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Posted Dec 18, 14 12:55 by David Handelman (davidh)


A very intensely studied stamp with respect to "printings" is the 1859--1868 10¢ consort of Canada; a figure of 28 different printings have been given (distinguished mostly by colour, but sometimes via minor perforation variation; it seems to have been accepted that these are valid different printings).

Sometimes there was colour variation in the ink over a very brief period (like one day), because of course quality control was poor in that period, and consequently the ink ingredients were not always uniformly manufactured.

Posted Dec 18, 14 10:00 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Farley - I do not know of any "official" definition ... but many stamp printing firms would be countracted for "x" amount of a particular stamp. They would print the complete order in one batch (a printing). If the stamp issuing authority decided they needed more stamps, they would contract the printer (or another printer) for another quantity. The printer would probably use the same plates if they had been stored properly, and would print another quantity to fill this second order (I would call this a second printing). The color might be somewhat different, or the paper might be different. If so, the stamps from the two printings might be able to be distinguished. If a printing was made for collectors from the original plate after the issue was withdrawn, it would be termed a reprint.

Maybe a new plate was made for a second printing. These plates may be different enough that the stamps can be separated but now always.

The various printings of the imperf issues of Mexico show wide variations in ink composition used to print as well as paper variations.

Things can get complicated and the above is an over simplification. Sometimes ink formulations may vary in a single print run, single print runs may extend over a long period of time so that even paper variations can occur.

Posted Dec 18, 14 1:12 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Definition of "a printing"?

Some articles I have read refer to different "printings" of a classic period issue of Mexico. The context suggests that the authors are referring to stamps that have the same ink, color, paper (maybe) and perhaps overall look.  The stamps, however, may have been printed over a period of time and perhaps not continuously.

Is anyone aware of a source giving a philatelic defintion of "a printing" in this sense?


Posted Dec 17, 14 14:53 by Matthew Healey (matthewhealey)

British Guiana

Thanks to some assistance from the NYPost reporter, I located the court documents in the suit Feldman has filed to recover the amount owed by Sheikh Saoud al-Thani for John Dupont's British Guiana material. I'll be reporting the story for Linn's this week. Suffice to say I don't think any of us has ever seen a philatelic invoice quite like the one attached as Exhibit B!

Posted Dec 17, 14 14:09 by Steve Walske (steve w)

Why I hate the Board :)

I spent years trying to avoid Tim, and he tracked me down here...

I don't know about putting, but you've definitely got me off the tee.

Posted Dec 17, 14 12:57 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

The Board

Without rehashing all the reasons that the internet has proven to be a boon to our collecting pursuits (all of which I heartily agree with), allow me to just comment on the speed at which this resource operates. There have been several times where I was in the process of constructing an exhibit page, only to be hung up by a rate or a route question. I'd post a question here, walk over to the woodstove to toss another log in, or make a cup of coffee, and by the time I returned to my desk, an answer to my query would already be waiting for me. I can't thank Richard enough for providing this living repository of knowledge where others so freely share their expertise (and all those folks I also sincerely thank).

Happy Christmas, and all the best for all !

Posted Dec 17, 14 12:17 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Internet and the Board

Without the advent of the internet, this hobby would have been a very lonely pursuit for me.  For the most part, I have lived in rural communities or in the country where the odds of finding another like minded hobbyist is quite low.  I suspect I would have figured some things out, but I also know that I would not have given as much energy to postal history as I have without the connections I have found via various outlets online.

When this board came along, I finally felt like there was a place where the focus on postal history was encouraged and expected - and responses often had quality that one could not find elsewhere.  For someone like me with less ability to travel to shows, etc - this place is where I get my taste of the Taos Rendezvous (for example).  It is where I can go and get solid criticism on what I'm trying to do...and maybe occasional positive affirmations.  And, the best part is that it can be made to fit whatever schedule I (and others) happen to have.

Thank you again Richard for the vision that went into this virtual discussion area and Philamercury.


Posted Dec 17, 14 10:55 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

US Postmaster General Reports

I just added a link on Resources page to the page of links to individual PDF files of PMG reports. Thanks again to James Baird.

