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United States/Covers & Postmarks : When to keep a stamp on cover

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Doe
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01 Oct 2015
07:05:37pm
So, my sister gave me a stack of envelopes she's received relatively recently. A few of you know the story of her husband's death. I don't want to get into that except to say that the covers were from condolence cards and are therefore generally over-sized.

For the most part, I don't collect or trade over-size covers.

I did not notice anything unique about the stamps or cancels on these covers so I cut off the stamps, except for the one cover franked with a kiosk Spiderman stamp. That cover was put through the cancelling machine face up, but upside down. I don't think that is unique. I actually get covers like that regularly. But apparently the Spiderman stamp was a limited issue, in both duration of sale and locations of availability. Is this worth keeping on cover or should I cut this one off too?


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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
01 Oct 2015
07:21:40pm
re: When to keep a stamp on cover

I am generally not a cover collector, but I have my small stash of unusual, intact covers. They take up very little space and every now and then I run across them when going through my stuff and admire them anew.

I think you probably want to save it whole and are just seeking justification of your decision. Big Grin


Well, I say keep it whole!

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Doe
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01 Oct 2015
07:26:44pm
re: When to keep a stamp on cover

Quote:

"I think you probably want to save it whole and are just seeking justification of your decision. Big Grin"



LOL, you know it is not terribly over-size, but I don't like Spiderman. Worried


Edit- Been thinking about this and I'm confident that if Star Lord were on the stamp instead of Spiderman it would already be in my collection! Winking

But seriously, is this stamp uncommon and does it matter more if it stays on the cover? It's not tied/cancelled because the cancel is on the bottom of the envelope.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
01 Oct 2015
11:49:56pm

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re: When to keep a stamp on cover

I save just about everything on cover. As said above, it doesn't take much space and you never know what people will collect in the future. For instance we recently talked about the stamps issued for presort first class mail, I save those complete with the contents. Same with other pieces from commercial or non-profit mailings, with stamps, and especially political pieces. I have a bunch from presidential campaigns.

As I pursue my Ben Franklins, I am sad when I see used early private perforation stamps for sale... as in "Why didn't you save the entire envelope!?" That usage is quite rare these days.

As postal history continues to be made, I am curious about these postal kiosk stamps, the photo stamps people get made for themselves and any interesting postal markings. For instance I got a piece the other day with one of the pressure sensitive routing labels. I didn't think they still used those! Maybe some of the spray cancels will prove to be experimental and limited in use. We don't know yet! So I save it all. And time goes quickly. Last time I blinked, all my covers were over 30 years old!

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
02 Oct 2015
08:31:56am
re: When to keep a stamp on cover

Doe,

it all depends. If this is going to remain in your collection, you pick.

If you're thinking about it going elsewhere, know that cover collectors typically won't buy just the stamp, but stamp collectors can always trim and soak later, so by removing it, you remove a small percentage of collectors from your secondary market.

Cancelled, this would be much better, but since you have a cancel on the envelope, it at least points to it belonging there.

Once I bought a whole slew of F and 25c plastic flag stamps on cover; they were experimental, and sold only in Washington state (home of plastic industry?). This was early in our dance with SAs, and they were trying various configurations for the manufacturer of these things.

I have occasionally offered one or more here, with no interest; I even bought one here, and I think I got it uncontested for like a quarter.

They are relatively rare, but there's little or no demand (as my story above shows; most folks likely don't know anything about them). I have many far rarer things, many of which would be met with equal indifference. But I'd NEVER remove the stamps from their covers; it completely destroys the documentation of what these things are. I plead ignorance to your spidy stamp, but suspect its story is similar, and, if so, would urge you to keep it, umm, stuck to the cover.

and I'd likely put it in my Iraqphobia collection.

David

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Doe
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02 Oct 2015
12:11:16pm
re: When to keep a stamp on cover

Those are some good points David. I will keep the creepy arachnid hero on the cover. (I still wish it were a Guardians of the Galaxy image. Day Dreaming )

I'll decide later if I want to put it in my collection or trade it.

