Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SG Worldwide Albums. Part 2: Images

As the Ideal and Imperial albums are unfamiliar to most US based collectors, I thought it would be helpful to post some pictures. As indicated in Part 1, images of the Imperial album are not plentiful. However, a copy of the 1874 edition is available on Google Books. As a reminder, only the British Empire volumes are sold today.
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Image 1, from the Regency Stamps Website, shows the Imperial Album currently available for sale. Note on the left side of the pages are abbreviated Catalog listings for the stamps that are on the right. Incidentally, the image of the Imperial (and Ideal) album on the American distributor's site are much better than on the Stanley Gibbons website and light years better that the one SG uses on eBay.

Image 2. A closeup of what one of the Imperial's "catalog" pages looks like.

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Image 3. A page of Egypt from the Imperial.

Image 4. A page of Great Britain showing spaces for different Penny Red plates.


Image 5. An "ancient" picture from the Imperial's Local Posts volume.

Now on to the Ideal. As a reminder, only the Foreign (i.e., non-British Empire) volumes are available for purchase today.

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Image 6, from the Regency Stamps Website, shows the Ideal Album currently available for sale.

Image 7. Preface to the 8th edition of the Ideal.

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Image 8. Preface to the 2nd edition of the Ideal by which Stanley Gibbons means the 2nd edition after the 8th. Confused?

Image 9. A warning about not coloring outside the lines from the Index to the 2nd edition. Boy, Stanley Gibbons was really strict.


Image 10. The first page of Mauritius in the Ideal. Yes, there are, or rather, were two spaces for your copies of the "Post Office" Mauritius.

Image 11. A page of Bavaria from the Ideal.

I have several dozen images from the Ideal albums. Let me know if you are curious about a particular country and I'll see if I have any.

Part 3 of this series will compare the Ideal and Imperial with other worldwide albums.

ADDENDUM. I forgot to put in a couple of images from the Imperial Sectional album.


Image A1. Note the high section number. As I mentioned in Part 1, there were over a 100 different sections.

Image A2. A page for Bosnia. Has the same format as the main volume so I assume we are looking here at a page for "new issues." I also assume that there was a catalog on the facing page but I can't verify that.


Jim said...

Interesting. I haven't seen either album first hand. I would think for British colonies they would be quite good if they indeed follow the SG catalogue numbers.

Looking forward to your next installment Bob!

John said...

Sandefayre Stamps has a Youtube channel where they preview some of thier auction offerings. One of them was for an Ideal album. It's just flipping through the album, not very thorough, but interesting. They also have a big blue in one of thier other videos. Here is a link to the video of the Ideal album.

Bob said...

John, thanks for reminding me about Sandefayre aucton site. I had earlier found 3 interesting videos but promptly forgot to include them:


SandafayreStamps. 1840 to 1936 GB & Commonwealth Original Collection.

SandafayreStamps. 1840 to 1936 GB & British Empire in Original 'New Ideal' Album.

Bob said...

Jim, I really would like to see both of these sets closeup. It would be especially interesting to know more about the catalogue pages. I've read that like Scott, SG has made changes in their numbers over time but I don't have a feel for how much that would impact the usefulness of these albums (whose numbering presumably was frozen at whatever was current in the mid-1930s).

James said...

I live in England, and earlier this year thought hard about getting the SG albums for a classic collection. Towards this end, I went to see them at SG on the Strand in London. The Imperial covers the British Empire to 1936, the Ideal does the rest of the world, though in less detail. The paper and printing of the reprints is excellent; the main problem is the binding, which is fastbound and makes adding pages etc impossible. (And the margins are such that it wouldn't be possible to cut the book apart and use it looseleaf.)
As noted in your blog, the albums do have blank pages that can be removed to avoid bulging when the stamps are in; but there aren't really enough of these--if my memory serves me right, no more than about one blank per dozen for the Ideal, but more for the Imperial. I think the Imperial could work for a British Colonies 1840-1936 collection, esp. if not that many mounts were involved. It has certainly held many collections in the past. But the Ideal seemed to me much too inflexible. Interestingly, I had a chance to speak in the shop with SG's manager of album sales, and he is hoping that they will soon do a newly edited looseleaf British Empire album, covering the early period (perhaps up to 1952?), and with mounts, as in Davo, Lighthouse, and other albums. Their current bestseller is not surprisingly the UK album from 1840-1860, and this would build on that success. A whole world album for the classic period would be great, but didn't seem to be in prospect, at least not from the Strand.
I'm not in London very often, but can check other details that would be of interest on my next visit. Or perhaps someone who actually has a copy could help out too.

