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Stamps and collecting as therapy

Stamps and collecting as therapy

As long term readers might recall the story of SCB started out when I was experiencing what felt like the biggest crisis of my then life. Well, decade later I am again undergoing yet another ‘biggest crisis of my life’. Talk about déjà vu.  Back on the early days a lot of my writings were not so much about technical side of stamp collecting, but more about the “philosophical” side of collecting and collectors, and this weeks blog roots on those same deep existential waters on what makes us collectors tick.

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Understanding Canadian (small sized) definitive stamp series

Understanding Canadian (small sized) definitive stamp series

Though I’ve been keeping a somewhat low profile lately (life happening; still is), I have managed to find some time for stamps every now and then.  My re-housing project with Canadian stamps has slowly but surely now reached late 1970s, and though there are still half-a-century’s worth of stamps awaiting to be worked, I have already discovered an interesting, but less talked (at least on this side of the big pond) perspective on Canadian definitive stamps.

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Canadian 1983 World University Games postage stamp – perforation variant or something else

Canadian 1983 World University Games postage stamp – perforation variant or something else

Now here’s an interesting Canadian stamp specimen of which I don’t know what to think of. According to all major stamp catalogs (Unitrade included) these 1983 World University Games stamps should be easy and straightforward to collect: two values (32 and 64c), no variants (besides gum side printed sheet EFO). The stamps should have perf 13½ and gereral tagging on two opposite edges (aka GT2). What I’ve got breaks the pattern.

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Poste Maroc stamps of 1907/1909 – bogus, cinderella or something else?

Poste Maroc stamps of 1907/1909  – bogus, cinderella or something else?

Below are few Moroccan stamp like items which have made me pulling my hair. These are not mentioned in any of the printed catalogues or resources I have access, which very strongly suggests some kind of bogus or cinderella stamp release. Even the very few online references for these are highly mixed, so if any of you can share ‘better knowledge’ on what these are, it would be highly appreciated.

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Moroccan Cherifian Post stamps

Moroccan Cherifian Post stamps

Each stamp catalogue provides slightly different coverage, and possibly the best metric for this is inclusion (and exclusion) of classic pre-runners and local posts. As case example for the day I have chosen the Moroccan Cherifian Post stamps. How various stamp catalogs list the Cherifian stamps is a very mixed bag. Scott simply footnotes the existence of these stamps, Michel lists six stamps (with varieties) on back-of-book section, Yvert provides 14 major numbers on their BOB section, and Dallay assigns whooping 40 major numbers as pre-runners of French Morocco. So what source is the poor collectors supposed to follow when aiming for completion? To properly understand the differences one really has no other option than to dive into history of the area, and study the reason for differences.

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Modern(ish) African postage stamps – what’s their true value/price/cost?

Modern(ish) African postage stamps – what’s their true value/price/cost?

As I have  been working my way through piles of modern(ish) African stamps, I have not been able to by-pass the thought that many of the stamps I’m now seeing and getting into my possession are likely way more harder to obtain than anything of European origin. Or when was the last time you saw more than single random postally used stamps from likes of  Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Mali or Mauretenia? For me recent months have been “once in a decade” kind of times treat, and I’ve been more than thrilled when putting all these stamps into my collection.

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Some new (unlisted) perforation variants on stamps of Cameroon

Some new (unlisted) perforation variants on stamps of Cameroon

This week’s post is pretty short and simple, but hopefully useful to some.  Below are some unlisted perforation variants from Cameroon.  I don’t think any of these are rare, as I’ve found them all simply by going through duplicates. Sadly stamp catalogue listings are nothing more than a very rough guide for less popular countries such as Cameroon,  and one can make new discoveries somewhat easily by consistently checking every incoming stamp.

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10th anniversary of SCB – a retrospective

10th anniversary of SCB –  a retrospective

When I launched SCB on cold January winters night in 2009, my opening words were somewhat plain and simple  “I know first posts always suck, so I’m not going to give any BIG promises or pages of text here.  This blog is about life of a casual stamp collector living in middle of nowhere. It’s about a hobby I love and feel passionate. Welcome, feel free to participate and enjoy.”  Ever since I have written roughly 600 blog entries (with over 300,000 words and thousands of images) on stamps and life of a stamp collector. How can a single casual collector have got so much to say is one of those mysteries I have pondered at times.

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AOF 1947 definitive stamps – perforation mystery

AOF 1947 definitive stamps – perforation mystery

At times I slam my head when I realize I have for years overlooked some information available on a stamp catalogue listing.  Such is the case of 1947 French West Africa (AOF; Afrique Occidentale Francaise) definitive stamps which are likely among the most common and loved postage stamps of French colonial era. Michel very clearly states the perforation of these stamps varies between 12 and 13, but for some reason this had fully escaped my attention for decades (likely because nobody ever talks about this variety).

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Unlisted variants on Cameroon fruit definitive stamps

Unlisted variants on Cameroon fruit definitive stamps

Moving further with last weeks topics, it’s time to hit another French (and English) speaking African country: Cameroon.  Like the last time, these stamps originate from the 1960s and are mostly found with CTO cancellation.  As such likely nobody has ever bothered to give a proper look before now.

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