Monday, September 19, 2016

"What are worldwide stamp collections worth?"

This is the title of a new thread on StampCommunity started by dealer KReleya. (Thanks to Jim Jackson for alerting me.) KReleya (who is also a dealer) looks at various categories of worldwide material sold on eBay and has come up with low, high, and sample prices per stamp (or per pound, in the case of bulk) to use when estimating value. When I was buying Blue Volume One collections on eBay I kept a similar list for a couple of years, and came to roughly the same figures (for collections of under 20K stamps--there weren't any larger ones that I knew the size of).

What KReleya confirms, is that you cannot use a single value per stamp that will work with every type and size of collection. That is, two or three cents a stamp makes sense for a Volume One with a few thousands common stamps, but would seriously underestimate the worth of a large album.

Unfortunately, unless we have a count of stamps (preferably by country) and a lot of photos, it is still something of a crapshoot. And without a mess o'photos, you don't know whether the album is padded with stamps that don't belong. But it is still a helpful metric to know where an item is worth more serious consideration. Many thanks to KReleya for taking the time to compile the data and share his experiences.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Yet another complete Big Blue Volume One. But this one comes with pictures!

Another collector, Bud, has fulfilled the daunting challenge of completing a Scott International Volume One. Jim Jackson posted the news in a "reply" to one of my original blog entries, but I want to make certain this gets the attention it deserves.

From Jim:
I am pleased to announce that Bud is posting scans and comments about his completed Big Blue (Scott International Part I 1840-1940 Album) on my blog.

Yes, all 34,700 stamp spaces are filled!

And all of Bud's Big Blue's filled pages will be scanned and shown!

It is expected that 3-8 country scans from Bud's BB will be posted every month.

This will be the first time that every page from a complete Big Blue has been scanned and published on the Internet. Moreover, Bud has been very kind to several of us over the past several years by sharing his experiences with completing the Big Blue and it is great that he is making this information public. I've been particularly curious about what Bud will do next. I'm not certain what I would do if my Big Blue was complete, so Bud's thoughts are especially interesting:
Although every space in my BB is filled, the activity of collecting goes on. Preening, that is replacing stamps lower in my preference list with stamps higher up, will continue indefinitely. Supplement pages will, no doubt, mushroom.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Several large worldwide collections at auction in August

Daniel F. Kelleher often features large worldwide collections, and their Auction 691 is no exception. Unfortunately, the only photos are almost all of the album binders. By way of example of what they are listing is Lot 822: "Worldwide, Collection, 1840-1953. 20-volume (A-Z) fairly new Scott International blue binders with Vintage reproduction archival pages printed on one-side only up to 1940 (albums and pages retail $3000), plus Scott International pages for Part II (1940-49) integrated in, with some countries containing additional pages...."

Harmer Schau also has a Big Blue Volume One in three binders in their APS Stamp Show Sale #110, lot 1670. There are a few photos.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

European Classic Postage Stamps and Postal History

I've mentioned Richard Frajola's estimable PhilaMercury website before on this blog. A recent addition to the resources section are pdf's of 35 articles by Edwin Mueller originally published in the Mercury Stamp Journal between 1950 and 1961. Unfortunately, the author's death in 1962 prevented the completion of the series, but we are fortunate to have coverage from Alsace-Lorraine through the Netherlands.

A couple of paragraphs from the introduction will clarify Mr. Mueller's focus:

"[The series] is written with the intention of showing that there are many ways to collect and that there are many countries in which the classic stamps can provide the most satisfaction to the specialist. The glamor of new issues is advertised in the philatelic magazines in a way that makes the good old classic issues look like poor relatives. It is high time to show the lure of the classics, to give the collector a vivid picture of the glamor which lies in the stamps which are seventy five and morc years old and were produced and used for postal purposes only, without any intention of making them items for a stamp collection. "

"In writing about the classic issues of tbe European countries—to which we have limited our nevertheless quite extensive undertaking —we want to show the collector the possibilities which exist in this field. We want to tell him what has been already achieved in philatelic research in the various countries and where fertile fields still remain to be harvested. We want to give information about tbe possibilities of specializing and give hints about the difficulties which may discourage the collector who wants to assemble a specialized collection. We will show the fields which are so hopelessly barren that we would advise keeping out of them. We will not give any advice as to which stamps may prove a good investment, because classic stamps, bought with knowledge and alertness will preserve their value, giving to the collector the enjoyment of his collecting as a dividend."

I should note that most of the articles were not illustrated. (Thanks to Keijo for letting me know there were some illustrations.)

Here is the link:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yvert & Tellier Catalogs

I received today an email from Regency Superior who, in addition to handling Stanley Gibbons, is now a source for Y&T catalogs in the US. Among the items they have for sale is a 2010 version of Y&T's Classiques du Monde (1840-1940) catalog. I was only aware of the 2005 edition. But more surprisingly, Y&T has a two volume set covering the world from 1941 to 1960. As far as I know, they are the only publisher to offer such a catalog. For those who collect a decade or two beyond 1940, this could be useful.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Antonius Ra

I can still remember when I first discovered Antonius Ra's worldwide collection on the web. It was a revelation that not only did worldwide collections like this exist, but that someone would take the time to make scans of their album pages for the benefit of collectors all over the world.

As some of you know, there was a fire at Antonius Ra's (Mitchell's) house several days ago. While no one was injured and the collection was saved, the home suffered significant damage. There is a thread on Stamporama about the fire and a link there for anyone able to make a donation to help Mitchell and his wife.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Stuffed Blue On eBay

There has been so little in the way of large Blue collections on eBay recently, I find that I am going weeks without remembering to check for anything new. Fortunately, Jim Jackson of the Big Blue blog fame, alerted me to a listing with the title "1841-1939 worldwide collection - 28,000 stamps - Scotts International Album." The sellers is asking $28K for the collection but will accept counter offers.

This is one of those albums in a single binder that is stuffed to the brim with many stamps mounted in the margins. Thus 28,000 stamps does not translate to 28,000 spaces filled. Still, I think it is worth logging on eBay to see this rather unusual Blue Volume One collection.