Pitcairn Islands Stamp Collecting: An Introduction
by Vernon N. Kisling
- The first Pitcairn Islands stamps were issued in 1940. Pitcairn Islands new issues are limited. Only a few commemorative sets are issued each year and the larger definitive sets are issued only every five years or so. There are several sources for obtaining Pitcairn Islands stamps and these are provided below. There is also information on albums, catalogs, and a bibliography on subjects important to Pitcairn Islands stamp collecting.
- PITCAIRN ISLANDS PHILATELIC BUREAU
- The Bureau offers a subscription service for new issues which they will send you as the stamps are issued. This service is offered directly through the Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau official website.
- Stamp dealers are the most common source of stamps for any country. While many dealers would have some Pitcairn Islands stamps, others specialize in British Commonwealth stamps and would have a more comprehensive inventory. However, few dealers carry anything other than the normal issues and it can be difficult to find other material, such as plate blocks, FDC, and varieties. Stamp dealers can be found listed in the philatelic newspapers/magazines or online. Many also attend stamp shows.
- Many stamp dealers provide their inventory online. In addition, collectors and others provide stamps online as well, particularly on websites such as eBay, StampWants, and the APS Stamp Store (must be an APS member to buy or sell, although anyone can look). Many normal issues, as well as more unusual material, can be found on these websites. For rarer and more expensive material you need to keep up with the auctions, most of which are online. Pitcairn Islands material does not often appear at auction, but when it does, you do not want to miss the uncommon opportunity to bid on what you need.
- You do not need to keep your stamps in an album, but they should be kept in a protected manner. Stockbooks can be used, as can pages in a looseleaf binder, or you can make your own album. Albums can be handmade or you can use one of the several computer design software packages now available.
The albums listed here have heavy stock, good quality album pages with places for each stamp. Most have illustrations of the stamp issues; however, the only one with descriptive text for each stamp issue is the Seven Seas album. Each publisher sells album binders separately from their album pages and the pages are punched for the number of rings in the publisher's binders. So, unless the pages are three ring punched, you need to use binders from the same publisher you buy the pages from. These publishers also provide annual supplements to keep the pages current for new stamp issues. Regular albums are ones having pages without archival mounts to hold the stamps (you need to provide your own mounts or you need to use hinges). Hingeless albums have archival mounts to hold the stamps. Philatelic computer programs that generate album pages from your home computer are not listed.
- KaBe Pitcairn Islands album (hingeless) / available through stamp supply dealers
- Lindner Pitcairn Islands album (hingeless) / available through stamp supply dealers
- Palo Pitcairn Islands album (hingeless and regular) / www.paloalbums.com / 800-572-5967
- Scott Pitcairn Islands album (regular) with three ring punched pages / available through stamp supply dealers
- Seven Seas Pitcairn Islands album (hingeless) with three ring punched pages having descriptive text / www.sevenseas.com.au / POB 321, Brookvale NSW 2100 Australia
- GENERAL WORLDWIDE CATALOGS
- Any catalog with worldwide coverage will contain Pitcairn Islands stamps. These are the most pertinent and popular among U.S., British, and Australian/New Zealand collectors:
- Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. Scott Publishing Co. Sidney, Ohio.
- Seven Seas Australasian Stamp Catalogue. Vol. 2 / Oceania. Seven Seas Stamps. Brookvale NSW Australia.
- Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue. Stanley Gibbons, Ltd. London.
- SPECIALIZED CATALOGS
- Catalogs specifically for Pitcairn Islands stamps:
- Foxwell, F. W. Pitcairn Islands Stamps and Postal History. Published by author, England. 1968. [Reprinted by author and Edward Madison, New York, 2003]
- Hornadge, Bill. The Pitcairn Islands Stamp Catalogue. Review Publications. Dubbo, Australia. Second rev. ed., 1981.
- Hume, David. Pitcairn Islands Philately. Published by author, South Africa. Second rev. ed., 1999.
- Kisling, Vernon. Pitcairn Islands Specialized Stamp Catalog. Pitcairn Islands Study Group, 2005. [The only PI catalog still in print.]
- Simpson, Ray. Pitcairn Islands, The Stamps and Postal History 1790-1972. Published by author. 1972.
- Anonymous. The Royal Visit Covers. UK Log no.11 (Jan): 6-7, 1996.
- Badagliacca, Ralph. Prince Philip's Visit to Pitcairn in 1971. Pitcairn Log 31 (2/Apr-Jun): 5-7, 2004.
