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Thursday 12 July 2012

In Praise of Large Format Items

Most - nearly all - philatelists are looking for things which fit on an album page. Today, an album page means a sheet of A4. Dealers can't sell items which will not fit on an A4 sheet - unless the collector can see a way to fold or cut the item to fit the page.

This is a bad situation to be in. Imagine. Someone offers you the Mona Lisa and you say, No Thanks, IKEA does not do a frame that size. Or worse: Yes, please, I think I can cut it to fit ...

Covers and sheets (Ganzbogen)should never, ever, be folded, trimmed or cut to fit. It is the frame that needs to be changed!

Many large format items get damaged because dealers don't have protective holders to put them in.

A well-preserved large format item can be a very attractive thing indeed. I have always liked the above cover. I think it's visually very appealing. It is made from (unfinished?) Court stationery. The address to the Justice of the Peace Court in Kamenets Podolsk is written in large letters across the front. The Registration cachet of BALIN Nr 165 is also in manuscript. The two 25 kopeck stamps are overprinted with Podillia XVIa (Bulat 2129, $30 each)and neatly cancelled BALIN POD in violet. On the back, there is a receiver cancel of KAMENTEZ POD "c" 22 4 19

This item is still in my stock for just one reason: it's too big. This implies we have a very strange approach to collecting!

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  1. I share your dismay! I also blame exhibiting, where people often perceive there to be restrictions on page size which really aren't there.
    The standard page size over here is 8.5 x 11" and a frame will fit 16 pages - four rows of 4. However, you can exhibit almost any page size you want, the pages just won't fit the frame quite so efficiently.
    I have become enamored of 11 x 11" pages, which will fit big covers like this one just fine. And if you're worried about finding an album for your pages...look at the "scrapbooking" section of a hobby store, where you will find albums for 11x11 pages aplenty, as well as sheet protectors. And a frame will fit 12 (four rows of 3) of these bigger pages.

    Just a thought!

  2. As a dealer and collector of Cinderella material, the issue of large size items is always a problem. Many cinderella items are oversized, because sheets often have marginal printing that is important to the item, and se-tenant multiples are very common. Since these are not officially issued items, there is often no recorded information other than the intact item itself. And for revenue stamps, their version of "on cover" is used on a legal document which are almost always larger than A4 size. Luckily, many philatelic supply dealers handle large format holders, as well as scrap booking suppliers, and these products are mostly available in archival quality now.

    Unluckily, many collectors still resist buying oversize items. When I was working at stamp bourses in the past, I always got a chuckle from the collectors who would regale me with comments about what serious collectors they were and how fantastic their collections were, but when offered a great oversize piece would turn whiny and say "but it won't fit on an album page". Serious collector indeed.