US Stamps

By Charles Snee

2015 Scott Classic specialized catalog: 30,000 value changes, many new listings

September 26, 2014 11:05 AM

The Scott catalog editors are just days away from finishing the final online proofing and sending the pages of the 2015 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 to the printer.

Scott managing editor Donna Houseman and special editorial consultant Sergio Sismondo teamed up once again to expand the editorial content and listed values in the Scott Classic specialized catalog.

Bill Jones, a former Scott associate editor, also provided substantial input, updating thousands of values and producing significant editorial enhancements throughout the 2015 edition.

Our thorough review of the market resulted in approximately 30,000 value changes. Of these, slightly more than 15,000 are Classic-only value changes. Another 14,800 were carried over from the six-volume 2015 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue.

When looking at single countries, the Aegean Islands came in first place, with 2,095 value changes. Other countries with large numbers of changes include Russia (1,386), Germany (1,367), Eritrea (1,039) and Libya (1,035).

In the catalog introduction, an extensive list of countries with listings for stamps on covers is provided. For the 2015 edition, two countries were added: Dalmatia and, under British Offices Abroad, Eritrea.

Perhaps the biggest news on the value-change front is the decision of the Scott editors to assign a value to the famed British Guiana 1856 1¢ Magenta (Scott 13), often called the world’s rarest stamp.

After almost three decades of having only a dash in the used column, a value of $9.5 million is now given for the unique stamp. A footnote explains that the value is based on the auction realization achieved at a sale in New York City in June 2014.

For the first time since the 1941 edition of the Scott catalog, the Cubiertas stamps of Colombia are listed and valued once again. The Cubiertas were affixed to the back of letters that contained valuables and were insured through the post office.

A well-kept secret is that the Scott Classic specialized catalog includes the most complete listings of treaty port stamps. The 2003 Scott Classic introduced the listings of the China Treaty Port stamps, complete with values. The 2015 catalog lists Hong Kong Treaty Port stamps for the first time.

Postal functions in the treaty ports were operated by the General Post Office in London, England, until 1868, when administration of the program was turned over to Hong Kong. Stamps of Hong Kong were canceled with Hong Kong postmarks or circular datestamps.

For many years, these stamps have been popular with China collectors, but because most catalogs do not list them, they are relatively unknown to most collectors.

The reorganization of the Ceres issues of Portugal and Portuguese colonies that began in the 2013 Scott Classic catalog is now complete. The 2015 Classic includes revised listings for Portuguese Congo, Portuguese Guinea, Portuguese India, St. Thomas and Prince Islands, Tete and Timor.

Obviously, it is impossible in this small space to highlight all of the new content and other improvements in the 2015 Classic Specialized catalog. If you are a collector of worldwide classic-era stamps, consider buying a copy for your library.