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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Stamps of Heligoland - "Holyland"

Helgoland (Heligoland to the English and on the stamps) is located in the North Sea about 30 miles from Schleswig-Holstein and sixty miles from the great Elbe river port of Hamburg. It was taken from the Danish and given to the British as a part of the settlement following the Napoleonic wars. While the British used it for its naval facilities and tourism, it was mainly inhabited by local fisherman and farmers.

Scott Catalog numbers 1 through 21 are represented here, 1867 to 1888. 


Stamps were issued for "Heligoland" from 1867 through 1890 under a complex arrangement between the British and the Germans. The postal administration was tied to Hamburg and to Germany after the unification in 1872. Stamps were printed by the Prussian printing office, which became the Reich Druckerei after unification, for German speaking people, but the stamps continued to feature the profile of Queen Victoria.

From 1875 its postage stamps were denominated in both sterling and gold marks.


In 1890 the British conveyed the island to Germany in exchange for some African territory. Heligoland came under the Reich postal administration and began to use the stamps of Germany.


 As a result of this change, Heligoland stamps became the past issues of a "dead territory" and very collectable.


There were more than twenty reprintings of the stamps for collectors in the nineteenth century, some of them official, some semi-offical, and a few restricted to private printings. Very few of the reprintings were actually "forgeries." A million and a third valid stamps were printed for use, but only about half of them were used. The rest were bought for resale to collectors. There were between five and seven million reprints depending on the source of confirmation.


The islands, with a population 1,127, are located in the Heligoland Bight which are part of the German Bight in the southeastern corner of the North Sea. They are the only German islands not in the immediate vicinity of the mainland. They lie approximately 69 kilometres (43 miles) by sea from Cuxhaven at the mouth of the River Elbe.


All Heligoland stamps are scarce, even the reprints if you're lucky enough to discover them.

However, please remember that forged cancellations are numerous because of the extreme rarity of Heligoland cancels. Have them expertised by the Amarican Philatelic Society expertising service, Stamps.Org.




I'm delighted to share 22 unused examples, and one cancelled, from my collection with you.

It's unkonwn at this time if they're reprints, forgeries or original.

In 1906 Arthur Wülbern published a little book called ORIGINALE UND NEUDRUCKE VON HELGOLAND

Original and Reprints of Heligoland.

To quote the late Mr. Wülbern:

Reprint: "That word alone is a horror for many collectors, for beneath the mask of originals creep the bastard stamps which appear as legitimate parts of a collection. Perhaps in no Country do reprints play such a large, remarkable and dangerous role as in Heligoland. One might expect Heligoland reprints to show weak embossing, junky printing, etc. and therefore be easily distinguishable. On the contrary, however, the reprints (especially the Berlin reprint of the 6 Schilling stamp) appear more professionally done and aesthetically attractive than the orginals.

It must be mentioned that one of the main methods of recognition, sometimes the only method, is by examining the stamp colors. Since Heligoland stamps display two or sometimes three colors, identification is made easier; but on the otherhand the many printings of the originals make identification more difficult and this difficulty is made greater by the varieties of issues of reprints. In any case, this area is one of the most difficult in Philately."

It's believed that the name Heligoland in origin means "Holy Land" (the modern Dutch and German heilig, "holy"). Several alter native theories have been considered throughout centuries, explaining that it's the name of the Danish king Heligo or from the ancient Frisian Germanic word hallig, meaning "salt marsh island".

The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica suggests an etymology of "Hallaglun, or Halligland, i.e. 'land of banks, which cover and uncover'".

I believe that Heligoland translated is "Holyland".

12:45 pm cst          Comments

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Socialist Party Ticket - Memphis 1920

Eugene Victor Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and a five-time candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States.

On June 30, 1918 Debs was arrested and charged with sedition and went to prison on April 13, 1919.

He ran for president of the United States from his prison cell and received nearly a million votes.


The Socialist Party of Tennessee had an active chapter in Memphis.


This rare brochure, part of my collection, was a appeal to voters to support the Socialist Party Ticket.


It was printed in Memphis on October 15th, 1920.

11:34 am cst          Comments

Friday, December 15, 2017

Return of the Wright Flyer - December 17, 1949

On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright piloted the first powered airplane 20 feet above a windy beach in North Carolina. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet.

Here's a first day cover from my collection that commemorates the 46th anniversary of that flight and heralds the return of the The Wright Flyer 1, the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew it four times on December 17, 1903, near Kill Devil Hills four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, US. Today, the airplane may be seen at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.


Scott #C45 airmail, The Wright Brothers Issue, is tied to the first day cover by the first day bar cancel in addition to the Kitty Hawk, North Carolina circular date stamp of December 17, 1949, 9-AM.


