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Is It A Replica or A Restoration

(Fark thread about rebuilt Spitfire on sale for £2 million)

Technically, it's mostly brand-new fabrication. There's very, very little of the original aircraft left:

Not that there's anything wrong with it. A flying Spitfire is a good thing in any shape or form, and the restoration itself is a huge story here that gives this extra value for whomever buys it. But calling it an original Spitfire is perhaps being slightly generous.

It's not 'generous', it's untrue - there isn't a single original piece from that plane in the new one.

(And you wouldn't want there to be - rotten 75 year old aluminium wouldn't be a great asset)

It's a replica plain and simple.

Watched the doco on it's 'restoration' and they went on and on about how "authentic" the bits were that they were fabricating, but they were just trying to obscure the fact that they were actually building a completely new one from scratch.

Have a similar thing with vintage cars - a completely new 1925 Rolls Royce is a replica, but if you have a tiny name plate off the firewall of a real one, it's worth 5 times as much

Ah see we have entered into the world of philosophy here. The traditional debate is called "The Ship of Theseus" - if over time we replace all the parts is it still Theseus' ship? I say yes it is. t's the temporal consistency that makes it the same thing (humans replace all their cells every sevenish years.)

Which makes you delusional. At a certain point, you have to admit that if everything has been replaced, it isn't the real thing -- no matter how similar it looks.

Yeah I'm familiar with the concept, and clearly it is still the ship, or the broom with new handle and new head, when you keep it in service.

But the Spit wasn't replaced a bit at a time.

They basically bought a few bits of the Theseus, threw them all away because they were too rotten to use, and then built something that looked the same.

Which is why I'd call it a replica, not a restoration.


After trying to sell our stamp collections and failing to find takers, we just use em for postage. Many collectors we approached literally had buckets of the stamps we had, and ours went back to the twenties...List values only count if somebody wants to buy em (or for insurance purposes). Not as many active stamp collectors these days.

Most stamp collections aren't worth much more than face value these days. There just isn't demand. People will buy huge stamp collections at estate sales at like 50% of the face value, scavenge out any that are worth more than a dollar or two and use the rest as postage.

Declining middle class, aging demographic that collects them, email eliminating the need for stamps and thus reducing kids (collectors start young usually) exposure to stamps and whatnot, internet making the good stuff more available and breaking the local dealers captive markets and price fixing (dealers locally agreeing to certain standards of pricing to ensure healthy margins), you get the idea. Lot of reasons.

The issue with philately is definitely an aging base, but it's not that the market wasn't anticipating it for decades. What happened is that stamps themselves are excessively cheap to produce and for quite a long time many people hoarded (physically) tons of material. That coupled with an increase in "collectors" stamps produced by micro nations at the rate of thousands of variants per year just burnt out the collector base.

Your average Joe collector usually has more backlog to sort and remove from paper than they have a need to buy. This just further degrades value due to regular supply and demand. Come visit us at /r/philately we've got plenty of coin and stamp mixers :)

If you want a laugh I'll tell you what my parents use to do, I'm 48 btw. They would put chapstick on the stamp and the recipient would wipe it off and reuse it.