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NEWSLETTER JULY 2017
Apologies for the late appearance of this newsletter. Too busy!
I paid a visit to my German supplier late in June and it was a very useful visit. I found lots of new stock and we had the chance to discuss future collaborations. I was well looked after during the visit and greatly enjoyed an evening trip to Ulm which has a picturesque old town. I recommend a visit there to anyone in that corner of the world. Just as we left to go home, there was a fantastic thunder and lightning storm with the heaviest drops of rain I have felt for some time!
June was a quiet month for orders through the post. I think people are unsure since the election but the hot weather does not generally help stamp collecting! I had some nice big orders, but overall it was quiet. On the positive side, I had more time to price up new material! On the other hand Fairs were strong.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. More new issues have arrived. The subjects are: Street Art, the Referendum and Legends.
Brazil. I bought a number of stamps from the 1970s and 1980s. The only problem is I do not have a list yet, so this is on my list of “to dos”!
Canada. I had been waiting for more new and recent issues for a little time. My Canadian contact did not disappoint with the scale of what he sent. The only point is that customers have cleared out other issues in the meantime. So I am now expecting another delivery in the next few days, in time for the York Fair where I have several collectors for Canada!
Commonwealth. I have been working on the QV-KG5 stock for some time now. Finally this month I managed to finish the job, adding stamps from St Helena right through to Zanzibar. I now have in stock many items that I have never had before and most of the colony ranges are strong.
Denmark. Some new issues added to stock: summer estates and veteran cars.
Finland. More new issues have arrived. There is a big “mini” sheet with faces covering a map of Finland. Also issued is a nice mini sheet with birds.
German Areas. I needed more stamps from the Second World War Occupations and many of these became available. So the Luxembourg, Ostland and Ukraine issues are now complete.
German Zones. A neglected area but I now have 2-3 people wanting lots of items. So I filled several gaps in the Soviet Zones. More has to be done, especially as I have sold quite a few of these stamps since I got back home!
(West) Germany. Much progress was made with issues from the 2010s which is the popular period of these stamps. My visit to my German contact has led to a more secure supply of these stamps for the future.
Italy. This is the first time I have bought an Italian collection for some time. It covered the period from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s. Many of the better interwar period stamps were present, including some stamps I have not had for ages.
Japan. It is over two years since I had any new Japan so a few sets is useful. These stamps are in my Asia list, although my existing stock is not currently visible in a list.
Liberia. I have never had a stock of this country before. This was a small lot featuring earlier issues. For now, these are listed in my Africa North listing.
Luxembourg. I had come across a lovely collection which included material from SG1 to the 1970s. There were several early stamps that were new to stock plus a good number of Officials. The condition was exceptional especially among the earlies. There were lots of mint stamps too which I have priced up in a “special offers” box which I will be taking to Fairs.
Netherlands. I priced up a small but valuable collection of early Dutch stamps. Strong in nineteenth century stamps, it also had a complete range of the interrupted perf issues.
New Zealand. Three lots of new issues: notable historical dates, scenic definitive and surf breaks.
Norway. I received a nice lot of recent stamps from a contact I made at the Antwerp Fair in March. Recent Norwegian stamps are not easy to find but these have made a good difference. Also from another supplier, more new issues have come in.
Switzerland. My German supplier has a big stock of this country. This is not surprising as he lives quite close to the country! So when I was in his office, I went through his stock and filled many of the gaps in my stock. This included a number of the International Bureaux stamps.
USA. There was a major injection of recent stamps this month. These were sent by one of my usual USA suppliers and the other good thing is that he manages to extract the stamps from the backing paper.
So I am now preparing for the York Fair which is imminent. I have ordered lots of material for the Fair so hopefully my books are in good order and ready for the regular customers. I look forward to seeing you all then.
NEWSLETTER JUNE 2017
I was away a lot in May, so I apologise if I have been elusive! I had two holidays for birding: Corsica and Devon/Cornwall. April-May is an important period for migration, so if you interested, this is the time to get out and about.
The other trip was to Tampere in Finland for the Finlandia international stamp show. I was surprised by how few standholders were attending the show, but seeing the small number of visitors, I soon understood. The venue was modern and spacious and the weather was good with good catering. I made some good contacts both inside and outside the show. The main aim was to build up my recent Finland stock and a start was made. Hopefully the new contacts will help me finish the job over the next few weeks.
Tampere is a lovely little city with about a quarter of a million inhabitants. Most of the buildings are modern and the shopping areas are compact and alternating with good restaurants. It seemed everyone had a smile on their faces as they went about their business. I was reluctant to leave!
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. Two sets of new issues this month: another set of World War One plus an issue devoted to caves.
Commonwealth. I have been spending much of my “spare” time pricing up the QV-KG5 stamps from two excellent lots purchased recently. This month I got from letters N-R in the alphabet, adding more of these places to stock: Nauru, New Guinea, New Hebrides, Nigeria with Lagos etc, Niue, North Borneo, Labuan, N Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Palestine, Papua + Rhodesia. All of these fit nicely in my Commonwealth N-R list. It is fair to say my stock of these areas has been transformed.
Denmark. The new issue for Queen Margrethe’s Golden Wedding (with mini sheet too) has arrive. As it is 50 years, the face value is 50Kr which seems excessive to me.
Faroes. After a period of inactivity, new issues are coming again and I think I have caught up to the present day.
Finland. Knowing I was going to Finland, I merged a Finnish collection with my existing stock. It was an excellent lot from the Serpentine Roulettes to 1999. While I was in Tampere, I made some good contacts and bought various items in the recent years. Now I have new contacts I will make more effort to build a comprehensive stock up to the present day. I also bought one of the good Military stamps and the Parcel stamps.
France. I could not believe it was about 16 months since I last placed an order with my contact in Paris. Anyway, he was as quick as usual and he provided me with a bumper lot that filled many of the gaps. I now have a meaningful stock from the first issues through to the early 2000s. So much of what came in this time was from the 1990s and the 2000s. I still do not stock beyond 2011 however. This is for two reasons: not many customers want recent issues for France and it is almost impossible to obtain circular cancellations on French stamps since about 2011. All you see are stamps with wavy lines and I know that is anathema to most collectors, especially when the rest of their collection houses lovely CDS cancellations!
Italy. I had not had new stock for Italy for even longer than for France. It was perhaps 20 months since my last order. My Italian contact was as good as he has always been sending me stamps from 1910 to 2015. There are some similarities with France. Recent stamps with CDS cancellations are hard to find so I cannot hold a comprehensive stock of recent issues. The other factor is that many recent Italian stamps are self-adhesive and they cannot be extricated from the backing paper. That means I stopped taking new issues at the end of 2015.
Norway. Just some new issues this month, making a start with 2017.
Switzerland. The International Bureaux have been selling well lately, so I needed an injection of new stock. My German contact obliged with almost everything on my wants list. I added a few items in the period 1920-60 as well during the month.
USA. I always like to buy in more USA stamps ready for the York Fair where I have most success with this country. I have two suppliers and both have stepped up to the plate. The first contact has sent me various gap fillers from the late nineteenth century to about 1990. The second supplier has found me lots of items in the more recent part, up to about 2014 with a promise of more to come.
The quantity of orders during May was higher than in April, although May has been the quietest month in the last two years and I was prepared for a lull! Are people on holiday at this time or have they re-discovered their gardens?
Australia was the top seller during May with a record number of orders for one country. Commonwealth orders held up well. France and Switzerland continued their recent good performances while Spain and Belgium were back to previous high numbers.
I attended just two Fairs in May: the monthly Wokingham Fair and my Solo Fair in Bromsgrove. One was over budget and the other one a little below.
There was no clear winner on performance among my countries. Austria with Belgium and Italy being notable however.
NEWSLETTER MAY 2017
With Easter occurring during April, there were less days available to trade. So perhaps it has been a quieter month than usual. I had a short break, birding in Norfolk, which has restored the batteries.
It has been an eye-opener for me what a difference it has been since I started handling Commonwealth stamps in depth. Many dealers say they have trouble getting hold of stock of this area but perhaps I have been lucky in finding excellent lots. As time goes by, more customers have noticed my range. I am not losing sight of my more usual countries and have started placing orders with my usual suppliers well in time for the July York Fair and my postal customers.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. Two issues received this month: Rare Beauties and the Queen’s Birthday with stamps and mini sheets. There was also a new issue from the Antarctic Territory showing deep sea creatures, also with a mini sheet.
Commonwealth. I have put in further effort on the new stock covering the QV-KG5 period. There is a good lot of Indian States (already noticed by some customers!) and Malay States which I have only just finished working on. The other areas included Jamaica, KUT, Leewards, Montserrat and Morocco Agencies. During the month, I made further purchases so all in all my Commonwealth stock is being transformed.
Denmark. More new issues came in.
Europa. It is several months since I added much to my Europa stock. So I have resumed purchases from my contact in Germany. There is now new stock in four countries: Andorra (both), Turkey, Greece and Monaco.
Finland. Another small batch of new issues. I hope to make new contacts for this country at the end of the month.
Germany. It is only one item, but I have added the IPOSTA mini sheet to my stock.
Germany (West). Just a few more new issues to add to the range.
Malta. Lately I have been adding to my range of Malta, but this month I found even better stock. The new stock has been very impressive in the earlier period plus some at the more recent end.
Portuguese Colonies. It has been many a long moon since new stock in this area. I had two lots: one with sections from most of the Colonies plus one lot of Macao. The general lot was handy with some better items and the Macao was excellent. Immediately, my customers have reacted well to this new stock.
In terms of the number of orders, April has been the quietest for some time. However there were several big orders early in the month. When I finished my figures for March, I discovered it had been the second best on record. I think the Easter break caused a drop in orders in April and when spring appears, some people start to go out gardening etc instead of looking after their stamps (I cannot think why!)
Commonwealth was again the top selling area closely followed by Australia then Switzerland and the Portuguese Colonies! Making an impression were Austria and Belgium as often is the case.
I was present at four Stamp Fairs during April. My Solo Fair in Oxford was poor but there were some enforced absentees which I knew about in advance. The other three events (Potters Bar, Wokingham and Chichester) were all well above average. What is especially encouraging is that new customers at recent Fairs have been returning for their second or third visits and hopefully many more to come.
Australia, Canada and the Commonwealth have been the top three areas in April. USA, New Zealand and Belgium also performed well.
NEWSLETTER APRIL 2017
March has been a strange month and I am wondering where all the time went! Trade has been quite good without being exceptional and I have found some excellent new stock. I seem to have processed less new stock this month though, despite putting in the effort.
I went along to the Antwerpia show in Belgium’s second city. I came away with 2-3 good contacts for the future plus lots of material for stock.
It was interesting to compare that Fair with events over here. I was amazed and disappointed to find almost no fine used stamps of Dutch or Belgian Colonies. There was much for the lower end of the market. For instance, 5-6 dealers had simply upended boxes of stamps on tables for people to sort through. It all looked like rubbish to me! I was not sure which catalogues people would be using and I am not much wiser now. There is a divide in Europe where west of a line (the River Rhine perhaps) people use Yvert and east of that line, Michel is the catalogue of choice. Both were in use at the show. We assume Belgian people can speak French, Flemish and English plus perhaps German. Most people did speak English but I was astounded to find two men trying to converse but one could not speak French and the other could not speak Flemish!
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. Just new issues this month. There were two sets: Greetings and Jetties.
Belgium. I made a very good contact for Belgian stamps during my visit to Antwerp. I bought various fillers for my stock and I was especially pleased to obtain many of the recent railway issues which are almost impossible to find.
Commonwealth. I have continued to price up the stamps from the Imperial albums, but it has been slow progress. This month I worked on the Colonies from Fiji to Hong Kong. The condition of the stamps is excellent and the coverage is strong from QV to KG5.
Iran. I bought a small lot of earlyish stamps from a foreign source. It is the first time I have had any Iran for some years and you can see the result in my Asia list.
Netherlands. I have added a number of stamps and mini sheets from this century.
Norway. New issues: birds, royal birthdays and Samic people. I also bought many items from the period 2011-6 during my trip to Antwerp. This new contact should be able to supply me with stamps from the 2000s which is my weakest period for Norway.
Portugal. I have priced up most items from an excellent collection. There were more recent stamps than I have seen for some years and odd values were found in the middle period. Some of the mini sheets have been priced up, but more remain and the selection looks comprehensive.
Turkey. Another country that I have not had in stock for a long time. This lot contains stamps from the first issue until the early 1970s. The condition was good which is especially useful in the early period. Immediately there has been good response to this stock which can be seen in my Middle East list.
A solid month with several good sales but not spectacular. This is despite the number of orders being the highest for four months. More new customers put in an appearance this month, so I have been finding a new client each week no average during 2017 which is very pleasing.
Commonwealth was again the top selling area with Australia, Austria and Belgium not far behind as usual. However some other countries did very well which is unusual: German Reich, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey all featured regularly.
I attended just two Fairs in March and both went well. These were my Amersham Solo Fair and the monthly event at Wokingham. The attendances were not high but both Fairs were over budget.
Australia and Commonwealth did well as always, but USA had a good month too.
Well, it is time now to stop writing this and get on with pricing up some of the heaps of stock I have yet to organise. I will tell you in a month how I have got on!
NEWSLETTER MARCH 2017
February was a mixed month with fewer orders by post but much better results at Fairs. I continue to find new customers through the post, or should I say, they find me. It shows advertising pays, the only question is how much to spend on ads to get the desired result!
UPDATES ON STOCK
Albania. It is nearly ten years since I last had any stock of Albania (apart from Europa issues). Two lots came my way at the same time (London buses?) so it was an ideal opportunity to get organised. I now have a list of these available, although I will be the first to admit that a lot more work could go into this country.
Austria. I have re-stocked on the Post Offices in Serbia, the first set of which is very hard to come by.
Commonwealth. I bought a two volume set of Imperial albums. The condition is excellent and the country selections are well filled, including lots of high values. It takes a long time to check early material for condition and to be sure they are correctly sorted. I am working on it Colony by Colony and have processed up to and including the Falklands. More to come in the next few weeks.
Czechoslovakia. Following the lot I received last month from my contact in Prague, he sent me various items he could not supply then. That includes one of the very early Air sets plus the Sokol set and other goodies.
Finland. Early 2017 issues have come in. These include another Finnish flag stamp and a booklet and singles of the Blue Heart.
