Sunday, March 08, 2009

Expert offensive in France

While you can easily find advertisments for company expertising and evaluating quality of stamps in United States Scott Stamp Monthly, three French philatelic experts are trying an offensive to convince French collectors to check their important possessions.

Claude Jamet, a former philatelic editor-in-chief, recalled late 2008 that this subject is taboo in the French philatelic pond: do collectors want to know if their goods are genuine or falsified? Even if I read the reverse point of view from buying collectors: lack of professionalism from some experts and their easily signature on a multitude stamps' back, easily falsified afterwards. So the confusion between the role of this signature and the one of the certificate of authenticity. Without speaking of the price for the owner.

In March 2009 Timbres magazine issue, three experts launched their speech to the common collectors. Pascal Scheller wrote a reminder about the expert signatures in the quick news part, on page 8. On page 17, Pascal Marziano is interviewed. Just miss Jean-Jacques Tilleard in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.

In what Marziano told, he evoked Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States where philatelic experts work in committee.

Very good coincidence: in the February 2009 issue of British Stamp Magazine, the Expert Committee of the Royal Philatelic Society London is the subject of a report by Julia Lee on six pages.

She submitted a vertical strip of three George VI definitive stamps overprinted to serve in the Morocco Agencies. One was bearing a known variety: a horizontal line as black as the overprint strikes one of the stamps. Is it genuine (catalogued 650 pounds sterling) or a inked-imposed genuine (10 pounds before alteration)?

The expertise process was followed, step by step, with the expert knowing exactly what he was lokking for:
- visual description,
- comparison with archives full of two hundreds thousands cases examined by the committee since 1890,
- and even with the Royal Philatelic Collection,
- bright white light,
- a 10x magnifier,
- ultra-violet lamp,
- until the 33'000 pounds spectroscop and the possibility to use the one at the University College London.

When stamps fresh from the post office are not baked in an oven to verify if the change of color on the expertised stamp was not caused like that.

During each session of the committee, the files are examined and, in case of discord, the study is done again with the help of other members and one of the fifty specialist philatelists who regularly help the committee. A team work.

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