Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Brown versus Brown

[As background for the following, the Scott International Postage Stamp Album was first published in 1875/76. All editions published before 1900 were titled simply the "International." But once it was the 20th century and there was the need for a second volume, Scott referred to the album covering 1840-1900 as the “19th Century Edition.” Both of these are part of what are informally referred to as the “Brown” albums.]

I’ve commented on several occasions about Scott’s inexplicable decision to omit spaces for early Afghanistan from their otherwise estimable Brown International “19th Century Edition.” I was also aware that these same later versions of the Brown omit the worldwide postal stationary that was in the Internationals published before 1900. I assume this was because collecting cut squares fell out of favor as well as a desire to control the size of the albums as the number of new stamps dramatically increased.

All of this got me to wondering whether there were any other obvious differences between the Internationals published before 1900 and the ones you encounter today on eBay and other venues (or through the Vintage Reproductions edition). As I own a copy of the 1896 edition of the International as well as the 1930 printing of the Brown titled “19th Century Edition,” I decided to stop wondering and start comparing.

The bad news, as it turns out, my “19th Century Edition” is missing some pages. The good news is, when I checked my 1930 copy against the 1902 pdf copy available online via Google books, I discovered the answer to a question that I’ve wondered about: namely, did Scott’s editors make any changes in the Browns over the years? The answer, in the case of the “19th Century Edition” is yes. In general, the “19 Century Edition” albums published in the early 20th century are reasonably close to those published in the 19th century, except for the deletion of cut squares. Most of the other changes for editions published later represent stamps being removed that were in earlier catalogs as major numbers but subsequently were demoted to minor status or removed entirely (e.g., stamps determined to be essays, locals, etc.). Additions to the album in later editions were much rarer. My favorite is one that would make any Blue International collector proud: the decision to add the Swedish tre skilling yellow rarity which wasn’t in early versions. I guess too many collectors were completing the album and Scott thought it should add an additional degree of difficulty.

Below is a summary of what I’ve found, starting with some general observations. You can be certain that this is not complete; these are just what stood out as I was flipping synchronously through each album.

I think there may be a few more illustrations percentage-wise in the 1896 volume, although this isn’t always more helpful to collectors. I.e., sometimes a description is of more value than a small picture. Or a cut of an overprint sans stamp.

The cuts in the 19th century edition have a white line through them as did the illustrations in some Scott catalogs. I can guess why this was, but does anyone know for certain?

Some countries are out of order in the 1896 album and even in some of the earlier “19th Century Edition” versions, shades of the pre-1994 editions of the Scott Blue. And, of course, you are dealing with a fair number of country name changes, e.g., Haiti versus Hayti.

The 1896 edition includes postage stamps used as revenues, but these are omitted for most countries in the “19th Century Edition.” But not all. I assume that there is a justification for the “19th Century Edition” including those for Hong Kong, New Zealand, Queensland, Venezuela, and Victoria, but I haven’t investigated.

To reiterate, worldwide postal stationary is in the 1896 but not in the “19th Century Edition” except for the United States.

To save on space, I’m using these abbreviations in the following:

1896 - my pre-1900 edition of the Brown
19th - my post-1900 edition of the Brown
E - envelope cut squares
RE - registration envelope cut squares
W - wrapper cut squares.

Countries not listed below appear to include the same stamps for the period the two albums cover or they aren’t in the 1896 edition because the countries first issued stamps after 1895’ish.

OK, let’s dig in:

United States. Postmaster Provisionals. 1896 is missing a number of provisionals such as the Alexandria and Annapolis stamps. Especially peculiar is the 1896 includes only the five cent Providence provisional, and illustrates that with a sheet of 12 rather than a single stamp.

US Carrier stamps. 1896 provides two pages versus one in the 19th Century edition.

US Confederate States. Provisionals. Two and a half pages with cuts and descriptions in the 1896, just a blank page in the 19th.

Afghanistan. Six pages with cuts and descriptions in the 1896, one blank page in the 19th.

Angra. 1896 includes E.

Argentina. 1896 includes E and W.

Argentina. Buenos Aires. 1896 edition includes 3 more stamps than the 19th.

Austria. 1896 includes Pneumatic envelopes, E, and W.

Austria. Levant/Turkey. 1896 includes E.

Austria. Lombardy-Venice. 1896 includes envelopes, 1850 and 1858 revenues used for postage, and the Danube Steam Navigation Company which is some earlier versions of the 19th but missing from my 1930 edition.

Baden. 1896 includes E.

Bahamas. 1896 includes E and RE.

