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Showing posts from 2017

Philately Versus Stamp Collecting - Two Very Different Hobbies and The Appeal of Stamps

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In normal parlance the term "philatelist" and "stamp collector" are used synonymously, with many non-collectors often saying "what is that fancy word used to describe stamp collecting? I know it is "phil-a something. I can't pronounce it". Most collectors will then tell the person that a stamp collector is a "philatelist" or will otherwise agree with the person who equates the two, as if the two were playing a game of Trivial Pursuit.

But as a dealer and professional philatelic blogger, it has occurred to me that philately and stamp collecting, though very close to one another, are not, in fact, the same thing. In the rest of this post, I will explain the difference between the two, and then I will conclude with some more reasons why I believe that both are the most rewarding of hobbies, and why I believe they are misunderstood by most people in general.

Stamp Collecting

Stamp collecting involves the pursuit and accumulation of stamps f…

The Printings of the 6d Lilac and Mauve Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos - Part Three

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Today's post will be my last for 2017, as I will be off for the Christmas holidays for a few days to catch my breath and spend some much needed time with my family. My next post will be published on January 2, 2018, and should complete my examination of the stamps of this denomination.

Today however, I will examine the stamps printed from the third state of the plate. As I have explained in all of my earlier posts, stamps printed from the third state of the plate display two essential characteristics:


Most of the detail of the hair at the back of the Queen's head, just above, and to the right of the neck is gone. Generally there will be a few shading lines visible in the hair above the diagonal ribbon, and very few if any lines visible below the ribbon.The first 3-5 lines of hair at the very top of the head are merged together into one solid mass of colour.  Otherwise, most all of the finer details of the design remain crisp and clearly visible. Sometimes, there is almost no d…

The Printings of the 6d Lilac and Mauve Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos - Part Two

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Today's post will examine the next group of printings of this stamp, being those from the second state of the plate. In this state, all of the detail in the hair is clear, as before, but is less sharp, as the plate begins to wear. We see the very beginnings of hairlines merging together at the top of the head and in the hair at the back of the head, especially those hairlines located underneath the diagonal ribbon at the back.

Group 2: Printings 11-19 Printings From the Second State of the Plate (December 1890 - Early 1892)

For the next three printings, the possibility does exist that they are merely variations of the second printing and are merely more heavily inked than those. However, I have assumed that the loss of sharpness in the detail is due to plate wear, and hence, I have classified them as being from the second state of the plate. I have determined that the last of these printings would have to have been made no later than early 1892, due to the fact that I have an used…

The Printings of the 6d Lilac and Mauve Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos - Part One

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This week I move on to the next value in the 1887-1903 Crown CA issue of Lagos: the 6d lilac and mauve. This stamp was first sent to the colony on March 31, 1887, along with the others. The last printings from plate 1 were sent on August 4, 1900, which is a full year earlier than many of the other values from this issue. 86,340 stamps were printed, and 23,400 remainders were sent back to London in 1905. A good number of these would have come from the plate 2 printing, which was made in mauve and aniline carmine. This last printing of this value was, according to Gibbons, made in October 1902. However, the number produced for this printing is not known.

This is another denomination, that due to the postage rates, should have seen fairly consistent use, so it is quite possible that there may have been almost as many printings of this value as some of the other lower denominations. My initial sort of this, two years ago gave close to 40 printings, which over 54 calendar quarters is almo…