Ha! Retirement means I can spend ALL my time with these little pieces of paper… but you're absolutely right, I am still about 7 years away from that.
Do let me know if you ever need me to check anything in here for you. This catalogue covers the pre-Delandre Italian vignettes that he copied (the so-called "reimpressions"
) and I only have a couple sources that explain how to distinguish between the originals and the Delandres (one is one of Walter Schmidt's catalogues, the "Images of the Great War" Vol II I believe, the other is a small book issued by Francis and Charles Kiddle in the mid-90s for the Cinderella Stamp Club of the UK) and one rainy day I will go through my collection and start separating them the best I can.
Funny, I have been collecting since I was three and I had never heard of any of these things until a couple years ago… amazing they've eluded me for so long!
EDIT: It was Vol V of the "Images of the Great War" that explains how to distinguish some of the Italian vignettes from Delandre's reprints, not Vol II… although Vol II does list the Delandre fantasies, which he created for the collectors of the Italian vignettes. It is hard to believe that Delandre had created so many of his stamos in such a short time, in between his other get rich quick schemes and ripping off so many people. Where did he get that kind of energy??