Garfield Portch demonstrated the machine with the massive $10 blue whale stamp. Blowing the stamp up revealed microprinting and a number of fluorescing details. Moving up the edge of the stamp, he revealed how the software makes it possible not only to count the perfs, but to actually make measurements. In a second demonstration, two earlier stamps were compared. Using the comparator, it was possible to backlight the stamps to reveal the laid paper line, and compare details of the wire weave. It appeared identical in both cases. In the case of a cover, Portch showed how it was possible to compare a spectral signature of the ink used in the cancel on a stamp with a separate date stamp. In this case, the inks matched, revealing that both stamps had been applied at the same time. Continue reading →
We sometimes imply that there is a sort of natural evolution; that the collector starts out just accumulating, then eventually develops a plan, and finally becomes serious. At that point they start thinking about publishing and exhibiting. I don’t think that is always the case. I know some very experienced collectors who sort of do both things at once. They have a serious collection, which takes up most of their collecting budget and a chunk of time, and one or two fun collections which have little value but give them great pleasure. We also know generalist collectors, who take their hobby very seriously. My point here is that whatever you call it, the hobby is just not something that is easy to sum up in a single sentence. It is not just about acquisition, and it is not just about study, and for way too many of us, it is not just about profit.
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