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Member postings for Alex

Here is a list of all the postings Alex has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Plea for Advice
27/05/2019 07:44:07

Visit the Robert Murray Stamp Shop on Inverleith Gardens for advice. Good shop, went there when I was at college in Edinburgh. They should be able to advise you on the collection's value and how to sell it on.

Thread: "Via Andes" on Chilean cover.
29/03/2019 07:24:01

There were two main postal routes out of Chile; north towards Peru and Columbia for Asian / North American mail and east across the Andes to Brazil for European mail. The 'Via Andes' cachet denoted the route to be taken, that is by rail to Brazil and then across the Atlantic. These cachets were first used in the late 19th century. The first airmail service started in 1919 and by the 1920s mail could be flown from Chile all the way to Europe, though the rail / ship route continued for regular mail.

Thread: Franco stamps from Spain
01/03/2019 19:44:03


I don't collect Spain but I do know that the Franco stamps have a few varieties worth looking out for. I would suggest searching for a Spanish stamp catalogue or perhaps seek out the Michel catalogue. I don't think that SG will be of any value when seeking varieties. Even a casual search will show you some differences between the different print runs, eg the printers' initials at the bottom.

Incidentally, I bagged this 'Doctor's Blade' smeared Franco stamp in a charity shop bag of stamps so perhaps another thing to look out for until you get a more detailed catalogue to search for the hidden gems.


Thread: Cancelled mint stamps
29/01/2019 10:49:29

As a stamp collector, I don't mind CTOs that much. However, if I put on my philatelist hat I think that I'd be less inclined to include CTOs in my 'good' collections.

But, looking at things as they stand, this stance is really suited to the older stamp issues. For one thing, less stamp sets were produced in the past. Secondly, more of those stamps were actually used on mail. Today there are so many stamps being produced, in larger sets, that the majority of stamps will never actually see a envelope, let alone a postmark. There are many folk who collect both mint and used stamps, and for many the only way they can have a cancelled stamp in their collection is if it has been CTO by the relevant post office.

I don't collect British stamps, so I don't know if they do CTO nowadays (I know that when I first came to the UK and tried to get some stamps CTO they refused). If this is still the case I don't know where collectors of used British stamps find their examples.

29/01/2019 07:59:19

These CTO (cancelled To Order) stamps were once very common in beginners stamp packs. The Eastern European countries, especially, used to get rid of their surplus stock by applying a post cancellation and selling the stamps off in bulk at less than face value.

When I lived in Germany I would buy new issues at my local German Post Office and buy one mint stamp or set and request to have one set cancelled right there as well. This was popular with European collectors but less so with American / British collectors.

SG used to sell their CTO stamps at a lower price than postally used stamps. If you're talking about older stamps then a properly used stamp will be more desirable than a CTO, and may thus demand a slightly higher premium. However, this doesn't apply to modern stamps. Because of the problems of obtaining modern stamps with postally used cancellations (dealers have to find the stamps in the volumes required, remove them from the envelopes, dry them etc etc) many dealers are going back to buying CTO stamps directly from the postal authorities and selling these as VFU.

At the end of the day, personally, I'd be happy to have a CTO stamp in my collection if a 'proper' used stamp was unavailable and I have many such stamps in my collections.

Thread: Austria stamps
18/01/2019 18:54:59

These OPs were ordered by the local governments of the Austrian states on behalf of the plebiscite commissions. As to their use or validity, perhaps someone else here can help you.

Surprised that you couldn't find them as both Michel and the Austrian Netto specials list them.


18/01/2019 15:17:36

Yep, that is correct.

They are local OPs: Abstimmung in Salzburg, 29 Mai 1921.

Abstimmung means Plebiscite in this case. The overprints refers to the May 29, 1921 plebiscite in the province of Salzburg regarding a proposed union with Germany.

Thread: Philately-Related Christmas Presents
09/01/2019 07:24:43

Nice presents, for sure.

Most beginner sets don't have hinges, just the stock book to slip the stamps in. The hinges, and how to apply them to the stamps and into albums, come into practice a little bit later with many beginners, once they get round to learning the very 'basics' first. I think, though, that hinges have lost their popularity these days in favour of Hawid mounting strips.

(Personally, I don't use neither hinges nor mounting strips. I house my collections in leather German Lighthouse stock books, with black pages and the albums kept in slip cases. I don't write up my collection either; just the stamps set against a black background is all I need to enjoy them.)

Regarding the occupation stamps, they can be put into either a Germany or a Poland collection as they apply to the history of both countries, or as you say, a special occupation section. No hard rules.

Thread: Serbia
21/12/2018 11:55:21

If the stamp is printed on paper it could be from the 1911 - 1914 (or there about) color trails. I have seen these imperforated stamps before which came from unissued stock. Maybe somebody here, who collects Serbia, can advise you further. I'd bet the info would be in a Michel!

