Monday, July 06, 2015


Okay ... here's the scoop: I'm pretty much down to the hard to find and rare stuff for my collection of German stamps issued before 1940. I keep looking for poorly identified and poorly described good stuff. Prior to this morning I had every major variety of stamp from Saxony but three, and many of the minor varieties. One of the missing I'll never own except as a contemporary 'reprint.' The other two are hard to find at a cheap price. I've looked for ages ...

Until today. One of those missing from my collection is from 1851, the 2 New Groschen on pale blue paper. It's pricy when you can find it. I bought one today from a dealer who cant distinguish between the dark blue and pale blue variety. He listed it and three other stamps for twenty dollars. I didn't want to pay twenty dollars though that's a stellar bargain. Two of the stamps in the lot are garbage. They're defective. Collectors say they 'have faults.' But these are huge defects. I made a low ball offer. He countered with a moderate offer. I upped my bid by two and a half dollars. I now own the pale blue 2 New Groschen stamp!

1 comment:

An occasional reader said...

Congratulations. I’m not a stamp collector but I know the feeling when something rare turns up for a low price because someone has not recognized its value. If the “someone” is a person who should know better, then that “eureka” moment is intensified.

I once obtained a copy of Ainsworth’s Annotations on the Pentateuch (1627) from a car boot – and although it was extremely ratty in appearance – I did well when I eventually sold it. (For the uninitiated, it was the first English Bible to consistently use a transliteration for the name of God wherever the Hebrew YHVH occurred.) But that was from a seller who didn’t know any better. But my best moment – and I know I’ve told this story before – was when a prestigious dealer at Hay on Wye (Town of Books) sold me a pristine copy of Newcome’s Improved Version of 1808 for virtually pennies. The dealer had marked it down as 3 GBP – obviously not recognizing it wasn’t just yet another King James New Testament. I picked it up, and looked vaguely disinterested as I ambled across to the dealer with several other items and paid. I emerged from the shop, and – with all the subtlety and refinement for which I am now well known – punched the sky and shouted “YES!”

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