Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

February 2017 TSDA San Antonio Stamp Show review

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had the opportunity to stop by the TSDA San Antonio Stamp Show last month. I’ve been wanting to share a bit more detail about my experience there.

Last month’s show as the first bourse I’d attended in probably more than a decade. When I lived in Florida, the local shows were always held on Saturdays, and I couldn’t attend. The TSDA show here was also held on Saturday, but it extended into Sunday.

I arrived at the show a couple of hours before its scheduled end, and there weren’t many other customers around the entire time I was there. My guess is the bulk of the selling activity probably took place on Saturday, but the lack of a big crowd made it easy to browse.

My first stop was at the table of George Watkins. George had a nice selection of United States stamps, and I found a mint copy of the flat plate 14¢ American Indian stamp with a pair of relief breaks.

Up next was Ken Scheller’s table. In addition to finding some Norfolk Island stamps for my landscapes collection, I spotted another 14¢ American Indian stamp—the rotary press printed variety with Canal Zone overprint. The stamp had some nice ink smearing, so I was happy to add it to my collection as well.

The third table I browsed was operated by Lynn Davidson-Stroh. Lynn had some truly oddball material—packets of high face value U.S. stamps, CSA facsimiles, Gulf War labels, and so forth, all of which I was happy to acquire. Lynn also had some very interesting locals dating back to the time of a Canadian postal strike in the 1970s, but I unfortunately had to pass on those as they were a bit out of my price range at the time.

All three of these dealers were very friendly and welcoming.

By the time I finished up at Lynn’s table, the bourse was wrapping up. I quickly snagged a packet of unused Japanese stamps from one dealer, and another American Indian from another, but unfortunately didn’t catch either of their names.

And that was my stamp show experience in a nutshell. I understand the San Antonio show is held quarterly, so I’ll be looking forward to hopefully making a repeat visit in May.

High face value United States stamps on the cheap

About a week and a half ago, I had the opportunity to attend the TSDA San Antonio Stamp Show. It was the first bourse I’d been to in probably a decade, and although I didn’t have nearly as much time to spend there as I would have liked, I did enjoy myself, and picked up a couple of nice items without breaking the bank. I’ll share those in a future post.

Among the goodies I purchased was an accumulation of used high face value United States postage stamps. There were lots of duplicates, and I want to give you a shot at some of them!

I have three sets of six stamps each, the set pictured here and two others containing the same varieties. Each set of six has a catalogue value of around $40, but because the stamps have small flaws such as surface wrinkling, creases, etc., I’m letting them go for just $4 per set, postage paid to anywhere in the world. (Texas residents pay 8.25% sales tax for a total of $4.33.)

Set of six high face value United States stamps
High face value United States stamps

As I said, these stamps have minor flaws, but it’s a very inexpensive way to fill some otherwise pricey holes in your collection.

Interested? Send me a note and let me know—if you want more than one set, give me a heads up about that, too—and I’ll confirm that the stamps are still available and provide payment details to you.

Philosateleian Post introduces new “return to sender” label

In response to continued deliveries of mail addressed to individuals who are not customers of Philosateleian Post, the San Antonio, Texas, based local post has introduced a new “return to sender” label. The label saw its first use on January 3.

Philosateleian Post return to sender label
Return to sender

Philosateleian Post’s return to sender label bears a left-pointing hand indicating that the mail piece to which it is affixed should be returned to its point of origin. It also bears checkboxes for various reasons for its return such as “address unknown,” “no such number,” and “no such zone.”

When used, the label is tied to cover with one of the cancellations used by Philosateleian Post.

Technical Specifications

Format: sheets of 27 (3×9). Design size: 60×25 mm. Separation method: perforated 12. Adhesive: water-activated dry gum. Printing method: inkjet.

