A couple of times in the past, I’ve written about the Japanese Occupation issues of the Philippine Islands and even something about the U.S. Philippines issues. I was recently asked to describe a cover by a dealer (Figure 1 and 2). (Fig. 1 The cover that started this article) I knew what it was, but I didn’t know if it was philatelic, fake or what. I knew that there was some kind of "Philippine Stamp Society", so with a little research I found The International Philippine Philatelic Society (IPPS). The IPPS publishes a journal called the Philippines Philatelic Journal by editor Bob Yacano (P.O. Box 100, Toast, NC 27049).
(Fig. 2. Close-up of one stamp)
I found a telephone number for Bob and have had a few interesting conversations with him as he is also a Sicilian (a type of Italian). Sorry, readers, I cannot write about Sicily, as it is not part of Asia or SE Asia (or French West Africa).
The IPPS was incorporated September 24, 1978 in Manila, Philippine Islands and is now an APS Affiliate. The Journal is interesting. I obtained two copies to leaf through I liked the issue labeled "Third Quarter 2005". There are 36 numbered pages plus inside and outside covers.
The Journal contains the usual society type articles, meetings, auction news, IPPS auction results, show awards, etc. There is also a 75-lot Mail Sale. There are some regular features such as "Revenue Corner", "Forgery Corner", and "Spanish Corner". The articles are varied and interesting also.
I also had a copy of the "Third Quarter 2006" issue. There were the same "Corners" as above, this time in 40 numbered pages. In addition there was a New Issue listing that went into details on errors reported. The listing did not just report the errors but had clear photographs of them.
Overall, this is an interesting publication that held my interest even when dealing with subjects I did not intend to ever collect. Bob is doing a very good job as editor! If you are interested in any aspect of Philippine stamps, contact Bob at the address above, as he is also a dealer in PI stamps. Bob is also the publisher of the K-Line album pages for the Philippine Islands. This album, along with other Philippine Islands books, will be discussed in a future article.
The cover illustrated originally led me to the IPPS and Bob Yacano. An industrious Manila stamp dealer named "de Jesus" prepared this cover. According to Bob, this dealer went to the post office nearly every day to obtain whatever new stamps were on hand. The stamps used on this cover were hand-stamped in Japanese and Roman letters for official usage. The cover is obviously philatelic but a nice example of the provisional official stamps. And now onto other South East Asian literature...
Within a very short time I received two excellent books that relate to Southeast Asian philately. The first book arrived from Vietnam and was entitled Danh Muc Tem Buu Chinh Vietnam 1945-2005 (Vietnam Postage Stamp Catalogue 1945-2005). It is about twice as thick as the 1997 version, soft covered, with 533 numbered pages although the previous version had 431 numbered pages. See Figure 3. (Vietnam Catalogue)
Both the 1997 and the 2006 versions each had a total printing of only 3,000 copies. The 1997 edition sold out quite quickly, and I expect the 2006 to do the same.
Very few dealers will handle this book outside of Vietnam, especially as COTEVINA (the government stamp company) will not give wholesalers any discount. For example, I ordered 20 copies of the book and could not save one penny. The book costs about US$10.00 (157,000 VND) in Vietnam. However, to get the book to the USA in about two weeks by air will cost about US$30.00 extra. The book is heavy, weighing about two pounds.
As for the book itself, it has a very professional look to it. The credits include Nguyen Ngoc Vy as chief author plus five others listed as "compilers". The introduction states that the catalogue is issued to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the 1st Vietnam revolutionary postage stamp.
The book is bilingual Vietnamese-English and starts with the typical introductions followed by a two page history of stamps and specifically of Indochina and Vietnam stamps. In this section the former Saigon regime is not referred to as the "puppet government" as in the old days. Viet Nam Cong Hoa (South Vietnam) stamps are still not listed. What is listed are the stamps of:
• Indochina stamps overprinted for the Democratic Republic 1945-46
• North Vietnam 1946-76
• Socialist Republic of Vietnam 1976-2005
• National Liberation Front (NLF) 1963-69
• Provisional Revolutionary Government of Republic of South Vietnam (PRG)
• Postal Stationery (only issued itemsno Family Cards).
