Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is There a "Best" Edition of the "Blue"?

For the past year, I have been trying to determine if there are editions of the "Blue" which are more complete and accurate than the rest. My working hypothesis has been that the 1947 version is the best candidate. Turns out my supposition may be incorrect. I originally came to believe the 1947 edition was the most complete because I knew the more recent versions of the "Blue" are missing entire countries and pages that were in pre-1950 editions. (This is largely as a consequence of a change in editorial policy starting in the 1970s that began every country and every major category of stamp within a country on the front of a page.) But when I began seriously comparing the 1965 edition with the 1947 version, it turns out it isn't just the later version that is missing stamps that are in the earlier; there are some stamps in the 1969 album that aren't in the 1947 one.

Here are a few examples from the "A" countries:

1947 album missing Scott numbers 330 and 331 that are in the 1965 album
1965 album missing Scott RA1, RA2 that are in the 1947 album

1965 album missing Scott P1, P2 that are in the 1947 album

1965 album missing Scott J16 that is in the 1947 album
1965 album missing specific spaces for Scott 28, 29 that are in the 1947 album (i.e., what had specific IDs in the 1947 version are now left blank)

The 1913-26 Ceres series is complicated: The 1947 album is missing Scott 134, 135 and 140 that are in the 1965 album while the 1965 album is missing Scott 150 that is in the 1947 album. Both albums omit Scott 138, 143, 145, 147, 152, 153 plus higher denominations. (I'm ignoring Scott 129 that is no longer in the catalog.)

1965 album missing 31-35 that are in the 1947 album

1947 album missing Scott 140-142 that are in the 1965 album

So the answer is less clear than I thought. The 1947 edition has hundreds more stamps in it than those published in 1969 and after, but nevertheless is itself missing some stamps that were added during the editing process for later editions. I suppose there is a possibility that the 1955 or the 1964 editions have everything in the 1947 plus the additions I'm seeing in the 1969 "Blue." You rarely see the 1955 or 1964 editions offered on eBay so it may be some time before that question can be answered. If you own either of these editions and would be willing to check a few pages, please let me know.


John said...

I have a '55 edition. I looked at Afghanistan and it matches you description of the '47. Let me know if you'd like me to check anything else.

Bob said...

John that would be great. Sometime soon let me scan a few pages from the '47 and '65 editions and see which match your '55 version. In the meanwhile, if you have the time, a couple of questions:

1) Does the '55 United States section still have the revenue pages and the blank page for souvenir sheets? These are in the '47 but missing from the '69.

2) Could you randomly check a few of the countries that were missing in the '69 edition and see if they are still in your '55? The list is here. Thanks. BOB

jma4251 said...

The '55 has the U.S. revenues and excludes White Russia. I'm away from home at the moment and thats all I can answer from memory. I can respond in more detail later this week. I just bought a '47 on ebay and when it arrives, I'd be interested in doing a side by side comparison.

Bob said...

I would be most interested in seeing the comparison between the two. Then if we can find someone with the 1964!

John said...

The '55 has the souvenir sheet page for the US. I checked the list of countries in the '47 that are missing from the '69 and Pitcairn Islands and White Russia are missing from the '55, but everything else is there.