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January 2018


New NSW Numeral Postmark Catalogue.  


I am pleased to review for the first time anywhere, the superb new book - "Numeral Cancellations of New South Wales"  by Hugh Freeman. This is a large and very heavy 2kg hardbound book, weighing in at near 400 large size A4 pages, on acid free, low sheen, archival quality paper.

Hardcover, with thick heavy-duty dust jacket.  This book follows the same style and appearance as the excellent - "Numeral Cancellations of Victoria" by Hugh Freeman & Geoff White, Volume #17 in the superb RPSV. "J.R.W. Purves Memorial Series".  I have sold numerous cartons of that sought after Vic book - literally, and still have 2 in stock at $A150 a copy.


Five years in the updating


The first edition of this superb NSW book by Hugh Freeman, APR, published in 2012, very quickly sold out, and has been in great demand on the rare occasions when a copy shows up for sale.  Indeed I have seen them get around $500 at Public Auction.  I have a CD Rom of it in stock for those who do not need a paper copy, and even that costs $A40!

This brand new second edition, working together with Dr. Geoff Kellow from Brusden White, incorporates many new discoveries and revisions, with additional illustrations and often with adjusted rarity ratings.  Hugh's research in this postmark area has been acknowledged with the award of the Research Medal from the Australian Philatelic Federation earlier this year.


Your NEW philatelic Challenge?


For any reader looking for an exciting new challenge, this is one to consider taking up.  These numerals are found in 99% of cases on cheap, letter rate type stamps, of very minor value themselves.  They also are widely found on early Australian Kangaroo stamps up until 1917, when the new PO reprimanded Postmasters (again) for still using them, and not the new COMMONWEALTH cds.


All copiously illustrated in colour.


NSW issued 2099 different numeral postmarkers, between #1 (Ryde, not Sydney) and 2099 of Toolejah.  Even the RYDE numerical “1” is full of rare possibilities.  There are SIX different types listed.  THREE of those are “RRRR” and one is the super scarce “RRRRR”.  And one is very common and “Not Rated”.  Which one is which - do you know - MOST strikes are very valuable! 

Hugh Freeman opines that it is assumed Victoria mimicked NSW in this regard, to using numerals specific to each office, and the total number of them allocated.  Victoria also had 2100 different numerals.  Hugh feels that NSW numeral 2100 existed at the time - probably issued to Parragundy, but no cds has ever been seen.  Keep looking!

So right now the highest recorded NSW numeral is still the “2099” of Toolejah, a tiny Post Office outpost that existed 7km from Gerringong - the unique surviving strike of that office is illustrated nearby.  The sad story of how this “2099” and several other unique higher numbers on 1d Kangaroos came to exist, is well worth telling here.


Unique “2099” of Toolejah


In 1913 and 1914 - near the commencement of WW1, two teenage brothers wrote to Postmasters of all small NSW PO's, and enclosed SAE envelopes with a 1d Red Roo stamp affixed.  PMs were asked to please neatly cancel the cover with their circular cancel, and their numeral, and mail it back.  These later ended up in the collection of Norm Hopson, one of the PHILAS founders, and for a long time Postmaster of Clarence Street, Sydney.


Never returned from WWI.


Hopson’s cancel collection was left to PHILAS, where it still remains. These two brothers went to Europe to fight in WWI, and never returned.  A very sad story, but many otherwise unique strikes are due to their enterprise and initiative, with their pocket money pennies.  So it is possible many of the smaller PO higher numerals exist in Roo collections, not in NSW collections.

Of these 2100 numbers - despite an army of collectors scouring the earth over several generations - a goodly number of NSW numerals have never been sighted.  And many of these 2100 or so numbers of course each exist in a myriad of styles, variants, designs and sub-types.  All are clearly illustrated and rarity-rated in this book.

For instance “217” of Major’s Creek is ”RRRR” as “Type 2”, but is “Not Rated” as “Type 3” on NSW stamps.  However the same cancel type is “RRR” rated on Kangaroo issues.  All 3 are photographed for easy identification.  Without this book in your hand, you simply would have zero idea if you have a $500 “217” cancel, or a 5¢ one! 


