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seahorsefanatic

anecdotes/ stories over the years

32 posts in this topic

As a change of pace seeing as we are coming to the end of the year may I suggest contributors add a story from the past which may not be only educational but humerous and a lighter way to end off a busy year.

 

Donderstorm, Im sure you could add a few such as the cover valued at R20,000,000 that was removed !

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Hello Seahorsefanatic

 

 

Please do not insult me. The cover that got stolen was priced at 25 Million Rand and not 20 Million Rand.

 

Can you imagine this item appearing on the Wednesday Auction?

 

I will do a post about this item very soon. I am sure someone would love to hear the story of the highest PRICED item ever stolen in the South African stamp market! Which is obviously also the story of the biggest ever disappointment to some unknown thief.

 

Regards

 

Jacques

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Hi Jacques

 

My wife still can't understand why I sold 3 stamps on BoB last month with an apparent cat value of 1.5 million Rand for only 100 bucks. How do I get her to respect my collection after that?

 

Regards

Gabriel1

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Hello all

 

A couple of years ago Stanley Gibbons sold the “Bordeaux Cover†on auction for £2 500 000-00 - up to then the highest price ever achieved for a philatelic item. At the time the Rand value was 30 Million Rand.

 

Some time later, I came across a magnificent and superb facsimile of this cover. Apparently Gibbons produced it and distributed it with a specific issue of the Gibbons Stamp Monthly, which also carried an article on this item.

 

Now some of my old friends like the Seahorsefanatic might recall that this facsimile was brilliant. Only under close scrutiny did it become apparent that the item was not genuine. Even the two stamps on the cover were individually produced on paper close to the original issue. And on the backflap of the cover, printed in very small italics, was the word FACSIMILE.

 

I paid R25-00 for this cover and had endless fun with it, showing it off and offering it to unsuspecting buyers.

 

When the novelty eventually wore off, I decided to sell it. Being in a very generous mood and not demanding an unreasonable profit, I put it on a stockcard and priced it at the bargain price of R25 000 000-00, a clear 5 million below the retail price. I then placed in one of my scratch boxes containing items priced at R150-00 downwards.

 

Two weeks later the item was gone! Stolen! Or as Seahorsefanatic put it – removed from my stock.

 

Not being a vindictive person, I nevertheless hope that the thief flew to London in business class, booked into a top hotel for a night or two and then made a fool of himself trying to sell this cover to some snobbish dealer.

 

Or perhaps some poor child (or impatient wife) is waiting for a handsome inheritance.

 

At least I can say that the loss of an item priced at R25 000 000-00 did not make a dent in my stock.

 

Regards

 

Jacques

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ANECDOTES/STORIES OVER THE YEARS

 

As a youngster in the seventies, collecting was all the rage with stamps, coins etc. Garages also had their attraction with sets that could be collected of tokens,cards etc to get you to bug your parents to go to such and such a garage to fill up.

 

One of the promotions that Shell had was called " Man in Flight " which was a collection of 20 metal tokens in the shape of coins which could be displayed in an album. The set commemorated the Wright brothers throuigh to space exploration.

 

As kids we used these coins in the pool as buried treasure and would dive for them, trade them with our buddies and debate which was the most valuable token. No doubt the ones we had were the scarcest !!!!!

 

I lost most of my tokens except two which I kept all the years in the hope of seeing a set for sale as well as for sentimental reasons. This was probably in the mid seventies about 34 years ago.

 

I was at one of Jacques Fairs on the East rand about a year ago and to my amazement their was a broken set for sale still in its album but missing 1 piece. Of course I bought it and rushed home to look for my long lost 2 pieces that I kept. The first one was a duplicate but the second one was the missing piece. What a coincidence. I thought this was remarkable due to all the time that has lapsed since them.

 

Goes to show that you should never give up !!!.

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Hi

 

I was at a Fair awhile back where John (actually his real name) approached a dealer with a Voortrekker Memorial Fund cover, looking to sell it to him. The only problem was that some child or aspiring artist had coloured in the oxen running down the side of the cover and had included the sun. The dealer for obvious reasons explained that he could not buy the cover due to it's added features. I observed this entire encounter from a distance and the wheels started turning. A month later I approached the dealer and asked him if he had any Voortrekker Mem covers, as he started to reach for his stock I proptly added that I was particularly interested in the "coloured-in oxen and sun variety". I have never seen such a mixture of emotions on a dealers face before (apart from maybe Clinton), shock, suprise, confussion all at once. He started to mumble that he had seen this cover somewhere when I had to reveal that I was winding him up.

 

Regards

Gabriel1

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I enquired and was offered ( just before the 1995 rugby world cup ) the Coca-Cola competition mail which I thought would be a great challenge. The competition mail weighed about 14 tons and was about 7 million envelopes. It took me about 2 weekends to move it from the promotions office and about 2 years to go through.

 

I found many suprises along the way not to mention misperfed and imperf rhino's on cover. My fiancee would be totally confused when phoning me and I would tell her that I was busy " floating rhino's ". She had images of rhino's floating in the pool. These were floated as many had not been cancelled by the post office and could be used again.

 

In hindsight I dont think I would take on a project of this size again but enjoyed it immensely. There were thousands of taxed covers where no doubt no tax was collected. Money and all manner of strange items were put in the envelopes by the sender with a view to improving their chance of winning. Items such as coins,photo's, tokens, razor blades, promotional pins, badges, etc.

 

One can only wonder what the post office see when they sort tens of thousands of envelopes every day. Competition mail of this size doesnt happen much anymore due to most entries coming via the internet and cellphones.

 

Has anyone else who reads this posting ever attempted the above ? I would love to hear what you thought and if you found any treasures.

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Hello David

 

14 000kg must take a lot of commitment.

 

I once threw about 500 grammes of stamps-on-paper into the bath (not 500 kg and definitely not 14 000kg). That night, when I wanted to take a bath, I removed it all into a bucket. The by then rather thoroughly soaked stamps remained in the bucket for about a week, until they started to give off a strange smell. I then threw the whole lot away.

 

That was my largest attempt ever to soak stamps.

 

Regards

 

Jacques

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Hi

 

I did the same with a couple thousand, no weight taken, I used a large dustbin. In order to press them I used books from all over the house, sometimes when I page through a book I still come across stamps. I also ended up with a dustbin full stamp mush which was also discarded, I swore I would never do it again.

 

Regards

Gabriel1

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Hi Gabriel 1 and D/Storm

 

I had to have a laugh when I read your postings. I floated at least 240,000 uncancelled rhino's and then about 20,000 of the better stamps.

 

This brings me to another story - I had a frantic call from a friend of mine about 10 years ago who had just bought a house in the Midrand area. He told me to come over quick as the existing owner was burning lots of paper in 3 drums and among them were boxes of stamps. He asked the seller to wait for me and not burn any more.

 

When I got there, I learnt that he was going to burn his collection due to a family member of his being caught stealing some of his stamps. I convinced him to rather sell me the remainder ( about 10 shoeboxes ) and he could do what he liked with the money. Rather ash you can spend then ash at the bottom of a drum.

 

All the stamps were in cigarette boxes ( van rhyn ). He was so excited to find some 25 year old cigatrettes in the one box he lit one and was disgusted that the cigarette tasted like s**t - to use the word he used !!

 

The sad thing was that he had already burnt about 15 albums already before I could get there. One can only wonder what went up in smoke that day

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Just wondering….

 

What kind of wedding present do you give to a guy who has it all. For instance 7 Million Rhino’s. And a few Thousand Seahorses. Perhaps an Inverted Jenny? No, Moira might misunderstand.

 

Jacques

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Hi Jacques

I was thinking Dave would appreciate something much more interesting than mere American stamps with inverted centres for a wedding present.

 

Something like The Connoisseur Catalogue of British Machins or An Introduction To The Pre Postal History Of Outer Mongolia.

 

I will get him one,you can get the other because I am sure he wont be able to choose between the two

Cheers

Kenny

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Hello Kenny

 

You are right!

 

Damn. Hope I can cancel my bid on eBay.

 

And you are right again: I will bet my entire stock that he will not be able to choose between the two.

 

So Machins it will be from my side. “The Unabridged Specialised Single Phosphor Band Machin Catalogueâ€. I believe it comes in seven volumes. And it covers the period from 1972 to 1973. With 1000’s of colour photo’s.

 

Dave is the kind of person who loves thoughtful presents.

 

Regards

 

Jacques

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Hi there

 

You guys have a warped sense of humour. hahahah To Kenny I will bequeth my Ajman specialised study in 25 volumes and to Jacque my entire holding of unsorted Bophuthatswana Grasses for free ( not even at face less 50% !!!!! ) This will be followed by a crowd of certain people who love to ask for " Discount. Discount ".

 

Kenny thanks for your input on the taxed covers - much appreciated.

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OK then…

 

Guess a bottle of wine should do.

 

Regards

 

Jacques

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Are you celebrating or mourning?

 

Gabriel1

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Hello Gabriel

 

As a friend I am celebrating. As a stamp dealer I am mourning. Once the noose is firmly around the neck, spending patterns change dramatically.

 

Regards

 

Jacques

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Hi Jacques, Gabriel 1, Kenny & numerous other

 

I read with much interest the light banter between you all - it is great to start off my day and catch up on the ideas & experience you all share. I am sure that we all have the same sentiments regarding the economic future of our very dear interest in life - philately has weathered many storms in the past & I am confident that latter part 2009 will be no different ( says I, with tongue in cheeck). It is important that we all "punt" our Hobby & in some cases, livelihood, on this forum as you all so aptly do by making such lively contributions and comments.

