At the beginning of April, I went to Antwerp to attend the annual Spring Stamp Fair. This is the third year running I have been there, always in a buying capacity. It was excellent again with new material from Belgium, Serbia, Japan etc as detailed below. I have four main contacts there now who are all very helpful.

Apart from that, I have been working hard to get my backlog of unsorted stamps down to a manageable size. Time is always against me but I think you will agree my work this month offers a wide variety of new material.

Just before April began, I received delivery of the Wants List book which is already proving popular. It has lead already to some sales.  


Andorra. A few values from both sides came my way. All from 1929-36.

Argentina. As part of my task of sorting all my Latin America up to 1936, I finally got around to the Argentina. The complicated watermarks have put me off but once I started this time, it was not so difficult. As with other Latin America, I have more stock to work on when time permits.

Armenia + Azerbaijan. Just a few items issued before 1936, the Azerbaijan are not listed by SG.

Ascension. Lots of material from KG6 and QE2 to add to my strong range of this island.

Australia. New issues this month: Welcome Stranger, Sustainable Fish and a set of Fauna. Just one mini sheet for the Fish.

Australian States. With considerable help from a friend, I have sorted and priced a very decent lot of Aussie States. There are some high values among them and quite good condition which is not always the case for these stamps. I am finding increased interest in these issues.

Belgium, During my Antwerp trip, I bought a lot of material for Belgium. My regular supplier has made a good job of filling his books, which I rapidly emptied! Most of the material was odd single stamps, some sets and mini sheets plus lots of the Back of Book issues (Railways, Postage Dues, Eupen + Malmedy etc). Obtaining stamps after 2010 is still not easy as I saw hardly any at the show.

Canada. A set of five and a mini sheet for the new issue “In Flight”. Separately I worked on a range of stamps from the earlies to 1936. It included a complete set of the 1897 Jubilee issue plus other goodies.

China: Japanese + Russian + US Post Offices in China. Rarely seen issues these.

Colombian States. A little bit of Antioquia, Bolivar etc are now visible in my Latin America C-D listing.

Cuba. Some early issues up to 1936.

Denmark. It was time to work on a collection from about 1960 to 2007. Some gaps had started to appear in my stock, so these have come in handy.

Egypt. I had two collections to merge into my existing stock. Several better values among the earlier issues and a number of commemoratives up to the 1980s and perhaps a little beyond. These are in my Africa North listing.

Estonia. A decent lot of stamps from 1993-2017 came up. Still some way to go before I can claim a comprehensive stock all the same.

Finland. Among a range of earlies up to 1936, there were some new items for stock.

France. Trying to catch up with recent issues is not easy but this month I obtained issues from 2012-3 and 2016, all with part circular cancels.

German States. Quite a few values from Wurttemberg in their latter days plus a few better Mecklenburg, although these have already gone!

Greenland. After receiving stamps to fill most gaps in stock up to 2011, this month I received stamps and mini sheets to complete 2012-8.

Iceland. New issues, including Europa Birds, Tourist stamps, Vestmanneyear and Young Animals.

Ireland. New issues for another dose of history in objects plus Organ Transplants.

Japan. It might not sound much but in getting a good coverage of 2011-3, I filled about 500 gaps in stock! Some really nice designs among them as well as the tacky Hello Kitty etc.

Korea and Japanese POs in Korea. A small selection to whet the appetite!

New Zealand. New issues: Lighthouses and the Anzac Dawn Service, two sets of singles and mini sheets.

Norway. A man at the Antwerp show had a few Norwegian stamps from the 2010s for me.

Poland. I broke down a collection from 1981-2011 which increased my coverage of this period. Almost all stamps had part circular cancels.

Russia: a few Civil War and Far Eastern Republic stamps.

St Helena. A nice collection from 1953-82 added a few values to my stock, which was already quite comprehensive.

Serbia. Almost like gold dust: a range of fine postally used modern Serbia from independence to 2017. When do you see such material. And they are nice stamps.

South African Provinces. As with the Aussie States, I have had some help with these. I now have a good range of the main provinces plus other areas like New Republic and Griqualand West. In addition, there were some very early South Africa and SWA.

Trieste with Venezia Giulia (the Italian half). A seemingly complete collection of stamps and air stamps from this popular region. The condition was excellent too.

Tristan da Cunha. A lovely range of early QE2 stamps, although I already had most in stock.

Yugoslavia. I merged another lot from 1918-36 into stock with a few new items to add to the list.


In terms of the number of orders, this has been the busiest month for ages with some bigger orders too. Quite a few collectors have come back after a short lull and these have been some totally new customers as well. All are welcome. Traditional wisdom will tell you this is the time of year things slacken down a bit as the garden is more accessible and there may be reminders from another member of the family that certain jobs outside need doing. Luckily for me, this year may be different. 

Commonwealth sales were back to the higher level and Australia continues to forge ahead. Other countries selling well were headed by Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France + Italy. Meaningful contributions came from Canada and Japan with German “Areas”, Netherlands, Poland and Yugoslavia not far behind.  


I attended two Fairs in April: Wokingham and Chichester. Both were over budget. I have a lovely group of regular customers at Wokingham and it is always a pleasure to see them. Their interests are very diverse but that is fine by me! The Chichester Fair continues to be very worthwhile even though it is only a small event.

In May I will be present at the usual Wokingham Fair, then there is the launch of the New Potters Bar fair on 26 May. If you are remotely local to this Fair, do come along and support a new venture. There will be ten dealers present with excellent stocks covering a wide range of philately. There is free parking and good refreshments in their café.

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