Lindfield PO 100 years apart.


Hugh Freeman certainly has had a mass of NSW material to sift through, in his half century long search.  I first met Hugh some 40 years back when he started and ran Status Stamp Auctions in Sydney, along with my then neighbour Barry Cooper.  Hugh had worked for stamp auctions in Sydney well before that time as well - Kevin Duffy appointed him Auction manager in 1969/1971.

“Penny Black Postal Auctions” in the 1970s, run from Lindfield (see current PO photo nearby) will be remembered by many.  Lindfield PO today is in a very well-heeled Sydney suburb, on the super busy Pacific Highway - so the old 1907 photo is a giggle to look at with bearded swagman etc.  After Status Auctions, Hugh later went on to be Managing Director of Stanley Gibbons Auctions in Australia in 1991, for several years.

Despite working in the trade, he was always a keen collector - winning Gold Medals at national level, and he later qualified as a national stamp judge.  After handling countless MILLIONS of stamps from NSW, the fact there are LOTS of numbers still unseen by Hugh and other specialists, offers a challenge to all astute readers of this article.


Collected NSW for 50 years.


Hugh has collected NSW numerals for over a half century, and near all the examples illustrated in this book are from his personal collection, with some kindly loaned by other collectors.  This book illustrates well over 2000 actual full colour cancels, on stamps and covers - not drawings, as some other state handbooks have used.

Reproduction quality of the colour illustrations is excellent, and the detail and background to the listings is also good, with open/close dates of PO’s, their exact locations, and name changes.  There is a great index at back, pages of maps, period sepia photos of old Post Offices indispersed among it all - a very thorough handbook, and highly recommended.

All cancels are rated in 9 specific Rarity classes - from "not-rated" meaning they are reasonably common to very common, to “NNS” - number not seen.  EVERY dealer and Auction house in the world should own this book, and it goes without saying ALL collectors of NSW need to have one too.  Stumble across even one half decent cancel, just once in your lifetime, and it is more than paid for.


Probably a $5,000 stockcard.


As an example of how often the rare cancels occur on common stamps, Hugh kindly supplied this scan for me of the 9 ordinary looking NSW stamps nearby, all with “RRRRR” cancels.  I suspect each of them would sell for very many $100s, EACH one more than doubling the cost price of this book.  Many are the unique recorded strikes.

And if this group were offered at $A4,000-$A5,000 they'd very likely find a new home to a keen collector, due to their rarity, and lovely strikes.  Each stamp, as you can readily see, are the type of thing that could turn up in any kiddie's album, or for 5¢ in any junk lot at a stamp fair, or Club circuit sheet etc.  Every Kiddie’s album ever formed has these low value NSW stamps in them!


Highest NSW so far is $A825.


After doing quite a lot of research I can advise that it seems clear the highest price so far paid strictly for a NSW cancel was $A825 for an indistinct "971" of Mount Poole, on a cover to Melbourne.  Mailed in 1881, it had the common 2d blue DLR QV franking.  The cover was daggy, defective and had the flap missing.

It was in the PHILAS auction of July 9, 2011, and there was a very tiny and really blurry mono-colour photocopy of part of the cover in the catalogue.  Estimated at $180, it got invoiced at $A825.  Rarity rating of "971" is “RRRRR”.   I spoke to the $800 underbidder, and he told me then he had “not got around” to buying the NSW cancels book.  Amazing. 


Unique - found in a club Circuit book!


The cancel “543” on a 6d Violet shown nearby Hugh advises was found in a Geelong Philatelic Circuit Book sitting there unrecognised.  The only known strike of “543”.  Hugh advises he now only collects the NSW First Allocation Barred Numerals and Rays numbers, between 1 and 600, on the Large Diadems - just like this “543”.

A really superb book, and with the assistance of Geoff Kellow, and the other active collectors named in the book - an opus work of which they can all be proud for contributing to.  One of the fellow researchers, David Rofe kindly sent me a detailed summary of the new numeral finds added to this work.


