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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:39 pm 
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[b]U.P.U. Specimen Postal Stationery - A Work in Progress[/b]

by James Bendon

A report by Andrew Norris

Indeed a mammoth project that has been in progress for many months now this addition to the James Bendon web site is a most welcome addition to our available data and knowledge of postal stationery distributed through the Universal Postal Union. To access this site go to http://www.jamesbendon.com and then click on Specimen postal stationery in the menu in the left margin.

This will open up a far better and fuller introduction than I can repeat here but briefly James Bendon published a book in 1988 on Specimen Postage Stamps distributed by the U.P.U. and this work in progress is building the postal stationery equivalent. Considering the breadth and diversity of countries involved, with for example things as far apart as Australian States and South American countries, there is no one person who can dash off a list for everything. Thus this is a cooperative effort with various interested collectors or dealers being invited to contribute. The editor-in-chief and doing most of the work is James Bendon and he is pragmatic enough to realise that this project may not be finished in his lifetime. Even if it was there will remain corrections, additions and a certain amount of fine tuning in the future. Thus the project will be archived and it is hoped maintained 'on line' by others to remain available for the future.

On the introduction page there are two links readers can click on, comprising 'List of countries' and 'Classification of specimen types'. The former is an A-Z listing of world postal authorities and as the project builds more and more of the countries listed are ticked, meaning they have been completed, or are currently work in progress, Some countries still await classification and if you can put anyone in touch with James he will be delighted to hear from you! Though it is not a catalogue as such this work does provide a handy listing of world postal stationery for the countries completed, though as only items sent out by the U.P.U. not complete, but nonetheless as it builds it gets handier and handier.

Of excellent use for everyone is the 'Classification of specimen types'. I do not recall seeing a published list of types as used on postal stationery for the major philatelic printers before although Samuel & Huggins touched on the Great Britain types in their joint work this is much larger and replete with information most valuable. If you use the site for this listing alone it justifies its existence, all the work that has gone in to it whilst providing a classification we can all use and quote.

As I made a very modest contribution the 1988 book on U.P.U. Specimen stamps of Malaya I was approached to provide information on the postal stationery of Malaya. This I have done and my efforts are now up and for all to see. It must surely give you all some sport to try and find any errors or improve on what I have done. The initial task made me get my thinking straight, particularly on dates of issue and why some things changed, etc., but even after that I found the odd error and others may lurk. Please look with a critical eye - getting it right is the most important thing.

Congratulations to James Bendon for setting up this project and bravo for the work he is devoting to it. I can only commend those that are able to go straight to http://www.jamesbendon.com


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