I think in Europe, Stanley Gibbons, Yvert & Tellier and Michel are the most commonly used catalogues. The latter two are used in continental Europe. As for collecting United Kingdom stamps by SG, there is collecting by SG and collecting by SG. And then there is collecting by SG.
In its most basic form, there is SG's "Collect British Stamps." This lists the different watermarks and phosphor bars. There is the "Concise," that lists inverted and sideways watermarks and goes a little further where it comes to phosphor bars. The "Specialised" assigns numbers to different phosphor types. The wildings come with 8 and 9½ mm bars, but also with green, blue and violet phosphor. It also discerns between creamy and whiter papers. Each of these is assigned an "S-number." This runs up to S154, not counting the regional issues. On the above page, there are two shades of the 1d green stamp. The green and deep green shades are a quite constant occurrence. The “Specialised” lists them, but only at the level of the S-number.
The catalogue also contains information on booklet panes, identifying the stamps in the panes by catalogue number. Booklet panes were printed tête-bêche. This is the primary source for the inverted watermarks you find in the "Concise." In fact, since Wildings were no longer printed in sheets, but on-the-web, inverted watermarks never come from sheet printings. If you apply Deegam's TCTC-system, you can collect by SG, including upright watermark stamps from booklets.
There also are stamps with sideways watermark. Both the "Concise" and "Specialised" list these. A few come from booklets. Consequently, they also exist with sideways inverted watermark. Stamps from coils with sideways delivery, often, have a sideways watermark. These are identified in the "Specialised." Many wilding coils were made from sheets. These were cut into strips and the strips were made into rolls using coil joins. These exist for coils with horizontal and vertical delivery. The "Specialised" does not assign separate numbers to these stamps. However, it lists all issues of stamp rolls and the direction of delivery. Again, when you use the TCTC-system, you can identify them.
Unfortunately, the dealer that had the most helpful listing has retired. So, it is hard to come by the different coil stamps.
It appears Steiner pages are mostly a non-European Anglo-Saxon thing. The big brands in my part of Europe are DAVO, Stanley Gibbons – whose one-country albums are DAVO albums -, Lindner and Leuchtturm (Lighthouse). My father had an ancient KaBe, a name that seems to have made a comeback. I collect United Kingdom and Ireland stamps. I like to pick up some specialised stamps. I also collect overprinted stamps of the United Kingdom. I found no album or page publisher really provides for that. So, I use the Lindner T Blanko (Blank) system and make my own pages.
Steiner pages were developed by Bill Steiner and others as a home grown effort. He sells the PDFs so you print what you need. Bill is in the US. It is based mostly upon Scott catalog system but do not have catalog numbers. Scott does not get into all the watermark varieties so I redid pages based upon SG Concise and included catalog numbers. I do have varieties with different width phosphor and some paper types but not actively collecting them.
Those look great. The Saint Edward's Crown watermark saw two stamps that were printed in two shades. In both cases, the change was not due to deeper etching or another ink mix, but a deliberate change. The 2d red-brown (SG 543) was re-issued on 17 October 1956 in a light red-brown shade (SG 543b). The 6d stamp (SG 548) was printed in redish purple. On 8 May 1958, it was re-issued in a deep claret shade (SG 548a).
I think in Europe, Stanley Gibbons, Yvert & Tellier and Michel are the most commonly used catalogues. The latter two are used in continental Europe.
How would you compare Yvert & Tellier and Michel for completeness - at least in countries that aren't France or Germany? The only Y&T catalog I've ever seen was from 1970.
I have a few Michels for eastern and southeastern Europe, and it seems quite thorough, but even discounting the fact that German is a mysterious language, I tend to find it hard to use, especially for cross-referencing definitives that are issued over a significant period of years. Maybe Michel actually does that, but if they do I can't figure it out except on rare occasions. I do like the way Michel combines standard postage, semi-postals, and airmail stamps.
I can read French pretty well, so if Y&T is competitive with Michel for completeness, I might want to give it a look. I don't want to buy a volume on speculation, though; that gets expensive in a hurry.
A box full of Stanley Gibbons 2010 catalogs that I got cheap from a used-book dealer is sitting downstairs, but my wife doesn't want me opening it until it has sat there for a few more days. I'm not a big UK or Commonwealth collector, so SG's strength is generally out of my wheelhouse, but I wanted to take a look at it, and I could afford this aging set.
I have almost no experience with either Michel or Yvert & Tellier. My local public library had the latter. I would expect Yvert & Tellier will show strength in France and its colonies and, probably, Spain and Portugal. Michel, I expect to be the better one for Germany, Central and Eastern Europe. I started collecting Dutch stamps, for which it made no sense to use any but the NVPH catalogue. Then, I started collecting the United Kingdom. I started with Stanley Gibbons’ “Collect British Stamps.” I noticed Dutch stamp dealers used Yvert & Tellier numbers for foreign stamps. This was 40 years ago and it looks like Michel is now the mainstream catalogue for worldwide issues. The internet made it possible to sell to an American public, but Scott is not a name I often come across.
How do you get the printing on the page? I assume you start with a blank page with pockets.
The page shows the Lindner product number. Lindner "T Blanko" pages have numbers 802 XXX. Usually, the first X is the number of pockets. These pockets are glued to the backing paper on the right-hand side. They also sell blank text paper that you can stick between the pocket and the backing paper. The white text paper for the regular-sized leaves is 802 002. I use MS Word to design the "album page." I printed it on a Brother Inkjet Printer, but the last contribution was printed on a HP laserjet printer.
The black backing paper I used for the Spanish second century definitives threat also is an 802 00X text page.
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