Reports of Meetings in 2008
Saturday 13 December 2008 Wine, Cheese
& Members’ Displays on the theme: trains, planes and automobiles
Saturday 22 November 2008 MSG Bourse & Display, London
Many thanks to the members who brought items to the Bourse, and to the members who carried away the many purchases.
Plate Flaws, a Display by Richard Hale
Richard Hale gave a truly superb display of Plate Flaws, Retouches, and what he described as a few fly specks. He described the principles he follows to determine that a Plate Flaw was 'constant'. He gave clues on how to find them, aided by chance, serendipity and lots of material. He gave a magnificent two round display showing the flaws in many issues, some within one state, and one stamp, some covering multiple stamps. His presentation pages comprised excellent detailed enlarged scans of the Flaw, so anyone could see them, positioned above the stamps with the actual flaws. I have rarely seen a display which excited so much attention and interest by the members. The detailed viewing saw nearly everyone studying the sheets intently and taking immensely detailed notes. As the subject runs across so many states and issues there was something in it for most members. It was a really enjoyable afternoon, and I suspect most of us will be checking out our collections just in case we have ..........
Richard and part of the audience
Richard pointing out a page
reflections & pictures by Nick Hackney
Great news from Australia, courtesy of Jeff Newman
At Sunstamp 2008, a national exhibition in Brisbane on 22-24 August 2008
following exhibits relating to our area were shown. Warmest
congratulations to these collectors of our area.
September 2008 Stampex - Reflections by Nick Hackney
Stampex is a great place to go if you want to see Dealers material - but a Stamp Exhibition it is not. Because there really aren't exhibits. The War messages display from Bletchley Park and the Enigma machine were fascinating. The Armed Forces mail service and the opportunity to send messages to all the services in Afghanistan were great.
But the only exhibits were the thematic displays from excellent young philatelists tucked away at the top back to the hall - they deserve to be down at the front! We need to encourage them to develop the future growth of the hobby.
Other countries manage to have regular exhibitions - perhaps what we need is a root and branch look at the way the hobby is set up. I notice that for London 2010 it is planned to have half the exhibits on at one time, and the other half later. Is this a cunning plan to get people to go twice - or does it just have the turnip qualities of most cunning plans.
What do YOU think about Exhibitions, and the future of the hobby, and of your collection ? Post your views to the Forum, in the Philately Futures Section!
The Worthing Meeting, Saturday September 13th 2008
A note and pictures kindly contributed by Susan McEwen
MSG members gathered for our traditional Worthing meeting at Field Place on Sat 13th September, as ever it was a friendly and highly enjoyable day. 16 attended, quite a good turn out given that 2 of the regulars were abroad. We had a wide range of Malayan material on display during the day - most people brought something to show - and with all the discussion the displays went on to 6:00 pm. 10 of us adjourned to the Imperial China restaurant for dinner and more chat. Worthing maintained its status as Sunny Worthing to add warmth and sunshine to a totally enjoyable day. A full accountby Dominic Morris is given below, and will appear in the Newsletter.
Distinguished members in Worthing
The Frames were double sided, not just a misguided attempt to see the backs of the covers.
Congratulations to Dominic Morris for organising the event.
WORTHING SEPTEMBER 13 2008
our own Corrrespondent Dominic Morris , Hon. Sec. MSG
, Hon. Sec. MSG
one of the worst summers in a generation, Worthing – once again – did
not disappoint; warm and sunny and fun.
Despite the absence of three or four of the ‘Worthing regulars’
this year, several old friends turned up so the numbers were up to par and
there was a very full day of displays.
the bourse, we opened with an informative Standing Display from Andrew
Norris of unstamped aerograms. Len
Stanway had written a series of articles on the Air Letter sheets in the
Singapore Stamp Club newsletter and the display had been prepared to
support the author in his researches.
Andrew showed rates, the rare Buff aerogram, cream aerogram with
BMA stamps, the Type A1 and A2 blue aerograms; others from ex-Harris
publications correspondence including one from Ted Proud; various of the
Type B, including one without stamps and two private aerograms which,
while not formally authorised, were issued just after the War before the
formal aerogram licences were brought in. Andrew finished with a Specimen
1951 Singapore Air Letter sheet, which was about 3 years too late for
distributions to the UPU being given a protective specimen. It was
suggested that this might be a printer’s sample, but no one knew for
up was a delightful round on Selangor from Keith Elliot. It opened with the first shortage periods and provisionals
accompanied by postcards of the FMS Residency and of the then (1898)
Sultan. Then Tigers and
Elephants including Perak Tiger Heads and Straits used in Selangor,
including a pair on a 1903 Cover and a printed postcard from a Mrs Wray to
her husband who was later the Resident in Pahang.
moved on to a personal favourite of mine: the 1935-41 Mosque series,
opened by postcards of Sultan Suleyman and of the Government offices where
the 1934 Survey Department Essays were printed; followed by two sheets of
the essays, a coil join and 1936 booklet (with two 5c stamps and airmail
labels still inside), specimens mint and used
on ordinary and striated paper; the unissued 8c scarlet and 1941
unoverprinted $5 the Wartime shortage borrowings from Straits Settlements
(including the uncommon 30c) and a Perak 50c FPO cover used in Selangor.
Barry, Joe Robinson and Peter King showed the next round.
Roger with a display of the Trengganu 1921-41 set and plate blocks
of the 1949 small heads. Joe
showed FMS including a nice Power of Attorney document.
Peter showed 40 sheets of airmails including a 1928 Muar-London
with airmail cachet but which was taken surface mail to Marseilles and
only from there by air to London; followed by various Wearnes’ including
a Dead Letter Office cachet, Penang to Sitiawan and to Alor Star, a US
goodwill flight to Japan via Singapore, cut short in protest at Japan’s
invasion of Manchuria, then crash mail including the Scipio, Lockheed
Constellation and a double crash – an Australian Southern Seas flight
that had bogged down on take-off from Alor Star, transferred its mail to a
KLM flight which itself then crashed on route; finishing with Clipper
covers etc including a rare (and much admired) $2 Johore FPO 50 a clipper
via the USA.
McLaren displayed Pahang. The
display commenced with a coloured map of Malaya dated 1900 clearly showing
the new ‘Federated Malay States’.
The stamps commenced with a ‘Windrath’ cover with a set of the
1891-95 Tiger stamps on it dated 1896.
Various specimens and stamps of the pre-war Sultan set were
displayed. Postal history was
shown up to and including Second World War censorship, the highlight being
a $1.40 Clipper cover from Temerloh to Canada and the 8 c scarlet used on
cover to India. Post war was
represented by mint sets of all of the definitive issues up to 2002
including a plate block of the 30 c missing grey.
Butterfly, Orchid and Flower issues were all introduced with
various proofs, first day covers and plate blocks.
Mac commented on the paucity of plate blocks for the Agricultural
Definitives, stating that this was probably his worst State for quantity
and variety. The room
generally agreed that this was due to the small number of post offices
operating in Pahang compared to the other States.
McEwen displayed oddments of Johore including the 2c on 24 c with the cut
through Two – in an early and incomplete stage; the 1935 Sultan and
Sultana stamp on a sheet of her notepaper signed by both of them; some
1907 semi official postcards; a postcard of the Malaysian Grand Prix c1960
the race was in Singapore but the card was posted in Johore; some nice
plate blocks of the 1940 Portrait; and 2 British Postal stationery cards
posted in Constantinople and Smyma respectively but both to Mr W Brown of
Salisbury who wrote the book on Straits stamps overprinted for use in the
States, a tenuous link.
Robertson showed Postage Dues (what a surprise) from Kedah 1906-36
including some from 1923-34 with PD tax marks where the offices filled in
the amount due, Kedah not having any PD stamps until after the War.
Joe majored on a recent acquisition (which has a one page write up
which we expect to see in TMP shortly) of a 1906 cover from India to Kedah
involving four currencies (bonus marks to any reader who can guess which
four and why ahead of Joe’s TMP article appearing).
Kingsland showed a small selection of modern Malaysian varieties, sheets
etc which are not listed in the Gibbons 2005 Brunei, Malaysia and
Stanway showed airmails from westbound Imperial Airways and BOAC flights,
from the Penang trial and first official Singapore acceptances in 1929 to
the Horseshoe Route of 1941, together with information on the aircraft
used. Highlights included a
cover that was en-route when Imperial became BOAC and a cover posted at
Singapore too late for the last direct flight and which had to wait for
the first Horseshoe service.
Geden showed a round of covers of the Post War sub-offices of Singapore
from A to Z (well, A to Y actually).
Robinson had brought his Trengganu album which he used to finish the
day’s displays. A nice old
fashioned way of displaying with something for everyone from Zeinul Abdin
to (Gaden’s words) modern rubbish; including as good a collection of the
1921-41 5 c shades as anyone else in the room had, a good range of agency
postmarks, to the 1937 postage dues used – no certificate but Philip
Kinns annotated Gibbons invoice as robust if not more so than many of the
authentication certificates you have to pay for (nice one Gaden!)
Anne Stanway who, despite breaking her ankle the week before, had gamely made it down to Worthing concluded that the full day would be a bit much. She and Len set off for home near the end. Other members and spouses adjourned to the Chinese restaurant for the traditional and very agreeable food, drink and conversation. Hon Sec headed home as last year to the strains of the Last Night of the Proms on the car radio – it does make the journey easier. Another super Worthing.
The Auction - a hot topic!
Rob Holley's review of the Auction on July 5th has aroused considerable interest.
Andrew Norris has written a most thoughtful response, which is included in a PDF file on this website.
What do YOU think about the Auctions, or even about SNIPING ? Post your views to the Forum, in the Auction Section!
Auction July 5th 2008
This additional auction, organised by Carl Stott, had excellent material from the late Bill Reeves FMS collection, and from numerous other states, with items ranging from Azad Hind, to Judicials, Postcards, and War Charity covers from 1916. Prices for scarce material in good condition were high, with it seemed relatively little sign of the credit crunch. This was also the first Auction whose catalogue was published on this website!
Some photographs show the absorbed room participants, and the auctioners hard at it!
A very thought provoking review by Rob Holley will appear in the Newsletter. In the meanwhile an extract is included below, and a PDF of the full review.
MSG AUCTION HELD AT SPINK’S SALE ROOM, 5 JULY 2008 Extract from a review by Rob Holley, to be published in the Newsletter. [The full review is included as a PDF below].
Sitting in Spink’s auction room on the 5th was a curious sensation – here we were having a sale in their room while they were holding an auction at the same time in Singapore. Actually theirs was well and truly over before we assembled for what was originally intended to be the sale of the remnants of Bill Reeves’ collection after Spink had disposed of the major part of it last January. In fact, what was left of the Reeves material turned out to form only about 120 lots of the sale leaving us with the opportunity of making inroads into the backlog of material waiting to be sold by the Group. It was disappointing, therefore, to be left with 67 unsold lots at the end of the afternoon, and I think we need to ask the question why.
To some extent we are the victims of our own success.
We break material down into small lots, give full descriptions and charge
a humble 10% with no add-ons, so we are a popular auction house, but I cannot
help wondering how long this can go on.
May I emphasise this is an individual opinion and members might like to voice their disagreement – perhaps on our website. I gather the webmaster would welcome a spot of controversy and a spirited debate on the Forum. As those who have visited our new website will testify, it is both attractive and bang up to date.
Now to the auction. As it happens, it contained a number of chunkier lots priced at well over the minimum reserve and these generated considerable interest. Bill, to everyone’s apparent surprise, had invested more heavily in covers than he had ever let on and these were generously lotted and priced to sell as it would have been in no-one’s interest to have had too much of Bill’s collection left on our hands. Spectacular excesses of reserves were expected especially amongst the covers and postal history and we were not disappointed. No doubt the auctioneer will give us the figures eventually but my impression was that overseas bidders did particularly well.
BMA Display Peter Cockburn 7th June 2008
The BMA display by Peter Cockburn on June 7th 2008 may well have been what more than one member described as "the definitive display of BMA". Peter gave a comprehensive portrayal and explanation of the background, the printings and the detailed research which enabled him to prove pretty conclusively what happened and where! He has traced the print records, the shipping records, and statements from many of the principal players in the BMA story. The profusion of covers, complete sheets, and detailed write ups staggered the audience. he backed it up with historical documents, newspapers, and concluded with a splendid display of revenues. If you weren't there, you sure have missed a great moment!
Edinburgh meeting, 24th May 2008
MSG members gather on the steps for a photo call at tea time during the Edinburgh meeting, 24th May 2008. Scotland, England and Singapore are represented, MSG members may recognise some of the faces. A full write up of the displays will be in the newsletter. Photo courtesy of Susan McEwen.
Malcolm Wade's Perak Postal History
Malcolm Wade's masterly display of Perak Postal History was truly exciting. His commanding focus on Postmarks, with singles, covers, and unparalleled knowledge of his field, were warmly received. The Newsletter will carry a full review. As Rob Holley emphasised in his vote of thanks, this was one of the of the great specialised collections which may well be split up in the future. These are rare opportunities to see and learn so much about Malayan philately. A photograph of Malcolm giving his display has been contributed by Peter Cockburn
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