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Why Do You Collect What You Collect?

 
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Valued Member
United States
153 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   12:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add waddsbadds to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I haven't been in the community all that long, and I haven't explored the forums completely, so I'm not 100% sure this topic hasn't been covered yet, but I think this might be an interesting subject for discussion: why do we collect what we collect? Many of us have single country collections, and it might be from the country of our birth or our ancestry, or we might be cat lovers and collect cat stamps, or stamps relating to our profession, there are probably a zillion different reasons. I'll get the ball rolling by saying why I collect my favorite topical stamps: Art Deco. It started because about 3 years ago I read an article in the American Philatelist. It was an article on how you could put together an interesting collection of just the stamps issued the year you were born, and because stamp collectors tend to be a bit older, the author of the article was born in 1934. Accompanying the article were several photos of stamps issued in that year, and I couldn't help noticing how many of them bore Art Deco designs - not surprising since that was probably the height of the popularity for that movement, with such things as the Chrysler Airflow automobile hitting the showrooms that year. This was an artistic movement I've always loved. I looked through my Scott Specialized Catalogue to see how many there were, and was pleasantly surprised to see that there were quite a lot, and that the bulk were quite reasonably priced. I looked through my own collection and found I already had a few: France 220-225 the set that was issued to promote the Expo that gave the movement its name, Netherlands B25-B32, issued for the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics and a few others. I then started to buy others. I also include cachets, cancellations and covers. I very quickly started to notice that there were probably at least ten times as many Art Deco Cinderellas as there were conventional stamps and started acquiring these too. Pretty soon I had so many I had to split them into two separate volumes. For the albums I bought a couple of soft cover 3-ring binders, printed Art Deco designs for the cover, and for the pages Southworth 65-lb linen textured cover stock, a CD ROM collection of Art Deco clip art from Dover Publications to deoorate the pages and Word Perfect software to print the borders and the annotations. I'll wait and see if this topic inspires any responses before I talk about my other interests.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1240 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   01:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I collect what I collect (NSW DLR stamps & covers) because it's the quietest area of New South Wales philately/postal history and also one of my 2x Great-Grandfathers was a Postmaster near where I live during that period.

The history of NSW during this period I find most fascinating too, being (mostly) post gold rush and pre centenary.
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Valued Member
65 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   02:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add john62 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I collect what I collect just because it interests me from a history perspective. My main collections are Canada, Newfoundland and the United States. I love stamps of historical value and anything related to them, so I also collect proofs, essays, revenues, back of book etc. for those countries.

I tend to purchase estates, so it is a huge surprise as to what you ultimately find in the way of gems. I will never be able to properly catalogue the volume that I have accumulated and it can be frustrating when looking for something in particular. That being said, I just enjoy collecting.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
760 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   02:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My collections reflect my interests in general. If you know me well, my collections will present no real surprises. This is especially true of my topical collections. If I have a serious topical collection, you can bet that I also have a serious non-philatelic library on the subject:

Runes and runestones: About a meter of shelf space.
Esperanto and other artificial languages: Over three meters of shelf space.
J.R.R. Tolkien: Bookcases, boxes, and stacks all over the place. I have at least 60 copies of The Hobbit alone, in different languages and different editions.

I need more stamps depicting female Japanese pop stars. That's a big interest of mine that's woefully underrepresented in my stamp albums and Vario binders. There are a couple of relevant mini-sheets from São Tomé & Principe that I still need to get, but there's not much else out there....

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Valued Member
United States
328 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   07:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think it's driven by your prefrontal cortex.

For me it's EFO. The stamps I wanted as a kid but didn't have the means to acquire. Specifically I collect color omits. Other material sneaks in, but usually in relation to the omit stuff. I collect it topically, instead of in date order. I have a large collection of space errors, for instance. I hope to have a complete color omit US collection, but doubt that will be possible. Some material is just too hard to get at reasonable values, and timing is tough.
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Valued Member
United States
85 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   07:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CL_Arctos to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I collect postcards with correspondences on them. I find it fun to see small glimpses into the lives of people from the past and try to reconcile it with the history of that time period. It's also fun to see what stamps they chose to apply. For example, I have one postcard sent by a very sassy lady who was most certainly NOT the recipient's wife lamenting over not hearing from him. The stamp was placed on the postcard upside down, which I believe is something people used to do to express love. Hopefully I will be able to expand my collection someday soon :)
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7396 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   08:01 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
CL_Arctos,
See this link for more info on 'Language of Stamps' http://goscf.com/t/64641&whichpage=1
Don
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Valued Member
United States
142 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   08:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ajuchum to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I began as most, collecting world wide stamps. My father gave me some India and Burma that he brought back from WWII. I then advanced to filling some more expensive holes in the US portion (Colombians, Trans-Miss, etc.) but soon the magnitude and cost got out of hand. I chose Canada to specialize because the older stamps were very appealing in their designs and I could approach a complete collection with only a handful of $1000+ stamps in my way. We had a stamp shop in Cleveland that had counter auctions and I took in all my better items and sold them turning the money over on better Canadian. I've since expanded into Canada revenues and I also now have a homemade postmark album for each province and territory. I did, however, cut off my albums at 2000 as the newer issues have lost their appeal. It's been a nice 60 year ride!!
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Valued Member
United Kingdom
199 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   11:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Noocassel to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I notice that my interests stem largely from my Fathers interests, Railways, Stamps, Old engineering. We often tended to pursue the interests at our own different paces. I got back into stamp collecting when my brother and I decided to check the old man was being ripped off in his revived interest in stamp collecting spending hundreds of pounds occasionally on stamps from a Guy on an open air market stall. by the time I'd ended my first visit, my Dad had bought me Two Stanley Gibbons Windsor albums with a good foundation collection of GB pre decimalas an early birthday present. I felt very odd when I heard Dad tell my brother my collection was better than his.
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Canada
3724 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   11:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dianne Earl to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I collect world wide. I just love the history that comes with the Counties that produce stamps.

