The long awaited sixth edition SG 'Part 19' has finally arrived - some 9 years after the fifth edition in 1996. Two things that you immediately notice :- 1) most of the stamps portrayed are in colour, and 2) the catalogue has been produced in the English 'A4' size (295 mm x 205mm). I don't think our American members will be too pleased with the increased height as, I understand, it will not fit many of their bookcases'!
With so many new issues by the various countries in the Middle East' it was obvious a future catalogue would have to 'grow' either by the production of a thicker edition or, as in this case, a taller one, which I personally like. Despite the new size it is flexible, opens easily and stays 'laid open' on ones desk/table for checking/referring purposes.
Looking specifically at Egypt I was pleasantly surprised to see that valuations for 'inverted watermarks' have been introduced in the issues up to 1922. Although it is difficult to understand some of these 'inverted' versus 'upright' watermark valuations, for example, SG 46 - the l879 20 paras blue. The more common inverted watermark as originally issued in 1879, is given a higher price than the more rare 'upright' type! Many of us have known for years that dealers always price the 'inverted watermark' on this stamp higher that the upright one! Throughout the Egypt section (including the Brit. Forces in Egypt/the British post offices/French post offices) prices overall have increased, although not as much as one might have expected. One or two of the 'classical items' show the following increases, e.g. the 'Port Fuad' mint set £1540 to £1800, King Farouk's 18th. Birthday mint stamp - £100 to £,130, The two 'scouts' miniature sheets together mint - £ 1100 to £2000. In the section on 'booklets' SG SB9 -the 1923 King Fuad booklet - £ 180 to £ 1000 shows a remarkable increase!
A personal criticism - as the 'BO I' and BO 2' obliterations on loose G.B. Stamps under the British Post Offices section are included and given valuations then why not the other (French/Greek/Italian/Russian) numbered obliterations on their countries' loose stamps?
For those of you who collect the Gaza strip area and Palestine, the 'Palestinian Authority' issues have now been included.
Overall this is a pleasing new edition despite the criticism above, and well worth the £34.95 cost. Even though over the last few years other books/catalogues have been published on Egyptian postal history and stamps I know many of us will still want this catalogue on our book shelves.
Member ESC 137