Belgium -10% Issue of 20 May 1946

My comprehensive collection has been thirty years in the making. In 1984 I purchased from Godu a small box full of stamps on paper, where each six stamps were hinged onto a sheet of paper, which bore a number – the B & L system, which it took me a couple of years to work out until I could procure a catalogue. From these humble beginnings, I bought other material, some forgeries some genuine, until I learnt the difference. Not only was I filling the gaps, I corrected some cataloguing errors in my purchase.

In 1989 Dr Jacque Stibbe sold me the late Raymond Marler’s postal stationery collection, which was a magnificent accumulation of obsolete cards, but was largely unsorted. By then the Société de l’Entier Postal had produced their first catalogue in which there was a section about this issue. This helped enormously. Marler was one of the original five Musketeers, who scoured Belgium for -10% postal stationery, Stibbe being another.

In the 90s I exhibited three times, obtaining at Australian National level, Silver, Large Silver and Vermeil. The last enabled me to show overseas, which I did at Brussels in 1999. The judge had only heard of the issue, knew nothing about it and I received a Bronze!!

I continued to buy letters and other good material to fill the gaps and round out my collection.

In 2009 I self published the only comprehensive book on the issue that had been written in the 63 years since the issue. This sold quite well despite the small numbers collecting. It filled a gaping knowledge gap. Only Vander Mijnsbrugge (VDM) in Belgium has published his excellent catalogue since. His research showed this was sorely needed to correct errors and anomalies in B & Ls 1946 and 1976 catalogues. It was then I realised the quantity of unique postal stationery which I possessed. He added my unique list to the second edition of his catalogue.

Melbourne 2013 (fourteen years after Brussels) I exhibited against my better judgement at international level. Again the judges knew nothing of this issue, nor were they given time to read it properly (plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose), so I received Silver for what is probably a large vermeil or gold medal collection. My book was judged by Australians before the Exhibition and received a Vermeil, a good mark, considering their limited knowledge. At least two people had time to read it.

Now it is time to hand over the reins to a younger person.

My library on the subject will be included in the sale, so whoever carries on has all the help available. This collection is arranged using VDM numbers (cross referenced with B & L) and using his catalogue costing methods has a value around € 50,000. I seek much less. I would rather it went to a good home for a sensible value.

This is an important collection on the topic. It must rate in the top five such endeavours. Forgeries are treated separately as in my book.

I have left Melbourne2013 exhibition material as it was. The other material is in numerical order in six large ring backed folders. All paper is acid free and pockets are safe polypropylene. Stamp mounts are Hawid mylar, so the whole collection is mounted as required by best practice. Both collection and exhibition entry meet these same standards.

This CD contains Melbourne 2013 entry, Avant qu’il ne soit trop tard, items and costings are detailed in a spreadsheet. A List of books from my library is included. The lucky buyer will receive a copy of all my working computer files, so they can make additions or alterations to the original sheets. You will need MS Publisher 2002 for this. It is the best software for the job. Rights to future sales from my book I have assigned to the Belgian Philatelic Study Circle, so all material, which forms part of the book is in their possession,

Shipping and Insurance will be included in the selling price of € 20,500. However, no responsibility is accepted for any VAT levied, although all care will be taken to avoid it.

Michael Barden

Email: nedrabm@bigpond.com Phone; +61 3 9855 0999

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