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.


Houghton Grandmal said...

Here's what happened to the US portion:

or go to EBay and search for NYStamps Estate US Stamp Collection 10 Scott

or just go to EBay and search for 499,999.00 under "stamps"

It's a US collection for which NYStamps is asking $499,999.00.

So, for 3.5 million you can pick up a 99.9% complete worldwide, including US! What's not to like?

Bob said...

Houghton, certainly seems plausible. I wonder though why the collector would choose to consign the US part to NYStamps instead of everything to Harmer-Schau? This whole thing is just one question after another!

Houghton Grandmal said...

My tongue was in my cheek--I just thought it made a nice pairing. The NYStampe $499,999.00 is not worth anything near that--just overhyped. If one reads the fine print, one discovers that $500,000 is the catalogue value. They know as well as anyone that it will sell for far less, perhaps $30,000, if it sells.

I think this is one of those very good collections that NYStamps gets and tries to sell but it doesn't seem to be put together by someone out to achieve 99.9% completeness with total disregard for cost. I think it's a lifetime effort by a serious US collector, not a 40-year mad dash by someone with money to burn, like the Harmer-Schau worldwide.

That $79,000 catalogue value worldwide (though it was missing about a dozen major countries) for which NYStamps was asking $79,000 for about 2 years' duration (declining about 50 offers) ended up selling for $8,000.

So, you should be able to get the whole world, including US, for under 3 million--maybe $30,000 for the US.

Houghton Grandmal said...

I should add, that the Harmer-Schau 99.9 percenter strikes me as having been assembled while excluding the US rather than the non-US portion of a collection with the US part held back or sold separately. Just a hunch.

DrewM said...

I suppose it's needless to say, but would anyone really buy such a collection? If they did, wouldn't their stamp collecting days be over? It would be like dying and going to heaven -- pretty exciting for a short while, but then what do you do?

I can certainly understand the desire to buy country collections and stamp lots of various kinds, including old albums. But a 99% collection seems to be precisely the sort of purchase someone who enjoys "collecting" as opposed to "finishing" would not want.

Or am I missing something here?

Bob said...

Drew, I think you are right, but let me throw this out. Let us say that you are collector for whom money is no object and you are intrigued by the challenge of getting as close to as complete a worldwide stamp collection as has ever been achieved. So you jump start your quest with this collection, knowing that you still have to obtain: 1) as many of the 600 or so missing stamps as possible; 2) a US and Possessions collection that is similarly complete; and 3) keep up with new issues from 2011 on. Not my cup of tea but I can certainly imagine it appealing to someone.

Houghton Grandmal said...

This is the EBay item number for the NYStamps worldwide collection that they said had a CV of $80,000 (but was missing at least Fance, Denmark, Grmany, Great Britain, Hungary, Netherlnds, Poland (though the description failed to mention this).

Item 380259373048

They asked $79,000; it was on offer for two years, during which time they rejected about 50 offers.

Then it suddenly ended, sold for $8000, 1/10 of the asking price.

So, by that standard,the half million US collection on offer now, if it sells at all, might be worth $30,000-50,000. Maybe.

URL for the 79,000 worldwide: