Stamp Dealer Association
SOCOFIRA (the Sociedad de Comerciantes Filatélicos de la República Argentina) (ES) represents Argentina’s leading stamp dealers with dealer profiles provided on its website.
The first philatelic society established in South America was SOFIRA (Sociédad Filatelica de la República Argentina – the Philatelic Society of the Argentine Republic) (ES), established in 1887. Note: website down as of October 2018.
The FAEF Federacion Argentina de Entidades Filatelicas (The Argentine Federation of Philatelic Entities) (ES) represents the interests of Argentina’s eighteen regional philatelic societies.
Argentina has a number of specialized catalogues to choose from:
Mello Teggia Sellos Postales 1856-2010 República Argentina (ES). Classified by Yvert et Tellier numbers. Good for the general collector with prices shown in pesos. Last published in 2010.
GJ (Gottig Jalil) Catalogo Especializado de Sellos de la República Argentina (ES). More expansive than Mello Teggia. The two volume 2018/2019 edition is the latest and is reviewed here. Often simply referred to as the GJ catalogue, this recently published work is beautifully presented in full colour and extensively illustrated. Volume 1 covers the early regional issues of Corrientes, Buenos Aires and Cordoba, followed by Confederation and then Republic issues through until 1999. The second volume picks up in 2000, carrying right through until October 2018. The remaining two thirds of Volume 2 cover the Officials, Government Departmental overprints and Telegraphs. The ‘GJ’ lists a huge number of varieties that go way beyond the more mainstream catalogs. For example, the Scott Classic Specialized lists 19 variants of the popular Rivadavia issues: the GJ catalogue lists no less than 290 individually priced varieties with 123 of them illustrated in color.
GZ Cefiloza Catalogo Especializado de Sellos Postales (ES). An excellent, specialized, downloadable only catalogue which is available free of charge www.cefiloza.blogspot.com (ES). Illustrated in colour and listing numerous varieties, including dedicated sections to officials and perfins. The 2021 edition is the latest incarnation.
Kneitschel 1958 Catalogo de los Sellos Postales de la Republica Argentina (ES). The bible of Argentinian philately, this two volume work is an essential aid in taking a deep dive into the early classics, including proofs, essays, trials, postmarks and so much more. Eleven editions were published in total: 1943, 1945, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1958, 1961, 1965, 1968, 1970 and 1974. The 1943 edition includes private and railway telegraphs, charity labels, reprints and forgeries. The ’52 is strong on ‘escudito’ forgeries. The ’65 gives first day cancellations and a detailed listing of first flights. But it’s 1958 that shines.
Samuel Klass – Catálogo de Sellos Postales de la Argentina (ES). Complimentary to Kneitschel and another detailed work. Aim for the 1970 edition.
Foro Filatelia Argentina (ES) is an active forum and useful resource, discussing every aspect of Argentinian philately.
If you collect (or are contemplating) the 1938-1951 definitive issue then Antonio Rubiera’s Arge 3551 website is indispensable. The website is as complicated as the issue but it it delves into a level of detail you won’t find elsewhere.
The Federación Filatelica Boliviana is active but does not currently have a web presence. Enquiries should be sent to Martha Villarroel de Peredo email@example.com.
Further information can also be found at www.filateliabolivia.com (ES).
The catalogue you need is the 2022 Cefibol, Especializado en Filatelia Boliviana (ES) by Daniel Gonzalez Fernandez. This is a substanial, six-hundred page catalogue with over 3000 images and pricing in US dollars.
Alternatively, you may find a used copy of the CEFILCO Catalogo de Sellos Postales de Bolivia, published by the Centro Filatelico Cochabamba. Cefilco also publishes a magazine on Bolivian philately.
The Cefilco catalogue covers the two key essentials in any specialized work: varieties that aren’t found in the mainstream catalogues and print numbers, to ascertain relative scarcity. The most recent eleventh edition was published in 2014/15. However, the Cefibol catalogue is a more detailed reference source and the recommended choice.
Stamp Dealer Association
The Brazilian Association of Philatelic Traders (EN/PT) represents stamp dealers from across the country.
Lots to explore here:
The Brazil Philatelic Association (EN) produces a quarterly journal, Bulls Eyes, with over 160 issues, published since 1970.
In Brazil, FEBRAF Federação Brasileira de Filatelia (PT) represents the interests of numerous philatelic associations across the country.
Also worth investigating is FEFIBRA Federacao dos Filatelistas do Brasil (PT), another ‘umbrella organisation’ representing individual and organisational philately within Brazil.
A good overview of the numerous regional philatelic societies in Brazil can be found at www.filatelia77.com (PT). There is also an excellent online forum at selosdobrasil.forumeiros.com (PT) if you need advice or input on a particular aspect of Brazilian philately.
Finally, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Brasilien e.V (DE) is a German/Brazilian society but with 30% of its members outside Germany. It has over 100 papers published.
The Brazilian philatelic market has been dominated by the RHM Catalogo de Selos do Brasil (PT) for many years. Named after the Sao Paulo dealer, the late Rolf Harald Myer, it isn’t unusual for international auctioneers to quote RHM catalogue numbers when describing Brazilian classics.
The latest (61st) edition was published in August 2019. However, I would steer you towards the two-volume 2016 edition which is still available and contains a considerable amount of additional detail with a sizeable pre-philatelic section (starting in 1648!).
Varieties are well presented, watermark complexities are well illustrated and a useful addition is the inclusion of comparative pricing of pairs, strips and blocks for the early issues; a feature often missing from many catalogues
Available from www.oselo.com.br. (PT)
If you need to cross-refer RHM with Scott, Michel or Yvert & Tellier then the ArGe Brasilien (DE) handbook is well worth picking up.
A free, online catalogue is also available at www.catalogocdd.com.br (PT).
The long-established Sociédad Filatélica de Chile (Philatelic Society of Chile) (ES) has existed since 1889 and has nearly 300 editions of its in-house magazine available free to download on its excellent website.
If you are a collector of Chile and have yet to acquire a copy of what is usually referred to as the ‘SOFICH catalogue’, you are missing out.
The Filatelia Chilena Catalogo Especializado (ES) is a beautifully produced, full color catalogue that provides a wealth of detail not found in the mainstream titles. Illustrations of pre-philatelic handstamps lead into a detailed treatment of the classic Colon first issue.
Likewise the popular Presidents and Celebrities series highlights the extraordinary scope for specialisation that exists. The black and blue 10c O’Higgins stamp from 1915-28 is shown with no less than 25 varieties.
Of particular note are the treatment of watermarks. Many issues have watermarks printed in opposite or inverted positions and each is priced individually. There are sections devoted to GB used abroad, priced cancellations from the War in the Pacific period, telegraphs, official seals and more. A wonderful volume. More information here.
Earlier catalogues to watch out for are those published by either Socopo (ES) or Victor Vargas (ES) but they are far less useful than SOFICH.
The site www.chilecollector.com (ES) contains a significant depth of information, including a digitized run of The Chile Specialist (EN). This North American journal, published in English, ran from 1991 to 2009 and contains a wealth of detail on Chilean philately.
The Colombia-Panama Philatelic Study Group, more commonly known as COPAPHIL (EN), produces a quarterly journal COPACARTA for members.
In Colombia, the Club Filatelico de Bogota (ES) holds occasional auctions for members.
Estampillas de Colombia (ES) by Leo Temprano is the catalogue to look out for. It has been published many times over the years but editions are not that easy to get hold of.
My own copy dates back to 1977 but the most recent edition I’ve seen is the 42nd, published as a large, full color, two volume catalog in 2010. The first volume covers the first issues up until 1900 with the second going through until 1958.
One of the most useful features of my ’77 copy is an in depth review of the nineteenth century Michelsen reprints but I can’t confirm that this is included in the most recent edition.
The other catalogue worth searching for is Colombia Catalogo de Estampillas Especializado (ES), published by Alvaro Barriga. A 2016 edition was printed but I have yet to see it.
If you can find (and afford) them, Dieter Bortfeldt’s Workbook trilogy (EN) are a superb set of reference manuals for identifying forgeries of early Colombian stamps.
The Ecuador Philatelic Association maintains a blog at www.afe-filateliaecuador.blogspot.com (ES). They also provide free access to the journal El Colleccionista Ecuatoriana (ES) from its inception in 1935 through to 2007.
Also active is the invitation-only Ecuador Study Group. Although only formed in 2017, the Group produces an excellent digital publication, Media Real (ES/EN), which can be accessed from its website.
Finally, the Guayaquil Philatelic Club (ES) provides an exceptional online range of journals covering Ecuadorian philately from publications past and present.
