Ashbrook Files Have Been Added to the PF’s Website
From the late 1930’s until his death in 1958, Stanley B. Ashbrook was recognized as a leading expert on classic United States stamps and postal history. Throughout that time period, he maintained an extensive correspondence with virtually all of the leading dealers and collectors of which he filed in scrap books. He prepared notes on index cards of both stamps and covers that had come to his attention through his correspondence with dealers and collectors, from auction catalogs, and from his own research and studies. Beginning in the 1950’s he made color slides of stamps and covers which he had examined in the course of his work. Following Ashbrook’s death, the PF acquired all of this massive collection. Carefully maintained over the years, this significant body of research was only available for study at the PF’s offices. Pictured below are the scrap books of correspondence and card files, and a close up of a drawer of index cards as they have been preserved by the PF for nearly 60 years.
In 2016, thanks to a generous grant from the David T. Beals III, Charitable Trust, the PF began the process of the digitization of all of these materials. Now completed, this massive collection has been posted on the PF’s website in support of its educational mission, and through the benefit of technology, made instantly available on-line to all students of philately. The volume of information contained in this collection is truly staggering: 43 scrap books containing over 10,000 images of letters, articles and other documents, 1,200 color slides, and 34 file drawers containing 35,000 3 x 5 index cards organized and arranged by subject. Enjoy the search!
John Fox Fakes and Forgeries Added to PF’s Website
The Philatelic Foundation was the recent recipient of a generous donation of the United States Philatelic Classics Society’s “S.C.R.A.P.” collection that includes a number of faked and fraudulent covers produced by the late John A. Fox and, sold by him to many prominent collectors from the late 1940’s to the early 1960’s. They have been added to the PF’s extensive reference collection. The entire S.C.R.A.P. cover collection can be viewed on the PF’s website. Two of Fox’s faked 1847 Issue covers, which fooled collectors for many years, are pictured below.
U.S. Revenue Rarities Added to PF’s Reference Collection
The Philatelic Foundation was the recent recipient of a generous donation from the Smithsonian National Postal Museum that included a number of rare United States revenue stamps, including those shown below. They have been added to the PF’s extensive reference collection.
112,000 Oldest Certificates Now on PF’s Website
One of the most popular features on the PF’s website is the PF Search program. That program permits a search of the data base of PF Certificates by Scott number. The image of each stamp or cover has been electronically digitized, permitting a visual review of the submission as well as the opinion rendered by the PF’s expert staff. Digitizing the older certificates with black and white photos as well as hand written and typed opinions, had a number of challenges, but that process has now been completed. A new program has been created that begins with the first PF Certificate issued in 1945 through number 112,000. In all, over 540,000 PF Certificates are now available on-line. This data base has already proven invaluable in developing accurate census data for both stamps and covers, describing condition issues, as well as providing an opportunity to visually assess the range of quality, margins and centering for any given stamp. No other expertizing service in the United States provides this service for the benefit of the entire philatelic community
The PF Brings Hi-Tech to the Authentication Process
The PF is the only expertizing body in the United States with the latest hi-tech equipment to assist in the authentication process. The VSC6000 uses high definition magnification, differing wave lengths of light, and the application of direct light in a variety of modes. This sophisticated forensic device assists the PF’s staff in confirming the existence of a variety of faults and repairs in both stamps and covers. In addition, the Bruker XRF (X-Ray) Spectrometer is used to determine the elements of the ink used in the printing of stamps. It has proved invaluable in correctly identifying certain stamp issues of similar color but with inks of very different elemental compositions. Other scientific equipment includes stereo and comparison microscopes, paper micrometers, as well as ultraviolet and infrared light sources.
Collect With Confidence – With a PF Certificate
With over 70 years of experience, and having issued over one-half million certificates, the PF has long been recognized as the leading expertizing authority in the United States. Its staff of in-house experts are lifelong collectors with years of professional experience, each of whom brings outstanding expertise to every submission. Our staff has ready access to the PF’s world-wide reference collection of over 240 volumes of stamps and covers, to a comprehensive research library, and to all of the PF’s on-line resources. The result is a panel of professional experts unequalled in knowledge and experience.
A PF Certificate is an opinion of authenticity that allows you to collect, buy, and sell stamps and covers with confidence whether you’re investing $100 or $1,000,000. For peace of mind, your stamps and covers deserve the very best, a PF Certificate. A recent survey by the American Philatelic Society found that 82.8% of its members selected the PF for its “Reputation,” the highest percentage of any expertizing service in the United States.