Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fanatic Philatelist

The Wall Street Journal reports Maurice Hadida (shown here) is one of the world's top philatelists— "an eclectic group of stamp-collecting fanatics whose thousands of members include business executives, politicians and dignitaries such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Queen Elizabeth II of England."

In the article As Stamps Lose Hold as a Hobby, These Philatelists Push the Envelope reporter Max Colchester writes, "Maurice Hadida's collection of rare stamps includes an 1852 envelope mailed from Tangier, and the first-ever English stamp sent from Morocco to Britain, in 1860. Mr. Hadida's album, philatelists agree, is one of the most original and impressive in the world."

He goes on to pen, "At its highest reaches, the hobby is increasingly competitive. Only about 2,000 people in the world have collections that are good enough to be eligible for international competitions, according to the Universal Postal Union, the organization that coordinates postal policies around the world."

According to the article, "Over the past 31 years, Mr. Hadida has collected several hundred envelopes, though he says he has never actually counted how many pieces he has. Among his prized stamps is the first envelope sent by Moroccan airmail in 1911. His stamp from 1852 is believed to be on the second-oldest franked envelope ever sent by a French post office in Morocco."

Hadida, a 58-year-old insurance-company executive, is quoted as saying, "Finding a rare envelope is like wooing a beautiful lady. The harder the chase, the better it feels in the end."

Shown above, Maurice Hadida at an outdoor stamp market in Paris.

To read the entire piece, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM