Stamp Collecting Encyclopaedia Letter F Philatelic Terms
The face value is the price at which a postage stamp was first sold as printed in its design. In the case of charity or surcharged stamps the total amount payable, is distinct from its denomination, catalogue value or market value.
A facsimile is a reprint of a (usually rare) stamp. Those reprints are usually made with no intent to deceive.
When on the front or back of a stamp the word "facsimile" is printed this indicates that it is a fake stamp. Other marks to denote a facsimile are: "falsch", "faux" or "san-ko".
The most famous printers of facsimiles was François Fournier.
A fancy cancel is a postmark which includes a design. In most cases first day cancellations on F.D.C.'s are stamped with a fancy cancel.
First Day Cover
A first day cover is an envelope, wrapper and so on with a stamp or imprint (postal stationary) with a date postmark which indicates that the item has been postmarked on the day of issue of the stamp or card.
First day covers are not collected by all collectors. In a thematic collection an envelop is regarded as a welcome addition to the themes and images issued on stamps.
The postal service of the army is called "field post". This service takes care of the mail sent by soldiers to their homes and vice versa. Very often soldiers do not have to pay for postage. Sometimes special stamps were printed for soldiers during war time.
A post office for military forces on active service is called "field post office".
During Rhine offensive in 1706 for the first time a special hand stamp was used. It bore the text "AR de Villars".
A filler is a stiff piece of paper or cardboard found inside a First Day Cover. It provides the necessary stiffness for a clearer cancellation and also provides protection to help prevent the bending of the cover as it travels through the mail.
The term fine is used in philately to describe an item in undamaged condition.
The first collectors used postage stamps to decorate furniture as bookcases and table-lamps. Stamps, which are scarce and therefore valuable today, were also used to decorate walls. These collectors were mainly interested in the colors and images of the stamps. On a regular base advertisements were placed in newspapers in which collectors asked for great lots of stamps, because the collector intended to decorate a wall in the bedroom or living-room.
On the first exhibition in The Netherlands many objects were on display, which were decorated with stamps.
Normally the term "first day" is used for the first day a stamp can be used for postage, but the first day can also apply to the first day of a postal rate, post office operation or similar occurrence.
A fiscal is a stamp used for revenue purposes other than postage. Fiscals have been used for all sorts of reason, from custom duties to game-shooting licenses.
Often fiscal stamps have been admitted for postal use too. The cancellation of the stamp denotes in that case the reason for which purpose.
Fiscal stamps should not be included in a postage stamp collection, however many collectors take a special interest in these stamps.
A flaw is an imperfection in the stamp design that occurred during manufacture and may be considered a variety.
Flaws can be constant or very slowly progressing, over a large number of stamps printed by the same impression due to a damage to the printing surface of the plate or cylinder.
Stamps printed in the wrong colour or including one or several typesetting, printing or layout errors are also referred to as flaws. This kind of flaws are highly sought by specialists.
The term "flaw" is also used by collectors in order to refer to a stamp in bad condition and therefore a flawless stamp is a stamp in perfect condition.
A forerunner is a handstamp used by a parent country within an area which subsequently became independent of the original domination.
The term "forerunner" is also used in general to indicate that it is a predecessor of something that will be developed later.
An imitation of a stamp, overprint, or cancellation, intended to deceive either the post office (postal forgery) or collectors.
Stamps forged to deceive the post office are relatively rare. Most forgeries are made to mislead collectors, because considerable money can be made to change worthless material to expensive variations.
Sometimes forgeries are made with authentic materials: the stamp, envelope and postmark are real, but the combination is fabricated.
Stamps can also be regummed, i.e. provided with a faked appearance of original gum.
The format is the size of the stamp. The dimensions are expressed in millimetres or centimetres. The format includes the design but excludes the margins.
Example: Format: 35 : 22 mm.
Please note: The horizontal dimension is always indicated first as by the perforation gauges.
The frame is the printed border of a postage stamp. The frame is that portion of a design which surrounds the vignette or centre.
The term "varied frames" is used to describe stamps with the same issue, representing the same type, but surrounded by different ornaments.
A free frank handstamp was applied in Great Britain under the Franking System (until 1840) by which free postage was enjoyed by members of parliament.
The stamp was used to indicate that the piece was to be carried free of charge.
In many countries members of parliament enjoy the privilege to be granted to mail letters free of charge.
Also servicemen of the armed forces serving at the battlefield are usually privileged to send free letters to their families at home. Such letters bear a field post cancellation and often also a "passed by censor" cachet.
Ink that runs when moistened by water is called fugitive. Fugitive colors are colors that are liable to fade or change. Fugitive colors were used to prevent cleaning of stamps. People tried to remove cancellation with a fraudulent intent, in order to use the stamp twice.
Some stamps of Netherlands Indies were printed with water soluble fugitive inks.
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