director can probably be reached through the federation, although as a Times reporter you might pull more weight by submitting your request to the foreign ministry. To avoid miscommunication, take note that Havana has its own postal museum, which is not the same thing.

Posted Apr 21, 15 21:48 by Matthew Healey (matthewhealey)

Philatelists in Cuba

Hi all,

Thinking of visiting Havana with my wife in June. One stop will be the postal museum. Would also love to meet/interview some Cuban philatelists. Anyone able to suggest names/contacts? Many thanks in advance.

Posted Apr 21, 15 20:45 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Hong Kong

Melcher's 89d or f.....?

Posted Apr 21, 15 19:40 by David Benson (dbenson)

Hong Kong Security Markings

try this site,

more than you would ever want to know on Hong Kong Security Markings,

David B.

Posted Apr 21, 15 16:10 by David Handelman (davidh)


Try Melcher's.

Posted Apr 21, 15 14:22 by Richard Hilty (rhilty)

Private company cancel on stamp

The stamp on this cover appears to have a private company purple cancel on it. it reads "MELOHERs & co. Hong Kong" under the Hong Kong cancel.

Any ideas on this would be appreciated.


Posted Apr 21, 15 10:59 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

'59 vs '60


I ran your image through Retroreveal and I believe it confirms Steve's thoughts.

Posted Apr 21, 15 10:49 by Steve Walske (steve w)

1859 or 1860

Michael, Not clear, but it looks like 1859 to me. I see the fourth digit as a 9. That means the cover went via Panama.

Posted Apr 20, 15 17:29 by Michael Schreiber (michaelschreiber)

Nevada City, California, 1859 ? 1860 ? or ?

Green on buff 10-cent Nesbitt to Standish, Maine.

Per Walske-Frajola Mails of the Western Expansion, 1803-1861,

if 1859, then via Sacramento and San Francisco and Panama to NYC, correct?

if 1860, then via Overland Mail, correct?


Posted Apr 20, 15 10:53 by Curt McCoy (curt mccoy)

Private Imperforate Coil

Like Ken, I have saw dozens of the Alexander Hamilton Institute covers with precancelled Schermacks stamps.  The one thing in common, they all display poorly cut stamps.  For some reason, either the size of the envelope or the materials inside, they did not process through that particular Mailometer machine very effeciently.

Posted Apr 19, 15 16:25 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


You would need more and better evidence to persuade me that AHI used anything other than a Mailometer machine. I have seen dozens of covers sent by that institute, both domestic and foreign, all with Schermacks, some precanceled, some with manually added stamps. The separation on one of your examples is misregistered, which is the effect of missing perforations to fit the fingers of the advance mechanism, and the claw marks themselves are visible on both stamps despite the absence of slots to catch them. Compare those to coils affixed by machines designed to accommodate imperforate rolls.

Apart from that, excess quantities of those 1¢ Washington New York precancels were donated in sheets to the Boy Scouts of America, which added roulettes to some and gauge 14 perforations to others to facilitate separation, which would not have been needed if Mailometer had stripped and coiled them.

Posted Apr 19, 15 14:45 by David Shumaker (david shumaker)

Private Imperforate Coil

Ken, I'm not suggesting that the five cent value was prepared for an affixing machine, only that it's existence demonstrates that Mailometer stripped imperforate coils upon request. It's not a huge leap to think that if Mailometer would create such philatelic items that it would be as much or more willing to do so for a commercial interest(s) that needed a large number of precancelled imperforate sheets coiled for affixing machines that had no need for perforated coils.

Posted Apr 19, 15 12:01 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

St. Louis Eagles


Here is a page from the 1963 Herst & Sampson book. The St.Louis postmarks are 1403, 1405, and 1406.


Posted Apr 19, 15 11:40 by Matthew Kewriga (mkewriga)

St. Louis Eagle #1


Here is type number one, a large eagle from the early 1870s.

Type 2 is a blue eagle in a circle.

Yours looks like a stylized ink blob, not an intended eagle in my opinion.


Posted Apr 19, 15 7:37 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

st louis eagle?

here's what the postal marking looks like on the 3 cent banknote cover from St. Louis


Posted Apr 19, 15 7:10 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Those Saint Louis precancels, nonstandard MOM Type I coils, blocks, and other eccentric items were made to order for Charles Mekeel. They were never used in an office mailing machine. 

Posted Apr 19, 15 0:54 by David Shumaker (david shumaker)

Well, Ken, I was wrong about the stamps likely being found only as singles. In the back of my mind I remember seeing a vertical strip of 5 cent #347 on the PF website with precancels so I went looking this evening. I found it, though it's a horizontal strip of six, and with Saint Louis precancels. The PF opined that it was not a horizontal Bureau coil, which being precancelled it could not be, but was instead stripped into a coil by the Mailometer company from a precancelled sheet. So at least the PF committee believes in private imperforate precancelled coils. Are you aware of this strip?

