Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by Wjkyy »

patg wrote:Wjkyy: I don't think pilfered is a strong enough word!

Have a look here if you haven't yet. It's a start.
http://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=37042

Is that a South American album? That's about all I saw.

Afraid the album is lost, save what you can! Women & children first!

Sorry, got a bit carried away. There are always stamps to save. Soak and a drying book will help. You may want to show a few of the covers and pieces before you soak, just to be sure you're not getting too carried away.

Have fun,
patg
I've written off the book. Is there a good soaking solution that works better than water?
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by patg »

There are plenty of different solutions here on the board and on the net. I'm a warm water person. If you haven't done it before, I'd try it on a few of the hopelessly damaged for practice.

Go slow & good luck,

patg
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by Wjkyy »

patg wrote:Wjkyy: I don't think pilfered is a strong enough word!

Have a look here if you haven't yet. It's a start.
https://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=37042

Is that a South American album? That's about all I saw.

Afraid the album is lost, save what you can! Women & children first!

Sorry, got a bit carried away. There are always stamps to save. Soak and a drying book will help. You may want to show a few of the covers and pieces before you soak, just to be sure you're not getting too carried away.

Have fun,
patg
Image

It's German 1897, but looks like it could have been in the Berlin shelter in 1945.
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by Wjkyy »

patg wrote:There are plenty of different solutions here on the board and on the net. I'm a warm water person. If you haven't done it before, I'd try it on a few of the hopelessly damaged for practice.

Go slow & good luck,

patg
Thanks, will that run any dies?
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by patg »

If there is a Great Britain page, put up a picture; there are people here that can tell you which to be careful with.

Early stamps are usually pretty sturdy, most can stand up to a soak and usually look better for it.

(I repeat myself) :D On covers and pieces with good cancels, put them aside until you learn more. On ones you are not sure of, put aside, there not going anywhere and there were plenty in those pictures to practice with.

Start with small batches in a glass bowl.

patg
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by Wjkyy »

patg wrote:If there is a Great Britain page, put up a picture; there are people here that can tell you which to be careful with.

Early stamps are usually pretty sturdy, most can stand up to a soak and usually look better for it.

(I repeat myself) :D On covers and pieces with good cancels, put them aside until you learn more. On ones you are not sure of, put aside, there not going anywhere and there were plenty in those pictures to practice with.

Start with small batches in a glass bowl.

patg
Thanks Pat.
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by patg »

Moderator: Looks like Wjkyy may have two parallel posts (This and aniline inks). Might want to combine the two to save answering twice.

Thanks,
patg
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by Wjkyy »

Yes, combine them. One issue, several questions. :)
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by joelk »

Threads combined.

The album has really been vandalized.

The question on aniline inks (and by extension fugitive inks) is a good one of course.

You could scan pages you want to soak so that members can spot the key ones. In general though, it doesn't look as though these South American stamps you have shown so far would suffer much in a warm water soak.

Cheers,
Joel.
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by Wjkyy »

joelk wrote:Threads combined.

The album has really been vandalized.

The question on aniline inks (and by extension fugitive inks) is a good one of course.

You could scan pages you want to soak so that members can spot the key ones. In general though, it doesn't look as though these South American stamps you have shown so far would suffer much in a warm water soak.

Cheers,
Joel.
That's a great suggestion, I will scan the questionable stamps. The reason aniline came up is because comments on this stamp and the results of my oversoaking.

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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by mobbor »

Wjkyy

I can see my question about why you needed to re-soak them was more than slightly unnecessary!

I wouldn't have a clue as to what the 1st individual stamp you've posted is- Austrian maybe (?). What are all the black fibres(?) ? I think it is aniline, but not too much has soaked into the white areas. If it's not stuck down, look at the back. If it's not too bad, or maybe even if it is & it's not valuable, experiment.
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by Wjkyy »

mobbor wrote:Wjkyy

I can see my question about why you needed to re-soak them was more than slightly unnecessary!

