Bug in Essay Listings Title Parsing

I have reported this issue to support, but many others may not be aware, as we were not, of this "bug".
When adding new material, Hipstamp auto-parses the title for information it can determine about the listing, and does a lot of entry and categorization for you. This is great, as long as it works.
The bug here is that Essay listings in Scott all have a "-" character in them (i.e. 79-E8a). The result is that everything including and after the "-" is omitted. The site then parses the listing (in this case) as a "79" and categorizes it in the Stamp Type as "General Issue", where the appropriate type should be "Back of Book Other - Proofs and Essays - Essays" (following Hipstamps own categorization).

We're in the process of hand updating all these, but if you have any Essay listings, they won't be getting categorized right (which means people looking for this material by type are not going to find it).
Hopefully this will get resolved, but in the meantime, it's best to be aware of it, and as you create such listings, set them manually, instead of just accepting the Hipstamp defaults. This is also true regardless of using the listing form on the site, or uploading by bulk listing.


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I always check what my categories are a typical example is when I put used stationary up it always says unused and I have to change it to used or postal history.
  • Thanks for that heads up as well Bill. We'll watch out for that as well.
  • Hate to admit it, but what is an "essay" listing?
  • Hi John,
    In US Specialized "Back of Book" (Way back there, around page 850) are listings for Essays. Essays are the forerunners of what sometimes become issued stamps. They are tests for designs, or in some cases for special patents that were used to demonstrate how prevention of reuse might be achieved. This revolves mostly around early issues (Pre 1900), but do reach into more modern day issues as well, and other BoB material, like Parcel Post.
    They may be early engraving examples, or sometimes pencil or watercolor sketches at the concept level.
    They may appear in a range of colors that a different from Proof colors, and papers are sometimes unusual. In most cases Essays consist of only a few issues (usually less than 1,000 to sometimes a scant few). The majority of Essays are fairly scarce, and will range in an average value of around $600 - $2,000 though there are some that are listed as low as $10, or over $50,000.
    Many of the US Essays haven't been updated in a long time, and as a result don't reflect current market values. (i.e. they are generally undervalued in the catalog).
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