Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yvert & Tellier Updates Classics Catalog

I just noticed that there is a 2010 edition of the Classiques du Monde: 1840-1940, the first new edition since 2005. Unlike the Scott Classics catalog which details how their coverage expands each year, Yvert is mum on improvements. The number of pages in the new edition is 1116 which compares to 1078 pages in the 2005 edition. So, I wonder what is on the 38 new pages?

In trying to dig up some info on the Yvert, I just came across the Klassische Philatelie site of Dr. Christoph Ozdoba that compares the 2005 Yvert catalog, the equivalent Scott, and a volume I didn't know existed, Michel's Klassik-Katalog Europa 1840–1900. Note that unlike the Scott and the Yvert, Michel's catalog is more restricted, both by date (1840-1900) and by region (Europe).

The rest of Dr. Ozboda's Classical Philately site is worth the visit. I look forward to exploring it.

Update 7/9/10: There is a short thread on StampChat about the Yvert catalog with a couple of page scans from the 2005 edition.

Monday, June 21, 2010

2011 Classic Specialized Catalogue Cover Contest

For the second year, Scott is asking stamp collectors to pick the cover for the upcoming edition of the Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers of the World 1840-1940. This year there are three choices each matching the theme chosen for all of the 2011 catalogs, UNESCO World Heritage sites:

  • Bohemia and Moravia Scott 29, the 60-haleru View of St. Barbara's Church in Kutna Hora stamp of 1939
  • China Scott C9, the 60-cent Curtiss "Jenny" over the Great Wall of China stamp of 1929
  • Greece Scott C2, the 3-drachma Flying Boat over the Acropolis stamp of 1926.

Spaces for all three of these are in the Blue International. I own the Czech stamp, two of the lower denominations of the China, but nothing from the Greek set. Does anyone reading this have all three?

According to the August 2010 Scott Stamp Monthly, the contest began last year because the editors couldn't decide between two of their favorites. More than 1700 votes were cast with the Falkland Islands' Penguin stamp winning by a 2-1 margin.

To vote, click here. The deadline for voting is 31 August 2010. The Catalogue will be issued in November.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Worldwide Album Shootout: Portuguese Colonies

If you mainly add to your "Blue" collection from other International albums, you are only rarely jolted into reality by stamps that don't match the spaces in your own album. But once you start using other sources to build your collection, missing spaces become more apparent. I recently received a circuit of sales books for Portugal and its Colonies from the American Philatelic Society. One thing that stood out were some affordable stamps from the 19th century (i.e., under $5) that were missing from the album. But not from all of the colonies. I'll say up front that what I initially thought was going to be some major lacuna in 19th century coverage of these colonies in the "Blue" turned out to be less than I had feared.

While I'm sure everyone but me has these memorized, for the record, here are the Portuguese Colonies in the Scott Catalog: Angola, Angra, Azores, Cape Verde, Funchal, Horta, Inhambane, Kionga, Lourenco Marques, Macao, Madeira, Mozambique, Mozambique Company, Nyassa, Ponta Delgada, Portuguese Africa, Portuguese Congo, Portuguese Guinea, Portuguese India, Quelimane, St. Thomas & Prince Islands, Tete, Timor, and Zambezia.

In the "Blue" International Volume One, most of the above colonies include at least a space or two for stamps like the following:

The differentiating point is the 1898 King Carlos set, an example from which is to the right of the white line. The Colonies that Scott supplies spaces for stamps issued before this set are: Cape Verdi (7 spaces for stamps before 1898), Funchal (3 stamps), Horta (2 stamps), Lourenco Marques (3), Macao (23 stamps), Madeira (9 stamps), Mozambique (12 stamps), Mozambique Company (11 stamps), Nyassa (7 stamps), Ponta Delgada (4 stamps), Portuguese Africa (5 stamps), Portuguese Congo (3 stamps), Portuguese Guinea (14 stamps), Portuguese India (19 stamps), St. Thomas & Prince Islands (14 stamps), Timor (19 stamps), Zambezia (4 stamps).

The exceptions are Angola, Angra, Azores, Inhambane, and Kionga. (Scott is off the hook with Kionga as its issues don't begin until 1916.) The other four colonies start with the 1898 King Carlos issues, ignoring anything earlier even though similar stamps are represented in the majority of the album's other Portuguese Colonies. What seems particularly strange is that Scott devotes 3 pages to Angola, 5 to the Azores and even 1 full page to Inhambane. In all fairness, the earlier stamps of Inhambane are expensive and don't belong in the "Blue." But that doesn't explain why they are missing for Angola or the Azores which have multi-page coverage.

The Minkus Supreme Global provides 29 spaces for Angola before the 1898 issues; 3 spaces for Angra; 21 spaces for the Azores, but none for Inhambane (where the first stamps are expensive). The Master Global also omits the earlier stamps for the Azores and Inhambane, but includes examples for Angola and Angra.

The corresponding coverage for the Scott Brown is: Angola (37 stamps before the 1898 issues), Angra (12 stamps), and the Azores (98! stamps). Interestingly, I cannot find Inhambane in my copy of the 19th Century Scott Brown (c1930).

Finally, the counts for Steiner's album pages are: Angola (37 stamps), Angra (12 stamps), the Azores (94 stamps), and Inhambane (14 stamps).

I was surprised that the Scott Brown had more stamps for the Azores than Bill Steiner's album pages as, in my previous comparisons, the coverage of Steiner's pages has always been equal or greater. The difference is Scott 16-19A, four stamps which are no longer in the Scott Catalog but were when the Scott Brown was created.

For a quick overview of the Portuguese Colonies, see this Refresher Course on the Linn's website.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Scott's Commemorative Stamp Album

Fellow worldwide collector Tim recently sent me an interesting email. Tim has given me permission to quote his comments on a Scott album that I had not seen before as well as his general remarks on collecting that I think you will enjoy reading:

"I would like to share with you a Scott album I purchased on ebay recently that is one of the most novel albums I’ve yet to acquire and, I think, one of the rarest of Scott album publications. It is “The Commemorative Stamp Album”, labeled inside, “The Specialty Album for Commemorative Postage Stamps of the World”, copyright 1934. There also is a book that describes all the stamps listed in the album. I have the bound version and a loose leaf, 2 volume version was produced. I’ve attached a scan of the front (I’ll send better) and a scan of an advertisement from a Scott 1936 catalog (colleague did a horrible job!).

I collect classic airmail to 1940 (though I cheat and purchase sets after that time) as I hold a pilot’s license... I collect for that reason and also I can approach a very high percent of completion. Problem is, I can’t decide whether to go loose or have the bound rebound and use that.

I’ve discovered that the WW commemorative album includes commemoratives, semi-postal’s and airmails. There is overlap with the classic airmail, and of course, overlap with the commemoratives with the Blue.

I enjoy collecting. It allows me to detox.... It also gives me some sense that, eventually; through time and MONEY, I will get close to filling the album. There is a certain sense of personal intellectual accomplishment in completing a specialized collection while also knowing that you acquired the best specimens you could afford (M/MLH/MH). As they say in the trade, “Better material usually increases in value”. That being said, this “Green” album presents an opportunity to accomplish the same in the commemorative area.

One subject I would like to research, and I don’t think it would take too much time, is to calculate the total CATALOG cost to fill each album would be. Before I got this album, I would have put my money on the Air Post album. Now, I think the Green would cost far, far more. Recently a set of Greece 1st Olympic stamps in MLH?MH were sold on ebay for well over $800!!! I’ll be more than happy to pass on my findings when completed."