Germany (West-Unified). This is the part of Germany that is most in demand at the moment. My German supplier filled in most of the gaps in my stock and sent me many of the very recent issues.
Ireland. Here we have new definitive on the subject of Objects that depict history and a Marriage stamp.
Liechtenstein. I split down a superb fine used collection of this country. It contained stamps from the beginning to about 2000 and was complete in most parts, having several key values. This is not one of my most popular countries but the stamps are lovely and do appeal to a minority. So why not become part of a significant minority!
Monaco. Finally an excellent lot from this sought after country arrived. It was immediately picked through, but I have created a list and it still houses a number of good things. If you want me to bring it to Fairs, please ask as I only have limited room these days!
New Zealand. I have in stock the first two sets from 2017: the Chinese New Year (the Rooster) and the Southern Lights. This includes the two mini sheets and the Southern Lights mini sheet positively sheens!
Turkish Cyprus. I bought two lots to merge in with a small selection I already had. The first few years are complete and my offering goes into the 2000s. The list is found in my Commonwealth A-C listing after “normal” Cyprus.
USA. I have never had such an exceptional lot of early USA as this one. The Columbus and Omaha sets are complete and many of the early Presidential stamps are there, including high values. Above all, the condition was superb. Most USA lots suffer from “varied condition” but these are above the norm.
February saw one of the smallest numbers of separate orders since I started counting, although February is a short month. 28 days hath February etc! All the same I welcome some new customers and one or two “revived” customers returning after an absence.
I attended three Fairs during February and all three were over budget. Potters Bar was one of the best Fairs for some years, it was that good and both Wokinghan and Sevenoaks were much better than expected.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. I am sure there are lots more stamps you need for your collection!
NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2017
The York Fair was the main event in this month. Yet again, it was an excellent Fair, although it was Day 2 that was the best when one normally expects the first day to be when most customers are there. Other Fairs were quite good too. It was an average month for postal sales with some good sales and more new customers.
UPDATES ON STOCK
SG catalogue numbers. I had got well behind in numbering up new issues, but a little bit of effort has helped me catch up.
Australia. My Australian supplier filled in a number of gaps for me from those he could not supply last month. Some recent issues are hard to get in fine used condition, because they have such a short shelf life. (It is only a few short days before another issue sees the light of day).
Austria. I found a lovely lot featuring stamps from about 1920-1960. I do not have many gaps in my Austria stock, but this nice clean lot certainly helped. Austria continues to be one of the most popular European countries.
Czechoslovakia. Gaps were starting to appear in my range of Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic and Bohemia + Moravia. My contact in Prague managed to find the majority of items on my wants list to rectify the position. As usual, his stamps were nice and crisp and clean.
Denmark. This country always performs well, so I need to maintain my stock levels. Two collections were integrated into my range, including many high value earlier items. Additionally my newish Danish supplier sent me many of those on my wants list, including a number of recent issues that had sold out.
German Colonies + Post Offices. Someone offered me a stockbook crammed with these issues, so I could not turn it down! The range was strongest in the Post Offices (China, Morocco and Turkish Empire).
Netherlands. This country has been dormant for ages until very recently. As customers are now showing some interest, I have bought two more lots and merged them into stock. The range of earlies was excellent with some perf varieties and both lots were largely complete up to the 1980s with some Postage Dues, Armenwet, Court of Justice issues plus more Interrupted Perfs.
Switzerland. Some months ago, I had bought a dealer’s stock of this country and had not got around to doing anything with it. Finally, I took out all those that filled gaps in my own range. There were stamps from about 1900 to the 1990s, including more copies of all the Air Mail stamps and the Pax set. Pro Patria and Pro Juventute were complete with duplication and there were some useful items from the International Bureaux. When I have a chance, I will put in more work here, but all the material, including the good mini sheets are visible on my web list.
USA. I rarely find good USA collections, but I was delighted to find one covering the period 1892-1930. It included lots of the Columbus issues as well as a good run-through of this popular period. Another lot has a wider coverage including issues up to the 1990s with several of the blocks and mini sheets/sheetlets. Lastly, my other American supplier answered my latest wants list with an excellent range of recent stamps including some from 2016.
There was an average number of sales this month, but there were several new customers and some good sales. I noticed some regular customers came back after missing some weeks due to Christmas.
As mentioned above, York was an excellent event and it was good to see regular customers and some new ones. Other fairs help up well too.
Hopefully it will not be long before the weather gets better. We all like a bit of sunshine, but keep some time for the stamps!
NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2017
December had the feel of a quieter month and there were less orders by post than in any month in 2016 except May. That is to be expected with Christmas when unfortunately, people spend money on other things than stamps. I cannot think why! Given all that, I was still quite cheered by the results which show confidence is still there.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. I now have in stock the Christmas 2016 stamps and mini sheet. My Australian supplier had been working on my latest wants list and those items are now included in my price list. He did not have everything I wanted, but most of the gaps have been filled. The majority of purchases were from the period 2007-13 which is where the demand is currently.
Austria. I get many stamps of Austria from my German supplier and he has done well again. I needed a few stamps from between the two World Wars and a few more up to about 1995. Much of what he has sent is from 1995-2008 where I have had most demand in the last few weeks.
Belgium. Recently I bought two very good collections of Belgium and they have now been merged into stock. Each was very comprehensive, so my stocks up to about 1980 are very good again. That includes the “back of book” issues and mini sheets. I will be visiting Belgium in March to secure more stock, especially the more recent issues which have been proving elusive.
Bulgaria. I only managed to sort a few of the second lot of Bulgaria. My list currently goes as far as the 1930s and is still to be found in the Latvia list (don’t ask why!)
Central Lithuania. Hiding at the back of one Polish lot, was a range of this small collectable area. They are listed at the end of my Poland listing.
Commonwealth. A dealer’s stock of modern Rhodesia and Zimbabwe came my way a few weeks ago. It has now been priced up and listed among other Commonwealth stamps. In addition, I bought a small lot of Grenada that was especially strong in early issues.
Finland. Again, I have my Danish supplier to thank here. Finnish new issues are hard to obtain but he has managed to locate a source, so I am up to date with recent issues, apart from just a couple of values. It is my intention to go to Finland later in the year to secure a new source of material as my Finland of the last thirty years is poor.
German Areas. Various items came my way along with the Polish lots described below. So I now have a better range of General Government, Port Gdansk etc.
(West) Germany. This area has been quietly selling well lately and I was surprised how many gaps had been created in my stock. My German supplier has come to my rescue and sent me exactly what I wanted, including a good number of new issues up to July 2016.
(Germany) Berlin. I bought a collection which gave me extra back-up to my existing stock. Also my German supplier sent me odd values I needed to fill in a few gaps.
Iceland. Just new issues this month, which include flowers, art and Christmas.
New Zealand. I am now up to date to the end of 2016. There was a Navy issue and the Christmas stamps with various mini sheets.
Norway. My Danish supplier has obtained for me the latest new issues, taking me up to the end of 2016, including the Christmas stamps. I have three lots of earlier Norway sitting here. Much of one of these has been integrated into my stock, filling in some odd gaps.
Poland. It has been several months since I added to my Polish stock and it was gradually being eroded by customers! Suddenly, I found not one, not two but three Polish lots to work on. The work has been put in on the early part of the range (up to about 1960) and it has made quite a difference. The later issues will be sorted when time permits.
Romania. Finally I started work on the 6 volumes of this country that have been decorating my shelf for months! Some of the stamps are already listed (temporarily at the back of the Latvia list), but I have many more stamps to price up and list. It is by no means a comprehensive stock, but you have to make a start somewhere!
Thailand. I was offered a Thailand collection at the beginning of December and although it seemed expensive, I went ahead with it. I am pleased I made the investment as the collection had many hidden highlights. As is often the case with collections, it stopped about 1980, but there is much of interest in the period before. My list is to be found in my Asia listing.
USA. With the York fair imminent, I wanted to bring my USA range up to scratch again. One of my two suppliers has sent me his stamps and I pleased with them. On the whole they cover the middle period from the early twentieth century to the early twenty-first century. The other lot of stamps should arrive in the next week or two.
December was a quiet month, but with Christmas and all it involves, it was hardly surprising. So with less time spent fulfilling orders, you can see from above I got on with a lot of sorting and pricing of new stock.
I attended three Fairs in December: Oxford, Potters Bar and Wokingham and all three were above budget. In fact, my last 8 fairs in 2016 were above budget, turning round the performance of the year from below par to above. Very pleasing. I am planning to attend all the same venues during 2017 as long as circumstances remain the same.
Let me wish you a very Happy 2017 and hopefully you will be keen on finding lots of stamps!
NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2016
Winter is coming on and the temperatures are dropping. Fear not, as we all have our stamps to keep us warm! Trade continues to be good and the new stock I have been adding to my range has been well received. As it has become more expensive to buy from abroad, I concentrated on developing my UK sources to good effect. Now, however, with the York Fair imminent (19-20 January 2017), I can delay some purchases no longer. So I am placing orders for new stock for those countries that sell well at this Fair. Naturally all my other customers will benefit when the new stock arrives over the next few weeks.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Algeria. If you look at my Africa North price list, you will find a good stock of French Algeria. This came from the same source as my Tunisia and Morocco. I did buy a big lot of modern Algeria at the same time, but it will take me a longer to sort these as they are not in a good order and it is always a better use of my time to concentrate on lots that can be processed quickly. Anyway, the modern Algeria will be added to the range as soon as poss.
Australia. The only new issues during November were the Vietnam War stamps.
Belgium. I finally received the stamps I had ordered from my Bruxelles contact. It turns out he had not been well which is a real shame. Anyway, Belgium is always very popular so these stamps are very welcome. As November ended, I began work on two other lots I bought recently, but these will be discussed next month.
Bulgaria. I have not had any stock of Bulgaria since about 2007. I found a nice little early range first, which covered the period from the first issues to the 1930s. You will find a list of these items at the back of my Latvia price list, although when I can, I will create a stand-alone list for this country. I am now working on a second much more substantial stock which also features the early issues, but seems to go as far as the 1990s. It will take some time to add all these issues to the list, but the spirit is willing!
Commonwealth. Some months ago, I had bought a collection of Asian Commonwealth from the KG5 period (with a few extras). Finally I got around to pricing these up and listing them. There were excellent ranges of Ceylon and Malaya, but the best section was Sarawak where there were most stamps from SG 1 to the early Malaysia era.
Fiume. I have not had any new Fiume for years, so a nice little collection of these issues was very welcome. It was even more pleasing as there were two sets of some issues which enables me to satisfy twice as many customers! My range is to be found at the back of my Italian Colonies list.
Gibraltar. It is not too long since I expanded my stock into the modern era following two good purchases. Then along came a third, well-duplicated lot to give my range some depth and fill in many of the gaps. There is a comprehensive run of mini sheets as well as the singles.
Great Britain. Having bought several collections recently, I thought it was high time I sorted the stamps and made them accessible. So I now have a decent stock of QV issues through to and including KG6. Time has been against me though as I wanted to create a price list for these issues, but this has had to wait. My commemorative listing is there, but I will add these newer issues soon.
Ireland. After four major purchases over the last few months, I have plugged lots of gaps in my Irish stock. The range is very strong from the KG5 overprints right through to the mid 2000s. It is not so easy to get recent issues as you all know, but there is more to be seen there than a couple of months ago!
Morocco. North Africa is now an area where I have a significant presence. From the same stable as the Tunisia (see October Newsletter), and the Algeria (see above), this Morocco stock is especially strong in the French period. Look at my Africa North listing and you will see the list is quite comprehensive.
Somalia. I now have a stock of independent Somalia, mainly in the 1960s and 1970s. It came from an Italian source, from which I also bought good San Marino and Vatican. These are now to be found in my Asia price list. Yes, I know Somalia is not in Asia, but I had to put the list somewhere until my computer expert could come around and set up a proper list!
Spain. Decent lots of Spanish stamps in this country are a rarity, so it was pleasing to find another good lot. It contained many of the nineteenth century issues and a smattering of the difficult period (1920s-1930s). There was also a comprehensive run-through of stamps up to the early 1980s.
Venezuela. Having priced up most of my new stock during October, I finished the job in November and created a price list on this site. It is the second Latin American country I have listed (after Cuba) and my stock is quite reasonable in the middle years (late 1940s-1960s).
In terms of the number of orders, November was the third busiest month of 2016. There were less new customers, but regulars played their part and there were several occasional or “revived” customers!
There were only two Fairs in November: Wokingham and Sevenoaks. Both events were well over budget, especially gratifying as they were not performing so well earlier this year. Wokingham is a monthly Fair and it is not easy having new stock so frequently. Lately I seem to be succeeding though. Sevenoaks has seen a reduction of customers over the last two years. This time it was again not well patronised, but at least several visitors came to me!
Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner. Can I take this opportunity to thank all my good customers for their support over the last few months. Please enjoy the Christmas break and have a wonderful New Year!
NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2016
October has been another busy month for sales and I have developed new stock in several new areas. Regardless of fears of how the economy would be going, customers are definitely looking to expand their collections and not worry about the future.
This month, much of my new stock has been purchased in this country, with only one big lot from abroad (Sweden). This is due to the weakness and volatility of the pound which makes it hard to buy from abroad at present. I have a backlog of new stock to work on that will take me weeks to organise, so there is no threat of a lack of new stock. It is just a case of what new stock.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. More new issues this month including Beetles, Endangered Animals and Monotremes with two mini sheets.
Denmark. In recent years, Denmark has issued four sheetlets with ten stamps in each that look a bit like GB’s Post and Go stamps. They have been incredibly hard to get, but thanks to my new Danish supplier, I now have three of them in stock (SG 1597-1601, 1658-62 and a more recent item).
German Areas. Last month, I merged a new stock of Saar into mine, but this time I have sorted items from Allenstein, Marienwerder, Upper Silesia, Danzig and Memel. My range of Memel had been the weakest but now my range is quite presentable with many scarce values. It is still beyond me why they needed so many stamps in such a short period of time for such a small population.
German States. Previously, I had an excellent range of Bavaria but not much else. I have now added a decent range of the North German Confederation, but especially Wurttemberg.
Lithuania. I bought a nice little lot of the early period (1919-40) which is the first time I have had this in stock for ten years. This lot is what I would call a good beginning.
Malta. I had made three purchases of Maltese stamps over the last few months and finally I got around to pricing them all. It has transformed my list and filled several gaps in the modern era (1970-2005).
