Monday, 29 October 2012

An Interesting Find on Ebay - Part 2

Is This a Wreck Cover?

I asked this question in my blog of 16 October . The item has arrived and I'm no closer to knowing the answer.

As I suspected, it is only a front, but it has a tantalising partial postmark on the remnant of flap attached. It's a partial "Liverpool" postmark in blue, which I would expect to be a "Liverpool Packet" postmark. However, there doesn't seem to be a matching date for that postmark, according to "Collect British Postmarks" (Stanley Gibbons, 8th Edition), bearing in mind that the Lochmaben sank in 1855.

Unless I can find a passenger manifest for the last voyage of the Lochmaben to see if Mrs. Hazelton was aboard, I will probably never know if this is a wreck cover!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Try Twitter - You Might Like It!

Then You Can Follow @globalphilately!

I wasn't completely sure about Twitter and the need for it, but I've been converted.

I'm now able to communicate with magazine editors and publishers, postal authorities from all over the world, a diverse group of collectors and hobbyists, and all my other favourite human beings.

There's a common misconception that Twitter is a mobile tool, but I use it almost exclusively from the Twitter web page in my browser on my laptop.

You can create a personalised profile page where people can check you out, here's mine

The better your profile, the more chance you have of being followed by the people that you would like to follow-back. 

You can search by keywords, such as "stamps" or "philately", and look at the profiles of people you might like to follow. Some will follow you back, some won't. You can also look at the followers of people you might be interested in, and follow them as well!

Twitter is quite intuitive to use and another great way to communicate instantly. It's easy to manage spammers and even easier to unfollow those who Tweet every 5 seconds!

If you decide to try it, follow me @globalphilately and I'll follow you back. look forward to seeing you soon!

Friday, 26 October 2012

How to Block a Seller on Delcampe

....And Make Better Use of Your Time Online

Delcampe recently introduced a tool that allows a buyer to block a seller's listings from their searches. I've used it to block some sellers who consistently sell over-priced material, and others that insist on uploading images that are no more than a handful of blurred pixels.

At the bottom of each listing there is a "+" icon

Clicking on the icon shows the following options

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Rust on Stamps - New Testing of an Old Recipe!

Initial Results Are Staggering

All collectors face the challenge of dealing with rust (known as "rust" when a dealer buys a stamp, and "toning" when a dealer sells a stamp!) on stamps at some stage. 

The preferred, and usually recommended, method of dealing with rust is to throw the stamps away! Almost every blog, forum and dealer site has a discussion how to deal with this problem, and I don't intend to re-hash what has been said hundreds of times and can be found by Googling.

What I do want to do is to present a "teaser" of some current tests using a method described by a gentleman of very senior years. Preliminary tests conducted by a member of the Grumpy Old Men's Club forum (here), have shown remarkable results.

Further testing with modern and multicoloured stamps will be of interest to see if the process works on all issues. It is a wet process, so won't work on mint stamps unless Mint No Gum is an acceptable outcome.

This is Hyderabad SG 43, a very common stamp that is usually found in a poor state

This is the back of the stamp showing rust, and a marker pen addition, which was meant to prove, after testing, that this was the same stamp!

Here is the front of the stamp after testing

....and the back, minus the marker-pen arrow!

At this early stage, I'm wondering if a bleaching process is evident, but as I don't yet know the "recipe", I'm keeping an open mind.

I'll post updates as and when they come to hand

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

An Interesting Find on Ebay

Is This a Wreck Cover?

I was browsing through Ebay today and found saw this cover. It was so ugly, I just had to look at it

It was quite poorly listed as "UK Penny Red still on Envelope Cover" (so I assume it's a front only), with the following description:

(Khyu)lton & Wilson agents
134 Waterloo Road
Mrs Hazelton
on board the 
Lochmaster Castle

The agents name is actually Elkington & Wilson, and the name of the ship is the "Lochmaben Castle".

A quick look at Google, and I found out that the ship was wrecked in 1855:

"Lochmaben Castle, for Quebec, was ashore on the Bird Rocks, Gulf of St Lawrence, 4th June. Passengers and crew saved"

and this:

"WRECK OF A VERY CROWDED EMIGRANT SHIP - Accounts received at Lloyds by the American mail report the wreck of the English ship "Lochmaben Castle". Captain TURNER, with nearly 600 souls on board, on a formidable reef known as the Bird Rocks, in the gulf of St Lawrence. She was a first-class ship of 1,600 tons, and left Liverpool on the latter end of May, for Quebec, with 537 passengers, men, women, and children, and a cargo of rice &c. On the 14th ult., thick, hazy, weather set in, and she ran upon the Bird Rocks. Signals of distress were fired, and the greater part of the cargo thrown overboard"

Although she was a significant vessel for the time, at 1,600 tons, I haven't yet been able to find an image of her in my usual references.

The stamp is SG8, 1d red imperforate, which was in use from 1841 to 1854 when the perforated 1d red was issued, so time wise, the franking is just possible. The postmark is a London Inland Section, horizontal oval with number in diamond, that was in use from 1844. The manuscript "P4" marking requires further research, as it indicates payment of an additional 4d. The cover is water stained and the stamp appears to have moved left.

I might be barking up the wrong tree, and this is nothing more than a cover that travelled on one of the many voyages of the Lochmaben Castle, and was simply damaged.

This is a good example of learning to read old script if this era interests you.

I'll enjoy the research when it arrives, and I will have lost very little if it's just a damaged cover, as it cost me a grand $10!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Straits Settlements Postmarks of the King George V Era

Looking for the Small Post Offices

One of the endearing, and frustrating, things about our hobby is the way that it will lead you off on tangents when you least expect it to. 

I've been a King George V collector for many years, but since my first visit to Singapore a few years ago, I've kept an eye on the postmarks on the KGV Straits Settlements issues. I noticed that fully 90-95% of the postmarks are from Singapore (in all it's variations - Registered, Parcel etc), Malacca and Penang. However, there are dozens of smaller post office postmarks to find, and they are elusive. I use Proud's "The Postal History of Malaya Volume 1" as my reference.

Serangoon Road, located in Singapore. This postmark, that was in use from December 1929, is Proud type D3, and is the least common of the Serangoon Road postmarks