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Posted May 29, 17 13:08 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Funky No 1

Farley -- Compare your No. 1 with Archaic Athenian Red Figure vase figures.

Posted May 29, 17 12:59 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)


The George Brett Cup is slated to be held in Denver again next year with the idea of it moving to another venue in the future. The group is looking at keeping it at a spring event with the idea of the hosting group being able to handle 300 plus frames. This is to accommodate the possible 150 frames for the Brett Cup and not completely take over the show leaving enough frames for the club and visiting societies. At this time the plan is for the event to happen the next two years with the idea it becomes a annual event.

Posted May 29, 17 12:02 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Raguin Postal Notices Book

I wonder if anybody who has the Raguin series could help me with a notice I'm missing.
You can contact me off the board.

Posted May 29, 17 10:24 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Majó’s Maja

J. Majó Tocabens was a philatelist who published extensively and operated a store in Barcelona.


Posted May 29, 17 10:09 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Goya Maja continued

Torres offers this one for $175. It was posted  about five months after the stamp's validity expired, but again evidently tolerated, and more reasonably "in period" than the previous one.


Posted May 29, 17 10:06 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Goya Maja covers for sale

Several days ago Bernard asked what they are worth.

Antonio M. Torres offers this cover for $475 plus shipping. It was posted four years later than the brief legitimate usage period, but evidently was accepted by the post office. (The first-day cover pictured in the clipping is a "Cuinta de Goya" fake.)


Posted May 29, 17 10:00 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

ROMPEX and the future of competitive exhibiting

Congratulations to Nick Lombardi. May we see a palmares so we can know the rest of the awards?

Will the George Brett Cup become an annual award? If so, will it rotate among shows or will it have a single host.

If it does become an annual event, that gives three top national awards: Champion of Champions, Single-Frame Champion of Champions, and George Brett Cup.

To complete the tour to be promoted as the Grand Slam of Philately and Postal History we need one more. I would urge the APS Board and Accreditation Committee to invite critics of the current system, especially Richard Frajola, Scott Trepel, and Steve Walske, to craft the fourth from scratch, not only in the criteria for winning but also in the method of judging and the composition of a qualified jury.

A parallel process should be initiated immediately to reform the WSP system by reducing the annual number of qualifying exhibitions to 25, either by withdrawing accreditation from the weakest shows that are currently on life support or by merging/associating show committees to combine or alternate venues. 

By tackling both problems at once, we could emerge with a more inviting contest and a more refreshed corps of judges able to assure its success.

Posted May 29, 17 7:38 by Roger Rhoads (roger rhoads)


Greg failed to mention that he received the Reserve Grand. Congrats!

Posted May 29, 17 0:16 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)


This was my third year to attend ROMPEX since we moved to Denver area in early 2015. I agree that the quality and diversity of exhibits this year were outstanding. My sense was that proportionately more exhibits got Gold than previous year.

Equally interesting is that lead participating societies (including Military Postal History Society) attended in force, their booths were well attended and Military Postal History Society had symposium of several presentations for three days starting Thursday before the show opened on Saturday. RMPL did an outstanding job. This year, ROMPEX had its first international stamp dealer, i.e. Stepehen Taylor from UK.

Next year ROMPEX 2018 will host major Indian Philatelic Societies and collectors with exhibitors from UK and India already expressing interest.

Finally Memorial Day weekend is a great time to visit Denver and the Rocky Mountains for you and your loved ones.

Yes, I am biased but for good reasons. See you next year.


Posted May 28, 17 23:15 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Rocky Mountain/George Brett Cup

Congrats to Nick Lombardi for a well deserved award on his 1903 series exhibit. The show committee did a wonderful job with 300 plus frames, 23 of those exhibits competing for the Brett Cup. Of the 23 exhibits 7 had already won a grand award during this past year while the other 16 had won a reserve grand or grand award in the past 3 years. It created a terrific field of high quality exhibits for the show and for people to view.

Posted May 28, 17 22:57 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Swiss cancelers

Roger Heath: Thanks for clarification about those Swiss cancellers. Enjoyed looking at your exhibit pages - very educational.

