Stamp Collecting Encyclopaedia Letter T Philatelic Terms
Tab is an abbreviation for "tablet" and with this term a usually rectangular extra piece attached to each postage stamp in a sheet. The tabs can be removed, because between tab and stamp perforation is applied. The stamp without tab can be used, but the tab itself is not valid for franking.
In Switzerland and some other countries the margin of the sheet was used for this purpose. On tabs often information about the design or occasion of the issue is given (Israel, The Netherlands). In Belgium many stamps were issued with a tab in the years 1893-1913. The bilingual tabs with the text "Ne pas livrer le dimanche / niet bestellen op zondag" could be used by the sender to inform postal employees whether or not the letter should be delivered on Sundays. Those stamps without tab are worth considerably less.
A cancel applied on a telegraph despatch form is called a telegraph cancel. Often special cancels were made for cancellation and in some countries holes were punched to obliterate telegraph stamps.
In some countries stamps valid for postage could be used for sending telegraphs too. Often the organisation responsible for postal services was also accountable for telephone and telegraph services, because those services were government undertakings.
When a postage stamp was used to pay for telegraph services only the cancel applied shows this fact. In many countries special telegraph stamps or labels were issued by the telegraph companies.
Telegraph stamps look like postage stamps and sometimes have been authorised as such. Subsequently postage stamps have frequently been used as telegraph stamps.
Telegraph stamps are interesting for collectors only, when used as a normal stamp.
Often fiscal cancellation takes place by punching. Stamps with those holes are of less worth for a stamp collector.
A pair of stamps connected together with one stamp right side up and the other upside down is called
When by the inversion of one or more clichés a sheet of stamps contains stamps inverted in relation to their neighbours a tête-bêche can occur. A tête-bêche can also be the result of a misprint. If a sheet is big enough for two prints and the second has been printed upside down a tête-bêche is the consequence. In those cases the stamps have a blank area (normally the margin) in between.
A tête-bêche can also be the aimed result of the make up of the stamp sheet by the designer, when one or more stamps are placed upside down in the sheet or booklet.
In the early days of philately every collector collected stamps by country because there where hardly interesting images on stamps: only kings, queens, presidents, arms or figures appeared.
In the 1950s thematic collecting came into in practice. Thematic collectors collect stamps or other philatelic material which have a certain subject in common (e.g. sports, dogs or Winston Churchill).
Thematic collecting is also referred to as topical collecting.
Thin is a reduction in the thickness of the paper in one or several places. Generally this term is used when paper fibres on the back of the stamp are removed. Often a thin area is caused by clumsy removal of a stamp from a cover or album page.
A thin stamp loses much of its value, depending on the amount of thinning.
Tinted paper is a type of paper that has received a background tint before the printing of the stamp. The term "tinted paper" is only used when the stamps are printed on paper having received a background tint that is paler than the colour of the print of the stamp design. Otherwise it is called "coloured paper".
Toned paper is paper that is not clearly white but has a pale shade of cream, brown or other colour.
The term is also used to distinguish the gum of different printings. Usually the gum colors are white or yellowish.
Stamps or envelopes can be "toned" by accident (unproper soaking) too, but in that case the items are not of interest for the serious collector.
A "too late" or "late fee" stamp was used in Victoria for the purpose of denoting that an extra sum had been paid because the letter, strictly speaking, had been posted too late for inclusion in the day's dispatch.
Other examples of "too late" marks are the Colombian "Retardos" and the special date stamps incorporating the words "Too Late" that were used in Hong Kong.
A serious collector uses the following tools:
- Tweezer (used for picking up stamps without damage)
- Magnifying-glass (used for detecting errors/dates on stamps)
- Album (for storage of your collection)
- Stock-book (for storage)
- Benzine (special liquid that detects watermark on stamps)
- Watermark tray (a tray used with benzene)
- Hinges (help to keep stamps in place)
- Mounts (help to keep stamps in place)
- Perforation gauge (measure instrument)
- Catalogues (references used for finding the value and date of stamps)
In general the term "transfer" is used for the transportation of an image or text to another surface.
In line-engraving a transfer roller (cylindrical steel roller) was used to take an impression from a flat steel die to the steel plate in former days.
Today photography and computer technology are used to transfer images and text during the production process of the printing plate or printing cylinder.
Travelling Post Office
A mail train in which the post is sorted and cancelled with special TPO marks is called a Travelling Post Office. Soon after the invention of the train in the 19th century trains were used for mail transport.
In The Netherlands the first contract between the Post and a rail company was made up in 1844. In 1856 the first railway wagon was employed. Between 1876 and 1889 four travelling Post Offices were in use.
In 1938 the first Pec (electrical postal train) came into service and was used till 1979.
Always use your stamp tong (or tweezers) to handle stamps with care. Why tweezers? Your hands may be clean, but even freshly washed hands carry traces of oils and acids given off naturally by your skin.
Repeated handling of stamps with your fingers will leave residues on the stamps, and over time these will build up and cause paper deterioration and staining.
Proper use of tweezers prevents paper acidification and can save that valuable mint gum.
Do not use sharp-pointed tweezers which may prick holes in your stamps.
Types of stamps
Stamps can be subdivided by type:
Postage due stamps
Stamps can also be subdivided by their appearance:
Sheet, Block, Coil, Booklet, Souvenir sheet, Booklet panes, Peel and stick (Self-adhesives)
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