For much of the 20th century, the pinnacle of quality stamp albums was a Godden Deluxe binder with pages annotated by a skilled calligraphist and stamps mounted according to the “Colson” method, perfected by Warren H. Colson, one of the preeminent dealers before World War II.
Each stamp, block or cover was hinged to a piece of acid-free white backing paper, which was then affixed to a piece of colored paper that matched the color of the stamp, leaving a narrow frame around the item. The whole piece with the stamp was encased in a piece of clear cellulose, folded over the top and bottom. The fully protected item was then affixed to a page, but could also be lifted and moved ensemble as the page changed with new additions. The Colson method was aesthetically pleasing, and the mounts minimized direct handling of the items.
Few collectors or professionals were skilled in the Colson mounting method. The Weills of New Orleans used it to create pages and albums for their best clients–it was Roger Weill who had the dexterity and patience to do it, not Raymond. Anyone who has seen one of the collections mounted by the Weills knows the distinctive look of the Colson method. This manner of mounting philatelic material is a virtually lost art today, replaced by standard albums or computer-generated pages. The use of hinges is frowned upon, so most items are inserted into hingeless mounts.
In the spirit of the Colson and Weill era, we have been creating “bespoke” albums for our clients who need to mount varieties, blocks or covers that transcend the standardized album pages published for collectors. With the Gross United States Stamp Multiples sale on the horizon, it seems like an appropriate time to raise awareness of this service.
Collectors who use the Scott National or Platinum Series albums may add pages that match the standard pages. The block will be inserted into a Hawid hingeless mount (either black or clear), which can be affixed to the page. A few sample pages with highlights of the Gross Multiples collection are shown below.
For collectors who have thought about adding blocks, but worried about how to augment an existing album, the Siegel Bespoke album concept is the solution. We will be pleased to provide this service without charge for items acquired by our clients in the Gross sale on May 8-9.