Netherlands Colonies. I started stocking these colonies back in April, but this new lot expands my range of all the areas. The biggest increases in the Indies and Surinam.
Sweden. My Swedish supplier sent me a big lot from a list I sent him. There were many of the pairs from the 1950s-60s, sets from the 1980s-90s and new issues from this year.
Tunisia. I purchased a stock of North Africa recently and have sorted and priced the Tunisian part. There is a solid range of material from the French Colonial period plus much of the independence issues up to the 1980s. I have created a North Africa list, although it is not yet visible on the web site. That should happen in the next few weeks, along with stamps from Morocco and Algeria.
Venezuela. I have merged three lots into one and created a new price list which will be visible soon on the site. My stock is strongest from 1950-65, including many of the Arms issues.
Vietnam. This lot covered the period from about 1950 to the early 1970s and it is the first time I have stocked the country. The stamps are listed in my Asia list.
Yugoslavia. Having recently created a list for this country with new stock, I was able to add some values in the more recent period from a small additional stock. I have been pleasantly surprised by the demand for stamps of Yugoslavia, some for the initial period (1918-36) but others want the modern era.
There were almost an identical number of orders as for September, which was very creditable. Perhaps there were less new customers but some returning customers instead.
Again, the top two selling areas were Australia and the Commonwealth. Close behind were Austria, German Areas, Yugoslavia and Tunisia.
During the month, I attended four Fairs: Bromsgrove and Amersham Solo Fairs plus Wokingham and Chichester. Unusually only Bromsgrove was a little below par, despite being a good day. The other three events were spectacular with many happy faces. I like taking the money, but it is very good to see people going away happy with what they have purchased.
The three top selling areas this month were Australia, New Zealand and the Commonwealth. Other strong countries were Austria, Denmark, France and Norway.
I look forward to seeing you or hearing from you soon.
NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2016
I have been very busy this month sorting and pricing new material as you will see below. Lately many of my purchases have been from the UK as inevitably stamps are currently more expensive abroad due to the value of the pound. I find it unbelievable that the financial markets say they were “surprised” that we voted to leave the EEC. I am just looking forward to the time when the pound bounces back, as it surely will.
Anyway I continue to find gems among new stock. I have lots more to list in the forthcoming weeks and I hope you like the choice.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. Just some new issues this month: Fair Dinkum Alphabet part 2 and Olympic Gold Medal Winners (8 of them).
Belgium. While still waiting for my regular supplier to send me a batch from my wants list, I bought a notable collection from the beginning to about 1990. Belgium is normally one of my top three countries so additional stock is very welcome. The main area where I need to improve is of course the recent period where hardly anyone has any stocks.
Canada. My new contact has sent me a bumper lot from a wants list I sent him. In the short time since I have dealt with this man, he has improved my stock greatly and I intend of course to continue. I sell a lot of recent issues and hopefully he can keep me up to date here.
Cuba. It took a long time to price up such an accumulation, but it has been done and a list is now visible on the site (under Latin America C-D). Quite a lot has gone already but there are still several items available.
Denmark. My recent trip to Copenhagen is now bearing fruit. I have been able to buy a number of better items from the person I met during my stay. Then, he passed me on to another dealer who is now taking care of the new issues for me (as well as those for Greenland + Norway). Already I have caught up from September 2015 to the present day. Shortly I will be seeking to fill in the gaps in my stock that have occurred due to more than a year without a local contact.
Falklands. Previously, I had a good stock of KG6 and some QE2 Falklands. Now I have also a range of QE2 that is quite comprehensive. There has already been some interest in these stamps as I expected there would be!
Finland. Not much progress here, but my Copenhagen contact did secure a few new issues for me. It is proving difficult to get stocks from Finland, but I am working on it!
German Areas: Saar. I had a good range in stock already, but thanks to a new purchase I have been able to fill in various gaps and have back-up stock in depth.
Greenland. A significant accumulation came my way this month. I now have good examples of the 1945 sets plus many of the colour variations on the overprinted values. Then, there was extensive duplication of the issues after that into the 2000s. I stopped getting new issues back in about 2011, but I am now able to stock up on the newer items if there is a demand thanks to my new Copenhagen contact.
Ireland. Next month I intend to work on heaps of Ireland that have come my way lately. In the meantime, I have just added some new issues.
Latvia. I bought a small dealer’s stock to add to the small stock I already had! Almost all relates to the inter-war period.
Nepal. Hot on the heels of my first purchase of Nepal stamps, I found a second lot! So the stock can now be seen in my Asia listing on the site. It is true, however, that I have not priced up the early issues.
New Zealand. This country has seen a resurgence in demand lately, especially for issues of the last 3-4 years. Suddenly I was out of stock of a number of issues. This has now been rectified! My supplier in NZ has come up with almost everything I needed and this has naturally transformed what I can offer. In addition, he sent me the latest new issues. This time, NZ has gone to town with Olympic stamps, commemorating all 18 medal winners (including silver and bronze). If you feel you cannot be without these stamps, please have a look at my NZ list!
Norway. Thanks to my new contact in Copenhagen I have obtained the new issues for the last 12 months. I am aware that my stock from about 2002-5 onwards is weak and this will be attended to shortly. On the other hand, I have more material from the early and middle period which will expand my stock.
Singapore. I found a new collection/lot which filled in several gaps in my fledgling stock. The bonus was the high quality of the material.
Spain. I received a good lot of new issues from Barcelona this month and have new stock to work on shortly.
Yugoslavia. When in Copenhagen, I bought a wonderful stock of Yugo to add to the two lots I had already. Some work had gone into the other lots, but this month I made a determined effort to sort out everything. So, you will now see a new list for Yugoslavia, to include stamps from all periods plus Postage Dues etc. There is not so much left at the more recent end of my listing, but there is still plenty of material listed.
When I came to look more closely at my August figures, I was surprised to find it had been the best month in 2016 since January. September has not been far behind in terms of numbers of orders. It is very gratifying. It is also good to see such a variety of countries in demand and that new areas usually find a market.
The most popular area by a country mile this month has been the Commonwealth which is impressive as I only started a list less than two years ago. Australia also saw a record number of orders. Following on were Austria, USA, Cuba and Yugoslavia.
I attended three Fairs this month: Sevenoaks, Wokingham and Potters Bar. Potters Bar was good, but the other two did not live up to expectations. I have had a couple of customers commenting on my thoughts on the future of Fairs (last month’s newsletter). As with all dealers, I need good numbers of customers coming into the Fairs to make it worthwhile. Some days lately have been quiet. I do, however, want to maintain contact with my regular customers who have been loyal for over 20 years in many cases.
A wide variety of countries were in demand at the Fairs. Top of the list were Australia, Austria, France and the Commonwealth.
NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2016
The weather in August was much better than earlier this summer, so it is perhaps surprising that stamp customers kept me busy. I think stamps are a twelve month activity and seemingly many customers agree. I did manage to get out a few times for some fresh air, but scuttled back to get on with stamps so I did not get too much behind. I still have mountains of purchases to sort and price up.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. My main supplier has been on holiday so supplies have slowed down. He did fill several gaps in my recent stock just before he went away and I received some new issues: Play School and The Road to Rio.
Brazil. I had a small stock of mainly early issues which had been sitting on a shelf for some months. Having bought two more lots of this country, I thought I had better get on and sort them. This work has now been done and can be brought to fairs on request. Currently there are no lists for my small Latin America stock, but over the next few months I hope to rectify this.
Canada. A number of gaps were filled by my Ontario supplier with the promise of more to come. (They arrived in today’s post).
Commonwealth. At long last I have priced up the QE2 selection from colonies of S-Z in the alphabet. There are several complete sets, including some better items. That means I now cover all periods of Commonwealth up to about 1970 and further for a few selected areas. The stock is strongest during the KG6 era.
Cuba. Not too fashionable perhaps, but I bought a big collection from a few earlies through to 1986. It became more comprehensive from 1960 onwards. Lots of colourful thematic issues and not too expensive! I am preparing a list which will be visible in the near future.
Denmark. I have been buying some better early values, including the 2RBS. These are from a contact I made during my recent visit to Copenhagen. I have not had any new issues since September 2015, but another new contact is sending me all I need (they have arrived as I write this).
Iceland. After a long absence, I asked my Icelandic supplier for a number of gap-fillers and he duly obliged. I also invested in a dealer’s stock which ranged from the nineteenth century to the early 2000s. So my Iceland stock is looking very strong at present.
Ireland. I had bought a big stock of Ireland a few weeks ago. There was an excellent range of overprints on British stamps, including the Seahorses, followed by a comprehensive run-through of commemoratives up to the early 2000s. The definitive selection was also strong along with good Postage Dues.
Jordan. For the first time I have a small stock of this country. I have created a list, although for technical reasons, it will have to wait a little while before this list is visible on the web site. The stamps cover the period from Independence to the mid1970s plus lots of issues from “Transjordan” which are listed in my Commonwealth S-Z list.
Nepal. I have never had a stock of this country before, but I found a good collection when I visited Copenhagen. I put some effort into it this month and it has been sorted and priced. As with Jordan and Cuba, there is a list which you can see before too long.
New Zealand. I finished work on the large stock (ten volumes) which made a big difference to what I can offer in the pre-1936 period and the back of book issues. I also received more new issues: The Road to Rio and Personalised Stamps.
Vatican. I filled a number of gaps from about 1970 to 2002.
I was busy this month with more orders than any month this year. On a slightly negative side, there were not so many big orders, but it kept me off the streets. The beginning of August was particularly busy.
August is always a quiet month for Stamp Fairs and this year I just attended two events: Oxford and Wokingham. My Solo Fair in Oxford was excellent despite being in “holiday month” and despite one or two absences.
NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2016
The major event of course was the Summer York Fair which was very enjoyable as well as lucrative. It is always great to see so many happy smiling faces, including many well-known smiles. There were several new visitors to my stand which made it even more interesting. Postal sales were good too.
I did not travel anywhere else this month, but concentrated on organising new stock. I still have lots to do including big lots of Australia, India, Hungary, Ireland, France, Malta and when I get a chance, there is Cuba, Jordan, Falklands and Argentina to get on with. So, lots to do.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. In the last few weeks I have been hampered by Parcelforce hanging on to two packages from Australia. All the same I have received more new issues plus various gap-fillers from a list I supplied. One package is still with Parcelforce, so apologies for those waiting for the next new issues.
Belgium. A lovely collection came my way. It was almost complete from the first issue right up to the 1990s. The condition was excellent with CDS cancels for the most part.
Brazil. I had three lots of Brazil and finally got around to pricing them up this month. The most modern part remains to be done and I have “chickened-out” of sorting the most difficult definitives, but the majority has been prepared. Sometime soon, I will list what I have.
Canada. We are now making strong progress with the help of my new Canadian supplier. He managed to send me several new issues in time for the York Fair, although some of them were sold before I got to York! It looks promising for the future.
Commonwealth. It has been slow progress in pricing up the new stock of QE2 Commonwealth. This month I managed the areas from N-R in the alphabet! S-Z remain to be done. A number of selected items from KG6 were added to stock. Also I bought a Gibraltar collection from 1989-2010 and it has been added to stock.
French Colonies. A small modern range of French Polynesia and New Caledonia was offered to me. This is material rarely-seen so I snapped it up. Some has gone already but I am on the look-out for more. They are listed near the back of my France list.
Ireland. More new issues including the annual Europa issue and more items commemorating the Easter Rising in 2016.
New Zealand. Much of the latter part of July was spent sorting a large dealers stock (the stock was large, not the dealer!) It has transformed my range of QV and the 1898 pictorial issues, going right through to the 1930s where I was already almost complete. I am still wading through some modern issues and the mini sheets.
United Nations. I have bought two lots containing all three bureaux. Much of it has been sorted and priced but a list will not be ready for a little while.
USA. One of my American suppliers sent me more material, mainly items that had been gaps for a little while. I rarely find decent collections of USA, but this month, I did find one. It was strong in the nineteenth century with many acceptable copies with some good high values. My stock of earlies is as strong as it has been for years.
A better month again with good numbers of orders throughout the month. More new customers have presented themselves which is excellent. On one day I had three new customers all at once!
I attended two “normal” Fairs in July plus the two-day York Fair. All four days were excellent. The Chichester and Wokingham fairs were the best for some months, with new customers as well as the regulars. Then York was almost busy. On day two, seven clients came in when the Fair opened at 10.00 and only one had left by 11.30!
August is quiet for Fairs with just my Solo fair at Oxford on 13th, followed a day later by the monthly Wokingham Fair. That will give me an extra day or two to sort and price up the mountains of new material sitting here!
NEWSLETTER JULY 2016
June was a better month again after a slow May. It did seem a little quiet at the end of the month, perhaps due to the Euros Football and the Referendum.
This month I went to Copenhagen on a buying trip. I had lost my Danish supplier due to terminal illness a few months ago. He had also been getting me stamps from Norway, Faroes, Greenland and Finland, including new issues. So it was important I acted. Luckily I think I have found someone who can fulfil many of these needs and I came away with many items for stock. They also run auctions and I bought useful sets of Scandinavia plus three collections. It was good I made this contact as no-one else was any use. In fact all the other places were closed on the Saturday, so I do not know what Danish collectors do at the weekends as there did not seem to be any Fairs to go to.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. More stock is on the way and should arrive before the York Fair. I have the bills but the stamps usually arrive later!
Austria. My German supplier has filled an order for me which closes several gaps in stock. There are items through many of the periods, but mostly the 1990s which has been very popular lately.
Belgium. A good lot came in from my Bruxelles supplier. My list had concentrated on the early issues up to the 1970s but there were also some more recent items. This is one country where I sell out of stamps as quickly as I re-stock!
Canada. My new supplier has provided me with a second lot and they do not disappoint. The condition is excellent, mostly with CDS cancels which is hard to find on Canadian stamps. He is already working on another lot which this time ought to include 2015-6 issues.
Commonwealth. Time was precious this month and it prevented me from getting very far with the QE2 Commonwealth lot. Last month I had priced up issues to Gilbert + Ellice and now I have got as far as the letter N in the alphabet! The condition of these stamps is very good and many are items not previously in stock.
Denmark. Lots of good things were found during my trip to Copenhagen with older, better stamps and odd values in the more recent range. I am hopeful the new contact can provide me with new issues on an on-going basis.
Europa. This month I received various Andorra Europa issues.
Faroes. Many long-standing gaps were filled in Copenhagen.
