Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Two Part Blue International EXPOSED!

I recently purchased a collection housed in Part 1A of the 1991 edition of the Blue, the last two part version before Scott/Amos began splitting the Volume 1 into four parts. My understanding from what I had read (but having never actually seen one of the 2 part Internationals) is that these came at the end of a transitional phase lasting more than two decades where some pages were dropped as the editors tried to facilitate the integration of Volume 1 pages with those for Volume 2 and beyond (i.e., every country beginning on the front of a page as well as for different kinds of stamps, such as airmails). Imagine my surprise to discover that even as late as 1991, there was practically no difference between the 1991 version and my 1969 edition:

Austria--in the 1969, the page for 1917 comes after 1919-21; this is fixed in the 1991 edition

Colombia--1991 edition missing pages for Acknowledgment of Receipt stamps, Special Delivery Stamp, Antioquia, Santander, Issued in Cucuta, and Tolima.

Costa Rica--1991 missing Postage due stamps and Official Stamps.

Cilicia--1991 missing this entire country. (It is on the same page as the missing Costa Rica issues supra.)

With the exception of switching the out of order pages in Austria, the differences in the 1991 version are the result of entire pages being cut rather than any changes within a page.

As far as I could tell, there was nothing added to the 1991 version that wasn't in the 1969.

So I've been very much mistaken. My guess now is that Scott split the Volume 1 into two parts primarily to cover increased printing costs/generating more profit and not to do any serious reediting. So the reediting we see now within the four part version didn't begin until 1994.

I suppose the good news is that if you aren't after the 1943/47 editions which are the most comprehensive or the latest four part version which is on better paper and more "user-friendly," then it really doesn't matter that much which of the editions between 1955 and 1991 you use (except that the versions issued from 1955 through 1969 will have spaces for more countries and several hundred more stamps than later editions but not as many as 1943/47).


John said...

I would put the '55 edition in the same group as the '47. Most of the changes were enhancements, with very little deleted (most notably White Russia which had been de-catagloged by Scott).

Bob said...

John, that's good to know. My impression is that the 1955, along with the earlier editions, appear more often than any of the others on eBay. Therefore they should be easier for collectors to acquire than the less complete later editions.

Jim said...

Bob,I really enjoy your blog and have read it many times. In fact, you have inspired me to resume my 1840-1940 collection from 30 years ago.

I do have a question and I'm quite sure you would know the answer for sure.

I don't believe there is information publicly available for the Scott numbers in Volume 1-correct? I certainly have had that impression.

So the solution. I'm planning to look up the Scott numbers for each country for my newly ordered 4 part Volume 1. Of course, I know there will be occasional ambiguity with the Album's illustrations/information and the Scott catalogue. Yes it will take time, but I'm retired. :-)

In order to spread the results of the work, I could publish a blog (Yes I already named it!-Big Blue 1840-1940) if that would be helpful. Of course, if the information is public, then there is no need to proceed.

Bob, I would appreciate your opinion.

Bob said...

Hi Jim, glad you have been bitten by the Blue Bug. One of the first things I looked for when starting my collection was a checklist of stamps in the Volume 1, but never found anything. (I just searched the APS Library Catalog as well as a variety of variants in Google and nothing came up.) It would be wonderful to have a checklist. Do you think it worth seeing if there are other collectors who would like to help?

I've thought about this and several variations off and on over the past couple of years. With your forbearance I will try to post some thoughts on the topic this weekend.

Bob said...

Jim, forgot to mention that the name for your blog is great!

Jim said...

Thanks Bob!

I look forward to your thoughts.