Famous Stamp Collectors and Collections!
There are a lot of things to consider during the course of a stamp collectors "Philatelic career". What to collect, the purpose & goals of the collection, How to display or store the collection, protection, tools and supplies, where to find information and help. And the list goes on from there.
Many of us started out collecting as kids but some start out later in life. An estimate 20 million people collect stamps in the United States. The reasons and the methods are as varied as there are collectors numerous.
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Ad Indhusophon was the wife of late Prakaipet 'Pet' Indhusophon, one of the most popular international philatelists of the 1970s and 1980s. When Ad married 'Pet' in 1970, her career in philately was destined. She was intrigued about all this intensive talk about the pieces of paper, which her husband adored. Pet was a keen collector and postal historian of his home country, Siam, for which he won the Grand Prix d'Honneur at India '89 and in which year he also signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists.
After Pet passed away in April 1991 she decided to follow Pet's wish to sell his collection, to return these Thai treasures to the Thai people and to start a collection of Cape of Good Hope, which was a dream her husband's didn't get time to realise. She explained: 'It was destiny - love at first sight! Prior to Cape of Good Hope triangulars, right after my husband died, I had gone through a few other things in search of something that would inspire me to become a serious collector. When I came across Cape material I fell in love with what I saw and felt "this is it". The beauty and the simplicity of the design of the stamp, the reclining lady, a symbol of hope, captured me. I am a great admirer of beautiful things. I like to look at another beautiful lady. The Cape of Good Hope triangular stamp is just like a very beautiful lady. With something visually as beautiful as that, one does not need to say much about her!'
She went on: 'In 1993 I bought a small collection of Cape of Good Hope triangulars, and a little later I was able to acquire the many rare pieces that appeared in the 1989 Dale-Liechtenstein sale. Destiny came in a form of timing and luck. Then, timing for me was good and luck came my way, I managed to acquire many rarities that had been unavailable to collectors for some 60 years or over. The collection I created included the wonderful unused block of six of the Perkins Bacon 1d, the unique unused block of four of the Woodblock 1d vermilion, as well as the famous 4d vermilion error of color contained in a block of four with three normal copies. Other rarities in the collection can be traced back to the great collections formed by the greater collectors before me -. Ferrary, Hind, Pack, Caspary, Stevenson, D'Arcy Hall, Burrus, "Maria de la Queillerie", Sir Maxwell Joseph, Bonnaventure, and Salisbury'.
It wasn't until after her husband died that Ad began collecting stamps. She explained: 'Everything started intensively after his death. With help of dear friends I was able to form up Siam Postal Stationery, and later Aviation and Airmail Services in Siam 1920-1941. I started from what Pet had left behind and I added on. The two collections were interesting but for a lady beginner they were not very captivating. Later on I learned to appreciate these two collections'.
In fact philately proved a great source of strength for Ad. She told me: 'Philately opened the world to me. The hobby gave Prakaipet and I so much pleasure in many ways, through philately we came to know wonderful friends. Pet was a very passionate philatelist, therefore after Pet died I couldn't stay away from it and was determined to carry on'.
Revealing more of her inspiration for collecting Ad said: 'Classic Siam was my late husband's specialty, not mine. The Postal History of Burma in the 19th Century between the wars was one of the first collections I formed up after Pet died. I acquired this small collection, felt it could give me a good start, and there was interesting story line to build up. This is in connection to postal history of Burma from the First Burmese War in 1824-1827, through the Second Burmese War in 1852-1854, following which India stamps were issued for use in Burma, and through the Third Burmese War 1885 to 1889 and the pacification years that followed soon after. Soldiers' letters forwarded from one place to another, forming the story, are in themselves very interesting to study'.
Ad went on: 'Philately is a very unique hobby for all -whatever level of collection it gives any collector the same pride and pleasure. It is wonderful if you can afford a classic collection, but if one can't, one can equally enjoy collecting stamps. Whenever there was an opportunity I formed up interesting collection, just to show that with less money one can have the same pleasure. Part of my Cape of Good Hope Triangulars was sold in 1999. At that point I could not improve the collection anymore. It was heart-breaking having to part with something I most love, yet in life I learned to be detached, one has to. Also a few years back I was introduced to fiscal stamps, Cape of Good Hope Revenues is quite appealing; it is somehow related to the area of my great love'.
Importance of research
Part of her reason for collecting Siam/Thailand, Burma and British Colonies is that she can do the research and study in her own language, or in English. Ad explained her other reasons for collecting: 'It must be something that I can understand, something to give me a good start, and the possibility to fill in the story. It is intriguing to learn how things were done and why during the classic period, and there is a beginning and the end'.