DOZENS of new “RRRRR” cancels listed.


David listed out many dozens of cancels thought not to exist in the last edition, that definite strikes have now been recorded for.  That data is a little too detailed for a general article, but amazing that so many NEW finds have been made between Editions.  Most of these are now given the highest Rarity Rating of “RRRRR”.  Locate just one, and a nice strike will be very many $100s.

NSW numeral postmarks are an emerging field.  Nothing has yet exceeded even $1,000 a cancel.  A great “new” collecting area to start on.  That figure is commonplace for the scarce Victoria numerals - indeed $2,000+ is possible.  As the Victoria book has been out since 2001.  A lot of readers own or handle or encounter the common letter rate Australian States material from the 1890s-1910 era, that are very common.


$2000+ !  Would YOU spot this one?


I have noticed some Victoria cancels selling for terrific prices, and I record one here for the possible interest/profit of others.  This Victoria “1432” cancel shown above was invoiced in late November 2011 for over $2,000 on an estimate of $300 by Phoenix Auctions in Melbourne.  Numeral “1432” was allocated to Glenmaggie, and later renamed Dawson.  A very nice find by someone!

As I type incessantly here - “Knowledge Is Power”.   Find even one MODERATELY scarce numeral, just once in your lifetime, and this book is paid for - forever.  I sell the books for $A185, the same price as the SG “Part One” 2018, and most readers really should have BOTH on their desk.  Indeed for many readers, the mail cost is identical for one book, or the 2 books sent together!

I had Australia’s best known stamp auctioneer pop in for a coffee as I was typing this, as he was visiting here, and he saw a carton of this new Freeman book sitting on my desk.  Was all total news to him it was even planned - much less published, and he decamped with 2 copies for the office.  Same with the “Stamp News” Editor - all news to him too.  Buy yours, before the dealers do! 


Post Office 3KG Express Satchels 3¢ each.


Some very strange things go on in the online world, and I saw a doozy this week that truly beggars belief.  One really seriously wonders how vigilant Australia Post Security really is, in protecting their bottom line, and actively addressing fraud? 

Ever head of “AliBaba”?  Most readers never have.  In my youth the only mention of Ali Baba was as a character from the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”.  That story is included in many versions of the One Thousand and One Nights.  It is the most familiar of the "Arabian Nights" tales.

Why ANYONE would label a sales company with a name that is synonymous with “Forty Thieves” is one of the great unsolved mysteries of the retail world.   Anyway, name it that they did, and these days AliBaba is a huge online operation - far larger than either, and MANY times larger than eBay, believe it or not.

Alibaba are a massive online seller of all kinds of goods … very much along the eBay business model really.  However, some of the material openly offered there clearly raises eyebrows - to put it mildly.  “Forty Thieves” indeed


Here are some online “BARGEENZ”.


eBay of course has slumped heavily in recent years - the stamp division especially, as they allow stamp forgeries and regums to be offered with total impunity, even when advised of them, and allow active “shill” bidding by sellers to push up prices - hence adding to their eBay and paypal profits.

You can fool all of the people SOME of the time, and SOME of the people of all of the time etc, but the chickens are coming home to roost with the eBay stamp sales division it seems in recent years.  It once had some standards, and some rules.  No longer.  Buyers have deserted it steadily.  A cesspit of fakes and dodgy junk.

AliBaba is even less principled than eBay it seems - if that is possible!  I saw this week one of their sellers offer Australia Post Express and Parcels Prepaid satchels for THREE cents apiece, if purchased in bulk.  See their ad nearby.

Seller advertises these cost from between 3 and 6 cents US apiece, and brags they can produce 5 million pieces a week, as you can see on nearby scan.  Are they genuine?  Well Virginia, I’ll let you make that tough decision!  And I am sure some dopes buy them.


Post Office cost is $A15.65 each.


A 3 Kilo Gold Express pre-paid satchel costs $A15.65 from your Post Office, so clearly 3¢ each seems a tad suspicious, even to those of limited IQ!  As you can see from their images, their satchels being offered apparently have AP tracking numbers, and the peel off receipt tabs on them etc.

