Now Updating Reference Numbers with Four Stamp Catalogues

First published on the 3rd of May, 2021

Hopefully the next major update will “go live” within a month or two. This content update will provide a range of new material. It will include over 200 slogan postmarks, over 40 fiscal and revenue stamps, a hundred post-and-go labels (albeit only a couple dozen unique variants) and of course an estimated 400 stamps from all eras - a good chunk of which are new.

With such expansions however follows additional difficulties. Whilst the page format has undergone some minor tweaking, one significant problem remains: how to refer to those specimens that don’t possess a Stanley Gibbons number?

Thus, one seemingly minor tweak will lay the groundwork for better referencing. The entry row that currently says “SG Concise Number” will be renamed to “Catalogue Number” with an added tooltip box. This latter element will mention that we will now draw upon four different stamp catalogues for this aspect, and a quick description of each is below.

Stanley Gibbons Concise, 2017

SG Concise 2020 Catalogue Cover

For the bulk of entries, the easiest way to reference them is to use the Stanley Gibbons[1] Concise numbering system. This is mostly down to the fact that it’s an accepted reference, easily recognisable and it is likely the most used system by British philatelists. I currently use the 2017 version, although the 2021 version has recently been released[2].

Most entries therefore, it is the most appropriate way to catalogue them. Readers may well notice that we do have a separate entry row called “SG Specialised Number”; the same readers may notice that it almost always says “None.” The primary reason for this is financial: I’ve yet to get a hold of a modern copy of the Specialised Catalogues (which are a good £50 each), and it seems counter-productive to use out-of-date material. So unless I’ve acquired the Specialised catalogue numbers elsewhere, I unfortunately have no way to acquire them yet.

The SG Specialised numbering system is, of course, different to the SG Concise system — which is why I’ve kept that data entry separate — and it is far less often referenced or used outside of, well, specialised collectors. For this reason it’s not a particular priority of mine to include these numbers, but I do have plans to acquire Volume 1[3] fairly soon to work through the Victorian stamps. 

The Gault Catalogue, 2018

Gault Catalogue 2018 Catalogue Cover

The second major catalogue I plan to use is the so-called “Gault Catalogue of Great British Perfins”, as published by Roy Gault in 2018. Loose bound by running to over 3,200 pages it is a comprehensive and detailed catalogue of all known British perfins up unto 2018.

Available from the British Perfin Society[4] in Alphabetical sections, the entire set is available for the sum of £200[5], plus postage. Buying this is conceivably the greatest priority I have at the moment. I feel that high-resolution scans and reference material of perfinned stamps is lacking, so it would be more then useful! That being said, it may be a long haul to acquire all the parts.

Either way, this catalogue contains its own, detailed referencing system. Once acquired most perfinned stamps in the archive will be catalogued under both their Stanley Gibbons Concise number plus the Perfin Society’s system to identify that aspect.

Postmark Society Catalogue

BPS Volume 1 Cover

I will eventually go through postmarks currently in our possession and make use of the British Postmark Society’s (BPS)[6] catalogues: of which there are many.

To begin with, we have the five volume Slogan Postmark catalogues laboriously written by R. H. Parsons, Colin G Peachey and George R Pearson. This covers postmarks from 1917-1999. A more recent addition that covers 2000-2017 was written by Martin Grier. More detailed listing were also complied in four volumes for the years 1960-1999 by Colin Peachey.

>In addition to this, there are also their catalogues that cover special event postmarks. Volume 1 covering 1851-1962 was written by George R Pearson and later updated by Colin Peachey and John Swanborough. Volumes 2 to5, covering 1962-2013 were written by Alan Finch and Colin Peachey.

The best thing about these catalogues? They’re free and available on the BPS website[7]. They are, however, hefty works. Thus, whilst I plan to add their reference numbers alongside the Stanley Gibbons Concise numbers, it will very much be a “in the future” job. That is, it will get done eventually - but there is a decent amount to sort out beforehand!

(As a side note, if you would like to donate a few quid towards this cause and to expand this archive, I currently have a page over on “Buy me a Coffee”, which can be found by clicking the button below).

Barefoot Catalogue

J Barefoot UK Revenue Cover

Lastly, we come to the elusive John Barefoot (Ltd) Catalogue of British Revenue[8] stamps - a defacto reference tome for fiscal and revenue stamps. 

I don’t have too much to say on this catalogue other then the fact it’s excellent reputation precedes it. By all firsthand accounts is a magnificent piece of work and the best there is on the specific subject.

Unfortunately... it is a certified nightmare to get ahold of - with the current edition sold out (With no known timeframe for the new one!). I can’t fault Barefoot for this, after all his work is expansive so I can scarcely expect permanent availability. But, it is a test of patience - but the wait only piques my interest more!

Thankfully Mr. Barefoot will kindly notify you when the new edition is out if you politely email him and ask. Unsurprisingly this is something that I have undertaken, and for now I must therefore just be patient and stick what the Revenue Society provides[9]. Once I do get a hold of a copy, I will certainly be updating the archive with appropriate reference numbers. Alas this will surely be a very long time in the future. 


[1] Stanley Gibbons Homepage

[2] Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Concise Catalogue, 2021 (Store Listing)

[3] Stanley Gibbons QV Specialised Catalogue, Vol.1 Part 1, 2021 (Store Listing)

[4] The Perfin Society Homepage

[5] The Gault Catalogue, 2018 (Information Page)

[6] British Postmark Society (BPS) Homepage

[7] BPS Digital Publications

[8] J. Barefoot, UK Revenues (Store Page)

[9] The Revenue Society (Homepage)

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