Bob said...

James, wow, what a difference it makes when you can learn from someone who has actually seen the albums rather than, like me, make wild guesses based on blurry eBay auction photos.

My wife and I have been to London easily a dozen times if not more, but I never stopped by the Stanley Gibbons shop. Perhaps I'll make it in 2012!

James said...

Stanley Gibbons is definitely worth a visit, but the prices seem to me high...they are really pushing stamps as "investments". I'd also walk over to nearby Vera Trinder on Bedford Street, which has a great range of European philatelic catalogues, albums and other publications for sale.
By the way, the bestseller for SG is their 1840-1970 single volume for Great Britain. "1860" was my mistake.

Gerd said...

Hi Bob,

many thanks for the useful informations. I just ordered the Imperials, at the moment SG gives a massive discount at ebay; 176 GBP + shipping. I also hope to find a hardbound, out of print, King George VI album. Combined the three hardbounds could replace many of Bill Steiners classic pages.

I'm looking forward to part three of your SG albums review.

Bob said...

Gerd, I hope you will consider posting a comment on the Imperials after you receive them. I know I'm going to short change this set in my "review" as I have so few decent images to go on.

Gerd said...

exiI think I'll receive the Imperials before christmas days. I'll give hopefully a positive comment about these albums.

DrewM said...

Great stuff, as usual, about the SG albums which I've long admired. Very nice looking books with great page layouts. I always found the "catalogue" information on the left-hand page a little odd, but sort of appealing. One-sided pages do cut down on number of stamps and help with the problem of albums bulging, I would guess. But they also require additional volumes to contain all the stamps, of course.

My concern with these bound albums is that like the old Scott Junior International bound albums, the number of stamps added soon does make the album bulge. I've seen bound albums so thick that the covers curve out way beyond the width of the spine. Who would want an album to look like that? And it would tend to spring the album and eventually make it useless.

I imagine publishers of bound albums get away with this because so many people buy them for their aesthetic book-like appeal, but never actually come anywhere near filling them with stamps. It's good to hear that Stanley Gibbons is at least considering loose-leaf albums.

The Scott Junior International had, at one point at least, an addition of expansion strips between certain numbers of pages. They were sewn into the binding but served much the same purpose as the loose cardboard expansion strips we now regularly add to Scott country and National albums. Davo albums also come with expansion strips to mount every ten pages or so. They help even out the thickness so that stamp-heavy pages are no thicker than the bound margins are. An important consideration which the bound Stanley Gibbons may or may not have accounted for. Or do they include bound-in-place expansion strips as the Junior album once did?

I've looked at these SG albums and they are very nicely done. But the bulging album problem makes me unwilling to try them, I'm afraid.

DrewM said...

I should add that I just viewed one of the SG videos (which are very appealing, by the way!) and I noticed that the Ideal Album had some expansion strips between a few pages -- but not very many. So, Gibbons seems to be trying to even out the "bulge" problem, but I wonder if the few I noticed would be enough? Anyone know anything about this?

Gerd said...

Hi DrewM,

I just received the "New Imperials" a few days ago.

Short review:
Two heavyweight great looking books, thick paper, print quality good but not perfect, printed catalouge on left side good enough to work without seperate catalogue, acceptable price, SG added many (I think enough) blank pages to solve the bulging problem.

All in all I'm very happy with these albums.