Posted Dec 16, 14 21:46 by Richard Coffey (rcoffey)

The Board

I’ve been lurking on Richard’s remarkable Board for nearly ten years. The articles and exhibits and debate on this site can’t be found in aggregate anywhere else; PhilaMercury Project is brilliant. Richard’s beautifully designed, user-friendly meeting room has attracted the best minds in the game, and they come to the Board with satisfying regularity. Over the years this Board has become the portal through which I explore the nearly infinite postal history resources of the internet. I can’t remember what it was that I did with stamps before I tuned in here—but it was nothing like this.

Posted Dec 16, 14 18:24 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

why I love the Board

So, I don't go to the Regional shows very much (my problem), but I've been able to encounter other committed "colonialists" through the Board. Research has been shared and articles planned. I've even started to exhibit after a decades plus hiatus. It's all good. I even found Walske again, and may be able to jump start a sure thing 2$ Nassau winnings on the links. I like his pages but I can putt better. Tim

Posted Dec 16, 14 17:30 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Happy Hannukah

and an early Merry Christmas greeting to all.

Posted Dec 16, 14 16:14 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)


This board has been incredibly helpful and educational, and I too check it every day.  My knowledge of postal history has been advanced by leaps and bounds because of this board, and Richard has been incredibly helpful without a second of hesitation to help me identify and authenticate and answer any question I've ever asked even by private email with replies that are faster than greased lightning!  There is no doubt that this board has become a tremendous asset to the philatelic world. 

Part two, the interwebz part, has been an incredible resource to obtain stuff and since I'm more of an accumulator than a collector I can find something to covet just about every week of the year.  My collections look like a dealers box with categories from Airmail to Zepps, Postal history, advertising covers, maritime mail, sports, FDCs, incoming, outgoing, weird stuff... just about anything and everything I have no limits.  Also, my new motto is everything is for sale. 

Posted Dec 16, 14 13:41 by William Robinson (3wbrob)

The Board

Along with many others, I am a dedicated and loyal lurker who asks or opines or contributes very rarely. But I am dedicated such that every daily login starts with this site. Thanks for the comments thus far today; you gentlemen have summarized my feelings better than I could have.
The way I collect: much more avidly and seriously but the 'what' remains scarce which adds to the excitement. Just yesterday I was quite fortunate to secure a dandy item from the Siegel sale, quite a 'now or never' purchase. And my interest level remains higher than ever in my several decades of collecting.
It would be very lonesome doing what I do all alone without the scores of colleagues on this board. Notwithstanding our unrelated narrow collecting interests, you are not distant strangers but close and helpful friends.

Posted Dec 16, 14 12:51 by Leven Parker (levenparker)


Like Stan I also reentered the hobby in the last 10 years, and the Board has undeniably affected the way I collect. Like anyone in their 20's or 30's, after becoming interested in the hobby I promptly spent months on the internet learning the resources available, where to buy etc. I found that I was turned off by the campy big tent philosophy and attitude in mainstream organized philately. (I do not begrudge anyone their collecting style or preference, I just don't want to read endless articles about topicals or how we need more young people in the hobby.) The Board, for me, set a standard of scholarship and research that I find very attractive. I do not often post, but I read everything that is posted. It is incredible to live in a remote corner of the country and be able to witness the discussions and arguments of so many who are among the greatest living philatelists. I enjoy my collection more, and believe I am forming a finer collection, because of the Board.

Thank you Richard and all contributors.

Posted Dec 16, 14 10:45 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Internet Benefits

In addition to the vast amount of primary source material such as newspapers now available online, I value being able to view image census data. The Siegel site as well as the PF site are both extremely useful in evaluating the quality of existing items.

The census on this site is probably under-utilized but can be helpful in viewing the evolution of markings, cancels, etc. One of my new year tasks is to write clearer instructions on how to better use this resource.

Posted Dec 16, 14 10:29 by Matthew Healey (matthewhealey)

British Guiana

The NYPost article has the wrong sheikh pictured (and named). The correct one is here

The sheikh who bid at Feldman's sale was reportedly unaware that the 1¢ Magenta had been offered in NY the previous week, until people in the room asked him about it.

Altogether a sticky situation.

Posted Dec 16, 14 10:14 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Internet benefits

The two biggest benefits to me are online examination of auction lots from all over the world, and the ability to extract ship-sailing information from online newspaper archives in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

Posted Dec 16, 14 7:41 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

British Guiana

Ken - I have not read the article yet but Marcus Orsi told me that the Feldman buyer did not purchase the stamp at Sothebys.

