Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Devotees Seek One Stamp in a Million

Here's an interesting and well-written article from the archives of the New York Times. It has to do with a stamp show held at Madison Square Garden way back in 1991.

"On display were not just beautiful bits of violet, magenta, bronze and the rest of the philatelic rainbow, but an intricate and eccentric world in which it seems that everyone specializes in ways never dreamed of by children poring over their first "Stamps of the World" album," writes an unnamed reporter.

"There were collectors who want private labels or unofficial stamps (called "Cinderellas" because they have not yet made it to the ball) and those who pursue errors, freaks and oddities, stamps misprinted or misperforated. Some do not collect stamps at all, but cancellation marks: registered mail, certified mail, even fumigated mail -- letters sent during a cholera epidemic, which had to be decontaminated. Others hunt down stamps picturing penguins, umbrellas or fly whisks. Dreams of Riches Dashed."

Stephen Radin, a dealer from Miami Springs, Florida is quoted as saying, "Among collectors, high stakes can create inferiority complexes -- and snobbishness. If I had 20 cents for every guy who told me he had an upside-down flying Jenny. They're trying to impress you, like they're big shots, then you look over and they're looking through tattered covers that sell for a buck."

Click here to read the entire article.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM