Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The 2014 edition of the Scott Classic Catalogue

The 2014 edition marks the twentieth edition of this essential work for any worldwide collector. The edition is currently available for purchase both in hardcopy and digitally for the iPhone/iPad.

This year there were 6,000 value changes for stamps only listed in the Classic catalog. (The total revaluations is 22,500 if you include varieties in both the Specialized and Standard Scott catalogs.) I normally don’t pay much attention to value change statistics from year to year, but I did find interesting that Scott has changed its value grading for early Great Britain from Very Fine to Fine-Very Fine. To quote the catalog’s introduction, “in today’s market, very few classic Queen Victoria stamps of Great Britain trade as true Very Fine.” Poor centering and heavy cancellation are wide spread. Such stamps “often sell for only 10 percent to 20 percent of the values listed in the catalog.”

Editorially, there has been a major reorganization of Argentina Official Departments and the Portuguese colonies Ceres stamps. For Argentina, the reorganization was done by date, type and perforation with many new images to help in identification.

The Ceres project began with Portugal in the 2013 catalog and moves on this edition to Angola, Azores, Cape Verde, Inhambane, Lourenco Marques, Macao, Madeira, Mozambique, and Tete. The issues are organized by date, paper type and perforation. There has been much renumbering and almost 150 new listings. For the 2015 edition, expect similar treatment of Portuguese Congo, Portuguese Guinea, Portuguese India and St Thomas & Prince Islands.

This is of relevance to Blue collectors because a few of these stamps had been dropped from recent editions of the Scott Standard Catalog even though they are still in the International Volume 1.

There are more than 120 listings for the occupation and annexation stamps of Greece, together with renumbering and reorganization to make identification easier.

Several of the Indian States, specifically Cochin, Gwalior and Travancore have a total of more than 350 new listings. More will be coming in 2015.

I particularly commend the editor, Charles Snee, for welcoming corrections and suggestions (

P.S. Did you notice that Scott didn’t hold a contest this year to pick the stamp to adorn the new edition’s cover?


Jim said...

My 2011 edition is so tattered and torn (with Denmark pages falling out), that I ordered the 2014 today. Perhaps I can keep this volume in better condition. ;-)

I'm ambivalent (O.K., a little hostile ;-) about Scott renumbering stamps- - does that mean I will need to go back and redo checklists?

Bob said...

Well, stupid me, I never thought of the implications of the renumbering to your checklist.

I own the 2013 edition in the electronic version. I'll check and see what was changed last year against your checklists.

DrewM said...

This is a problem with any stamp numbering system. Either you get it completely right the first time or you have to go back, perhaps multiple times, as new information becomes available and renumber. On one side, that's a good idea. You do want the stamp listings to accurately reflect the way sets were issued and so forth. But on the other hand there's the annoying problem of redoing the order of albums and check lists. Think of all the dealers and Ebay listers who are going to offer for sale, say, Scott $251 only to have the customer discover it's either the old 251 or the new 251 -- but they wanted another stamp.

I remember Scott doing this some years ago, but I can't remember which countries it was. It may have been early stamps of Iceland or Greenland (countries I collect). It was awfully confusing for a few years deciding which stamps I was ordering or bidding on.

But I wouldn't mind at all if Scott did a massive overhaul of earlier U.S. stamps and cut out the many repeated design stamps with barely recognizable 'secret marks' the designers put in. That always seemed silly to me, although I know it began in the 19th century had too few stamps to collect, not too many. So they wanted every flyspeck difference to count as a different Scott number. U.S. #3 and 4 are particularly silly to list. I don't even think they were used for postage, just for the sake of reprinting them, I think. So there's some renumbering I would welcome.

Jim said...

Interestingly, my 2014 Classic cover is reddish brown rather than blue. ;-)

I also noticed the Canadian provinces that issued stamps prior to joining Canada are now all under "Canadian Provinces" rather than scattered alphabetically all over the catalogue.

And, if you examine the stamp images for Batum 1919 Scott 1 (A1), Batum 1919 Scott 13 (overprint), Manchukuo 1936 Scott 77 (Orchid Crest-A13), there are now correct images (that I submitted) to replace incorrect images. ;-)

williamgrady said...

I'd like to know what the Argentina Department Officials listing looks like. There are no perf varieties in the current listing in the regular Scott. The chart approach Scott used in the 1970's was easier to use than what they have been using in recent years anyway.


Bob said...

William, I can only confirm than in the 2013 Classic there are no perforation varieties for the Argentina Department Officials. Hopefully, Jim or another reader can be more helpful.

Jim said...

Well, they certainly changed the presentation in the 2014 for the Argentina Department Officials. ;-)

* Each overprinted grouping of stamps from the same regular issue has a stamp cut illustration heading the grouping. Certainly an improvement.

* All groupings are headed by perforation information

* A different perforation than the group heading perforation information is given a minor number. These minor numbers are a new addition to the catalogue.

* The Type I and Type II overprints are all major numbers, rather than say a Type II overprint stamp a minor number to a Type I overprint stamp. I will need to go and change these minor numbers to (different) major numbers in my album. (BTW, these new major numbers are of the OD127B variety.)

* Little or no harm was done to the major numbers that were already in the catalogue- they are all still there, and refer to the "same" stamp. Thank goodness. ;-)

Bob said...

Jim, thanks for checking. Sounds like some helpful improvements.