Posted May 28, 17 22:41 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)


Glad my 1852 Registered to the USA is causing some good discussion. It took a long time to find an example, but I think I have seen another a number of years ago. My understanding is that the registration to the USA could not be perfected beyond the UK, so that the extra 6d registration was a) largely symbolic and b) that the USA did not share in the registration fee as it would have in the 1858 and 1860 examples that I showed. Most of the registered mail that I have going outside of the UK is going to France, parts of Germany, and Portugal.

Posted May 28, 17 20:19 by Alan Campbell (alan campbell)

Funky Stamps

Farley Katz: Thanks for making my day. What a scream! On a more serious note, I once contemplated doing a thematic exhibit on the Art Nouveau style in the design of postage and revenue stamps, postal stationery, and postal cards. An alternative possibility would be Art Deco.

Posted May 28, 17 17:00 by Farley Katz (navalon)

The Ten Funkiest Stamps of All Time

Just last year in the Collector's Club Philatelist. Now, thanks to Richard and the fine people at the CCNY, a click away on the net for you!

The Ten Funkiest Stamps of All Time


-- Farley

Posted May 28, 17 14:19 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Nick Lombardi

Nick's exhibit is indeed spectacular. Any exhibitor can learn a lot from studying his treatment and presentation, while enjoying the chance to see the finest known quality of this material. Well done, Nick, and those who judged.

Posted May 28, 17 13:35 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Brett Cup at RMSS Won by Nick Lombardi

Congratulations Nick! Well done RMSS for hosting this award.

Posted May 28, 17 13:26 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Swiss cancelers

David - just to clarify. The illustrations were of standard Swiss cancelers of their periods. Razor cancelers were a series of experimental devices hand-made by deCoppet for testing by the Swiss post office administration. The mechanism was adopted in 1903. Not all Swiss cancelers used this flexible-head system.

Here is a single framer I put together showing foreign cancelers made by the Swiss manufacturer. Some went into large series of many cancelers for the country, others were one-off samples.

And for only Latin America [you'll see some duplication in examples]

Posted May 28, 17 12:49 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Brett Cup at RMSS Won by Nick Lombardi

This past weekend, The Rocky Mountain Stamp Show hosted the first annual George Brett Cup Competition. This was a "by invitation" exhibition of the best 20th century exhibits, chosen based on their having won a Grand or Reserve Grand Award in a WSP show during that period. Nick Lombardi won a beautiful 10" Waterford bowl for his 'The 1903 Two Cent Washington Shield Issue."

Congratulations Nick! It is an exceptional exhibit.


Posted May 28, 17 10:53 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Rotating date wheel cancellers

Roger Heath: Thanks for your post and examples of Swiss Razor cancellers.

Here is a Finnish example from my collection of that style of rotating date wheel canceller, similar in style to the Swiss, as a 1897 arrival marking in Brahestad (Raahe), Finland. Cover ID 25772

Note that the postmark is inscribed in three languages: Swedish, Finnish and Russian (Cyrillic alphabet).

Note also the long transit time of this cover from Ohio to Finland; about six weeks. I assume it first went to Russia (probably St. Petersburg) before being routed to the Grand Duchy of Finland.


Posted May 28, 17 6:57 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Civil War patriotic envelopes

The Whittemore album.


Posted May 28, 17 6:51 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Civil War patriotic envelope

The Nutmeg June 21-23 2000 sale of the Jon E. Bischel collection comprised only postally used Civil War patriotic covers, which were just a fraction of the number of envelope varieties printed. Many of the most desirable hand-colored varieties (such as almost all Kimmel and most Magnus prints) are missing, as well as the less frequently seen imprints. Other name sales of used Civil War patriotics (Walcott, Matthies, [A. Murl] Kimmel, Myers) included designs not owned by Bischel.

The largest collection ever sold was Siegel's June 9-10 1959 sale of the Hugh M. Clark collection, which by my unofficial count comprised 9,943 different Union envelopes (of which 646 were postally used) and 279 Confederate (9 used), but grouped into large lots with only representative illustrations.

The George Malpass collection, one of the largest if not the record, came to market in the worst possible way, barely saved from destruction, and with no compilation of what he owned other than the ones illustrated in articles he published in his lifetime.

