A short month due to Christmas. Usually the second half of the month is quiet as collectors have other things on their minds. So I did the only logical thing and pushed off to the Algarve on a birding holiday. It was a thoroughly enjoyable week with better weather, good food and drink, good birds and good company.

During the rest of the month, things were good. The three Fairs were fabulous and postal sales were pretty strong. I made more wise stock purchases and managed to price up a lot of new material.


Baltic States. I found an excellent collection of all three Baltic States covering the early period. The Estonia was nearly complete, the Latvia included many good sets and singles but the Lithuania contained more stamps I did not previously have in stock. The condition was superb.

Belgium. A second lot from one of my Belgian suppliers with a range from 1949-2000. My stock from the first issues up to 2000 (including back of book) is strong again. Shortly I plan to order issues from this century, although they are more difficult to find.
A fabulous collection came my way with most of the sets and high values right the way through to 1990.

Bulgaria. I have started organising my stock of Bulgaria. My list shows issues up to the 1930s and included items from an accumulation of early twentieth century issues with hand-picked cancellations, for nice copies not postmark collectors! Before long I intend to price up more material, before organising my Romania.

—Aden. QE2 issues including Seiyun and Hadhramut. This lot also housed a duplicated selection of Yemen which will be discussed in the next issue of this Newsletter.
—Anguilla. A few sets and singles.
—Antigua. Two lots of QE2 issues, going up to 1976.
—Ascension. Again, two lots from 1953-76, almost complete.
—Bahamas. Early QE2 issues.
—Barbados. Another early QE2 lot. In addition, I priced up a strong lot of QV stamps with high values.  
—British Somaliland. A few Officials.
—Ceylon. A colleague has sorted the early issues for me, again including many high values.
—Grenada Postage Dues.
—Hong Kong from beginning to 1936, including many high values and China overprints.
—India. A boost to my stock from early issues to 1936. It is hard to obtain nice cancels of early India but here there were some nice copies.
—Leewards. Two lots featuring issues of QV-KG5.
—(South Africa) New Republic + Griqualand. A reasonable selection of these difficult areas.

Czechoslovakia. A big lot from my Prague supplier. This is the first lot I have had from him for several months. Soon I plan to order more Czech Republic and perhaps Slovakia. If you want Slovakia, let me know! This current lot featured stamps from the early Hradcany Castle issues up to 1992.
In addition I merged into stock items from a stockbook collection, strong in the 1950s and 1960s with good mini sheets.

Germany (West). A number of new issues, although a further selection from my German supplier seems to have got lost in the post, along with an important order for a good customer. How annoying.

Iraq. A nice lot covering the period of British influence. I have bought a small selection of issues from the independent period and I hope to work on it soon.

Yugoslavia. A nice stockbook collection with stamps up to the 1960s has been assimilated into stock. This country sells remarkably well so many gaps were re-filled.


Due to Christmas, this is always a short month, but postal sales were remarkably buoyant. After a phenomenal number of new customers in November, more appeared during December. Thanks to you all for joining me!
Commonwealth stamps were again popular, followed by Spain, Belgium and France. Brazil and the Channel Islands made good performances, the latter gaining ground each month. Sales of Australia were low, largely due to the lack of new issues during December.


I attended three Fairs during December and all three were excellent, well above budget. Wokingham continues in its sub-optimal state but my customers keep coming and this month I had three pleasant surprises. It was my last Oxford Solo Fair which is always a sad moment, but every so often we have to move on.
Then we come to the Potters Bar Fair. This occasion was another very strong performance but it was the last event at the Mount Grace School. The organiser would be losing money in 2019 due to the low number of dealers and the increase in the room rate. However, some of us are looking at an alternative and we hope to have good news soon. There are some problems with dates to be resolved but that should be OK in the end.

I feel positive about 2019 as it starts. There are a lot of changes going on in the stamp world as it affects me, but as French footballers would say, I am “in a good moment!”