If I remember right, in the first report from the Institute for Analytical Philately there was a paper that showed someone trying to mathematically estimate how many of a particular stamp existed based on the number of times it appeared at auction. It is apparently a technique widely used in wildlife biology to estimate wild animal populations. You might find that a help in how many of a S/S exist.
I too have wondered if the published catalogue numbers are accurate.
once the real number comes out the price for this MS8 will drop dramatically, so we can assume this will not happen so soon, by my feeling I think 200+K is a realistic number. But we also need to assume, that 99% of the sold MS8 don't have an expert opinion and we know how perfect new forgeries are ...
I didn't realize that this was such an interesting discovery. As for writing this up, I'm way out of my league.
The amount of historical research to put together a truly insightful article for the Clipper is very daunting. I have the prose, but lack the time and access to references/sources to complete the research.
If you have interest, maybe you and I could write it up together. I could be a second author. Or even a small footnote!
I have gone back through my collection and hope others might too (listening Wilbur Yu?). As of right now I have looked at Scott #'s 600 to 800. I am surprised at how many sets are mixed like the Peonies. But paper varieties are quite important, and the fact that multiple papers were used in the same set is quite out of the ordinary. In the 80's and even into the early 2000's I can remember my collector friends in the PRC not really understanding when I wrote about UV light and stamps. I do not read nor write Chinese, so possibly a translation issue.
But yes, this is a big deal. How about I write something up and send to you to edit? And I am thinking maybe you would like to translate into Chinese (can you ?) and have it published in China? Or just write an article in Chinese yourself?
I am a retired biologist and still believe what we were taught in college, that knowledge should be shared freely. Apparently an outdated concept in today's world.
Thank you again for the observation.
I'm a full time ophthalmologist and father to three young girls (aged 3, 6, & 8). Between running a practice, surgery, homework, and shuffling the kids to and fro, I don't have large chunks of free time. So I won't be headlining any scholarly philatelic work anytime soon, but I would definitely be up for editing and translation. Let me know how I can help!