I wouldn't have a clue as to what the 1st individual stamp you've posted is- Austrian maybe (?). What are all the black fibres(?) ? I think it is aniline, but not too much has soaked into the white areas. If it's not stuck down, look at the back. If it's not too bad, or maybe even if it is & it's not valuable, experiment.
It is Austrian and I've been told the hairs are granite paper (aside from one dog hair :oops: ) . My next step is to get a specialized album and take your advice and experiment on the cheaper ones. Thanks...
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by new12collector »

I think it is aniline, but not too much has soaked into the white areas
BTW the white areas are called varnish bars, applied to keep people from cleaning off the cancels.

I don't think you'll have a problem with an aniline ink- these are very difficult to soak off paper, though they seem to have used a strange gum that just doesn't come off well.
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by Frank E Ring »

Plywood, glue, and staples... you may be able to turn the remnants of that album into a great looking covert box.
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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by jjarmstrong47 »

My first encounter with aniline was in the 80s when I watched an old Russian stamp disappear before my eyes.

Someone else mentioned fugitive inks. I've found some old yellows are dangerous to soak as well.
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by Bluegum »

In terms of removing hinges, after making some mistakes, I found that the most effective way for me is to use a cotton ear bud, soak the tip in cold water, and wet the back of the hinge. Sometimes you must do it a few times, but the hinge will eventually come off. Normally only that small part of the stamps is wet, and if you are careful, the dampness will only be on the back.
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by malcolm197 »

For removing hinges and paper remnants ( and for removing delicate stamps from paper ) try a sweatbox.

I use a plastic salad container with a plastic mesh insert ( do not use anything metal !! ).Put lukewarm water below the insert. Place the stamps/paper face-up on the insert and fit the airtight lid. After a time the humidity will dissolve the gum allowing you to remove the paper. ALWAYS remove the paper from the stamp- never the stamp from the paper - a recipe for tearing. Then dry in the same way as your method for soaked stamps. As the water does not come into contact with the face of the stamps - this should be safe -but I still wouldn't risk it for anything really valuable - sod's law says that if you damage a stamp it is going to be the valuable one!

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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by psestamp »

Hate to bring it up but.... when submitting for grading, used stamps should have clean backs
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by Musicmandaz »

I,ve washed at least 5000 stamps or more.Mainly NZ and OZ predecimals.
I have found a flat plate with a good edge to rest the stamps on- half filled with boiling water
I only place 10 to 15 of the same colour stamps into the water-then wash both sides of each stamp very gently with a fingertip-and place it on the edge.(keep an eye on the water for ink runs and remove the offending stamp immediately)
I usually have to wait a minute for the water to cool a bit before starting,but overall the whole process only takes around 5 minutes per plate.
I then rinse each stamp separately in a glass of boiling water before laying them on printer paper to semi dry.
Once nearly dry I transfer the stamps onto a stocksheet face up-place more paper on top and a phonebook to keep weight on it.
Usually I replace the top paper twice before leaving to dry for a week.
This seems to work well but care should be taken on stamps from the 19th century.
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soaking and cleaning...

Post by enesem »

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere (I searched but didn't find). I did see the excellent post on removing P&S stamps, however I only am concerned with traditional gummed stamps.

What's the best method for soaking stamps:

a) to get them off envelopes etc
b) to remove hinge and paper residue
c) to clean them if they are grubby

Is there a single method that suits all, or are there variations ?

I have the desert magic drying book, so that part of the method is covered, just looking for tips on the wet part.

Thanks.
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Re: soaking and cleaning...

Post by JohnB »

..
As you suspected there is lots of advice on this on the Boards.
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by Bluegum »

Just some feedback on some of the great tips on this thread. I have started using the boiling water method for cleaning foxed/toned stamps, and it works really well.
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by maszki »

I've read most of the first page of this thread, but then skipped to here, so please excuse me if this question has been asked previously.

I do know that Fischer catalogues ( of Polish stamps) publishes an icon of a water bowl with a diagonal cross below some stamps to indicate that 'ink dissolves in water or benzine'.

Are there other country catalogues which similarly indicate those stamps which should not be soaked?

Neither SG, nor Michel, (at least my copies) do not have this indicator symbol.
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

maszki wrote:
I do know that Fischer catalogues ( of Polish stamps) publishes an icon of a water bowl with a diagonal cross below some stamps to indicate that 'ink dissolves in water or benzine'.

Are there other country catalogues which similarly indicate those stamps which should not be soaked?

Neither SG, nor Michel, (at least my copies) do not have this indicator symbol.
True, and again like most things in stamps it comes down to "Knowledge Is Power" - or often "The Way to Learn is to Ruin a $200 stamp, you should never have put near hot water in the FIRST place".

Sadly threads like this are read mostly but folks who do not have experience on what will and will not be damaged by aimlessly bumbling along, and I am often tempted to lock them early to protect themselves from themselves. :idea:

I saw this disaster below today. Some idiot has decided to soak a CHALK FACED paper stamp in hot water. So what happens? The chalk layer partly dissolves, and ditto some of the red ink printed on the chalk. Durrhhhh.

Result - a ruined stamp. I could have told them that, but they did not ask me or others here. :lol: :lol: :lol:

EXCEPT some crazy overseas Canada "dealer" has it in an auction as we speak as a "variety" and the Dumb Canuck Bunnies have bid this worthless piece of trash up to $30!

Any of us could "make" 100 more, with a $1 bundle of this common stamp.


https://www.allnationsstampandcoin.com/auction.html

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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by maszki »

Well, Sheriff, I've never ruined a $200 stamp...mainly because I can't afford such luxuries, however I've had my share of ruined stamps caused by soluble inks, red or green envelopes etc etc but I learn quickly - although I must admit to even now trying to separate 'peel and stick' stamps from the envelopes

it would be a great service to us (we?) collectors if the catalogue editors added the same info as Fischer re ink solubility and also those other catalogues that identify chalk surfaced papers etc.
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by JMH67 »

maszki wrote: ... Are there other country catalogues which similarly indicate those stamps which should not be soaked?

Neither SG, nor Michel, (at least my copies) do not have this indicator symbol.
Michel states something like "Nr. ... ist benzinempfindlich/wasserempfindlich" (No. ... is sensitive to petrol/water), and in rare cases writes even stronger warnings (as with some North German Confederation stamps that were printed on the back of goldbeater's skin, and gummed over the print, which are actually destroyed in a water bath). I agree, however, that a symbol might be better than text in such cases.

As for "foxed" stamps, a bath in a solution of baking soda is occasionally recommendend. I've tried it on some low-value stamps - although it might not completely remove the discoloration, it seems to stop the spread of the fungus which apparently only thrives in a neutral to acidic environment.

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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by tikithindi »

Again I cam across by chance this thread........
Very informative and learning...also thanks Glen great advice.

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Re: How To Salvage & Clean Stamps From 1800s Albums

Post by Alex_99 »

Hi :)

Sorry for bringing up an old topic - but I wonder what happened to the album... I collect old late 19th century Schaubek albums (mostly empty, of course), and the one you had there is a wonderful example of an originally very expensive (in 1897 currency) edition... I believe it could be restored - I often restore ripped pages with special archival tape, etc., and this one doesn't look good - but if all pieces of paper are still there, it could be restored I believe. I hope you kept the album after removing the stamps :)
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by Rigs »

nolimitsstamps wrote: 23 Oct 2009 13:10 Any postally used stamp has been washed at least once anyway, so most damage has already been done. I avoid the known fugitive inks, but washing most G.B. Victorian stamps quickly in cold water doesn't seem to harm them.
.
RE fugitive ink in cold water comment above: does anyone know if this works as opposed to hot water?

I have these two below:
.
Great Britain QV stamp SG 205 (1887)
Great Britain QV stamp SG 205 (1887)
.
GB SG205 back20210930_00583506.jpg
.
So the one on the left was unfortunately washed and the other at right has never by the look of the rear - just peeled off an envelope (although there doesn't appear to be any residue gum around the edges of the brown paper). Looks awful with all that gunk and gook. So do you just leave these stamps as is or is there anything you can do to clean it up?
.
I note SG catalog makes mention above the listing for these: 'Stamps which have been soaked, causing the colour to run, are virtually worthless'.
.
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by ViccyVFU »

Rigs wrote: 30 Sep 2021 02:25 RE fugitive ink in cold water comment above: does anyone know if this works as opposed to hot water?
.


Neither "hot, nor cold" water works as a technique on fugitive inks.

Even the slightest "moisture bubble / droplet" will capillary action outwards, to ruin the stamp.

I would draw your attention to the Sheriffs "comment number three" in this thread "Don't mess about with it",

... but if you really, really (and I mean really!) need to treat the stamp, the only technique I am aware of that "works with practice" (and again, that's "only on UK stamps, with fugitive ink", not the "toilet tissue" you print on in Australia :D ), then the technique is called "sweat-box".

Not to be confused with an American product of the same name (which might give you water droplets), or Australian cricket team "gentlemans protective clothing" (never a good idea :D ).

Now, the Sheriff has spoken out against this technique - "seen too much good stuff ruined" ... Topics 22829, 81097 and 87699 all mention them, but I can't find a tutorial on here, taking you through the process, step by step with pictures "for GB fugitive ink stamps".

Head plate green is "fugitive to water" on this series (so that's the 2d, 4d, 4½d, 1/- green and 1/- green and red)
Plus purple head ink (on the 9d).
That's "all water", not just the hot or cold stuff.

(If we'd not worked out a way to remove them from paper by now, we'd be in trouble!!).

Holler if you'd like "a detailed procedure".

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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by gavin-h »

Rigs wrote: 30 Sep 2021 02:25 .
Image
.
Image
.
So the one on the left was unfortunately washed and the other at right has never by the look of the rear - just peeled off an envelope (although there doesn't appear to be any residue gum around the edges of the brown paper). Looks awful with all that gunk and gook. So do you just leave these stamps as is or is there anything you can do to clean it up?
.
My advice: leave it alone, it's got good colour and I wouldn't risk losing that.

If you don't like looking at the "gunk and gook", don't look at it. There's a beautiful, over-designed piece of Victorian grandeur pictured on the front - just look at that instead. :mrgreen:
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

.
In 45 years of dealing and buying stamps I'd guess that the number of hingelesss albums offered to me showing the reverse sides showing out is ZERO.

Therefore, there must be some good reason for that. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Quite possibly that reason is that looking at stamps with deep original colours, is globally preferred to stamps with the colours washed out totally, by some genius who wanted to look at the back more than the front!

Food for thought. :mrgreen:
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

.
And NEVER EVER EVER soak the GB 1884 Greens Fugitive ink stamp issues - they are THE worst. And are cat up several 100 quid each for decent looking used.

This below is a very fresh Never Hinged 9d SPECIMEN I just sold, so the colour of course is exactly as issued at PO.

Compare that the faded one below some cretin on ScamBay is offering as "Fine Used". And remember you cannot "clean up" that grotty and badly foxed 9d, via a soak in hot water, or it will lose half the colour again!

When soaked these all take on a YELLOW/GREEN hue that the original colour does not have, as you can see. This "Lilac and Green" set has a high cat as Fine Used, BECAUSE near all on the market are faded and ruined.

As others have correctly stated these are on doubly fugitive ink, deiberately designed to fade when immersed in water, so as cunning Victorians could not remove fiscal pen cancels!

That heavy foxing on the 9d is a well established living fungal cancer in the paper and will infect EVERYTHING stored near it or around it, and in 10 years the stamp will be fit only for the bin, as it will be eaten away basically.

It is like wooden stairs with bad dry rot - nothing can save them. And buying rotted wooden stairs at a 'bargain price', is no bargain really. :idea: :idea: :idea:

Glen



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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by Rigs »

Global Administrator wrote: 30 Sep 2021 12:46
Quite possibly that reason is that looking at stamps with deep original colours, is globally preferred to stamps with the colours washed out totally, by some genius who wanted to look at the back more than the front!
.
.
Point taken. Makes you wonder just how many copies of un-soaked SG205 et al of this era there are remaining.