EVERY reader hopefully uses only attractive STAMPS on all mailings, and anyone that uses a plastic pre-paid bag to me, when I am paying the postage, hears about it long and hard and forcefully - and I hope all buyers take such a firm stand on that.  NO excuse at all.

So a warning to those who slavishly chase improbable “BARGEENZ” off the web - things are often NOT what they seem at first glance.  I suspect these things might have numbers that do not register or compute when you lodge and scan at Post Offices etc.

It might even trigger a silent alert when scanned, that the code product is stolen or fake, and I hope so, as the Federal Police are then the ones you will be talking to on it, not the local Boys In Blue, as AP is owned by the Federal Government.

Sites like eBay seem to have a lot of pre-paid product on offer at well under PO prices that is either this totally forged and bogus material from China, or goods stolen from Australia Post. Reportedly stolen via warehouse staffers etc, as stock checking is not very vigilant.



 “5 million units a week.”


Again, if Australia Post ever gets organised enough to RECORD the serial number batches of what is stolen from them, and simply set their system to trigger an internal alarm when this stolen material is being scanned in, they have a clear path to the stolen goods. The sender, and sending PO will glow like a beacon!

They should of course serve a legal demand on the seller, and on Alibaba, to cease breaching their copyright logo.  A very simple and concise matter, and if anyone knows who in AP Security to pass this on to - please do so ASAP, and they should be right onto this.  BEWARE of buying any of this plastic pre-paid stuff etc online.


Small painting sells for $A600 Million.


“Salvator Mundi” (“Saviour Of The World”) the long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ, commissioned by King Louis XII of France more than 500 years ago, sold at Christie’s in New York for $US450.3m (=$A600 Million) in mid-November.  This realisation totally shattered the world record, for any work of art ever sold at auction - way more than doubled it, in fact,

The sale was only rather briefly reported in the media, and I spent TEN hours digging around, to discover that the background story to it has enough bizarre material, to be the subject of a 2 hour feature film thriller!  Not stamp related, (well stamps are miniature works of art!) but I am sure you’ll be as fascinated as I was.


Slightly larger than a stamp stockbook!


  This painting was a commission from King Louis XII of France and his wife, Anne of Brittany.  It is later documented in the collection of the wife of King Charles I of England in 1649, before it was sold at auction by the Duke of Buckingham's son in 1763.  No trace of it for the next 137 years.  About 20 early copies were made, and tracking the ORIGINAL is tough.  

Sold for £45 at Sotheby’s in 1958!


The same painting it is thought, was much later purchased in 1900 by Sir Frederick Cook, from Sir Charles Robinson who thought it was a painting by Bernadino Luini.  It was next recorded sold for £45 at Sotheby’s in London in 1958, where it was not regarded or advertised as a genuine Leonardo da Vinci work.  It had been badly restored over this period - a 1912 photo shows it was heavily re-painted, and the Americans “restored” it far more!

Three American art dealers had spotted the work at an estate auction in the USA in 2005, according to the ”New York Times”, and bought it for less than $US10,000 - where it was apparently described as a copy of a Leonardo da Vinci painting.  They tried hard to sell it to the Dallas Museum of Art in 2012 - and failed.

You do not get much painting for your $A600 million - it is less than 18” high painted area - not much bigger than a stamp stockbook! (15⅜” x 17½” or 64.5 x 44.7 cm = Christies official figures!)  The fortunate recent seller was Russian billionaire ”Fertiliser King” - Dmitry E. Rybolovlev, who purchased it in May 2013 for $US127½ million through Yves Bouvier, a Swiss art dealer and businessman.  Those two are still fighting in the courts worldwide.

Mr. Bouvier had only a few weeks earlier bought the painting for $US80 million from Sotheby’s, which brokered a private sale on behalf of the three New York art dealers mentioned above.  They had it extensively restored and “cleaned” rather harshly, from the reports I have read.  Did not hurt the sale price one iota however!