Barbados. 1896 in includes E, RE, and W.

Bavaria. 1896 includes 1865 and 1869-84 return letter stamps, E, and W.

Bechuanaland/British Bechuanaland. 1896 includes RE and W.

Belgium. 1896 edition includes newspaper stamps, E, and letter sheets.

Benin. 1896 edition includes E and thirteen postage due stamps versus four in the 19th Century Edition. According to the current catalog, “Nos. J1-J4 exist with overprint in various positions” which account for the extra spaces.

Bermuda. 1896 missing 1849 Hamilton stamps. Neither include X4-X6. 1896 includes RE.

Bolivia. 1896 includes fifteen spaces for revenues used for postage and E.

Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1896 includes E.

Brazil. 1896 includes E.

British Central Africa. 1896 includes RE.

British East Africa. 1896 includes E and RE.

British Guiana. 1896 includes 3 more official stamps than the 19th. 1896 also includes E, RE and W.

British South Africa 1896 (Rhodesia in 19th). 1896 includes RE.

Brunswick. 1896 includes E.

Canada. 1896 has spaces for a few stamps not in the 19th, e.g., Scott #1 3p red on laid and ribbed (as opposed to wove?). And Scott #2 and #3, the 6p and 12 p black, on laid. 1896 also has the 1879 officially sealed stamp and E, W.

Cape of Good Hope. 1896 has E, RE, and W.

Central American Steamship Co. In 1896. Lost Scott catalog status sometime after that.

Ceylon. 19th has 131 spaces for regular issues compared to 126 in the 1896 for the same years. 1896 has E, RE, and W.

Chile. 1896 has Official seals, Revenues used for postage, Telegraph stamps used for postage, and E.

Chinese Treaty Ports. Chefoo, Chinkiang, Chungking, Hankow, Ichang, Kewkiang, and Wuhu have separate pages in the 1896. The 19th provides three blank pages.

Colombian Republic. There are a number of differences between the two albums, e.g., the 1863 “Same, Star after Cent” spaces which are in the 1896, but not in the 19th having been relegated to minor number status in later editions of the Scott Catalog. The 1879 set of Cali Provisionals that are no longer in Scott are in both editions, six spaces in the 1896 within Colombia proper, and eighteen spaces in the 19th Century edition along with other States.  One weird difference is the cut for the 1863 bisect surcharged “Bueno por Cinco Pesos” on Scott #65 (69?). The cut is flipped for no apparent reason between the two albums. Probably a moot point as this appears to be a fantasy issue (described in Earee’s Album Weeds.) 1896 has Railroad Postal Service and River Postal Service envelopes.

Cook Islands. 1896 provides 4 spaces for the 1896 stamps where the 19th has 8 spaces, one set for toned paper the other for white.

Costa Rica. 1896 has spaces for Revenues Used for Postage as well as E and W.

Costa Rica. Guanteaste. 1896 has spaces for Revenues Used for Postage.

Cuba. 1896 has space for an 1871 ten centavo Republic of Cuba stamp. By the 1930 edition, it had disappeared from the 19th. It appears that this is an essay and there was also a five centavo.

Cyprus. 1896 has RE and W.

Danish West Indies. 1896 has E.

Denmark. 1896 has spaces for Official Seals and E and W.

Diego Suarez. 1896 has E.

Dominica. 1896 has Revenues Used for Postage.

Dominican Republic. 1896 has W.

Dutch Indies. 1896 has E. 19th has two spaces for 1845-46 Postage Dues, Scott J1-2. Are these the first postage due stamps? Most sources say France but these are over a decade earlier.

Ecuador. 1896 has Revenues Used for Postage, and E and W.

Egypt. 1896 has a page of Official stamps 1864-1872 that are not in the 19th. (See http://www.interpostalseals.com/) The 1896 also has E, letter sheets, and W.

Fiji Islands. 1896 has an official stamp from 1888.

Finland. 1896 has E and W.

Formosa. 1896 has 2 stamps from 1888. I don’t find Formosa in the 19th.

France. 1896 has E, W and Pneumatic Envelopes.

French Colonies. 1896 has E and W.

French Guiana. 1896 has E.

French Guinea. 1896 has E.

French India. 1896 has E.

French Oceanica. 1896 has E.

French Sudan. 1896 has E.

Funchal. 1896 has E.

Germany. Postal Services of Princes of Thurn and Taxis. Northern States. 1896 has E.

Germany. Postal Services of Princes of Thurn and Taxis. Southern States. 1896 has E.

Germany. North German Postal District. 1896 has three pages of E, W and Provisional Envelopes.