Something else I recall is a couple of stamps I got almost 30 years ago. They were perforated rotary press sheet stamps that were cut on all four sides, such that only one of the side rows and either a top or bottom row remained. I have them put away in a stock book somewhere because I knew at the time they had been affixed mechanically. I assumed that they were prepared for some kind of experiment that I knew nothing about, but now I know that in the time of the rotary sheet stamps affixing machines were fairly advanced and were even using government rotary coils. Coincidentally, these stamps were also precancelled. I now think that at least one precancelled sheet of perforated stamps (10 x 10 I think) was stripped into coils (by cutting to one side of the horizontal rows to insure clean edges) for use by an affixing machine. Perhaps there was a mistake in making or fulfilling an order for precancelled imperforate sheets and stripping the perforated sheets was a work-around? Fanciful? Maybe.


Posted Apr 18, 15 19:41 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Test Reults


No - you get full marks for creativity!

I wasn't so sure about the St Louis cancel. St Louis did have an eagle cancel that appeared on large Bank note stamps, but I don't have picture of it. Maybe a USCC member has a tracing to post here.

Posted Apr 18, 15 19:39 by David Shumaker (david shumaker)

Ken, I can certainly see what you are describing as possible, and if only one of these showed up then your explanation would satisfy. But what baffles me is that two such stamps happened to go to the same address over a span of time, and probably only exist because the recipient happened to save such things. It's unfortunate that there are no dates on either cover, but I can say that the corner card on each are slightly different in size, at least indicating separate printing of the stationery. What's more unfortunate is that were such coils produced, being strictly commercial in use, the likelihood of any multiples would be almost zero, so singles would have to do all the talking.

Posted Apr 18, 15 18:33 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

David S,

Those sheets were precanceled locally for Mailometer, so I think the coils are affixed from Schermack Type III coils that the perforator punch either missed or spaced too far apart to be seen on a single separated stamp. I have seen roll end strips that were imperforate for a few positions adjacent to the leader/trailer strips. I once owned a cover with an imperforate paste-up to a Mailometer dummy stamp.

Posted Apr 18, 15 17:49 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

fancy cancel?

John Barwis

so I failed the Rohrshach test on this one.

Posted Apr 18, 15 17:34 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Woman's head


This is the infamous Texas armadillo cancel, so named because it looks exactly like an armadillo that has been run over 200 times on a Texas Highway, and baked in the sun for a few weeks. :-)

Posted Apr 18, 15 17:20 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

another fancy cancel?

does the marking on this cover from St. Louis look like an eagle or some other type of bird?  you need to look at it upside down.


Posted Apr 18, 15 17:19 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

fancy cancel?

Ha\ve I failed a rohrshach test, or does this marking look like a woman's head facing left?


Posted Apr 18, 15 17:17 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

hback of cover with label

here's the back of the cover


Posted Apr 18, 15 17:17 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

front of cover

here's the front of the cover - sent from Long Berach CA to Australia


Posted Apr 18, 15 17:15 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

Can anyone tell me anything about the post office sealing label on this cover??


Posted Apr 18, 15 16:51 by David Shumaker (david shumaker)

Private imperforate coils

Given their benefits to high-volume users, affixing machines and precancelled stamps seem to have been made for each other. Since the BEP didn't precancel flat plate stamps, an affixing machine in the flat plate coil era would have utilize private coils stripped from sheets acquired from the local PO already precancelled. I assume that only the entity permitted to use precancelled stamps could buy them from the PO, arranging delivery to the coiling entity afterwards. Precancels on coils with Schermack and Mail-O-Meter proprietary perforations are not uncommon.

However, I just picked up two covers mailed to the same address from the Alexander Hamilton Institute franked with precancelled one-cent imperforate stamps, either #408 or #481. Fourth class mail from the Alexander Hamilton Institute is fairly common and can be found with Schermack III private coils, and later with rotary coils mechanically affixed. The stamps on the two covers I found have every indication of being mechanically affixed as well. Aside from the extremely unlikely possibility that one recipient would have received two covers whose stamps, when affixed, completely cut away the perforations (called miracle coils), these must otherwise be private imperforate coils made by request for the Alexander Hamilton Institute from precancelled sheets they handed to someone who could make coils. Whether it was a special order prepared by Mail-O-Meter without perforations is impossible to say, but clearly many affixing machines did not require any kind of perforation to operate properly. I would think that a Mail-O-Meter would charge less to strip and coil imperforate sheets delivered to them than for sheets acquired by them that were perforated, stripped and stocked, but that's just speculation. But if so it makes complete sense that a company wanting precancelled sheets stripped into coils would request to forego perforations to save money. Thoughts?


Posted Apr 18, 15 16:07 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

ex Frajola...

Beautiful things, Richard. You have the "eye".