Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dr. Meng's Stamp Collection and the Scott Catalogs

I mentioned in an earlier post that the Dr. Hsien-ming Meng stamp collection is being auctioned by H R Harmer as part of its Sale 194: Collections of the World (October 10-11, 2008). What caught my attention was that Dr. Meng's collection formed the nucleus of the image-scanning project for the Scott Catalogs that began in 2001 and with the help of many other collectors is now 99% complete. Dr. Meng (I don't know if he is still alive) is a worldwide collector who, according to a letter to Scott, has accumulated a collection of more than 250,000 different in more than 400 albums." Dr. Meng says that "With most countries I am nearly complete in issues to about 1985. A few favored countries such as China, Hong Kong, Macao and some European countries are complete to date..."

Rather than printed albums, Dr. Meng preferred Hagner or Hagner-style black-backed stock sheets kept in Lighthouse albums. The albums were housed in a specially built stamp den with overflow into another room. According to an article by James E. Kloetzel in the Scott Stamp Monthly (January/February 2004, p. 8), "Dr. Meng's wife has put her foot down and has prohibited further expansion."

Here is a sample listing of one of the more comprehensive albums:

"MAGNIFICENT SAUDI ARABIA COLLECTION, 1916-85, MINT Here is a rare opportunity to obtain a truly educational experience as built by an advance collector, as MOST sets are here, lightly hinged, starting w/ #L115 of the first 19 sets are complete, then, there's L108-15 cplt, L116-17, L119-22, L125-29, L133-41 cplt, L142-59 cplt, L160-84 cplt NEJD Adm. #1-2, 22-29 cplt. Amongst others are #35-45, #48-54, #59-74, #92-115 (3 cplt sets), #159-284; 23 cplt sets, all commemoratives are here including the Faisal S/S #674, on through 1985 (#960). First, second , third and fourth airmail sets cplt, many of C33 // C77, B-O-B #LJ1-12, #LJ26-34 cplt, #LJ37, then #LJ40-55 cplt, #J1-3, #J7-23 cplt, Officials cplt through #O28, Postal Taxes cplt (#RA2 used). Amazing and satisfying! Fine-VF. From the "Meng" collection. Est. $5000-6000."

Some of what I assume to be the best parts of the collection, such as China and Hong Kong, don't appear to be part of this auction. Nor did I spot a "Blue" International Volume 1 although he did have a set of Minkus Supreme Globals with stamps from 1855-1970.

UPDATE 3/7/2011: Dr. Meng died 11 February 2011. There was a nice article about his contributions to the Scott catalog in the 21 March 2011 Linn's.


JnT Golf Specials said...

Dr. Meng passed in Feb 2011. (in case you were interested). I wonder what his collection sold for?

Bob said...

Most (all?) of Dr. Meng's collection was sold in H R Harmer's Sale 194: Collections of the World (October 10-11, 2008). The prices realized are still online as a pdf so you can see how individual parts of his collection did. (If you add them up, please let me know.)

The url for the prices realized is: