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Stamps (Philately)/1902 15cent clay outer lines?


clay 15cents line
clay 15cents line  
Received a stamp of  us scott  309 with a straight sided top and right with line...  is this a rarity at all?

Hi Brian,
  It's not really considered a rarity.  These stamps, like many of the era, were printed in large sheets, in panes in this case, sheets of 400, with panes of 100 each.  To help in the guiding of the cutting of the pain, a vertical and horizontal "center line" were printed in the panes.  Where the two intersect, this is called a "Center line block" if you have the four stamps around each side of the center lines.  In this case, this is a single from the center line block (lower left).  You can identify it's position over most other stamps from the same block.  While it technicality may be "more scarce" than stamps which positions cannot be identified, it suffers through from a bigger "collector" problem, and that being of having a "natural straight edge".  Generally, in collecting it's not considered as "pretty" a stamp where straight edges occur.  And the greater "grading" rules suggest whether the edge is natural or not doesn't change the outcome.  In the case of this stamp, it then has double natural-straight edge.
  Deciding if it's of significant value, in this used otherwise very common stamp, which carries a CV of $14 even someone specifically seeking this stamp from this position is probably going to play less, because they know straight edge stamps don't carry the same value as those with perforation on all sides.
Hope that helps,

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Scott Payton


My expertise is in US, but I have a lot of exposure to worldwide, and with wide reference material, I will do what I can to answer questions about global stamps. In US I have extensive experience in all aspects (does include Administrative overprints for Cuba, China, Puerto Rico etc.). Also, Hawaii general issue and Revenue (pre-statehood). Of course still building knowledge but have been collecting since 1980. Air Mail is a favorite area, but not a limitation. Two specialty areas are Large Banknote issues, and Washington/Franklin identification. Strong experience in Carrier & Locals, Private Die (Also known as M&M for "Match & Medicine" but also includes some playing card and perfume stamp issues.) Recently have been building more back-of-book experience, especially around Official, Newspaper, Revenue and tax editions. Some covers, and cancellations, but not my strong suit. Another area I'm recently diving into. What I can't do: Anything non-US, as it's just not an area I focus on.


30+ years of learning the hard way. A lot of passion for collecting and dealing (as I do both). I don't consider it a hobby... I consider it a serious pursuit that I'm able to do in the hours I'm not occupied by annoying things like sleep. I work closely with some of the global leaders in the expertizing and identification field. Have co-authored several papers (with Mr. William Weiss Jr.) related to identification, as well as tool set to help with quickly identifying the more challenging areas of Washington Franklin. Strong experience in paper types and coil validation.

Member of APS #222356.

1870 - 1879 Large Banknote Issues - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr). Washington-Franklin - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr.) Detecting Fakes, Alterations and Counterfeits (APS Summer Session Expertizing Session materials with William Weiss Jr.)

Thousands and thousands of hours of pouring over hundreds of collections. 30+ years as a collector-to-dealer, avid student of philatelic study. Pre-1900 variation is fascinating, and it seems even after all these years, that I make some discovery every time I look at a new example. APS Summer Session - Fundamentals of Expertizing 2014

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