(update) - I have now read both articles. The magenta "thing" was not purchased by the same buyer as the stamps in Feldman and the Feldman buyer did die after making a deposit on the purchase.

Posted Dec 16, 14 7:30 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Internet and the Board

As Ken noted, philately is (or can be) a sole pursuit. Besides shows and club meeting, the Board helps tie philatelists together and create a community. The wealth of information possessed in toto by its "members" is incredible and has helped me answer questions that would have been much more difficult otherwise.

Probably the most dramatic impact of the internet on my philatelic pursuits is that it allows access to contemporary newspapers as early as the late 1600s. Before that, I spent innumerable hours at U. Penn in front of microfiche viewers collecting information about ship sailings, etc. and ruining my eyes. Carefully used, the internet can provide both direct philatelic and collateral information that broadens our view of postal history and our enjoyment of it.

Posted Dec 16, 14 7:29 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

British Guiana

If he died owing Feldman, I wonder if he paid Sotheby's for the One Cent Magenta. If not, how might that affect the display at the National Postal Museum and at New York 2016?

He had been a deadbeat previously (article here)

Posted Dec 16, 14 6:39 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Air Mail Book

Pan American Airways 1939-1944: Atlantic Wartime Operations Catalog by David Crotty was the subject of my February 2014 Spotlight column in Linn's Stamp News. That issue is in the archive section of Linn's, accessible only to subscribers, so I can't send a courtesy link, but I praised the book, explained how best to use it as a postal history reference guide, and urged readers to buy it. In unpublished draft form it was an important resource for my two-part article on FAM 22 in the January and February American Philatelist. Dave and I taught the APS Summer Seminar class on WW2 trans-Atlantic air mail, and that was the subject of his presentation at the Bellefonte postal history symposium in September during the Aerophilately 2014 exhibition.

Posted Dec 16, 14 6:33 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

The internet generally has certainly changed how I collect at least in some areas, simply by making material available in a way that wouldn't have been true through traditional dealer, show and auction channels - a large part of my Postal Savings exhbit (which is full of postal forms and collateral material) came from eBay, and there are other areas where I collect (or at least accumulate) where I don't think I'd go otherwise.

This board hasn't necessarily changed HOW I collect (despite Richard's best efforts!) but it has most certainly influenced what I know about it.

Posted Dec 16, 14 5:50 by Francois Krol (framar)

The board

Je ne suis pas un contributeur actif au board, mais je le consulte très régulièrement.
Aussi  grâce à lui et donc aux membres participants, j'ai déjà obtenu des informations très utiles au développement de ma collection thématique sur la publicité.
Bien que l'on soit ici sur un site orienté essentiellement histoire postale et philatélie traditionnelle plus particulièrement des Etats-Unis, soyez tous convaincus que la diversité des informations ainsi que les discussions que vous échangez peuvent être extrêmement utiles, y compris en classe thématique.
Alors merci à Richard et à tous les membres participants et je suis désolé de ne pas pouvoir m'exprimer directement en anglais,  je n'étais pas vraiment un bon élève à l'école et encore moins dans les langues étrangères.

Automatic translation

I am not an active contributeur in the board, but I consult it very regularly.
Also thanks to him and therefore the members participants, I have already acquired very useful information in the development of my thematic collection on advertising.
Although they are on a site orientated principally mail history and traditional philately more particularly the United States here, all be persuaded that the diversity of information as well as debates which you exchange can be extremely useful, including in thematic class.
Then thanks to Richard and all members participants and I am sorry I shall not express myself directly in English, I wasn't really a good student at school and even less in foreign languages.

Posted Dec 16, 14 4:52 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

Honza Junk

On Monday of last week Honza Junk died. Few board members will have met him or even heard of him but it is appropriate I should mention his passing. He read the Board regularly but never contributed. He was a quite astonishing knowledgeable philatelist who collected US stamps. He single-handedly compiled and published a quarterly booklet ‘Zpravodaj’ highlighting aspects of certain issues. Had it been published in English I am certain it would have had wide readership in the US. He was the mainstay of the Czech US Stamp Club.

