If I had to describe this catalogue in one a word it would be IMPRESSIVE. Price wise for the volume of information it contains, one word again BARGAIN.
I do have a couple of negatives, but this is just me being picky. Basically it is a revamped copy of the original 2004 catalogue in two volumes. Admittedly the images are now in full colour which makes an attractive addition. The chapters are reorganised and are a little easier to follow, I think the layman may struggle at first finding his/ her way around, but this is mainly due to fact that it covers every theme and topic that you could wish for.
I only noticed one mistake, the picture of VC prestige booklet was included twice instead of World of Invention, but I did dash through the contents so its possible there are more.
I would have liked to see De La Rue cylinder blocks with inset and short bands listed and priced. But as the saying goes "you cant have everything".
This new catalogue now has soft covers (paper back) which I feel due to the amount of use it will get, it will not take the punishment of time. But saying this another updated new version will be available again 2010.
Compared to the of the existing loose leaf catalogue. New content includes a section on Wilding definitives including, singles, booklets , panes, cylinder blocks and coils which is well written and easy to follow.
All new issues including country stamps in all formats are included. Also recent De La Rue cylinder blocks, the different papers and gums are dealt with ( a mine field in their own right) , all date & warrant blocks, booklets and panes are listed. Valuations ( prices) are sensible and are taken from the latest auction realisations, and a cross reference from several dealers lists.
If you collect GB Definitives or are a serious Machin specialist, this book is a 'must have' and its a credit to the dedicated group of committed enthusiasts that contributed.
I find the booklet & pane section invaluable as it includes all the different printing plate cylinder numbers, most errors booklets including miscuts.
In a nutshell
Over 1200 pages with to many sections to mention. Numerous separate sections covering practically all aspects of GB definitives and postage dues.
Pre-Decimals, Singles, Errors, Coil issues, Cylinder blocks, Warrant blocks, High values, Castles, Stitched books, Stitched panes, Machine books, Counter books, Christmas and Greetings books, Window books, Regionals, Dues and Training stamps and last but not least Wildings, Boots labels, and Miniature sheets.
Each section edited by an expert in his own field, Fully illustrated throughout with hundreds of colour pictures and diagrams. Each item is priced with genuine retail realisations (where known) and it includes all issues up to and including the new rates implimented in April 2007.
The Price for this is £35.95 + Postage packing, which is cheaper (UK only) if you buy direct from eBay .
My last word, in one, RECOMMENDED