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 Post subject: kedah m.b.e. overprint
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:38 pm 
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Hello m-s-g people. Recently came across a copy of Kedah #51(sg) with the letter 'x' in 'exhibition' dropped below level of the other letters. S.G. catalogue makes no mention of varieties on this second setting of the overprint. Is this a constant variety in this setting of 20? I wonder if someone could point me to a book or article that would go into more detail on this overprint. Thanks for helping.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:11 pm 
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I guess I'll reply to myself. I got D.R.M. Holley's excellent book, and G.S.M. articles from 2000, so have found answers to my questions.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:40 pm 
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good to hear you've got the Kedah book, the MSG has published other useful books too - see the bibliography panel on this site.

have you joined the MSG yet?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:56 pm 
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hello ebayer,
thanks for your comments. no, i haven't sent in the membership form yet - one of many items in my to do pile. i'll throw another question out on a closely related subject for thoughts from any interested forum members, though.
both Holley's book and Elliot's article in GSM give numbers of stamps printed, and numbers sold, of the MBE overprints. for the 4c value these are given as 48,000 issued, 14,711 sold (presumably the rest were destroyed). for the short sheaf variety, occurring once on every sheet of 120, this would mean 123 examples should have remained, with a maximum of 400 if the error was known and sold/saved off the corner of the sheets before destruction. in appendix 3 of Holley's book it appears that approximately 6,400 sheets of the 4c red mca were printed (some of which may not have the variety?), 13,300 sheets of the carmine msca (of which 400 were overprinted), and 38,000 of the violet msca.
so, what seems strange to me is that the catalogue values (2007 gibbons) show no premium for the mbe overprint over the first two far more common unoverprinted versions, and only twice the price of the violet, of which there were perhaps 100 or more times as many. am i reading the numbers wrong? are the figures for the mbe printing for number of sheets, not number of stamps? that would fit better with the catalogue values, but would not be possible given the 13,300 sheets available to overprint. it is probably true that a much higher percentage of the overprinted stamps still exist, as they were 'collectibles' from the start, compared to a large portion of the unoverprinted copies having been used and destroyed as regular postage, but since the variety existed for over twenty years, i would guess that most copies were saved from the later regular issues as well. any thoughts on this? i know not to connect scarcity too directly to catalogue value, just seems odd that such a collected variety in such a collected issue would sell for about 100 pounds if only a couple hundred or so exist. does anyone know when this variety first was mentioned in the philatelic press or in catalogues?
thanks for your responses


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:52 pm 
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Both the authors you quote would have got their numbers printed from the same source. The book was published in 1995, and the article I think you said 2000.

I wouldn't read too much into SG not giving a premium based on numbers printed. When you think about how many stamps are listed by SG ( and I am thinking about whole world, which they catalogue, not just Malaya, ) we shouldn't be surprised that they don't have the time or inclination to consider numbers issued on stamps which run into thousands of sheets.

The varieties were well known long before SG added them to their catalogue.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:53 pm 
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yes, Susan, i agree that the catalogue editors can't really be aware of all the facts and figures for every stamp of every issue. i assume, however, that catalogue pricing would reflect and follow the market price, more than the market price being driven by the catalogue price. the market would be created by collectors who specialize in each area, and would be more likely to be aware of the relative scarcity or availability of an item, and even in the absence of awareness the supply side of the supply/demand equation should drive the market price.
i am a nemcomer to the area of malayan states philately, so i don't know if these m.b.e. overprints are simply less in demand by collectors. in my recent reading i found that they were not well recieved when first issued, and perhaps they are still skipped over by collectors. do you find this to be the case?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:07 pm 
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yes when first issued back in 1922 they were denounced as unneccessary, exploitiong collectors etc, ( the sort of stuff often said about new issues now ! )

but now they are very collectable. Collectors fall into 2 camps. Those who collect them keenly and search for the uncatalogued varieties; and those who don't collect them. I'm in the 2nd group as I don't collect Kedah, but there are many who do collect them. Its the 1 in 120 varieties - not in SG, which are worth looking for.


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