As for her greatest achievements in philately Ad revealed: 'One is my youth project in Thailand under Prakaipet Memorial Foundation - the Foundation was set up to promote philately among youth in my country. This started in 1993, and is still very active. Since the beginning there have been some 3,000 youths participating. Stamp activities for youth is held every Saturday at Prakaipet Corner, Bangkok National Library. Secondly, when my Cape of Good Hope Triangulars collection won International Grand Prix at Toronto in 1996. Thirdly, was when my work was recognized and I was invited to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in Hereford in July 2001'.
We asked Ad if there had ever been a philatelic piece she didn't manage to acquire, but wished she had? She replied: 'There were only very few pieces I had wanted, as these would add more glamour to my collection. But then these pieces were not meant to be mine, therefore nothing was missed'.
At the place where I was born (Zlataoust in South Ural), and lived during the first 14 years of my life, all the kids and schoolboys collected pins. As common hobby I started to collect pins also and I still have huge collection of sport, Olympic and chess pins. As boys at that time we were dreaming of becoming pilots or officers and my first stamp happened to be the U.S.S.R. stamp which commemorated 40 years of the Red Army in 1958 showing a pilot, a tank commander, and an infantry officer together.
This was around 1962 but stamps of the U.S.S.R., old Russia or European countries didn't really grab my attention in the beginning. The real area of interest I got into was the colonies of the British Empire and I still like stamps of these countries up to years 1955 or 1956 (the period of Metallography). They are nicely executed with good designs. I liked stamps of fauna (less so flora) where I could see (unusual for our country) animals like crocodiles, monkeys, snakes, kangaroos or zebras. The geographical aspect of those stamps was even more exciting for me. Small pieces of paper traveled from America or Africa to the heart of Russia. Concerning this the most interesting and 'rare' (in my area of Russia) were stamps from Spanish colonies with names that were strange to the Russian ear, such as Rio Muni, Fernando Po, and Guinea Equatoriale.
My first interest was in the thematic area. I started to collect fauna, but later I changed interest. Today I collect as chess and Olympic Games from the first Modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896 to the Amsterdam games of 1928. Chronologically the countries which I'm collect stamps from are more widespread - Old Russia (or Russian Empire), the U.S.S.R., France, Monaco, and the Netherlands.
The strongest part of my collection is Belgium and Belgian Congo - both of which are most probably the largest existing collections of those countries. When I started my collection of countries I chose one or two countries (here I'm not talking about Russia or U.S.S.R.) with a small number of classic stamps. I'd chosen Belgium because I particularly like the designs and printing of their first stamps - from 1840 to 1869. But later I realized that even a small number of stamps are also charming and interesting so I decided to collect material from Russia, the U.S.S.R., Belgium and for Belgian Congo to collect the whole period (preferably before 1937). I also went for proofs, which I like very much, and somewhat later documents and letters. In the Olympic Games area I collect postal history and also rare stamps like the first Olympic emission of Greece 1896 mint in blocks of four, and some good proofs and covers of the same emission and followings.
I have also a one beautiful color handmade drawing of 1906, and interesting Olympic collections of 1920 (Antwerpen), 1924 (Paris), 1928 (Amsterdam). In chess I have almost everything including varieties, proofs, imperfed, good covers and cancellations. These include the rarest items such as Cuba 1951, Casablanca imperfed in pair; and San Marino 1965 (inverted rooks) on the Europa issue.
I have worked on a book in which I want to present all of the currently known information about chess stamps, chess cancellations, first day covers, varieties, proofs, chess coins and maybe the official gold medals of world champions (individual and team). The same I can say about books on my Belgian collection. It will be in four volumes and will include pre-philately 'till 1849, Epaulettes, Medallions (1849-1863).
To update my collection I use my knowledge and the advice of my friends in different countries. Corneille Soeteman in Brussels composed and mounted the major part of my Belgian collection. I have contacts with most of the others large auction houses in Europe and in US I have contacts - mostly with Cherrystone Auctions in New York.
I read and understand several European languages and even if I don't speak them easily English helps me all over the world. My stamps are stored in bank safes in different countries. It means I have always access to one or another part of my collection when I'm traveling around the world. For me philately must not be a individual, 'secret' hobby. It gives me the opportunity to meet a lot of people internationally; interesting people out of the chess world, and it remains one of the most satisfying parts of my life.
