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Posted May 15, 19 1:22 by Charles E. Cwiakala (

Hugh W. Wood, R.I.P. ...

Further information received yesterday from London pertaining to Hugh Wood’s untimely death    ...

 “Hugh W. Wood, chairman and founder of HW International, the London-based broker, died peacefully on April 26, 2019, at the age of 75.

Wood founded the HW International Group in 1982 and expanded the brokerage to offices in 10 countries. He was also an accomplished and world renowned philatelist. The business and stamps were his passion, said HWI International Group in a statement.”

Long-term arrangements have been put in place so that the business will continue as an independent brokerage firm, the company said.

The funeral was held privately on May 1, 2019. Celebrations of Hugh Wood’s life will be held in New York and in London and those dates will be announced shortly.”

As I, Hugh collected Jamaica postal history. After purchasing Paul H. Rohloff’s outstanding Jamaica collection via a private treaty transaction brokered by Andy Leavitt after Paul’s death, Hugh expanded that collection for it to become the finest such extant. He accomplished the same success for numerous other British Colonial and Commonwealth postal history areas.

He will be missed. As stated by mutual friend when informed of Hugh's death, "   ...   it's as though a piece of Earth broke off, and fell into endless space   ...   ".


Posted May 15, 19 0:57 by Richard Frajola (frajola)


Brian - welcome! Sorry about the difficulty with your registration.

Posted May 14, 19 23:43 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Samoa Postcard

Lavar, I read the recipient on your card as Herrn W. Reinecke who, according to two directories I have, was described as a “Handlungsgehilfe” (sales clerk or commercial clerk) in 1911, and simply as a clerk in 1915. Sogi, therefore, makes sense since that part of town was the headquarters of the “Deutschen Handels und Plantagen-Gesellschaft der Südsee”, or DHPG for short, a powerful German trading company at the time where Reinecke worked, apparently.

Further, the red handwriting on the back of your card refers to the date of sending: K.D.K. (Kaiserlich Deutsches Konsulat) II/00 (February 1900). The significance of that date, of course, is that the Germans were preparing for the official handover of Western Samoa to Germany in compliance with the 1899 Washington Agreement. As of March 1, 1900 Western Samoa became a German Colony, and your card is more than likely an “invitation” to German citizens to attend the official ceremony. Judging by the red No 172 it was sent out to most of them, if not all. As of the same date Eastern Samoa became American Samoa.

The German Consulate was located in the Matafele district of Apia, within easy walking distance of Sogi, on what used to be called Main Road. At the time the postcard was sent, it would have been close to new, since the old building it replaced was destroyed by a devastating fire in the early hours of January 8, 1889. It was apparently started in the kitchen of the old Consulate, but spread quickly causing about $100,000 worth of property loss within two hours. Typically for the time (or should that be sadly) the cook who happened to be a “chinaman” and some “foreign labor boys” copped the blame for starting it. The streetscape of Apia has changed dramatically since those early days, and the area where the Consulate used to be is currently under reclaimed land. I am attaching an image for you. DHPG (Sogi) at the top, and the new German Consulate (Matafele) below. The German Post Office was next to the Consulate on the left of the image, while the Davis Post Office was a few more doors further on.

I should add that although I am a Samoa specialist, I have no interest in German Samoa, preferring to concentrate on the British 1877-1895 period instead. Nevertheless, I do possess a good general archive and will be glad to help if I can. If you or anyone reading this needs their Express stamps identified, then I am your man!


Posted May 14, 19 21:27 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Labron and Mary Harris

I am sure many of you know that Mary is going through a tough health issue. They are now both home in Glen Echo MD; there will be more treatment coming up.

I ask all of you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. They are both wonderful warm people that do so much for our hobby.

Posted May 14, 19 20:48 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Registration to PM, Sign-in Problems, etc

There has been an ongoing poblem (1-2 months maybe) with new attempts to register not making it thru the system as they should. This has also affected some post-only users from log-ins.

Should have a fix in next 24 hours or so. Sorry.

Posted May 14, 19 20:13 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Hugh Wood R.I.P.

I received word just today that Hugh Wood passed on 26 April.