The envelopes were mostly collected unused, much as sports cards are collected today, kept in albums or scrapbooks. A printed album for Civil War patriotic envelopes predated the world's first stamp album. I think less than 20 percent of recorded varieties are known postally used.

Posted May 28, 17 2:38 by Manfred Roesler (mgroesler)

Handcolored Patriotic Cover

I just purchased on eBay this handcolored example of civil war patriotic cover W-1121 ("The game he's at with General Scott ..."), noted as being ex Malpass. I have seen numerous other examples of this chess cachet, but the design in all was just in blue. I am wondering whether the additional red, blue, yellow and orange colors were applied over the blue design by the printer, perhaps as an experiment in the use of color, or by someone else at a later time. Many similar handcolored patriotic covers from the collection of George Malpass are still being offered for sale. I don't see any of these handcolored versions in the Nutmeg auction catalog. Any information would be most appreciated.


Posted May 28, 17 1:23 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Swiss steel cancelers

Both of these cancelers were issued in 1906. One still in use in 1958, the other in 1961.


Posted May 28, 17 1:17 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Metal hand stamps

I can't help but smile when reading about the change to rubber hand stamps, circa 1895, because steel had legibility problems. Swiss were always steel. Date slug cancelers were obsolete by 1870 as they were replaced by Güller's new devices in Switzerland. They did discover that the fine hachure lines clogged with ink, and during the 1870s these lines were made wider, bolder which did not clog.

There must have been serious quality control issues in the manufacture of US hand cancelers. Just for the record DeCoppet received a US patent for his flexible-head rotating date-wheel canceler in 1905.

Many of Güller and deCoppet designed cancelers survived for up to 50 years.


Posted May 27, 17 22:53 by David Snow (dwsnow)

West Liberty, W Va.

Farley K., Leonard P., and Steve F.: Thanks for your responses and information identifying the partial strike of the West Liberty postmark on my cover that I had posted. I believe that it is from W VA. (West Virginia), from the list that Leonard P. submitted. Here is link, Cover ID 25721.

The poor strike of this marking serves as a reminder why the Post Office Dept. decided to issue rubber handstamps as an experiment to replace metal markers.

The book "United States Doanes, A Catalog of Doane Cancellations" by Richard W. Helbock and Gary Anderson explains the situation. Here are excerpts from the book's Introduction:
"First, they (Doane cancels) represented the pioneer attempt by the Post Office Department to improve postmark legibility by issuing rubber handstamps.
Postal historians are well aware of the often poor quality of handstruck postmarks used on postcards and envelopes around the turn of the century. . . . The Post Office Department was also fully cognizant of the faint and incomplete impressions made by the then current metal handstamp devices. As early as December 1899, the Department began testing a new type of hand postmarker in the Rural Free Delivery Service. This new equipment consisted of a rubber handstamp . . . "


Posted May 27, 17 19:11 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

German WWII special delivery catastrophe postal cards

I am reading a book about the bombing of Germany in WW II.  As part of the campaign to keep up military morale, there were expresses from bombed cities to the military.  These cards could be used by civilians who had just survived an attack to tell their family (and friends?) that they were OK.   There must have been a goodly number of such -- are they known to the collecting community?

Posted May 27, 17 19:02 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


Russell -- a scan of the back in the area of the label would be interesting.

Posted May 27, 17 18:59 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Markings on incoming Reg

John I apologize for writing Jim), I beleive you were saying that the absence of anything in the Treaty precluded special handling of incoming registered covers.  My point was that the US domestic system at the time was not set up by Washington and ran on what I refer to as a by courtesy basis.  What I was trying to say was that nothing precluded a similar service on the incoming treaty mails.   It could be indicated by the UK registered marking, or by banding or enveloping.  The Milgram cover evidently shows some such use, although -- at least without seeing the back and contents -- it is anomalous and one would pretty much have to guess that LP did not bother with a marking as it was port of exit and that it was elseways sequestered.  Scan of 11th cover in hte exhibit. It could be a Phillie error.  When I said maybe, I meant maybe.
This kind of argument by analogy can be valuable.   In the analysis of the Golden Age cover I was suggesting that the PO may have held a forwarding list (I suspect you may have been of similar opinion.)  I received an email from and Australian collector who was kind enough to point out that no such arrangement existed.  He also said that Australia did not have a special PL&R and followed UK practice.  I looked up the matter in Port and Carriage and it turned out my supposition was correct -- but that the service was off the books.

