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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

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rgnpcs
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27 Apr 2012
11:54:56pm
A strange thing happened a few months ago. McClusker has a great on line list for First Day covers, and I was checking some of the items. He has pictures for each lot listed. I was checking covers that I had against his prices, when I noticed something strange. The pictures that he showed were identical to my covers. I phoned him, and spoke to a lady in his office. I wanted to know why he was showing pictures of covers that he did not have, and could he tell me who he sold them to, as I would like to know where my covers came from.
I purchased these covers several years ago, with other material, and I do not remember from whom. i never heard from him, and called once more with no results.
I imagine then that most of the pictures he shows do not refer to the actual lots that he is selling. Is this kosher? He does not mention anywhere that pictures may not refer to the lot. When I show a picture with a lot, if it has been sold, I mark it SOLD.
Richaard
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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
28 Apr 2012
06:43:21am
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Richaard,

On the first page after pressing "Online Cover Shopping", this displays:

IMAGES: Please be advised that the images within our Retail Shopping area are examples of what the cover looks like, and may not be the exact cover we ship. Many First Day Covers are virtually the same, and because a picture is worth a thousand words, we feel it is better to see something than nothing at all.

THE DESCRIPTION WINS: With such a vast inventory occassionally an image does not match a description. We are working hard to keep these errors to a minimum, and encourage you to notify us when you encounter this problem. Remember, however, that the description determines what we ship, not the image.

RETURNS: 10 day return policy for any cover, no questions asked

Just out of curiosity, how do you know FDC's are exactly the same? Are they addressed? Numbered? Something else?

Bob

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rgnpcs
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28 Apr 2012
02:12:18pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Bob,
Never saw the disclaimer about the images.
Regarding my covers, address, stamp, cancel, everything exactly the same.
I probably have these covers at least ten years.
Richaard

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
28 Apr 2012
03:28:42pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Are the images of the covers from pictures that you had taken, and he is now using?

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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
28 Apr 2012
06:22:26pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Richaard,

That is weird... Unless an FDC for an issue is addressed, hand drawn/painted or numbered it is very difficult to tell the difference between them. Sometimes the placement of the stamp or postmark can help distiguish them apart but most people don't really care about that.

I'm interested in the repsponse. Please post if you get one.

Bob

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rgnpcs
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28 Apr 2012
07:21:18pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

I never took any pictures of these covers, so McClusker must have taken pics from covers he once had, and are now in my possession;
Richaard

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
29 Apr 2012
12:11:50pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Are we discounting the possibility that whoever produced the covers did so by the hundreds, if not thousands, before, after or on the supposed First Day of Use ?

If the cancellation was applied by machine, as I suspect many are, the markings should be close to identical.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
29 Apr 2012
12:13:26pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

That's exactly how the commercially produced FDCs are created.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
29 Apr 2012
12:39:47pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

so, McC created images from covers he presumably owned at some point, and sold at a later date; he never replaced the images, instead he deferred to his written disclaimers noting that any image is likely to be representational rather than a specific one.

I am not a fan of this approach, and we don't tolerate it in our own auctions, but he's set up his own rules and apparently is living by them.


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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
29 Apr 2012
01:15:02pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Which is why the lawyer's motto "ARATFP" applies.
.
.

( Always Read All The Fine Print")

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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
29 Apr 2012
02:12:13pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

I have bought FDC's from him and have gotten exactly what was in the image. Of course they were Hand Painted/Numbered and described as such, not ArtCraft or Artmaster mass produced items. Not that I think Richaard is not telling the truth, but I would like to see this for myself. Richaard, could you post an image one of the covers in question?

Just for accuracy sake it's James McCusker not McClusker.

Bob

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
29 Apr 2012
02:21:36pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

we could use both the image of Richard's cover(s) and the URL(s) to the corresponding cover(s) in McC's store, not that it matters, given the disclaimers. But then at least we can see what's being discussed.

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rgnpcs
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29 Apr 2012
10:21:35pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

I have over a thousand early FDC's prior to 1941, and i am not about to look for these covers, and then take my valuable time to check the McCuster list. I had about five covers, all hand addressed, so there cannot be thousands of them. I think that i wrote down the numbers somewhere, but cannot find the list. If I ever do, I will then look up the covers.
I am putting this discussion on the back burner, as I have more pressing things to do.
My wife, Anita, is now in the hospice program, with nurses, aides, social workers, and clergy over here three days a week.
Richaard

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
29 Apr 2012
10:47:13pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Richard, first, as Lisa stated, as an SOR member, I too offer my best wishes for your wife, and prayers for her recovery and easing of the strain you are undergoing.

Now, one thing that I have noticed is that you tend to post accusations and innuendos, and when asked to provide proof to substantiate your claims, you tend to dismiss the entire issue as something unimportant. Granted your wife's health is paramount, but I for one would appreciate your cessation of accusations and innuendos unless you also provide the proof to support your claims at the time you make them. All you wind up doing is instigating trouble that cannot be supported, and at times fractionalizing SOR members or putting others in a bad light. Please stop it as it ultimately puts you in the bad light, and not the others who are the targets of your intent.

