Thursday, August 21, 2008

Early Scott Internationals Back in Print

Thanks to WGRADY for alerting us to the following.

An Amos Advantage advertisement in the August 25, 2008 Linn's shows a number of long out-of-print Scott International "Blue" Albums as once again available. These are Volume 1 (1840-1940) in 4 parts, Volume 2 (1940-1949) in 2 parts, Volume 3 (1949-1955) in 2 parts, and volume 12 (1976-1977). Availability comes at a price, though: the reprinted parts retail for $150 each; $120 for Amos Advantage members. I don't know how quickly they ship. The Amos Advantage website shows all of these parts as "temporarily out of stock" but to contact customer service to order. An Amos Advantage rep indicated in an email that they are able to "special order" these volumes. So, for the time being, it is once again possible to purchase International pages from 1840-2006.

ADDENDUM (9/11/08):

I decided to go ahead and "special order" the first of the four parts. Rather than the four weeks Customer Service initially estimated, it only took a little over one week for 1A1 to arrive.

I asked Amos Advantage Customer Service whether the reprinted Scott Internationals were using "print on demand?" The reply was that "we are using the same type of print technology that we have in the past for all our supplements-basically nothing different. We send the files to a printer to print the supplement/orders that are needed." For more detail on offset versus digital printing of these reprints, see the thread in the Virtual Stamp Club.

I also asked Customer Service whether there was any intention to bring back other out-of-print Scott titles, and the answer was yes, "over time." No decision has been made about Minkus titles such as the Master or Supreme Global.

Based on quickly leafing through the reprint, it appears that in the 4 part version, the illustrations and titles have not been reset. I don't have an earlier print of 1A1 to compare with the new one, but in comparison with the 1947 and 1969 editions, the images are much more contrasty. In almost all cases, this doesn't interfere with identification, but a few cuts are muddy (e.g., the Green Bayern Scott # 92).

In the 4 part version, every country is in alphabetical order and begins on its own page. To maximize continuity with later Internationals, the "back of the book" issues are also often on their own pages. For example, regular issues and commemoratives of Australia are on three pages, followed by a blank page, a page of Australian airmails, a blank page, a page with Australian postage dues, and then a blank page. For countries where there are Offices abroad or Occupation issues, these may also be given their own pages. Many of the additional pages have only a few stamps on them and blank versos.

So, by way of comparison, my quick count of the "2008" Part 1A1 came up with 582 front and back pages whereas the equivalent coverage in the 1947 edition occupied only 340 pages front and back. If the number of pages in 1A1 is any indication, you would at the very least need two of the larger Scott International binders to hold all four parts. Add interleaving or thousands of stamps and three binders would probably be more practical.

ADDENDUM (11/09): The Internet Hobby Supply website gives number of pages as follows:
1A1: 292 double-sided pages
1A2: 269 double-sided pages
1B1: 276 double-sided pages
1B2: 368 double-sided pages
Combined set sold by the company: 1,139 double-sided pages (according to the website; however, this total doesn't match the total for the individual volumes)