NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2019

This month was truncated by my holiday in Trinidad and Tobago, another birding holiday. I had never been anywhere tropical before so that alone was an experience. The birds were fantastic and we saw large parts of the islands and how the other half lives.

I managed to price up less stock than usual due to my absence so now I have my work cut out to make up lost ground! I have ordered more France and USA and need to find more in advance of the Winter York fair. Purchases of collections and lots has been less recently but I have good material to work on when I can find the time!

I experimented with an insert in Stanley Gibbons Monthly magazine and next month a similar exercise with Stamp Magazine. The idea was that people would return the coupon for my new booklets. First off the production line was my Commonwealth booklet. It featured 86 stamps across the board and sales were brisk. Then near the end of the month I had the Europe and Worldwide booklet to send out. 132 stamps were depicted here and again sales have been meaningful already. So in future I will be producing more booklets but with more content. Now we have established a way of working.

UPDATES ON STOCK

Ascension. Part of an ex-dealer’s stock, this range covered the first issues in some quantity through to the 1980s.

Australia. My supplier has found many of the more difficult items in my last wants list. In addition there have been more new issues including the first aerial post from England to Australia and Seed Banking.

Bolivia. A small number of stamps from the 1940s onwards.

Canada. New issues for Leonard Cohen and the Community Foundation (that sounds like the name of a rock band!).

Colombia. Ever so slowly I am adding material to my small Latin America range. This Colombia selection runs from about 1940 to the 1960s. More to come.

Commonwealth. I finished adding KG6 stock to my books from colonies P-T in the alphabet. I already have most items in stock but additions included some stamps from Malaya, Somaliland, Sudan, Trinidad + Tobago and Patiala and Travancore from the Indian States.

Costa Rica. As with other Latin American countries, I have extended my coverage a little from the 1940s onwards.

Czechoslovakia (including Czech Republic and Bohemia + Moravia). Usually twice a year I send a big wants list to my supplier in Prague for new stock. This time it was the biggest list I have ever sent as these stamps have been very popular lately. With such a big list, it is not surprising things take some time but at the start of the month I received the desired stamps. What a difference they made. Lots of gaps in my range have been filled from 1918 to this year.

Guatemala. Some mid period stamps added.

Malta. I have never had GB used in Malta before but now I have a fine little range of these stamps.

New Zealand. The 1898 Pictorials have been popular recently so I have added items from this interesting part of NZ history.

Nigeria. A smallish one-off lot of Nigeria including Niger Coast. I find the Niger Coast designs appealing and now I have quantities of these stamps to admire each time I open those pages. A colleague has worked hard on the separate perforations among them.

Norway. I am part way through work on this country. I received new issues including a Cycling set and Pets showing a cute puppy and kitten. More significantly, I have finally (with some help) sorted out the nineteenth century Posthorns and that makes a big difference to the stock of that period. In between a few other gaps have been plugged.

Palestine. I have added some items from this era.

POSTAL SALES

Being absent for part of the month naturally affected the number of orders completed. However the total was not very far behind recent months and there were good sizeable orders among them plus a healthy number of new customers.

The top selling areas again were Commonwealth, Australia, Canada and France. Latin America showed well and this is the culmination of a trend in recent months. Otherwise a couple of orders per country was the norm.

STAMP FAIRS

I attended three Fairs during October and all three were fantastic, well above expectations. I was one of two dealers at Chichester on 5 October and perhaps picked up some sales that would not have come my way if others were there. All the same that was the best I have ever done there. My Solo Fair in Amersham exceeded expectations, followed by an exceptional Wokingham. This is while some parts of the economy are complaining that uncertainty is hampering business.