In 2006 he accompanied Kamila and I to Washington. He left on an earlier flight but arrived 10 hours after us. His luggage had been virtually destroyed, he had been strip-searched at two different airports thereby missing connections. I suspect this was due to a remarkable resemblance to Mr. Lenin and his surname, ‘Junk’, which sounded improbable perhaps. Nonetheless, he arrived in fine fettle with a big smile on his face. He was delighted to meet names he had only heard about and hold his own discussing stamps. I attach a picture of him with Bill Weiss. He also met with Richard, Bill Ainsworth and David Jarret amongst others.

On a limited budget he accumulated a comprehensive US collection both on and off cover, all the stamps virtually fault free. He was with me when I opened packages from Andrew Levitt, Jim Lee, Bill Ainsworth and various auction houses. What an exciting time for both of us!

I also attach a picture of Badger on a hospital visit several weeks ago. Highly irregular but a kind nurse said she couldn’t see him.


Posted Dec 16, 14 2:12 by Stan Grove (alaskastan)

In response to RF's query yesterday

It so happens that this very moment, mid-December 2014, marks the tenth anniversary of my own mid-life return to a boyhood interest in philately. (I stopped by a bricks-and-mortar stamp store in Anchorage on a whim, looking for Christmas presents for others. So much for the others ...) Within a few weeks I had discovered the Frajola Board, and it enormously boosted [a] my sense of being part of a generous community of collectors, [b] my ability to learn new things fast enough to maintain enthusiasm and expand my interests, [c] my awareness of the intellectual reach and depth of the hobby. For these things I remain grateful to Richard, and to all who have patiently answered my questions over the years! Nowadays there seem to be longer spells when specialized discussions draw in fewer participants (ten years ago there was more of a hodge-podge of questions, answers and random comments, which was what I certainly needed at the time) -- but I still enjoy lurking, even if my own specializations have pushed me out to the fringe of other members' ranges of interest.

Thanks Richard! And I do look forward to emerging from the Wyoming sagebrush to meet some Board members at New York's 2016 show....

Posted Dec 16, 14 0:17 by John Shepherd (tas philatelist)

du Pont British Guiana

The du Pont British Guiana collection, sold in June, is now up in the air. The winning bidder, a sheikh who was one of the biggest art collectors in the world, bid US$7.5m on the whole collection (less 3 lots).

The sheikh paid a deposit. Then he died. (at age 48).

Auction house is trying to recover the money from the sheikh's estate. The du Pont estate will presumably want the full amount, rather than some unknown lesser figure in the event of a re-auction. My guess is that the shiekh's estate is good for the money. Whilst some collectors are pointing the finger at the shiekh, he probably didn't anticipate dying.

Is there some kind of Du Pont curse? (article here)


Posted Dec 15, 14 23:56 by John Shepherd (tas philatelist)

new(ish) Airmail book

What was the title and author of the new-ish Pam Am FAM timetables book published in the last year or two? Ken Lawrence will know. It was mentioned on the board a while back.

Posted Dec 15, 14 21:51 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

The Board

I think it's the Board, which the Internet made possible. This is the place to get answers to my postal history questions, and to opine, debate, and discuss unsettled issues, such that I feel obligated to answer others' queries in areas of my expertise as the price of admission. 

For a hobby that's largely constructed as solitary activity, collective participation requires dedicated effort. Even then it could not be as effective without a forum that is not limited by geography or by restrictions and delays in communication.

Posted Dec 15, 14 20:40 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

The Internet

Andrew's post makes me think I should have written "How has the internet changed the way you collect?" rather than the board. It is the internet, and the wealth of information available, that seems to be a driving force for curious postal historian.

Posted Dec 15, 14 20:20 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

The Board

I think the board has influenced my collecting a great deal. Over the past decade, my collecting focus has moved exclusively to postal history, and I don't think I would have built the knowledge level I have, collection I have, or met a lot of people without it. I might even go as far as to say it is inspirational. There are a lot of things I would not have recognized without knowledge that I acquired through interactions here, and encouragement to go after the area that I am pursuing.

There's a lot of amazing postal history out there. Even now, much of it remains to be discovered as the "information age" opens nooks and crannies that would not have been found a few years ago. Plus, as my wife Kathleen says, I'm not wasting my money on golf.

Now, if I could just get my act together to exhibit...

