Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue 2014 by Stanley Gibbons
|Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue 2014 by Stanley Gibbons|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The 29th edition of the catalogue which treads the fine line between the needs of the casual and the specialist collectors. It's as excellent as ever.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 472||Date: May 2014|
|Publisher: Stanley Gibons|
|External links: Author's website|
When I began collecting GB stamps back in the early seventies Collect British Stamps was my bible and I eagerly awaited each new edition. After a while I came to realise that I needed a little more depth, but not to the level provided by the Specialised Catalogue Series not least because I was still at the stage of spending the money on stamps rather than books about them. There is something to fill the gap though and that's the Great Britain Concise catalogue. It's designed to meet the needs of the dedicated amateur rather than the specialist or the casual collector and treads a very fine line between providing too much detail and too little information with elegance.
The 2014 edition is the twenty ninth. The catalogue is printed on high quality, glossy paper which means that images are reproduced particularly well and at three quarters linear size have real clarity and are a distinct aid to identification. Every Great British postage stamp is covered, from the Penny Black through to the March 2014 Remarkable Lives issue. The cover price of the catalogue might seem expensive for a paperback but you must bear in mind the quality of the printing and the accuracy of the colours. I'm always delighted by the fact that these catalogues are one of the few which will stay open in use without having to be weighted down.
There always has to be a good reason for buying the new catalogue apart from the update on the commemoratives etc issued since 2013's Doctor Who series. The 2013 catalogue saw a renumbering of the Machin Y series and so was essential for collectors, but the conversion table in the 2013 catalogue is reproduced in the 2014 edition. This year sees a reasonable look at relatively new fields - Post & Go Stamps and Machin date-and-source-codes. They're both complex areas and largely outside the scope of the Concise catalogue but specialist Machin dealer John Deering has provided some useful reference tables.
For the more traditional collector there are the usual additions for earlier issues of new plate and cylinder flaws along with coverage of all the collectable items. The price review this year has probably been the most comprehensive for some years (and we'll offer the usual caveat that the prices are for buying stamps rather than selling) and there are increases in most areas.
It's not the book for the casual collector to purchase - although borrowing a copy would undoubtedly prove informative - and it's not going to be detailed enough for the dedicated collector but it's a gem for that wide band of people in between. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
The ultimate catalogue for the pre-decimal collector must be Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue 2013: Commonwealth and Empire Stamps 1840 - 1970 by Hugh Jefferies.
You can read more book reviews or buy Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue 2014 by Stanley Gibbons at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue 2014 by Stanley Gibbons at Amazon.com.
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