YEP - I believe there is a better way to show these stamp panes, doesn’t give a cluttered look to my collection, doesn’t take up a huge amount of space to display, fits into plastic sleeves and gives proof that the pane of stamps came from an uncut press sheet - and that is with “obverted” panes. And what may an “obverted” pane be for those unfamiliar with the term or uncut press-sheets?
Looking at the pane as issued by the USPS, there is a similar pane that can be cut from the press sheet AND shows gutters. And what does this cut look like?
If the pane is cut with the title “Legends of the West” at the bottom vice the normal location at top (or left vice right). This is what is meant by “obverted” pane – turned in a contrary direction. In this case, the header was turned from top to bottom. On some panes, it is best to turn something on the right to the left or vice versa. Thus we can create similar (almost identical) looking panes as issued by the USPS (in the tens of millions) into “obverted” panes (in the hundreds). Have we just created an instant rarity? Yes and no. No, if no one is interested in it (supply exceeds demand); but if this method of collecting catches on – it could become a very desirable collectable and a hard-to-get commodity (demand exceeds supply). Price increases along with rarity perception. So – if the price increases in time, the rarity of these obverted panes will be validated.
I like the Top/Bottom version better. Either way – obverted panes will fit the plastic sleeves of my collection and will be a nice display showing the normal and obverted versions side by side on adjacent pages. The conventional way of showing stamps with gutter blocks leaves a cluttered look and I’m always unsure if all the combinations are displayed. The displaying of press sheets, should it be similar to the Farley Follies way of showing stamps or the obverted way, will be decided by the collecting community. I, for one, am driven by display.
Right now, dealers are asking high prices for uncut press sheets; whereas, obverted panes fit into my budget at about double to triple face value. Only time will tell. To date, there have been close to 100 (99 through October 2009), modern-day press sheets released. I have categorized these by year below.