United States — In the early years of the 20th century, a number of companies manufactured vending and affixing machines to dispense postage stamps. Coils of stamps used in these machines were produced from imperforate sheets of 400 sold to the companies, who cut them into coil strips and applied their own private perforations. They are listed and valued by company and perforation type in a section of the 2014 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.
Vending and affixing machine perforations are an area little known to collectors, aside from those who specialize in it. As a new U.S. collector, the first time you see a Schermack type III perforation with two large rectangular holes on each side you might think you have something really special. As you advance, it’s not hard to convince yourself that your used 2¢ George Washington stamp type I (Scott 482) with Schermack type III perforations (Scott catalog value 60¢) single is not really a 2¢ George Washington stamp type Ia (482A, Scott catalog value $65,000).
Perhaps because it is a specialist area without many examples being regularly sold or listed, there are many undervalued used stamps with vending and affixing machine perforations.
Look for a used 2¢ George Washington stamp type VI (Scott 534A) with Schermack type III perforations in very fine or better grade at the current Scott U.S. specialized catalog value of $4.50.
Knowledgeable dealers will pay full Scott catalog and more for any example of this stamp, even with minor faults, as there is so much demand for the more valuable imperforate stamp (Scott catalog value $32.50) from collectors who aren’t that fussy about condition and are willing to accept one with the Schermack perforations.
Tip of the week
Guyana— My vote for the wildest and wooliest stamp program of the 20th century goes to the South American nation of Guyana. Not only has this former British colony issued more than 4,000 stamps since gaining independence in 1966, it has overprinted and surcharged many of those stamps with wild abandon.
Many of the stamps are topicals with subjects that have wide appeal. Collectors who specialize in this country might be considered either foolhardy or brave, depending on your perspective. But there are opportunities lurking in the Guyana listings for those who dare to look for them.
An example is the twice-overprinted and surcharged Fish set of 1986 (Scott 1497-1498). The basic stamps are the 1968 1¢ Sunfish and 3¢ Lukunan stamps (Scott 68 and 70). In 1983, the stamps were overprinted “FAO 1983” in red, the 1¢ stamp was surcharged to 30¢, and the 3¢ stamp was surcharged to $2.60 to become Scott 704-705. In 1986, they were overprinted again, “1986” in black with the 30¢-on-3¢ stamp surcharged to 50¢ and the $2.60-on-3¢ stamp surcharged to 225¢ to become Scott 1497-1498.
The 2014 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values these stamps in mint never-hinged condition at $18.25. I recently saw a set sell in an online auction for $96 after what could only be described as spirited bidding. If you find this set offered at anywhere near Scott catalog value, I think it would be a great buy. — H.G.
October 09, 2015 02:00 PMLinn’s managing editor Charles Snee reported the recovery of a block of three of the 1845 5¢ New York postmaster’s provisional stamp, once part of a block of 10 that was stolen from the Benjamin K. Miller collection in 1977. Read More ›
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogWhen this cover was listed on eBay in mid-September, it didn't take long for some knowledgeable collectors to recognize this piece of postal history for the gem that it is: an early trans-oceanic survey cover for a Pacific route that included Midway Island, which would become famous as the location of a pivotal 1942 naval battle during World War II. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses current events that relate to the stamp hobby, including the relocation of a stamp show in Sweden due to the Syrian refugee crises, and new stamps honoring Pope Francis and the British monarchy.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.