NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2019

January was an excellent month all told. The winter York Fair was superb as were the other Fairs in the month. Postal sales were quite good too. In between this, I managed to price up lots of new stock too (as below).

Last month, I said that the organiser of the Potters Bar Fair had cancelled all future dates. Just this week I have found a new venue so shortly, the publicity for the new Fair will appear, It was a Fair we did not like to lose and hopefully this will work.

UPDATES ON STOCK

SG numbers updated. I try to keep up to date with the catalogue numbers of new issues through the pages in SG Monthly. Regrettably I often fall behind and this time I had four months to catch up.  

Australia. After the Christmas issue, Australia normally goes quiet with their new issues. The only thing I have seen since is the set of 6 mini sheets for the Thailand World Stamp Exhibition. They feature the finch stamps and are another fabulous production. I normally do not include mini sheets in this newsletter but this is an exception!

Austria. I bought a stockbook filled with stamps from the 2000s. It filled a few gaps in stock but also gave me backup for many values for when I experience a rush in demand.

Canada. It took longer than expected to arrive, but my regular supplier sent me a big lot of recent issues. This included various items from the last ten years that had sold out plus new issues up to the end of 2018 with the Christmas stamps and mini sheet. Canada often produces some of the worst cancellations but all these stamps have CDS postmarks.     

Commonwealth QV-KG5. Bit by bit I am working through an Imperial album and merging items into stock. The condition is excellent and there are many high values. This month I have worked on the Falklands, Barbados, Mauritius and Malta.

Commonwealth QE2. Previously I had bought a well-filled collection of QE2 Commonwealth covering the period 1953-70. Last month I had worked on book one of five. This month I price up stamps from book two, featuring these countries: Bermuda, Botswana, British Guiana, British Honduras, British Solomons, Brunei, Caymans, Ceylon, Cook Islands, Dominica, Kenya + KUT, Gambia, Gilberts, Grenada, Hong Kong and India. In many cases, I already had all the stamps but in other cases some gaps were filled.

Czech Republic. The latest new issues came in, taking us up to the end of 2018.

Denmark. New issues of Christmas and Flags.

Egypt. My Egypt stock is strong, at least up to about 1960, but another lot helped to expand my range of the earliest issues.

Finland. New issues mainly of a Christmassy theme.

French Colonies. Every so often I pick up another colony to work on and this month I have sorted French Oceania/Polynesia, Ivory Coast and Dahomey. In each case, I had some better values from the colonial period and stamps from another lot featuring post-independence issues.

FSAT (French Southern and Antarctic Territories). After these had been sitting on a shelf for some months, I finally got around to sorting these. I have added lots of stamps to my listing and there are several covers that I will take to some Fairs.

Germany. Some time was spent putting away stamps from 1933-45. It was a very strong lot including the Officials and mini sheets.

German “Areas”. Useful lots of Danzig, Memel and Saar came from my German supplier. These were stamps I ordered especially to fill gaps.

Germany West. I received a good lot of new issues plus some back numbers.

Germany East/DDR. I only needed to fill a few places and my German supplier did his job!

Iceland. New issues this month included the Seabed, mechanised agriculture, views, modern art and of course Christmas.

Iraq. A small selection came my way. I already had a stock from the period when Brits were involved but these odd values are from the later period. This small selection can be found in my Middle East listing.

Italy. I put away stamps from a collection covering 1945-93. Most stamps were already in stock but there were some lighter cancels among the 1950s where they were often using heavy ink!
I had another lot, this time with stamps from the beginning up to 1936. Some gaps in stock were filled and I have more backup across the board. Overall Italy is one of my strongest suits.

Liechtenstein. I worked on two lots this month. Firstly a nice little lot covering the years up to 1936. Secondly a fabulous collection with almost all the high values from the start through to 1999. All of a sudden my range is one of my most comprehensive, although it only goes up to about 2002 at present.

New Zealand. New issues this month featured the latest Christmas stamps and mini sheet plus mini sheets from the Armistica Stamp Show and the Thailand World Stamp Exhibition.

Panama and Canal Zone. I had representative lot covering the period up to 1936. These were merged with an even smaller lot I already had. I am making an effort to list my Latin America and these are now included.

USA. Before Christmas, I bought a heavy two volume collection of USA which went from early issues up to the 1990s. It included some hard to find top values and a run-through all the way with extra copies of many definitives.

Yemen. I never thought I would see a collection/lot of Yemen but one day it appeared. There are stamps from the various periods of this war-torn country and although not comprehensive, it forms a useful lot. They are listed in my Middle East section.

POSTAL SALES

It takes a little time for sales to get back to normal after Christmas. So this month was quite creditable with almost an average number of orders. The last ten days of the month made up for the slow start.
Commonwealth stamps performed well with Australia also very strong. The other three important countries were Belgium, Canada and Italy. Apart from that sales were across my range with most countries finding at least one supporter!

STAMP FAIRS

York was the main news this month and it was the best ever with my best ever single day’s trading on day one. I cannot ask for more than that. Many of my regulars attended, although not all. There were lots of new customers this time and many of them were after Commonwealth stamps. Unusually the sales of USA and Australia were low compared to previous shows but the high sales of Commonwealth more than made up for it.
I attended two other Stamp Fairs during the month: Wokingham and Chichester. Both were well above target, continuing the strong performances of Fairs in the last six months.

Now let’s se how we get on in February!