For Fine Used Stamps
Robstine StampsFine used stamps of Europe, Australia, Canada, NZ, USA and many other places
Robin Borwick, PO Box 129, Bordon, Hants GU35 8YD
NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2017
October was a busy month all in all. I visited Holland on a buying trip and bought stamps from three contacts I had made on previous trips. It was nice to see them again and I got ideas on what else they could sell me. During my visit to a Stamp Fair in Apeldoorn, I bumped into my Dutch customers who come to see me at York. I was even lucky with my hotel. It was the same one I stayed in 18 months ago and on arrival, one of the reception staff said “hello, I remember you from last time” and promptly upgraded my room!
Sales have been good both by post and at Fairs. I do worry about the state of Stamp Fairs currently and for the future, but my takings give me nothing to complain about. I see a healthy mixture of old friends and some new customers which is reassuring.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. More new issues including flowers, a concession stamp and Women at War. I have just placed an order with my Australian supplier to fill in various odd gaps that have appeared in my stock recently. They should be here by early December.
Austria. New stock came in two areas for Austria: some recent commemoratives and the Fieldpost period especially Bosnia.
Belgian Colonies. I added a small range of Congo and some Ruanda this month.
Canada. A lovely lot of new and recent issues came from my Canadian supplier. Recent Canada continues to sell well so I need constant replenishing. At the same time a few earlier gaps were filled.
China. I always said I would not stock Chinese stamps, but a lovely lot of early items came with something else, so you will now find a selection in my Asia list.
Commonwealth QE2 selection. I have been sidetracked by other things this month, so only a little of this area has been processed. The areas in question are:
Denmark. It has been quiet for Danish new issues lately, but I now have a set of flowers in stock. The problem is that Denmark only issues self-adhesive stamps now and all the recent issues do not soak off paper. This is an unfortunate retrograde step by a country that should know better.
Finland. More new issues although not a flood like some countries. During my visit to Holland, I picked up a number of earlier items that filled gaps in stock.
French Colonies. I am part way through sorting a selection of this area. To start with, all the stamps are pre 1936 and feature these colonies: all the Comoro Islands, Benin, Dahomey, Cameroun, Canton, French POs in China, Cilicia, Kavalla + French POs in Crete. Much more to come!
German Colonies. This area of collecting also received a boost this month with new stamps in all areas.
Ireland. Various new issues including railway station, Royal Sites of Ireland and ploughing!
Luxembourg. I bought quite a few recent issues during my trip to Holland.
Malaya. I had various lots of Malaya waiting to be sorted and luckily for me a good friend who is an expert in this area, did the sorting job for me. A number of stamps were new to stock across all the States and the Straits, FMS etc.
Netherlands + Colonies. During my trip to Amsterdam, I managed to obtain a lot of new material. Some of my older Colonies are now very strong, helped by another purchase of early material which came in before my trip. It was also useful to actually see the stocks of my contacts so I know what to order next!
New Zealand. More new issues which included Grow Your Own vegetables (not my scene!) and a big sheetlet about the Maori language. I thought it was high time I filled some gaps in stock, so an order has gone across to my NZ supplier and hopefully the stamps will be with me by the end of November.
Portuguese Colonies. One of my major acquisitions during October was a range of these stamps. All the Colonies were represented with some really very elusive stamps. In the main the quality was good too as you often see poor ranges of these Colonies.
The number of orders was the highest since March and among them were several good solid lots. The only small drawback is that the number of new customers has been very low in the last three months, so my regulars and occasionals are keeping me going.
As usual the Commonwealth followed by Australia were my main selling areas this month. There were some surprises though in that countries like Czechoslovakia + Liechtenstein along with French + Netherlands Colonies made significant showings.
Again, Australia + general Commonwealth were the top sellers. A number of other areas performed well: Austria, Canada, France, GB, Ireland and particularly New Zealand.
NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2017
I have made some changes to the first page of my web site. You will see I have re-arranged my list of lists so it separates the Commonwealth, Europe and Rest of World countries. I hope this makes it easier for you to find things. I have made some sections stand on their own feet too, such as India and Hong Kong where previously they were hidden in a very long general Commonwealth listing. This means less scrolling down for you all!
Top level lots of new stock continue to come my way. I am still wading through various Commonwealth selections and now I have a fabulous all world lot covering the early years up to the mid 1930s. Sorting these stamps takes time, but I will keep you updated in this newsletter as the months go by as to which areas are available.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. New issues this month consisted of stamps showing ship wrecks and Heard Island. This shows how good stamps are for one’s knowledge of geography. I had not heard of Heard Island before, so I googled it and read a little about where it is and what there is there. Hopefully it will now come up in a general knowledge quiz!
