December was a strange month, not just because of Christmas, but partly due to the poorer weather. I had to duck out of the Wokingham Fair due to frightful weather and not many people came to see me at Oxford. I enjoyed a trip to Cyprus over Christmas itself, joining a group of natural history enthusiasts. Much of the weather was balmy with temperatures over 20 and this always lifts the spirits. The sight of a pair of Bonelli’s Eagles overhead was the highlight.

Back to stamps. I made a major purchase this month. Much of it is Commonwealth areas from a single collection. I have sorted the Malaya and Singapore (see below) and hopefully much of the rest will be handled in he following weeks. Other areas to be sorted include Italy, Belgium, Trieste and the Austrian Post Offices in Crete.     


Australia. My regular supplier sent me almost all of those items I requested in a wants list. These were mainly gaps that needed filling, leaving my stock largely complete. Much of what I am selling is new issues or stamps from the last five years.

Austrian Post Offices in the Turkish Empire. I have been neglecting this area of collecting for a long time. Now, I have been able to add a fabulous lot with great completeness. It was highly duplicated, so I have good back up stock. There is some interests in the postmarks, although I price these for the stamps, not the postmarks.

Bermuda. I had obtained three lots, covering all periods from QV to QE2, greatly increasing my range.

Commonwealth-KG6. Towards the end of November, I bought two big collections of this popular area. Of course many of the stamps were already in stock but I added lots of new items to my range. Especially of note were the various overprints on GB stamps, Bahawalpur, Sudan and the West Indies. For many of these colonies, I am complete with good back up. As you can imagine, my Indian States stock is partial, but most other areas look good!

Commonwealth-QE2. More areas sorted from the big lot I bought in the summer, as follows:
—Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania (separately) and KUT together. This is the first time I have offered much of this material.
—Lesotho. I already had a good range of these but there were some new values from this selection.
—Nigeria. This lot was partial but I have another lot to merge in when I get a chance.

Czechoslovakia. Two lots were added: 1918-36 and the 1970s. Some gaps were filled, although I am waiting for a delivery of a big lot from Prague.

Denmark. There is more to come but a number of early stamps were added to my range. I have a very strong selection of the first issues.   

Germany (West). These stamps continue to be popular and some gaps were appearing. Most of these have now been filled again plus a number of new issues. It is noticeable that 80% of what I sell was issued in the last four years!

Germany (Berlin). I broke down a collection that covered the period from the start up to about 1980. It was largely complete including most of the first two sets of overprints. 

Iceland. An early collection came my way with a few new values in stock. Notable were some of the 1921-30 surcharges.

Italian Colonies. It is probably 12-15 years since I received such a good lot of these Colonies. Very notable are the overprints for the Post Offices in Corfu, China and the Turkish Empire. Also I found several new items among Eritrea, Somalia, Cyrenaica + Tripolitania. There are lots of high values but some more “affordable” stamps too. 

Japan. A supplier in the Netherlands sent me a nice range of recent Japanese stamps. Some of them were so recent, I cannot list them as I have no catalogue for them! There are lots of pretty pictorials with some complete sets.

Malaya. I have been building up these stamps over the last few months. Even so, I found several new stamps to add to the range. This lot covered Federated, BMA, Postal Union, Johore, Kedah, Kelantan + Malacca. There are now very few gaps in my stock from KG5 to about 1970.  

New Zealand. A batch of new issues which included the Christmas stamps plus commemoratives for the royal Platinum Wedding. There were three mini sheets: one for each of these previous sets plus one to celebrate (!) the Royalpex stamp show.

Singapore. Another collection from the beginning up to the early 1980s. What was encouraging was the number of circular cancellations as the stamps of Singapore often bear wavy line postmarks.

USA. I placed orders with both of my USA suppliers and one of them replied immediately. These were stamps that were issued from 1920-the 2000s. Hopefully I will receive the other lot before the York Fair. It should consist of recent issues.


With Christmas, December was a quiet month. It was to be expected! Sales usually slow down after the first week of the month and tail off as Christmas approaches. All the same there were some tremendous orders from regulars, keeping me busy!

About 40% of the orders this month were for Commonwealth stamps and many of these were bigger orders. The only other countries that performed well were Australia, Canada, France + Sweden.  


In the end I only attended two Fairs during the month as I had to cancel the Wokingham Fair due to the awful weather. I have been at this Fair every month since 1985, only missing three events before this last one (one due to illness and tow due to snow). 

The Potters Bar Fair was good but the Oxford Solo Fair was poorly attended. Top selling countries were Australia, Canada, France and Spain.