March has been a very busy month. As you can see below I have priced up a huge range of new stock from a number of different countries. Lots more to do. Perhaps I had a little more time on my hands as the number of postal orders was slightly down, but still with a high yield. The cold weather must have had an effect too, especially as snow prevented me from attending the Sevenoaks Fair.
The other big news is the launch of my second web site: www.robstineextra.com
Here you will find a growing range of items across the board, all shown in high quality scans. Of course to start with the selection is just that: a selection. As time goes by I intend to keep posting more and more items: high value fine used stamps, mint stamps and sets plus selections of various countries. Many of these would not have been catered for in this, my original web site. On the new site, you have the facility to put items into a “cart” and pay by paypal; both new departures for me.
Lastly, I visited Antwerp over the last weekend in March to attend the Antwerpfila Stamp Fair. I had two contacts to renew: one for Belgian stamps and the other for recent European stamps. Both of these people had stamps for me and I made a new contact where I bought lots of Belgian Congo and Ruanda. These stamps will be sorted in the next few days and will be detailed in next month’s Newsletter.
UPDATES ON STOCK
Albania. It was high time for me to sort out three good lots of this underrated country so when I bought a fourth lot, I could wait no longer! I have expanded my range of early issues and the 1960s-1980s too. I already had a comprehensive stock of the middle period. One lot had several good mint sets which will be found on www.robstineextra.com
Australia. Just new issues this month involving a set of Banksia flowers plus antique jam labels.
—Bahawalpur (found in my list just after Pakistan): A full range of fine used stamps from this attractive period. Hard to find in fine used condition.
—British Antarctic. A complete range of the first 20 years or so.
—British Levant. Someone had put together a wide range of these issues and it found its way into my hands. I mixed these in with some from a general Commonwealth lot that I am slowly working through.
—Brunei. Again I found a lovely lot which was comprehensive from SG1 up to the 1970s with many high values.
—Falklands and Dependencies. I bought an excellent collection that covered most sets from the start through to the 1970s and the condition was well above average.
—Pitcairn. I already had a solid range of these stamps but this new collection expanded what I had.
—South Georgia. Attached to the Falklands collection, this selection offered items up to the 1970s.
Czechoslovakia. After waiting four months I finally received the stamps from a big wants list I sent my Prague supplier. Probably my original letter got lost in the post. My stock had been getting thin in places but now most gaps have been filled, from 1919 up to 2017. This included Czech Republic and Bohemia + Moravia.
Faroes. A small batch of new issues included a mini sheet with flies, a set for Mr Muller and two lovely landscape stamps.
Finland. Some new issues including a mini sheet for Mr Topelius and attractive greetings stamps.
France. My Paris supplier responded to my wants list with an excellent lot from the 1930s to 2011. I have a comprehensive range already so these were gap fillers. In addition I bought a number of mini sheets from 2012-4.
Germany-Saar. Two fabulous lots came my way this month. One was just about complete from 1945 onwards while the other was a strong lot from beginning to end. In addition I bought some difficult items from my regular supplier in Germany. I have never had such a good selection of this area.
Germany (West). My German supplier filled most gaps for me from a list I sent him. Also my range of new issues has been greatly improved, bringing us just into 2018.
Israel. A collection came my way, almost all with tabs which are important. The range was almost complete, although of course some have already been sold!
Luxembourg. I bought two lots during the month. The first was a thorough collection from SG1 to the 1970s with many of the good sets and singles. The second lot was an important collection of the Official issues with several of the high value early issues. My stock was already good but has been taken to another level.
Malta. An English supplier found me a top level collection of this country. There were almost all the stamps from the start through to the 1970s. Another collection was nearly as good so I am now in a better position than ever before with Malta.
Mexico. For the first time, I have set up a small selection of this country. There is a long, long way to go to have a comprehensive stock, but you have to start somewhere! The stamps I have are sorted by the simplified Stamps of the World catalogue, not the specialised book. The range goes from the start up to the 1970s.
Monaco. I merged four lots of Monaco into my small existing stock. Between them, they gave me quite good coverage of this attractive stamp producing country. I am always amused by the fact they have produced over 150 air mail stamps, but they do not have an airport!
Morocco. I came across a three volume lot which had a solid range of issues from the French period and a comprehensive range of the early independent years. I show all these in my Africa North listing. The collection had a big number of mint stamps too, so some are to be seen at www.robstineextra.com and I still have an entire volume of modern mint issues to price up!
Norway. New issues this month featured wildlife: a penguin, a seal and three owls. Lovely stamps!
Switzerland. I bought a thin volume of League of Nations issues with some United Nations too. These were lightly duplicated so my depth of stock has improved as has my range. Among these were some particularly good grilled gum issues.
A slightly quieter month than the last two but still the number of orders kept me busy. It was especially quiet during periods of snow across the country and I fully understand this.
Often I have sales concentrated on three or four countries, usually the Commonwealth, Australia and perhaps Belgium. This month sales were from all corners. However, the Commonwealth and Australia continued to perform well, followed by GB and Canada, then France, Switzerland and Albania. This has been the best month for sales of GB. I had quietly built up a good stock but not broadcast the fact because so many British dealers have a stock. Customers are now noticing that I have a good lot too!
During March I attended two Fairs: my solo Fair in Amersham and the monthly Wokingham Fair. Sales were good at both, especially Wokingham where I continue to find good things for regular customers despite the Fair itself being quiet.
Regrettably I had to miss the Sevenoaks Fair due to snow. It fell overnight so when I got up there was a covering of a few inches with more falling until late morning. Any other day would have been OK but not that Sunday!
LAST MINUTE UPDATES
Today, the link has been established from www.robstine-stamps.com to www.robstineextra.com enabling everyone to travel from one site to another. Then a separate section has been set up for Australian States and Channel Islands. Currently very little is visible on the Channel Islands section but hopefully there will be soon! The Isle of Man list will be produced soon as well.