The condition is a real problem.  Luke Syson, curator of a 2011 National Gallery London Exhibition, where the painting was on show, said in his catalogue essay that “the picture has suffered.”   While both hands are well preserved, he said, the painting was “aggressively over-cleaned” resulting in abrasion of the whole surface, “especially in the face and hair of Christ.”


“Aggressively over-cleaned” and abraded.

  An art lover viewing it wrote - “a well-known expert in the field leaned over and asked me a question. “Why is a Leonardo in a Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Art auction?” Before I could say, “Yeah - Why?” he answered - “Because 90 percent of it was painted in the last 50 years.”  He is right.  

Buy $10,000 - sell $80m. “Ripped Off”!


Bouvier’s move to resell the work within weeks, at a mark-up of more than $US47 million, later prompted a litigious response from both Rybolovlev AND the New York art dealers.  Typical American greed!  Buy for $10,000 in 2005, sell for a massive $US80 million just 8 years later, and scream and squeal you were duped and conned!

The Americans predictably threatened last year to sue Sotheby’s for “cheating” them.  In November, Sotheby’s moved to block the lawsuit with a declaratory judgment action, but that was later withdrawn, and the matter resolved.  BEFORE the Christies sale.  They are probably suing again, given the record sale at FIVE times of what they got paid!

The Russian seller Rybolovlev claims in a continuing multi-jurisdictional lawsuit, that he was fraudulently overcharged by Bouvier for the da Vinci, and 37 other major-name artworks, for which he paid about $US2 Billion in total he has stated, and appears to claim he was charged $US1 Billion too much.  My heart bleeds!

A wonder Rybolovlev had any spare cash for art then, as wife Elena had just got a divorce settlement of $US4.5 Billion in 2014, that they later battled about.  Mr Rybolovlev seems to enjoy court battles as you will see in this article, and still has lawyers busy all over the globe on this da Vinci matter.

After the filing of a Rybolovlev suit in 2015, Bouvier was arrested in Monaco on a trumped up charge that had little or no merit most agree, and was released on equally silly bail of 10 million Euro.  He subsequently counter-claimed that the Monaco Judiciary and Police were being directed by Rybolovlev.  Then things got crazy.

In September 2017, Monaco’s Minister of Justice, Philippe Narmino, resigned, after the French newspaper “Le Monde somehow obtained 100s of text messages, proving that he had been “leaned on” by Rybolovlev and his legal team.  The you-know-what then fit the proverbial fan after that in Monaco.

The texts detailed an all-expenses-paid ski trip for Narmino and his wife at the Russian billionaire’s Swiss chalet in Gstaad, as well as a private helicopter ride, and other expensive gifts and holidays.  The messages also suggest Rybolovlev’s  attorney was in close contact with the Monaco police about a plan to arrest Bouvier after “luring” him to Monaco.  Several high-ranking Monaco Police officers, including former police chief Regis Asso are also reportedly involved.

Rybolovlev is the 67% majority owner of AS Monaco Football Club - Prince Albert owns 33%.  The texts made it clear that he was pulling the strings in Monaco to have the book thrown at Bouvier.  And that he was behind official attempts to lure Bouvier to Monaco, so the trap would close even further, and police there were then able to arrest him. The Russian was friendly with Monaco’s Prince Albert II, the Monarch, who is clearly a great fan of the national soccer team.


Prince Albert II and shunned Rybolovlev.


Rybolovlev reportedly poured some 300 million Euro into the “AS Monaco” Team, (who performed rather well) so that certainly ‘buys’ some influence - anywhere.  Not money well spent it seems, as Prince Albert and the Monaco Government reportedly now essentially regard Rybolovlev as “persona non grata” based on this scandal, reports in French media claim.

Dmitry Rybolovlev was arrested and appeared in court in Monaco on mid-September, charged with “being complicit in violating privacy” and was released to appear at a later date.  French Police also recently arrested Philippe Narmino, the former Justice Minister of Monaco - “right hand man” to Prince Albert, as part of an investigation into his suspected influence peddling.


Make $US323m profit - and sue everyone!