Posted Dec 15, 14 20:15 by Tom Fortunato (stamptmf)

Sixth WSS-NY 2016 Newsletter Focuses on Societies

December 15, 2014 For Immediate Release

Sixth WSS-NY 2016 Newsletter Focuses on Societies

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 (WSS-NY 2016) has issued another in its series of quarterly international exhibition newsletters, this one focusing on society participation, with 18 months before its doors open. It is available for viewing and downloading online at

As exhibition President Wade Saadi mentions, “This is the first special newsletter we’ve ever produced, and it focuses on Societies! From the very beginning we at World Stamp Show-NY 2016 have understood that members of philatelic societies of all kinds would make up the backbone of this great once-a-decade event in so many ways.”

The newsletter lists the 50 philatelic organizations that have already committed to participate in the once-a-decade U.S. philatelic event by manning a booth, holding a national convention and/or seminar on their specialty. More are readying their plans and will be announced when finalized. A few society booths remain unreserved.

Of special note is that philatelic societies and organizations may reserve meeting rooms on an availability basis free of charge, however priority will be given to those groups that have donated to WSS-NY 2016 in one of three membership levels. The schedule of society meetings, seminars and events will be announced in May 2015.

A variety of customizable ads publicizing a society’s attendance and events are now available for downloading at The page also outlines additional ways groups may take part in the show.

Other major articles deal with sponsoring special exhibit prizes, a plan to promote philately to the general public in the New York region, and a request for donated philatelic items for use during the show.

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 takes place over eight days from May 28-June 4, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Full show information is online at

Posted Dec 15, 14 19:47 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

The Board


None of the above. But it definitely has improved my understanding and appreciation of what I collect, because over the years fellow board members (including you) have provided valuable information on postmarks, ship sailings, postal conventions, and many other topics.

Posted Dec 15, 14 19:23 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Board Seems Quiet

Maybe time for a philosophical question .... I have wondered if the board has influenced the way you collect, what you collect, or your interst level in postal history collecting.

Anybody care to opine?

Posted Dec 12, 14 17:35 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Rumsey's Karrer Charleston

Sale was and probably still is running today, Friday Dec 12, 2014, i bought 4 items
or at least i think i did


Posted Dec 12, 14 16:56 by Kimberlee Fuller (kimberlee)

Owl artist

David Snow

This is my first time posting to this board so I hope I am doing it correctly. I am interested in the Gold Medal Art. /Trade Mark Thanksgiving card you posted about on 11/27/14 (for owl-vious reasons). If you or anyone else on this board has another card that features the owl as a trademark that you would like to part with, please contact me. Thank you.

Posted Dec 12, 14 12:17 by Alexios Papadopoulos (alexiosp)

80 years ago

the reverse:


Posted Dec 12, 14 12:16 by Alexios Papadopoulos (alexiosp)

80 years ago

12 Dec 1934, 01:50 local time: The Graf Zeppelin landed at Recife, Brazil concluding the outward leg of the so called "Weihnachtsfahrt" or Christmas Flight. Here is a 50g commercial cover from the Netherlands carried on this flight:


Posted Dec 12, 14 0:28 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Schuyler Rumsey Auction

My understanding is that tomorrow, Friday, the Karrer Charleston Postal History auction will occur as previously scheduled and Saturday the portion postponed today will be sold.

Posted Dec 11, 14 16:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Schuyler Rumsey Auction

Rescheduled for December 13 at 10 a.m.

Posted Dec 11, 14 14:28 by Bill Williges (billwil)

Schuyler Rumsey auction

Latest start time is 12:30 pst

Posted Dec 11, 14 14:16 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Update - The SF power outage was caused by a flooded PGE sub-station.  80,000 businesses and homes are without electricty, including some of the downtown hotels.  Also flooded is the nearby Montgomery Street Bart stop on Market Street.

Posted Dec 11, 14 14:07 by Bill Williges (billwil)

Rumsey Auction

Newest estimated start time is 11:30

Posted Dec 11, 14 13:56 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

The Rumsey auction

Here's the message posted on Schuyler's web page.

We were experiencing a power outage and are still planning on running the auction today but delayed. The new start time is 11:00 am PST (2:00 pm EST). To contact SRPA call Alan at 610-390-1101 or Schuyler at 415-307-2124 

This storm was predicted to be the worst downpour in many years, coupled with high winds.  PGE (the local power company) has pre-positioned work crews in anticipation.  So power should be restored relatively quickly.  Here in the east bay, the rain has been heavy, but so far no problems.  The company my daughter works for is just around the corner from Rumsey, but she's still on maternity leave.