Philatelic Services

To receive a mint copy of Philosateleian Post’s return to sender label, send either $2 or a self-addressed stamped envelope and your request to:

Kevin Blackston
Philosateleian Post
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

About Philosateleian Post

Founded in 2004, Philosateleian Post transports mail only from the proprietor’s home to the nearest mail receptacle or post office, and does not compete with any official mail service. For more information, please visit http://www.philosateleia.com/post/

New Philosateleian Post local post stamp pictures butterfly

On Monday, January 30, Philosateleian Post will celebrate World Local Post Day by issuing a new local post stamp, a 1-stamp design picturing the Gulf fritillary.

Philosateleian Post Gulf fritillary stamp
Gulf fritillary

The Gulf fritillary is a common butterfly found from the southeastern United States to California, and southward throughout parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean. Its larvae, or caterpillars, feed exclusively on passionflower vines.

The vignette is based on a photograph taken by Philosateleian Post’s proprietor, Kevin Blackston, in Florida in 2015.

“Philosateleian Post is entering its 13th consecutive year of producing local post stamps, but this is the first to depict a butterfly,” says Blackston. “In addition, it’s the first since 2015 to picture an animal as its primary subject. I hope it will delight collectors and non-collectors alike.”

Technical Specifications

Format: sheets of 48 (6×8). Design size: 28×28 mm. Separation method: perforated 12. Adhesive: water-activated dry gum. Printing method: inkjet.

Philatelic Services

To receive a mint single of Philosateleian Post’s Gulf fritillary stamp, or for first day cover service, send either $2 or a self-addressed stamped envelope and your request to:

Kevin Blackston
Philosateleian Post
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

About Philosateleian Post

Founded in 2004, Philosateleian Post transports mail only from the proprietor’s home to the nearest mail receptacle or post office, and does not compete with any official mail service. For more information, please visit http://www.philosateleia.com/post/

Stamp catalogues: the value of depreciation, and their growing size

Last fall, I decided to take the plunge and replace my set of 1998 Scott catalogues. Although they had served me well since an aunt found them at a library book sale many years ago, a couple of decades worth of stamps have been issued since those catalogues were published. It was arguably time to move on, but I had a decision to make: which year set would I purchase?

At nearly $125 per volume, the six-volume 2017 catalogue set was a bit rich for my blood, especially since I use the worldwide catalogues more as an identification tool than to find current market values. Meanwhile, the 2016 catalogue set was much more within my price range, but would still cost more than $200 even if purchased used.

The sweet spot for me was the 2015 set. At only a couple of years old, it was a vast upgrade over what I had been using, but at a fraction of the cost of the newer catalogues. I searched Amazon.com and eBay, and for a grand total of $87.88—that’s less than $15 per volume, or approximately 12% of the cost of the newest edition—I was about to purchase the complete 2015 set of catalogues. That total included shipping.

This approach wouldn’t necessarily work for everyone; if you’re very active in the stamp trade, you may need a reference containing the absolute latest market values. I would suggest that the majority of collectors are not necessarily in that group, however, and if you’re like me, going back a couple of years can save you a lot of money on your stamp catalogues.

Getting fat

As you may have heard, Amos Publishing this year will break each of the existing six volumes into two parts, turning the 2018 set into a 12-volume collection. That certainly won’t do anything to make the catalogues less expensive, but the existing format has apparently been stretched to its limit by the number of new stamps issued in recent years.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the difference in size between my existing 1998 catalogues and the 2015 catalogues:

1998 and 2015 Scott Catalogues
1998 and 2015 Scott Catalogue sets

Just eyeballing it, I’m guessing the 2015 catalogue set is approximately 30% thicker than the 1998 set. That suggests to me that approximately one third of all postage stamps ever issued have been released within the last 20 years or so. Good luck trying to keep up with the flow of new issues!

Out with the old

My 1998 catalogue set will soon be on its way out the door—unless, of course, you want it. I’ll happily send the set, or any portion thereof, to you if you pay the shipping costs. If you’re interested, send me a note with your mailing address, and I’ll provide an estimate of how much it would cost to send the catalogues to you.

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