Commonwealth. I am still working on the major purchase of QE2 stamps. Most Colonies/Countries present in this lot are comprehensive with most sets present from early QE2 up to 2010-2015. During September, I priced up the following:
German States. Often one finds poor quality and forgeries in collections/lots of German States, so I was pleased to purchase a good quality lot recently. There were lots of Bavaria and Wurttemberg as usual, but also good numbers of North German Confederation, Prussia and Saxony for example.
Germany (West). Many of the 2017 issues are now in stock and more to come shortly.
Japan. I already had a range of Japan from 1960 to 2005, but I had no list prepared. So as I was adding more stamps to my range, I spent some time to create my price list and you will now find it under the “Rest of the World” section on page one. There are now some earlier issues and a few gaps were filled through the following decades.
Liechtenstein. I made another major purchase of this country. The lot was almost complete from the first issue to 2002 with most of the high values including the two Zeppelin sets.
Malta. I merged another lot into my stock and it filled lots of gaps at the modern end of the range.
Sweden The latest new issues are now here. They include stamps in honour of the mighty apple (the fruit not the IT company!), the art of Lars Lerin and a mini sheet showing medicinal plants.
Foreign Stamps. During the month, I bought a lovely three volume set of Ideal albums. These comprehensive selections cover most countries in the world (except Commonwealth) from the start up to the mid 1930s. The quality is excellent and as I say the coverage is good. I have just started sorting the first few pages and have added stamps from these places to stock:
Rather an average performance this month with a lower number of orders, but a higher average spend. It is very noticeable that Commonwealth has taken over as my top selling area by far. This has of course been helped by the excellent new stocks I have been buying, covering all periods (QV, KE7, KG5, KG6 and QE2). Gradually people have become aware that I have such material.
I was pleased with my Fairs in September. The Sevenoaks Fair ended up at twice my budget and Potters Bar was also above my target, despite several customers being unable to attend. That leaves Wokingham which was another quiet event where I was lucky to have four good customers who collectively, saved the day!
NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2017
The autumn is upon us and hopefully it means more people will be looking at their collections and deciding what to add to what they already have! The only fly in the ointment is the value of the pound which makes it hard to buy from abroad. I will monitor the situation closely as there are always stamps I need from other countries but I may put off some buying in the short term.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. The only new issues this month were an attractive set of dragonflies with 5 values plus a mini sheet.
Baltic States. I am still to find ideal ranges of these three countries but a small lot has helped. Among the pages were stamps from all three countries in the interwar period and the start of more recent independence. The largest number of stamps came from Latvia while the greatest number of items new to my stock are from Lithuania.
Canada. My excellent Canadian supplier sent me a number of recent and new issues. The only trouble was that the envelope had been held up in the post for about 5 weeks! Anyway most recent gaps in my stock were filled and they have already proved popular.
Commonwealth: I made a major purchase of QE2 fine used stamps from many Commonwealth areas. It will take me some time to price it all up, but I have made a start with the areas listed below. Some of these lots come as far as 2015 and consist of mostly complete sets which I have priced singly as usual. Here are the areas covered during August:
Egypt. I had already sorted two small lots of this country a long time ago, but a new purchase of Egyptian material was very welcome. I have now organised all this range and it goes from the early issues up to the 1990s. You will find my list in the Africa North section on this site. The strongest period remains from about 1900-the 1950s.
Finland. You may remember I went to Finland in May to find contacts for modern Finnish stamps. I made some contacts and purchased some material. I followed up one of the contacts who has sent me a few items but it is clear he will not be able to help me long term. A shame as he was a nice guy and seemed well placed to obtain the stamps I needed.
Germany (1872-1945). I bought a wonderful collection of these stamps in the month. It contained many of the key stamps including almost all the Zeppelin issues.
German Zones. I have not put in much work on this area in recent years. So I invested a tidy sum in bringing this stock up to scratch. Many of the items come from the Soviet Zones, but odd gaps in the Anglo-American and French Zones were not neglected.
Great Britain. I have listed much of my earlier GB stock including QV and the Kings stamps. I have often said I did not offer much GB as most other dealers had stocks, but the demand is there and as I have been able to obtain good material, why not!?!
Lebanon. A three volume lot came my way some weeks ago and eventually I put in some work on it during late August. There are issues from the French period and lots from the independent era. I was amazed at how often they produced new definitive sets and they were obviously well used.
New Zealand. A batch of new issues came my way. There is a lovely set of “recovering native birds” and a sheetlet for the Great Kiwi Road Trip, copying the Australian sets of a few years ago.
As it was August, I expected things to be quiet due to holidays etc. The month was actually a little busier than June or July without being back to the number of orders I received in the early part of the year.
I am writing this after the first Fair of the autumn (Sevenoaks) which was excellent. I am hoping for a good few months for the rest of 2017.
NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2017
The main event in July was the summer York Fair. This year was the best ever with an excellent first day followed by an even better second day. In the ideal world I would have more space as many customers experienced difficulty getting a seat at my stand but the show is squeezed as it is! It was especially encouraging to see customers who came to me for the first time in the last year but returned this time. They must have liked what they saw on the previous occasion. Also some visitors have been coming to see me for almost all of the 30years I have been attending the York Fair.
I have been buying lots of new stock too. I have not really made mention of it in the stock updates below, preferring to talk about new stock when it is ready to be viewed. Suffice to say I have lots more Commonwealth material especially QE2 this time. I have good lots of French Colonies, some Baltics, various bits of Germany and many others to work on in the days/weeks to come.
As you will see, this month I took in lots of new issues. I keep going with new issues for fourteen countries even though demand has certainly declined over the years. Going back fifteen years I bought twenty copies of all new issues of the Netherlands, for instance. However demand fell off a cliff, so I stopped about 2008. Supply is very difficult for the latest stamps from all countries but with my network of suppliers I can access most things. I am slowly catching up with some countries like Austria and Belgium, but if there are other things you want, let me know and I will see if they are practical.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Algeria. It has taken me several months, but I completed sorting a fabulous lot of independent Algeria recently. It was very comprehensive, although a number of items have already sold out! This listing is to be found in my Africa North list along with older issues and my ranges of French Morocco and Tunisia.
Australia. This month’s new issues feature Henry Lawson, Succulents and the Trans-Australian Railway. A few other gaps were filled among the older issues.
Denmark. Just new issues this month. The Danes are continuing this idea of issuing stamps in booklets with five different stamps, two of each. Also their face values are high, for instance the cars set of three with each stamp at 25.oo, well above the postal rate.
Europa. This month, I obtained Europa issues for Albania and Bosnia (Sarajevo and Croatian issues, but not Serbian). I already had some years in stock but this lot added to my range.
Finland. More new issues including Moomins and a white mini sheet with embossed design: no colour apart from gold lettering!
France. I started work on a comprehensive lot of France from the 1980s to about 2007. So far I have done about half of this although I will only list some additions in a couple of days, when all the stamps are in their new homes.
French Southern + Antarctic Territories. Another lovely lot came my way this month, bolstering my range. Currently this stock is listed at the end of my France listing, but shortly it will feature in a listing for French Colonies. I have three books of French Colonies waiting to be sorted!
Great Britain. I made a determined effort to finalise work on my commemorative range this month. Lots of gaps have been filled and the range comes up to 2015-6. I still have to input several stamps in my lists but hopefully this will be done in the next couple of days.
Honduras. I purchased a lovely collection of this country a few weeks ago. I already had a small range of their stamps so I created a reasonable stock. It is true that many items have already sold but my range can be seen in my Latin America E-N listing (the other countries in E-N will follow sometime!) The collection also yielded various covers and blocks which I take to fairs in a miscellaneous box.
Hong Kong. Three different lots had been sitting on my shelf for some weeks until I got to grips with them this month. It has transformed my stock of HK with many better items and a solid run-through of modern issues. This week, I purchased some big lots of QE2 Commonwealth with more HK material, so I have to add to the range again!
Iceland. An injection of new issues including Europa, horses and other domestic animals with a cute kitten! One stamp shows a sweater and it is printed in material not paper.
Ireland. This range of new issues includes Royal Sites of Ireland, castles and more “objects”
Liberia. This is the first time I have ever had a stock of this country. It is admittedly only a small selection, but it is a start. How often do you see ranges of this country anyway? It is the kind of material I will bring to fairs on a request basis.
Norway. More new issues with very high face values. Their stamps are attractive but not designed for normal letter rate. No wonder I have lots of collectors who cannot find them elsewhere!
Spain. My man in Barcelona has sent me a good range from a list I supplied to him. It fills a number of gaps in my stock, including the three difficult horses issues. There are more items on the way as part two this order.
Sweden. After various hassles with this order (not the fault of my supplier), finally I received two lots: new issues and older issues. The new issues complete the period from last November to those issued in May of this year. I filled a large number of my gaps in booklets, pairs and singles across the board. Sweden is showing some signs of a revival after being in the doldrums for ages and offering new stock should keep this impetus going.
During the month sales were dominated by Commonwealth and USA with Canada a close third. USA and Canada are always top sellers at York and this time was no exception. The other countries that are popular at York were again: Belgium, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. Above that, the sheer variety of requests was striking too. Almost every country was in demand by someone. I can only take so many books to the Fair and it is true I could have done with some I left at home. I will have to try and find a way to squeeze more material in on future shows!
Thank you again to all those who have bought stamps from me this month and I hope you will do so again soon!
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!