Saturday, November 6, 2021

2022 Scott Classic Catalogue

The 2022 edition, number 28, will arrive this year in December. Primarily responsible were the familiar names of Donna Houseman, Bill Jones, and Sergio Sismondo. Based on an article in the November 15, 2021 Linn's, it appears that price changes account for the majority of what is new.

Editorial changes new to this edition according to the Linn's article include:
--on cover listings for Alexandretta, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Somaliland Protectorate, Syria and Zululand;
--Algerian Parcel post stamps;
--Editorial notes in Andorra for stamps that were authorized but not issued;
--two French local stamps, Scott L1 and L2; and
--British inland mail local stamps under Madagascar.

 I've made summaries for all previous editions that you can find via the search function.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

"If you want to collect the world, find a way to make it work for you"

This article by Paul M. Holland recently appeared in the September 20, 2021 issue of Linn's (pp 103-108) and is a succinct and entertaining introduction to collecting the world. My only complaint is that Linn's didn't include a warning that some of the author's photos may cause album envy.

To someone unfamiliar with the lack of interest, even bias against worldwide collecting after WW II, the article might seem as unremarkable as it is informative. But when I began my blog in 2007, nothing like this piece existed in print. Basic information such as the difference between the current edition of the "Blue" Volume one and the many editions found on eBay or at auction wasn't available. And pragmatic articles like Hollands that showed collecting the world was really possible, practically non-existent.*

For the record, here are some other periodical articles about the Internationals or worldwide collecting that I found useful:

Block, Lawrence. "Generally Speaking," 33 columns in Linn's beginning with the November 29, 2010 issue. These columns were reprinted in the book Generally Speaking: All 33 columns, plus a few philatelic words from Keller. A Lawrence Block Production, 2019.

Ewell, Albert H. "Hails & Farewells: The Story of the Scott Specialty Albums." Philatelic Literature Review, 3rd Qtr, 2003. pp 222 - 226

Gorney, Cynthia. "They Collected the World: The Herculean Effort for a Grand Total of 195,219 Stamps | In a Herculean Effort, They Collected the World." Special to The Washington Post. Apr 26, 1978, B1-[B2?] (in the "STYLE Entertainment People Comics" section). Reprinted in Scott's Monthly Stamp Journal, July 1978. pp 16-17,  20-21.

Thompson, Rick. "Judging an Album by Its Cover." American Philatelist, October 2010. pp 915-918.

Turner, George T. "A Century, 1868-1968, Scott's Albums." Scott's Monthly Journal, March 1968. pp 1-3, 6-7, 10-11, 14-15, 18-19, 22, 34.

*For completeness sake, there is an article that I missed when I was first researching and have not seen: Lawrence Januz's "General Worldwide Collecting Still Alluring," Linn's, January  25, 1999, p. 30.

Monday, November 23, 2020

2021 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940

The 27th edition of the catalog is out. Editor this year is Donna Houseman assisted by Bill Jones. As in the past, Sergio Sismondo made major contributions.

Among the new additions and enhancements this year are:
--new on-cover listings for Alexandretta, Bahrain and Lebanon;
--forerunners of French Andorra and Spanish Andorra appear for the first time;
--a special article by Sismondo and 8 new major numbers and 10 minor numbers for India Scott 1-6;
--local stamps of french Morocco;
--Guatemala Official stamps with perforated initials;
--Extensive updating of values for Aden;
--Central Albania (Scott 1-23, J1-5);
--Extensive updating of values for the Portuguese colonies;
--More than 250 new minor listings for Portuguese India;
--Romania postal tax stamps (RA19A-RA21A);
--Many value changes for Turkey in Asia;
--Value changes and new minor listings for Turks Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands;
--NH values added or updated for more than a dozen countries.

Information above abstracted from Jay Bigalke's "What’s new for the 2021 Scott Classic Specialized catalog?" which appeared in the Nov 2, 2020 issue of Linn's.  

The 2021 edition is available from Amos Media as well as major stamp dealers and book sellers. In addition to print, it is also available as an Ecatalogue.

