'I am not young enough to know everything'..... Oscar Wilde.

Like with many things in life knowledge is everything, same in philately. A good knowledge is built up over many years with a good library to hand and by handling/looking at and learning from philatelic items. It puzzles me why collectors will spend substantial amounts on stamps or covers but not really care about learning more about the items or learning more about the hobby.... is it the correct rate? what plate is it from? does that stamp belong? what is underneath that hinge on the reverse? Is that surface damage or a result of the printing process? To learn more about ones treasures a good library is essential, maybe partly digital but I prefer the traditional book laid flat for ease. I find it is much easier to plate a penny black from the actual Nissen photographs than images on a computer screen. At Bill Barrell Ltd we are one of the few philatelic houses that are prepared to stock out of print (rather than out of date !) philatelic literature. If you would like advice on suitable books in your area of interest, please email me - bill@barrell.co.uk