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General Philatelic/Gen. Discussion : Stamps proofs 1860-1890

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nranderson
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08 Jan 2019
11:57:39pm
Hello Everyone,

What makes these beautiful images far cheaper than their issued counterparts that were made my the millions? These have to be scarce. Is it a sleeping category? Anything I should know before jumping in with both feet?

Thanks
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pigdoc
09 Jan 2019
08:55:10am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Yes, nr, proofs tend to be lower-priced than their progeny. Which brings the scarcer issues in reach for us average Joes. I tend to think of them as really, really nice spacefillers. Here are a couple from my collection:

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I have since acquired the regular issue 90c 1869 Pictorial, but the $3 and $4 Columbians remain elusive. I have come close to snapping up the $4 Columbian proof, but it's been an on-again, off-again quest...

-Paul

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pigdoc
09 Jan 2019
09:25:09am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Here's one more set from my collection:
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There are a some fairly good forgeries out there of this series, so be careful.

Most of us would consider the regular issues of these stamps to be Unobtainium.

-Paul

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
09 Jan 2019
06:15:12pm
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

My favorite stamps of all are the 19th century U.S. proofs and are the last stamps I would ever get rid of. I have never understood their low cat value compared to the issued stamps. About 27 years ago my main dealer got in a pretty complete coverage of the main issues and I purchased all that I could afford. I feel they are superior to the regular issued stamps. 1. they are the first stamps to be printed by the new plates resulting in the best images. 2. They were only sold to collectors so they were always kept safe and in near perfect condition. 3. they were not perforated or gummed so they did not suffer problems to these aspects.
Card proofs are the cheapest of proofs and are almost always much cheaper than the issued stamps. Large and small die proofs may or may not be cheaper than the regular issues. Although catalog values are quite different you will pay closer to full catalog value for proofs than you will for the issued stamps.
There are also color trial proofs printed in different colors than the issued stamp so there is a large variety of proofs to work with. Color trial proofs were printed so the authorities could choose a color for the stamps to be printed in.
As few as the proofs were made originally their numbers continue to decrease. Many shady characters modify proofs to resemble the issued stamps thus decreasing their numbers My advice is to go for it and obtain all the 19th century proofs you can afford. I cannot see how proofs can help increasing in value.
Below are most of the proofs that I have.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
09 Jan 2019
11:31:55pm
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

I agree that proofs are EXCELLENT place holders, but a collection of proofs like Antonius has is also a worthy endeavor because I agree that they are undervalued.

I use them exclusively as placeholders, and I now have only two:

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But why not do as Paul and I did: Use the proofs to fill the spaces and sell them when you get the real thing. Or do as Antonius did and create a beautiful collection of proofs.

Yes, by all means, go for the proofs!

Lars

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"Expanding your knowledge faster than your collection can save you a few bucks."

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nranderson
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09 Jan 2019
11:52:37pm
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

What fine fine collections! I see a lot of proofs on cards and I have bought a few. They are nearly perfect, maybe previously hindged. The paper itn't hardly toned if at all. There must be fakes out there? Is it a problem?

Here's one of mine. Sorry for the frame I'm sure that's taboo here.

I was a photographer of stamps before collecting

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
10 Jan 2019
12:17:56am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Quote:

"There must be fakes out there? Is it a problem?"



Fakes are always a problem, but if you look at prices you can see where to watch out. For example, my State Department Proofs are only about $10 each if you are patient looking for them. They have an extreme level of detail that is hard to fake, and anyone with the level of expertise required to fake those would be faking the actual stamps with a CV of over $1000 each. More commonly, fakers will take proofs, shave down the thickness, add perfs, and offer them as the genuine article.

Get the low cost items first and acquire a bit of a reference set. Then if you are considering a new acquisition, look at the details compared to your reference set to see if you think the stamp is legit. Send off for a cert if you are uncertain so that you become a domain expert in your field. You can either PAY domain experts or BECOME one. The only other alternative is sucker. Choose wisely.

Lars

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"Expanding your knowledge faster than your collection can save you a few bucks."

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nranderson
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10 Jan 2019
01:09:32am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Good advise thanks Lars. Here's another new one. Well for me they are all new! Again sorry about the frames.

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nranderson
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10 Jan 2019
01:14:50am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Were the proofs even back then like coins are today, primarily produced for collectors or were they used to give the nod to start production?

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pigdoc
10 Jan 2019
08:45:56am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Nelson, for what it's worth, I think your frames look FABULOUS!!!

I'll see if I can scare up some images of fakes of the large State Dept proofs...
I remember that, when I was chasing these proofs, I encountered several. They are subtle, but not so hard to detect with careful study.

-Paul

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smaier
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Sally
10 Jan 2019
10:32:45am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

The frames don't detract at all. The photographs are excellent - at least on my screens the level of detail is amazing (the engraving lines give a reptile-like appearance to some of the skin areas).