And the great cachet.


This is a House of Farnum cachet. Notice the initials "HF" at the bottom left of the lower wing.

Great example of historic aviation philately !

1:30 pm cst          Comments

Monday, December 11, 2017

Letter to Loretta - " I Should Worry " ???

M.C. sent this postcard to Loretta Cook on May 21, 1918.

The postcard looks like it was given to M.C. by the American Red Cross, Richmond, Virginia Chapter's Canteen Committee from the purple hand stamp to the left of the three cent violet Washington, Scott #501.

He penned his message on Monday.

It was postmarked on Tuesday.

"Mon. am. Am O.K. except R.R. pick. Good bye. God bless you. Write soon. Hope M.C."


I like the dual seven line wavy machine cancellations. The top cancel on the stamp and the upside down bottom cancel. Wonder why the card went through the machine twice ?

Here's a better look at Scott #501, the upper right machine cancel and Red Cross handstamp.

The seven bar machine cancel is most likely a Universal Machine Cancel which entered into use in 1909.


And the piece de resistance:


What in the hell does it mean ? " I should worry become a hunter and catch a deer " ???

It means that he's worried that his lover will cheat on him while he's away at war and that the only thing he can do is bag a cervid instead of a trophy wife after she shafts him.

1:18 pm cst          Comments

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Letter to Loretta - The Jewish Welfare Board 1919

The first world war was over, but the agression still lingered.

Loretta Clark lived in Memphis and corresponded with soldiers.

She got this postcard from a jewish soldier, a member of the First Company, Regiment 11, in 1919 after he had returned to America on the U.S.S. South Dakota on July 19th, 1919.

The ship was anchored in Hempstead, New York on the Atlantic Ocean.


"We landed July 19th, 1919. Will say I was mighty glad to get back to America. Will write again."

The stamp, Scott #498, is tied to the postcard by the Hempstead, New York, July 21, 1919, 6PM, circular date stamp and military flag wavy machine cancellation.


This scarce postcard was provided to our jewish soldiers and others by theJewish Welfare Board, United States Army and Navy, for soldiers arriving on U.S. shores and in this case returning to Camp Mills Long Island, New York.


I'm proud to have this fine postcard in my collection.

1:23 pm cst          Comments

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For the next few weeks I'll be talking about the first day covers of ArtCraft along with everything else.

ArtCraft closed it's doors recently after 76 years of making philatelic history.

I'm predicting a sudden, salubrious escalation in the value of the ArtCraft cachet, all ArtCraft first day covers and ArtCraft portrait cards.
Including those connected to the Postal Commemorative Society

Their departure signals the end of an extraordinarily crucial, very important, highly significant and exceedingly meaningful period in philately

A mournful signal which will be heard around the world and lamented throughout the multitude of collectors

Leo and Sam August treasured their associations with the world's greatest philatelists

Leo's contributions to our hobby were significant enough to earn the coveted Luft Award and a place in the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame.

ArtCraft has well-earned it's place in the great chronological record in the history of philately.

Their raised ink, line-engraved intaglio printed cachets rank among the most aesthetic in the world.

ArtCraft cachets are not just beautiful.

They are works of art that showcase the wonders of the world and illuminate the powers of human creativity and ingenuity.

The Coober Pedy Cover
One of the World's Great Philatelic Rarities

Coober Pedy

Could this become la pièce de résistance de toute la modern Australian philatélie ?

Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia. The town is sometimes referred to as the "opal capital of the world" because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences,called "dugouts", which are built in this fashion due to the scorching daytime heat. The name "Coober Pedy" comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means "white man's hole".

Opal was found in Coober Pedy on 1 February 1915; since then the town has been supplying most of the world's gem-quality opal. Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism as the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability. Coober Pedy has over 70 opal fields and is the largest opal mining area in the world.

Coober Pedy - no village, no buildings, no roads, just desert, mountains dotted with boulders. A bizarre lunar landscape, but for opal seekers is the most exciting place on earth, where again every day is the true challenge, happiness and luck just a shovel width apart and where life is defined by two words: winners and losers. Coober Pedy, grab your hat, throw it into the air and where it lands start digging !


Coober Pedy

 Linn's Stamp News

“The Scott Numbers are the copyrighted property of Amos Press Inc., dba Scott
Publishing Co. The marks Scott and Scott’s are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
and are trademarks of Amos Press, Inc. dba Scott Publishing Co. No use may be
made of these marks or of material which is reprinted from a copyrighted
publication of Amos Press, Inc., without the express written permission of Amos
Press, Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co., Sidney, Ohio 45365.”