Germany. Empire. 1896 has E and W.

Gibralter. 1896 has RE and W.

Gold Cost. 1896 has RE and W.

Great Britain. Offices in the Levant. 1896 has E.

Great Britain. 1896 has four spaces for Mulready Envelopes, the 19th, two. The 1896 has six pages for E, RE, W, and Compound Envelopes.

Greece. 1896 has E.

Grenada. 1896 has Revenue Used for Postage, RE, and W.

Griqualand West. 19th has blank page for “Cape of Good Hope Stamps Surcharged.” 1896 has three pages with cuts and descriptions.

Guadeloupe. 1896 has E.

Guatemala. 1896 has E and W.

Hamburg. 1896 has E.

Hamburg American Mail Company. 1 space in 1896.

Hanover. 1896 has E and Local Envelopes.

Hawaii. 1896 has E.

Heligoland. 1896 has E and W.

Honduras. 1896 has E and W.

Hong Kong. 1896 and 19th have spaces for Revenues Used for Postage/Postal-Fiscal Stamps. 1896 has Official Seal.

Hungary. 1896 has spaces for E and W.

India. My 1930 edition of the 19th starts India with three spaces for the Scinde District Posts which the 1896 has with its Protected States pages. 1896 has E and RE.

India. Protected States. 1896 has 27 pages with separate spaces, 19th has five blank pages. 1896 includes cut squares as applicable.

Ivory Coast. 1896 includes E.

Jamaica. 1896 includes Revenues used for postage and W.

Japan. 1896 includes Officially Sealed, and E, W, and Official Wrapper.

Lagos. 1896 includes RE.

Leeward Islands. 1896 includes E, RE, and W.

Liberia. 1896 includes E, RE, W.

Lubbock. 1896 includes E.

Madagascar (British). 19th has 10 pages versus six and a half in 1896.

Madeira. 1896 has E.

Malta. 1896 has RE and W.

Mauritius. 1896 has E and RE.

Mayotte. 1896 has E.

Mecklenburg Schwerin. 1896 has spaces for both Scott 6 and 6a.

Mecklenburg Strelitz. 1896 has E.

Mexico. 1896 has official seals, E, official envelopes, and W.

Mexico. Campeche. 1896 has space for imperforate 25 centavo.

Mexico. Morelia. 19th has 1 space, not in 1896.

Mexico. Zactecas. 1896 has 2 spaces, not in 19th.

Monoco. 1896 has E, W.

Montenegro. 1896 has E, W.

Montserrat. 1896 has 1884 revenue used for postage.

Morocco. 1896 has a page with spaces for Mazagan-Morocco, Mazagan-Marakech, Mogador-Morocco, and Tanger-Fez. 19th has one blank page for “Stamps used for service between various cities in Morocco.”

Mozambique Company. 1896 has spaces for two newspaper stamps versus one in the 19th.

Natal. 1896 has W.

Nepal. Missing in 1896.

Netherlands. 1896 has E.

Nevis. 1896 has revenues used for postage.

New Caledonia. 1896 has spaces for seven 1893 military stamps and E.

Newfoundland. 1896 has E, W.

New Republic. There appears to be some differences in coverage between the two albums but I was too lazy to figure out the differences (i.e., same yellow paper, same gray paper, etc.). 1896 has E.

New South Wales. 1896 has E, official envelopes, official registration envelopes, RE, and W.

New Zealand. 1896 has space for 1896 newspaper stamp as well as spaces for the 1890 railway newspaper stamps. 1896 has three pages for revenues used for postage. The 19th, which mostly ignores this type of stamp, has one page for postal-fiscal stamps.

Nicaragua. 1896 has three pages for E, an official envelope, and W.

Niger Coast Protectorate. 1896 has RE.

North Borneo. 1896 includes revenues used as postage.

Norway. 1896 includes return letter stamps and E.

Nossi Bé. 1896 has E.

Oldenburg. 1896 has E.

Orange Free State. 1896 includes nine 1892 telegraph stamps used for postage.

Pacific Steam Navigation Company. 1896 has spaces for 11 stamps. Not in 19th or current Scott catalog.

Panama. I didn’t find in the 1896 so I assume my copy is missing these pages.

Paraguay. 1896 has E and W.

Persia. 1896 starts with space for 1868 Coat of Arms stamp which is not in the current catalog. 1896 has W.

Peru. 1896 has a page of E.

