There have been a few notable initiatives in the wider stamp world in the past few weeks but let’s start with the auctions.
If you are kept up to speed with auction email alerts or read the monthly philatelic press, then it won’t have escaped your attention that the late Leo Malz collections of Central and South America are coming to the market.
Kelleher have the sale primed for October 7th.
‘Collections’ is truly the operative word here. Yes, there are a number of star pieces extracted from the larger lots, but the emphasis is very much on some substantial accumulations of harder-to-find material.
Haiti alone warrants 145 lots, some of significant size and depth with proofs and varieties to the fore.
Every one of the twenty Latin American republics is represented in some shape or form, bar Mexico. Given its wide scope, the sale will act as a good market bellwether.
Up at the more rarefied end, Siegel are auctioning the Gordon John collection of Uruguay and Colombia in their 29th September sale.
It’s a very focused sale with only two issues represented: the 1859 first issue of Colombia and the 1859/60 Uruguay ‘suns’. Not much there for the bargain hunter but quality material with a number of high provenance rarities.
Later in the year, expect to see yet another significant holding from the Bill Byerley Nicaragua collection come to market via HR Harmer. This is the third tranche of this huge collection and is expected to go to auction in December.
Virtual Stampex International
Kelleher and Siegel are just two of the exhibitors that have signed up to take part in what is being billed as the first virtual stamp show: Stampex International.
The APS also laid claim to launching the first virtual show with a successful series of events that ran from 17th-22nd August but the Stampex initiative takes it up another level.
By taking advantage of the vfairs interactive platform, the idea is to attempt to get as close to the real thing, without leaving home.
Without any travel or accommodation costs, the concept has been quickly embraced by the international philatelic trade.
Amongst 100+ exhibitors, notable stand holders include Cherrystone, Kohler, David Feldman, Spink, Corinphila, Stanley Gibbons…
Even eBay have a stand, which must indicate that the category has some level of importance within their wider business. Possibly to promote Stamp Market Index which is now getting heavily promoted on the eBay website.
Internationals always have an understandable home bias with only the better funded exhibitors tending to cross borders. It will be interesting to see whether this remains a COVID inspired one-off or whether it is the start of developing a truly global event platform for the hobby.
Stampex takes place from 1st-3rd October at www. stampex.vfairs.com.
For a sneak preview of the show in action, you can get a good idea by watching the recent interview with the Philatelic Trader’s Society on the new Conversations with Philatelists YouTube channel.
Conversations with Philatelists
Hosted by Charles Epting (HR Harmer) and Michael Cortese (Noble Spirit), this initiative has made quick progress with interviews under the belt from Gary Loew, Wayne Youngblood, Wade Saadi and Dana Guyer amongst others.
Be good to see how this develops.
Lastly, I cannot remember the number of articles I must have read over the years on ‘the state of the hobby’.
It’s been a staple topic of philatelic writers over the decades with forecasts from everything from complete obliteration through to a golden renaissance and all points in-between.
However, the best summary I have read in a long while comes from Colin Fraser in the September 2020 edition of Flash, the journal of the Federation Internationale de Philatelie.
Entitled ‘Can a pandemic finally change the world of philately?’, it deserves a wider audience than the circulation of Flash. You can download a copy below (page 27 onwards).
It’s a thought provoking read and I commend it to you.