Aside from the welcome thread, this is my first post.
Over the last week I've been lurking and devouring all of the KGV 1d forum threads here, and learnt a lot in the process. I'm still very much in over my head, and wanted to ask a few questions.
Before I do, I'll keep the back-story short:
My Dad was at the dump one day in the mid-60s and found a garbage bag of stamps inside a chest on the open-face. He already collected so he took them home, put them in the shed to sort out, and there they sat until last month.
The bag (except for one lonely 2d) are all KGV 1d reds, most of which are cancelled in 1915 (a few in 1914, but none after 1915).
There's around 1500-2000 of them from what I can see, and almost all of them are still on envelope corners addressed to a single business in Newcastle.
Aside from whoever first tore them from their envelopes, I'm the first person to sort through them, so I'm hoping for a few nice ones.
The reason I've ended up with them, is Dad has turned 70 and overnight changed from a lifetime hoarder into a liquidator, and thinks that they are practically worthless.
He listed 50 random stamps with a small, awful photo on eBay, and got around $5 which made him even surer that they don't have any value at all.
After I got suitably angry he agreed to let me sell them and give him 20% of the profit, which he assured me would be nil.
So I've been doing a lot of research, as my collecting is limited to books, coins and banknotes, and I know that you just can't pick up a guide or learn how to accurately grade anything in a week.
I was still very surprised at just how many things to look for on these stamps, so I visited my local library and looked through the handful of books they had. The only one that had serious information about them - one whole page
- was a spiral-bound Michael Eastick 3rd edition guide.
So now I can spot watermarks, perforation differences and the three dies. Aside from that I'm completely lost, so if there's a specific book on the 1d reds that I can order I'm happy to do so.
I've sorted them (feel free to laugh at me) in alphabetical order, and separated the numeral cancels, perforations, as well as ones I can't read the cancel of and the many stuck-together stamps. Here's a photo:
Now I don't have any allusions of sitting on a goldmine or a fortune in stamps, but I'm sure they aren't worthless. After I work out exactly what's there, I'm planning on slowly eBaying them off individually at a low starting price to see what happens. I already have an eBay store, so 5 stamps every week isn't much extra work for me.
What I'd like to know, is what is worth knowing and identifying about these stamps, and what I shouldn't waste my time on? Specifically:
- Colour shades - Looking at the insane amount of shades, should I completely ignore them? Or are the shades in 1913-1915 not worth identifing? I'm a painter by trade and have many (many) colour books and know how to differientaite between shades, so that part won't be a problem, I just don't want to invest the time in doing it if there's little point.
- OS Perfs - I'd be right in saying that the OS perfs would be better off removed from the paper? Or would the value be better if there was a rare cancel on them? I have a number of what I've read are private perfs (a fair few "& Co" ones), are they less common or less valuable than plain OS? I also have one curious "OS NSW" which I can't find anything about either.
- There's quite a few stuck together (see the photo), what's the best way to free these, if not just water? I was thinking I'd soak them, lay them on baking paper and place under a phone book so they'd dry flat and not stick to anything. If there's a better way, I'm all ears.
- Ordinary (non "special" variants) - Are worth leaving on the paper and preserving the post office cancel? I've found an historical list of post offices and plan on going through and noting which ones no longer exist, as I've seen people selling them and mentioning closed/renamed dates etc.
- Numeral Cancels - There's around 50 or so of these, which I'm assuming are NSW, as all but around 10 stamps out of the bag are from another state. Would I be correct in leaving these on the paper, even if the cancel is completely on the stamp?
- Rough paper - Is there an easy way to feel the difference between rough and smooth paper? I've seen a comparison on here, but it almost looks like one is normal and the other is tin-shed.
The big question; am I just wasting my time? Would I just be better off selling them in bulk lots, with good photos so that collectors can identify things for themselves? I'm a bit apprehensive of this, but I don't want to spend the time doing all of this to only sell 1 in 100 that I list.
Thanks for both making it through all of that, and any help you can offer
I realise that although I've read a fair bit about these stamps, I've no doubt used some bad terminology.