Your best bet is trying to find a copy of the Catálogo de los Sellos Postales del Ecuador (ES) by Olivier Bertossa. The last edition I am aware of was published in 1996 but the 1994 is more detailed. It has not been reprinted or updated, although a digitised copy is in circulation.
It was a private, limited run and is difficult to find. Of particular note is the detailed appraisal and comparative pricing of the popular Fire Control Marks of 1902. This is merely a footnote in Scott whereas Bertossa devotes six pages of his catalogue to them. Likewise, the Escolares Control Marks of 1907 are another footnote in Scott: Bertossa gives them over four pages.
Also worth noting is the Maier Postal Stationery of Ecuador 1884-2017, a recent publication that provides a comprehensive listing of Ecuador’s postal card, letter card, aerogramme and wrapper issues.
The early classics are well covered at www.ecuaclasico.blogspot.com
I am not aware of an active society for Paraguay collectors.
The book to look out for is the Catalogo de los Sellos Postales de la Republica de Paraguay y sus Derivados (ES), published by the Argentinian dealer Victor Kneitschel in 1947. Long, long out of print but there is nothing really to touch it.
It was published in a limited edition of 1000 copies. As expected from Kneitschel it is very strong on varieties with certain issues picked out for special treatment on plate flaws. The Habilitado overprints of 1908 get a particularly detailed look and there is a useful proofs and essays section at the back of the book. Although it can be a challenge to find an original copy, a free digital download is in circulation.
Another digital catalogue worth seeking out is Joe Hahn’s Paraguay Handbook (EN) which contains a wealth of additional detail and is particularly strong on varieties, print quantities and scarcity.
It’s a little clunky but you can still access it via Joe’s old website at www.oocities.org/~joehahn/handbook .
The Peru Philatelic Study Circle (EN) is an online group producing a quarterly journal, Trencito 2. It maintains a superb digital library, including back issues of the long-running Filatelia Peruana (ES), all of which are available online.
Within Peru, the Circulo Amigos De La Philatelia (ES) caters for a broad range of collectors.
The Peru Philatelic Association remains active but has no current web presence.
For three generations, the Bustamante family has been producing Peruvian stamp catalogues. Care needs to be taken in distinguishing the ‘simplificado’ editions from the ‘especializado’. Find out more about the Bustamante catalogue here.
The most up to date reference work is the 2022 edition Catalogo Espcializado de las Estampillas del Peru (ES). This is available only as a digital download and is being published in five volumes.
If you are happy to use an older edition, look out for either the 1981 or the updated three-volume catalogue from 1990 (the third volume was published in 1994). Note that the 1981 edition can be viewed in pdf format on the Peru Philatelic Study Circle website.
For a detailed exploration of the earlier issues, Bustamante also published the Studio de Matasellos Sobre las Primeras Emissiones del Peru (ES) in 2018. This five volume resource provides a wealth of detail for the issues 1857 to 1876 and covers over 1000 pages of in depth articles.
Also worth looking out for is the Catalogo de Sellos Peruanos (ES) by Herbert Moll, published in 1957. The Casanova Catalogue (ES) is another possibility.
The Club Filatelico del Uruguay (ES) has a somewhat confusing website but it contains a huge amount of useful information, including a large bibliographic section on journals past and present.
Also active is the Philatelic Circle of Montevideo (ES).
The default catalogue is the 2006 edition of CIARDI Catalogo Especializado de los Sellos del Uruguay (ES). It was only printed in a run of 200 copies so they are difficult to come by. However, the Club Filitelico del Uruguay has made it available as a series of free pdf’s via its website.
Shades of the early issues are covered in some depth together with some overly enthusiastic differentiations in perf varieties. For example, the 5c Blue 1868 issue has listings for perfs 10, 10.5, 11.9, 12.3, 12.5, 12.8 and 13…all individually priced. And this is on the first printing alone!
This impressive level of detail is continued throughout the publication. Also noteworthy is the section on air posts with explanations of first flights, associated postal history and guide pricing.
Other catalogues to watch out for are the Kobylanski-Casal Catalogo de Estampillas (ES) which was last published in 1989 and the Catalogo de Sellos by Federico Mottek. His final edition was published in 1975.
More recently, in 2015 Orlando Shäfer published the Sellos Postales República Oriental del Uruguay Catálogo (ES/EN). This has the unique distinction of listing stamps from Uruguay, cross referenced by the catalogue numbers of Scott, Yvert, Michel, Stanley Gibbons and Kobylanski-Casal. It will also successfully cross reference with CIARDI which adopted the Yvert numbering system.
