The following article written by Kevin G. Lowther was recently published in the United States Stamp Society.
Three Authenticated Washington-Franklin Shades To Be Listed in Scott’s 2023 Specialized Catalogue
by Kevin G. Lowther
Collectors of Washington-Franklin shades have three newly-listed varieties to hunt: Scott 381a, 474a and 512c. The first is previously unknown; the second is scarce; and the latter is common, but has languished for a century without proper identification. All will appear in Scott’s 2023 Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers.
Scott 381a is the latest brown-yellow 10c Washington-Franklin whose ink has been analyzed by forensic philatelist Harry G. Brittain. The stamp was used on a May 12, 1912 cover (Figure 1) authenticated in 2022 by Philatelic Stamp Authentication and Grading. The registered cover was mailed in Provincetown, Mass., by a Navy doctor to his wife in the Boston suburb of Dorchester.
Brown-yellow varieties in my collection also have been authenticated recently, on cover, for Scott 338, 416, 433, 510 and now 381. The shade had been unknown, on or off cover, for Scott 338, 381 and 433.
Scott 474a (Figure 2) is a distinct copper red in contrast with the common claret brown shade. This was described as a scarce, unlisted shade when I obtained it in a 1971 Siegel auction. The American Philatelic Expertizing Service concurred in 2021 that the stamp is copper red. (Jim Kloetzel, Scott’s emeritus editor who oversees U. S. listings, also has copper red shades in his reference collection.)
Scott 512c covers a range of claret reds, which had never been recognized in Scott. When I shared a gallery of Scott 512 claret reds (Figure 3) with Kloetzel, he agreed that they merit a small-letter designation. The claret reds now keep company with the claret browns (Scott 512) and brown carmines (Scott 512a). Scott 512b is already allocated to the ultra-rare perf 10 at top or bottom.
Kloetzel, it should be noted, encourages collectors who believe they have found something new to have it authenticated. If provided a scan of the certificate, he will issue a number.
PSAG Would Be Happy to Work With You
If you think you might have a Scott 381 with this new shade of Brown Yellow, submit to PSAG and we will have it chemically analyzed for the proper shade annotation. Once the 2023 Scott Catalog is issued, the new catalog number will be a Scott 381a; if determined to be the newly identified shade of Brown Yellow.