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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Now you see it............now you don't

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keesindy
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25 Mar 2017
09:39:41pm
The 19th century technologies and processes used in printing postal stationery indicia had their problems. Here are a few examples from the Union City hoard. They're Scott U311/312 and UPSS Die 88.

This first one has several inking problems, but the scanner's light generated shadows on the right side indicating a good sharp strike. The left side has no shadows, indicating an uneven strike. Ink on 2-3 teeth behind the bust and at the eye are fairly common occurrences. The teeth in front of the face covered with ink is an uncommon problem in my hoard. The most striking problem on this example is the missing center of the left ornament, but it's not really uncommon. I've identified 17 copies (there may be a few more) in the hoard. Now, compare this example with the next two.

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This second example is a somewhat nicer strike. It not only shows the missing center in the left ornament, it is also missing a ray in the right ornament. This example also shows inking of the teeth in front of the face. This is the only example of this combination I've found.

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The third example is a darker green and the sharpest of the three indicia. The left ornament is intact, but the right ornament is missing that same ray. This is the only example of this combination I've found.

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Finally, we have a relatively clean strike of the indicium where the ornaments are intact. However, look closely at the inner toothed line above the head. Something's missing! That is an unusually clean omission of an entire tooth. It is the only example of this characteristic I have found. I still think it's probably an inking problem, but worth investigation by the experts to confirm my suspicion. (Note the apparent damage to the outer frame line on the right-hand side.)

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ThomasGalloway
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29 Mar 2017
11:58:15am
re: Now you see it............now you don't

I've become interested in the "large center dots" variety.

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keesindy
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29 Mar 2017
10:22:08pm
re: Now you see it............now you don't

For good reason, Thomas!

I had seen your 88vT52 proposed variety and am certain I haven't seen center dots of that size in the hoard. Granted, there are a few thousand cut squares I haven't looked at in several years, but those things in your example really stand out. They're very hard for even an amateur to miss.

My BT0042-44 probably have the largest dots I've seen, but they're still not quite as large as those in your example.

One of the key points to remember regarding my hoard is this. Most of the material was probably collected in 1891-93. That assumption is based on the fact that most of the partial CDSs that display the year, display those years. Plus, my hoard isn't geographically focused. There were large amounts of mail arriving in Union City from places like New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis as well as nearer cities like Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland and Cincinnati. One would think, if those large ornament center dots were in the mail stream in 1891-93, they would be showing up in the Union City hoard once in a while.

If I continue to find only the smaller dots, then the large dots (and caps on the "2," etc.) must have been produced at a time when they wouldn't have shown up in the mail to any great extent (if at all) in the 1891-93 time frame. But, I'll keep looking!!!

Tom

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