[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.]

Thursday, October 15, 2020

"For the World of Philately, WWI was a shot in the arm."

This is the title of an article in the latest Kelleher's Stamp Collector's Quarterly, vol 6, #3. If you aren't familiar, the magazine features consistently well written and consistently well illustrated articles. I can imagine non-collectors paging through one in a doctor's waiting room.

The premise of the article is easily discernible from the title, although not so obvious might be the collectors of the era who wanted nothing to do with "enemy" stamps.

But I bring the article up as a reminder that we partly owe WWI for the Junior International which, of course, become the Big Blue. Here is an ad for the Junior  (first issued in 1914) that I posted on this blog in 2008.

 In case the scan isn't clear:

"When you are Daddy's age you will be telling your children all about the great war of 1914 that changed the map of Europe. You will want to show them the splendid collection of stamps you made of all the countries now at war, and tell them about Belgium and Russia and France and Germany. And you will be very proud of your collection, too, because, 'way back in 1914, when you realized how interesting these stamps would be some day, you arranged them neatly, as shown above, in your new JUNIOR INTERNATIONAL ALBUM."

You can peruse the entire issue at this link. The article is on page 34.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

International binders

There has been a nice discussion on the Stamp Community forum about buying, maintaining, and repairing binders for the Scott International albums. 

My two cents:

1) If your collection is actively growing, the binders will be subject to significant stress from use. I suggest going with pre-owned binders and using library book tape to keep them viable. When repairs are impracticable or your aesthetic sensibilities are compromised, replace with another set of used binders. Once your collection is approaching completion, then you can spring for new or pristine used binders.

2) An advantage of used binders is that most of us start our collections by purchasing existing Internationals, so you should have a ready supply of binders, at least initially.

3) Non-jumbo binders will tolerate more abuse, but I prefer to work with as few binders as possible. So I house my collection in used jumbo binders, substituting convenience for beauty. If you aren't adding a lot of your own pages, I'm assuming that a complete Big Blue with interleaving will require two jumbo binders or three regular. I'm unclear as to whether page filler strips would change this.

4) Regardless, I highly recommend slipcases, both to help control dust and to support the heavy albums (pages plus interleaving). And let me slip in a PSA for purchasing the latest pages from Amos which are printed on better and heavier quality paper.

Friday, May 1, 2020

1840-1940 stats according to Michel

See below my original blog entry for an important update.

I wrote back in 2017 about a collector who had created a database of Michel catalog information for every country that you could sort by years, country, etc. The compiler has recently updated the information to use 2018/2019 catalog data.

The website can be found at:

Since Michel no longer makes the data available, this will be the last update.

I think it is well worth visiting the site, and playing with the various filters. But, to get to the bottom line, based on Michel catalog data, there were 66,609 stamps issued between 1840 and 1940 with a total catalog value for used copies of about 14.5 million Euros.

Kudos to PostmasterGS for collecting this data and posting it online.

UPDATE: PostmasterGS has revised his stats. Please see his post on the Stamp Community discussion group.

1840-1940 total: 99,766 issues
1840-1940 total mint CV: 31,978,784 €
1840-1940 total used CV: 19,206,986 €

Monday, January 6, 2020

Generally Speaking by Lawrence Block

I waxed enthusiastic some time ago about the columns on worldwide stamps that writer Lawrence Block wrote for Linn's. Mr. Block has aggregated said columns in the recently published Generally speaking: All 33 columns, plus a few philatelic words from Keller.

Who is this Keller you newcomers may ask? To quote the mystery writing author: "And the time came when the combination of advancing age and declining interest led me to sell my stamps. Keller, my fictional hitman, still collects with undiminished enthusiasm, but he's younger than I am, and has quite a bit more in the way of discretionary income."

The ebook and paperback (hardback to follow) are available from a variety of sources, including Amazon. I'm looking forward to receiving my copy.

You can read Mr. Block's witty promo for Generally Speaking as well as several of his other recent works by clicking here.