Monday, December 22, 2008

My Scott International Album Wishlist from Santa (Part 2)

Christmas is rapidly approaching, so I better get the rest of my Blue International wishlist into the mail to Old Saint Nick.

5. Restore stamps dropped in later revisions

There are literally hundreds of stamps that were in the 1947 version that disappeared when Volume 1 was split into two parts. Some of these were restored in the four part version, but there are still ones missing. While many of these are Back-of-the-Book issues, some are later regular issues and commemoratives.

An example of an entire page that has gone AWOL is the one containing 33 spaces covering Austrian Military stamps from 1915-1917 (K.U.K. FELDPOST). The page was in the 1947 edition but had disappeared by 1969 and wasn't restored in the 2008 reprint.

6. Give the Indian Convention States Their Own Spaces

Scott departs from providing for specific stamps in the Convention States of India instead giving collectors a single page labeled at the top
Stamps of British India overprinted for use in the Convention States
Chama Faridkot Gwalior Jhind Nabha Patiala

The page is blank below these headings. I think Scott intended that stamps for the States be mounted in rows vertically below the appropriate headings.

By Palmer's calculation there are some 250 inexpensive Convention States that a collector might acquire that deserve to have their own pages. With some work, I bet most of these could be accommodated in just two pages front and back.

At one time Scott treated the so-called Feudatory States the same way, but by the 1947 edition, at least, the larger of these had their own identified spaces. However, there are easily acquired Feudatory States stamps that also deserve better coverage.

7. Add inexpensive stamps that have never been in the Blue International

There are well over a thousand stamps that fall within the scope of the International but, for whatever, reason never made it into the album. In a few cases, the omissions are perplexing: for example, why are there no spaces for the omnibus 1935 British Coronation issues for Ascension, Barbados, Gilbert & Ellice Islands, Mauritius, St. Helena and the Solomon Islands?

The largest concentrations of missing issues according to Palmer's study are from Austria, China, Columbia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Turkey. Some of these were originally in the 1947 edition; others have never been blessed with a space.

8. Remove stamps that are no longer in the Scott Catalog

Perhaps a few dozen stamps that were in the Scott Catalogs when the Internationals were originally published are no longer given catalog numbers. According to Palmer, this includes Armenia's 1920 pictorials, Latvia's 1919 Russian Occupation issue, Spain's 1928-1938 Postal Tax Stamps (?), Ukraine's 1920 pictorials, and the Upper Silesia 1921 Occupation issues (?). Since none of these are particularly expensive, removing them might not be worth the trouble although the process might free up space for missing issues that are in the catalog.

9. Add Scott Catalog Numbers to every cut or description

If this list were in priority order, putting a Scott number with every stamp would be right after keeping the album in print. One of the frustrations with the Internationals is that too many of the descriptions and sometimes even the cuts are inadequate to accurately identify the correct stamp. Even with the Scott catalog, you occasionally are playing a guessing game with the editors. This seems to me to be a win-win scenario for Scott because even knowing the Scott numbers, you'll still need to have their catalog.

Albums with catalog numbers has been done before. Later editions of the Minkus Master and Supreme Global albums incorporated Minkus catalog numbers for every stamps. Even Scott included numbers in their short lived Grand Award world album and in some of their Speciality Albums.

I bet Scott no longer has any record of which stamps are in the International. If the company is interested in correcting mistakes, adding or restoring missing issues, etc., they are going to need to perform this process internally, any way.

If it is too expensive to add catalog numbers to all of the International pages, what about including a notation directly in the Scott Classics Catalog? An advantage of this approach is that it would be easier to change numbers in the catalog than in the album. For example, a notation e.g. [I] could be added directly to the listings themselves:

6 A3 3s red & silver [I] 15.00 2.75

If Scott doesn't want to muddle their catalog entries, perhaps the information could be included in an Appendix. Depending upon the formatting, this would also take care of the tenth item on my wishlist. I would even forgive them if they wanted to publish the listing separately to help defray the cost.

10. Give Collectors a Checklist

As long as I am wishing for the moon, what about publishing a checklist that would make it a breeze to maintain our wantlists, collection inventory, etc.? Ideally, this would be online a la Stanley Gibbon's My Collection service, but I'm easy.

11. Add British Commonwealth Stamps 1940-1952

This would further bring the Blue International into parity with the Classic Specialized Catalogue, and, I would hazard, not be difficult or expensive for Scott to accomplish. After all, the required pages already exist in the International Volume 2 and 3s (although some of the pages in Volume 3 probably include post-1952 issues). One big argument against this: if Scott puts these issues in Volume 1, what do you do about collectors who have no interest in pre-1940 stamps and start with Volume 2 or 3? (And collectors with all 3 volumes would have duplicate pages.)

But I'm certain Santa can work all that out.


airpostman said...

