How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

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ocifant
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How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

Post by ocifant »

Another local auction, and I picked up an old 'Queens' album. Many of the pages are now bereft of stamps, but there are a couple of pages with a mixture of penny reds. Most of these are in a bad state, many are on paper and those that aren't have multiple hinges - they obviously weren't too well looked after!
PennyReds.jpg
I can probably get most, if not all, detached from the pages, but how best to rescue them for onward display in my stock book? They'll probably all be fairly solid and inflexible. Would they survive a gentle warm water soak, or am I best accepting the situation as irretrievable and leaving them as they are?

Value isn't a major issue unless there are some gems in there, which I seriously doubt, given their condition.
Last edited by Global Admin on 15 Nov 2023 02:58, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Expanded rather vague heading, to make sense to members, adding COUNTRY and turned it into a QUESTION of some kind
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Re: How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

Post by Global Admin »

ocifant wrote: 15 Nov 2023 02:46
Would they survive a gentle warm water soak
Yes.

You can boil these in a kettle for a minute if you chose to - nothing will happen.
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Re: How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

Post by ocifant »

Great stuff! Thanks. I wasn't sure as I've heard of early stamps suffering from colour loss or even total disintegration. I'll do just a couple at a time and see how it goes. I'll update here with any successful results in a day or two.
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Re: How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

Post by Global Admin »

The 1884 Greens will not survive even a quick wash. Many violets too can suffer readily, but these reds are pretty tough. :)
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Re: How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

Post by ocifant »

Ok, I said I'd show the stamps after a soaking:
Penny Reds1.jpg
Penny Reds2.jpg
Whilst waiting for the soak, I took the time to read some of this rather long thread: https://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=13931 - I was astounded, having had no previous knowledge about 'plating', other than that some stamps have the plate number included in the design! I obviously still have a lot of reading to do...

Some of the stamps above have obviously been badly trimmed, even to the extent of including full perforations, meaning that the adjoining stamps would also appear trimmed.

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Re: How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

Post by steevh »

ocifant wrote: 15 Nov 2023 20:32
Some of the stamps above have obviously been badly trimmed, even to the extent of including full perforations, meaning that the adjoining stamps would also appear trimmed.
The original Penny Red was imperf (you have one of those in the scan), and in those days people used scissors to separate the stamps.
It seems some continued to use scissors even after perforations had been introduced. Old habits die hard.

Another reason old stamps often lose their perfs is when they are carelessly trimmed off envelopes prior to soaking.

Finally, some issues have perf and imperf varieties of the same stamp where the earlier imperf is more valuable. Fraudsters trim off the perfs, hoping to fool buyers. (Or sometimes its just kids messing about!)

Your Penny Reds look much better after their bath!
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Re: How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

Post by ocifant »

steevh wrote: 15 Nov 2023 23:00 Another reason old stamps often lose their perfs is when they are carelessly trimmed off envelopes prior to soaking.
Indeed, I've been guilty of this myself, in my younger days - the impatience of youth! :lol:
steevh wrote: 15 Nov 2023 23:00 Your Penny Reds look much better after their bath!
Many thanks yes, and now I'm aware of 'plating', the long journey begins to identify exactly what I have here. I did find a 2p Blue (with white lines) which seems to be from Plate 13 (SG46) with a CV of £30 so I'm pleased with that, though it is quite badly centred:
2d Blue.jpg
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Re: How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

Post by Jon E »

ocifant wrote: 15 Nov 2023 23:43 I did find a 2p Blue (with white lines) which seems to be from Plate 13 (SG46) with a CV of £30 so I'm pleased with that, though it is quite badly centred:
Image
On a more modern stamp - by which I mean 1900 :-) - that would indeed be bad centering, but for the early stamps like this one its probably average. There is some blurring of the line at the very right, would that be an indication of plate corrosion ?

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Re: How can I best rescue these used UK Queen Victoria Penny Red stamps?

Post by ocifant »

Jon E wrote: 16 Nov 2023 00:02 There is some blurring of the line at the very right, would that be an indication of plate corrosion ?
I'm afraid I would have no idea! The line through the RH perfs is, of course, the frame for the adjoining stamp.

Maybe one of the experts on here could enlighten us?
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