- Date error issue articles: Ralph Badagliacca. What a Difference a Date Makes! Pitcairn Log 13 (2/Jan-Mar): 5-6, 1986. Everett L. Parker. Incorrect Date in Stamp Now Called Error. Pitcairn Log 16 (4/Jun-Aug): 5-6, 1989. Paul Burnett. Wrapper Offers Reason for Concern. Pitcairn Log 23 (3/Apr-Jun): 5-6, 1996 & UK Log no.8 (Jun): 10-12, 1994.
- Delaney, Arthur A. Pitcairn's First Issue. S.P.A. Journal, Nov: 153-62, 1970.
- Delaney, Arthur A. The Saga of Pitcairn's Post Office. Part One. Pitcairn Log 4 (1/Sep): 4-7, 1976. Part Two. Pitcairn Log 4 (2/Dec): 10-13, 1976.
- Delaney, Arthur A. Pitcairn's School and Its School Stamp Designs. Pitcairn Log 5 (4/Jun): 4-8, 1978.
- Delaney, Arthur A. Pitcairn's Internal Post. Pitcairn Log 6 (4/Jun): 7-8, 1979.
- Delaney, Arthur A. From Stamp to Ash: Destroying Pitcairn Postal Remainders. Pitcairn Log 9 (1/Sep): 4-5, 1981.
- Delaney, Arthur A. A Primer of Pitcairn's First Issue. Pitcairn Log 13 (4/Jun-Aug): 5-11, 1986.
- Delaney, Arthur A. Background of Ti Plant Trio. Pitcairn Log 14 (1/Sep-Nov): 14-17/19, 1986.
- Delaney, Arthur A. An Early Postal History Primer. Pitcairn Log 15 (4/Jun-Aug): 7-11, 1988.
- Grigore, Julius. The Bliss Connection: Opening Pitcairn to Postal Communication. Pitcairn Log 30 (3/Jul-Sep): 6-12, 2003.
- Guide to Pitcairn. Pitcairn Islands Administration. Auckland, New Zealand. 1st – 6th Editions, 1963 – 1999.
- Hornadge, Bill. Research Breakthrough - The 1940 Booklet. Pitcairn Log 4 (2/December): 4-9, 1976.
- Hornadge, Bill. The 1940 Booklet. The Pitcairn Islands Stamp Catalogue (pp. 120-25). Review Publications. Dubbo, Australia. Second rev. ed., 1981.
- Kisling, Vernon. Historic Perspective on Pitcairn Islands Stamp Catalogues. Pitcairn Log 33 (1/Jan): 14-15, 2006.
- Kisling, Vernon. An Historic Perspective on Pitcairn Islands Stamp Collecting. Pitcairn Log 33 (3/July): 7-8, 2006.
- Kisling, Vernon. Review of Early Pitcairn Islands Stamp Cancellers. Pitcairn Log 33 (4/Oct): 4-7, 2006.
- Kisling, Vernon. Pitcairn Islands 1940 Booklet. Pitcairn Log 34 (2/Apr): 6-7, 2007.
- Kisling, Vernon. Pitcairn Island Specimen Stamps: An Introduction and New Specimen Discovery. Pitcairn Log 34 (4/Oct): 4-6, 2007.
- Kitching, Cy. Pitcairn Islands Postal Markings 1883 - 2003. Pitcairn Islands Study Group, 2004.
- McCarthy, Pat. Pitcairn - A Philatelic Phenomenon. Published by author, New Zealand. 1971.
- Neill, J. S. Ten Years in Tonga. Hutchinson, London. 1955. [Seven chapters are devoted to Pitcairn Island, pp. 153-200.]
- Pitcairn Island Post Office Regulations [Postal Rates]. See: Anon. A History of Pitcairn Postal Rates. UK Log no. 5-14, 1993-1997. [Ten part series reproducing copies of the regulations.] and Butterline, Mark A. Pitcairn Surface Mail Rates 1940-2003. Part I. Pitcairn Log 31 (4/Oct-Dec): 5-11, 2004. Part II. Pitcairn Log 32 (1/Jan-Mar): 5-12, 2005.
- Pitcairn Miscellany. Pitcairn Islands Government. Pitcairn Island.
- Reilander B. The Specimen Frauds. Pitcairn Log 4 (3/March): 10-12, 1977.
- Richards, B. L. Requisition and Dispatch of Pitcairn's First Issue. Australasian Informer, May-June: 56-57, 1977.
- Samuel, Marcus. Forged Specimen Perforations, 1928-48. Stamp Collecting, 17 April: 335/337, 1975.
- Speirs, George M. First Stamp Essays. Pitcairn Log 7 (2/Dec): 17, 1979.
- Sunderland, David. Managing the British Empire: The Crown Agents, 1833-1914. Royal Historical Society, London, 2004. [In particular see Chapter 9: Concessions, Currency and Stamps.]
- Williams, L. N. Fundamentals of Philately. American Philatelic Society. Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Rev. ed., 1990.