I would like to group all the following comments under the main title: “The Philatelic Market Situation of Switzerland “.This is now not possible as it was not in the past 10 -20 years, since the market situation of the 20th century did not improved and looks rather depressing.
Absolutely in contrast is Classic Switzerland, where nobody of the active professional dealers can complain about the business. We are dealing explicitly with Classic Switzerland. So to say with the first stamps of Switzerland of 1843 to approximately 1870. All my comments are about this area.
If we are lucky again and collectors offers again a collection of a million Swiss Francs and then passed that collection en bloc to somebody else, then this means for a normal dealer to increase his yearly turnover considerably. The profit is naturally not in proportion, since you can charge for a collection only a commission, a special price so to say not a normal stock sales price at normal conditions. But we can speak apart of everything of an excellent business year. And mainly due to the fact that this report of last year, was already concluded at the beginning of this month of October. Consequently a quarter year before the end of the year 2015. This does not include the most important sales, which are done before the end of the year!
When you do not have anything new to say, you should be brief. I am going to stick to that it is clearly unnecessary to repeat in details my comments of the last yearly catalogue. Nothing has really changed. All my predictions became true or are as valid as before:
As to Classic Switzerland one is looking as before for very fine quality items. When you study certain cantonal issues (Basle Doves!), you can even speak of record prices for fine covers.
The area of unused stamps is going well up to very well.
One should forget the Rayons.
There are new collectors, who love being busy to reconstruct of the different type plates of different printing stones. Collectors should pay more attention at the dark blue Rayons, especially at the highly interesting colours as long as one can fully reconstruct the printing stones .Felix Fischer is already far advanced with this project. We wish him all the success he needs and will give collectors interested his contacts.
As far as the red Rayons are concerned it lacks still of covers with the small numbers and the centime values. Although these are considerably rarer than covers all “small” cantonal stamps (!!), which are sold at proportionally lower prices than it is usual. In order to level the proportion again, one should possibly reduce the catalogue value for covers. It would not influence the net prices, since these are now in % lower than all the others Classic Switzerland issues. This remedy would not be necessary, if we had a greater demand for covers of no. 18 and 19. There is not a lot of this on the market!
We strongly recommend as we did before home collections, thus collections showing postmarks of your native canton, or department or only of your native town. That is for most collectors a cheaper way than to collect everything according to the catalogue of Classic Switzerland.
Do not forget the birthday collections, where you select a certain date of completely different years. As a start for a young collector (who can inherit your own collection) it is sufficient and almost ideal to choose your own or his birthday date, in order to give this collection a personal note and relation, in order avoid him selling the inherited collection.
I cannot add or change anything in view of the coming years. Here is hardly anything different. The money is there to spend and to invest. The traditional investment (either shares or bonds) are not to everybody’s taste. It naturally frightens every investor that he gets no interest. The money printing machines are running like before, also if it seems that 2016 interest will be slowly introduced, but it is hardly noticeable. The situation of world politics is not at all satisfying and good. The conflicts will continue for some time and the increasing invasion of refuges will last as long. I can see only an improvement to the situation if it comes rather from Asia and USA, less from Europe, where a leading market leader in Germany did shoot his own goal (VW scandal). How much this will affect us all, we will see. A crack in the EU success would not surprise. However, not only old people ask themselves, why they cannot spend this and enjoy effectively their money. This cannot be compared with simply spending money. When you enjoy Classic Switzerland stamps, then we know that these are not at all unavailable. Then it means more or an investment, a so to say a change against something, which gives you a constant joy.
I wish you in this sense many happy hours and we are looking forward to hearing from you when we can in help you or advise you.
My son is momentarily busy not only to produce this catalogue but also simultaneously set up the small jubile catalogue, which I could never achieve without his help. He wants to give our 50th Business Jubile more importance, which we will celebrate in 2016. Thanks to this event he would like to show you in addition to our traditional yearly offer , some items , which we will from now on offer to clients, who are interested in those. You can deduct that we have in certain areas (foremost re. multiples of Rayons and Strubel) absolutely more similar lots in stock. However, we do not want to sell all those. On the contrary: we are interested as before to buy larger units (blocks, strips on or off cover and unused) and would be pleased to get your offers.
Although it is too early but I would like to thank you in all cases more cordially for having such excellent business relations during this year.
