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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Forty Five Women - 1920's ?

I discovered this photo in the corner of an attic in an old house, built in 1912, in mid-town Memphis.

The home owner, who didn't know who they are, gave me the photo.

I'm guessing that the picture was taken in the 1920's.

Where, I don't know.


I like having having the photo near the piano when I play.

Sometimes I feel like I'm playing for them, that I know them and that they're watching and listening.

It's a good feeling.

1:18 am cst          Comments

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Azores Inverted Black Overprint of 1871-1875 Scott #25a

The Azores are a beautiful group of islands to the west of Portugal.

This is Azores 25a and Portugal design A15. The labels outside of the cameo on Portugal design A15 are longer than Portugal A14. 
A15 makes contact with the upper and lower curved labels.
The labels on the outside of the cameo on Portugal A14 don't make contact with the upper and lower curved labels.


Scott Specialized 2021 Catalog© Listing - Azores

I know that the absence of value doesn't mean that stamp is scarce or rare, but that the dash in the value column usually means that the stamp is known and there's not enough information available to establish a catalog value, i.e., U.S. Scott # 3X4 and a variety of used plate blocks.
This overprint might be a little different.
I'm unaware of inverted forgeries from the country.
Early Azores, 1871 through 1875, can be scarce or rare and very expensive.
Many deficient in quantity.
#25a doesn't appear to be widely known and is marked by an uncommon quality.
Especially one that's superlative and extreme of it's kind for the issue.
Such is the magic of philately.
Thanks to Memphis Stamp Collectors Society president Andy Burkman for assisting me with the identification of this scarce stamp.
1:45 am cst          Comments

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Forgotten Smiles

The photographs are from my collection of departed friends and loved ones that I never knew, but wish that I had.

Photographs discovered in rubble, attics, demolished homes.

Look at them smile, look at their faces, and, in spirit, they'll become your friends.

They'll smile back at you, brightly.






Smiles become love when they enter your heart.

1:52 am cst          Comments

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Who Was William Ray Flesher & Why Was He In Japan In 1948 ?

I discovered these pictures in my collection of whatsis today, and the obituary below on the web.

Who was William "Bill" Flesher ?

This a photo of Bill Flesher (center with hat) possibly with Tokyo Imperial Univeristy's faculty wihile working for General Douglas MacArthur in 1948.


After some research I discovered Professor Flesher's obituary.


I also have this photograph of Bill on Christmas day with friends in Yokohama, Japan.


And the typed inscription on the back of the photograph.


I believe this is the same Dr.Flesher of Tokyo Imperial University. This photograph of Tokyo Imperial was taken in 1925. The entrance is identical to the group photograph taken in 1948. It's known as known as Yasuda Auditorium.


There are sixteen Nobel Prize Laureates from Tokyo Imperial University. To read about them clck here.

Along with the many great scholars and faculty members in the astounding photograph, Bill Flesher should be remembered. I'd like to know if Bill had friends in Memphis as I discovered the photograph among the papers of Memphis artist Louis Clericus (1856-1934), and well-known Memphis chemist and socialist Louis Phillipi (1925-1998),  of which I treasure and serve as the dutiful caretaker. &

4:52 pm cst          Comments

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Philatelic Fraud - Dirty Deeds & A Warning !

Here are some links about dealers and auction houses
who brazenly cheated buyers and sellers.

Other cases of philatelic fraud,
including fraudulent expertising certificates, are here as well.

This is just the tip of the philatelic fraud iceberg:


Stamp Collecting Is The World's Greatest Hobby !

It's No Longer A Hobby If You've Been Cheated
By A Dealer Or An Auction Firm !

Instead Of Being A Hobby
It Became A Crime And You Became A Victim Of Fraud
When A Smooth Talking Dealer Or An Auction Firm
Tricked You
Into BelievingThat A Worthless Piece Of Paper Had Value !
Or Even Worse When An Auction House Promises That You'll 
Receive Healthy Proceeds From Their Next Auction,
Advances You A Small Fraction of Your Collections Value
As A Measure Of Goodwill, Runs Off With Your Collection, And You Never See Another Dime After Swindlers
Cherry Pick Your Collection And Deplete It's Original Value !
False Promises Of Likely Prices Realized Are A Common Ruse With Auction Firms, Many Double-Dipping The Sale With Ridiculously High Seller And Buyer Premium Fee Percentages Leaving the Seller With Little If Any Proceeds From The Sale !

Many Stamp Dealers Have Been Prosecuted For Fraud
And Deceptive Business Practices !
They Will Lie To You To Get Your Stamps !
Dealers And Auction Firms Have Been Known To Prey Upon The Elderly, Families Who Inherit Collections And Know Little Of The Value,  And Despairing Sellers Showing Extreme Urgency Because Of
The Utmost Need For Basic Human Resources !

Few In The Criminal Cases Were Vindicated, Many Facing Brutal Penalties, Fines And Prison Sentences.

The World Is Full Of Con Artists
Working In The Stamp Business !
There Are Many Integrity Minded Auction Firms And Dealers Who Belong To The American Stamp Dealers Association,
The American Philatelic Society,
And Other Notable Philatelic Organizations.
They Advertise In Linn's Stamp News And The American Philatelist, Both Magazines Possessed Of The Highest Integrity And Moral Standards Of Which They Fiercely Protect  !
Be Vigilant ! Be Careful !

Always Do Your HomeWork Before You Purchase Stamps
Either As A Hobby Or As An Investment !
    When Buying From A Dealer Or Auction
"Caveat Emptor" Let The Buyer Beware !
When Selling To A Dealer Or Consigning For Auction
"Caveat Venditor" Let The Seller Beware !
 Never Forget It Or You'll Always Regret It !

Enjoy Your Hobby !
-David Saks-

François Barraud (1899-1934)

Le Philateliste - The Philatelist


5:05 pm cst          Comments

Saturday, December 26, 2020

My First Stamps - Lundy Island

I bought my first stamps at Herron-Hill Coins & Stamps in Memphis in 1959 at the age of seven with the nickles and dimes that my great grandmother had given me.

Herron-Hill closed several years ago.

The picture of the little bird on the stamps fascinated me when I was child.

I wanted to know more about Lundy and the puffin.


The stamps of Lundy are denominated in Puffins, the currency used on the island. This is the one-half Puffin blue, a proof issued in 1929, the first year of issue of the stamps of Lundy.  I'm searching for the one-half blue.


The stamps of Lundy are as extraordinary as it's history.

Lundy stamps are known as "cinderellas".

A cinderella stamp, in philately, is "virtually anything resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a government postal administration".

In 1925, a wealthy Englishman by the name of Martin Harman purchased the small 3 mile-long island in the Bristol Channel off the coast of Devon.

One fine day, Mr.Harman mused, " Since I own this island, why shouldn't I be the king ?"

The self-proclaimed king began coining money and issuing stamps for Lundy's inhabitants.

The revenue from the stamps to be used for fuel and other necessities for the island.

The stamps bore the picture of the Puffin, a comical little, potbellied bird which inhabits the island in great numbers and demonstrates a rather arrogant superiority to the other denizens of Lundy.

All appeared to fine in the beginning of the stamp production, but, in 1931, the British government discovered Mr.Harman's puffin coins and stamps.

The self-proclaiming King Harman was ordered to appear in court and charged with "unlawfully coining money".

The presiding judge cast a grim stare at Mr.Harman and asked him, "Who did you say is sovereign of Lundy ?"

Mr.Harman said, boldly, "I am, and as sovereign I have the right to issue stamps and coin my puffins and half puffins."

The court disagreed with Mr.Harman whereupon Mr.Harman suddenly realized that he was the ex-king and fined 5 pounds, equal to about ten dollars in American money.

But, the good news for stamp collectors like me is that Lundy is protected by the British Empire and that the former king, Mr.Harman, was permitted to continue printing his stamps.

The stamps of Lundy are very beautiful stamps which are highly prized and sought after by stamp collectors throughout the world this very day.


Pictured above are Lundy first day covers from my collection.

Click them for more information about this captivating island.


Click the picture of the amazing puffin to read more.

Click Here to listen to the laughter of the puffin. You'll never forget it and believe as I do that the puffin is the happiest bird in the world !

I hope to visit Lundy one day.

To hold the stamp is to have a tiny piece of this magical part of the world in my hand.

11:58 pm cst          Comments

Friday, December 25, 2020

The First Christmas Seals 1907 - 1911

Here's a page from my Christmas Seal Album featuring the very first stamps issued by the American Red Cross to raise funds for the study and treatment of tuberculosis.

I've enlarged the sections from my album to include enlargements of the stamps with the descriptive notations for you.