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rgnpcs
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03 May 2012
09:35:50pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Image Not FoundMichael 78651, it is not proper to accuse anyone on this board, right or wrong, especially when you do not have the facts yourself. I do not appreciate your attack on me, but I am not pursing this any further, as I do not want to waste my time, and bother others with this nonsense.
Members, I came across the list that I had made of the McCuster FDC that he has listed for sale that I currently have in my possession. They are Scott numbers 556, 588, 589.
Here are pictures. You judge for yourself.
Richaard

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
03 May 2012
10:28:05pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

i searched on McC's 4c Washington and his examples look nothing like Richard's. Perhaps there's a specific URL that leads one to the example Richard discusses, but I didn't find it.

on his Grant, the addressee is the same, and typewritten, but they are not identical. McC's Grant has the comma after the name ABOVE the B in the second line, while Richard's comma after the name is ABOVE the 9 in the second line. Close but hardly identical. Again, maybe Richard has a specific URL to which to to send us, but I didn't find the same covers in McC's stock as in Richard's photos.

As to Michael's comments, I believe he was asking for the facts and looking for substantiation of Richard's accusations. The images that Richard has supplied don't support his initial statement.

From what I see on Richard's images and McC's web site, we have different covers here; similar in the case of Grant, but hardly identical; and utterly different in the case of Martha. I stopped looking after failing to find any duplication in two of the covers.

David

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roy
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03 May 2012
10:29:23pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

A little digital forensic photography comes to the rescue and declares that this is a FALSE ALARM.

While the covers are certainly, in each case, from the same production batch (common for these early FDC enthusiasts, who frequently produced hundreds), they ARE NOT the same covers.

The last two are easy to detect by the placement of the cancels, or from differences in the spacing of the address.

I stole these off McCusker's site:

Image Not Found
Note the different position of the comma, relative to the address 1979, and the slightly different position of the cancel.


McCusker showed 2 similar 588's:

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

Note that in both cases, the cancel is positioned slightly differently. Richaard's vertical line of the cancel basically bisects the head in the stamp. These don't.

The last one (first one in Richaard's post), the handwritten address, was actually the most challenging. The handwriting is amazingly consistent between the covers, but I thought I detected slight differences.

From McCuskers site:
Image Not Found

So I took the picture, sized it to match Richaard's picture, (which I also lifted off Richaard's post), turned the white color in one of them transparent, and superimposed one over the other -- matching the stamp. Note that Martha looks almost correct, little effect of super imposing:

Image Not Found

(I would have done it bigger, but had to match Richaard's original size.)

Note the differences in the position of the address -- but amazing for hand writing!

Case closed?

One last thing. Since we are talking about him, and borrowing pictures from his site (to defend him!), I think we at least owe him a link:

James McCusker FDC website

Roy

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rgnpcs
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04 May 2012
12:41:08am
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

You are currently viewing online cover shopping is the Mccuster site i am on.
Top Martha Washington & mine are identical. There id no way in creation that anyone can write an address exactly the same.
Going to bed now.

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 8,000+ new covers coming November 7
04 May 2012
09:37:45am
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

I think I just proved that the "Marthas" are not the same cover.

Note how the bottom of the "g" of "Washington" on your cover is very, very close to the bottom of the cover, while McCuskers copy (as copied above in my post) is significantly higher.

Roy

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
04 May 2012
10:42:30am
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Thank you everyone for your comments on this thread. I would like to close this discussion now.

Regards ... Tim.

Stamporama Webmaster.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
04 May 2012
06:19:51pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

I want to point out the handwriting. Back in the day people made an artform of handwriting. It is called calligraphy. Seeing the handwriting on the envelopes, the person who wrote the addresses was definitely an expert calligrapher. I think it is a dying art as schools are beginning to cease teaching cursive writing.

I met a woman several years ago who was a calligrapher. She showed me her "tool set" and how she used the various implements to create a stupendous handwriting sample. It was a fascinating exhibition. If you ever meet someone into this, I heartily recommend that you ask for a demonstration. You will be impressed.

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
04 May 2012
09:28:19pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

My father was not a well educated man having been sent off to work at an early age, but his did have a phenominal scipt handwriting. Each year he would sit down in the Spring and Fall to write out dozens of X-mas cards, Easter cards and birthday cards, often one to each of my (then ) four children as well as my brother's three or four.
Over the years, here were several conversations about how closely cards to my wife and me matched those to my children and those to my brother and his wife, wholivd nearby, and cards addressed to my brother's children also matched.

Absolutely identical, no, but so close that we noticed his careful script with its swirls and reverse curves and remarked even then, that his script was a lost art.
I could see him writing the address on these covrs and achieving almost perfectly identical addresses.

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musicman
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05 May 2012
08:02:51am
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

I must agree that they are different covers, albeit amazingly similar.

And Michael is correct in regard to the handwriting statement.

I used to pride myself on my handwriting (thanks to my wonderful mother who required me to do my best in all things); as of late though it's failing a bit due to years of "mechanic's abuse" of my fingers.

I can certainly see why and how Richaard would mistake the covers as one and the same, especially in the case of the Martha W. cover.

Let's remember however, that not everyone's eyesight is perfect....including mine.


Randy

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Doe
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08 May 2012
07:45:50pm
re: Look-alike FDCs of Scott numbers 556, 588, 589; an interesting, occasionally heated discussion with forensics and everything

Roy, that is some impressive sleuthing!

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