Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thirty Thousand Stamp Blue Volume One for Sale

If you are having second thoughts about ponying up $2.9 million for the 99% complete worldwide collection mentioned earlier, perhaps this will appeal. Thanks to reader Jim for alerting me about a Blue 1840-1940 with 30,000 stamps which is being offered whole by Apfelbaum until Monday, August 20, after which it will split it up. Selling price is $9500. There is a companion US collection which could mean that the worldwide volume doesn't include the US. You can read more about both sets on Apfelbaum's Corner. John Apfelbaum makes an interesting general comment about the Blue Volume 1 and similar collections:
Before 1940 everyone who collected stamps had a World Wide collection. They may have specialized in US or Great Britain but they maintained a general foreign collection that had been their starter collection and which, for most collectors, was still the major appeal that philately had for them.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

More on Just How Many Stamps Are There?

Before I did my count of worldwide stamps 1840-1940 awhile back, I tried to ascertain whether anyone else had made such a count. I assumed naturally that at least in the early days someone might have taken the trouble to count the number of stamps issued between 1840 and 1850 say. But I couldn't initially find anything. But it dawned on me that I never really tried searching Google Books. This time I came up with a citation to the article "Philately's Ninetieth Birthday" by Kent B. Stiles (Scott's Monthly Journal, May 1930, pp 74-76). Thanks to the APS Library, I now have a photocopy.

Below is the table prepared by Mr. Stiles of stamp types by decade from 1840-1930. As the author explains, the rows total correctly across, but the Grand Totals at the bottom don't because there can be overlap between types (i.e., you could have an airmail stamp that was also overprinted and thus is counted in both categories). Mr. Stiles' total of 79,500 at first seemed high to me but he then I remembered he is counting minor as well as major varieties which I certainly didn't do.

Parcel Post000023
Postage Due2382230376
Spec'l Deliv'y00002
Tete beche829575351
War Tax000330
Grand Total1811830421150106980
Overprints454163901036210611 36,816
Air0027965 992
Bisects5219846 505
Commemorative5303968032680 4,447
Inverts6087291065595 3,759
Military59620417 322
Newspaper20662195111 843
Occupation41551847633 2,843
Official10359159081300 5,265
Parcel Post32109129292 585
Pebiscite0220453 489
Postage Due65781911641808 5,141
Semi-Postal163510171418 2,486
Spec'l Deliv'y73478135 256
Tete beche41313972 381
Registration46593231 203
War Tax16141982 263
Grand Total10342134381647020915 79,377

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Why stop with the Blues when you can complete the Browns, too?

Harmer-Schau is offering by private treaty a collection they say is 99.9% complete for the world from 1840-2010. Accord to Harmer-Schau "The collection is meticulously housed in black mounts in over 200 Minkus albums. Also, there are numerous albums, stockbooks and file folders with extra material, such as booklet panes and sheetlets. All countries are represented, Afghanistan (nearly complete tiger heads, mostly in full plating) through Zululand." Asking price is $2.9 million USD.

Now before you stop reading and reach for your checkbook, I should note that there is no U.S. (which I assume also means no Confederate States, Hawaii, et al). And there are at least 600 empty spaces, ranging from expensive rarities to at least a handful of cheap stamps. (What's up with those?)

So I have a few questions. Who is the collector? How many stamps are included (using Keijo's count of worldwide stamps, I assume close to 600,000)? Are there really Minkus albums covering the world in depth? (If I had to guess, I would assume this is some combination of Minkus Specialty albums with their Global/Supreme Global supplements.)

There has been a nice discussion about this on Stampboards.

You can find more information on the collection at the Harmer-Schau website.

If anyone reading this blog buys this collection, please let me know! My guess is that it won't sell whole, but that offering it as such is the first step before breaking it up by country. Maybe if that happens we'll see some photos and learn more.

P.S. I hope to find time to work through the list of the 600 missing stamps and report back here.

Update 8/11/12: I converted the wantlist to Excel so I could more easily play with it and have posted the results in the StampBoard thread linked above. If anyone wants a copy of the Spreadsheet, let me know. Bottom line is that there are more like 1200 stamps missing with a total 2007 catalog value in excess of $5 million USD. Fortunately, there are a couple at 20 cents that I could afford.