Tuesday, 14 March 2017

DIMAGRAPHY AND THE ART OF ORGANOLEPTIC EVALUATION

One of the most important lessons a record collector can learn is that you never know what might turn up - even things you might think couldn't possibly exist.  
   
Until last year an eBay seller based in the US named 'marc_arel11' was selling sealed copies of classic 60s and 70s LPs, with previously unseen promo or 'hype' stickers on the sleeves. When that account suddenly went idle, a new one emerged, using the handle 'dimagraphy', and is still going strong. This seller appears to be named Dmitry Demchenko, and the listings say he's based in Garden Grove, California. Are his LPs from a record industry source, a radio station, or a reviewer? Or is he simply very lucky at sourcing such treasures? No one knows. But the truly amazing thing about his listings is that many of the stickers - which are almost all in remarkable, as-new condition - have also never been seen before, even by old-school collectors.    

In February of this year he raked in an impressive $2,154.00 for an original August 1966 paste-over copy of the Beatles' Yesterday & Today LP. It boasted a sticker that not only referred to the sleeve as a 'butcher cover' - therefore being the first documented use of the term - but also described it as '2nd state' (again, the first documented use of the term).     

Here's the beautiful vintage sticker found on that copy: 


You can click HERE for the auction listing.

On and on it goes - all in lovely condition, mostly previously unknown to hardcore collectors. For example, who knew that Master Of Reality (HERE) ever came with a hype sticker?


Or that the shrink on US first pressings of Led Zeppelin II came with track listing stickers in two different colours? All the ones previously known were pink, with sharp corners (as seen on the right here), but Dmitry's copy (on the left) is black, with rounded corners - and in wonderfully clean condition:


You can see that listing, which netted him an enviable $1313 - by clicking HERE

His greatest coup so far has surely been to find an original, sealed promo copy of the Rolling Stones' 1967 Their Satanic Majesties Request LP, bearing a promo sticker for Polygram records - a European company to which they were not signed, and which did not exist until 1972. 

Here's the beautiful vintage sticker on that one:


and HERE is the original listing, which unsurprisingly hauled in a whopping $1009.

Cynics might cry foul, but Dmitry offers this assurance: 'BASED ON OUR EXPERIENCE AND ORGANOLEPTIC EVALUATION ALL OF THE ELEMENTS OF THE ISSUE LEAVE NO DOUBTS THAT IT IS THE ORIGINAL FIRST PRESSING.'

1 comment:

  1. Stones sticker, Led Zeppelin Sticker, and Butcher cover stickers are fakes.

    Sabbath one is however clearly geniune and I am surprised you included it. Its U.S. not UK and I have seen at least 5 previous copies. The only reason he hasn't copied that one is that it is almost impossible to copy a colour sticker well. It is undubtedly geniune though.

    However, I am surprised you failed to notice that he has previously listed 4 copies of 'Paranoid' - all with the 'Iron Man' sticker. Only 1 of those stickers are geniune, 2 are copies (probably from the one original sticker) and 1 is unclear. And although wear is possible under sealed covers, scratches are not. On one of the 'Paranoid' sealed covers scratches are clearly visible, showing it was sealed at a later date.

    What mystifies me is why he does it. Some of the LPs he sells are showstoppers in their own right. And certainly Butcher covers in that condition (with or without any dumb sticker) have made that price plenty of times in the past in that condition.

    And all the stickers that arent personal to the LP they relate too are all geniune. However, these can be easily got from any other classical/easy listening LP from any garage sale. Then peeled off and re-applied.

    So in effect if people are adding value to bids, even if the stickers are in most cases geniune, its pretty pointless as the stickers could have easily come from anywhere.

    You can't fault some of his LPs however. In that condition they will sell themselves.

    Surprised you missed the re sealed covers though. Its clear in the pictures on at least 2 of his albums.

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