Once upon a time some of my foreign collection was a preprinted album, but I soon found that it was too restrictive for the 19th century used collection, with all the plate varieties and shades, not to mention nice multiples and fancy postmarks. So I gave it up and reverted to a plain album with quadrille pages.
But I know that very many collectors of modern GB and other countries do use these albums, and their collecting is based solely on what is included, and omits what is excluded. Fair enough, it's right that everybody collects what they want to. But if the album is complete but the collection is incomplete in the eyes of the dealer who eventually buys it, it won't realise its full potential. And how do you know what is complete and what is not?
A customer recently asked for some stamps for page from his new SG De Luxe supplement, and I was puzzled by what it appeared to have spaces for.
Even at this size (click on the image for a larger version), you can probably make out that all the stamps are from self-adhesive retail booklets: 2 x Sustainable Fish, 2 x Buckingham Palace, 1 x Commonwealth Games, 2 x Football Heroes 2, and .... 4 x Classic Locomotives?
I asked for clarification and he sent a list of the stamps with their SG catalogue numbers. The fourth Locomotive is indeed 3634, the Welsh booklet stamp. The other three are 3570-72, the England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland gummed stamps from the Classic Locomotives of the United Kingdom prestige stamp book.
All well and good, but where do you put 3573-77, the other 5 gummed stamps from the PSB?
I asked Gibbons, and apparently there is space for those on page 243, presumably just after Working Horses and before Remarkable Lives. This isn't completely Gibbons' fault, the album is actually the Davo album rebadged and with an SG-produced index. The pages don't actually have catalogue numbers on them.
My customer had filled page 243 with stamps from the miniature sheets although they are actually the wrong stamps. The MSs were printed by Cartor and the PSB by Enschede. So he's 'wrong', but does it matter? Well, it depends on how detailed you want to be, but it may affect the sales proceeds as I mentioned earlier. It is probable that the buying dealer will assume that the stamps in the spaces for 3573-77 are in fact those stamps - and he will put them into his stock as those stamps, and people will buy them as Enschede printings from the PSB when in fact they are cut-out of the Cartor MS.
The stamps are not very different... The Cartor printings have more yellow; the black and white pictures are creamier. Here the PSB stamps are overlayed on the miniature sheet. Note particularly the difference in the background to the Queen's head on the 1st class Scotland. I don't think these shade differences would be expected from a normal print run - the runs are too short anyway - no, these clearly show two different sources and two different printers.
Side by side they are different, but on page 243 some way from the
actual miniature sheets, who will notice that they are the same, when
they should be different?
So, what you collect is your choice - we still have a few sets of 8 from the PSB in our webshop.
My comments focus on Davo (and hence SG), but what about others, such as Lighthouse? Can album users provide any information on omissions or inconsistencies?