It does have it's challenges but I takle one country at a time and always have lots to keep me busy.

dianne
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Don't grumble that the roses have thorns, be thankful that the thorns have roses
Valued Member
United States
132 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   2:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add qaman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I also collect WW I guess because I always loved Geography is school.
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Valued Member
United States
288 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   3:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ananthveerappan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
US, India (till 1970) , Topical (only Skiing) and a 1941 Part 1 Scott WW (1840-1940).

This itself is enough to keep me occupied.

Thinking of WW Part 2 now... Look for a decent empty album
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1154 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   3:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've limited myself to US only, but collect in great depth.

Why? History, artwork and designs, how it gets made and used, where to.
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Valued Member
United States
61 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   7:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Revenue N Covers to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I manage to blend work with the collections- Philatelic and everything else a bit. I'm an archaeologist particularly interested (among other things) in the history of the search for Pleistocene people in the Americas. I'm trying to learn more about postal history now to help glean useful information from the mountains of correspondence that are in the various archives at every museum and university that had people in on that search.

Personal collections focus on Native Americana, old Minnesota, old Florida, and the west in general, so the postcards, covers, books, etc, really start to take up space. At least I got rid of all the big beer signs... that counts right? RnC
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Valued Member
United States
209 Posts
Posted 02/07/2019   8:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Coastwatcher to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have several collecting interests and various reasons for collecting each. I have always been interested in history and majored in it in college. The histories of the US and of Canada have always been my favorites and that's one of the reasons I collect them. Another reason, for the US anyway, is my pride in being an American.

I have always been a student of military history and the WW II campaigns in the Pacific in particular. This is why I started collecting British Solomon Islands stamps. The campaigns on Guadalcanal and New Georgia have always been a particular interest of mine. My forum name, "Coastwatcher," is in honor of the brave Australians who stayed behind the lines to report military intelligence back to the Allies as the Japanese conquered the islands. They were known as coastwatchers. It was a coastwatcher who arranged for John F. Kennedy and his crew to be rescued after their boat, PT 109, was sunk in the Solomons.

My German Third Reich collection came about as an extension of my studies into the mindset of the people who joined the Nazi party and those who just looked the other way. The military history aspect of the Third Reich also influenced my decision to collect these stamps.

I developed an interest in Canal Zone stamps because I went through the Jungle Operations Training Center at Fort Sherman in the Canal Zone in the late 1980s. Another reason is that I've always been a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt and the beginning of the construction of the Canal was his defining moment in my opinion. I collect Hawaii because I was stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu in the late 1980s and early 1990s when I was with the 25th Infantry Division. I also visited there with my parents in 1976.

I collect the stamps of Rhodesia because I met many former Rhodesians and became interested in the history and culture of the country when I moved to South Africa shortly after resigning my commission in the army in 1993.

My wife and I honeymooned on Tahiti in French Polynesia and it was then that I fell in love with these beautiful stamps. We have vacationed in the British Virgin Islands every year (except 3) since 1997 and an interest in their stamps naturally followed.

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure why I collect the stamps of Iceland. I've never been there (although I would love to go) and, while I do have Danish and Norwegian ancestors, I don't have any direct family links to Iceland. Maybe I collect them to offset the various tropical islands that I collect.

These are all of the areas that I'm primarily interested in collecting. I do collect worldwide stamps but I spend very little time, effort and money on them. I mainly just collect the issues that pique my curiosity, mainly military themed stamps. I guess you could say that I've got a military themed topical collection. I also tend to get any stamps I see that feature coral reefs because of my interest in scuba diving.
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Edited by Coastwatcher - 02/07/2019 9:11 pm
Pillar Of The Community
669 Posts
Posted 02/08/2019   09:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add graphis to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Overall I am a collector of "images"..whether it be photographs, postcards, books, miscellaneous paper ephemera. My collection of stamps is an extension of that interest. I have a preference for engraved, recessed printed stamps...each one a miniature work of art in itself. I enjoy looking into the backgrounds of the artists responsible for the design and the engraving...often a collaboration of two or more if the engraving is based on a famous work of art. Many countries have produced some fine examples i.e. France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Italy etc. Sadly, many of the postal outlets of these countries have stopped producing recessed printed stamps. There are still many fine older issues available out there in mint condition and in many cases still at affordable prices.
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