Russian stamps 10 kopecks imperforate, strip of five, largest multiple known. Ex Fabergé

Russian stamps 10 kopecks imperforate, strip of five, largest multiple known. Ex Fabergé

October 14, 2011

Tiflis 1857, Russia number 1 and uneducated philatelists

A few months ago on Ebay a dealer offered a photocopy reprint of the famous 1857 Tiflis stamp and, believe it or not, the bogus item was finally sold for more than 310$.

310$ for a photocopy, clearly sold as such... I am wondering: what can be in the mind of this philatelist to buy a simple photocopy for hundreds of bucks? Probably nothing. A pure void of philatelist knowledge.

Unfortunately, this happens more often than not. Let's take another example.

Washed pen cancelled copies of Russia number 1 are often offered on the market. Some dealers are expert in 'tricking' the collector with twisted description, like '10 kop. imperf looks unused'. No mention of washing, so I smile at the 'looks unused', here a perfectly unethical way of pushing the emotions of the bidders. Nice try. And the worse is that some collectors are paying 500$ to 1000$ (!) for a washed copy.

Is that avoidable? Yes, easily. With a minimum of philatelic knowledge. Unused (i.e without gum) copies of Russia 1 are very rare, washed copies very common, and some seller's descriptions like above are only playing with the emotions (doubts) of a few uneducated collectors, who will end up with an empty wallet.

Type I - Sheet margin copy - Additional Plate Flaw 'Open Zero' -
Sold for 610$ with correct description including 'pen washed'

On the other hand, I sold this year a beautiful sheet margin copy of Russia 1, from the scarce first  type, with an additional recorded plate flaw 'open zero' in SW corner, for only 610$ (see picture above). In my opinion, a real bargain. The stamp was pen washed, which I clearly indicated in the description. Maybe I should have written 'looks unused', I would have make an extra 400$ out of it!

Or simply make a photocopy, keep the original and sell the scan to an idiot for 310$ like the  Ebay dealer did with the Tiflis photocopy!

Honestly, I congratulate the educated collector who bought me this stamp. He was delighted in receiving the item (which is now in Finland). As always, knowledge is precious, because with it you can leave away the trash and grab the real opportunities.

Now you get my point. We can choose either to be educated philatelists, and carry on the tradition like the great names of Fabergé, Liphschutz or Baughman ... or idiot philatelists with no taste for the really precious, and no brain for investment.

The choice is yours.

1 comment:

  1. I truly enjoy your blog. However, I respectfully disagree: I don't see much difference between the "pen washed" and "looks unused" descriptions. You don't have to know much about mint No. 1 to understand either of these. Nowadays there are many buyers on eBay with fat wallets and no knowledge of Russian philately whatsoever, just look at this lot #270994705721 sold for $510 with more than ten bidders!
    Alexander Kolchinsky


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