He has been a  major factor in the British Empire stamp market for 30+ years and assembled an unbelievable collection of GB used abroad (inludes Colonial era Pensacola (ex Risvold), a Paid at New York, etc, etc)

Posted May 14, 19 18:59 by Michael Serdy (golfduffer)

Paper conservation techniques

On the removal of stains, repairing postal history that may be in pieces,etc. look at the Philatelic Foundation "Opinions IV. It's a 35+ page interesting read. On the issue of stains, it states using a distilled water bath will at time do wonders with no apparent harm. A lot of good information. You just have to have the wear with all to do it.

Posted May 14, 19 18:40 by Charles E. Cwiakala (

The RPSL's Annual Tapling Medal Award ...

Today's Royal Philatelic Society, London, announcement:

"The Tapling Medal for the best paper published in the Society’s journal, The London Philatelist, has been awarded to Mark Schwartz for ‘The New York Postmaster Provisional and its Postal History’."

Congratulations, Mark!


Posted May 14, 19 18:11 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: money packet

Assuming this parcel wrapper is missing a third $1.00 stamp that would make the total postage paid $3.82. Deducting the ten cent registration fee we are left with $3.72. At two cents an ounce this would indicate the gross weight of this parcel was 186 ounces. At 16 ounces to the pound this is 11 pounds ten ounces. Yep, I am an accountant but hope my math is still good … :)

How the gross weight divides up between bills and wrappings remains an unknown.


Posted May 14, 19 15:25 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

The Brick of Cash

David H.......

Please see my detailed description.

It is somewhat well documented that the bricks were wrapped with probably brown paper or something similar.

There are at least four of these address panes that survive and are very similar or close to being identical.  One is missing (2) $1 stamps (probably lifted to place in a stamp album) and this one is missing the one $1 stamp  There is one known with all three $1 stamps which I believe sets the baseline.  Bennett sale c. 2012.

However the postage was calculated it was meant to be exact because of the small denomination stamps selected. 

Posted May 14, 19 15:10 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Glassine Postcards - Interesting Marking

Folks had posted some glassine postcards - Here is one I found at WESTPEX this year.

What I find courious was that it was going to Germany and bore a handstamp "SUBJECT TO LETTER RATE."

The card would normally be due postage upon arrival in Germany.  I was surprised that such a hand stamp would exist in a little Ohio town to advise the postal system in the destination country to charge as a letter and not a postcard.

Has anyone seen this marking before...................


Posted May 14, 19 14:45 by David Handelman (davidh)

money packet

Ron, isn't there a stamp missing (at the right)?

Extra indemnity was extremely limited at the time, so would not have applied to such a valuable parcel. So the rates were 2¢ per ounce (money packets were usually sent first class) + 10¢ registration. With Len's estimate of 8.82 lb, that is, charged for 142 ounces (if I did the arithmetic correctly; dammit, I'm a mathematician, not an accountant), it would have required $2.94 in postage. So assuming there really was a brick of bills, a 12¢ stamp is missing. Alternatively, if no stamps are missing, it was charged at 136 ounces.

However, this is sensitive to the assumptions (e.g., whatever was holding it together, and the envelope itself, did not bring it to over 142 oz; the 8.8 lb estimate can be a little off, but not much, without changing the charge), not to mention whether it really did contain such a brick.

Posted May 14, 19 13:37 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: rating early money registered items

Morning Leonard and Ron,

Very interest if someone can enlighten us about how these item were rated. As far as I can tell the registration fee was only $0.10 so the rest is for weight? Your dime only bought you $25 of indemnity coverage.

Prior to April 1, 1923 fourth class mail could be registered. Also insured first class mail was handled same as registered mail (beginning date unknown). I have a stack of tags and envelopes needing rate analysis.

Best regards, Russ

Posted May 14, 19 3:44 by Phil Rhoade (rugface)

1947 CIPEX Program Autographs

I am looking for some assistance with three autographs on a Banquet Program/Menu for the 1947 CIPEX International Exhibition in New York.

On the back of the program are eight (8) autographs (see attached scan):

a) Florence H. Downs (Mrs. Donald Downs). She is listed in the show program (p.57) as a Contributor to the Court of Honor.

b) Spencer Cosby, listed in the program (p. 122) as an exhibitor.

c) Nellie B. Forster, wife of B.D. Forster. See “f” below.

d) ???

e) Yvonne Cosby, wife of Spencer Cosby. See “b” above.

f) B.D. Forster, listed in the show program (p.57) as a Contributor to the Court of Honor.

g) ???

h) Hull? I can find no “Hull” listed in the show program.

