British West Indies Study Circle


A Philatelic Bibliography of the British West Indies Part 2

Public Auction Catalogues (Aug 2015)

by Michel Forand and Charles Freeland

The objective of this listing is to provide guidance to specialised collectors who wish to compile or consult a representative selection of public auction (i.e. live auction) catalogues relevant to their areas of interest. Our selection is based on two general criteria - the number of lots and the “significance” of the material offered. The number of illustrations also plays a role, which, added to the release of important specialist material, explains the heavier incidence of more recent catalogues. As a rule, a minimum of 25 lots is required for inclusion in the list. In the case of some of the smaller territories, this rule has been applied loosely but, if an entry lists fewer than 25 lots, it can be assumed that it contains significant offerings. The concept of significance is obviously qualitative and subjective, but to minimize its arbitrary scope, the following criteria have been used to determine a significant collection:

a specialized representation of the relevant postal and/or fiscal issues (stamps, postal stationery, etc);

a good range of rare stamps that are conventionally viewed as enhancing the philatelic value of the collection;

at least 10 lots of rare essays, proofs and/or specimens;

at least 10 important lots of postal history.

The first five pages of the list cover “across-BWI” catalogues, defined as those containing material from the B.W.I. region as a whole or from at least three territories within it. These are followed by country-specific sections, including both single country sales and wider offerings that meet the criteria for the individual territory. No attempt is made to list private (eg study circle) auctions, retail or private treaty lists, even though a few such items would merit inclusion on grounds of significance. The only mail-bid sales included are a few name sales. At the end of the general section, a list of auction houses which have regular but less prominent offerings of BWI material is provided as a guide for those who wish to take a more comprehensive approach.

The information provided in the list includes (whenever possible) the following elements:

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