The 1988 Edition of this handbook
was well-received at the time of publication; it has stood the test of time
and is referred to constantly by hundreds of philatelists, both amateur and
professional, around the world.
However, after 27 years, it was time
to bring this work up-to-date by incorporating additional material, correcting
some errors and misconceptions, and taking advantage of developments in printing
that allow colour work to be included at an affordable cost.
There are several areas where new
information has been incorporated:
Stamps that were cancelled
with a datestamp or other postal obliterator by the issuing postal authority
(cancelled-to-order) before being sent to the UPU for distribution to fellow
members are now catalogued. Examples include the Australian States, Commonwealth
and Dependencies (the most important group), Costa Rica, Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, Guatemala, Iran and the Netherlands.
from International Bureau Circulars, Circular Letters and Bulletins is cited
throughout the Catalogue.
Numerous instances of
stamps that were sent as specimens to the UPU in mint condition are recorded.
Details of three major
UPU specimen archives, those of the Goa, Mauritania and Tunisia Post Offices,
that have been ‘liberated’ during recent years have been included and treatment
of other archives has been expanded.
The reprints of stamps
of Portugal, the Azores, Madeira and the Portuguese Colonies that were sent
to the UPU as specimens in 1885 are now listed.
There are many references
to Postal Stationery, in particular regarding items that were protected using
the same methods as were used on contemporary postage stamps.
Appendices now include
details of the number of specimens required by the UPU up to 1961 for both
postage stamps and for Postal Stationery; UPU membership lists in both alphabetical
and chronological order; and perhaps most importantly a reproduction of the
earliest published information on UPU specimen stamps, namely a 24-page article
by Marcus Samuel serialised in 1964–65 in Stamp Collecting.
More than 1800 colour
illustrations of specimen stamps and postal stationery, UPU documents and
other archival material are included.