Rybolovlev, despite the painting he paid $US127m for, selling for $US323 million MORE than that at auction, is suing near everyone in sight!  He has now enjoined Sotheby’s in legal action - AFTER the auction, claiming they were somehow involved in him paying what he says was “too much” at $US127m - despite his recent sale at more than TREBLE that!

Bidding opened with a $100 million offer from an unknown collector, setting a floor for the auction.  The bids started jumping in increments of $10 million, and very rapidly reached $225 million, far surpassing the previous record for a sale at auction: the $US179.4 million paid for Picasso’s “Women of Algiers” at Christie’s in 2015.  The Prince’s phone bidding was done by the unfortunately named Christies staffer, James Rotter.

The price rose slowly for a while, by increments as little as $US2 million.  But after the bidding reached $US330 million, Rotter began to raise the price by increasingly large amounts.  About 19 minutes after the auction began, he put it away with a massive $US30 million bid jump, to $US400 million. The final $US450.3 million price includes the inevitable Auction “fees” paid by the buyer.


Leonard da Vinci headed to Abu Dhabi.


Art Lovers will be able to view the painting at the “Louvre Abu Dhabi” a United Arab Emirates franchise of the Paris museum, Christie’s Auction House told Bloomberg early December.  The museum confirmed this, tweeting that, “Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is coming to Louvre Abu Dhabi.”  It is unclear at this time, when the painting will be first displayed.

Abu Dhabi has basically unlimited money from oil.  We fly through there a couple of times each year.  There is a photo nearby of Margo and I nearby in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque completed at VAST expense, which has a capacity for 40,000 worshippers.  It has 82 domes, over 1,000 marble columns, massive 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers, Italian Travertine marble everywhere, and the world's largest hand knotted carpet etc, etc.

According to the New York Times, the painting’s buyer was not the Museum, but an outside party - one Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, a “little-known” Saudi Arabian prince, with no history as an art collector. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened on November 11, has been one of the “most aggressive buyers on the global art market over the last decade” according to Bloomberg.

The Prince was such an unknown figure, that executives at Christie’s were scrambling to establish his identity and his financial means.  And even after he had provided a $US100 million deposit to qualify for the auction, the Christie’s lawyers conducting due diligence on potential bidders pressed him with two pointed questions:  Where did he get the money?  And what was his relationship with the Saudi ruler, Prince Salman?  "Real Estate", he replied, without elaborating.


Saudi Crown Prince buys Christ painting.


“The Guardian” reported December 9 as I filed this story, that US intelligence assessments seen by “The New York Times” and “The Wall Street Journal”  had identified the recently VERY controversial Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Bin Salman, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne, as the true buyer of the da Vinci painting. With long time close friend Bin Abdullah acting only as an intermediary at Christies.


The REAL da Vinci buyer, it is mooted.


I find it absolutely bizarre that the leader of Saudi Arabia, the strictest Muslim country, home of Mecca - birthplace of Mohammad, bought a painting of Jesus Christ titled “Saviour Of The World” and will use it with his equally strict Muslim land neighbours, Abu Dhabi, to attract tourists to their new Art Gallery!

“The New York Times” agreed on December 6 - “paying such an unprecedented sum for a painting of Christ also risked offending the religious sensibilities of his Muslim countrymen.  Muslims teach that Jesus was not the saviour but a prophet.  And most Muslims - especially the clerics of Saudi Arabia, consider the artistic depiction of any of the prophets to be a form of sacrilege.

It really is the stuff of a weird movie fiction script - except it is all TRUE!  Folks with FAR more money even in their loose change wallet, than most of us can even begin to comprehend.  The next time a collector complains about paying $A3 for their Registered Mail option, I will refer them to this article, to bring them back to the real world out there!


  Season’s Greetings To All!


The stamp business for me has gone BALLISTIC this year.  The weak $A has seen a vast surge in orders from overseas, USA especially, and particularly for better pieces in the 3 and 4 figure plus range, that I mostly deal in.  Other dealer friends report the same kind of story and pattern this year.

Super low interest rates globally, and often nervous share markets, and even more nervous real estate markets in many countries, has seen a good deal of savvy money switching into better stamps.  Which often rise 5% or more a year - and that rise is mostly Tax Free for private collectors.

We spent last Christmas Day in the remote jungles of Northern Thailand right up on the Lao border, that sees almost zero tourists - there were none within miles of us!  A special opportunity to live in a tiny village of just locals.  No TV … just peace and quiet.

Then flew to Beijing, and later to Taipei, Taiwan, for a week of driving around the Taiwan countryside - I’ve never met anyone who has ever done that.  We had New Year’s Eve back in Taipei  -  NYE is a massive deal in Taipei, and it occurs even before Sydney.

Back to Bangkok for some shopping, and another flight across to Manila in the Philippines for lunch with a stampboards Moderator, who kindly took us sightseeing all around that interesting and very historic city.  Had not been there for 30 years. 


Faroes tanned Cod Skin stamps a hit!


We travelled an awful lot during this year, and one long trip was to Oslo Norway (via Dublin!) then to the Faroe Islands - somewhere I always wanted to visit, to see Puffins etc, and buy the tanned Cod Skin stamps shown here!  MANY readers collect the superbly produced Faroe Islands stamps - attractive and conservative. 

We were in Scotland all during the mad Election week mess in UK - what a strange story THAT was. The Faroe Islands are an incredibly interesting country to visit, and MANY houses have strange grass turf roofs as per my photo nearby.  There are endless sheep wandering around aimlessly unfenced, and they put one on the roofs to keep the grass down!

Hardly a tourist in sight anywhere, and quite magnificent scenery, and history going back to Viking graves, and house remains etc.  Weather far milder, and more even than you’d imagine, and it rarely snows, even in Winter we were told.  Do check out dozens more photos and comments - (MY spelling error!)                                                      


Grass roofed houses everywhere.


This Christmas we fly somewhere not often visited - to Nicosia Cyprus, via Vienna and Copenhagen, and will spend New Year’s Eve in Portugal, and fly back home via Barcelona and Frankfurt.

“Thank You” to all readers globally, for the many phone calls and letters and emails with comments - for AND against what has been written here, over the past year!  It has been a most interesting one.

“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”,
to one and all, and your families.  Be safe, have a great time among your family and friends and STAMPS - and enjoy the break!  See you all in 2018.  Glen









NOTE:  The initial Freeman “NSW Numeral Cancellations” book was a massive success, as only about a QUARTER as many were printed as there was world demand for - as I predicted and of course it sold out fast.  Status International Auctions ran one in their November 1st, 2012, auction - Lot #90, and it was invoiced with all fees etc, for around $A430 after a bidding battle - SEVERAL times the reserve, and many times issue prices - to the owner’s great delight I am sure.  I saw even higher prices elsewhere of $A500 a copy.  

If anyone wants it for researching cancels, and to avoid the high postage cost overseas of 2KG weight of the updated volume I have a few high resolution CD Rom of the many 100s of pages catalogue, exactly as it appears in the printed version, with all colour photos etc.  Data and ratings are very largely unchanged in the 2 editions.  I offered some clients free shipping if they allowed me to retain the CD to sell later.  Price is $A40 plus $A5 airpost globally if anyone needs it – please contact me.  (Mention stock number 637KT)





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 (PTS London) and many other philatelic bodies.

ALL Postage + Insurance is extra. Visa/BankCard/MasterCard/Amex all OK, at NO fee, even for "Lay-Bys"!  All lots offered are subject to my usual Conditions of Sale, copy upon request .

Sydney's BIGGEST STAMP BUYER: Post me ANYTHING via Registered Mail for my same-day cheque.  Avoid copping the Now normal 45% Auction "Commissions" (15% Buyer + 20% Seller + GST, etc) AND their five-month delays!

 Read HERE for details.

"Lothlórien", 4 The Tor Walk, CASTLECRAG (Sydney), N.S.W. 2068 Australia

Phone 7 Days: (02) 9958-1333

PO Box 4007, Castlecrag. NSW. 2068
E-Mail: The Number #1 Web Sites:  and



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