Tuesday 13 January 2015

Confusion in pre-printed stamp albums - is your collection complete, or only a full album?

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?


  1. At one time collecting was a simple pastime !

    1. Collecting per the catalogue is probably easier - and use of quadrille pages can hide gaps as well as allowing the collector to chose his/her own layout.

  2. Interesting to see others have frustrations with the SG Luxury Album. To have 8 stamps from the Locomotives PSB split over not just different pages, but different sections of the album, is poor (NB Stamps from minisheets are never catalogued individually by SG unless the same stamp is available from a different source, eg booklet). I had to contact SG last year when there were no spaces at all for the 11 self adhesives from the Football PSB – they eventually included a page for them with the 2014 supplement. I am now in discussions with them for the following SG catalogued stamps (all from PSBs) which don’t appear to have pages:
    SG B3319 to SG B3326 – Queens Diamond Jubilee PSB DY4
    SG MS3451a – Dr Who PSB DY6 Minisheet Pane
    SG 3589b to SG 3594b – Buckingham Palace PSB DY10
    SG 3626a and SG 3629a – The Great War PSB DY11
    I’m not sure whether it is SG or Davo who determine what goes in the album, but better consistency would be helpful.

    1. Davo determine what is in the album.

      But this - and your expansion of it - explains why there is low demand for some of the catalogued stamps. My contact at SG thought the album was in line with CBS, rather than with the Concise.

      I'll have to invite contributions from Lighthouse and other album users.

  3. As you rightly point out, the SG Luxury Album is apparently based on CBS, but I still have a list of stamps from there that are not included!

  4. Further to my post at 09:21, herewith the response from SG.
    SG B3319 to SG B3326 – Queens Diamond Jubilee PSB DY4 -- These are missing and will be included in the 2015 supplement at the end of this year
    SG MS3451a – Dr Who PSB DY6 Minisheet Pane -- Not included in the CBS or the album as ex Prestige Booklet
    SG 3589b to SG 3594b – Buckingham Palace PSB DY10 -- Not included in the CBS or the album as Perf Variations
    SG 3626a and SG 3629a – The Great War PSB DY11 - Not included in the CBS or the album only from Prestige Booklets

  5. Interesting that you are talking about the Stanley Gibbons Deluxe album supplement pages.... it's seems DAVO (which I purchase here in Holland) follow exactly the same page layouts. I wonder who pinches what from whom? And nope - I didn't fall into the trap of your customer simply because I tend to mount singles from a mini-sheet on the opposite page from where the mini-sheet is mounted.... no confusion there.... plus the fact that I had purchased the PSB panes specially for the album and could only match up 5 to the printed pictures and then went searching for where I should store the other 3 gummed stamps. I admit I thought it odd at the time but haven't thought about it since until I read this blog!
    And no - the pre-printed supplement pages don't nor will ever cater for ALL issues and varieties which is why I resorted to purchasing plain DAVO pages - exact layout with a black border and exact sizing as the normal supplement pages but I get to play with what and how I want to mount all the extra's.... For instance - I have one page per year with all the varieties of NVI Security Machins which I pop into my albums at the end of each year (usually immediately after the Christmas issue) It does mean that I probably need more space than DAVO suggests (1840-1970 Davo I, 1971-1989 Davo II etc etc). The first couple of binders are OK but things start getting tight from binder III onwards. To ease the squeeze I invested in 2 empty Davo VII binders this year (I have separate MNH and FU collections) and will segregate my existing albums from III on so that there is more room for extra's.
    What I do find a shame but would take up even more space in a binder is the fact that Davo don't pre-print extra pages for GB single stamps when the issue is pairs or strips of 3, 5 or 6. The Dutch Davo albums can supply pre-printed pages for their singles of sheets of 10 stamps. I've sometimes had problems with the Hawid mounts catching on each other unless I put either tissue paper or even a sheet of A4 paper between. If possible I will try to add 'extra's' to the same page as the pre-printed.
    Oh and can I list another issue which is from the 2015 Star Wars PSB. SG Concise list these as 2nd issue. And yes, I purchased two of the panes but now have nowhere to store them unless I use my own invention of an extra blank Davo page. I have to admit that to my tired old eyes the actual stamps look exactly the same as those from the mini-sheet but perforations are meant to be different. I'll need to get my loop out to confirm.
    I also wonder if Royal Mail isn't milking a golden egg or did I purposely get my metaphor wrong!! hahaha
    And glad I'm not the only one with PSB Machins not yet stored in the albums although I was recently thinking about just adding them to the relevant pages with the Commemorative issues. Either that or stick in a few extra Hawid mounts onto the pages with the yearly Machins (more room!!) I've done just that with the QEII violet Machins with different codes and made a little group of them on the page which Davo designated just one.
    And my soon to be next project is to use blank pages to store the yearly coded regular Security Machins (1p, 2p, etc etc) which will again have a place for themselves probably one page ahead of the NVI Machins. If things haven't been pre-chewed and thought out by those bods publishing album pages then we will have to figure things out for ourselves and, if necessary, re-invent the wheel!!

  6. After a couple of years away from working on my collection and recently trying to update it, I still find myself confused with the above mentioned issues. I gave up on the SG Windsor album a few years ago for basically the same reasons. Deciding to purchase the Davo Luxury albums (7 vols). It appears to me that the spaces allotted to each stamp are done so in date of issue order but I have come across several omissions (added later) from past supplements, quite a few being machins. Also of late I have tried to obtain what we (in UK) term index pages, as a couple of mine appear to contain "out of sequence sg numbers"). Each time I input a search on the Davo Nl site for index pages, nothing appears other than supplement pages. I normally purchase direct from Davo as I find it cheaper to do so, on a budget. I now have numerous correct cat numbers pencilled into indexes and various other pages of my albums, which spoils the layout. Having recently purchased the 2015 & 2016 supplements, unless I've overlooked something there appears to be no mention of any regionals issued. Still updating??


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