The late Cyril Harmer followed in his father's footsteps at the helm of the auction house (Harmers) that still bears his name. He joined the business in 1921, and was its Chairman and Managing Director from 1967 to 1976. Also, he assembled what was without doubt the finest collection of the Airmails of Newfoundland. This collection was sold, on February 26, 2002, by Harmers in West London for a total of £803,000.
Just before the outbreak of World War I, the owner of the Daily Mail, Lord Northcliffe, had put up a £10,000 prize for the first non-stop flight between the United Kingdom and North America. Hostilities curtailed any attempts, but four teams planned attempts in the summer of 1919. Newfoundland Postmaster Dr. J. Alex Robinson put forward a suggestion to what looked like would be the first team to be ready to make an attempt. He asked the Sopwith team, with pilot Harry Hawker, if it would carry mail - 10 official covers - taking greetings across the Atlantic, but permission was given for a further 100 covers.
Robinson arranged for a quantity of the 3c stamps issued earlier in the year to be overprinted in black with the inscription 'FIRST/TRANS-/ATLANTIC/AIR POST/April, 1919' in five lines. Although agreement to carry covers on the flight wasn't reached until April 10, the stamps were ready by April 12. In the Cyril Harmer collection there is a trial setting of the overprint - this shows the lines of the overprint slightly further apart compared with the final setting.
Just 200 of the stamps were overprinted, of which it is believed that 18 were found to be defective and destroyed, 11 were presented as complimentary copies, and 95 were used on mail. The balance of 76 had a slightly controversial future. Generally, when the stamps were sold, the Postmaster put his initials, J.A.R., on the gummed side. It is known that one failed to receive his initials; some were alternatively signed by the Secretary to the GPO, William Campbell, who added his own initials, 'W.C.'
The balance of 76 was bought by the Postmaster at 3c each. He then sold them for $25 each, the money raised being given to the Mariners Disaster Fund. The outcome is that multiples are extremely rare. In the Harmer collection there is a marginal pair which went for £28,230 at the 2002 auction.
Close on the heels of the Sopwith team was that flying a Martinsyde, piloted by Major Raynham. Mail was again onboard, and this time the 'overprint' was hand-written, it is thought by William Campbell. The inscription reads 'Aerial/Atlantic/Mail' in three lines, and underneath the Postmaster again added 'J.A.R.'. These stamps were not put on general sale, but only affixed to covers intended for the flight: it is believed between 25 and 30 were sold, and currently appear in catalogues at £20,000. However, two unused copies exist. One is believed to be a trial by Campbell at writing the inscription on a stamp, while the second is from a cover which Raynham carried in his pocket and as a consequence the stamp wasn't cancelled.
Both the Sopwith and Martinsyde attempts failed, so with the prospect of further attempts, the Postmaster decided to produce a more widely available overprinted stamp. The overprint, and surcharge, reading 'Trans-Atlantic/AIR POST,/1919./ONE DOLLAR.' was applied to 15c stamps of 1897. Of the $1 charge, 50c was donated to the Mariners Disaster Fund, this time without criticism. A total of 10,000 stamps were overprinted, in panes of 25 - a complete pane is in the Harmer collection.
The stamp was available from June 9, 1919, just in time to be used on the mail which was carried by Alcock and Brown on their attempt. Leaving Newfoundland on June 14, they landed, rather ignominiously in a bog, in Ireland 16 hours and 12 minutes later, thereby being the first to cross the Atlantic non-stop and winning the prize.
Over the years there were more Newfoundland flight overprinted stamps. The first was in 1921 as pressure was being brought to bear to see if mail could be carried faster by air. A scheme was devised of taking mail by rail from St. John's to Botwood, and thence to Halifax in Nova Scotia by air. The scheme failed: the 'air' part of the journey never materialized, and the mail completed the entire trip by train and steamer.
However, special stamps had been prepared, using the 35c red of 1897, the overprint reading 'AIR MAIL/to Halifax, N.S./1921.'. The stamps were overprinted in panes of 25, and several varieties exist, including varying spacing between the words AIR and MAIL, and some stamps having the stop after 1921 omitted. In other cases, not only is the stop omitted, but the entire date is moved to the right.
The stamp was initially issued on November 16, with 5,000 being produced with a black overprint. However, demand for the overprinted stamp was such that a further 9,000 were produced, the balance having the overprint in grey-black. Four panes of 25 (100 stamps) were found with the overprint inverted - these also have the varieties already mentioned.