I am wondering about the statement about being a stamp photographer before becoming a collector. Was that a hobby or a job?

Thanks for sharing and keep posting. Thumbs Up

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pigdoc
10 Jan 2019
11:14:07am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Here is a side-by-side comparison of a genuine and forged State Department revenue:

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There are vast differences in the execution of the ornaments in the corners, and in the letters. Look at the left hand "U.S.of A." and the "DOLLARS".

-Paul

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
10 Jan 2019
11:05:41pm
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

FYI, The easiest way to spot an altered proof from an issued stamp is the color of the paper. Proofs have a very White paper compared to the off-White of the finished stamps.
It is quite easy to tell the difference but many collectors fail to note the difference and become easily fooled.
Essays are pre-stamp drawings from which the issued stamp is selected. Trial color proofs are then made in different colors of the selected essay to decide what the issued stamp will be. The final proofs are either given away to different organizations or sold to dealers or collectors.

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pigdoc
11 Jan 2019
08:13:11am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

To follow on Antonius' comments, here is a color trial proof, currently offered on eBay:

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Lovely! (and VERY spendy). Seller says it's one of ten existant.

-Paul

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nranderson
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12 Jan 2019
05:41:44pm
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

I am wondering about the statement about being a stamp photographer before becoming a collector. Was that a hobby or a job?


Thanks for the comment above. I still haven't figured out how to "quote"

I photograph items I own as a hobby. No rhyme or reason to it. No special skills just started framing stuff to post on Flickr and now it's hard to post anything unframed!

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
12 Jan 2019
05:56:37pm
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

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You might take a look at the Roosevelt presentation album digital exhibit on Stamp Smarter and compiled by Richard Segal.

Roosevelt presentation albums were produced in early 1903 and contain die proofs of stamps meant to represent all the stamps issued by the United States Post Office until that time. They were produced by Third Assistant Postmaster General Edwin C. Madden using original dies from the Bureau of Engraving & Printing and given as gifts to influential friends of President Teddy Roosevelt and a very select few others. Only 85 albums were produced.

Note: Richard used very high resolution images, so the page loads slow. The page will appear like it is on a black background until all the images load (20-30 seconds). But once the images load, you click on each image to see the full size version in a new window.

http://www.stampsmarter.com/proof/Home_proofs.html

Don

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vinman
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12 Jan 2019
06:01:08pm
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

how to quote

Quote:

"I still haven't figured out how to "quote""


copy and then paste the words you want to quote in your message
highlight those words
click on the "Quote" box you will find below the message area
it's that simple
it took me awhile to figure it out also

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sheepshanks
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12 Jan 2019
06:02:08pm

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re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Nelson to "quote", highlight the text and click on the quote button shown in the format button bar which is below the text box where you are putting your message.

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roy
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12 Jan 2019
06:39:14pm
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Quote:

"There are vast differences in the execution of the ornaments in the corners, and in the letters. Look at the left hand "U.S.of A." and the "DOLLARS"."



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Is this also a clue? Big Grin

Roy
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nranderson
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13 Jan 2019
02:45:05am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Quote:

"You might take a look at the Roosevelt presentation album digital exhibit on Stamp Smarter and compiled by Richard Segal."



Hey I think I did it! Not really clear but easy. Thanks everyone for all your information and sharing. I'm enjoying it a lot. I'll be sharing more (framed) images as well!

And Richard thank you for this link I'm sure it's going to keep me from things I need to be doing!

Here's an unrelated stamp from my collection:

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pigdoc
13 Jan 2019
11:45:14am
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Hey roy,

Yes, I appreciated that the stamp is a 'disclosed' fake with the FACSIMILE marking, but that just proves it's not genuine for the sake of comparison. I have seen the same printings without the FACSIMILE marking, which would tag them true forgeries, in my book. Printed with a the (possible) intention of deceiving.

Thanks,
Paul

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nranderson
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13 Jan 2019
08:35:46pm
re: Stamps proofs 1860-1890

Quote:

"Yes, I appreciated that the stamp is a 'disclosed' fake with the FACSIMILE marking, but that just proves it's not genuine for the sake of comparison."



If a man made it a man can fake it. They are getting better and better at it. We have ridged edges on our coins because people used to shave the edges of silver and gold coins just a little to cheat the next guy. Other hobbies like the bottle below. It's an exact copy of a Jacob's Cabin Tonic Bitters. a 35,000 dollar bottle last time it sold. The layman would not know the difference if they didn't decide to add Samaruium Oxide to the batch of glass which makes it glow a distinct bright orange when viewed under a black light.

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It would be nice if they could do that with stamps! There I said stamps this message qualifies to be included here. I have so many stamp question piling up I hope you all are ready!

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