Always good to see mainstream press coverage - something good that hopefully comes out of the upcoming Magenta sale. https://www.ft.com/content/48772d7c...eec13a7f6b3f
A few excerpts... and the comments section is worth a perusal!
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Stamp collecting started out as a children's or woman's hobby: in the 19th century, Punch magazine identified it with "the industriously idle ladies of England". But as boys grew to middle age and trading stamps became as alluring as collecting them, it skewed male.
"The journey has been that they build a boyhood collection and perhaps they trade with friends. Then football takes over but as they approach retirement or slow down, their affection for stamps come back and they have more disposable income to pursue it," says Victoria Lajer, managing director of Stanley Gibbons, the world's longest established rare stamp merchant.
Philately combines the aesthetic pleasure of collecting craft designs with social history and geography. The hunt for a last stamp to finish off a collection also appeals to the compulsive side of many collectors — they share the urge to complete a quest.
It is hard to become a top collector and gain the respect of peers. Philately demands greater dedication and investment of time than buying art: a rich enthusiast can buy a painting worth $1m with some professional advice but amassing a stamp collection of that value may be a lifetime's work. Status is not acquired easily.
But there is also logic to the exceptional value that philatelists attribute to mistakes — stamps printed with the wrong plates or in a peculiar way, rather than being made as intended. Rarity is hard to achieve when stamps are printed in their millions, and special and commemorative editions are increasingly common: most rare stamps date from the 1950s or before.