Collecting British Squared Circle Postmarks
After 11 years of intensive research, the original book entitled ‘Collecting British Squared Circle Postmarks’ was published in the autumn of 1987. Both collectors and dealers alike received it with acclaim and it was soon recognised as the definitive work on the subject.
The book also had rave notices in the philatelic press which culminated in the presentation of the Nugent Clougher Award by the Philatelic Writers Society, as the 1988 ‘Philatelic Book of the Year’.
Three years after publication, the first of four Supplements was printed. It contained not only several thousand new updates, but also some changes in the arrangement of office series, with the listing of some 40 new hammers.
In the summer of 1993, it became apparent that a second Supplement needed to be published. It contained details of more than 50 new hammers and a listing of several hundreds of new updates.
After another three years a third Supplement went to press in the Spring of 1996. Ample new material had been collated from collectors in the interim. Meanwhile co-author Maurice Barette had established a new method of making vastly improved and more accurate illustrations for many of the hammers and he has now completed this task so that this second edition of the book will show all the hammers far more precisely than in the first edition.
It was clear that a second edition of the book was badly needed but this presented great difficulties, not only by reason of its cost but also because it would now be impossible to include all the new data in a single volume. It was decided therefore, with great reluctance, that the only solution was to produce a fourth supplement in the summer of 1999.
New data continued to flow in to the authors and it was thought at that time that any future update would be in the form of a cd or dvd and this would allow for further expansion and for the inclusion of a ‘Gallery’ section to show more interesting covers in full colour. Whilst a cd or a dvd offers many advantages major problems were encountered in the sphere of production, distribution and sales, not to mention a minority of potential readers who are unable to handle modern technology. The idea of cd or dvd production was thus reluctantly abandoned and a publication in book form was reconsidered. Because the number of pages now exceeds 600 the second edition will be split into two volumes. The first part gives the Squared Circle Story and a detailed listing of all the provincial office hammers. Part II is a listing of all the London office hammers including the Fancy Geometric types.
The major changes relative to the first edition are:
· inclusion of illustrations of every hammer from every office
· introduction of an individual Hammer Rarity Factor (HRF) in addition to the existing (office) Rarity Factor(RF)
· inclusion of the Fancy Geometric types of postmark used by the London E.C., London Inland and Lombard St. B.O. offices
· addition of newly discovered squared circle offices and an update of virtually all listed hammers to include extended periods of use and recut data
The idea of producing a Gallery section to show covers in full colour has not been abandoned and the authors anticipate that a separate cd or dvd will be made available as an optional extra shortly after publication of the books.
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