Merry Christmas to all of my friends.

May God bless you and keep you safe, always.








2:03 am cst          Comments

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Look Up
6:14 am cst          Comments

Sunday, December 20, 2020

To The Girls

I think about tomorrow like the next move in a game of chess.

If you know me then you also know that I'm not spineless and believe that foolishly sentimental weaklings are an impediment to progress.


I never live in the past. There's no future there.

The past is like an expired concert ticket. The band has come and gone and the ticket's a memory. If the band was lousy, the ticket's a bad memory. Therefore, so is the past if it's full of bad tickets to the show.

And I'm not a critic looking for converts to my way of life and thought.

I'm what you see, nobody else, glad and thankful. I wouldn't want to be someone else.

I'm not searching for valuable cash and prizes. I'm not an immodest, self=aggrandizing braggart, an egoist or a snob competing in a popularity contest. And I'm not boasting about the number of views my YouTube channel gets and could care less about it.

I'm just David Saks and, whether you like me or not, I can't change that fact, although I believe that it's better to be loved for who you are if you're not someone with multiple personalities.


So find one who'll trust you when you can move forward and think of him instead of yourself and the past.

Life gets easier with trust, too.

Without trust there's no love, and never will be.

When you stop trusting each other the love is over, so you have to love yourself and trust yourself by yourself.

Life is easier that way, too, for some, but a little sadder while you grow old and alone.

But when you've finally found him, love him more than your mirror or he'll soon forget about you.

Life can become a living dream because life itself is a wonderful thing.

People that are  contemptible, vile, morally reprehensible, menacing and not so wonderful will discover that their birth was nothing more than a prolonged and painfully dark terminal illness instead of a prospering bright miracle.

Never forget it.


7:42 pm cst          Comments

My Harley-Davidson

My Harley-Davidson XLCH-1200 back in the 1980's.
I drove it 105 miles an hour on sunny afternoons.

And I drove my illustrious next-door-neighbor topless dancer friends, whenever they needed rides, to their jobs at Whitehaven nightclubs on the saddle to make their stalkers think that they had a bad-ass boyfriend when in reality I was just a piano playing stamp collector who read books by Alfred North Whitehead.

Happy New Year !

4:37 am cst          Comments

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !
2:17 pm cst          Comments

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Teddy B, Teddy R, Donald T & Elvis P

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. [b] October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy Roosevelt or his initials T. R., was an American statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian and writer, who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.


Whether or not Miss Florence Craven Harvey of 154 North Lexington Avenue Cook County, Illinois understood the meaning of this unusual postcard is anybody's guess.

The large walking stick and safari hat may have been alluding to the flamboyant Mr.Roosevelt, hunter, naturalist, writer and politician.

After all, it was Teddy Roosevelt who said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick."


The specifics are that this is the Teddy B Hiking Bear with Walking Stick & Hat Embossed UB Postcard created by the ILL Postcard Card & NOV.CO. NY. The shadow around the bear was originally a green amber tint that faded, which is understandable since the card is almost 114 years old. It's approximate Size is 3.25" x 5.5".

Here's the front of Miss Harvey's great piece of postal history with the Scott Catalog #300 blue green one cent Ben Franklin stamp, issued between 1902 and 1903, struck twice with six line wavy machine cancels with the circular date stamp of Saint Joseph Missouri, August 25, 1907. Kind of looks like the weaker set of wavy lines came first but were applied inverted which caused the circular date to run off the page. I suppose they might have flipped the card around so the date of cancellation would show up.


Here's a closer look at the cancellations.


Teddy B reminds me of another American that carries a big stick.


Elvis, most likely, would have loved the Teddy B card.


11:46 am cst          Comments

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Visual Scribble & Ish Kabibble

I bought some pencils, crayons, watercolors, pastels, felt-tipped pens, a ruler and a pencil sharpener (sounds like a song, doesn't it) yesterday and did this on an old 5 by 4 inch blank card that was used to mount Polaroid instant camera pics.


Does it look like a sky, a house, a mountain and a tree ?

Or an old blank Polaroid mount with scribbles on it ?

I have dozens of these old blank Polaroid mounts to scribble on.

Aren't we having fun ?

Ish Kabibble (January 19, 1908 – June 5, 1994) was an American comedian and cornet player. Born Merwyn Bogue in North East Pennsylvania, Ish Kabibble was the lead trumpet for the Kay Kyser Band and studied law at West Virginia University.


