Philately: Passion and Pastime

Compiled By G P Chowdhary

\"gThere are many persons who merely collect stamps and there are also many who collect them and afterward present them. Those, who present, develops a passion for his stamp such passionate collector  outgrows his interest at any age in school days or afterward and pursued them and learns  more and more as  he grows with his stamp collection.A hobbyist graduates himself from just random collection and   exchange one for one with his acquaints. The beginners do not display them but he tries to become familiar with the stamps and makes a serious attempt to become a philatelist.

Philately is much more different from simple stamps collection. Philately has meaning and dimension and it does not mean mere collection of stamps randomly or haphazardly. A serious philatelist says that he learns the art of philately from those who had already a passion for the same and has nicely presented from local level to higher level. The vital thing in this art is the process of extracting and                                                                                                                                                                         processing them for proper preservation and arranging them \"philatelyin the manner that the presentation tells a story itself with catchy slogans. The most valuable aspect of the job is to keep the stamps intact for long.

The collector is required passion and knowledge and sincere effort while collecting the topical stamps. The stamps are tender and should be touched with much care. They have to be touched with the help of a tweezers, not with bare or oily hands. The potential for a stamp collector in the field is tremendous. A collector has to come forward in exhibiting their album of collection. Schools are the best venue for such exhibition. Two or three collectors together can organize such events where these activities can be included in student’s activities and curriculum. .

When you (a beginner) gets torn off envelope pasted with stamps which you will have to remove them from the envelope papers by floating them in tray filled with a little warm water to make them slightly wet. After few minutes time the gum and the paper on the back of the stamps will be soaked. Then very gently remove the gum and the paper from the stamps by your clean hands or a brush then dry them carefully and handled them with the help of a tweezers or steel tongs.The completely dried stamps will become ready for inserting in an album or stock book or loose thick leaf duly covered with transparent cover subject or theme wise in story telling order.

 You (The beginners) will need good quality hinges to mount your stamps if you use loose thick leaf while using hinges keep the faces of hinges downwards and take a hinge and fold a flap with gummed side outwards. Make the flap a little wet in the lower edge. Set the moistened flap to the top in the back side of the stamp and put it in the center near the edge by keeping the perforations clear. Now open the hinge and revolve the stamp with the tweezers or tongs keeping the hinge folding down and flat on the back of the stamp for griping   the mount.  Thus the Mounting is complete and  after the paste is dried and covered with the clear jacket which should be stored in a ring-binder for the  loose-leaf  in the storage bound  with deep pouches that holds stamps securely.

For Storage of stamps, stock books are best option. Stock book consisting stiff pages with\"philately\" strong visible brown paper or film in horizontal line side by side in which he stamps are inserted easily or safely. The pages should be without numbering. With flexible bound in which loose folders can be put inside. Many stock books have plastic or thick cards or hinge less mount. You may also use album or stock book with single side thick loose leaf transparent strips or ribbon for the stamps in small rows where the stamps can be inserted purchased from the market. Some of which have writing space in which a collector can mention the information about the stamps what about it is. The complete loose pages can be stored and that can be inserted into loose-leaf folders. In recent stamps, full information about them are indicated, so no information about the stamp need not to be written by the collector but the collector can mention the date and source of collection and can contently exhibit in the exhibitions organized by schools clubs societies or the Government.

The collection should in such a manner that album should tell some story.  Some beginners start their collection of the stamps based on different personalities, different sports and games, events, flora and fauna, wildlife conservation, historical monuments, important temples, medical science etc. There are many grown up  persons who are serious collector of stamps specially  depicted on birds, animals butterflies while some other collect stamps on serious ailment of  man such as cancer, AIDS TB, heart problem , polio and other vaccinations. A medical professional often select such themes or topics while a nature conserves selects on biodiversity or a wild life.

A judge always clarifies to the audiences that one who always keeps addition of stamps of his collection based on his profession every year is vital in the art of winning a prize in a stamp exhibition organized whether at a local or higher levels. A cardiologist or neurologist collects stamps in a  manner which reflects or highlight the plans how to cure the related ailment and slogan to a man how he can safe guard from the sufferings.

