Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue 2015 by Stanley Gibbons
|Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue 2015 by Stanley Gibbons|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The 30th edition does not fail to live up to expectations. It's not for the casual collector but for anyone more involved it's gold dust. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 488||Date: May 2015|
|Publisher: Stanley Gibbons Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
The thirtieth edition of the Stanley Gibbons Concise Stamp catalogue lives up to expectations once again. It's been extensively updated and prices have been revised in line with the current market, leading to thousands of price increases (particularly in varieties, errors, Machins, Post & Go stamps and booklets), which will please you - or not - depending on whether you're a seller or a buyer. It's pitched at that sector of the market which has outgrown Collect British Stamps, but not yet graduated to the Stamps of the World series. The cover price of £34.95 is reasonable when you see the amount of work - and technology - which has gone into the creation of the book.
There are all the listings which you expect (complete from May 1840 to 1 April 2015): definitives and commemoratives, regionals, postage dues, departmental officials, postal fiscals, errors, first day covers, booklets, specimens and post office sheets. There's also a commemorative design index. The listing of Post Office Telegraph stamps is straightforward and based on listings in the GB Specialised catalogue. If you're a collector of Machins the definitives are amalgamated in an easy-to-find separate section, with the highly collectable source and date codes now individually priced. PHQ card and presentation packs listings now include Royal Mail reference codes for easy identification.
I particularly appreciated the preface (by Hugh Jefferies and Vince Cordell) in this edition, as it goes back to the first catalogue issued by Edward Stanley Gibbons 150 years ago, when it was simply a price list of all the stamps which Gibbons had for sale. He'd just made a legendary purchase of a kitbag full of Cape Triangulars and was keen to develop new ways of shifting his stock!
Every different stamp design is illustrated in full colour and it is of course this which contributes to the price of the book. The illustrations are slightly less than full size but still of a clarity which enables you to see all the details and the colour shadings. I've always particularly appreciated the fact that these books will stay open on the desk without the need to balance something on one side. It might seem like a small point, but it makes for much easier working and the book is likely to stay intact for a great deal longer. Everything has been done to make the book as user friendly as possible.
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.
You can read more book reviews or buy Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue 2015 by Stanley Gibbons at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue 2015 by Stanley Gibbons at Amazon.com.
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