Any assistance in identifying autographs d, g, and h would be most appreciated. Thank you.


Posted May 14, 19 3:07 by Rafael E Perez (reperez)

Foxing removal

Thanks for the feedback appreciated. I know it will be expensive to remove them professionally, but I was looking for a do it yourself solution. It is a nice cover not worth much, but the foxing makes it look ugly.

Posted May 14, 19 0:09 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Early Ohio Postal History Collectors

Are there any folks out there that collect early (pre-1820) Ohio postal history?

If so please email me.


Posted May 13, 19 22:09 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Early Ohio Postal History Collectors

Are there any folks out there that collect early (pre-1820) Ohio postal history?

If so please email me.


Posted May 13, 19 20:26 by George Tyson (gtyson)

Foxing removal

Rafael, foxing and other kinds of stains can be removed in some cases with a very satisfactory result. However, i agree that you won't be able to do it yourself no matter how many articles you read on the web. It requires a professional paper conservator/restorer - and a good one at that. If you want the name of one, you can email me off-line. However, the cost can easily be several hundred dollars per cover so unless your covers are very valuable, I agree that its not worth it.

Posted May 13, 19 20:04 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

1751 Boston

The address leaf


Posted May 13, 19 19:58 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Samuel Phillips Savage

In looking at the contents of a letter an hour or so ago, I noticed a 1751 letter signed by S.P. Savage. Boston to New Castle, Great Island (Portsmouth Harbor), rated 2sh 6d Mass Old Tenor.

In checking the writer's vaguely familiar name (because of a famous painting by Copley), I find

... "A friend of Samuel Adams, .... Savage served as the moderator of the two open meetings held by Adams and the Sons of Liberty at the Old South Meeting House that led up to the Boston Tea Party."


Posted May 13, 19 19:19 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Is This Possible in Today's Postal System??

Old-time Federal Reserve Notes weighed 1.25 grams each, so $320,000 would have weighed 4 kg. or 8.82 pounds. How does the rate for that weight work out?

Posted May 13, 19 17:13 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Is This Possible in Today's Postal System??

Below is the mailing card for a brick of, most likely, brand new $100 bills being sent from the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington DC, to the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco.

It is about 13" long ..... 100 new bills packed tightly is about .41". So there was probably in excess of $320,000 of cash in the registered package. Adjusted for inflation that is in excess of $8 million in today's dollars.

NOTE: 15 July 1915 is the EDU for the $1 stamp; the 50ct stamp on cover is the rare stamp; cataloging twice that of the $1 on cover.


Posted May 13, 19 15:48 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Eric Etkin R.I.P.

I just received an email that Eric passed away. For those who may not have had the pleasure of knowing him, he was a founding partner of Argyll-Ekin (a partnership with Angus Parker).

Located in the UK, the firm was really one of the pioneer, and premier, postal history firms of the last 40+ years.

Posted May 13, 19 15:43 by Glenn Estus (gestus)

UPU archives -- Mauritania (Vermont #903)

Here's Scott #903 from the Mauritania Archives which is now part of my 1941 Vermont Statehood Anniversary exhibit.

The overprint was added in the early 1950s when an auditing/accounting of the post office books was completed. The pages shown on Benton's website were truly awesome including a full set of Famous Americans. Unfortunately, they are longer viewable.


Posted May 13, 19 14:45 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

Wonderful material for the serious collector is currently available from my long time specialist friend James Bendon. Pages from the recent past Royal Swedish Post Office UPU archives are offered, including great US, such as the page here of newspaper issues. Lots more available, much in even classic 19th century and more, plus foreign.

James is the premier specialist/author of such UPU material. (

(RF - add-on: One is enough Joe)


Posted May 13, 19 12:54 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Census of 6 1/4 c covers

We are trying to create a census of covers that were post office rated at 6 1/4¢. If you have any such covers, please send scans and any further needed details (date, p.o., etc) to me at and/or post them on the board. Once we have a significant number, I’ll see about having the census added to the USPCS website. Thanks for any information you can provide.

