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Europe/Great Britain : Machins on cover? Advice

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Jeredutt3
30 Oct 2018
11:50:45pm
Ok.. So I have been running the Machin rabbit trail recently. I have the Machin Novice by denomination album ( about 240pgs). I have a nice start but nothing earth shattering. I just purchased a 400-500 cover lot at local stamp show. My question is do I soak first or ID first? Is there a premium for any issues on cover? Any thing special I should look for before breaking out the scissors?
It was so much easier when I was a kid and had not discovered postal history and now worry about trashing some amazing cover by soaking the stamp ! LOL !!!

Any experts give me the 2 cents worth please and thanks,
Jere

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Cursus
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31 Oct 2018
02:35:55am
re: Machins on cover? Advice

Machin solo covers, in general don't comand a great Premium. But they're nevertheless interesting. I also collect used Machins and whenever I find them on cover or postcard I keep the whole piece.
On another fòrum, there's a very interesting thread devoted to Machin usage.

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51Studebaker
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31 Oct 2018
03:03:50am
re: Machins on cover? Advice

You can always scan covers before soaking to keep and document the postal history provenance.
Don

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
31 Oct 2018
08:29:02am
re: Machins on cover? Advice

Jere,

If you like them, keep them intact. Start documenting proper usages in period. I do that with US stamps, although I'm not focused on any series, but only on rates and services.

David

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Jeredutt3
31 Oct 2018
02:02:21pm
re: Machins on cover? Advice

sounds good. Do a lot with rates, dates, services and postal history for French Colonies. Was curious if there was anything special I should eyeball but sounds in the territory of "if ya like it keep".. there were a couple cool specialty cancelations I will probably keep.

Thanks for the heads up...

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cdj1122
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03 Nov 2018
06:03:42pm
re: Machins on cover? Advice

There is so much more to Machins than just postally used or Mint.
Envelopes with single used Machins dated during the time they were the correct rate are interesting in themselves, also covers to, or from some noted place can add some color to the collection.
I have pages and pages of SOTNs somewhat sorted by town of use and date.
One of the clever ways of ascertaining which specific variation of a long running Machin used by Deegam is by the fact that the location of the value is usually slightly different depending of the whim of the printer. The height of the base of the value from the lower frame and the distance from the left margin varies and has been tabulated in the Handbook. two almost identical issues differing only by the original gum are hard to identify after the gum has floated down the drain. But the placement of the value may be to cle plus the fact that one was mailed before the second was issued would be enough to determine what otherwise would have been impossible.
While an older stamp may have been used years after its issuance, none have ever carried a letter before they were printed and issued.

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malcolm197
04 Nov 2018
07:44:23am
re: Machins on cover? Advice

No. But sometimes a wrongly set up date stamp gives that impresssion. And sometimes a particular Post Office sells a stamp before it's designated release date. This is usually identified with specific commemorative issues ( Gibbons footnote " The xp value noted pre-released from y post office on z date" ). I would be very surprised if that has not happenened with definitive Machins too. After all stamps are distributed to offices some time before they are due to be sold.

As for covers, basic letter rate used in period are fairly common. However additional step rates used with a single appropriate value stamp ( rather than a standard letter rate plus add on value), or special service or international usage are not so common, if I was lucky enough to come across one of these ( and I never have despite handling hundreds if not thousands of covers ), I would definitely retain it. Multi value se-tenant coils and booklet panes on cover should never be soaked. Anything with postage due or other instructional markings or with unusual postmarks should also be kept intact.

Also check for commercial covers used "anonymously" on the first day of issue of the stamp.Millions get used, but only keen Machin coillectors ever think to keep them. Again I have never posessed one, or even seen one. I would not bother with contrived FDC s annotated as such on the envelope.

Malcolm

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roy
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04 Nov 2018
08:47:15am
re: Machins on cover? Advice

As a "market survey", I can offer the following pictures from our "Sold Database".

Machins, especially high values on cover to foreign destinations, have always been popular, although it appears to me that prices have softened slightly in the last while, probably due to the passing of a couple of avid collectors (I knew one personally). Sometimes, the valuations of an entire market are driven by only a handful of collectors who actively bid for certain types of items, and who all the dealers know and buy for.

These covers all sold on eBay, auction style, typically with starting bids of $3. Realized price is noted below the cover (all in US$).

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$10.50

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$15.50

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$24.50

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$15.00

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$15.00

At the lower end of the price scale, single Machin values used to foreign destinations have been popular on Buckacover.com and sell quickly. Also, any covers with interesting foreign destinations and special postal handling.The following all sold on Buckacover.com between US$1.00 and $1.50:

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Roy

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malcolm197
02 Dec 2018
08:04:01am
re: Machins on cover? Advice

The Field Post Office cover is interesting. I don't know what the rate of 2p paid. At the time the second and first class domestic rate were both more than that. Military mail to and from the UK normally were sent at domestic rate, but international mail would be sent at international rates so a letter from a FPO to an international destination ( European actually) should be sent at European rate.

I suppose 2p could feasibly be European Printed Paper Rate ( i.e. circular ), but I am d-----d if I can see how that could be justified from an FPO address, as this is undoubtedly personal mail from an individual soldier ( although addressed to a commercial business). It would be of interest to know where the particular FPO was based at the time, and what unit(s) it was attached to.

Additionally a "Field Post Office " as opposed to "British Forces Post Office (BFPO)" is usually used for an operational or training deployment rather than for a permanent overseas base ( although the training establishment in Kenya at about this time was a FPO, as the business I worked for received mail from there).

If this is genuine usage someone I think got a bargain there ( especially if they could justify the rate ), less so if it was someone trying to save a bit of money.

Malcolm


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phos45
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03 Dec 2018
07:03:10pm
re: Machins on cover? Advice

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FS red cancels are scarce

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Jeredutt3
04 Dec 2018
12:21:00am
re: Machins on cover? Advice

Thanks ! Will do some filtering of covers and see what looks interesting now that I have an idea what to look for.

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