The Italian aviator, Marchese Francesco de Pinedo, arrived in Newfoundland in 1927, and agreed to carry mail on his return flight to Italy. The 60c black stamp, again first issued in 1897, was overprinted with 'Air Mail/DE PINEDO/1927' in red. Just three sheets, a total of 300 stamps, were overprinted. A proof of the overprint alone was taken - this later helped successfully prosecute the perpetrators of a forgery of this stamp. The overprinting, undertaken by Robinson and Co. Ltd., owned by the former Postmaster, Dr. J.A. Robinson, was well-executed, and only one minor variety, a short '7', was found on each sheet. However, the job sheet for the overprinting reveals that it did not come cheap - $5.05 for the 300 stamps.
The Harmer collection contains the proof of the overprint, the job sheet, and also the only surviving block of four of the stamp - this reached £129,387 under the hammer in 2002.
World's largest aircraft
A 1932 flight caught public attention because it involved the Dornier DO-X Flying Boat - at the time the world's largest aircraft. This was to fly from Newfoundland via the Azores, Spain and England, before returning to Germany. The $1.00 air stamp of 1931 was overprinted 'TRANS-ATLANTIC/WEST TO EAST/Per Dornier DO-X/May, 1932/One Dollar and Fifty Cents'. Naturally the public also wanted the stamp, and 8,000 were produced, of which probably 40 are known with the overprint inverted. Each inverted overprint stamp is catalogued at £10,000 - the Cyril Harmer collection included a block of four.
The last of the specially overprinted stamps came in 1933 for the return to Italy of General Italo Balbo's armada of flying boats. The 75c air mail stamp of that year was overprinted '1933/GEN. BALBO/FLIGHT./$4.50' - the original denomination being obliterated by solid rectangles. Yet again the overprint was applied in blocks of four, with the overprint slightly varying on each stamp, to a total of 2,010 blocks. However, 40 of the stamps were found to be defective and were destroyed. Great care was taken to ensure all the stamps were perfect. A few copies were found to have the overprint inverted, and these were cut into pieces. However, many of the pieces were later joined together again as repaired stamps. However, a genuine, unrepaired, invert does exist, and Cyril Harmer owned it.
Dr. Arthur Woo started to collect stamps just after World War II and recalled: 'The first stamps that I collected were those of Hong Kong. My second country was USA and I didn't collect selected issues from the whole world until a few years later. As in most countries we all started to collect stamps when we were schoolchildren - in Hong Kong it was no different'. But, why does he now go for classic birds? Woo said: 'It's simply the beauty of the Western Australia Swan, the Guatemala Quetzel, the Colombia Andean Condor, the USA 1869 Eagle and Shield etc. These wonderful designs, coupled with patience and determination, enabled me to form the collections I have now'.
Perkins Bacon printings
When asked what was his favorite bird stamp design Woo replied: 'The Western Australia Swan, printed by Perkins Bacon. It is recess-printed and the design of the swan is truly beautiful, as are most of the other early Perkins Bacon engraved stamps'. Woo's collection is also unique in that, whilst some would seek to pigeon hole it as a thematic, the fact that it includes so many classic issues has elevated its status.
Woo noted: 'Classic issues of the world have always been popular. In the case of birds, classic issues with birds are even more alluring, and it has definitely been a huge challenge to collect'. Woo has managed to find birds on stamps, covers, and cancellations that most philatelists wouldn't have thought of - like a Zeppelin cover with a red bird cancellation. The 1933 cover has five Yemen stamps and a red Cockatoo cachet in the centre, as well as the Friedrichshafen and South America marks signaling the, Germany to South America, Zeppelin flight route.
Also among his pieces are an Antarctic Expedition with Penguin labels; Falkland 1933 Centenary 5/- Penguin with a unique imprint block of four in the scarce yellow-orange shade; and a China 1897-1900 Wild Goose issue. Woo also owns a rare North Borneo registered cover with a strip of five of 5 cents (showing peacocks) to a little village in Baden, Germany - a very desirable item.
He also has the New Zealand Great Barrier Island Pigeon Post; the Japan 1875 12s Goose, 15s Wagtail and 45s Goshawk issues; a couple, multiples and rare usage Japan Post on cover to Blackpool with two HK stamps; the German large or small eagles on the Coat-of-Arms issues; the Lubeck, Prussia and Modena stamps and Poland and Austria. The famous Quetzel, originally the coat-of-arms issue, was beautifully adopted as the main bird design for Guatemala. In his collection Dr. Woo possesses all the proofs, essays, sheets, rare cover combinations, plus the famous inverted centre of the 5 centavos on cover.