A vast quantity must have been spoiled by 'well-intentioned' but unwitting cultural vandals in this regard since they were issued (myself included for that matter :oops:).
.
Presumably in the distant future there will be technologies available that are able to remove the gook and gunk safely. It can't be good for stamps to have such mess/old gum etc. on the reverse forever.
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Re: Washing Stamps, how, why, is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

Rigs wrote: 30 Sep 2021 13:25
Makes you wonder just how many copies of un-soaked SG205 et al of this era there are remaining.

Very few - hence the chunky SG price for unfaded copies. SAME as the 1883/4 Lilac and Green series. SG makes that clear in a footnote.
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Re: Washing old stamps, how to do, why, and is it safe?

Post by blue-within-blue »


Here is a before-and-after comparison of a Dardenne which I washed yesterday in warm water with a drop of washing-up liquid. Note the brown toning in the top half of the stamp, and a small orange spot in the middle of the queen's neck.

After soaking it for two hours, I rinsed in clean cold water, pressed it between absorbent kitchen-roll to remove most of the water, then left it overnight between sheets of clean white paper with several heavy books on top. Today most of the toning has gone, and so has the spot - the stamp looks fresher all round, and no harm done.
old-horz.jpg
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Re: Washing old stamps, how to do, why, and is it safe?

Post by steevh »

blue-within-blue wrote: 14 Nov 2021 22:52
Here is a before-and-after comparison of a Dardenne which I washed yesterday in warm water with a drop of washing-up liquid. Note the brown toning in the top half of the stamp, and a small orange spot in the middle of the queen's neck.

After soaking it for two hours, I rinsed in clean cold water, pressed it between absorbent kitchen-roll to remove most of the water, then left it overnight between sheets of clean white paper with several heavy books on top. Today most of the toning has gone, and so has the spot - the stamp looks fresher all round, and no harm done.

Image

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A good wash may make some stamps look a lot nicer, but you sure as hell want to make sure first that you're not dealing with a fugitive ink.

In my case I don't have any ratty, worthless copies of that particular Mauritius stamp to experiment on, so I would have left it well alone.

A lot of stamps you might figure the colours are fast, but a quick soak and you can find out the hard way that you were mistaken.
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Re: Washing old stamps, how to do, why, and is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

steevh wrote: 20 Nov 2021 00:06
A lot of stamps you might figure the colours are fast, but a quick soak, and you can find out the hard way that you were mistaken.

Exactly. Over my 45 years as a dealer I have seen THOUSANDS of total stamp disasters from amateur chemist geniuses who assumed they knew it all. :!: :!: :!:

This amateur ebay idiot stanjus has forever ruined about half his offerings madly trying to bleach off pen cancels as can be seen - leaving stamps in half or less than original colours - with gleaming white paper on 120 year old stamps that should fool no-one sane.

https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/m.html?item=185162464107&mkcid=7 ... =200&rt=nc

Same ebay idiot stanjus then ends up with ''ebay Bunny GEMS'' like this - no mention of his Frankenstein lab disaster, or any condition issues -

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/185168700742


s-l1600tt.jpg
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Re: Washing old stamps, how to do, why, and is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

The same idiot amateur vandal Chemist ebay idiot stanjus had a go at cleaning up this one below - now well under HALF the normal shade intensity, due to his bungling as a result, and then he cheerfully added an absurd fake bottle top bogus cancel of huge diameter, and he adds zero mention of any of his fakery or fading or faults on the lot description. Welcome to ScamBay.

This stamp should NOT be washed, as it fades readily. These dopes do not know that.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/185168685533
s-l1600gg.jpg
This is the normal colour before clueless amateur voodoo stamp chemists get hold of it.
This is the normal colour before clueless amateur voodoo stamp chemists get hold of it.
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Re: Washing old stamps, how to do, why, and is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

And finally the same idiot amateur vandal Chemist ebay idiot stanjus must learn that lesson ONE is when washing and fiddling with stamps NEVER do it on most violet stamps - he has ruined this one forever.

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Which stamps should never be soaked?

Post by markyb23 »

I have soaked stamps off paper and also from album pages to remove old hinges etc.

I'm quite comfortable with the methods that I use.