10:34 am cst          Comments

Saturday, October 31, 2020

San Angelo Army Air Field - 1942
San Angelo Army Air Field Texas was the site for much of the bomber and fighter pilot training for our nation during the second world war.
The plane represented in the stamp is artist William Roach's illustration for the new transport plane series stamps that were in service for air mail delivery in the United States from 1941 until 1942. If you click the stamp a document with examples of the transport plane stamps in my collection will open for you.
Stamp collecting is the greatest hobby in the world.
1:38 am cdt          Comments

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett - Deuteronomy 16:20

Dear Amy, 


Deuteronomy 16:20
Justice, justice shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

{S} כ צֶדֶק צֶדֶק, תִּרְדֹּף--לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה וְיָרַשְׁתָּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ. {ס}

This portion of the Torah was the foundation of my bar mitzvah speech in August of 1965.

I know that you have not only lived by this edict, but have devoted your life of service to it.

We are very proud of you, and equally so to know that you have walked the corridors of the hallowed halls of our beloved Rhodes College.

As President Franklin D.Roosevelt was, I have been a stamp collector throughout my lifetime, beginning as a child, at the age of five, exploring the world illuminated by a tiny canvas known as a stamp.

When Justice Antonin Scalia visited the Rhodes Campus on September 22, 2015 he allowed me to visit with him. I was honored that he accorded the privilege of his signatures on two envelopes bearing stamps representing the history of our nation, that of John Jay, the first Supreme Court Justice of the United States,


& Freedom of the Press.


Judge Scalia noticed that the envelope bearing the Freedom of The Press stamp also had a cancellation of September 22, 1958, 57 years to the day of his visit to Rhodes College for his Constitution Day lecture.


Rhodes College also has both first day covers, signed by Justice Scalia, in the archives as I had two sets of each envelope with me that day, one for me and one for Rhodes.

This envelope bears the cancellation for the first day of issue of our nation's stamp honoring the Drafting of the Bill of Rights.


It is my hope that one day it will also bear your signature.

May God, in His infinite wisdom, guide you, always.


12:34 am cdt          Comments

Monday, October 26, 2020

Denise, David & Rose - Three Coins In The Fountain


My girlfriend, Denise, me, and her best friend, Rose, in Tupelo, Mississippi some years ago. Rose had me strapped in tight with that big bear hug. Rose was a beautiful woman, brilliant artist, scholar and stamp collector, too. Denise is a very successful real estate broker and philanthropist. I loved them very much. For a brief moment in time, the three of us were inseparable, like the unforgettable song of the same name,
"Three Coins In The Fountain"

1:01 pm cdt          Comments

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Good Advice From A Great Doctor


"I firmly believe that if the whole materia medica, as now used, could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be better for mankind-and all the worse for the fishes, to wit, if all the medicine in the world were thrown into the sea, it would be bad for the fish and good for humanity."

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.- (29 August 1809 - October 8, 1894) American physician, writer, poet, and the father of US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

11:00 pm cdt          Comments

Friday, October 9, 2020


This young piano player and philatelist was enjoying a lovely autumn day at the university when his girfriend snagged this pic of him in 1988.

What could he possibly have been thinking about ? A hayride, a walk in the park, kisses, stamp collecting, the Beatles and Elvis ?

It's a little bit thinner and a little bit lighter now, but I still have most of that signature rag top of mine.


5:08 pm cdt          Comments

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Jenny's A Sweetheart !

Jenny Airmail Cover From the Collection of David Saks

Scott Catalog #C3, the carmine, rose and blue 24¢ airmail stamp, the Jenny, issued May 13, 1918, franks this rare cover along with Scott #C1, the 6¢ orange issued December 10, 1918 and Scott #C2, the 16¢ green issued July 11, 1918.


On close inspection it appears to have been mailed January 16, 1919, as shown in the New Britain Connecticut wavy machine cancellation.


U.S. postmarking machines were first developed in 1876 but few survived into the 1920’s. By then postmarks from these machines were usually circular and, while formats varied, all cancellations included bars or lines. Nearly all machine-cancellation devices applied both postmark and cancellation simultaneously. The circular postmark on a machine cancel is sometimes referred to as a dial. There is no circular postmark on this rare cover which leads me to believe it was produced by the Barnard or Universal cancellation machines produced in the late 19th and early 20th century. As a personal observation, without reverse cancellations, Mr. Prebis may have been a stamp collector. The cover appears to have been mailed from his home post office with a total of 46¢ postage far exceeding the postal rate for domestic mail required in 1918. The postal rate for the first ounce of a letter was 3¢ as of November 2, 1917. It was subsequently decreased to 2¢ on July 1, 1919 by an act of Congress following World War One.