Woo explained: 'To single out one is difficult but I will say that the Guatemala Inverted centre cover should be one of my favorites because it is the only known legitimate usage on cover for this inverted stamp'.
Inverted Western Australia swans
For classic Western Australia Dr. Woo has three copies of black swans inverted and even the rarest piece of all, the vertical strip of the blue four pence on piece. These are such pedigree pieces that one can trace back their date of find, and the previous owners.
Astonishingly the rarest piece, the four pence Blue Swan issue with the inverted frame in a vertical strip, is a piece which was only found 1937, in a London-based shop of the well-known dealer F.B. Smith. It was found when he and his employees sifted through a big bag of 'rubbish' stamps on pieces. By turning over the whole bag on a big table and looking carefully, they suddenly discovered this item which was in poor condition, but which had survived. Since there was a bit missing of the 'inverted swan', they frantically looked for this tiny piece but couldn't find it. It may be an ugly piece but it is the only 'inverted swan' in a multiple.
From Bolivia he has a superb, rare 1867 5c mauve issue on cover from the 1867-68 Condor issue (only five covers with 5c mauve franking have been recorded). Dr. Woo explained: 'This design came about in February 1863 when a Presidential Decree authorized the production of a series of postage stamps and the contract was awarded to Justiniano Garcia in Oruro. However, the following month this decree was rescinded and the stamps he produced were never issued. Following this, in 1864, Martin Reider from France produced some essays, but the government rejected them and they never got beyond the proof and essay stage'.
USA & Switzerland
From the USA he has the famous 1869 American Eagle 30c flag invert on a card proof, mint, and used, and the 10c and 30c values. The US highlights include a fine array of proofs for both values, costing easily $100,000 to $120,000, as well as an extensive range of covers. The covers include combination franking with Hawaii and France, and a triple combination usage with Peru and British stamps.
For Switzerland Woo has an astonishing selection of Basle Doves - three singles, two on cover and a horizontal pair, of which one pair is on cover (only two are in private hands). Double Geneva eagles on and off cover, showing also the eagle in the wrongly-cut 'Double Geneva', and enormous multiples of the small and large Geneva eagles.
Collecting these kinds of stamps means big money but Dr. Woo is also humble. When asked about what individual exhibition honor gave him the most pleasure he recalled: 'I do remember that although I showed only a few selected pages of my Bird Collection in Claridges 1999, the positive comments I received from several world-famous philatelic personages in respect of my collection was something I will probably never forget'.
The late, much-missed, flamboyant Queen rock star Freddie Mercury was once a diligent schoolboy, called Farrokh Bulsara, who quietly updated his treasured stamp album on his parents' kitchen table in India. Young Farrokh's passion for stamps was sparked by his father Bomi - a civil servant who had his own British Commonwealth collection including a variety of Zanzibar (where Farrokh was born on September 5, 1946) fiscals.
It's believed Farrokh primarily built up the collection between the ages of nine and 12. He saved to buy packets of stamps and when he was satisfied with the colour and design of particular stamps he added them to his symmetrical designs. Unusually for a boy Farrokh chose black album pages, with a quadrille background, and, in fact, today some of the pages are incomplete as clearly the right stamps to finish the page design hadn't yet been found!
The Bulsara family - Bomi, his wife, Jer, Farrokh and his younger sister Kashmira - moved to England in 1963 and purchased a small, terraced house in Feltham, Middlesex. By now Farrokh was displaying a keen interest in art and in 1966 he attended Ealing College of Art to study graphic illustration. At this point Bomi, decided to keep the stamp album as he was sure that Farrokh would either sell it or lose it once he went to college.
Up for auction
Following Freddie Mercury's death on November 24, 1991 the majority of his belongings were burnt in line with the Bulsara family's strict Zoroastrian religious beliefs. However, the stamp album was kept as Bomi felt that it was partly his and just over two years later he decided to auction his, and Freddie's, stamp collections at Sotheby's in London.
Bomi had carefully kept Freddie's blue covered, childhood stamp album. The expert on the Freddie Mercury stamp collection - and former Philatelic Officer of Britain's National Postal Museum - Derrick Page explained: 'The stamp album survived thanks to his parents. They derived much happiness and enjoyment watching their son sitting down at the table with his stamp album, sticking in stamps and copying his father's hobby'.
