Tuesday, April 28, 2009

China Provinces

China could use some reediting if Scott ever revises the "Blue" International. I speak particularly about the coverage of the Provinces/Offices which are limited to a single page with only two cuts and no mention of the names of any of the political entities, just dates. So to begin, here is a list of the stamps in the "Blue" and their corresponding listing in the 2007 Catalogue. Example: what Scott identifies in the "Blue" album only as 1911 would better be described as Offices in Tibet 1911.

YEAR = Political Entity, Scott #'s
1911 = Offices in Tibet 1-2
1915-20 = Sinkiang 1-5
1929 = Sinkiang 59-62, 63-66
1925 = Yunnan Province 1-8
1929 = Manchuria 25-28, 29-32

Minkus in their Master Global was a little kinder to collectors but not much. The name of the province is included and there are more illustrations (plus in later editions, Minkus catalog numbers). But Minkus supplies neither years nor colors, so the only ID at times may be the denomination and province.

Here are two images. The first is from the "Blue" album; the second I cobbled together in Photoshop to suggest how the addition of one word and two cuts might have been an improvement. (One of these days I need to figure out what font is most similar to that Scott used in the International.)

Copyright 1943 Scott Publishing Co.

Although I haven't analyzed the actual stamps that closely, it isn't clear what the editor used as the criteria for inclusion. To stick with Manchuria, there are at least seven stamps not in the album that are as affordable as those that are included. Arthur Palmer in his study of omissions in the "Blue" volume one identified 88 stamps from Szechwan, Yunnan, Manchuria, and Sinkiang that he would recommend adding.

A couple of other observations. Shanghai is part of the China section in the Scott Catalogue but is in the S's of the "Blue" album. The "Blue" doesn't have any spaces for the China Treaty Ports but as these weren't listed by Scott at the time the International was compiled, it would be unfair to criticize on that point.

Michael Rogers publishes specialized pages for the SHANGHAI AND TREATY PORTS arranged according to the Chan China Catalogue. The Michael Rogers website says that there are "no other Shanghai & Treaty Port album pages available elsewhere," although both Scott's speciality album for China and the "Blue" International have spaces for Shanghai (I don't know about the "Browns.") But he may be talking about depth--there are 64 pages!--or perhaps these are the only pages available separately if that is all you are interested in.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Followup on Auction of Nearly Complete Scott Volume 1

The almost complete Scott "Blue" volume 1 that was lot 2225 in HR Harmer Sale G196, March 27-28, 2009, sold for $12,500, considerably below the estimate of $15-$20K. This works out to approximately 36 cents a stamp. As only a few lots sold for more, it is possible that the economy may have been a factor. However, several of the lots that sold for more ironically had much lower estimates. (For more background on the collection, click here.)