Germany (1872-1945): a few gaps in stock have been filled, including Plate 1 types of the 1920 Germania issues.
Germany (West): My German supplier has sent me various recent issues with the promise of more.
Germany (Berlin): I came across a complete collection from the 1960s to the last issues in 1990. Having recently sold out of some of the German women issues, this lot has come in handy.
Germany (East:DDR): I finished merging a collection into stock. That leaves very few gaps in my range.
Greenland. Another area that has benefited from my trip to Copenhagen. My previous Danish supplier had struggled to find me various odds and ends but many were found this time.
New Zealand: Two new issues were added to stock: Matariki 2016 and scenic views definitive. Also there is a mini sheet for the Queen’s 90th Birthday.
Norway: During my Copenhagen trip, I bought some sets and singles, including the V overprints of 1941 and the wartime Officials.
Portugal. A major purchase was another fine collection of Portugal from the nineteenth century up to about 2000. Almost all of the key 1920s sets were there (Branco, Independence etc) with some elusive Ceres definitives, including the surcharge set. There was a decent range of modern stamps too, some of which I have not had in stock for years!
Switzerland: My German supplier has sent me various gap fillers, including League of Nations etc.
USA: I have two USA suppliers and they have both sent me new material. One order covered all eras from the nineteenth century up to the 2000s. The other man has sent me more recent stamps, although I have not sorted these yet. I wanted to ensure my USA stock was at its best for the York Fair as that is where it is most popular.
This performance was just below average, compared to recent months. I think there was some “wait and see” going on.
Belgium and Canada were the top sellers this month, closely followed by Australia, Commonwealth and surprisingly, Finland. It is clear that some countries are underperforming at present: France, the Germanies, Czechoslovakia and Italy are notable.
I attended four Fairs in June, but only the Potters Bar Fair performed well. It was busier than usual and well over budget. The other three events were disappointing, although I knew the Amersham Fair would suffer due to holidays.
A broad range of material sold this time: almost every country found at least one follower. However, the four top areas were: Australia, Denmark, Commonwealth and especially Europa issues.
The York Fair takes place this month (15-16 July) and much of my sorting has been with this in mind. I am still waiting on stocks that were ordered in the last few weeks: Iceland, Netherlands and Colonies, Australia and more Canada. I hope they all arrive in time, despite the rush it will cause in the days before the Fair!
My postal customers should benefit from this too as my stocks have been growing, giving them too a greater choice.
Either way, I look forward to hearing from you soon and hope I can find lots of lovely stamps for you!
NEWSLETTER JUNE 2016It is fair to say that May has been a much quieter month. It had to happen some time! There has been activity, but many fewer orders. On the positive side, I have been able to sort and price more of the collections and lots I have bought in recent months. I have many more items to offer as you will see from a detailed inspection of my price lists.
Shortly this web site will undergo a revamping exercise. The appearance will improve and it will remain easy to use. I hope to have more scans of stamps for you to see, enabling a better choice. The technical side of this task is currently being worked on and hopefully it will not be long before we are up and running.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. More new issues have come along: another issue commemorating 100 years since World War One and a set of beautiful butterflies. With the York Fair just a few short weeks away, I have placed orders for extra stock of fine used Australia in time for the Fair.
Belgium. I have just received stamps from my Bruxelles supplier and they will be sorted in the next few days.
Canada. Lots of gaps have been filled by a collection that came my way recently. I have a lot of catching up to do as I lost my long-standing supplier last year. Just as with the Belgium, a big dose of new Canadian stock has just arrived (in the same post as the Belgium!) and I will start work on it as soon as I have finished this Newsletter.
Commonwealth. Much of this month has been devoted to Commonwealth. Firstly I bought a three volume collection of KG6 stamps. There were several issues I had not had in stock before and it gave depth to my existing stock. I am part way through pricing up a five volume QE2 fine used collection (from Abu Dhabi to Gilbert and Ellice so far). To show how much new stock there is, already I need another three volumes to house this stock. Separately, I had bought some single “colony” collections and I have priced up Tristan da Cunha and Gilbert and Ellice so far.
Denmark. Some useful items have been put into stock after breaking down a collection of fine used Denmark. I will be going to Copenhagen soon to make more contacts. Fingers crossed that this works out as well as my trip to Amsterdam.
Faroes. Some new issues: Anniversary of Postal Service, Europa etc.
Finland. My earlier Finland stock has just had an injection of better items from a lot I bought at the turn of the year. I realise my stock of recent fine used Finland needs some work on it and this will hopefully be rectified in the autumn.
DDR. There has been little demand for DDR lately. All the same I am merging into stock an almost complete collection of fine used DDR, leaving me with very few gaps in the complete range.
Great Britain. I have bought lots of GB recently, but it always seems to be left to last when it comes to organising the stock. This month I have priced up most of the QV material and all the Postage Dues. Sadly this has not yet found its way on to my web list, but one day it will!
Iceland. New issues: Europa, Literary Society, Ceramics, Tourism etc. Not having contacted my supplier in Iceland for some time, I have recently written him with an order for more stock and we will see how much he can send.
Norway. I obtained a collection of fine used Norway direct from Norway recently. When I came to sort it I was pleased to find a number of gaps in stock were filled, but also the range of Posthorn issues included many that I have not seen for ages.
San Marino. I have nearly finished pricing up a good lot of fine used San Marino. It covers the period 1961-88 and with a smaller selection of odd values and sets from the earlier period, greatly improves my stock. This can currently be seen at the end of the Vatican list.
Spain. It has been several months since I obtained a good fine used Spanish lot, but lady luck smiled on me again a short while ago. The range of nineteenth century issues was good as was the condition of the stamps.
It has been a quieter month, but enlivened by some excellent orders. Interestingly May was quieter in 2015 as well. The same areas were in demand with Belgium being the top seller again, followed by Australia, Canada, Poland the Commonwealth.
My thanks go out to all those who made purchases with me in the last few weeks. I hope you liked the material you bought and are keen to come back for more. I have lots more material to sort out but am always happy to listen to suggestions as to what I can find for you.
NEWSLETTER MAY 2016
April was a little quieter than March but the number of orders coming through the post held up well. The big excitement for me was a buying trip to Amsterdam. Although, the demand for Dutch stamps is not huge, I have felt the need for a long time to have contacts over there. After a four day trip, I can say that this problem has been solved! I came back with a smattering of issues from Netherlands and their old Colonies. Above all, I can now order material as and when it is required and will feel confident that I will actually get the stamps I need!
On one of the days in Holland, I visited the monthly Stamp Fair in Apeldoorn. It was a very friendly event and I came back with more material and two good contacts. One small drawback, the same as in Paris, is that Dutch dealers seem to concentrate on stamps of their own country and to a lesser extent, the Colonies. Here in England there is much more choice for the collector and I am proud to be a part of that!
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. I have now had all the stamps I ordered from my regular contact. That filled most of the gaps in my stock, although customers keep creating new gaps! Of course, there have been more new issues. This month, I received the Decimal Currency stamp, the Alphabet set, Bridges and the Queen’s 90th Birthday stamps.
Belgium. A few recent issues came my way. One of my first jobs this month is to order more Belgian stock as customers have created lots of gaps!
Canada. I have received an excellent range of stamps from a “new” supplier. He did send me material twice before, but this time I am hopeful he will start to fulfil regular orders as my Canada stock is good, but needs a lot of work on it. I was especially pleased with the condition of his stamps as Canada is possibly the worst country for postmarks and general condition. I also have two collections that I have started to merge into stock, but I will report on them next month.
Commonwealth. Another KG6 collection was offered to me. I am half way through sorting the stamps. This was a very comprehensive collection containing a number of scarcer items and has again increased my coverage. It came with an even bigger lot of early QE2 stamps, but more of that next month!
Czech Republic. Some new issues have arrived.
France. My stock of France is very comprehensive, but it is even deeper now with the addition of two collections. The range starts with the imperfs and goes up to the 1990s.
French Southern + Antarctic Territories. This is a new area for me but I have been finding good items here and there.
Great Britain. I priced up some Officials and Dues but there is much more to come when GB gets some time spent on it!
Ireland. A nice little lot of new issues can be found in my web list. Shortly I will be working on a good collection that has found its way here.
Luxembourg. I bought a small collection of earlies, up to the 1930s. The condition is superb. There are a number of imperfs then duplicated high values for the various definitive sets and the Officials too. My Luxembourg is looking strong which is good as it is a more popular country than you might think.
Netherlands. During my trip to Amsterdam, I filled several gaps in stock. I had stopped taking new issues in 2008, but now I think I will offer issues since then. One dealer provided me with lots of stamps from 2011-3 and I will ask him to sell me more! Currently I have a complete selection of the difficult Interrupted Perfs stamps.
Netherlands Colonies. I have just started offering these stamps again. Following my trip, I have a decent range although I immediately sold lots after my return. With my new contacts, I hope to build up my selection of these stamps. I was surprised how few copies the Dutch dealers seem to have in stock.
New Zealand. Recent new issues have included Glow-worms and Heroes of Anzac. In the next few days I hope to work on two good collections that are sitting here.
Spain. One of the bigger purchases this month was a Spanish selection from my contact in Barcelona. Most of the stamps were from the modern period with a few from the 1920s-30s. Spain continues to be one of my top five sellers.
Sweden. My regular supplier provided me with an excellent range from 2006-12 plus more new issues. My Sweden is looking strong again following purchases in the first months of this year. At the same time demand has picked up again after a quiet period.
Switzerland. I cannot remember buying a Swiss collection before, but when I saw this one, I had to have it! Most periods are covered, up to the 2000s. I have never had so many Swiss imperfs before and I now have more mini sheets than I have had for years.
I was kept busy with orders during April, although not quite so many as in March. A wide range of material was in demand with the top sellers being Commonwealth, Belgium, Australia and Spain. Meaningful amounts of Canada, Hungary, Switzerland and Netherlands Colonies also went to new homes.
I attended four Fairs during April. They were a little disappointing except Potters Bar which was exceptional. The two main areas for collectors were Australia and Commonwealth, followed by Spain and USA.
NEWSLETTER APRIL 2016
I have been keeping busy again during March. The number of orders coming through the post has been particularly encouraging as well as the range of material requested. I am still getting a few new customers and several who have not been in touch for ages. You are all welcome!
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. It is years since I bought a good collection of Australia as I have already a comprehensive stock! However, one came my way recently and I have now merged it into stock. It covered the period from 1913-2000. So my range of Roos and Heads has improved, various odd little gaps have been filled in the more modern period with significant improvements in my range of Dues and Officials. There were also two fine used sets of BCOF of Japan.
Canada. A second supplier has helped further with recent issues, although there is a long way to go.
Commonwealth. I have been working on a fabulous collection of fine used KG6 stamps which had a number of items not previously in stock. Above all, perhaps, the quality was very high. It is good to find a lot where the collector has taken care of his stamps and chosen well while amassing them.
Europa. This month my German supplier has sent me fine used Europa issues of Moldova and Ukraine. He is usually able to supply me with issues right up to 2014-5. Next time I will complete the Ukraine among other issues.
France. I have added some nineteenth century issues to my solid range of fine used France. The rest of that collection gave me extra copies of stamps I already had!
French Southern + Antarctic Territories. I had never stocked this area before, but recently an exceptional lot came my way. It all went very quickly, but I have now found fine used FSAT from other sources, so I intend to build up this area, although it will take time!
Germany. A set of the 1933 Welfare Fund overprint set (SG 522-5) came my way this month. A very hard issue to find.
Luxembourg. I have obtained some fine used recent stamps that my usual supplier could not offer. These new contacts are providing me with postally used copies instead of FDC cancels.
Netherlands. Unusually I had two excellent lots of fine used Netherlands stamps to work on this month. So, my stock is much better than it was and it has encouraged me to look for more, especially more recent issues. The condition of these lots was very good.
Poland. Since I began offering Poland again back in the autumn, it has proved very popular so I was pleased to get my hands on a nice fine used collection. As I was working on this lot, I was surprised how much it improved my stock. It covered the period 1945-2000.
Portugal. It was very pleasing to receive a lovely collection of fine used Portugal from about 1870 to the 1980s. Often you find crucial issues are mint in Portuguese collections, but this was all fine used! It included all the 1920s sets as well as a comprehensive coverage through the modern era.
Spain. A small range of issues was found this month with fine used stamps from the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century.
Sweden. My Swedish supplier sent me various fine used stamps and booklets from the 2000s. Then another excellent fine used collection came my way. It had extensive duplication which is useful as back up stock.
USA. One of my suppliers sent me a number of items, some of which had been proving hard to get. It seems he is able to lift recent fine used stamps off paper while leaving the stamp 100% intact. That makes them more attractive to a collector.
Vatican. Two lots were added to stock this month. One was a collection with comprehensive coverage up to the 1990s and the other was a duplicated stock mainly of 1950 and 1960 issues.
March was a month where I processed many more orders than in other recent months. Perhaps the average spend was less but that is still a solid performance. Many countries/areas sold well with Australia, Commonwealth and French Colonies leading the way. Meaningful amounts of these countries also sold in good numbers: Austria, Belgium, Canada, West Germany, Hungary, Norway, Spain and Sweden.
I attended three Fairs in March, all of which were slightly below budget. The best was undoubtedly my Solo Fair in Amersham. The top selling countries were Australia and Luxembourg with Commonwealth performing well too.
The weather has become kinder in the last few days and it feels like summer is on the way at last. This does not mean you should put your collection to one side and move over to gardening. Stamps are a twelve month interest and us dealers depend on you! I still have lots of material to merge into stock and will be working on it in the coming days and weeks.
NEWSLETTER MARCH 2016
February was quite a good month, although not as vibrant as January. I have added a lot of new stock and there is still plenty to be sorted. I am still getting new customers and finding new sources of supply, both of which are important.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. Two lots of new issues have been received this month. The Legends series has continued with Tennis Stars (12 different plus 12 self-adhesive) and Love to Celebrate (10 values plus 7 self-adhesive). It must have been difficult thinking who to leave out of the Tennis set. What about Lew Hoad?
Austria. As this is one of my top five countries, I need constantly to replenish my stocks. So I was glad to get hold of three lots during February. Various gaps were filled from the beginning up to about 1990 with plenty of extra copies in many cases.
Belgium. A small range of recent items arrived at the end of January and they are now priced up and ready to go! That included a number of the bird definitives.