The only thing I'm not sure about is when not to soak the earlier period stamps.

I have read some earlier posts about certain stamps being made of chalked paper, or having colours that wash off when soaked.

Is there any way of identifying the stamps where soaking should be avoided, or is it trial and error?

The main ones I'm concerned about are some of the earlier German stamps. I have attached a photo of some as an example.

20240111_235849.jpg

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

Plenty of sage advice above, to temper your enthusiasm. :!:

However, why on earth anyone would need to 'soak' such apparently sound condition stamps remains the only question.

They are 150 years old - they may have been repaired, rebacked, or whatever - why invite trouble needlessly? Carefully peel them off the page, and job done.
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Re: Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

Post by markyb23 »

Thanks for sorting my post out Glen (Sheriff).

And for linking up my question to the earlier posts on this topic.

I will take your advice and leave well alone. 8-)
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Re: Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

Post by blue-within-blue »


Not daring to soak any stamp is over-cautious. Pleanty of old issues can safely be soaked in warm or even hot water to get rid of stains & gunk. Cape triangles are fine, so are early Mauritius as in my above example.

The important thing is to know - or ask and find out - which can safely be soaked, BEFORE trying. If a specialist advises that it is safe (someone who has previously soaked that same stamp) then there should be low risk of harming the colour. But if a stamp appears to be re-backed, it's wise to check the front with strong magnification to see whether it was repaired - if so, soaking could at worst leave you with two half-stamps.

This apparently faked 1852 British Guiana cover may be my next soaking project, if the RPS confirm the BPA's opinion that it does not belong. The 4 cents has been a gap in my collection for many years. Ricky at David Feldman already advised me that this issue is colour-fast. But the current certificate also mentions a repair, so I'll be seeking the RPS's guidance on whether it can safely be soaked.
BG 1852 cover.jpg
BG 1852 cover - Copy.jpg
I'm hoping they will also be able to send me an enhanced photo showing any bogus "postmark" ink which the forger added to the left side to tie the stamp to the envelope. The wide left margin may allow me to trim off any spurious marks and leave the stamp "honest" again.

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Re: Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

Post by ebay »

If that was mine I think I'd leave it as is, that's going to take nerves of steel to soak off.

I don't know the colour might not run, but anything could happen, I maybe would cut around the stamp and leave it with the back on, if you don't want it on the cover.

Lookswise, it now looks great - will it look better or the same after a soak ?

Way too pricey for me I'd be a bag of nerves watching that soak off.

I would be worried that the bogus postmark would "smudge" into the stamp and not come out.

But hey hope it goes well.

Does the cert say where the repair is ? is it the top left corner?
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Re: Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

Ricky Verra at Feldman will NEVER have soaked one of these, so what on earth does he know about 'colour run' on them???! He sold the Du Pont Guianas 'as is' and soaked none of them, I am sure. They were not his property to do so. They were offered 'as they were' in the Du Pont collection.

They are cat £225,000 used.

Repairs on these often involves 'painting in' - witness the 1c GUANO that sold for $US9 million repaired thus. No-one cared - it sold for that figure, with that being a known defect, plus the heavy fading.

SOAKING any such stamp will see that 'painting in' dissolve in the water- It is ugly enough already without that occurring. :lol: :lol:

It may have a massive THIN - ever wonder why someone affixed it? Offer a £225,000 stamp with a huge thin and see what it gets. Glue it to an old envelope and draw in a fake 'tying' cds and you'll get far more - clearly this has been done here - and this is the obvious reason.

It might have a huge repaired tear - who would know?

I'd be keeping it with the cert that says the postmark has been added on the cover. NO surprises then.

Looking at this image, I can see MANY areas that appear fiddled with to me, not just the postmark. Assuming you paid according to condition leave well enough alone is my strong advice. 8-)

Image

And to say CGH Triangles all tolerate a wash .. I guess that is how most faded and stuffed 6d Violets have come to be? Folks following this cavalier 'advice'?

You are telling us this ugly blur below left the printer in this weird colour? Nope, some genius has fiddled with it. 'A hot water wash will not affect these'. Baloney! And many of the paler 1d reds the same colour loss occurs.


