Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Albums PLUS Albums"

I stumbled across the following in Scott’s Monthly Journal, June 1921, p.18 and thought it might give some pleasure. Incidentally, if you haven’t browsed old philatelic journals via Google Books, it is a pleasant way to spend an hour.

The author Mr. Hill writes that he has been a collector for 47 years, which means he began in 1874. About when the first International appeared!

Albums PLUS Albums
By Edwin B Hill

It is now quite the fashion to ridicule the printed album, so called, and to praise the blank receptacle for our treasures. It has remained then for the publishers to supply both styles; and, to encourage the sales the vendors assume chamaleon-like changes to suit the prospective customer.

I love the old International with its printed spaces, many of which it is impossible to fill. I adore the linen-hinged loose leaf album with its stately binding and its beautiful pages. And then I proceed to use both—the International for aid in placing my stamps for artistic arrangement, and, for general utility. I work with it and my catalogue together and the results are always correct. But my loose leaf albums are my real treasures, for I am one of those collectors who loves the blank pages and the open spaces,—so much has the free life in the southwest done to visualize the breadth and sweep of general collecting. My tastes are catholic.

I see no reason for the beginner starting without a catalogue or minus the printed album. He needs both. There is a joy in filling the blank spaces in the printed album that never comes to the elder collector who merely hinges newly acquired treasure into his protected blank page. The old thrill seem to have lost much of inspiration as the collector grows older and discards his ancient treasure house. I am for the International, and for the Ne Plus Ultra—for the Catalogue with a large “C”),—for all that makes the collector love his stamps. And most all I am for the publishers who, alas!, are held accountable for every trifle that is against the desires of the specialist, but who, it seems to me, have done their best to aid the joy of collecting as we as the science of philately.

This is the belated tribute I pay them after forty seven years a stamp collector.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Large SG Ideal Album At Auction

While my attention has been fixed on a 30K Blue Volume One being sold by country on eBay over the past few months, Somerset Stamp Auctions has slipped into their Sale 285 (5 December 2015) a 97% complete Stanley Gibbons Ideal Album covering the British Empire. Estimate is a healthy £38000. Unfortunately, there are no pictures.

I'm a tad skeptical of their count of missing issues, though. Surely, British Guiana isn't complete unless this is a more adbridged edition of the Ideal album that I haven't seen.

I've written about the Ideal Albums in the past, most recently with the hope that Gibbons will reprint both the British Empire and rest of the world volumes in looseleaf format. 

Here is the lot description:

Red Ideal album for British Empire to 1936 containing a comprehensive mint and used collection formed over the past 50 years containing over 11,000 stamps with less than 300 spaces remaining. Condition a little mixed in places but much fine. Needs careful viewing as some mis-identification in places especially of watermarks. The following larger scale countries are completely filled except for any negative numbers in brackets. Antigua, Ascension Is., Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Basutoland, Bechuanaland (-4), Bermuda, British East Africa (-2), British Guiana, British Honduras (-1), British Solomon Is., Brunei (-1), Canada (-7 earlies), Cape of Good Hope, Cayman Is., Ceylon (-3), Cook Is., Cyprus, Dominica, Egypt (-1), Falkland Is. (lacks only the 1928 2½d on 2d), F.M.S (-2), Gambia, Gibraltar (-1). Gold Coast (-1), Great Britain, Grenada (-1), Hong Kong (-5), India, Ireland, Jamaica, Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Leeward Is., Malta, Mauritius (-7 earlies), Montserrat, Morocco Agencies, Nauru, Negri Sembilan, Newfoundland (-4), New Guinea (-1), New Hebrides, New South Wales, New Zealand, Niger Coast, Nigeria, Niue, North Borneo (-6), Northern Nigeria, Nyasaland (-4 earlies), Palestine, Papua, Perak (-2), Queensland (-1), Rhodesia (-2), St. Kitts, St. Helena (-2), St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Sarawak, Seychelles, South Africa, South Australia, Southern Rhodesia, South West Africa, Straits (-3), Sudan, Tanganyika, Tasmania (-2), Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Is., Virgin Is., Western Australia (1-) and Zululand (-1). Many other smaller country ranges near complete and an extensive range of Indian States. An extremely comprehensive collection overall and estimate allows for fiscal use, poor condition and mis-indentifications.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What's New in the 2016 Edition of the Scott Classic Catalogue

[Typically, I post a summary of changes to the latest edition of the Scott Classic Catalogue within a few days of the press release. This year, there seem to be mostly minor changes so I’ve been in a quandary about writing anything useful.

If you want an overview of changes in all the editions since 1995, type the words "classic catalogue" into the search field in the upper left corner of the screen.]

The 22nd edition of Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 will soon be available. According to the editors, there are more than 35,000 value changes of which 15,850 are for stamps not found in Scott’s other worldwide catalogs.

Russia has had an extensive review. Imperforate between pairs have been added to 1939 and 1940 sets. "Back-of-the-book listings have been reorganized by perforation where applicable. Dozens of never-hinged listings have been added.”

Cuba also received what Scott calls “editorial enhancements.”Other improvements “are substantially revised listings for the 1911-21 Iran Ahmad Shah First Portrait issue (Scott 481-500), along with updated values. Postal fiscal stamps for Chile (Scott AR1-AR12) are listed for the first time.

On-cover listings have been added to Afghanistan for the first time. A new Afghanistan No. 1, the 1-shahi black with the outer circle measuring 30 millimeters in diameter, was added (what originally was #1 was deleted from Scott many years ago as bogus). The new number 1 was first introduced in Vol. 1 of the 2016 Scott Standard catalog, and is a reminder that not every new variety appears in the Classic Catalogue first.

More minor changes/additions include Cape of Good Hope Vryburg under Boer Occupation, French Equatorial Africa, Traavancore officials, Southern Nigeria’s 1904-07 Edward VII set ordinary and chalky papers, and perforation varieties for Gold Coast 1938-41 George VI and Christiansborg Castle set.

New color images have been added to Armenia handstamps and surcharges that will make the stamps easier to identify.

Numerous color varieties and perforation varieties have been added to the listings for the Falkland Islands, e.g., the King George V issues and the War Tax stamps.

A much fuller list of changes can be found in the Catalogue itself.