We have had a very mild spring this year. Last year we had several 100 degree days in April and this year we had highs in the 60’s and 70’s. Warm enough to get the garden started though. Everything is growing well and the spring flowers are prolific. All the severe weather has bypassed us so we have no complaints.

Collectors seem to be working more on their collections this spring. Our sales during April were by fat the most during the last nine months. I have long since given up on trying to predict how busy we are going to be in a given month. Years ago business was consistently best in the late fall and winter. Stamp auction houses took extended vacations during the summer and restarted in the fall. Now there is no discernible stamp collecting season.



I watch auction results in both European and US auctions closely – looking for new material and assessing market trends. (I must admit that I ignore auction results for the US area as I do not buy or sell anything US except stamps for postage.) Overall auctions in both Europe and the US have had superb results during the past three or four years. Auctions have been selling very high percentages of offered lots and selling them for very good prices. The recent Heinrich Kohler auctions and the Daniel Kelleher collections auctions were very interesting. Both auctions were very successful but both had slightly more lots that were on buy buyers.

In general buyers frequently passed on certain types of lots. Collections of low to medium priced covers and cards either were passed over or sold at or below the starting prices. Collections with mostly common stamps only – even if voluminous were passed. Collections from obscure countries also were often passed. Finally some lots were passed because the start bid and estimates were not in line with the material offered. (Starts were too high).

In the Kelleher auction only 5 of 35 lots were unsold. A couple were over valued and three offered material only a dealer would buy. Another 5 lots sold at starting prices that would be too high for most collectors. The rest of the lots were strongly contested and most sold for above the estimated prices. Good material brought good prices.

Results in the Kohler auction were a bit different. The March auction ran 10 days and offered a vast array of singles, sets and collections. The auction included several extremely advanced estate collections which offered material seldom reaching the market place. All of these lots sold for multiples of the estimated prices. I saw few bargains as bidding was high on almost every lot. Overall the March auction brought top of the market results. Still there were some lots that had higher start bids than the material merited and these lots were passed over by buyers.

I paid close attention to the lots offered from the estate of Erik Nagel. Erik was a very advanced collector of the German area and his estate has been offered in three separate Kohler auctions. This auction contained 750 of Erik’s lots. Most lots were German offices and colonies stamps and covers with a great many rarities. All but 32 lots sold – most for multiples of the start bids. The really scarce items often sold at full catalog value – before the auction commission was added!

Overall – auctions are showing strong results for good material across the board. Modern material (post WWII) continues to be the weak segment in stamp sales. The exception to that is post war German and Austrian local issues – which are truly scarce and in strong demand.

Stamp Catalogs

This is the time of year updated stamp catalogs begin to be published. For many years we have reviewed the major catalog listings for the countries we stock. For the last ten years we tend to give short reviews mostly saying there have been no significant changes. This is because the stamp market has been very steady for many years, the number of stamps being added is growing at blazing rates, and catalog publishers are making little effort to review market changes in a timely fashion.

For example, we just received Scott 2025 Catalog Vol I.

In reviewing the Austria listings – the first thing that jumps out is that all the images have been reduced in size. A stamp from the 2023 catalog which measures 350 mm x 210 mm. now measures 250mm x 150mm. Now a forward move for older collectors!

Also as usual we note no price changes of any kind for Austria issues.

The current catalog lists at 154.99.

The bottom line is that stamp collectors are best advised to update their catalogs very infrequently as buying new catalogs is much more expensive now and the new catalogs offer little new information. We will continue to review catalog revisions and if we note any new catalogs with substantial new information suggesting that a new catalog would be worthwhile we will advise!

Our Printed Price Lists

It has been two years since we stopped mailing our printed price lists monthly to our customers Sadly we have lost a few customers who order through mail only. We still maintain price lists for all areas we stock but update them far less often.

In an attempt to accommodate our by mail customers we will revise our price lists but will include far fewer Michel listed varieties and reflect mostly Scott listed items. Most of our varieties are now listed on our web site. This change will permit us to keep our mailing lists more up to date if not quite as comprehensive as we would like.