September has been a strange month. It was the quietest month for postal sales for nearly two years but the Fairs have been performing well. I received some notable postal orders but there were distinct lulls. Were you on holiday!?! I had a holiday myself, visiting Bulgaria for the autumn migration. Big numbers of Eagles fly close to the west coast of the Black Sea, showing themselves overhead in all their splendour. The weather was too good for the smaller birds, which just kept going instead of stopping for us to see them!
As you will see below, I have been offered some wonderful lots of new stock lately. I am working on the French Colonies and QV-KG5 Commonwealth in between other things. There is always lots to do!
UPDATES ON STOCK
Australia. My Aussie supplier is currently working on a big order I have placed to fill some gaps that have appeared in stock. In the meantime there have been some more new issues: Children’s Bush Classics, Vintage Motorcycles and the horse Winx that apparently won lots of races.
Bolivia. Not much has happened with my Latin America for several months. I have now priced up a range of Bolivia from the start to the mid 1930s. My stock of Brazil is almost ready to be priced and Haiti will be worked on shortly.
Channel Islands. Having previously priced up my stock of Isle of Man and Alderney, I have now completed the listing of Guernsey and all of the Jersey. I used to think other dealers had better stocks than me, but it seems that may not be the case. Anyway my stock is now available!
Christmas Island. I now have a decent range of this lovely territory following a purchase from another dealer. Some of the sets are lauding the phosphate industry which was actually destroying part of the island! How times change.
Commonwealth. Some more work has gone on with the QV-KG5 ranges. I have two largely complete collections that I am breaking down. That is in addition to an ex-dealer’s duplicated stock. This month I worked on Heligoland, Gambia, Gibraltar, Gilbert + Ellice, Gold Coast and Dominica.
Finland. Another batch of new issues including town parks and climate change.
French Colonies. Further work on this lot. There are some early issues but much of the range is actually post independence, many gaudy pictorials. I have been intrigued by tropical African countries issuing stamps for the Winter Olympics! The countries handled this month were: Central African Republic, Senegal, St Pierre et Miquelon (there are several mint items now showing on www.robstineextra.com), Mauritania and Laos. The Laos list is to be found in my Asia listing.
Great Britain. Finally I listed my selection of Postage Dues. I cannot think why I did not do it earlier!
Italian Colonies. A tremendous lot of the Dodecanese Islands came my way recently, so I wasted no time in sorting them and pricing them. The 13 Island overprints on the Ferrucci and Garibaldi issues were 99% complete and there are many of the 1912-21 Victor Emmanuel overprints too. This is the best range I have ever had of these.
Italy. A small, highly duplicated lot from 1979-90 came my way, mainly notable for the blocks of four with tabs.
New Zealand. I had been neglecting these early issues (up to 1935) but I had five lots to merge into my existing stock. As you will know these are very complicated with paper types, perf differences, watermarks etc. So, I have added a number of items into stock but more issues have been “parked” until I can concentrate on them.
Poland. Lately there has been some interest in their stamps after a long period in the doldrums. So it was high time to work on the 8 albums and stockbooks sitting on my shelves! I have not sorted them all but a large number of gaps in stock have been filled from the start up to 1994. I was especially pleased to note the issues of the late 1940s which are always in short supply.
Sweden. The first lot for some months from my Swedish supplier. Various gaps filled from the early twentieth century up to the 2010s, singles and booklets. I am also up to date with 2018 new issues.
Switzerland. My stock of the International Bureaux has always been good, but I bought a fabulous range of the League of Nations and International Labour Office. Both were 99% complete with large numbers of some values plus a range of mint stamps which I will deal with later.
September was a very quiet month for postal sales. However Canada and France have performed particularly well, outstripping all other areas, except the good old favourites: the Commonwealth and Australia. It has been especially noteworthy how many previous customers have returned in the last few weeks. You are all welcome!
I attended three events in September. All went well. Sevenoaks and Potters Bar were close to the high budget and Wokingham was again above the target figure. It is undeniable that there are less customers visiting Stamp Fairs and that the afternoons are sometimes devoid of clients but my figures continue well.
More progress has been made on www.robstineextra.com. We have now 3000+ items in this site and counting. Sales have shown an increase too with a good variety of items being asked for. I have plans for two more innovations. We are about to launch our voucher scheme, which is ideal for gifts when your friends or family do not know what to get you! Then I will be producing a wants list booklet, making it easier to keep up to date with what you need to complete your collection.
More news on these developments next month!