The catalogue makes great use of tables. There is a listing of souvenir sheets with descriptions and numbers so that they can be found in the listing. Another table lists all sets that were prepared imperforate. Next is a table listing the price of complete mint sets in US dollars. NLF and PRG issues are also priced. A cross reference is also included between the COTEVINA and Michel Catalogue numbers. Of great use is the projected list of stamps for 2006 and 2007 complete with periods of use.
Each issue has each design illustrated in full color. Titles, date of issue, designers, size, perforation, sheet composition are listed. A small chart at the end of each listing gives Printing Quantity, Set Selling Price, First Day Cover and Maximum Cards. For FDC they list how many covers in the set if FDCs were prepared. The same applies for Maxi Cards. Printers are also listed.
This catalogue is not specialized in that varieties are not listed. I think that the value here is the fact that all issues are pictured, which makes finding which set has a particular value much easier. With the Scott Catalogue, well, you know!
I expect that each year a supplement will be issued in order to update this catalogue. The Vietnamese Post Office has been very good at issuing supplements to help the collectors as well as to boost their sales. This book with the high shipping cost (by air) will seem cheaper when you realize that you will not need to buy another for at least a few years. A worthwhile catalogue overall.
The second book (Figure 4) (Dallay Asia & Europe Catalogue) arrived from Paris, France. It is entitled DALLAY Catalogue de cotations des Timbres des bureaux francais, anciennes colonies, et zones d’occupation en Europe et Asie 2006-2007. I just call it the "Dallay Asia Catalogue".
This catalogue is in full color, soft covered, and contains 591 numbered pages. It covers, as the title states, Europe and Asia. There are also listings such as Tripoli (Syria), Port Said, Jerusalem and other areas I consider Africa or Middle East. I guess they fall into that "bureaux francais" category.
Of interest to many of our readers are listings for Indochina, Annam, Tonkin, Cochin China, French Offices in China, and Indochinese Offices in South China (Canton, Kwang Cho Wan, Pak Hoi, etc).
Dallay goes much further than any of the French language catalogues available in that it lists prices for almost everything on cover. For many issues a single franking (on cover) is listed when a rate exists making that usage possible.
There are also listings for imperforate stamp pairs, prices for the Petain perforation varieties, and reason for issuance (postal rate). For the French Common Designs (airmail Victory, Chad to the Rhine and UPU issues) the "epreuves de luxe" are priced.
For the Native Woman Issue (4 issues), Tower of Confucius (5 c), Bay of Along (6 c), Angkor Wat (5 c & 6 c) the catalogue lists strips of 5 and pairs called "Bandes publicitaires & paires issues de carnets" plus complete booklets. I have never seen these "Bandes publicitaires" that are listed, but I am familiar with the booklets as listed. Even for the most experienced collector there will be something new in this catalogue.
Of interest to many will be the listing of "Millesimes" which are pairs of stamps with a gutter between them. Most of them have numbers on the gutter, which represent the year the stamp was printed. For example, the 2 c Groupe issue was prepared with the numbers "2" (1892) or "3" (1893).
To me, the only drawback to this catalogue is the cost of shipping. By media airmail the cost is around $30.00, which doubles the cost of the catalogue. I’ve purchased this book, the Americas catalogue (for Martinique) and the fantastic Africa catalogue for my growing French West Africa collection. I absorb the cost of postage because I am a dealer and philatelic consultant and this is a business expense. For the average collector a possible solution to the cost is to request the book or photocopies of the parts you want from the APRL at the APS. If you photocopy it you should do color copies to get the true impact of this catalogue.
One note about the pricing of covers in the Dallay catalogues–retail price is about 50% and prices get generally lower. Possibly there has not been enough exposure to the collecting public or the prices are higher in France?
The Dallay catalogue, in my personal opinion, is the best catalogue since the 1936 2-volume French Colonies Specialized by Yvert.
If interested, Google "Dallay Catalogue" on the Internet. The ordering instructions are all in French. The Dallay website is: www.philatelix.fr. Enjoy.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: email@example.com.