24 January 2011

1991 Space Surcharges at Ridiculous Price

An American dealer has caught attention of some collectors of Cambodia by offering a 1991 Space surcharges short set.

The original set comprises of 7 values, this short set is without the lowest value 100r on 2r (Sc1145, Mi1223) and the second last highest value 1500r on 20r (Sc1150, Mi1228).

All values are bulleye canceled 10th October 1991.

The seller asks for 1100 USD. What justifies his mad price is his following claims:

"Each canc., PNOMH PENH 10.10.91"", probably first day. Cert. Osper (2008): These are the only Loose stamps of this issue known to me, the two other values 100/2R., 1500/20R. are only reported on cover. The scarcest postage stamps of Cambodia."

These stamps come with a certificate of authenticity issued by German expert Osper BPP. The stamps may be authentic, but the remarks are not very reliable.

I am sceptical about the knowledge and authority of Osper BPP in the field of Asian stamps. Collectors of Cambodia well aware that loose surcharges, both mint and used, are offered by different dealers once in a while. If the remarks "...these are the only Loose stamps of this issue known to me" was made by Osper, basically Osper was a stranger in the field; if it was the stamp dealer who said it, he made a big fuss over his own ignorance.

Sample covers are not too difficult to find for reference, look at this:

The postmark shows 15th June 1991. Certainly 10th October cannot be first day.

On an average the seller is asking for 220 USD per stamp. Used copies of 1991 space surcharges are more common than MNH, when MNH would not ask for 220 USD, how much can used copies fetch? A certificate of authenticity does not add much value to this short set, I consider this cancel-on-request short set under one eighth of the asked price to be reasonably listed with bulleye cancels greatly honoured.

In my previous blog entries, I have said that 95% of dealers know nothing more than you do on Cambodian stamps, they love to make up stories and speak like experts for the sake of their pockets. This case is a classic example, the dealer provides misleading information, sets a ridiculous price, disrupts market liquidity, eventually this kills the hobby.

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