One of best known philatelist suggested me that one should not buy  them from a shop where one  cannot get proper stamps of his choice topical interest  but  should collect them from  the source where such stamps easily available just after  released by a country. Such countries publish an advance list or supply such topical stamps as or often their release. In India the best place is to enroll one with the Bombay bureau.

One popular topic worldwide is Disney stamps which is capturing the spirit of the magically themed stamps of Disney style. The Disney land seasonal stamps featured on Christmas stamps the most colorful and exciting in the world. Each stamps has its own story which tells the specialist drawn by professional artists who have years training behind them for a specific issue or drawing of classic of Disney art work.

  Polar stamps and covers collecting is much interesting theme and charming topic which is much challenging and the challenge provides much excitement besides pleasure and knowledge.  When the North Pole was explored, it drew attention of the people at large. Where the Cover was cancelled at Antarctica and many of them were autographed by them. The Covers as such keep much importance.

Many Countries including India are sending philatelic mails of and when expedition is undertaken. The explorers took philatelic mail with them to the South Pole. These mails are returned to the philatelist who associates in the event when the explorers come back. And will get back his mails cancelled and autographed the leader of the team on return. Many countries invite from the interested collectors for the Antarctica Mail.

A worldwide organization `world wildlife Fund` NGO was founded on 11th September 1961 by World’s leading conservationists and biologists. Sir peter Scott was its first Chairman .Now it is popularly known as worldwide fund for nature. The NGO also sponsors the stamps featuring endangered species of flora and flora which provides information and insight into the wild life. These stamps also give conservation message. France was the first country to issue WWF stamps in 1969 depicting a kind of sheep. The logo of the WWF was printed in a corner of the stamps.

The WWF stamps are topical interest among the Stamp collectors or philatelists. The WWF philately is the best way of collection and their mounting in an album. It is not only best for grown up but children and youngsters too. These Stamps can be recognized by its logo a portrait of a baby giant panda named `Chi Chi` printed in one of the corners of the WWF stamps India, Austria, Hungary, Indonesia, Palau, Argentina Brazil China Colombia Chile Laos Mexico Zambia Tanzania Ukraine Vietnam Finland Kyrgyzstan, Canada, USA, and Bhutan, Nepal are among many countries where WWF organizations sponsors WWF postage Stamps, featuring the endangered  fauna or flora found in that country, During 1961 to 1982 only 26 countries  were issuing  the WWF Stamps depicting more the 141 different animal species including mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, amphibians, Cray fish and marine life. Some eleven to twenty WWF stamps   were issued annually by two hundred countries after 1984. Indian stamps consists a large number endangered birds and animals on its stamps from butterflies to seashells which give a wide view.

Stamps on Mother Teresa  have been issued by several Countries including India who served the humanity and thus became the greatest personality of the world…She was a Albanian Catholic nun whose field was Calcutta present day Kolkata  and  her service for the poor attracted the attention of the World  she was awarded the Nobel Prize. Collecting a stamps honoring Mother Teresa is much fascinating hobby.

Those interested in topical stamps, may collect stamps featuring paintings on Audubon Birds. John James Audubon a French American ornithologist painted    the American birds. And, based on his paintings, many countries including Tanzania have issued stamps.  Tanzania issued a set of four stamps and sheet depicting birds on peril. These stamps are with Audubon paintings on Mallard. American Eider, Scarlet ibis and roseate Spoonbill. Collecting these stamps is different from the other theme or topic. These stamps are issued once in a year and printed in limited number.

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3 Responses to Philately: Passion and Pastime

  1. R.K.MISHRA says:

    Very informative write up by Sri CHOUDHRY JEE. I WOULD LIKE SHARE HIS PHILATELIC EX POSERS , A NUMBER INNOVATIVE IDEAS ARE HIDING IN THE TEXT.
    THANKS CHOUDHRY JEE

  2. SUNIL KUMAR GARG says:

    Ninety percent plus, maybe 99% of the mail I receive these days
    metered. What to say of commemoratives, even definitives are
    hard to come buy. It seems India Post itself is discouraging
    the use of postage stamps. Why just blame mobile phones &
    couriers.

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