Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Endless Possibilities With Stamps To Capture Your Interest

Today's post will look at some of the many possibilities that exist with stamps and how you can form a collection that will grab and maintain your interest no mater what that interest might be. As I pointed out in my first post, stamps are unique as a collectible in the sense that each one features a unique subject that is separate from the stamp itself.

Lets Say You Are A Sports Fan...

If you are a sports fan, there is no shortage of stamps from around the world that depict sports. Some of these depict the sport in general while others depict specific sporting events such as the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, or the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. Below are some Canadian stamps that depict sports:

This stamp from 1956 depicts Canada's national sport, hockey.

This block of four stamps depicts four recreational sports that were popular in 1957. 

You can form a collection of sports stamps and can have fun researching everything you can about the specific sporting events portrayed on specific stamps from around the world. There must be tens of thousands of such stamps from different countries in the world.

Or Lets Say You Love History

You are someone interested in historical events and historical figures. The majority of older stamps depict heads of state or important politicians as well as commemorate specific historic events. Here are some Canadian stamps that depict important people and events in Canada's history:

This stamp from 1957 shows David Thompson, a famous explorer and geographer. I'll bet you'd never heard of him before now. 

This stamp from 1958 shows Pierre Gaultier de Varenne, Sieur de la Verendrye. He was an 18th century French explorer of western Canada. 

This stamp depicts the first elected assembly in Nova Scotia.

Now, admittedly, all the above stamps are rather monotone and may not appeal to your sense of aesthetics. There are however, tens of thousands of stamps that offer a greater range of colours and designs from around the world other than these. But you can see hopefully from just these few stamps how vast your knowledge of world history and events can become. 

What About Wildlife and Nature?

If nature and wildlife is your thing, then there is also no end to the number of stamps you can collect that show wildlife. Below are some nice Canadian stamps from the same time period as those above:

This stamp from 1955 shows a Musk Ox.

This stamp from 1953 shows a Polar Bear.

This stamp from 1953 depicts a Bighorn Sheep.

This stamp from 1957 depicts a Loon. 

Again if you are a wildlife enthusiast you could form a collection of the stamps of wildlife in general, or a specific type of wildlife. You could then use the stamps you have collected as a medium to gather all the knowledge you can about the wildlife you are interested in. 

Now Lets Say Instead That You Like Graphic Art

There are many stamps, even from the 1930's to 1950's that feature interesting, graphic designs:

This stamp from 1959 issued for the Associated Country Women of the World shows a stylized woman kneeling near a tree. 

Because every stamp issued in the world has been designed by someone and that person has usually had to go through the process of entering their designs into a competition, stamps have some of the most amazing examples of graphic art you can find, by some of the most talented graphic artists who have ever lived. 

Or Maybe You Love Very Detailed Engravings

The classic period of stamp collecting is where you will find the most detailed examples of engraver's art. However, not all of these have to be expensive. Not only that many countries like Sweden, Finland and Austria continued to engrave their stamps well into the 1990's. So you can collect either very modern engravings for very little money, or you can look for some of the classics. Here are some examples of beautiful classic engravings on Canadian stamps:

This is a superb rendition of Queen Victoria from 1868.

This stamp from 1897 depicts the seal of Newfoundland when it was still a colony. It is, in my opinion, one of the most beautifully engraved stamps of all time.

This is from Queen Victoria's diamond Jubilee in 1897. There were 15 other stamps just like this one issued in a set. Each one is a different colour and denomination and the entire set together is very beautiful if classic engravings are your bag. Remember, each one of the above designs was engraved by hand by a master engraver - a craftsman, using a hand held tool a block of soft steel and a magnifying glass. Together, many of these represent the life's work of that individual who was employed by the printing company of the time. 

Or Lastly, Maybe You Love Colour

One of the other attractions of stamps are the many different nuances of colour that one can find. Maybe you have a favourite colour and you want to seek out examples of as many different hues of that colour as you can. Stamps will open up an entire world of beautiful, vibrant colours. For example, lets say that you love green. Below are some examples of all the different shades of green you can find on just a few stamps:

Dark green

Olive green

Yellow green shades


Olive greens and grey-greens

Deep emerald green

Apple green

Again, the possibilities are almost endless, especially on modern stamps where the inks have been mixed using computer technology and literally every colour on the spectrum can be found. 

This is just a few directions that you can go into with stamps. In other posts, I will explore others, but I would say that there is no other collectible that I can think of that can accommodate any collecting interest that you can think of. But stamps can.  

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