I am a cover collector, but I am a cover collector with very limited space. So I have to make decisions just about everyday on what to keep whole, what to cut the stamp off of, and what to just throw away. Tom, I cannot imagine having room to save 'just about everything'!

Any stamped envelope that I do not want for my personal collection, will go into the For Trade box, IF it is small enough to fit into an ordinary business size envelope for mailing. And of course the covers I want in my collection are also easy to know what to do with. But, everything else takes some thinking. Some years ago I knew someone who collected both modern metered corners and spray cancel corners. I'd send him the fronts and let him cut them down to the size he wanted. Or when I'd get a PNC on cover it would go to Harley (Tom). -In fact I got a PNC on cover yesterday, BUT the sender had completely taped over the stamp. That one went in the trash. I have a small stack of 1960s metered covers that I've had hanging around for several months. I don't want to keep them, but I don't want to throw them out.

Anyway, space is a concern for me, and when I don't have trading partners for certain kinds of covers, I must make unpleasant decisions.



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ikeyPikey
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02 Oct 2015
03:10:21pm
re: When to keep a stamp on cover

This seems like a good time to ask how & why the hobby came to be so dominated - apparently right from the start - by the practice of saving stamps out-of-context.

The answer seems obvious - eg, the stamps were the new thing that started stamp collecting, so why would you care about their baggage - but why were The Ancients so disinterested in what the stamp had done, and where it had been?

Perhaps this came by way of imitating other hobbies. People collected stamps in the same way that people collected, say, butterflies. After all, few butterfly collectors kept the last leaf that the butterfly had landed on, and even people who collected whole birds' nests did not (often) keep the tree branch or reeds on which it had been built. Museums built dioramas, but people did not.

It is interesting to see how our values have changed. Few coin collectors pine away for the purse or wallet in which a coin had been carried, yet at-the-dig archaeologists are more & more careful to document what artifact came from what position/layer.

I just got an eMail from a grandchild. For eleven years, I lived within walking distance of that grandchild; for the past two years, not. Maybe that - and the very dark & windy & rainy day we're having - has me wistful, but I look at our covers, and realize that the vast majority of them came down to us as entires precisely because they had been set aside by some non-stamp-collector for some non-stamp-collecting reason. If we had gotten our hands on them earlier ...

PS: We have a nice fancy word for people who pay attention to stamps. What do we call people who ignore them?

Doe: 2c: save it whole and, when you offer it in trade, offer to cut it down.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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philatelia
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APS 156650 25++ years!
02 Oct 2015
04:21:32pm
re: When to keep a stamp on cover

Honestly, unless the cover is historical or has interesting markings I just don't have enough room to store thousands of covers. I like to salt my collections with a few interesting covers, but more than that would be just too darn bulky. I'm pretty sure that's why removing stamps from the covers became the norm.

This just made me think about the old days when most collectors had just one or two albums. I can remember bringing my old Harris Citation album with me to trade with other collectors. Now I'd have to hire a Penske truck to bring my collection!Happy

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Doe
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02 Oct 2015
06:19:39pm
re: When to keep a stamp on cover

Quote:

"We have a nice fancy word for people who pay attention to stamps. What do we call people who ignore them?"



I call them PVI Users. Winking

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Oct 2015
08:45:59pm

Auctions
re: When to keep a stamp on cover

Quote:

"Once I bought a whole slew of F and 25c plastic flag stamps on cover; they were experimental, and sold only in Washington state (home of plastic industry?). This was early in our dance with SAs, and they were trying various configurations for the manufacturer of these things.

I have occasionally offered one or more here, with no interest; I even bought one here, and I think I got it uncontested for like a quarter.

They are relatively rare, but there's little or no demand (as my story above shows; most folks likely don't know anything about them). "



You have posted a good example as to why I save a lot of modern covers from my mail. Indifference now, a hard to find rare piece in the future. This is about the same thing as the private perforations in my Ben Franklin collection. People back then tossed the envelope but kept the stamps. Today it's very hard to find these on cover at all.

I think a lot of old covers got cut up or tossed because covers hadn't yet become interesting. And that's a shame!

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