 

Well done guys

 

Kit W

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To Jacques, Kenny

 

You do know that my " better half to be " is also a member of BoB and also reads the forum from time to time ? . You do know that medical cover is becoming more expensive ? You do know that said party is connected to your " other halves ' hahahahahaha

 

Its great to browse the forum and see what your fellow collectors/dealers are chatting about. I was on ebay the other day and spotted a Mongolian collection in 3 stockbooks for sale at about $900. Kenny, I can give you the link if keen. Just have your sunglasses on at the time - refer my comment regarding medical expenses.

 

Hope everyone has a great day and not too much rain.

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Kit W

 

I heard on the news today that the US Postal Industry is in trouble. 9 Billion less items were posted last year compared to the year before, I think the rate is 43c which amounts to approx 4.5 billion loss of revenue. We all know that what happens in US has an impact on world markets, it is thus safe to say that post office as we know it is definetely in trouble. Experts are blamming e-mail, sms etc and some even say this is the beggining of the end for the postal services. What does this mean to us?, well philatelic material will become harder to come by with collectors turning from collecting current issues to the older issues. Prices will go through the roof and collecting as we know it will change forever, it will just be out of reach to the normal man in the street.

 

I had no intention of ruining your day, just thought I would add on to what you posted.

 

Regards

Gabriel1

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Hi Gabriel 1

 

I agree that this is a concern to all of us. What is needed is to try and see this in a world context. Im sure most postal authorities all over the world have been affected particularly the developed nations with extensive investment into their electronic future. Lessor so the developing coutries such as in Africa. This will cause countries to issue smaller volumes of stamps which might not be a bad thing if you look at the explosion of issues over the last 40 years.

 

The question asked locally other than the fact that collectors are getting older in this country is the question of the impact of electronic media on our hobby with the advent of email etc.

 

It would be interesting to hear other views on where our hobby is going in the next 10-20 years. I personally feel that collecting has swung to thematic/topical in a big way and subjects on stamps have also moved away from politics and religion compared to the past. Post will always be there but this might move to smaller private companies who can handle the reduced volume. With the advance of electronics, has come the advantages of increased security like tracking numbers.

 

Imagine when one of those big rocks ( diamonds ) were discovered in Cullinan and it went through the post to England as the postal services were secure and the ethic at the time was that " you did not steal " Sadly today this is not the case - syndicates operate within our postal system to steal. Items that are not registered are fair game to all concerned.

 

On top of this we have a world recession which will also have an influence. One just has to look at the Wall Street crash in the late twenties and early thirties - this led to a very interesting period for collectors. Locally with Zimbabwe imploding, this will become an important collecting period if you look at the prices already.

 

What do you guys think ?

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A very good 'mourning' to Jacques and Kenny!

 

With regards to your comments about "mourning", nooses etc. I would like you to know that I am also into collecting now. The motivation to start collecting is seahorsefanatics fault. I mean, how could I not.

 

I am now building a lovely collection of shoes and jewellery. As long as seahorsefanatic collects rhinos, seahorses, inverted whatevers, machins, perforated (also) whatevers, imperfs, motorcycle stamps, ration coupons, etc. I am sure my collection will also flourish and grow. So no need to worry about that noose!!

 

Regards

Moira

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Hi Seahorsefanatic

 

I agree with you on the Thematic issue and I think that the reason for this is money and the availability of material. As you know I collect Boer War and I recently paid R4000 for 2 stamps, can you imagine how far 4 grand would go for the Thematic collector who is not country bound or specialising in a certain period but theme orientated. Thematics was for along time looked down upon, most of the material is not worth much (generally speaking) but if you see what has taken place over the years, most dealers offer a Thematic section in their stock. Themaic clubs have been started, magazines circulated, the Plilatelist has a Thematic section, Cassie Caarstens organises exhibitions, so it is definetely a growing area.

 

It has become increasingly difficult for the specialised collector to obtain items, it has forced us to start searching the world on e-bay, sandafaye and other sites in order to obtain material. Coupled with this is the high cost of postage from other countries and the risk of the items never reaching you because of theft etc. I recently lost an Australian stamp which I paid around 3 hundred dollars for, it just never got here, I had other incidents from Australia which has now made me doubt the postal system on this route.

 

I suppose that if you wanted to get youth involved in stamp collecting the easiest way would be to introduce them to Thematics, what is the use of spending R500 odd on one Union stamp per month when for the same amount you could probably nearly fill an album.

 

Regards

Gabriel1

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Hello Kit W

 

I am sure that philately / stamp collecting is more alive today than it was 15 years ago. We have to thank sites like BidorBuy for this.

 

Regards

 

Jacques

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Hi Littleminx and seahorse

Moira, great news that you are getting into collecting.May I congratulate you on your choice of subject.I cannot think of a more expensive area than shoes and baubles.This of course is wonderful news for us poor stamp collectors who have had to stand by and be outbid by Dave.

We will insist that he contributes royally to your collection,thus putting great strain on his ability to purchase choice items at stamp auctions.

May your collection grow most swiftly and your diamonds sparkle most brightly.

On a serious note,hearty congratulations to you both on your forthcoming marriage.

Enjoy your last few remaining weeks of freedom!

Kind Regards

Kenny

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