As to the Michel catalogues, they are in German (except a couple of countries, including the two volume Germany Special catalogues - which I haven't seen as I can read German). The Michel catalogue for the UK is pretty good and has a lot of detail, more I'd guess than the SG GB special. Michel does provide English translation sheets with their catalogues which helps those with no / limited German and the information is easily obtained once you get to know the Michel abbreviations and such. I no longer use SG as their standard catalogues are basically the same as the Michel youth / children's catalogues, ie very basic information.

Is it suitable for you? Only way to find out, I suppose, is to get one. Maybe an older copy (late 1990s - 2010s) from the likes of ebay just to get the feel of one.

20/12/2018 18:42:26

Yeah, looks like it was cut out from an 1911 postal stationery card.

To be fair, SG only provide the basic information which is why I use Michel most of the time.

Thread: Elsa Catelin
14/12/2018 19:18:05

You could try this site. It is en français.




She is also on Facebook.

Edited By Alex on 14/12/2018 19:27:41

Thread: Does anyone know what this is please?
02/12/2018 07:44:44


It is a British stamp in pretty poor condition. It was issued in June 1946 (as part of the Victory set) and is catalogued as SG 491 and should be in ultramarine.

Thread: Today's cancelled envelope
22/11/2018 13:41:06

Another rare event for me, an envelope with actual stamps on it was delivered today. It was posted in Maidenhead and contained, ironically, a philatelic journal (with an article of mine within its hallowed pages).

As usual, Royal Mail hasn't disappointed me!

Not only have the stamps been cancelled with RMs 21st Century version of a cancellation device (this time by marker pen rather than the crayon used the last time) but, for good measure, half of the left side has been torn open so that a diligent member of staff could make sure the contents were of value. Sadly, I surmise, my humble article was deemed unworthy of further attention and the envelope was sent on its way without further mishap.

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Thread: German inflation overprint
02/10/2018 10:57:56

Your stamp is a O/P error (wrong overprint value on wrong stamp, should have been either a 100M or 400M stamp).

The stamp is listed in the Michel Deutschland Spezial catalogue as 289F. It was overprinted at the Erfurt printers.

As to value, your figure of £3500 is quoted both on the internet and the catalogue (depending on whether it is hinged or not) but a copy of this stamp sold last year for under £30 in an auction.

It may be worth your while to get a expertizing certificate to determine whether it is genuine or a forgery.

Alex S.

Edited By Alex on 02/10/2018 10:59:51

Thread: GB Slogans
22/06/2018 07:44:38

Here is an Aberdeen slogan, slightly different in design and different font.


Thread: Austria stamps
15/05/2018 19:10:19

Try this site:


All your questions are answered there.




Edited By Alex on 15/05/2018 19:16:10

Thread: Can anyone identify these?
27/04/2018 19:05:57

They are from the Chinese air mail series printed between 1932 - 1937 (Beijing) and 1940/1 (Hong Kong).

Your stamps were overprinted in 1945 as air raid precaution propaganda and the stamps appear to be from the Hong Kong print run going by the 'tear drop' of the bottom left Chinese character.

Hope that helps....




Edited By Alex on 27/04/2018 19:11:33

Thread: American railway postal history
06/04/2018 15:17:52

Three new items which I bought yesterday for my long standing American Wild West thematic collection.



1939 postcard

An unused postcard from 1939 celebrating a century of mail service, from the time of the Pony Express rider up to the latest airplane mail service of the time.


T&V line

A 1950 cover commemorating the last train mail run of the Virginia and Truckee Railway (V&T Railway). Started in 1870, the V&T Railway connected the Nevada towns of Carson City and Virginia City, from where another railroad went to Reno and beyond. The cover used is a 1938 one commemorating the discovery of gold in the West and the subsequent settling of the Western States.


Chicago & Omaha

A 1954 cover commemorating the 90th anniversary of the RPO (Railway Post Office). This cover was carried on a mail train of the Chicago & Omaha Railway which connected Omaha in Nebraska with Sioux City in Iowa (a little short of actually reaching Chicago).



Edited By Alex on 06/04/2018 15:20:30

Thread: Future of Danish Swedish Engraved Stamps
02/04/2018 16:57:27

Thankfully Deutsche Post hasn't come to the same conclusion as either of you!

Thread: A question about GB stamp issues
03/03/2018 16:50:41

These are regional definitive and the ones you mention were first issued back in the 1990s though regional definitive stamps go back to the 1950s. They were originally issued as promoting the separate regions and still function in this way, though I would guess that the financial benefits of separate national stamps for collectors to buy isn't lost on Royal Mail!

Each home nation has a set of definitive stamps and they serve the same function as the normal definitives (the Machins with the queen's head).

While the Regional stamps are sold in whatever nation they represent, they are valid for postage throughout the UK as a whole. And yes, the 'normal' Machin definitive stamps are also sold, and in fact these still make up the vast bulk of postage stamps sold. I rarely see regional stamps on my mail.

I'm sure that a GB collector can tell you more.


Edited By Alex on 03/03/2018 16:54:00

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