Saturday, July 22, 2017

Linns' article on stamp collecting blogs

This and Jim Jackson's Big Blue 1840-1940 blog are mentioned in William F. Sharpe's Linns Stamp News column: “A look at a few of the hundreds of stamp blogs that can be found on the Internet” (Computers and stamps, 8/7/2017, pp 18-19).

This post is intended for any Linns readers who are first time visitors because of the article. May I suggest three places for you to check out:

The "Checklist of comprehensive worldwide collections" referred to in Mr. Sharpe's article;

The listing of online albums which include the two ginormous collections of Antonious-Ra and Dr. Cheng Chang ;

and something which doesn't get much comment, but I think is fun: Postage stamp quotations which includes humorous quotes from movies, tv series, novels, and the like.

Of course, the really good stuff is over at Jim Jackson's blog.

And let me also give a shout out to Keijo's Stamp collecting blog, which isn't on Mr. Sharpe's list presumably because it is behind a paywall, but is a must for serious worldwide stamp collectors.

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Beville Collection Stamps of the World 1840-1940

I was originally going to write a fairly "meh" review of this auction, but I now believe it well worth a look by 1840-1940 collectors. To get the specifics out of the way, the auctioneer is Cherrystone and the dates are July 26-27, 2017. There are four sessions, and you can view PDFs as well as other electronic versions of the catalog at

So why my initial blasé reaction?  First, Cherrystone provides no information about the collector or how the collection was formed. Second, it looked like this would turn out to be a typical auction where the more expensive or elusive stamps have been pulled out for individual listing with the dregs relegated to the end. (Big Blue collectors know that other people's dregs are what largely make up our albums.) Well, certainly, the majority of the catalog is devoted to key stamps and sets, but a couple of things are worth mentioning. First, there are images for many of the lots and many of these are reproduced with the listings. I found this much more diverting than the typical full page photos of multiple stamps, often pages removed from the descriptions. Second, all of the images are in color, and, remarkably, the images include a number of full or partial album pages. Based on these, it looks like the collector favored the Brown albums and the stamps are mostly unused.

Note that while most of the country "balance" collections can be found at the end of the fourth session, dozens more, usually "colonies," are  intermingled with the individual stamp listings.

Here are two examples of country listings:


Lot 5986. 1895-1921 collection practically complete on pages, 182 different, mostly unused, with King Carlos and Saint Anthony sets (Scott’s 1-28),  50r on 300r used (29),  other issues with perf. varieties, Republica   and Provisorio   overprints and  surcharges,   Ceres   issues,   Semi-Postals,   etc.,  occasional flaws possible, mostly fine-v.f. (webphoto) (1/162,B1/P2) $750.00.


Lot 6172. 1880-1949 extensive balance on pages, 1,360+ different, most States represented as issued, strength in Bhopal, Bundi, Bussahir, Charkhari, Cochin, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Kishangarh, Soruth, Travancore, etc., many Gibbons listed varieties throughout, generally unused, plethora of better items, fine or better condition. An unusual opportunity to obtain a comprehensive collection of this exotic and exciting philatelic area. $15,000.

(As regards the "webphoto," I believe you will see these only when you click the "Session" link, not the page flip or pdf. This will make more sense when you go the Cherrystone site.)

Oh and, for once, we have a worldwide collection that also includes the United States.

So, I'm happy to report my first impression was off base. I'm looking forward to going through the auction catalog more thoroughly.

UPDATE: Because Cherrystone includes some counts, I am able to estimate that the Beville Collection contains more than 80,000 stamps. This does not mean, though, 80K major numbers, as there are quite a few varieties included. [I missed the "official" count of 86,600.]

I've also made a couple of clarifications and additions to the original post.

UPDATE #2: Somehow I missed a press release related to this auction. "The Scott's Classic Catalogue 1840-1940 provided an inspiration for the Beville Collection, which we now present in a special 1265 lots sale on July 26-27, 2017. Starting with the United States and ending with Zululand, this collection boasts an impressive total of 86,600 different (!) stamps and multi-million-dollar catalogue value. The highlights of this splendid collection are many, with focus not on the glamorous and so-called iconic, but rather on the unsung and often undervalued rarities from the various Imperial Colonies and far reaches of the globe. If you are an advanced collector and looking to fill empty spaces in your album, you are in luck. There is strength in Asia, especially British Commonwealth, with virtually complete Indian Feudatory States, British Africa and Australasia, Europe and Colonies, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, South and Latin America and rest of the world. There are hundreds of large lots offered throughout the sale, with many intact country collections."

The Beville Collection realized $1,622,050.