Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years Resolutions

I have three this year.

First, through the generosity of reader Mark, I have reference copies of the Brown Internationals covering 1840-1929 and will be looking for the final 1930s volumes on eBay (this may take some time). Over the coming months, I plan to do a quick and dirty estimate of the number of stamps in the Brown, identify some of the more obvious peculiarities and eccentricities (e.g., are there really no pages for US souvenir sheets?), and try to see if I can divine any overriding editorial principles governing what is included and omitted (for example, vis-a-vis watermarks or errors). Knowing Scott, I bet these changed over the years.

Second, and this is an easy one, take some sample measurements of the spaces for the various classic era albums and also look at page density—i.e., how many stamps per page on average, white space, etc. This idea was put in my head by reader Tim who was wondering whether the borders around stamps were smaller in the days before there were plastic stamp mounts.

Finally, I would like to end 2011 with 50% of the spaces in my Blue filled which comes to approximately 17,500 stamps. I currently have almost 16,000. Based on my experiences so far, I can expect to acquire no more than half from APS Circuits, if that many. So this means I'll have to experiment with other sources, such as the APS Stamp Store, Zillions of Stamps, etc. The problem is that I don't know of any particularly efficient ways of acquiring low cost stamps of which I am still missing many. For example, there are a lot of blank Latin American spaces in my album that are at or near minimum catalog value. But a recent stab at Argentina showed that there were a fair amount of stamps not available from the above sources (at least in single, used copies). On the other hand, it may be easier to find stamps for the most collected countries, such as Germany. In any event I'll try various options and post the results.

6 comments:

Jim said...

Having just restarting collecting this past year, I've found your blog an inspiration. When time and funds permit, I'm hoping to get the Minkus Supreme Global reprint I first learned about here. By the way, if you're having trouble finding cheap stamps, I'm surprised that you don't make more regular use of Delcampe.net, which doesn't charge listing fees and hence has large numbers of stamps, many very inexpensive. At present it has over 40000 listings for Argentina alone.

Bob said...

Thanks, Jim. I hope you will let me know what you think of the Supreme Global reprint if you acquire one.

Delcampe is definitely one of those sources that I will be looking at closely this year.

williamgrady said...

Bob, I buy many collections on Scott and Minkus pages. One thing I do know is that Minkus was really tight drawing the boxes on most stamps in their Globals as well as the regional albums. Minkus crams way more on a page of the older Global pages than Scott.

The biggest problem is series that are drawn together with just a line separating the stamps. These are awful to use for mounts in Minkus albums. Scott always seems to have just enough space for mounts even in the older International parts and I didn't have that trouble in my Argentina Scott album. If the stamp spaces are separated by white space, Scott looks really spacious.

I believe Minkus became better with this at least in the supplements as time went on, but I don't use any mounts in my Supreme Globals to solve this problem, but I stop at 1970 anyway, before they might have fixed the problem.

Bill

williamgrady said...

On the issue of using Delcampe, I have also been using it recently. It has thousands of used stamps at really low prices. You get eaten alive by postage but that happens on Ebay as well. One thing you have to watch for on Delcampe is how to pay for stuff. I only deal with those who accept Paypal; I got stuck sending euro cash in a registered letter on one deal, never again!

Bill

Bob said...

Bill, thanks for the great info on the Minkus albums.

What little I've done on Delcampe squares with your experience. I suspect Delcampe will become much more valuable when I'm down to needing only a few stamps in a country.

Jim said...

Postage is an issue on Delcampe, of course--but the sheer number of inexpensive items (less than 10c each) listed by many of the sellers means that it's possible to order a large number from one in a few days and combine the postage charges. I always pay by Paypal or with Moneybookers, which many of the Delcampe sellers use and is very effective and safe.