Peru. Provisional Issues. 19th century edition has one blank page for Provisional issues. 1896 has three pages with spaces for Arequipa, Ancash, Apurimac, Ayacucho, Chala, Chiclayo, Cuzco, Huacho, Paita, Moquega, Pasco, Pisco, Piura, Puno, and Yca.

Philippines. 1896 separates out the provisional issues, 19th integrates in one sequence.

Poland. 1896 has E.

Ponta Delgada. 1896 has E.

Portugal. 1896 has E.

Prince Edward Island. 1896 includes space for 1b (catalog $17K versus $250 for the major number in the 2007 catalog).

Prussia. 1896 has a page of E including the 1867 Victoria National Invalided Stiftung.

Queensland. 1896 has space for 1894 Newspaper stamps and W. 19th has spaces for three registration stamps versus only one in the 19th. 19th inexplicably provides a blank page for revenues used for postage.

Reunion. 1896 has E.

Romania. 1896 includes W.

Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. In 1896, not in 19th.

Russia. 1896 includes 2 pages of E and W.

St. Christopher. 1896 includes revenues used for postage.

St. Lucia. 1896 includes revenues used for postage, RE and W.

St. Marie de Madagascar. 1896 includes E.

St. Pierre Miquelon. 1896 includes E.

St. Vincent. 1896 includes RE and W.

Salvador. 1896 includes five pages for E and W.

Saxony. 1896 includes E.

Seychelles. 1896 has E.

Shanghai. There may be some differences between the two editions but I didn’t pursue. 1896 has E and W.

Sierra Leone. 1896 has RE.

South African Republic/Transvaal. 1896 and 19th differ in coverage of pre-1877/78 issues. 1896 has E.

South Australia. 1896 has W and official wrappers. Both have a blank page for official stamps. The 19th century qualifies this is “Stamps of regular issues surcharged with the initial letters of various departments” and then provides two pages with spaces for stamps overprinted O.S.

South Bulgaria. Another cut example.

Straits Settlements. 1896 includes RE.

Straits Settlements. Johore. 1896 missing Scott #1.

Suez Canal Co. Not in my 1930 version of the 19th but was in some earlier.

Sweden. My edition of the 19th includes 3 skilling error but it wasn’t in some earlier. 1896 has E.

Switzerland. 1896 has E and W.

Terra del Fuego. This private post is in the 1896.

Tasmania. 1896 has revenues used for postage, E, RE and W.

Timor. 1896 missing Scott #21. 1896 has space for 1883 10 R free surcharged on Mozambique. 19th also has this stamp and same on Portuguese India stamp. Both are given minor numbers today, Scott 2a and 2b.

Tobago. 1896 has RE.

Tonga. 1896 has E and RE.

Trinidad. 1896 has RE and W as well as space for the Lady McLeod Steam Navigation Company stamp. The Lady McLeod was in some earlier editions of the 19th.

Tunis. 1896 has space for E.

Turkey. 1896 has six spaces for 1887 privately produced surcharged bisects. Was in some earlier editions of 19th. 1896 has spaces for E.

Uruguay. 1896 missing Scott 3B. 1896 has E and W.

Venezuela. 1896 has ten spaces for Scott 1-6 versus three in the 19th. 1896 has spaces for revenues used for postage, blank half page in 19th.

Victoria. Both 1896 and 19th have spaces for revenues used for postage. 1896 has three pages for E, RE, and W.

Western Australia. 1896 has space for the inverted Swan error 3a.

Wurttemberg. 1896 has space for postage dues. Missing in the 19th. 1896 has E and official envelopes.

United States [BOB]. 1896 has telegraph stamps, revenue stamps, playing card stamps, and proprietary stamps. 19th has official seals, E, official envelopes, telegraph stamps, revenue stamps, proprietary stamps, and documentary stamps.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 1st Breaking News: Scott to Bring Back the Browns

In an effort to compete with William Steiner’s popular printable worldwide pages, Scott announced today that it will sell what you need to produce and customize your own International Brown albums. The Browns are widely recognized as the finest worldwide albums ever published but were discontinued by Scott in the early 1940s.

Unlike Steiner who distributes his album pages on CD-ROM or via download, Scott plans to sell customers the tens of thousands of original letter press metal cuts and type used to print the Browns. According to Scott’s press release, their market research has proven that collectors of the first one hundred years of philately want to create albums using a complementary technology. “Sure,” a Scott executive explains, “we could have gone with something experimental like dot matrix, but our company wants to be cutting edge, not bleeding edge.”

Price on request. Some assembly required. Does not include printing press. Shipping extra. (P.S. Scott is serious about the cutting edges; don’t hurt yourself.)