The Asociacion Filatelica de Caracas, better known as ASOFILCA (ES), is the predominant collector’s society in Venezuela.
The most recent hardcopy, specialized catalogue for Venezuela is the Catalogo Especializado de Estampillas (ES), published by Aurelio Blanco in 2009.
However, my preference is for the the similarly titled Catalogo Especializado de Estampillas de Venezuela (ES), compiled by Juan Jose Valera and last published in 1982. Valera is a much more detailed catalogue than the 21st century Blanco with a wealth of variety data.
Not easy to get hold of, it was first published in 1964 and was updated every few years until the final edition in 1982. My copy is the fourth edition from 1974. As would be expected, there is plenty of detail not encountered in the mainstream publications. Venezuela’s 1859-62 Coat of Arms issue, for example, has 24 varieties listed in the Scott Classic Specialized, against Valera’s altogether more comprehensive 71 entries. The 1871-6 Escuelas and subsequent postal fiscals have their own dedicated chapters, rather than being integrated into the body of the work. There is also a very useful section on the Venezuelan local posts, an area that is treated somewhat haphazardly in the major catalogues.
Valera sold the rights to his catalogue to Aurelio Blanco in the 1980’s who subsequently produced the first edition of his specialised catalogue in 1988. This contains further updates on the Valera work and is vastly superior to the 2009 edition.
However, all the above have effectively been superseded by the introduction of a new, digital catalogue, published by ASOFILCA in 2022. Whilst not completely replacing the older, hard copy publications, it is a full colour, comprehensive catalogue and an excellent everyday companion for the Venezuela specialist.
Go to the Central America section
Jerry Bodoff says
Colombia: The 1980’s edition of Leo Temprano and Alvaro Barriga are very detailed . The newer editions are not. They are just a listing of stamps.
Ecuador: Banco Central issued an Album. However, it is more useful as a catalog reference, which is how I use mine. They also published a book about the first issues of Ecuador. There also exists a catalog by Cataldi, which I have only seen one . It is very scarce and if one finds one buy it.
Venezuela: A very useful edition is the new book by Williams Castillo concerning the Escuelas emissions of Venezuela. He also has articles on ASOFILCA detailing common forgeries of Venezuela.
As an addition. I used to do part time work for a dealer in breaking down collections for stock, mainly Latin America. To facilitate the process, a number of tables were created which resolved the Scott … see … notes. These tables are available to anyone who wishes them. The only caveat is that they may not be formerly published as there are no permissions granted to use the catalog numbers. They are strictly for one’s personal use. Also, when downloaded, keep in one folder as there are links to all tables and parts of tables. Splitting up the block of tables will cause link errors. These tables are at: https://app.box.com/s/7rmrwtqd1og6v59l69ea
Nick Salter says
Thanks for the contributions Jerry; some good points. Agreed on the Castillo book. I reviewed it a couple of years ago and think it remains a great model of how to simplify a complicated issue https://classiclatinamerica.com/book-review-introducing-venezuelas-escuelas-stamps-by-williams-castillo/. Will take a good look at the cross-reference tables; looks interesting. The old Latin America Minkus catalogue seems rarely referred to these days but still comes in useful.
Jerry Bodoff says
Some other Colombia Catalogs:
1. Los Primeros Cincuenta Años de Correo Aereo En Colombia
Eugenio Gebauer & Jairo Londoño
Copyright 1975 by Eugenio Gebauer
2. The Air Post Stamps of Colombia
As issued until 1939 including the 1930 – 1932 issues of Avianca and Lansa
Copyright 1963 by Eugenio Gebauer
3. The Air Posts of Colombia
F. W. Kessler
4. Sanabria’s Air Post Catalogue
Published by Nicolas Sanabria
5. Any 1920’s Scott Catalog. Useful for Colombia States and lists many items that are
no longer listed in Scott as they are deemed spurious.
Nick Salter says
More useful suggestions Jerry; thanks. Although I’ve only covered what I considered to be the ‘primary’ specialized catalogues, it would be an interesting exercise to take a deep dive into each country and shortlist other key resources. Sanabria doesn’t sit neatly underneath any one particular country but its one of those volumes that should be in most collector’s philatelic arsenal. And then there’s the revenues…!