Mini-book reviews Siam, Denmark

Discussion in 'Stamp Chat' started by Jim Shaver, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Jim Shaver

    Jim Shaver Active Member

    Hi all,
    I've bought a few books lately, can't keep up with Molokai though, and thought I'd share my finds.
    First is The Stamps of Siam to 1940, a Descriptive Catalog by Richard Frajola. This 1980's classic is still hard to beat for those wishing to specialize in stamps of Siam which is what Thailand was known by until 1940. It is written in English and chock full of illustrations of the various surcharges/overprints that these stamps are known for. It has useful tables of the Thai alphabet and Siamese postmarks and cancellations. It is a good start on those wishing to specialize in this era. There are no prices listed, but that isn't a problem since they would be way out of date anyway. The copy I have is hard bound and a good addition to your library. As is the case with all the out of print books prices can vary enormously. So good shopping around is required.
    The next additions to my library are first two items that deal with the Danish stamps that were the first of the countries engraved stamps. Both are written in Danish with a couple of pages of summaries in English at the back. Haadbog over Danmarks Staalstukne Frimaerker 1933-1948 by Mogens Juhl and the small almost pamphlet Tillaeg 1951 til Morgens Juhl: Haadbog over Danmarks Staalstukne Frimaerker . These two gems have excellent illustrations of varieties, plate flaws and overprints. One can get the needed information out of them even if you don't read Danish and recommended to those wishing to delve into these first engraved stamps. Denmark continued to engrave all their stamps until the early 1990s when some were produced by off set. They are hard to find and the one source that I found priced them a bit high....still you may find other sources especially if you can correspond in Danish.
    The next is the "bible" for collectors of Denmark, Greenland Danish West Indies and Faroe, Specialkatalog 2008 by the AFA. It has plentiful illustrations in color and B&W. It is indeed a specialist catalog and outstanding. (You can get less specialized catalogs such as the Swedish Facit catalogs which are also cheaper if you don't plan on getting into the nitty gritty.) This book is also in Danish and has a useful,essential, Danish/English vocabulary list at the end. What I have done is buy another book AFA Specialized Catalog 1981-1982 Denmark and Greenland, which is the English translation of the Specialkatalog of 1981 without the prices and a few other areas. The issues covered in Denmark only goes to 1946 issues, but I am focusing on the early engraved issues anyway. Plus by going back and forth between the Danish book and the translation I'm starting to pick up a base vocabulary. The illustrations are bigger that the main catalog, but sometimes not as clear. This is not a problem if you have both. The Specialkatalog is updated every few years and is due out soon. Depending on your goal the older editions at a much reduced cost may fit the bill. And in this case one REALLY must shop around. After I paid $125 for mine I found a Danish site that I could have paid and learn. I'm happy with mine and my wife says I'm going to wear out the pages....ha!
    So bottom line: if one wants to specialize or understand stamps of non-English speaking countries you have to be prepared use books that may challenge you a bit.

    Good stamping

  2. Molokai

    Molokai Moderator Moderator

    Hi, Jim -

    Great reviews and information. Interesting on the engraving of stamps and also useful tips on sourcing information. As to 'paying up' for a book then seeing it shortly thereafter at a much better price - been there many times.

  3. tasha

    tasha Active Member

    I love reading and it is so difficult to find the right book to keep you glued to it so it is nice when you do find one of those to be able to sit and read it for as long as you want to! Happy reading and hope you stamping too!
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Stamp Chat Calling for book reviews Nov 12, 2015

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