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Africa/All : Rhodesia Admiral identification

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keesindy
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30 Oct 2019
09:42:32am
I am trying to determine the Stanley Gibbons catalog number for this 2s6d Rhodesia admiral stamp. The vignette color is nearly black (more so than my scan suggests) and matches the SG Colour Key indigo color swatch or possibly the deep violet blue swatch.

This copy is perforated 15.

The admiral's left ear is mostly shaded and has an outline. The cap has a solid line at the top. If I am interpreting the broken "anchor shank" characteristic correctly, this stamp has a broken "anchor shank." Those characteristics would make this Die III.

My 2005 Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth catalog has me confused. The Die III listings include only one perf 15 stamp and that is the 2d. All other Die III listings are perf 14. The Die II listings for the indigo 2s6d stamp include both perf 14 and perf 15, but my stamp doesn't match the Die II description as far as I can tell.

Does anyone here have experience identifying the admiral stamps? Maybe a newer SG catalog has new information that would help?

Looking forward to your comments and suggestions. Thanks!

Tom

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clivel
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30 Oct 2019
10:19:01am
re: Rhodesia Admiral identification

Hi Tom,
It could be sg319 - 2/6 violet-blue and grey-brown, p15 Die III.

This is part of a group of Admirals issued in 1923 in London but never actually sent out to Rhodesia, so are only catalogued as mint.

Clive

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keesindy
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30 Oct 2019
10:59:50am
re: Rhodesia Admiral identification

Thanks, Clive. I looked at that and sg319 works except for the color of the vignette. The violet-blue color swatch in the SG Coluor Key doesn't look anything like my very dark blue/bluish color on my stamp. It's not close. I don't think my stamp's colors have been affected by environmental or other issues, but one never knows for certain.

I didn't know those later Admirals had never been sent to Rhodesia.

Tom

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keesindy
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30 Oct 2019
01:44:07pm
re: Rhodesia Admiral identification

I haven't found a stamp I've scanned with the violet-blue color, but here's a SG 275 deep blue and blue-green (shades) for comparison. The 2/6 stamp color is nowhere near the deep blue color of my SG 275 or the violet-blue (SG 319) in my SG Colour Key. If it weren't for this problem with the color, it would be easy to call my 2/6 a SG 319. If the SG catalog were to call SG 319 DEEP violet blue, then everything would make sense, but the SG violet blue color swatch is a very long distance from the SG deep violet blue color swatch. There is definitely no mistaking the two.

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clivel
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30 Oct 2019
07:33:44pm
re: Rhodesia Admiral identification

When I am trying to evaluate an admiral colour I often refer to Deverell/Macgregor's excellent site they often show a few examples of each stamp - but, they have not one SG 319.

They do however illustrate a few examples of SG 303, which is the 2/6 violet-blue and grey-brown p14. The on-screen colours look close to yours, especially their stock code MA503 item.

Clive



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keesindy
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31 Oct 2019
01:30:31am
re: Rhodesia Admiral identification

Thanks for that link, Clive! It is too bad there are no SG 319 examples. The MA503 example is very close to my JPG image. It is probably the closest match to my JPG image. However, my JPG color isn't as deep as the actual color of my stamp.

I suppose my situation with this stamp is similar to the examples for SG 252 at that web site. The listed color in the catalogue for SG 252 is blackish-purple. Most of the posted examples are listed as blackish-purple, but two examples are described as "deep blackish-purple."

Given all of that information, I suppose I would describe my stamp as SG 319 deep violet-blue.

Thanks for your help, Clive!

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kgvistamps
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Collecting King George VI from all countries, and King Edward VII and King George V from the West Indies.
31 Oct 2019
09:42:13am
re: Rhodesia Admiral identification

One thing I have noticed about sorting stamps by color is that you need a few copies to really make a decision. I put all of my copies of the same values together on both white and then black paper and look to see if there are color differences or not.

The other thing I have noticed is that where there are more than a couple of printings the catalogs ignore subtle differences that you might notice while sorting them. They list the first printing and then if there is a significantly different later printing they list that one. So you can see some variation in what would be considered the same stamp - from a catalog view. I am in the process of identifying the King George VI British Honduras set by printing right now. There are as many as 10 printings of some values from 1938 until 1953, but only one or maybe two catalog entries. There are subtle differences between the stamps from various years production, but not enough to merit a catalog entry.

Finally, the Gibbons color key is not truly accurate. You should be able to put a stamp under it and look thru the hole and the color should match up. I have never truly been able to exactly match anything that way. What I find it really useful for is understanding the makeup of a color in comparison to other colors. So Yellow-Green is lighter than Green for example.