Posted May 13, 19 11:54 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: state postal history societies

Morning all,

Mentoring is the key to bringing new younger folks into a society and keeping them active. Are they welcomed and encouraged in yours?

Most state societies are full of "mature members" who have been collecting for years. They have gleaned up most key material. If a new person wanted to collect a specific city, county, etc. can they acquire sufficient material to keep their interest alive? You have to wait for a closed album to have a chance at acquiring what you want. I was blessed with having a great mentor and friend in such a mature member. After twenty plus years of friendship he arranged for me to acquire key items in my area.

Best regards, Russ

Posted May 13, 19 10:10 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Scott 252 cover

Steve, If you bring the cover to NAPEX I will examine it there and give you my opinion.

Posted May 13, 19 7:43 by Stephen T. Taylor (UK) (stevetayloruk)

252 EKU

Ken, based on your comments, I've removed the cover from PhilaMercury and advised Jim Kloetzel. Will either submit it for a cert or return to the seller. Steve

Posted May 13, 19 3:58 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)


Thanks for the tips, Dave and Rich. It will be a tough choice, given my limited time there. One of my ancestors became the royal baker to the Danish King during the 19th century, before Denmark lost Schlesvig Hostein.  I'm going to see if I can locate where her house was and see if it is still standing.

Posted May 13, 19 3:55 by Steven Chiknas (chiknas1)

Foxing removal

Raphael: The short answer is "you can't". A pro with the proper methodology would be prohibitively expensive. All of the DIY methods you can dig up on the net will both not work and will destroy your cover paper (immediately or eventually). The phrase "it is what it is" is used to describe old paper for a reason. For cheap FDCs if you don't like how they look go find an example you do like and acquire.

Posted May 13, 19 3:47 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

Sogi Samoa

Thanks to those of you who responded to me directly.  Thanks to you, I have a high degree of certainty that the village  to which the card was addressed is Sogi.  Sogi was (and is) close to Apia.  I don't yet know how far it was from the German consulate.

What is particularly interesting is the history of Sogi.  Between 1860 and  the start of WWI, the German commercial interests in Samoa imported about 7,000 laborers, mostly from German New Guinea. These workers signed "contracts" for 3 to 5 years, but they were "strongly encouraged" to remain at the end of those contracts. Sogi was where these workers lived.

In recent years, their descendants have been forced to move from Sogi to make way for development projects.  That topic has been the subject of a number of articles which I located on the net.  The author of one of these articles interviewed four of these workers in the 1970's, probably the last four workers who remained alive at that time.

Posted May 13, 19 3:21 by Rafael E Perez (reperez)

How to remove foxing from a cover

I have some FDC's with some stains or foxing. Is there a way to remove them? Bleach? They are not too expensive, so I can afford to try with one of them. I would like to know if there is any not too complex solution.

Thanks in advance

Posted May 13, 19 2:05 by Richard Drews (bear427)


The Danish National museum is well worth an afternoon. Aside from the normal exhibits one expects in a musem there is an attempt to reflect the changes in Denmark decade by decade over several hundred years. You pass through room after room as if you were coming to stay there for a visit. The clothes, furnishings, magazines, newspapers, books, art work, music etc. all reflect the tastes of that decade. Very interesting.


Posted May 13, 19 1:31 by David Handelman (davidh)


Lavar, the sex museum is incredible.

Posted May 13, 19 1:15 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)


Here is an example with a coil, Scott 444. The nice thing about this is the glassine is date canceled and the card was dated as well. This ties the two items together while in some cases the glassine is not dated or the card. The card is a Thanksgiving theme and the wishbone has the glitter attached on this card.


Posted May 13, 19 1:07 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)


Reverse of Card.


Posted May 13, 19 1:02 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)


Attached is the front of an interesting usage of a German postal card in Samoa.  The card is "canceled" with a strike of the seal of the German Consulate for the South Pacific Islands, which was in Apia, Samoa. (Samoa is classified as a former German colony, but Samoa did not properly become a German Colony until 1900. Prior to 1900, the German PO in Samoa was technically a German PO Abroad,  like the German PO in Constantinople.)