Canada. I am still struggling to get stocks from Canada, but I did get my hands on a number of issues from 2010 onwards and I hope to pursue that contact.
Commonwealth. Much of February was spent pricing up the Commonwealth lots. It has transformed my stock and has already proved very popular. Of course, the ranges of some Colonies are much better than others. In particular, I noticed the West Indies were very strong from QV to about 1970.
Czechoslovakia. My supplier in Prague sent me a good selection from my wants list. There are some better early Czech items, lots of Czech Republic and Slovakia. My East Silesia range is perhaps the best it has ever been!
Europa. I have expanded my range of these issues from Cyprus, Turkish Cyprus and Armenia.
France. I have bought two more lots, one of which had some good nineteenth century items. I have started work on the other lot which is mainly a collection of blocks of four, with reasonable completeness from the 1930s to about 1970.
(West) Germany. I received a small selection, mainly of new(ish) issues.
Luxembourg. I now have an excellent range of Officials and Postage Dues following a delivery from my contact in Germany. He did send a number of modern commemoratives as well, but not nearly as many as I wanted. The problem is that German collectors are happy with FDC cancellations but my customers are not. So I will continue the search.
Malta. A range of items from QV to middle period has been added to stock.
Netherlands Colonies. It has been a long time since I had any of these. I have just finished pricing up a selection of stamps from most Colonies from the early period to World War Two. The list is to be found near the back of my Netherlands list.
New Zealand. This is the first country where I have 2016 issues in stock! The two sets issued so far are Year of the Monkey and 100 Years of Service.
Norway. The best month for Norway in ages! Firstly a contact in Norway sent me several items from a wants list I supplied him. This lot covered various issues from about 1940 to about 2010. Then I merged into stock an old-time collection that was fairly complete from SG 1 up to the year 1952, including good Officials and Postage Dues.
Mint stamps. As you know, I concentrate on fine used issues. That is not going to change. However I have increasingly found that mint stamps have been coming my way, so instead of putting them in a book and hiding them on a shelf, I have decided to make them available to whoever wants to know. At first, the list will be rather short and lopsided. Over time, the list will grow, although in most cases only one copy is present. To start with, I have listed several Austrian sets and singles and there will be a number of Norway items shortly.
A slightly quieter month, but not bad all the same! The top selling area has undoubtedly been Commonwealth, showing the biggest number of “hits” since I started keeping these records. The next two countries were Canada and New Zealand followed by Austria, Ireland, Spain and Europa. This is a different mix than in the last few months.
I just attended two fairs in February and both were above budget: Potters Bar and Wokingham. I have been able to carry more boxes again, but it is useful when customers ask me to bring particular areas so I know I have the right material.
NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2016
It did not take me long to get back into work after the New Year. The bad weather and one of those rotten head colds ensured I did not venture far in the first days of the year. Stamps are excellent for concentrating the mind and closing out external factors. So, I got a lot of work done.
Overall January was a very busy month. The York Fair always makes a difference, but demand by post has been up a notch too.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. In December, Aussie Post issued some flower stamps valued at one dollar each (with a 2 dollar stamp too). The reason? They increased the postal rate from 70c to 1 dollar! I am sure that did not go down too well among their public but the price is still lower than many countries. Naturally I have these new flower stamps in stock.
Belgium. I received the new stock from Bruxelles early in the month. There were sets and odd values from the 1920s up to the 1990s. I have now received some more recent sets and singles but as they are not yet priced up, I will talk about that next month.
Canada. One of the Commonwealth lots (see below) had a fabulous selection of early Canada. There is a good range of Large Queens in very collectable condition, followed by almost all values of the QV Jubilee set, with four copies of the one dollar stamp! There is some KG5 as well.
Commonwealth. My biggest purchase during January was Commonwealth material. I bought four lots which will transform my stock of this area. The only problem is that there is so much of it, it will take some time to have it all in order. I have started with Aden and am working alphabetically, so far I have reached Cyprus. The coverage of each Colony varies, but many start with good QV selections, through the Kings and then up to 1970. The condition is excellent too.
Egypt. I broke down a collection (with duplication) that covered the period 1916-51. It is all priced up, but I have not found the time to create a list yet. If you are interested in this, let me know so that will spur me on to create the list.
France. I have received two lots in January. The first was a supply from my main Parisian contact with issues from the 1920s to 2011. He found more recent issues this time than usual. Recent French stamps are very hard to come by with circular cancellations. The French Post Office changed their system a few years ago which means the stamps are cancelled with wavy lines: something we all hate!
Norway. Some stock from a contact in Norway is on its way and will be described next month. In the meantime I bought two very scarce stamps: SG 74, the 12 ore and SG 315A, the 50 ore V overprint with watermark.
USA. A lovely lot of USA arrived from my main contact in the States. The range includes stamps all the way from the 1870s to 2014.
This month has seen strong sales again with a healthy mix of regular customers and a few new faces. The top selling countries have been Commonwealth, Australia, Austria, Belgium and (West) Germany. Close behind were Canada, New Zealand, USA, Hungary and Poland.
January was a busy month for Fairs for me. The monthly Wokingham Fair was followed by the two day York Fair, then Chichester and my solo event in Bromsgrove. Takings were good but a little down on 2015. In the case of York, the reduced number of customers can be explained by snow on the Pennines limiting the number of people making the journey from west of this mountain chain! Special mention must be made of Bromsgrove and my loyal band of customers, some of whom helped me carrying my boxes!
I hope to hear from you during February, so that I can embellish your collection further!
NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2016
Happy New Year to everybody! I am looking forward to a good stamp year in 2016. Lots of new stock is coming in and so far, many of my customers are happy about that.
With the weather not being very conducive, I spent many hours sorting material over the Christmas break. You will see the results below.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Austria. My German supplier has sent me lots of stamps filling gaps from the nineteenth century up to 2011. This includes mini sheets, Postage Dues and various issues from the Feldpost and Bosnia ranges. Until recently I did not stock Austria after 2008 but now I have filled the pages from 2009-2013.
Belgium. Still waiting for a delivery from Bruxelles, which could arrive any day!
Commonwealth. I bought a collection of KG6 issues which has been merged into stock. Additionally there was a small selection of odd areas but with some better values. Lastly, I obtained a collection of Papua New Guinea and that has been sorted and can be seen in my Commonwealth N-R listing.
Czechoslovakia. I bought an excellent collection from the first issues up to the 1980s. I have just sent an order to my supplier in Prague which will include Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Europa. This month I have added issues from Latvia and Lithuania.
France. I bought a four volume collection which covered the period from 1860-the 1980s. An order has been placed with my main French supplier for more, especially recent issues if he can find them in good condition!
Great Britain. For a few months the link to my British list had gone, but over Christmas my computer expert solved the problem. It spurred me on to sort and list items I had sitting around for some while. So my range of commemoratives now comes up to 2013 and is quite comprehensive.
Netherlands. A first rate collection came my way recently and I have worked on it! Stamps from 1852-about 1980 were included. The condition was good on the whole. It is not always easy to get nice cancels on Dutch stamps, but the owner of this collection had largely succeeded.
New Zealand. Lots of new material this month. My supplier in New Zealand sent me an excellent lot from my wants list and I had a collection to work on as well. When I got to grips with the collection I was pleasantly surprised by its contents. So my range of earlier items (up to 1935) has greatly improved and I am now complete on all the early Health mini sheets which can be hard to get.
Spain. A good lot of material from my contact in Barcelona. This lot was mainly modern, so I need to get more with a greater accent on the 1920s-1930s.
Sweden. It has been some time since I added much to my stock of Sweden. This is partly due to slow sales from this country in the last few months. A two volume collection was purchased recently and it has helped somewhat. Shortly I will place an order with my Swedish supplier to take my range back to where it ought to be.
USA. Any day now a big lot will be coming from my main contact in America. It is already in the hands of Parcelforce and I am just waiting the delivery!
One would expect December to be a quiet month due to Christmas. Usually collectors have other things on their minds than stamps for a little while (although I cannot see why!) Sales were well sustained however, but with the number of days’ holiday at the end of the month, it did limit sales a little.
I attended three Fairs in December, in each case with a limited stock. Amazingly I exceeded budget for sales, so leaving lots of material at home did not make a lot of difference. The trick is to know what to bring as I will not be able to carry a full range for some time. I will however try and bring much of my stock to York and hope some colleagues can help with the carrying.
I hope you have all picked up your tweezers after Christmas, keen for the next instalment in 2016. I look forward to seeing you at a Fair or hearing from you through the post/internet.
NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2015
November has been a month of continuing to get back to normal. I have found good lots of new stock and some of that has been sorted and added to my lists on the web. This includes some new areas for stock. I still have several volumes of material to sort out and include in my stock!
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. I have had a major injection of stock from my Australian contact. There are gaps filled from 1972-2015 with the majority after 2007. There are just a few still missing which are proving very difficult to find. In addition there were new issues Animals in War and Christmas: stamps and mini sheets.
Austria. The issues from 2012-3 have been added to stock and are listed on this site. Since then I have bought a small lot which covered 2009-12 so that extends my stock by five years.
Belgium. I have placed a big order for more stock and hope for its arrival before the end of the month.
Canada. There are a few new issues added to stock.
Commonwealth. A complete collection of the 1948 Royal Silver Wedding issues came my way. Also I have added a few items of Bahamas and for the first time British Antarctic Territory.
German Areas. My range of the Plebiscite issues has increased. There are new values in the areas of Marienwerder, Danzig, Upper Silesia, Saar and Schleswig.
Greece. For the first time in over seven years I now have a good stock of this country. There are stamps from the Large Hermes Heads through to the 2000s.
Ireland. The 2015 Christmas issues have arrived.
Luxembourg. I found an exceptional collection of issues from the beginning up to 1981. This has filled several gaps I have not had for several years.
Norway. It is some while since I had a meaningful lot of new stock from Norway. This time around I merged into stock a collection from early issues up to 1985.
Switzerland. Another major addition of new stock. Firstly I bought a small collection of early issues which included several tete-beche pairs. Then my German supplier prepared for me a big lot covering most periods from the 1920s to the present day plus Pro Juventute, Postage Dues and the various International Bureaux.
Another busy month with material from a wide range of countries. The top sellers this month have been Australia, Belgium, New Zealand and Spain. Also important were Canada, Luxembourg, Hungary and Commonwealth.
I managed to get to two events during the month. In each case I took a very limited stock because I still cannot lift things. However I did not lose many sales by leaving some books at home. Both Fairs were quiet though and I was lucky to have good regular customers. There were no standout top sellers as almost every customer asked for something different!
I will not be attending the Ruislip Fair (5 December) but will be present at Potters Bar (6 December), Oxford (12 December) and Wokingham (13 December).
Thank you for all your orders received over the last few weeks and I hope to hear from you again soon.
NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2015
Thank you to everyone who sent me “get well” messages! I had the operation on 1 October and after getting home on 4 October, I have been making slow progress since. I got out for the first time on 30 October, but now am able to drive again. It will still take time to get back to normality but I am able to carry out most stamp-related activities.
Unfortunately I had to cancel all Stamp Fairs during October and some after that. See my Fairs Programme for further news. I am putting out my programme for 2016, although some uncertainty still remains. As for handling orders by post, I have been able to fulfil all orders albeit a day or two late in some cases. Additionally I have been dependent on friends to deliver items to the post and this inevitably involved delays of a day or two. Now I can drive again, these delays should rarely happen.
Stamps kept me going this month as it is a wonderful hobby for keeping an active mind. I have some new developments regarding my stock, some of which I hope to announce next time.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. The only new issue has been the Solar System set. This is a lovely issue depicting all the planets on stamps with some self-adhesive values and a mini sheet too. I have placed an order with my regular supplier to fill various gaps in previous issues. These stamps should arrive during November.
Austria. I have bought all issues from 2012-3 and all I now need is some time to sort them out and list them!
Denmark. I have bought yet another collection which will be merged into stock shortly. There are several items from the early period that I have not had in stock lately.
Europa. This month I have added issues from Turkey, Albania and Bosnia (Sarajevo).
Faroes. New issues including Jacobsen’s Bookshop and Christmas.
German Areas. I have been sent various hard-to-get values from Marienwerder, Danzig, Upper Silesia, Saar and Schleswig.
Ireland. An unusual purchase was a duplicated lot solely from 1997-2002 which did fill various gaps and gave me a better stock of the birds definitives.
Malta. I have added a number of stamps to my range of QE2 period. Nothing exceptional but this has made a huge difference to my stock as such stamps are not easy to find.
New Zealand. More new issues including “Long May She Reign”, Health/Sun Smart and an All Blacks Shirt with felt material showing the shirt on the stamp.
Poland. Probably my major task this month was to work on my Polish material. So it is now all priced up and listed on this site. Just in time as I have taken an advert in the new SG Poland catalogue where I suggested people look at my list on the web!
Portugal. I have added stock from a major collection. It covered the entire period from the first issue right up to 1981. I thought I had most stamps from the early years but there were a number of new items in this lot. I have another small lot to mix in as well.
Russia. At long last I have started listing my range of Russian stamps. So far I have got as far as 1957 and the rest should be finished this week. It takes time as there are lots of stamps!
Although not hitting the heights of the last four months, October was quite busy but not too much for me to handle. The top selling countries were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. France was not far behind.
Unfortunately all fairs this month had to be cancelled. I hope to attend a few Fairs before the end of the year but with a reduced stock. The problem is that I cannot carry anything heavy. Luckily in many cases, I know what my regular customers will be wanting so I know which books to bring! If in doubt, contact me to ensure I am bringing the country you require.
I have just updated my Fairs programme on this site, including 2016 events.
I have made some new contacts this month and hopefully I will be able to talk about new stock in a month’s time. Thanks for all your wishes in the past few weeks!
NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2015
I did not know it when I wrote the last Newsletter, but August was a record month for me. September looks like it has been about the same level. There has been a greater number of orders but the average spend seems to have been a little lower. September can be a hit or miss month, so good figures this September show stamp sales are buoyant.
As explained later in this note, for health reasons I will not be working much in the first few days of October. So I make no promises how soon I will sort out the new stock I have here nor when I will order more of different countries. I should be back to normal later in the autumn.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. The flood of new issues continues. This month there is a set “Long may she reign” commemorating Queen Elizabeth II’s longevity on the throne. AAT has produced a nice set about dogs on Macquarie Island.
Austria. I have been receiving some requests for more recent material, so I have now got in stock a number of issues since 2008 which is where I stopped before these new requests. More should be on its way soon.
Belgium. My supplier in Bruxelles has sent me a good selection. There were stamps from the 1920s through to the 1990s with many difficult values.
Denmark. I had received a number of choice items from my contact in Jutland and putting them into stock filled most gaps. This was the best lot he has sent me for a long time as it is getting increasingly hard to find fine used recent Danish stamps. Then I also had a collection to merge into stock, covering most periods.
France. My regular supplier sent me lots of material early in the month. His quality is always excellent. Then I visited Paris in mid month and found lots more material with him and others. I have beefed up my range of Precancels including the Postes France/Paris issues which are hard to find. A new contact had several recent issues with CDS cancels which are almost impossible to get in any quantity.
French Colonies. I have not had a stock of these for ages, but while in Paris I bought two lots: General Colonies and French Soudan. The quality of these collections was very high.
Iceland. I bought an exceptional collection which housed several top sets: the 1930 Millenary postage and official issues, the Zeppelin set, two Prir values, etc etc. Stamps and mini sheets up to about 2008 were in this collection.
Ireland. Among new issues received this month was a set of the Five Senses which looked awful but had various fragrances!
Luxembourg. While in Paris, I found very little material that was not from France itself. I did however find a collection of Luxembourg from 1945-90 with many of the charity sets and other better values.
Poland I am finally getting to grips with this area. I have bought four collections lately and now I have sorted them up to 1972 and created a list up to 1950. Hopefully I will be able to finish this soon.
Spain. More new issues.
Switzerland. Just some new issues this month, which include vintage cars, the anniversary of the Penny Black and some cartoons.
USA. I bought an important range of Washington and Franklins across the types of perforation, coil versions and imperfs.
This has been my busiest month in terms of the number of orders processed. Very satisfying. There are still new customers appearing and I have definite evidence that advertising in SG’s catalogues is working.
As for the countries “topping the charts”, it is not so clear cut this month. The best sellers were Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, various parts of Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden. Belgium and Spain are noteworthy as stock I have just bought has already been decimated in parts. So I need to re-stock already!
There will be a temporary halt from 1 October. I will be having an operation in hospital and of course it will take some time to get back to normal. I will try and keep up to date with orders through the post, but initially there will be delays. As October progresses, I should get back to the normal speed of turnaround. As a separate matter, my local Post Office closes on 30 September so I will need to make friends with another postmaster so the stamps on the envelopes housing your orders are nicely cancelled!
As for fairs, I have cancelled almost all of my Fairs in October and as I will not be able to carry things for some weeks, I will only have small numbers of books at fairs in November. So if you want to see something special, let me know and I can try and bring it.
NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2015
August is usually a quiet month but this year has been non-stop with stamps and activities outside stamps. My favourite event in August is always the Bird Fair which takes place at Rutland Water. If you are remotely interested in birds and nature (and why not?), then make certain you go along next year. You will enjoy it.
So, August was a reasonable month even though I did notice a tailing off on postal sales for the last few days. I would have thought the rotten weather would encourage everyone to get their stamp books out and work on them!
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. My main supplier has just come back from holidays and has sent some new issues: Lighthouses, Great walks etc. I bought a semi-specialised collection in five volumes. In the end I picked a few items for stock and sold on the collection. The main benefit was a few Coil Pairs.
Austria. I received two lots from my contact in Germany. One was across the board with issues from most periods. The second lot was for more recent issues. I had stopped at 2008 but I have been buying some issues for special clients and at the same time decided to offer some stamps beyond 2008. Another small collection came along with 1933-49 almost complete.
Commonwealth. I found a supply of various odd values this month. Malaya comes to mind as an area that has grown from this purchase.
Czechoslovakia. Finally I received new stock from my contact in Prague. This covered all periods of Czechoslovakia, lots of Czech Republic, selected issues from Slovakia and good numbers of Czech East Silesia. I also had a collection with stamps and mini sheets from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Denmark. I have just received some new stock from Denmark which will be sorted in a few days. The main news was new stock of Danish West Indies, although it is not yet listed on this site.
Europa. My contact in Munich has sent me most Azerbaijan issues.
German States and Colonies. I have seriously expanded my coverage here. I bought three lots of Bavaria which has given me a good solid stock and encouraged me to add other States too in the near future. Another collection/stock of Colonies came my way. This has really beefed up my Colonies range with comprehensive coverage in parts.
Germany (1872-1945). I merged a second collection into stock plus one or two better items from another source.
German Areas. Good quantities of Danzig and Saar have been added to stock.
German Zones. Selected items have been added, bringing this area almost back to the level it was years ago. The exception is the Soviet Zones where I have added some values but need to do more.
West/Unified Germany. I have merged into stock two collections, covering most of this area. In addition, my German supplier provided me with lots of recent issues up to this year.
Hungary. Just a few odd values added to stock. However, I now have four books to work on when I can!
Italy. I have added a good range of Yugoslav Venezia Giulia to stock. This should perhaps be mentioned under Yugoslavia, but currently it is listed at the back of my Italy list.
Luxembourg. My German supplier has provided me with a lovely range of earlier Luxembourg, from the 1890s to 1979. When I can, I will place another order for later material.
Netherlands. A bulk stock came my way for the years 1976-95. That filled a lot of gaps, although more work is needed on other periods.
New Zealand. I have made two big purchases during this month. Firstly my usual New Zealand supplier came up with the goods again by sending me lots of material from the 1970s to 2013. There were also some new issues to bring us right up to date. Then another supplier sold me lots of earlier issues, Officials, Life Insurance and Postal fiscals.
Russia. I have now priced up the stamps to 1972, although I have not yet found time to produce a list to upload on to this web site.
Spain. My supplier in Barcelona sent me a number of items from my wants list. Many of the stamps are from the modern era (since 1945) but there were some 1920s/30s too.
Yugoslavia. I have begun to work on a collection that runs from 1954 to the 1990s, although it will be some time before it is all ready.
Already this month I have received piles of new stock and need to find time to work on it all! More news next month.
NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2015
The York Fair came along and was excellent again. It is always nice to see regular faces but we all need new blood too and there were several new customers. It does amaze me that there are collectors turning up almost weekly who have never come across me before. I know that my recent advertising has been working but it cannot be reaching everybody.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. I received the three parts of my order from my contact near Sydney. He had almost everything I wanted: just a few items out of his stock. Many of my purchases were for the period 2007-13 which is what is selling best.
Austria. My German supplier has sent me stamps from my order that filled many gaps in stock, although he did not have all of the earlier items. My range of stamps after 2000 is about the best it has been.
Belgium. I bought a “back of book” selection of railways, officials, postage dues and Eupen/Malmedy.
Canada. Just one delivery this month when I was expecting much more. The incoming stamps were all from 2010-14 with just the Chinese New year issues of 2015.
Denmark. I received further new issues. Then I merged into stock stamps from two collections. This included many good early/middle period items then provided me with good copies of stamps up to about 2000.
Europa. Apart from odd values here and there across the range, I received Europa stamps from Estonia and Bosnia (Serb section).
Faroes/Finland. More new issues.
Germany. I have bought a lot of material here, although more is to be sorted. One collection from 1872-1945 has been sorted, although another lot remains to be done. Then for West/Unified Germany I have bought three lots of stock, one is already in place and the other two good collections are to be sorted soon. For the first time in ages, I have added many items to my German Zones range, with many hard to find items. I also bought two good lots of Berlin including all the early overprint issues (minus one value).
GB. I have begun to work on my recent British commemoratives and my list will be updated as soon as a computer glitch on this list has been sorted. I now have a small range of Alderney to offer.
Italy. My supplier in Torino has provided me with many gap fillers plus some new issues well into 2015. In addition, he sent me more Trieste stamps.
Latvia. I bought a small stock of inter-war period Latvia back in January and finally got around to organising it in the last days of July.
Norway. Just some more new issues this time.
Spain. Having said recently that good Spanish collections are hard to find, I have just merged into stock a third such collection. This one was hard work as it was very disorganised, but held good items and sets throughout. There was much to admire in the mint range. If anyone wants mint Spain, I have a list I can send.
Sweden. Not much activity here for some while, but this month not only did I catch up with new issues, but I received a good specialist lot of 1950s definitive booklet pairs. It is ages since I have had these in stock and two York customers found them to their liking.
USA. My contact in Iowa came up with another excellent big lot for me in time for the York Fair. This time around I concentrated on the stamps after the mid1920s including various blocks. My USA stock (apart from the very early stamps) is probably the strongest it has been.
Vatican. My Italian supplier found me a few fill-in values to add to my new range.
Stock waiting to be sorted includes: Russia, Poland, GB, Greece, Yugoslavia, Venezuela, Ireland, Australia, Netherlands, San Marino, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Bavaria.
I know some of my continental suppliers are absent during August, but I have enough new material here to keep me occupied.
I hope those of you who like gardening will spare some time in the evenings for your stamps!
NEWSLETTER JULY 2015
This Newsletter is being issued early as my computer guru Melanie is getting married this weekend. I am sending her all best wishes for a very happy day! So far, June has been another busy month with several good orders from customers (regular and new) and lots of new stock to sort out and make ready. I have been able to squeeze in a few birding days out all the same. Normally June and July are the quietest months in the birdwatching world but this year there have been some notable rarities which have helped take my mind off stamps for a little while.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. New issues this month comprise the Cats issue self-adhesive, Islands of Australia and an AAT issue for Colours of AAT, with mini sheet. My main supplier is working on a wants list of mine. So far I have sorted the first of three parts and the second arrived today. One more lot to go and I hope I am ready for the York Fair where usually I have several customers for Aussie material.
Commonwealth. I merged into stock items from a collection with areas alphabetically from India to Malaya. The Malayan stamps were the most useful. Since I started offering Commonwealth quite recently, it has quickly become a good part of my takings. The interesting part will be how much I can re-stock.
Estonia. A very good (and nearly complete) collection of Estonia (1918-40) came my way recently. This has all been sorted and a new list created. Some items have already sold out but there is a good range available and many top values and the good mini sheets.
Faroes. The latest new issues have arrived: Solar Eclipse (with mini sheet), Europa-Old Toys and Faroese Flag Anniversary.
Gibraltar. I have added a range of QE2 material to stock. It was originally complete from the beginning to 2001 and 2007-2011, but some have been sold already. The new stock can be found in my Commonwealth D-M listing.
Ireland. More new issues. These consist of Gallipoli, Lusitania (plus mini sheet), Europa-Old Toys, Mountain Rescue and Yeats.
Liechtenstein. After two recent purchases I have now put together a good stock covering most periods up to about 2002. My German supplier can help me find more which I will do shortly, depending on how much demand there is from all of you!
New Zealand. Just some new issues this month. There is a set of five for Sea Shells, along with a mini sheet and Matariki, six stamps and of course, mini sheet.
Norfolk Island. I bought recently an excellent stock from the start in 1947 up to 1990. Almost all issues were included and in quantities of 4+. These are now listed on my Commonwealth D-M listing.
Russia.Limited progress here this month. I am merging into stock part of a ten volume purchase and finding many values previously not available. Then I have priced up to about 1972, although only those up to 1962 currently accompany me to Fairs. A list has not yet been created, but this will follow when time permits. Obviously a Russian list will be very, very long and will take some time to produce!
USA. I have just received stamps from a large order I placed recently. My USA stock is looking quite good now and just in time for the York Fair, where USA is perhaps the top selling country.
I have placed orders for more stock from these areas: Austria, Canada, Czechoslovakia (inc Slovakia), Finland, West/Unified Germany, Berlin, Hungary, Italy (plus Vatican), Spain and Sweden. When that all arrives, I will have a few hours work getting the stamps ready for you all!
It is encouraging to see several new customers starting to place orders. This must be the power of advertising! The top selling countries this month have been Australia, Belgium and Commonwealth. The first two of these have been leading the way for months but Commonwealth has now become important. Other vital parts of my range lately have been Czechoslovakia, German Areas and Spain.
So far I have attended three Fairs this month: Sevenoaks, Amersham and Wokingham. Sevenoaks was excellent, well justifying the move from the previous venue. Amersham was a little quiet, although I knew beforehand that some regulars would not be able to attend. Wokingham was OK without being exceptional.
Australia has been the country with the most interest. Following on are France, USA, Russia and the Europa issues.
There are still two fairs this month (Chichester and Potters Bar), then four days in July: Cranleigh, Wokingham and the two day York Fair.
Thank you all for keeping me busy. I look forward to more orders in the next few weeks!
NEWSLETTER JUNE 2015I took some time off during May. From 28 April until 8 May, I was in Turkey birding, followed by a long weekend in Devon and Cornwall, also birding. So if anyone missed me during that time, sorry! A lot of lost time has been made up since. New stock continues to be added and the future looks bright.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Canada: I am a little behind, having just received stamps up to Christmas 2014. There have been even more Ice Hockey issues including “mini sheets” that look like bubble gum cards! With a following wind, my Canadian contact should provide me with more material before the York Fair.
Czechoslovakia: My Slovakian stock has had a major facelift. Most items in the war period are back in stock and a number of modern issues have been received. I have already ordered more Slovakia as well as a run through of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic.
Europa: My stock is looking decent now! Among the latest arrivals have been issues from Spanish Andorra and two parts of Bosnia: the Sarajevo administration and the Croat stamps. My Italian supplier has sent me good numbers of the San Marino Europa issues. While re-starting stocks of Liechtenstein and Vatican, I have of course added many Europa issues too.
German Areas: A few odd values have been added in Danzig and General Government.
Gibraltar. I have bought some collections that cover the period from 1953-2000 and 2007-11. I have just started sorting these and hope to finish this job before the weekend, including adding the stamps to my list (see comdm-Gibraltar).
Iceland: I now have in stock all the new issues from January-April 2015.
Liechtenstein: After many years of saying I would not stock this country, I was offered a good little collection and I could not resist it! The good news is that I have already found takers for this area and now expect to grow my stock in line with this demand. So there is a list for Liechtenstein now but I hope it will expand as the months go by.
Netherlands: Just two stamps added but two excellent items. They are SG 197 and 225, both 10 guilder stamps, the perfect way to round off your collection!
New Zealand: Time was found to sort the New Zealand lot I had bought. There are some new early values now in stock, a few fill-ins in the middle period and extra back up in numbers too. There has been a lot of demand lately for those horrible postal fiscal stamps, so I plan to increase my range of these with the help of someone who knows these stamps well.