Great blog! Have you ever gone through a SG New Ideal Stamp album? Goes up to 1936 and is very nice. I'm always wondering how complete the airmail pages are for Scott vol 1. Nicaragua and Colombia are always problem countries. Thanks!

Bob said...

I've only seen selected pages from the Ideal albums on eBay. The Gibbons album that fascinates me is the Imperial Postage Stamp Album with Comprehensive catalog. Having the catalog listings on on the "left pages" with spaces for the corresponding stamps on the right seems to make so much sense.

As to the coverage of Columbian airmail stamps in the Blue, I hadn't realized how poor it was until you asked. The Scott Classics Catalogue provides 120 numbers for airmail stamps and 5 for air post registration stamps. This does not include several hundred SCADTA Consular Overprints. The International does not provide spaces for any of the SCADTA overprints or the registration stamps. (Actually, the 1947 edition provided space for one of the registration stamps but that was gone by 1969 at the latest.) Of the 120 stamps in the main catalog sequence for airmails, the Blue only has spaces for 18! The album starts with 1932's C55. While many of the early airmails are expensive, I don't understand why the 1921 issue was skipped (C25-C30 at least). Many of the stamps in the 1929 set (C55-C67) are similarly very affordable.

Scott does better with Nicaragua. The Catalogue has 253 major numbers plus 36 air post official stamps. Scott provides spaces for 80 from the main sequence--almost 1/3--and for 7 of the air post official stamps (1939).

When I finally get around to penciling in catalog numbers for every stamp in the International, hopefully I'll catch some of the bigger lacuna.

airpostman said...

Thanks for the preliminery on the airmail completeness! It doesn't surprise me! Columbia & SCADTA "missing" issues are not displayed in the 1953 edition of Scott's Internatoinal Air Post Album. When Air Post Supplement #17(1955 - 1961) was published, many issues were included. I'm going to check over the long weekend and report back. Can you imagine standing in front of a display of a complete showing of all SCADTA issues? I don't think it can be done, unless you have deep pockets! BTW, I have an album collection and would like to send you pics. Thanks again!!

Bob said...

I had forgotten all about the Airmail album even though I see them occasionally on eBay. It would be especially interesting to know how these issues fare in the "Brown" Internationals and the Specialty Albums for Columbia and Nicaragua.

airpostman said...

Bob, Good question. Fortunately, I have a complete set of Scott Brown albums with copyrights of 1939. In Part Three (1928-1935), the Columbian airmails are from C96 through C114 with CF5. The Scott Airpost is complete; it has all the SCADTA and governmental issues. What is interesting is that the Stanley Gibbons New Ideal Stamp album, copyright 1936 has from C83 to C114. As for Nicaragua, it fares better than Columbia in regards of "completeness". Most, if not all are in both Scott Brown Parts 3and 4 and the Airpost, with the Airpost as 100%. The SG album also holds it's own in Nicaragua and the only thing that hampers it is that the album goes to 1935ish. Maybe I should start a blog on collecting Classic Airmail!

Bob said...

Well, at least the Browns are in the running!

I encourage you to consider a blog. I did a cursory search on the topic of aerophilately and didn't find any blogs, or for that matter websites of any depth beyond the American Air Mail Society.

wgrady said...

About the airmails in the Colombia section of the International Jr. ...

I have a 1933 Scott Catalog that lists only one airmail stamp, the one now C1.

My 1943 International Jr. has spaces for only 16 stamps with dates starting in 1932, but no place for C1 (which cost $600 mint in 1933.)

My surmise is that the rest of the Colombian airmails came into the catalog later than 1933. The question is whether they were put in after 1947 or whether Scott just was cheap and didn't redo pages in 1943 and 1947 or thereafter.

I can't say my Minkus Supreme Global is any more comprehensive than the International for the older Colombian airmails.

airpostman said...

Sorry to respond so late, but I've been thrown into the position to look for work. At least I'll have time for philatelic work! ;^) While discussing what Scott includes and excludes in the International series, things get really weird with their Air Post albums. One question that vexes me is that today (02/10), a Air Post album published in 1949 was sold on ebay and it is only in one volume! I now consider myself insanely lucky that I was able to locate a 3 volume set that goes to 1953. And, to top that, I located a Air Post supplement that brings the album to 1962, when Scott stopped printing the Air Post series. The million dollar question is how did the album go from 1 volume to 3 in 4 years?! I guess I'll never know as the bidding went really "sky high"!!

fredbee said...

1949 Scott Airpost Album

airpostman says he saw a 1949 in one volume on e-bay. I believe this is not complete. I have the set (never had a stamp in it)and it is three volumes however the binders are slimmer than the 1963, which is the one I use - it is in five volumes.
A 1933 (also never used)that I have is in one volume and then there is the hardbound that at least until 1942 was one volume, printed on both sides of the page.

If anyone want to know what is included for any of these albums, let me know.