Catalogue adventures 2

Regularly MFN members come with motorcycle stamps that have not (yet) been listed in the MFN catalogue. Off course we do not pretend that the MFN catalogue is 100% complete, and regularly items are found that are also new for us. But what are the criteria for us to qualify a stamp yes or no as motorcycle stamp?

The first criteria to judge is whether post could have been sent with the found/announced stamp. From many postal services there is no doubt that it is justified to include their stamps, but even then we always check whether the concerning stamp is listed on their website. At the same time we can look there whether there are also other forms of the same item, like booklets, sheets or blocks. All officially registered postal services can be found with their website on the UPU-site (
A second criteria is whether the stamp is listed in one of the official world stamp catalogues. As MFN we have chosen to use the leading Michel catalogue. Also in this catalogue some stamps are listed that leave room for discussion, but you have to trust something.
In short: if the stamp is from a registered country and is officially issued: no problem, include it in the MFN catalogue. If a stamp is from a debatable origin it first has to be listed in the Michel to earn its place in the MFN catalogue.
When we announce a novelty in the Newsletter it is off course very well possible that the issue can not yet be found in the Michel. If we expect that the issue will be included in the Michel in the future, we make a note in the novelty list (something like "probably official"). Once listed in the Michel, it will also be included in the MFN catalogue.

Another question is whether we think that the image on an official stamp can be judged to be a motorcycle or not. Guideline in this is that when members come with questions about a doubtful stamp, we will still list it in the catalogue. Users of the catalogue have to judge by themselves whether they want to include the item in their collection or not.
There are also stamps of which it is doubtful whether there is a motorcycle on it or not. If we are not completely sure, we provisonally include it. We will try to determine whether there is a motorcycle or not, and report our findings in the newsletter. In this way it can happen that a stamp is delisted from the catalogue in case of proven incorrectness.

Block Togo with Kennedy
Example of a change: At the moment of announcement as novelty
judged as "probably not official", but now nevertheless
in the Michel and thus added to the MFN catalogue (Togo 2011).

And so we keep on working to keep the catalogue series of the MFN as good and complete as possible.


Hans de Kloet


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