Saturday, March 29, 2008

Long time, no blog

I haven't had much time to blog recently. Work has been busy, and home has been hectic. I just haven't had time to work on my stamps. I finally got an hour or so to do more work on my stamps today, and spent the time going through my plateblocks and getting them scanned, inventoried, and put away. I am now caught up through 1960, and am ready to get to work on the Zodiac issue shortly. There are 124 different dated plateblocks for this issue, and it looks like I have about a quarter of them. I have been watching e-bay daily, and bidding on a few items here and there, mostly cheaper items to fill in random spots in my want list. I lost out on quite a few lots of modern maximum cards, which was a bit disappointing. I bid them up to about $1 a card, and they went just past my bid (the winner sniped them at the last second). At $1 a card, they would have been nice, since when they are listed individually, the seller usually wants $3-5 a card. No big deal, maximum cards are not a big priority. I did make 1 buy of an item that has been impossible to find, whether on E-bay, through dealers, or even through my contacts in Israel. It is volume 1 of the official Israel post cancels catalog. Volume 1 lists the new post office openings, and while I have a listing, having the actual catalog will make things easier to find. I even tried to borrow a copy from the SIP library at one point, but even though they list this book as part of the library, it is apparently missing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Something new, no longer blue (purple just doesn't rhyme)

Looks like the postal service did it again. They are changing the ink color on the vending stamps. The old version, shown here has the machine number and the postage printed in purple ink. Recently (don't have the exact date yet) they have changed the machines to use black ink. My sources in Israel (and on E-bay) show that 8 of the machines have been changed to black ink. Another new variety to add to the collection. Keeping up is hard to do...

Monday, March 17, 2008

More plateblocks

I am still in the process of going through the plateblocks in my collection. I have gone through 1959, and found some interesting things. I have lots of duplicates, and lots of varieties. Some of the varieties are listed, some not. For example, I have some plateblocks with wide margins, and some with narrow margins for the same issue.
For listed varieties, I found that for the first airmail issue (C1-6), I have 15 of the 26 listed plate numbers. I am looking for C2 plate numbers 2, 5 and 6. C3 plate numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5. And C6 plate numbers 3, 4, 5, and 6. Bale catalog also lists cyclometer numbers over 150,000 as later printings. For these, I have just plate #1 of C2. I am not sure if all 26 plate blocks (C1 and C5 apparently are only with plate #1) were reprinted later, or if there were only select ones reprinted. Bale is lacking in details.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New things to look for

I spent some time this weekend trying to get my plate block collection cataloged, and found some more interesting items. For example, I found that I have the 12 tribe issue plate blocks with and without watermark, as well as 2 of the 3 issues listed in Bale with the "A" watermark variety (missing only the 20). With my tab collection, I have never looked at the watermark type, just whether it was with watermark or without. It seems I will have some more work to do once I finish with the plateblocks. I also noticed that the ship issue (shown here) has 4 different watermark varieties listed for the low value (10). Of these, I found that I had 3 of the plateblocks. According to my Bale catalog, 2 of these are common, and 2 catalog for $100. Unfortunately, I have only 1 of the 2 high value ones. Again, I will need to go back through my tab collection to see what I have, and this will give me more items to hunt for next time I go to a show. Looking at the watermarks is a pain, so I will probably just look for the ones listed in Bale, rather than look at all of them. Looking on e-bay for watermark varieties is probably not feasible. I am not looking forward to the phosphor varieties on the later stamps.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Slogan Cancels

I have had little success finding slogan cancels for any but the one one city that was the primary city for the cancel. Most of the slogan cancels were used in multiple cities, and for multiple different date ranges. However, the philatelic service only provided one example (usually Tel Aviv or Jerusalem) to customers. The others are rarely seen. Has anyone else experienced this?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Stamps or sets?

Since I am missing only the 3 big sets of Israel tabs(7-9, J1-5, 10-14 vertical gutters), each of which goes for around $5000, I figure I never will be able to finish my tab collection. It will be nearly impossible to have enough money available for my stamp collection to buy these stamps. I guess I could stop buying stamps for a year or two and save my money for these, but what is the fun in that? I have been adding other items to my collection over the years, and can't see going 2 years without a new addition. Wouldn't it be nice if the stamps were sold individually? That way, I could pick up a 7 here, a J2 there, and eventually get them all? Unfortunately, rarely (if ever) are the stamps sold individually. When I see them offered individually, I have shied away from these for now, since they are offered so rarely (and I have never seen them offered this way from dealers in price lists or at shows) that I am afraid I am never going to be able to find the ones I need offered individually. I know that US stamps are routinely offered individually, rather than only in complete sets. Why are Israel stamps only sold in complete sets?