Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Hard Task of Keeping Things Updated

I'm spending most of this weekend trying to update my want/offer lists on my personal website. I've neglected them since I had to change Internet service providers, and it shows. I added over 200 new items to my "offer" list alone for Norway.

It's hard slogging. Today is one of those days when I woke up tired (sleep apnea is a pain!), and haven't made any improvement as the day progresses. I've managed to update about a dozen pages so far. Some of them take a lot of time, like the Norway. Some of them haven't seen any changes in the seven years I've been maintaining them. That's a sad commentary on the growth of my collection!

One place where I cannot find nice used stamps from is Afars and Issas. They just don't seem to exist! I've managed to find a large number of better Switzerland recently, including the elusive 3c gray definitive from the 1949 set. I've had the Type II for ten years, but just got the 3c last month. There are other countries where it's DIFFICULT to find stamps, but I see them now and then - even stamps from Moheli, Obock, Ste Marie de Madagascar, and scores of other small early French colonies. I've seen exactly one lot in the last five years offering Afars and Issas stamps. That lot had four Afars and Issas stamps among the 120 or so being offered, and that was on Beverly Fox's Weeda Bidboard.

Tomorrow is another day, and I'm sure I'll find more stamps to add to my collection. These days, I'm adding stamps one or two at a time, rather than in huge lots (except for the Sweden, for obvious reasons). That means I have to update more and more pages, and update them more often. Hopefully I'll be able to do that and still keep writing here.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Sweden revisited

We finally got around to boxing up the Sweden on paper at work this week. We made six 2-pound boxes. They should go up on Shayne's eBay listing 0 or one this coming week. We had planned to build 1.5 pound boxes, but we didn't have enough of the right-sized boxes. The two-pound lots will provide anyone who buys them with plenty of variety.

I bought a pound of the mix we were building. I didn't get to keep the last pound I had, and I wanted some of the material to trade. I was also hoping I could find one or two additional stamps to add to my collection. Did I ever! It was almost as if the two lots were from different sources. There were several dozen stamps that weren't in the last box, and several dozen others that were present last time that were missing this time. Add to the possibilities just about any stamp issued between 1965 and 1975. Expect to get several of the pairs listed in Scott's stamp catalogue. The two that seemed to be the most prominent were 1095a and 1107a. There are also complete booklets of 939a in at least two boxes.

I have a Facit Sweden color catalogue from 1993 that's about to fall apart. It still has a world of information that's both interesting and informative. I've learned that in Scandinavia, they collect booklet pairs, and pay a hefty price for them. For instance, Scott #837-41, the Swedish fairy tales booklet, catalogues $1.75 mint, $1.50 used, in my catalogue. The Facit catalogues them for 15Skr mint and 12Skr used. The pairs, however, catalogue 30Skr mint and 35Skr used. Comparably, it appears the Dollar/SKroner exchange rate is $1/Sk8. That would give a value for the pairs of about $3.75 mint, $4.25 used. These boxes have between 15 and 20 of these pairs.

I also discovered quite a number of stamps from several booklets, including 853-57, 861-66, 914-18, 928-32, 936-39, 994-98, 1005-1009, 1031-35, 1087-91, and 1096-1100. Of course, not all the stamps for any booklet were there. Hopefully people who buy these boxes will be willing to trade what I'm missing for what I have extras. I also found several of the single stamps from the Skepptuna Church quilt.

The one thing that's missing in this mix are small stamps. There are hardly ANY of the normal King Gustav VI Adolph or King Carl XVI Gustaf definitive issues. There are a few, but always found in conjunction with commemorative or booklet stamps.

Shayne says he can get more of this mixture, if people really want it. Hopefully he can also get a variety of different periods, and not all the 1965-75 era!

I'll take a few days to go through the Sweden, soak off paper what I need, and then back to the Bulgaria.