And that many sales are thanks to our catalogues and lists, you will realise that these would not happen without the reliable and constant help of our team consisting of family members who help us with the production and dispatch of everything. I feel extremely obliged to all these reliable helpers and thank them immensely.
All the best and lots of joy and satisfaction in the coming year.
NB. In the meantime, three weeks have passed since the above comment. The stamps for the new catalogue are scanned and therefore available for sale. In order not to take risks while printing (this happens in two weeks) we keep the lots as long as possible here in our office. To give you an example of the excellent market situation for Classic Swiss stamps, you will read in a few weeks, what had happened in the meantime.
We were approached by the Organizing Committee of the Stamp Fair and Exhibition of the Basle Mustermesse, organised on 7th and 8th November 2015 to arrange for a special display of two frames of Classic Switzerland. My son has prepared this year for our catalogues a number of important and special items. “Across the garden” so to speak that is from many areas are some selected items. He chose them for these 25 sheets for the Basle exhibition.
A good customer, who was interested to see some pieces as soon as the catalogue would be finished, we allowed to see the 25 sheets there at the Basle exhibition. We did that on the assumption that he would pick one or the other piece. However, one cannot deny that he was interested in the whole lot. In any case he did not ask the price of individual leaves but for the total sum of the whole lot! We were agreeing upon the price in 10 minutes. He bought all pages “en bloc”.
Where and when something like that is happening? It is this what others, who in their thought still live in the past in their old fashioned clubs or stamp business like in the last centuries thinking of decrease and recession of stamp. Unfortunately one often reads only those negative reports of obsolete (overaged) clubs No rational person then feels in the face of such comments attracted to the hobby or to join a club. Honestly, would not it be more sensitive and honest to appoint somebody journalistically to explain the facts right to the wide public that the Swiss stamps of the 20th century were badly treated and consequently simply stamps and are unsuitable for investment. And that these are are not at all comparable to classic issues of Switzerland, which are all sought of and enjoy a veritable boom. Naturally this is not the case for all regions. Common standard stamps sell also in Classic Switzerland at reasonable prices when it does not in masses for sale. However, here in the Classic Switzerland today plays the music and so longer in those collectors clubs, where everybody has everything and where the members slowly die. Of course, this is unfortunate. For a dealer, it would be wonderful, if we dealers could re-erect the many club exchanges (like there were 50 years ago, when I started my professional career) even today meet the “crème de la crème “collectors and there could be still many sales today. So as we dealers must today are look for new clients and find them (we discover that they are rarely keen to join a club). Here we think that collectors clubs should try with good and new ideas to recruit young and new collectors to join them and convince them to attend stamp fairs. This task should not only be the job for dealers or the Post Office. This enterprise will only work, if all three institutions work together! It cannot be denied that in this regard a lot of traders, who generate experience have shown that 90% of the turnover with stamps of the 20th century or accessories. They see no rosy future today. Actually they are not in a sense a “dealer” in the traditional way, since they hardly buy stamps and rather just still want to liquidate what is in their stock. They have changed into pure salesmen, from whom hardly great future opportunities can arise.
To avoid misunderstandings. Outdated collector clubs means in no way that they should be resolved. They fulfil today a less philatelic enrichment but are rather a social meeting point. Here collegial friendships are often formed for decades and have grown into friendships. A nice example how positive developments philately can lead to (which are today in our computer age mostly overlooked). However such old clubs are not promising philatelically a good future without improvements. Fortunately, there are today good dealers, who are well aware and living in our time and are successful in finding new clients and can persuade them to join more modern clubs, which offer new ideas to new members. These are clubs, who approach their members and others who could be their members. And this through two activities:
a.) Courses for young collectors
They are extremely important. Ideal if you can awaken the joy of stamp collecting in whole school classes. While 90 % of the students will put the stamps as a true hobby and bypass their “Sturm and Drang period”. But a re-entry with 40 or 50 years is then much easier.
b.) Adult courses
Such (adults) have so been greatly neglected. Wrongly! Once people have statistically speaking after retirement in Switzerland they still have a life expectancy of around 20 years or more. And most of them would then have time for a hobby. Ideal conditions for the occupation with stamps! But even these people have to be approached personally. It is rare that one of them joins at such age a club on his own steam. We would like to ask clubs or associations to release through the press that not only to have ideas in these two activities which they eventually wish to implement but have stayed here and performed successful courses. This, to clarify whether and in what form we could assist in this project. We would like to get actively involved.