Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Secret Language of Stamps.

Round-Up reader and friend Larry T. Nix sends along an interesting piece about postcards and the "language of stamps."

The article says, "On philatelic and auction sites you sometimes find postcards which illustrate with small pictures, similar to naval flag signals, what it means if the stamp was stuck in this or that position on the card. The custom is probably as old as the greeting card itself, which started its world conquering tour from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1869."

It goes on to say, "The new fashion spread rapidly, and after the turn of the century the rules of the language of stamps received their particular chapter in the etiquette books along with the languages of flowers, handkerchiefs and fans. Moreover, in many countries the acquisition of this language was assisted by particular manuals, such as George Bury’s Cupid’s code for the transmission of secret messages by means of the language of postage stamps (Ashford, Middlesex, 1899)..."

Besides the usual "I love you" and "I miss you," the positioning of the stamp sometimes"conveyed more subtle messages, from hesitation through desire to rejection, and even specific instructions such as 'tomorrow at the usual place!' or “he has discovered everything!”

 To learn more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM