23 May 2012
We review the recently published Stanley Gibbons guide to collecting British Postmarks ...
It is fifteen years since this title was last published, and this latest edition has been thoroughly updated and reset with the judicious use of colour and cross-lining for the entries, making it so much easier for the eye to follow.
Editor Bill Pipe, who is a noted postal history expert and member of several related societies, is also proprietor of stamp dealership The Magpie, so the fifteen-year-old prices of the last edition have been thoroughly revised, almost always upwards to accurately reflect current levels. The title explains the scope of the contents which is virtually anything to do with British postal markings from the pre-stamp period to the latest Horizon labels and, of course, includes not only England, but also Scotland, Wales, Ireland as well as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and British Post Offices abroad.
The pre-stamp period includes the General Post, Free Franks, London local posts, provincial posts of England and Wales, and early Scottish marks. Each is further sub-divided to include penny and two-penny posts, Bishop Marks, date-stamps, receiving houses, as appropriate.
From 1840 all the different types of cancels and date-stamps have their own sections, with detailed lists of towns. Also included in their own sections are railway, maritime, military, aviation, royalty and other postmarks and instructional marks. The colliery postmarks have been listed again and priced. There is a map of the Western Isles of Scotland, and a section detailing Postal Rates.
This is a fine 378-page paperback, absolutely essential to the postmark collector and dealer alike.