Posted May 27, 17 15:26 by John Barwis (jbarwis)



You mentioned "The fact that there was no treaty provision isn't definitive, as there may have been some sort of courtesy arrangement, somewhat as the US stuff prior to 1855."

If you have a scan of something like this for incoming foreign mail, please post it here or point me in the right direction so I can find it myself.

Posted May 27, 17 15:09 by Russell Crow (cornwall2)

ID cancel

Here is a full scan of the cover. If it is a fake, why would someone make it such a poor example unless it was to outfox people into thinking it could possibly be legit because if its poor strike and condition? Also just an FYI, the scan shows the stamp hanging over the edge of the envelope which would make one assume the stamp would be damaged/folded etc,. The envelope is clearly shortened at the right but the stamp does have the back part of the envelope behind it so the scan is a hair misleading. I do appreciate the comments


Posted May 27, 17 14:32 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Drawing on stamps

One of the problems with collecting these things is that sometimes it is hard to tell if the illustration was added before or after sending.  Generally I figure if there is a cancel in addition to the illustration, it was probably somebody doodling on a used cover (not fake).
Sometimes it is hard to tell just what went on.  The Pattee covers, of course, are pre mailing markings and were not augmented by the PO.

Posted May 27, 17 14:26 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Reid 1852 registered

JIm, looking at that again, I am less enamored of the NYPO theory -- for one thing the "3"s
look more British.  Also, it doesn't look so much like the NYPO possible incoming markings in period.  The attempt to relate it to the missing credit marking is laudable.  I don't think the numbers fit anything very well, though.  My revised thinking is that it is more likely to be part of the UK registry tracking system, although the ink and pen mismatch with the registry and rate indications is not a plus.   I will try to find my Willcocks sale, which may have comparable material.  (And my cover, which I thought was in my exhibit, but seems not to be.)
The fact that there was no treaty provision isn't definitive, as there may have been some sort of courtesy arrangement,  somewhat as the US stuff prior to 1855.

Posted May 27, 17 14:26 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

I don't know what the law said in the 1850s, but for all of the 20th century any obliteration or defacement or partial covering invalidated U.S. postage. Albert Roessler was prosecuted for his philatelic overprints.

Posted May 27, 17 14:12 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Pattee cover

Gordon, I agree that is what happened.  But once the stamp is messed with, there is no way to tell whether there is a concealed cancel, just as with a bisect, there is no way to tell whether a cancel has been cut off.  It is understandable, but not legal.

Posted May 27, 17 14:09 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)


Understand. My feeling is that postmasters tried to use common sense and judgement. The PM probably knew the sender (which I do not believe is known today) and accepted it as unused postage. The law does not say it can not have marks added by the sender or others it just can't have been previously used.

Anyway, these pieces of 'folk art' are wonderful.

Posted May 27, 17 14:05 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Pattee cover

Don't get me wrong, I love these things, and the snowstorm cover is perhaps the most spectacular  of my exhibit. 
But if you mark up a stamp and take the letter into the PO, it is incumbant on the clerk to reject the stamp as invalid (note that the decoration could conceal a previous postal cancellation).  And I don't think the artist stood there and created the illustration while the clerk watched to make sure there was no hanky-panky.  I have searched for a good term for these anamolous markings deliberately, but wrongly, accepted by the PO -- one would be "validated".  The logic is similar to that for in invalidity of bisects.
Most of the Pattee covers do not show the artist marking up the stamp.  Yours and the other Washington Franklin you refer to come to mind.  My snowstorm cover is probably the same artist, but was not mailed to Pattee.  Most of these covers come out of the Katherine Matthies (sp?) collection.

