Harmer-Schau Auctions

Glossary, Symbols and Abbreviations


Estimates which appear in this catalogue are provided as a guide to bidders. The information utilized to determine estimates can  vary from the opinion of the cataloger to valuation catalogues and/or information supplied by consignors. Bidders are strongly advised to determine valuation based upon their own research and inspection of the lot. It is possible that in instances where catalogue valuations are provided, errors can occur and therefore it is recommended that bidders evaluate the lot independently.It can be assumed that in many instances lots will realize considerably higher than estimates and in other cases considerably less than the estimated price indicated.

Start Price (Reserve):

The dollar amount shown at the end of the main description for each lot is the minimum hammer price the lot will be sold for, unless stated differently at the time of the of selling of the lot. (California operation only).

Catalog Number Conventions:

1) A dash ("-") in a catalog number range indicates the set is complete within that range, as listed by the appropriate catalog. 

2) A single slash ("/") in a catalog number range indicates the set is incomplete within that range, and some stamps are missing.

Stamp Centering and Grades:

The width of margins and the centering of the design within perforations are graded in strict accordance with the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalog standards. The following grades are used in this catalog:

Extremely Fine: Exceptionally large margins and near perfect centering. Used to describe stamps which are of superior grade for the issue.
Very Fine: Normal size margins for the issue and well-centered with design nearly centered perfectly.
Fine: Imperforate stamps may have smaller than normal margins and perforated stamps will be off-center. Issues before 1890 may have the design touched in places.
Average: Attractive appearance, but margins or perforations cut into design.


Minor nicks, tears and slight reduction from opening are to be expected in 19th century covers. Folded letters normally have tears in the reverse and file folds, which will not be mentioned unless they affect the stamps or markings. Light cleaning of covers is an accepted form of conservation and is not grounds for return of a lot. The terms "Extremely Fine", etc., are meant to convey the overall appearance of cover, not the condition of an individual stamp.

Coin Grades:

BU Brilliant Uncirculated
UNC Uncirculated
AU About Uncirculated
XF Extremely Fine
VF Very Fine
F Fine
VG Very Good
G Good
AG About Good


() Unused (no gum)
Mint never hinged
o Used
Used on piece
Block (of four or larger)
Cover, card or entire envelope
B Booklet pane or complete booklet
E Essay
F Forgery
P Proof
R Reprint
S Specimen


n.h. Never hinged-unused with original gum in Post Office state and unmounted.
l.h. Lightly hinged-unused with original gum showing some evidence of a previous hinging which may be present in part or entirely removed.
o.g. (h.r.) Original gum with hinge remnant 
part o.g. Part original gum-unused with original gum, large hinge remnants may or may not be present.
disturbed o.g Disturbed original gum-unused with original gum, affected by sweating, glazing or mount disturbance, may not resemble the original gum.
tropical o.g. Gum disturbed and discolored from prolonged exposure to a tropical climate.
unused Unused without gum (unless gum is mentioned). 
ungummed Unused without gum, as issued
c.d.s. circular date stamp
compl. complete 
dupl. duplicate
FDC first day cover
h.r. hinge remnant
h.s. including
invtd. inverted
ms. manuscript
ovpt. overprint
pmk. postmark
s.e. straight edge
unwmkd. unwatermarked
wmkd. watermarked

The following reference catalogues were used:

Afinsa (2011),
American Air Mail Catalog,
Brookman (2014),
Campbell-Paterson (1982),
Chan (2000),
CSA Catalog (2012),
Edifil (2011),
Edifil Cuba (1997, 2002),
Ellington-Zwisler Rocket Mail Volumes 1-2,
Facit Classic (2017),
JSCA (2018),
Kessler's Catalogue of Aerograms (1961),
Krause Standard Catalog of World Coins (2014),
Maury France (2016),
Maury French Colonies (2011),
Michel Austria (2009),
Michel Colonies (2011),
Michel Europe, Volumes 1-7 (2016),
Michel Germany (2016),
Michel Switzerland (2016),
Michel Zeppelin (2003),
NVPH (2011),
Oregon Postmarks: A Catalog of 19th Century Usage, by Charles Whittlesey and Richard Helbock (1985),
Paper Money of the U.S. (2006),
Rohloff Waterbury Cancellations 1865-1890 (1979),
Sakura (2013),
Sassone (2019),
Scott Volumes 1-6 (2019),
Schweizer Briefmarken Katalog (2012),
Skinner-Eno (1980),
South African Color Catalog (2005),
Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth (2018),
Unitrade Canada (2018),
U.S. Specialized (2019),
Western Post Offices, by Richard Helbock (1993),
Zeverev Catalog of Russia 1857-1940 (2014),
Zumstein (2012),
and others as mentioned.

Unless otherwise mentioned, the editions of each reference catalog were the most recent available when our auction catalog went to press.


Penny Black

Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries, Inc.
1333 North McDowell Blvd., Suite B • Petaluma, California 94954
Tel: 707-778-6454 • Fax: 707-763-6772 • Toll Free  800-378-6454
E-mail: info@harmerschau.com

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