USA: The only stamp I have added is SG 1! However the next job after writing this report is to order lots of material from my contact in the States. As above, I need more for the York Fair.
Vatican: I now have a stock of these issues again for the first time in years. Two postal customers have already made a dent in my range but I hope to get more from my contact in Italy before long.
I hope to hear from you soon with lovely long wants lists and perhaps even see you at one of the above five Fairs!?! Thank you for your loyalty.
NEWSLETTER MAY 2015
Here are the updates on my stocks:
Australia. I received a lovely lot of new stock from my supplier based near Sydney. It filled almost all of the gaps that had formed by the time I ordered the stamps. Since then of course some other gaps have been created but that is always the way. There were three new issues of stamps received during the month: Clipper Ships, Tourist Transport and Trees.
Belgium. A lovely collection came my way which covered all periods from the beginning through to the 1990s. There were two sets I had never previously had in stock: Mercier and the best Orval. Many, many difficult values were also in the collection. In addition I received various odds and ends from two new potential suppliers.
Europa. The Croatian and Slovenian issues have arrived and I am now waiting for part two, the more recent issues.
Finland. I discovered an excellent collection from the Serpentine roulettes through to the 1990s. It has made a big difference to my stock.
France. My French supplier has sent me a huge lot of stock between the 1920s and the 2000s. Most of the gaps that had appeared in my stock during that period are now filled. He does not have access to the more recent issues so that remains a problem. Getting stamps is not too difficult but stamps with CDS cancels is highly problematic.
Germany (1872-1945). It is a long time since I had new stock from this area, but in the last few days I have merged a collection into stock. The condition was very good and has brightened up my range.
German Areas. With some parts attached to the previous collection and more from my regular German supplier, there is plenty of new stock in these areas: Allenstein, Marienwerder, Danzig, General Government and some Bohemia/Moravia.
Germany (West/Unified). Most of the new stock was from the very recent years.
Berlin. Many gaps filled from SG B1 through to the 1980s.
DDR. This area is often one of my top sellers, although it has been quiet for a few weeks now. All the same I needed to fill up some holes and this has been done.
Iceland. Just a few high values added to stock.
Ireland. Some new issues have arrived.
New Zealand. I have bought a big collection but not yet had the time to sort the stamps. In the meantime, there have been some new issues added to stock.
Norway. Just a few better values have come in.
Poland. I have priced up some more items up to the 1950s but much more work needs to be done to have it ready for Fairs.
Russia. The stock has grown slowly, now up to 1962. There is plenty more to sort. All I need is the time!
USA. I finally got around to sorting the very unsorted lot I bought back in January. It was a good lot when sorted and filled in many of the larger sheetlets.
I have lots of work to do to sort the collections and lots I have bought and have them ready for Fairs. My listing is behind too. In the next few days I will try and number up all the new issues listed by SG.
I look forward to hearing from you shortly!
NEWSLETTER APRIL 2015
March has been another busy month with good sales and progress on stock levels. As my range widens, I am finding more customers. That can only encourage me to go further. Here are the updates on my stock levels:
Australia. Shortly I will be receiving a top-up from my supplier in Australia. These will be several gap-fillers in the decimal period, especially in the 2000s.
Belgium. My supplier in Bruxelles has sent me two nice selections of material. These range from 1911-the 2000s. Additionally I have had various singles and sets from two other sources in Belgium. I feel I am really making progress on my Belgian stocks now after a long time of being well behind!
Belgian Congo. I bought a collection so for the first time in about 8 years I now offer this area. The list will be found at the very end of my Belgium list. I know two suppliers who can find me more material when I feel the need.
Commonwealth. Work on the Indian States has now been completed. They are now all listed, the Indian States in Commonwealth D-M.
Czechoslovakia. After a long wait, the postman brought me the big stock I have been waiting for from Prague. The Czech stock is looking good again and I will try and keep it that way! I have taken the decision to beef up my range of Slovakia and I am now waiting on a delivery of Slovakia from the 1940s and the modern period.
Denmark. My Danish supplier has found for me a number of odd values that he could not supply previously. Most of these are from the decade of the 2000s. There has also been a delivery of new issues.
Europa. This month I have added some San Marino issues and am expecting new stock of Croatia and Slovenia before too long.
Faroes. The latest new issues are now in stock.
Finland. More new issues here too. I have a big collection of Finland to merge into my existing stock and hopefully work will start on that during April.
France. New suppliers have sent me a few items from the 1920s and the 2000s. My main supplier is currently working on a big order from the 1920s to the 2000s.
German States and Colonies. I have created a new list on my site for this area. There are some new odds and ends plus a range of Wurttemburg for the first time.
German Areas: Another new listing, now separated from the German “Reich” list. Various bits and pieces are new with Bohemia and Moravia plus Danzig and Saar being the highlights.
Germany (Unified). I have merged a collection into stock that comprised all the issues from 1990-2005, including the mini sheets. It was interesting as I could tell from the postmarks that whoever owned the collection had bought many of the stamps from me in the past! That gives a lie to the statement that you can only sell something once!
Ireland. More new issues.
Italy. My supplier in Torino has sent me another batch which has filled various gaps. The Italy stock is now particularly strong. I continue to receive new issues from this supplier but for how long? There are very few collectors for up to date Italy and it is difficult getting CDS cancels. So, I may stop offering new issues soon but Italy will remain one of my top countries.
Norway. A small batch of new issues including Birds, Mammals and the Red Cross. These are the first issues of 2015 to come my way.
Poland. I came across a big stock of Poland recently. So far, I have just priced up the stamps from 1918-50 and will continue as time permits. It is, however, not yet ready to come with me to Fairs and a listing is also some weeks away.
Russia. I am making good progress on sorting the huge stock of Russia that I bought recently. Today, I have three volumes covering stamps and a few mini sheets from the beginning up to 1957. I am about to prepare another volume. The stamps I have will take us well into the 1990s, but it takes a lot of time to organise!
Spain. New sources have been supplying me with odds and ends and hopefully one of them can give me a more comprehensive range.
USA. Various odds and ends have been inserted into stock with more to come. There is a pile of material sitting here and every so often, I process a bit of it.
NEWSLETTER MARCH 2015
February was another busy month, which was a good thing as it was cold outside, so staying in and working on stamps was a good solution! Many of my better sales have been of “less popular” countries. So, having a wide range of countries has been a shrewd move.
My stock continues to develop. I am taking on some areas I have not had in stock for some years and they are proving their worth. Just at the month’s end I have been locating possible new suppliers which should help obtain difficult items that my regular suppliers have had trouble with. Here is an update on my stock:
Australia. I now have new issues up to the beginning of February. This year’s Australian Legends series depicts Victoria Cross holders with stamps, self-adhesive stamps and a mini sheet. On 3 February, with Valentine’s Day approaching, they produced a “love is in the air” set.
Austria. My contact in Germany provided me with a major re-stock from about 1915-2005. This filled loads of gaps and would have made me almost complete, except for the fact customers took the last copy of other items!
Belgium. I have finished merging into my stock a really nice fine used collection. It was complete in many parts and covered all the years from 1849-1977, including railways, officials etc.
Commonwealth. Finally I completed work on the KG6 collections I bought earlier. The last part was the Indian States, which I had left hoping they would sort themselves! Most of this stock is already on my site, except the Indian Feudatory States, not that there was a huge amount here.
Denmark. The first new issues for 2015 have arrived. They include a set about Lego and a set and mini sheet for the Vadehavet National Park.
Europa. The latest injection of stock has been Turkey from 1990-2006 and Yugoslavia with various issues from 1969-99. I have also received many Europa issues from Rumania and Bulgaria.
Faroes. I now have in stock again the 1940 overprint stamps: see Images section of this site.
Finland. Just a couple of new issues: a stamp on skating and two booklets (Artists’ Association and greetings).
(West) Germany. A good lot of items from my German supplier that filled several holes. This area is always popular.
DDR. I found an excellent collection which was 90% complete from start to finish. Soon I will need to re-stock from my man in Germany but for now most stamps are in stock.
Greenland. My Danish supplier has sent me a number of stamps and mini sheets to fill gaps. These cover the period 1950-93.
Iceland. A complete collection (stamps and mini sheets) has been merged into stock, completing the work on Iceland that was started last month. Additionally I have obtained a few better Officials from other sources.
Russia. I have just bought three more collections to merge in with my new stock. It will take me some time to sort these out and even longer to upload a list to my site. If you are keen on seeing this, let me know and I can place it higher up the agenda!
Spain. A parcel arrived from my contact in Barcelona. It contained stamps from 1926-2001, filling several gaps in stock. A second collection came my way, with many good values. Lastly I have found a few odd difficult stamps from new sources.
Switzerland. Another batch of new issues from early 2015. They include a set of pets, a mini sheet of an Ammonite and a beautiful view of the Rhine Falls.
I look forward to hearing from you in the next few weeks. Remember if there is something you need, just let me know!
NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2015
I never like very cold weather, so it has been pleasing that I have been busy with the stamps. January always means the winter York Fair and this year has been no different.
Here are the developments in stock in the last month:
Australia. A few gaps had appeared in stock and my main Aussie contact has succeeding in plugging them. I have received the first new issues of 2015: an attractive set of Native Animals.
Belgium. I have placed a big order for more stock as my customers have been depleting my stock. This country continues to be my top selling country through the post.
British Commonwealth. I finished the sorting work on KG6 new stock, except for the Indian States section which will be sorted during February. I found a major collection of New Guinea and Papua with several top values. This has been sorted and now included in my Commonwealth N-R list.
Canada. My main supplier has sent me small quantities from my wants list plus several new and recent issues. In addition I bought two collections which filled a number of gaps, especially in the coil issues of KG5, KG6 and QE2.
Europa. New stock included more Turkey, Macedonia and Albania.
Germany (General Government). My stock is nearly complete again after a recent delivery.
DDR. With DDR, I feel like the boy holding back the water with his finger in the dyke! I received a good lot of odd values and sets during the month but already I need another batch. Hopefully they will come during February. DDR retains its popularity.
Iceland. I bought an excellent collection with good items from the beginning right through to 1990. Several top values were among the selection including lots of Officials. I have another collection with stamps and mini sheets from 1986-2000.
Luxembourg. New to stock were a few recent values (2008-11).
New Zealand. A good collection from 1935-75 included almost all the early mini sheets. My usual supplier in New Zealand filled most of the gaps in stock and I took the opportunity to make strides with Ross Dependency, including values I have not had in stock for years.
Spain. One rarely sees good collections of Spain on the market, but I have obtained one. I now have a very good range of nineteenth century issues, which has not been the case for many years. Most of the collection from the mid 1920s was actually mint ( some mounted, some unmounted). I have one or two customers who want these mint, but it does not change my philosophy of only stocking fine used!
Sweden. New issues received from last November and this January.
USA. The second part of my recent order arrived early in January. This included issues from 1990-2013. I also bought an untidy lot with singles, sets and blocks throughout the modern era. It will take a long time to sort but will fill many gaps, especially in the blocks.
A wide range of countries were in demand. The top seller by a long way has been USA, helped by the usual number of customers at York. Other good performers were Canada, Australia, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and Commonwealth.
I will attend four Fairs during February (Amersham, Wokingham, Ruislip and Chichester). The details are elsewhere on this web site.
NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2015
Usually things go very quiet after about 10-15 December. I never go to Fairs near Christmas and postal sales tail off. Not in 2014! Orders were coming in right up to Christmas and it was a struggle to get material sent so my customers would have stamps in time. The fact that I went away for four days birding in Norfolk probably did not help, but I had booked it months ago. So, all good news.
I am looking forward to 2015 after my best year for ages. I am in the process of building up the stock, despite the efforts of my customers who keep buying what I have purchased!
Australia. I have ordered more material which will arrive hopefully (!) in time for the York Fair.
Austria. My German supplier sent me an excellent lot of stamps to fill gaps that had appeared over the last few months. At the same time more gaps were created by a surge in popularity of Austria.
British Commonwealth. I bought two collections of KG6 stamps early in the month and one of them was particularly strong. By the end of 2014, I had sorted from Aden up to the letter S and all the items are now listed on this web site. The remaining colonies will be sorted early in 2015. At the same time, I have taken out all mint stamps and will put them into auction to realise more funds for future purchases.
Canada. More recent stamps are about to arrive. I know this because I have received the bill but not yet the stamps!
Czechoslovakia. I finally finished sorting the accumulation I bought some months ago. I have written to my contact in Prague for another injection of stock, especially in the Czech Republic.
Europa. I am trying to augment my range on a monthly basis with the help of a wholesaler in Munich. This month I added some Albania, Turkey (it is the right time of year to buy some Turkey!), Armenia and Belarus. From another supplier I have filled up my French Andorra section.
German Occupation of Luxembourg. This area has proved popular lately, so I have re-stocked on their stamps.
West Germany and Berlin. I have received lots of material from my German contact. It is the first new lot of Berlin for a while and West Germany is always sought after.
Ireland. Recently I added lots of Irish material from two different purchases. I left the definitive stamps to one side as they take longer to sort. That work has now been done and a number of items have been added to stock.
New Zealand. I have bought a collection of early QE2 material which includes many of the early Health mini sheets. That will be sorted in early 2015. At the same time I hope to receive stock from my NZ contact, perhaps in time for the York Fair.
USA. It has been a while since my last injection of USA stock, but that has been corrected. This range starts at 1919 and goes up to 1990. The second part from 1991 to 2013 should arrive in early January.
Thank you to all my customers from 2014 and I hope Santa brought you what you wanted and you are ready for another good collecting year.
NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2014
More good news this month. Most of the Fairs performed better than expected and postal sales remain buoyant. There have been some new customers this time and again one or two returning clients from some years ago to add to my regulars. I am now nearly up to date with sorting and arranging stock bought earlier in the year. I now have some surplus material which I will take to auction giving me more funds to buy new stock.
Australia. More new issues came through during November. There is a set for the Australian Defence Force (4 stamps, 4 self-adhesive stamps and a mini sheet) plus this year’s Christmas stamps. There is a religious set with mini sheet and a non-religious set with stamps, self-adhesive stamps and similar designs with “embellishment”.
Austria. This country has been selling well over the last few months, so I have placed a big order with my German contact. The stamps should arrive early in December.
Canada. My regular supplier has sent me two lots, mainly with stamps from the 2000s. This continues my attempt to upgrade my copies to CDS postmarks. Most Canadian stamps come with slogan, wavy line or computer generated cancellations. It is an uphill struggle but all of those recently added to stock have nicer postmarks.