Posted May 27, 17 13:55 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Pattee cover


Why do you think it is illegal? Certainly many examples where people drew on stamps. Agree it is a one cent overpayment. There is one other in color similar to the one you referenced. It was to be sold in a Spink sale a few (3?) years ago but withdrawn hours before hand. There are a number in black and white.

Below is the exhibit page that Bernard referenced.


Posted May 27, 17 12:55 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Patron Supplied Markings

One of the flashiest of patron supplied markings is the Pattee cover with Franklin and Washington cancels in Gordon's exhibit, available in the exhibits section here.  Of course the usage is illegal and the one cent is for decoration only, but it would fit well in my fancy manuscript collection.  :)  (I think only about three Pattee and related covers show the illustration cancelling the stamp(s).) 

Posted May 27, 17 12:18 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Octagonal Cancel

It wouldn't hurt to show the entire cover.  And put it under UV to check for pen cancel removed.  Also, try holding it to intense light (e.g. sun) and look for stamp thins from behind (pop the cover if you can so you don't have the extra layer of paper.  I can't see someone using a decent unused stamp to create that.  Also, it doesn't look like rubber and the rim is very fine.  Whilst generally referring to Richard in these matters, I think it could be real.  Why would it have the fine rim along with the clogged letters and numerals?  If a faker went to the trouble of making this nice handstamp, why not make a cleaner strike?  
Also, view the cover behind the stamp for the Hahn Sitz Test (gum glow).

Posted May 27, 17 12:01 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Octagonal Cancel

R - looks like most likely fake to me. The whole feel of the ink and of the style looks very wrong for the era.

Posted May 27, 17 11:53 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Incoming Registry markings

Jim,  The 1852 Reid cover has what I take to be registry markings at lower left -- perhaps these were put on an New York or the exchange office.  More definitively, Jim shows an 1850 incoming via Boston to Phillie with the Phillie small blue "R".  (This is not a postmark, sensuo stricto, although the Boston is, but Russ's question was about markings in general.)

Posted May 27, 17 11:33 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Crow Octagon

I think Elwyn Doubleday might be able to help you -- do you go to any of the shows where he and Annie sell.  (It could be ME, or NH, or MI, or WI, or a couple of other states.)

Posted May 27, 17 11:05 by Russell Crow (cornwall2)

Need help ID'ing cancel

Is anyone familiar with this octagonal cancel? Unfortunately it is a poor strike and I can't make it out. The cover is addressed to Unity Maine. I don't see it in Simpson's, Towle, Skinner/Eno, Remele, etc. I am stumped and looking for help. Thanks.


Posted May 27, 17 9:20 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Incoming Registered


I have not seen U.S. postmarks on incoming registered mail, but my observations are based only on pre-GPU mail to Philadelphia.

Posted May 27, 17 8:36 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: Catching up on registered .....

Morning all,

Jim sure did himself proud with his three frame exhibit. It has sparked a great discussion.

How was the Saco, ME cover year dated? Did I miss something on its image?

Are there any U.S. markings on the incoming registered covers (on their backs?)? I am thinking none were applied to incoming registered covers until the 1870's but that date might be earlier? Especially looking for items coming in through NYC.

More soon time permitting.

Best regards and remember our soldiers, past, present, and future, on this memorial holiday.

Russ Ryle

Posted May 27, 17 6:35 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Basquiat again

Here is the rest of the story about that auction sale record. Someone should pitch postal history to this man.

I would not have guessed that I have anything in common with a Japanese billionaire, but I see now that I was an art world trend-setter. Fifty years ago I too had a Roy Lichtenstein [print] on my living room wall. It helped pay my son's college tuition (plus a Picasso and a Chagall).

Posted May 27, 17 2:15 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

Town Name (P.S.)

'scuse me. I meant to say West liberty, Indiana.

Posted May 27, 17 2:10 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

Town Name

Spacing doesn't look exactly right for it, but might be Liberty, Indiana.

A doctor by the name of William Hill lived in Rochester, Indiana from 1864 until his death in 1916.

Posted May 27, 17 2:07 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Town name?

The 1892 Postal Guide lists West Liberty POs in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia -- take your choice.

Posted May 27, 17 2:04 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Town name

West Liberty, WV?

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