Ultimately you have to make a best guess based on the information available and change it later if something comes along to change your opinion. It is part of the fun of the hobby, but it can also be kind of frustrating if you expect perfection.


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keesindy
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31 Oct 2019
12:15:17pm
re: Rhodesia Admiral identification

kgvistamps said :

Quote:

"One thing I have noticed about sorting stamps by color is that you need a few copies to really make a decision. I put all of my copies of the same values together on both white and then black paper and look to see if there are color differences or not."



Good advice for those collectors with the resources to accumulate multiple copies of the stamps where color shades are an issue. Unfortunately, I'm not in that group and must rely on other methods and sources to navigate this tricky aspect of the hobby.

We're all fortunate to have some phenomenal new internet resources that didn't exist a few years ago. Clive provided an excellent example of that in the link he posted. Even discussions such as this may help shed a little light on specific issues from time to time.

I've found the SG Colour Key to be helpful in some cases and totally useless in others. I'm sure the primary problem is the stamp printing processes where color shades varied. Environmental effects over time affect stamp colors as well. Sometimes, I think SG just missed the boat in creating some of the color swatches.

Maybe someday we'll have the technology that guarantees we are all seeing the same color on our various monitors or iPads or phones. At that point, we could have better digital tools available for assessing colors and their differences. I'm looking forward to that day!

Tom
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kgvistamps
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Collecting King George VI from all countries, and King Edward VII and King George V from the West Indies.
01 Nov 2019
09:30:16am
re: Rhodesia Admiral identification

I realize it is not always feasible to obtain a stock of stamps to compare the colors. As a part time dealer I have some customers who request a stock of British Colony King George VI stamps to sort. I send them my inventory on approval and they send back what they don't want to keep. So if you have a good relationship with a dealer that might be worth considering.

Obviously there are probably only a few dealers with any real inventory of Rhodesia Admirals, so that might not be feasible in this specific case.

Regarding color matching, Larry Goldberg and I have tried various methods of computer matching and had really mixed results. If you scan a stamp at high resolution and use Photoshop or one of the other color applications you can select an area and get a color value. My application uses RGB which is a system that expresses colors based on the amount of Red, Green and Blue components. There are other options that are even more precise. Using RGB, you get a value that is six digits in length using the base 16 (0-9 and A-F - a combination of 16 possible digits) which measures the amount of Red, Green and Blue in a color. So white is FFFFFF and black is 000000. Green is 00FF00, blue is 0000FF, red is FF0000. Color shades are measured in various combinations of these components depending on the mix. If you have one of these applications you can input any valid value and it will show you the color.

Anyway, by using the eyedropper tool, I can select a small portion of the stamp and measure the color. Sounds pretty good, right? However if I go about an inch over and measure that, the color mix output changes a little. So even with a measurement tool it is hard to get it exactly right. You can select an area and have it come up with an approximate color value, so that is probably the right way to do it.

Ultimately, it is a subjective task that is fraught with errors, so you have to just do the best you can with whatever you have to work with. Expect to be wrong and revise your opinion as you see other stamps that make you change your mind about the colors. Remember it is a hobby, so it is okay to just have fun with it.

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keesindy
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01 Nov 2019
05:39:44pm
re: Rhodesia Admiral identification

kgvistamps wrote:

Quote:

"Remember it is a hobby, so it is okay to just have fun with it."



So true! In fact, I haven't collected for several years and have been selling my "collection" piecemeal. I was buying pre-1940 mostly mint collections back in the 1980s with a focus on colonial Africa and Caribbean. In the years since I stopped collecting and began selling, I have learned far more about the hobby than I had known previously. Largely, this is because I want to be as accurate as I can in presenting my material for sale and avoid misleading buyers. When I was collecting, it was for fun! Now, it's still fun, but far more is involved. Part of the fun is asking questions and finding answers and sharing digital images I what I (and Dad) had accumulated in the past.

I have been using Photoshop for about 20 years for various purposes, business related and otherwise. My monitor is calibrated (long overdue for recalibration), but is overdue for replacement. I create my stamp JPG images in Photoshop, using select Photoshop tools to adjust the scans if necessary to make sure I've got JPG images that are a good representation of the actual stamp. I want to avoid disappointing any buyers! Plus, the JPGs may be of value to other collectors now or at some point in the future. I don't want to mislead them. And, for the past two to three years, I've been posting larger images to enhance the value of the images for other collectors doing their own research.

As you said, color is going to be subjective. Technical issues, our viewing environment and our vision guarantee that. Just one of the many frustrating challenges collectors face.

I appreciate your comments on this topic and your other contributions to this group!

Tom


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