Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Scott corrects a 60 year old error

A little more than sixty years after its writing in 194, Scott corrected the France's stamp list in its world stamp catalogue, tome 2 (C to F countries), 2009 edition. The news was printed and explained in July 2008 Scott Stamp Monthly.

The two Arc de triomphe series (1 and 2) were until the 2008 edition listed and numbered into the stamps issued in France by a foreign country, because they were produced by the Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories. The United States created these institutions for States freed in 1944-1945 from Nazi German occupation and considered without a legal government.

In the case of France, the AMGOT prepared stocks of banknotes, postage stamps (which were the sole stamps in France to have the Republican "liberté, égalité, fraternité" motto printed until the 14 July Marianne of 1997), administrative documents and adequate personnel.

However, long before Liberation, General Charles de Gaulle refused any idea of another government ruling French liberated territories than a French managed one. On philatelic matter, the United Kingdom helped him produced a Marianne series by Edmund Dulac. In Algiers, the French Committee for National Liberation - to become the Provisional Government of French Republic - ordered a second series by Louis Fernez.

The AMGOT stamps were finally accepted and issued by the French posts in September 1944 for the first series and in February 1945 for the second one. They were not widely used because of frequent rate changes.

In the 2009 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, these stamps are finally recognized as issued by the local postal authority and included - with the help of letters - inside the number list of stamps of France.

Now, book's prices:

If a strong euro againt United States dollar provoked a - perhaps exagerated - rise in the catalogue prices of stamps, it permits European readers to order with more ease books to the other side of the Atlantic. One tome of the Scott Catalogue cost around 70 dollars in print and 65 on DVD. On this 10 June 2008 believing the XE convertor: 45 and 42 euros. The whole world catalogue (six books) will cost around 270 euros... 315 if you add the United States Specialized to be published in October 2008.

For a French known reference, if you want Yvert et Tellier world catalogue, you need the 17 tomes, yearly updates for French-centered countries, less for non-European non-French colonial countries, let's say... 450 euros! (without the France catalogue, prices read on Yvert website). I hope that world specialized collectors compared printed details before buying.

To enlarge the market, Stanley Gibbons published a French-centered catalogue at 35 pounds sterling (around 45 euros), including stamps of: France, official services, some end-of-catalogue, French post offices abroad, former colonies and protectorates, nowadays oversea territories and collectivities, Andorra (French and Spanish posts) and Monaco. Check the details you need.

When a French stamp dealer will import and promote English-printed catalogues in France, it will shake the world catalogue market a little.

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