Saturday, November 18, 2017

Scott 2018 Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps & Covers 1840-1940

This November brings the 24th edition of the 2018 Scott Classic Catalogue. There are more than 17,000 changes in catalog values. I have trouble getting excited about trying to enumerate these so I'll just point you at

It is worth noting that there are price decreases as well as increases. And there are valuations for some stamps in various conditions and formats for the first time.

In terms of editorial content, many notes and footnotes have been reviewed for accuracy. There are 3 major numbers and almost 230 minor varieties added for New Zealand. Other additions include Azerbaijan, Fiume, Hejaz, and Saudi Arabia. And there are improved scans for some stamps.

The cost is $174.99; $154.99 direct from Amos Advantage.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Just in time for the Holidays

For a limited time, Subway is selling the Vintage [Brown] Internationals for 30% off. This includes pages only as well as the pages with binders.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Michel Klassik Katalog 2017

Update: See the comments for information that the coverage is 1840 to 1900, not 1914.

In 2007, Michel published a Klassik-Katalog Europa 1840-1900 covering 33 countries. In the ensuing decade, there has not been a new edition and, frankly, I never had the impression that the company was promoting the catalog. So it was a pleasant surprise to learn that a second edition will be published this November.

Even better, the new version will be in two volumes. This will allow coverage to be extended both chronologically, from 1900 to 1914, and geographically, to encompass the entire world. The titles of the volumes are Klassik Europa 1840-1914 and Klassik Übersee 1840-1914 (with the overseas volume offering specialized coverage of the US). Cost of each will be 98,00 €. Based on what happened with the first version, it may be many years before you find these on sale.

(Thanks to DJCMHOH for alerting collectors to the new editon in a post on the Stamp Community Forum.)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Scott International Ne Plus Ultra edition

I've commented in the past about advertisements for the Brown Internationals that teased a wide variety of formats, including fancy binders and loose leaf pages, but are practically never seen on the market today. Richard Frajola has a set for sale of the 19th century Browns split into four springback binders. Mr. Frajola notes the "wooden stop block to keep the pages aligned" that is visible in the bottom photo.  Cool, don't you think? The dealer has scanned all the pages: here's the link:

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Limaye's Big Blue Catalog Value Project Updated

Dilip is now half way through calculating the catalog value of all the stamps in the Scott International Volume One 1943 edition. (The link is to the right of this post.) Most interesting.

I'm having a few conversion issues with the images which I will clean up when Dilip is finished.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Linns' article on stamp collecting blogs

This and Jim Jackson's Big Blue 1840-1940 blog are mentioned in William F. Sharpe's Linns Stamp News column: “A look at a few of the hundreds of stamp blogs that can be found on the Internet” (Computers and stamps, 8/7/2017, pp 18-19).

This post is intended for any Linns readers who are first time visitors because of the article. May I suggest three places for you to check out:

The "Checklist of comprehensive worldwide collections" referred to in Mr. Sharpe's article;

The listing of online albums which include the two ginormous collections of Antonious-Ra and Dr. Cheng Chang ;

and something which doesn't get much comment, but I think is fun: Postage stamp quotations which includes humorous quotes from movies, tv series, novels, and the like.

Of course, the really good stuff is over at Jim Jackson's blog.

And let me also give a shout out to Keijo's Stamp collecting blog, which isn't on Mr. Sharpe's list presumably because it is behind a paywall, but is a must for serious worldwide stamp collectors.

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Beville Collection Stamps of the World 1840-1940

I was originally going to write a fairly "meh" review of this auction, but I now believe it well worth a look by 1840-1940 collectors. To get the specifics out of the way, the auctioneer is Cherrystone and the dates are July 26-27, 2017. There are four sessions, and you can view PDFs as well as other electronic versions of the catalog at

So why my initial blasé reaction?  First, Cherrystone provides no information about the collector or how the collection was formed. Second, it looked like this would turn out to be a typical auction where the more expensive or elusive stamps have been pulled out for individual listing with the dregs relegated to the end. (Big Blue collectors know that other people's dregs are what largely make up our albums.) Well, certainly, the majority of the catalog is devoted to key stamps and sets, but a couple of things are worth mentioning. First, there are images for many of the lots and many of these are reproduced with the listings. I found this much more diverting than the typical full page photos of multiple stamps, often pages removed from the descriptions. Second, all of the images are in color, and, remarkably, the images include a number of full or partial album pages. Based on these, it looks like the collector favored the Brown albums and the stamps are mostly unused.

Note that while most of the country "balance" collections can be found at the end of the fourth session, dozens more, usually "colonies," are  intermingled with the individual stamp listings.

Here are two examples of country listings:


Lot 5986. 1895-1921 collection practically complete on pages, 182 different, mostly unused, with King Carlos and Saint Anthony sets (Scott’s 1-28),  50r on 300r used (29),  other issues with perf. varieties, Republica   and Provisorio   overprints and  surcharges,   Ceres   issues,   Semi-Postals,   etc.,  occasional flaws possible, mostly fine-v.f. (webphoto) (1/162,B1/P2) $750.00.


Lot 6172. 1880-1949 extensive balance on pages, 1,360+ different, most States represented as issued, strength in Bhopal, Bundi, Bussahir, Charkhari, Cochin, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Kishangarh, Soruth, Travancore, etc., many Gibbons listed varieties throughout, generally unused, plethora of better items, fine or better condition. An unusual opportunity to obtain a comprehensive collection of this exotic and exciting philatelic area. $15,000.

(As regards the "webphoto," I believe you will see these only when you click the "Session" link, not the page flip or pdf. This will make more sense when you go the Cherrystone site.)

Oh and, for once, we have a worldwide collection that also includes the United States.

So, I'm happy to report my first impression was off base. I'm looking forward to going through the auction catalog more thoroughly.

UPDATE: Because Cherrystone includes some counts, I am able to estimate that the Beville Collection contains more than 80,000 stamps. This does not mean, though, 80K major numbers, as there are quite a few varieties included. [I missed the "official" count of 86,600.]

I've also made a couple of clarifications and additions to the original post.

UPDATE #2: Somehow I missed a press release related to this auction. "The Scott's Classic Catalogue 1840-1940 provided an inspiration for the Beville Collection, which we now present in a special 1265 lots sale on July 26-27, 2017. Starting with the United States and ending with Zululand, this collection boasts an impressive total of 86,600 different (!) stamps and multi-million-dollar catalogue value. The highlights of this splendid collection are many, with focus not on the glamorous and so-called iconic, but rather on the unsung and often undervalued rarities from the various Imperial Colonies and far reaches of the globe. If you are an advanced collector and looking to fill empty spaces in your album, you are in luck. There is strength in Asia, especially British Commonwealth, with virtually complete Indian Feudatory States, British Africa and Australasia, Europe and Colonies, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, South and Latin America and rest of the world. There are hundreds of large lots offered throughout the sale, with many intact country collections."

The Beville Collection realized $1,622,050.