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Catalogue Abbreviations and Symbols

Abbreviations and Symbols Used in the Catalogues

Firstly, we have the lot number. If it is this color, the item is illustrated and you can view it by clicking on the lot number: e.g. 617

The second column contains a symbol, which represents the item(s) in the lot: or, in the case of used stamps, a grading of the cancellation:

** Mint, unmounted o.g.   * Mint, mounted o.g.
W Unused, no gum D Piece
* Cover or card
E Essay L Literature
P Proof R Reprint
S Stamp ("Postmarks" lots)

V Neat postmark, leaving most of the stamp design clear   O Used, quality unspecified
F Neat postmark, across at least half of the stamp design
G Untidy or indistinct postmark H Heavy or poorly struck postmark

The third column gives an overall quality assessment for the lot, from "A" to "D". The same standard applies to mint and used stamps, to covers, postal stationery, literature etc. An item graded "A" is very fine; it has no faults. "B" items are fine and may have minor imperfections. A "C" item will exhibit obvious faults. Items in poor condition are rated "D".

Occasionally, an item in truly superb condition will be rated "A+". This grading is used sparingly and is not applied to modern material, which one would normally expect to be in very fine to superb condition.

An otherwise very fine item which has a subsidiary problem may be allocated an "A-". This may be a stamp with writing or a hinge remainder on the reverse. A cover may have a receiver’s endorsement on the face. The halves of a letter card may be stuck together. A book may have a previous owner"s notations. Whether this factor makes the item an "A-" or "B" is a matter of degree.

The fourth column is relevant to perforated stamps, and also to lots listed under the sub-heading "Postmarks".

For perforated stamps, this column gives a grading for both centring and perforations. The letter "A" to "D" relates to centring. "A" stamps are very well centred; "B" stamps are slightly off-centre; "C" stamps are significantly off-centre, and may have the perforations slightly into the design; "D" stamps are badly off-centre, with the perforations well into the design.

[NB: These gradings are the same for Australian Decimals, De La Rue Colonial keytypes, and 19th Century American issues. However, it should be understood that for many issues poor centring is the norm. Thus "C", and even "D", gradings should be expected and accepted. For such issues a "B" stamp will be above-average and an "A" stamp will be considered an exceptional copy.]

Following the letter "A"-"D" is a number "1" to "4". A stamp with all perforations intact is "1". One or two short perfs, or normal rough perforations, will drop the grading to "2". More notable perforation problems such as the perfs down one side being trimmed will result in a "3" grading. A stamp with major perforation faults will be a "4".

[NB: A stamp graded "A1" is well-centred with all perforations intact. In many cases, particularly with modern issues, this is the norm. However, for many issues, "B2" or even "C3" may be normal and quite acceptable.]

For lots listed under the sub-headings "Postmarks" and "Ship/Paquebot Markings", this column gives a grading for quality of the strike, and completeness. Quality is graded from "A" (very fine) to "D" (poor). Completeness is graded from "1" (complete) to "5" (identifiable only). "+" is used for superb strikes; "-" is used for postmarks which are lightly struck, a little doubled, or otherwise a bit short of the mark.

The symbols in the second, third and fourth columns, and the illustrations of lots, form part of the lot description.

Figures in the right-hand column are our estimate of value. You may bid at, above or below estimate. The reserve price for almost every lot is 70% of estimate (rounded to the nearest bidding step). Bids below this level will not be considered.

The letter "T" appearing after the estimate indicates that Goods & Services Tax (GST) of 10% will be added to the hammer price. This tax is not payable on any lots exported from Australia, so overseas buyers are exempt from GST.

We use the following standardised abbreviations:

o.g. original gum opt(d) overprint(ed)
d/s datestamp cds circular datestamp
h/s handstamp mss manuscript; handwritten
ERD earliest recorded date LRD latest recorded date
o/o opened-out RLabel registration label
PStat Postal Stationery PPC picture postcard

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