There is no handwritten date on the card, front or back, but the card was printed in February, 1891.  There is a short message on the reverse that I cannot decipher.  The "addressee" appears to be one Dr. Reinecke.  My research indicates that Franz Reinecke was a botanist who conducted field research in the Samoan Archipelago between 1893 and 1895.

So it appears that this card was sent from the German Consulate in Apia to Dr. Reinecke.  My question is: To where was the card addressed?  It appears to be "Sagi" or "Lagi".  I'm not sure if that is/was a location on the same island as Apia or is/was a location on another island in the vicinity.    

Figuring out the location to which the card was sent will help me figure out how the card made its way to the Dr.   If anyone has some knowledge of late 19th century Samoa and can provide assistance, that would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I will be in Copenhagen for two days next week. Weather forecast is rain.Other than the postal museum, does anyone have suggestions on where a philatelist might spend an afternoon in Copenhagen?


Posted May 12, 19 22:35 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

EDU surges

Occasionally dates of earliest recorded use of relatively scarce or sparsely studied stamps take big leaps back to earlier use, but that seldom occurs with stamps that have been so prolific and so thoroughly studied as the 2¢ First Bureau. If you study Ken Diehl's exhaustive scholarship you'll see that he narrates the production and appearance not only of each die type, but also of each color shade. Steve's cover cannot be a genuine March 2 1895 use, but it might be a genuine March 2 1896 use, or a March 2x 1895 use, or an error date actually used later than the March 2 cancel. Calling it a first day cover is absurd, which ought to raise doubts about the knowledge or the integrity of the seller, or both.

Added: or a genuine March x2 1895 use

Posted May 12, 19 22:27 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Larry, I think once they had been distributed, glassines lent themselves to several convenient uses including yours.

Posted May 12, 19 22:25 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

EDU certification

I have received several submissions recently that turned out not to be EDUs. Therefore I am one APEX examiner of FDCs and EDUs. Clark Frazier attended my APS class on expertizing FDCs and EDUs; I think he probably also examines them. I don't know who else. Often Mercer Bristow would provide Crimescope images along with the stamps or covers; I imagine his successor Tom Horn also does so when appropriate. Sometimes infrared or ultraviolet images are better than any visible spectrum images, especially for ambiguous strikes of postmarks including weak or incomplete 1896 that appears to be 1895, and double-digit day dates that show just one digit.

Over the years I have seen genuine but impossibly early cancels on many stamps, cards, and envelopes. One was the 1 January 1893 Columbian stamped envelope not issued until March 1893 in Shreves' sale of Larry Fisher's collection. I have seen even more on which the year date is imperfectly struck and misread, such as 1908 dates read as 1903 on 1902 Series stamps. Experts are supposed to know what the earliest possible date would be before making other judgments.

Posted May 12, 19 19:37 by Lawrence Haber (ldhaber)


Last week, Ken, you wrote about the POD using glassine envelops to enclose mica post cards because the glitter ruined cancellation machines.

I have only seen one glassine envelope of the period, from April 1909, out of Oakland, Calif, if I am reading the marks correctly.

You'll note the hand stamp across the bottom: "This is the Mail for which you sent postage". This is a common hand stamp in the handling of postage due for the period.

In addition to the mica post cards, might uses for post due collection also have been prevalent?




Posted May 12, 19 19:27 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

EKU for New Jersey


I had to take the "bait" on the EKUs....... here is one I found in the ephemera world 7 years ago.  It pushed the earliest known postal marking for the state of New Jersey back a whopping 17 years; from 1738 to 1721.  Beautiful in its own way.

There are fun, and valuable, things out there still to be found.  Just keep the eyes and mind open.


Posted May 12, 19 18:27 by Jeff Brahin (brahin)

Cover Sleeves

I’m looking for suggestions for cover sleeves to store my covers. I’m not exhibiting at the moment. Looking for sleeves that open at the top and sides, preferably with a fold over flap at the top, similar to what Siegel uses. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance!

Posted May 12, 19 16:15 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Earliest EDU of Rotary Press Coils

This one is not just the EDU of Scott 453, but the EDU for every rotary press coil.


Posted May 12, 19 16:10 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)


Usually to move the date up a few days, a week, or even a month is difficult. In this case it moves up 79 days.


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