Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue 2013: Commonwealth and Empire Stamps 1840 - 1970 by Hugh Jefferies
|Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue 2013: Commonwealth and Empire Stamps 1840 - 1970 by Hugh Jefferies|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The 115th edition of the catalogue lives up to the long-established tradition of being accurate, informative and user friendly.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 700||Date: September 2012|
|Publisher: Stanley Gibbons|
|External links: Author's website|
You might think that as all the stamps in this catalogue have been in existence for at least forty years there can be little more to be said about them but this 115th edition is acknowledged to be the most significant in many years. Most exciting (but probably more so to sellers than buyers) is the fact that in a time of economic downturn there are thousands of price increases and evidence of a very lively market. Demand for good stamps is greater than it has been at any time in the last thirty years according to editor Hugh Jefferies, although he does add that prices are rising faster in some areas than others. It's difficult to see how a serious collector - or seller - can be without an up-to-date copy of the catalogue for this reason alone.
As usual there are several new plate flaws and watermark varieties added and it's to be noted that those which were already listed have generally been marked up in price. Over two hundred stamps have been added, most notably in Western Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. But, what marks this edition out is the inclusion of full and detailed listings of government telegraph stamps, with - as is to be expected - full pricings and plenty of full-colour illustrations.
This is a catalogue so the frequent pages of adverts for Stanley Gibbons and other advertisers are to be expected, but I always appreciate the articles which are always pitched so that they're more than accessible to the relative newcomer but still of interest to the expert. The Importance of Condition might seem obvious, but there's a very readable look at the nuances of when some deterioration in condition might be acceptable - and when the discount for less-than-perfect examples can be dramatic.
The book is packed with useful points of reference. I always find the International Philatelic Glossary a godsend with its translations into French, German, Spanish and Italian. I've a quibble with the lst of Specialist Philatelic Societies - and that's the lack of acknowledgement that time has moved on from the days when we used, er, stamps! I'd have appreciated email details or the URL of a website where appropriate.
The listings though are the reason why you buy the catalogue and these are superb. There are three columns per page and whilst the print is quite small it is balanced by the regular inclusion of colour images of the stamps and they're of a sufficient size for you to be able to see the details clearly. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
From the same stable we can recommend this book on autographs.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue 2013: Commonwealth and Empire Stamps 1840 - 1970 by Hugh Jefferies at Amazon.com.
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