Here is what collectors and dealers are saying.
1. I’m not interested on what is on the back of a postcard. I just collect for the view.
2. Doesn’t matter to me, says another collector.
3. It’s too much work to scan the front and the back of a postcard or cover, says one dealer.
4. Or, I just scan the back if it is relevant says another.
What is MJR’s approach and why?
We are adamant about scanning the front and the back of a postcard or cover. Even though there may be nothing on the back. In some cases we will scan the enclosure or insert. Most collectors are telling us this is the way to go, and we agree with them.
1. Sometimes there are damages on the back of a postcard. Stamp missing leaving a heavy thinned imprint. This can affect the front image. Album remnants, ink stains, tears or tape are some other factors.
2. I’m always looking for a receiver cancel on the back of a cover, especially if it is going to a foreign destination.
3. There may be nothing written on the back of the postcard, but that doesn’t bother me, says another collector. I’m always looking for the publisher, photographer, copyright date etc.
4. Darn it, I like to read the messages on the back, as in some cases they are not only interesting but have a historical reference. Signed by a notable person, let’s say.
5. The well schooled postal history collector, having looked at our material at a show, immediately turned the postcards over and looked at the back. The “Pie in the Sky” wish, is the postcard or cover may have that extremely scarce postmark. But a perfect strike as well. This is particularly true with greeting postcards.
6. Then there was the collector who went into “shock and awe”, when finding a message written by a great grand parent.
7. Dealers of philatelic material are usually looking at the fronts and backs of items. But in many cases, antique or collectable venues don’t. Go for it.
Finally, I once heard a Dealer say, “I have no idea what this stuff is, but I’m going to buy it anyway.” Some of that stuff is still sitting on an MJR shelf 35 years later.
What would you do?