All three Jenny's in mint condition are also in my collection.


On 1 March 1918 the Army placed an order with the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company for 12 new airplanes to be used for airmail service. The order was divided equally between the Curtiss JN-4HM and R-4LM models. The “M” in each instance indicates the basic plane was modified to carry mail. An additional six JR-1B planes were ordered from the Standard Aircraft Corporation in July 1918 for use in the airmail service (the “B” model was a modified version of the Standard JR-1 training plane). The JR-1B’s were delivered on 6 August 1918.

Only the JN-4HM planes were used for the first airmail flights. The model that appears on the 24¢ stamp is an unmodified trainer with two seats. The photograph provided by the War Department to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was made from one of the regular Jennys, not a modified mail plane.

In 1915 Curtiss began production of a new plane that combined features of the earlier “J” and “N” models used by the Army and Navy. The JN series' initials gave rise to the plane's popular nickname “Jenny.”

But this is the "Jenny" I want to fly with.


One great day she'll land on my stamp collection.

10:41 pm cdt          Comments

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Thank You Rhodes College For Great Health & Good Times

How's this for 68 ?


Many thanks to my friends, faculty, staff & students at Rhodes College & the great Bryan Campus Life Center for keeping me in shape ! Rhodes helped go from 204 pounds to this slim 168 (I had pants on by the way) ! When this national medical crisis ends, and hopefully soon, we'll all be together again.

9:38 am cdt          Comments


Link to web log's RSS file


For the next few weeks I'll be talking about the first day covers of ArtCraft along with everything else.

ArtCraft closed it's doors recently after 76 years of making philatelic history.

I'm predicting a sudden, salubrious escalation in the value of the ArtCraft cachet, all ArtCraft first day covers and ArtCraft portrait cards.
Including those connected to the Postal Commemorative Society

Their departure signals the end of an extraordinarily crucial, very important, highly significant and exceedingly meaningful period in philately

A mournful signal which will be heard around the world and lamented throughout the multitude of collectors

Leo and Sam August treasured their associations with the world's greatest philatelists

Leo's contributions to our hobby were significant enough to earn the coveted Luft Award and a place in the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame.

ArtCraft has well-earned it's place in the great chronological record in the history of philately.

Their raised ink, line-engraved intaglio printed cachets rank among the most aesthetic in the world.

ArtCraft cachets are not just beautiful.

They are works of art that showcase the wonders of the world and illuminate the powers of human creativity and ingenuity.

The Coober Pedy Cover
One of the World's Great Philatelic Rarities

Coober Pedy

Could this become la pièce de résistance de toute la modern Australian philatélie ?

Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia. The town is sometimes referred to as the "opal capital of the world" because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences,called "dugouts", which are built in this fashion due to the scorching daytime heat. The name "Coober Pedy" comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means "white man's hole".

Opal was found in Coober Pedy on 1 February 1915; since then the town has been supplying most of the world's gem-quality opal. Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism as the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability. Coober Pedy has over 70 opal fields and is the largest opal mining area in the world.

Coober Pedy - no village, no buildings, no roads, just desert, mountains dotted with boulders. A bizarre lunar landscape, but for opal seekers is the most exciting place on earth, where again every day is the true challenge, happiness and luck just a shovel width apart and where life is defined by two words: winners and losers. Coober Pedy, grab your hat, throw it into the air and where it lands start digging !


Coober Pedy

 Linn's Stamp News

“The Scott Numbers are the copyrighted property of Amos Press Inc., dba Scott
Publishing Co. The marks Scott and Scott’s are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
and are trademarks of Amos Press, Inc. dba Scott Publishing Co. No use may be
made of these marks or of material which is reprinted from a copyrighted
publication of Amos Press, Inc., without the express written permission of Amos
Press, Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co., Sidney, Ohio 45365.”


David Saks

Winner of the Coveted Memphex 2019 Marshall Trophy for "Best of Show"
Philatelic Exhibit "The Famous American Stamp Series of 1940"