Sometimes you actually do want to remove revenue stamps from a document/piece.

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April 23, 2017

Normally, I don't ever remove revenue stamps from documents or document fragments, but I just encountered a case where removing the stamps was the prudent thing to do IMO.

Shown below is an R41a multiple that I purchased on eBay. It was sold as a block of 4 plus a single, when in fact it is an irregular block of 5, making it the 4th largest known multiple per the Curtis census.

It has issues though: the stamp at upper right is cut deeply into the design and there's a stain at top center.

Upon receipt, however, it turns out there were more issues than were visible in the auction image above, and as appears to be the norm these days, there was no verbal description of any faults beyond "nick at top". What couldn't be seen in the original image was (1) wrinkles between stamps 1 and 2, and also 2 and 3 in the bottom row, but more importantly (2) someone shot George in the head in the upper right stamp.

I contacted the seller and provided him with the high-resolution image below. I can see how the hole was missed, as it either predates the stamp being affixed, or was caused by an oversealous hand making the manuscript cancel. He offered either a return or a partial refund. I opted for the refund and kept the block, as it is a tough multiple and I thought it could be improved.

So I decided to soak the stamp from the document fragment. The document piece provides no context or useful information beyond the fact that it was from New York, so it really doesn't add anything IMO. I also don't like the blue mark at upper right. I hoped that a soak and press would clean up the wrinkles, allow me to tease the portions around the hole back into place, and hopefully do something with that stain.

Result below. I'm quite pleased. Wrinkles completely gone, stain greatly diminished, and hole closed up.

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