Czechoslovakia. I have added stock to my range up to about 1970, although there is more to come.
Denmark. My Danish supplier has provided me with several gap fillers from my list. Danish stamps have done well this year and it was important I worked on this stock. Some difficult issues did not come this time but most of my gaps were filled.
West Germany. More stock is on the way from Germany.
Berlin. After many months of inactivity, Berlin has been reasonably popular this autumn. Consequently more stock was needed and it should arrive with the West Germany and Austria, in early December.
Iceland. More new issues which completes 2014. The stamps feature lighthouses, paintings, manuscripts and of course Christmas.
Ireland. Also new issues to finish 2014. These stamps cover Thomas Davis, Game icons and Christmas.
Spain. Another lot of new issues, but catching up on several months, not quite bringing me up to the end of this year.
Switzerland. New issues with Christmas and Pro Juventute among the range.
USA. The new issues here include Batman, the American Civil War and Christmas.
POSTAL SALESSlightly more orders were handled than in October with a similar range of countries requested. Belgium continues to top the list with Australia, Canada and France close behind. There was at least one order for almost all the countries I offer which is nice in one respect but I then have customers wanting more from each of these countries! I would love to re-stock on them all but I too have a budget. In the next few days I will decide what else to buy and it will probably include USA, Australia and France.
I attended four Fairs during November. The Ruislip and Cranleigh events were over budget with Sevenoaks nearly there. Wokingham has been variable this year and this Fair was OK.
Normally December is a quieter month, especially for postal sales. I hope that is not true, however, and can say there has been no evidence yet of a slow down. I will be attending four more Fairs (Chichester, Potters Bar, Oxford and Wokingham), the details of which are to be found on my Fairs section of this site.
I look forward to seeing several of you at these Fairs, but am equally happy to receive orders in the post. Can I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year?
NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2014
Trade continues to be buoyant although no month is the same as another. Despite my increased advertising, almost all my customers this month have already bought from me. Some have been returning after a long gap and that is always welcome.
Australia. The second part of my latest order finally arrived early in September. Apparently it had been sitting on a shelf in a Sydney Post Office for some days. I am glad it did arrive as Australia has bounced back as you will see later in the postal section of this report. More new issues have arrived including such subjects as Vintage Adverts, more gardens, Things that Sting, Racecourses and a new batch of high value definitives. AAT has issed a set commemorating the time of the huskies.
Belgium. My contact in Bruxelles broke all speed records in supplying me this month. This is currently my number one country for postal sales, so an influx of stock was greatly needed. The sets, mini sheets and odd values cover the period from 1911-2006.
Czechoslovakia. After months of inaction, I finally attacked the three boxes of Czech material that was hiding under the stairs. It has given me greater depth throughout the period 1918-70 and filled several gaps. Soon I hope to order more material including the Czech Republic which can be popular from time to time.
Denmark. My stock has more gaps than usual due to high demand, so an order has been placed for a big replenishment. I know my supplier is busy in early November due to a show in Copenhagen, but later in November, I hope to announce an improvement in my range. Some new issues have arrived.
Europa. Having completely revamped this stock recently, I have started on phase two of the plan: ordering more Europa stamps. Those from Albania have arrived while those from French Andorra should be along soon. My idea is to develop this stock country by country over the months and already I have four people buying from my existing stock.
Faroes. I have just received the last lot of new issues for the year.
Finland. Just a few more new issues to mention.
Italy. My supplier in Turin has come up trumps again with a lovely lot covering the years 1920 to now, including most issues from 2014.
Japan. Much of this stock is now ready to make its debut at Fairs. I have four volumes of fine used material. The early issues are sparse but from the 1960s it is quite comprehensive, right up to about 2003. I have yet to look at the volume of Prefecture stamps. Sometime soon, I may produce a price list for Japan.
New Zealand. I think I forgot to say that a big batch of new stock arrived last month, filling most gaps in my modern stock. This month there was a new issue delivery, including stamps showing Endangered Seabirds, Health and of course, Christmas.
Norway. A few new issues.
Russia. Today I have finished working on my second lot of Russia so it is available at Fairs. The current range goes from the beginning up to about 1953. I would not call it comprehensive, but there are some nice things there. I do have later stamps sitting here awaiting a decision whether to work on it or sell them as a collection!
POSTAL SALESBelgium is still the top selling country for my postal customers. Obtaining new stock should maintain this interest. Amazingly, the second top country this month has been Australia. I say amazingly because it has not sold at all for months (although it is always popular at Fairs). The other countries making solid contributions have been Canada, Italy and Spain. I have been complimented recently on the speed of my completion of orders. I have got into a routine which permits me to process orders the day I receive them. There will be times when it will take a day or two longer. As I attend Fairs at weekends, my days off come during the week, when I can be found birding somewhere in the country!
STAMP FAIRSI attended four Fairs in October and all four saw results over budget. My Solo Fair at Bromsgrove continues to be my best event (other than York) while another Solo Fair in Amersham performs very well too. I was busy at this month’s Wokingham Fair, although it has been disappointing in the main for 2014. The other event was run by the Kent Federation in Dartford, held in the Mick Jagger Centre! It was rather quiet but I could not really say “I can’t get no satisfaction” as there were some keen collectors there.
Sales this month at Fairs were across the board, in other words few countries dominated proceedings. Italy performed well with help from Portugal, Ireland and of course Australia.
In November, I will be present at four Fairs in Ruislip, Wokingham, Cranleigh and Sevenoaks. See my Fairs listing for the dates and times. You will also see my 2015 programme of events on that section of this site.
Now that the nights are drawing in, it is time to get down to your stamps if you have not done so yet! Let me know what you are looking for and I will try and find it.
NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2014
This has been a month for consolidation. I have been catching up with the stock I bought in the last few months that was sitting here looking at me! There is still much to be done but I am getting there.
Sales by post have continued to be buoyant with a few new customers and a good number of regulars. Much of the new business has come about due to my advertising programme which started just over a year ago. I have agreed with Stanley Gibbons to take space in some of their catalogues in the next few months and this should lead to increased sales. You will find me in each volume of Stamps of the World, twice in the Commonwealth Part One catalogue plus in the forthcoming country catalogues for Germany, Australia and Austria/Hungary.
Here is a note of recent progress with my stock:
Australia. I am back up to date with the new issues after my supplier returned from his long holiday. Part of my order for older issues has arrived but the first part has been delayed in the post. When it arrives I will be 98% complete from about 1932 to date.
Austria. Work has been completed on all material bought recently. My stock of earlier issues, Postage Dues and Newspaper stamps etc is very strong now.
Canada. I have received various issues from 2014 but an order for earlier issues seems to be taking a long time to come to fruition.
France. I bought a lovely stock early in September which has been merged into my existing stock. Perhaps the main thing to mention is the greatly improved 19th century range I can now offer. If I have ever had a more comprehensive stock of this period it must have been many years ago. In addition there was material right up to about 1995.
Iceland. I have added a good range of material up to about 1970 which had the benefit of many high values in the early period. Being well duplicated there is also depth of stock.
Ireland. Two more lots came my way in the last month. They cover stamps issued from about 1970 to 2007. That fits nicely with the recent purchase of early stamps from a few months ago.
Netherlands. I have neglected this country for too long. Admittedly I had no customers for this country since I can’t remember when. All this has changed and Holland is back on the agenda. So I found an excellent collection from SG 1 up to the early 2000s.
Switzerland. I can offer the latest batch of new issues, having received them a few days ago.
You will see that my Fairs list for 2015 is now showing on the Fairs section of this site. I am returning to all the same regular towns on my list. It took a little longer than planned to book Bromsgrove and I have just had confirmation about Sevenoaks which involves a return to the Stag Theatre which we used some years ago.
You will find me at four venues in early October and I hope to see several of you during this time or perhaps to receive notes by post! Either way I hope you continue to enjoy your collecting and that you allow me to help you make your collection grow!
NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2014
Due to a small technical hitch, this Newsletter is a few days late. Sorry about that. So I am including details up to today: not just for August.
Australia. As my main supplier was taking an extended holiday (lucky him) I have not received much new stock in the last few weeks. Anytime soon I should receive stamps from an order I placed to plug the majority of gaps in my stock. I have had the new issues from June to early August: Anniversary of the KG5 stamps, Royal Visit, Norfolk Island joint issues and aeroplane and submarine stamps.
My Europa stock had been neglected for literally some years. In late August I spent a lot of time completely revamping the stock and creating a new price list. You can see now on my web site that the list goes by country rather than by year. This helps me better to know what I need to buy and is much better for keeping the list up to date. I hope it also suits the Europa collectors. Over the next few months I intend to start buying again from a contact near Munich who has an excellent stock of this area.
I hope this information is of use and look forward to hearing from you soon!
July is always a watershed month for me. Everything is “before York” or “after York”. As it turned out, this summer’s York Fair was excellent, only narrowly surpassed by the figures of last January. It is always nice to see lots of smiling faces coming to the table. I have been going to York Fair for about 29 years, twice a year. Interestingly this time several people told me I was one of only a handful of dealers actually supplying stamps. There are several postal history dealers, lots of GB specialists and a number of auction houses. Old fashioned stamp dealers are now a rarity.
I bought a lot of stock in advance of the York Fair, so July has been a quiet month for purchases. Here, however, are various notes on my stock.
Australia. The planned top up of stock never arrived but I already have most items in stock. My main supplier comes back from holiday later in August so more stock and new issues should arrive at the end of the month.
In addition to the above, I have been working on some new areas. I finished pricing up a British Commonwealth collection, covering KG6 from countries with letters M-Z. There were a number of choice items in this stock. Having hinted I may create price lists for BC I may soon be in a position to do just that.
During the month, there were some hiccups on the computer front, although I do not think it affected any orders. It did mean I had to invest in a new machine and so far it has been a great improvement. It is marginally quicker for me to update the lists.
The top sellers this month were as one might expect: DDR, Spain, Austria and above all, France.
Australia, Canada and New Zealand were good sellers this month. Ireland was also a good seller, largely due to the new stock recently obtained. York is always different with a heavy accent on USA, Canada and Australia. Other important contributions were made by my Hungary, Sweden and New Zealand stocks.
My fairs in August are restricted to these two:
I hope to hear from you soon through the post or to see you at a Fair!
NEWSLETTER JULY 2014
Trade continues to be good despite better weather. Some people think it is time to tend to their garden at this time of year, but I think it is always time to tend to your stamp collection!
Australia. More new issues taking me up to the beginning of June. The new issues were Red Cross, Bush Ballads and the G20 Leaders’ Summit. I am waiting on a small selection of stamps to fill gaps in time for the York Fair.
During July I will be at Fairs for five days as follows:
I hope to see you at a Fair soon or to receive an order through the post! Remember I am happy to look for items that do not appear on my lists, as long as they are from the countries I handle.
NEWSLETTER JUNE 2014I took two short breaks this month which made me busier on the days that remained! Having bought a lot of stock the pressure is on to price it all up and have it available for customers. Here is a run- down on what new stock is available.
Australia. April’s new issues are in stock. The sets issued were the Queen’s Birthday, Special Occasions greetings stamps and the Centenary of World War One.
During June I will be at three Fairs as follows:
I hope to see you at a Fair soon or to receive an order through the post! Remember I am happy to look for items that do not appear on my lists, as long as they are from the countries I handle.
NEWSLETTER MAY 2014This month (April) has been a month of many purchases. I have my work cut out to sort all the material, but here is a note of what is new:
Australia. My usual supplier has sent me most of what I ordered. My stock list is strong again especially in the period 2008-12, which is where most of the recent demand has been. I continue to obtain the new issues, which lately has included another semi-definitive set (normal gum and self-adhesive) of flowers. There is a Concession issue for the less well-off as Aussie Post increased the postal rate from 60c to 70c and wanted to do the “right thing” for such people!
I remain busy with orders, although there is a slightly different mix of customers. Is this due to the nicer weather? The countries that are top sellers now are France, Iceland, DDR and Spain.
I attended just three Fairs in April. The Fairs at Potters Bar and Wokingham were disappointing, but were more than made up for by my Solo Fair in Oxford. I sell different material at Fairs than I do by post. So at Fairs, the top sellers have been Australia, Canada, USA, France and Ireland.
During May I will be at four Fairs as follows:
I hope to see you at a Fair soon or to receive an order through the post! Remember I am happy to look for items that do not appear on my lists, as long as they are from the countries I handle.
NEWSLETTER APRIL 2014
Despite a small lull in mid month, March was just as busy as February. Re-stocking of some countries has hardly kept pace with sales, which is a good position to be in!
I hope this information is of use and that I hear from you soon.
NEWSLETTER MARCH 2014
February was a good solid month, despite some distractions. From 15-22 February, I was away on holiday, birdwatching in the Canary Islands and that was 25% of the month gone! My batteries have been well and truly re-charged.
NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2014
We cannot talk about January without mentioning the weather. Rarely have we seen so much wind and rain. It must have affected most businesses but I have to say I cannot think of any change it made to my figures. Perhaps I was lucky!
A wide variety of material was sold. My new stocks of Hungary and British Commonwealth helped but the best sellers were USA, Australia, Canada and France. Czechoslovakia sold well at York.
I am continuing to revamp things. The web site has had a face lift and more developments will come soon. The newsletter has been read by many and the Gallery has had lots of visitors. I hope to increase the information in these two areas. The lists themselves are updated very soon after there are any changes, either new stock or items sold out. So when I receive an order by post, usually all the stamps are in stock. Inevitably there are some exceptions, usually when items have sold out at a weekend Fair and the order is placed at the same time! I am always open to sensible suggestions as to how to portray information in a more accessible way.
Different stamps sell by post than go at Fairs. Top sellers lately have been Italy, Iceland, Spain, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
STOCK TO COME
SPARE TIME Not something a hardworking dealer has a lot of! When I can get out (and the weather is at least half decent) I go birding. It is wonderful contrast to sitting at a desk handling stamps. I get to see other parts of the country and have some exercise. When I am out, I don’t give the stamps a thought. As I work at fairs at weekends, I take my days off during the week. So occasionally I am a day late in answering letters. I am sure you will understand! We all need a break some time.
NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2014
WHAT IS COMING IN JANUARY?
Robstine Stamps, PO Box 129, Bordon, Hants.GU35 8YD, UK