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Re: Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

Post by blue-within-blue »


Glen - I don't know where you get £225,000 from : this stamp has a CV of £12,000, or x3 on cover (if genuine). Even after paying the import tax, it will still have cost less than 10% of that singleton CV, which I regard as acceptable for a 4-margin spacefiller copy of a very difficult stamp, if I remove it from the spurious cover. In the unlikely event that the RPS disagree with the BPA and say it is genuinely used on cover, of course I won't tamper with it.

"It might have a huge repaired tear - who would know?" The RPS will know - that's one of the things their equipment is designed to reveal, and that's why I said " ..the current certificate also mentions a repair, so I'll be seeking the RPS's guidance on whether it can safely be soaked."

The fading on the six pence triangles was inherent in the inks used ; it's not the result of soaking, though that can sometimes wash out the bluing in the paper. And that unevenness which you refer to is also a known feature of the original ink. As noted in Mr Stevenson's famous book about the triangles -

"Both (Perkins) 6d stamps were extremely susceptible to fading and ... it is the lilac ingredients that seem to be unstable, leaving in extremely faded specimens a pure pale grey shade in the slate-lilac stamp and a scarcely visible pink in the lilac. The slate-lilac fades to a uniform colour, but the lilac when faded shows a curious unevenness of colour (perhaps a variety of oxidation) and a semblance of colour splitting up into its constituents - red dots being clearly visible sometimes. While the fading of colouring is annoying to philatelists, the degree of permanence of stamps desired by printers and philatelists is not identical. Unused lilac stamps ... show irregular patches and spots of browning or fading."

He also notes variations of ink intensity between different areas on individual De la Rue bright mauve stamps, noting "It is difficult to get a pleasant-looking used stamp, possibly because of its delicate colouring and variable intensity..."

So I stand by what I said - you can soak COGH triangles without harming them. I have done it many times.

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Re: Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

Post by Global Admin »

blue-within-blue wrote: 15 Jan 2024 00:55
So I stand by what I said - you can soak COGH triangles without harming them. I have done it many times.

SOME of them. Offering a blanket pass is most ill-advised and misleading to those less familiar with them.
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Re: Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

Post by blue-within-blue »


You're right, I should have couched that in more cautious terms, as I did previously. Triangles can be safely soaked but with care and precautions, particularly if you suspect the stamp may have hidden damage.

Regarding the 1852, Ebay said : "that's going to take nerves of steel to soak off." Not a problem - this is what I do for rest and relaxation :
POPS full size with arrow.JPG
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Re: Washing very old stamps, how to do it, why to do it, and is it safe?

Post by blue-within-blue »


Out of curiosity, today for the first time I tried using the Artificial Intelligence "chatbot" on the Philately.live website run by Tom Droege of StampAuctionNetwork.

I asked the question "Can I safely soak old stamps?", expecting it not to even understand the question. But its answer is a pretty impressive attempt :

"Yes, you can safely soak old stamps, but it is important to take certain precautions to avoid damaging them. Here are some steps you can follow:

Fill a shallow container with room temperature water. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause the stamps to curl or lose their adhesive.

Gently place the stamps face down in the water, making sure not to overcrowd them. Allow them to soak for a few minutes to loosen any gum or paper residue.

Use stamp tongs or a soft brush to carefully lift the stamps out of the water one by one. Be gentle to avoid tearing or damaging the stamps.

Place the soaked stamps on a clean towel or blotting paper to dry. Avoid using paper towels, as they can leave lint or fibers on the stamps.

Once the stamps are dry, you can store them in archival-quality stamp albums or protective sleeves to prevent further damage.

It's worth noting that not all stamps can be safely soaked. Some stamps, especially those with water-soluble inks or delicate designs, may be better suited for other cleaning methods. If you have valuable or rare stamps, it is always recommended to consult with a professional philatelist or a stamp expert before attempting any cleaning or soaking.

Is there anything specific you would like to know about soaking old stamps
? "

If anyone would like to try a question, the chatbot is accessed via the small Abraham Lincoln logo in the bottom-right corner of the website.

ROB
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