The Sotheby's auction was held on December 17, 1993 with four lots - 54, 105, 143, and 157 - being 'the property of Mr. Bomi Bulsara'. Lot 143 contained Freddie's childhood album and the catalogue noted: 'Included in this lot is an album which we understand from his father, Mr. Bulsara, was the personal collection of Freddie Mercury'. The album was 54 pages of beautifully-arranged stamps, but, in truth, few were of any real value apart from some Zanzibar fiscals collected by Bomi. The material includes items from Monaco, Hungary, Zanzibar, Australia, Aden, New Zealand and Great Britain amongst others.
Freddie Mercury's album was purchased by Royal Mail for the collections of the National Postal Museum (NPM) for £3,220 plus VAT, against a pre-auction estimate of £1,000-£1,500. Including Bomi Bulsara's three other lots the Bulsara family philatelic collection raised £8,090 - the monies were donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust (the AIDS charity set up by Freddie's former band members John Deacon, Brian May, and Roger Taylor with Freddie's friend Mary Austin).
The National Postal Museum allowed visitors to view Freddie Mercury's collection from 1994 on and even produced special certificates, on acid-free stamp album paper (used by the museum for its own stamp displays), stating: 'This is to certify that ................ Viewed and touched the Freddie Mercury Stamp Album on.................................. which is housed at the National Postal Museum'. During 1994 825 people viewed and touched the album, and former Museum Manager Stan Goron recalled: 'For many the album is part of the singer and fans made a pilgrimage to the museum. Many left red roses behind'.
Although in philatelic terms the Freddie Mercury collection wasn't award-winning material its provenance soon drew large crowds when the NPM showed it at various philatelic exhibitions around the world. It was first shown at Stamp '95 (held at the Wembley Exhibition Centre), and the just days later it was loaned to the 10th anniversary Queen Fan Club's Convention which was held at Pontin's Holiday club in Southport, Lancashire.
At this point the NPM produced a limited print run of sets of four postcards showing images from the Mercury Collection including the album itself, and an unfinished page in which Freddie had spelt out the letter 'F' in GB stamps.
Bust & statue
On the fourth anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death (November 24, 1995) the charity 'A Kind of Magic' donated a bust of Freddie Mercury to the NPM and this later appeared in a specially commissioned display case in the foyer of the Museum's old home in King Edward Street, London. In fact, at one stage correspondence was entered into between the NPM and the Queen fan Club to see if the NPM could put a nine foot high statue of Freddie Mercury outside its then building. Unfortunately, it was unable to do so and this statue is now on the shores of Lake Montreaux in Switzerland.
The National Postal Museum's Derrick Page took the collection around the world in a suitcase. Page told STAMP MAGAZINE: 'The problem we had was that the collection is irreplaceable but you have to put a nominal price on it for insurance purposes, when it was carried abroad'.
The collection was also shown at Stamp '96 at Birmingham's NEC and traveled to Australia in 1999 for the Australia '99 world philatelic exhibition in Melbourne. There it overshadowed the Royal Philatelic Collection in the show's Court of Honor and Derrick Page recalled: 'Thousands a day saw it - it was very successful, more so than The Queen's Collection'. Unfortunately, that is the last time that the Freddie Mercury Collection was seen in public as the NPM had already closed its doors in late 1998. Currently the famous blue album is kept in a vault in London with little chance of an obvious public outing unless a new site can be found for the NPM.
Today, Derrick Page has fond memories of traveling, and looking after Freddie Mercury's stamp collection. He told us: 'Freddie prepared a layout for each page in an artistic fashion. The stamps are mounted symmetrically and the colors of the stamps chosen are pleasing to the eye. Several pages have gaps because he was waiting for stamps of the correct size, shape or co lour. Some of the pages show stamp-hinge marks where he has removed stamps because he was unhappy with his design'.
Page added: 'He was very much into the co lour black - he later painted his nails black - but it was very unusual for a child to use black. He was very advanced in his art format even at a very early age he was using stamps as a form of art'.
Page also noted the very emotional response that the collection inspired in Freddie Mercury and Queen fans. He remembered: 'Some fans found it an emotional experience to see and touch the album and many burst into tears'. Indeed the emotion has also spread to Freddie's father Bomi who has viewed the collection again several times since he sold it 10 years ago. In fact, Derrick Page claims that it is the only personal belonging of Freddie Mercury's that still exists in the public domain. The only thing that remains to be seen is when, or if, it may ever see the light of day again.
Hiroyuki Kanai began collecting stamps almost from the moment he could talk. Born in 1925, the son of a wealthy Osaka industrialist, he spent most of his pocket money on a passion that has grown and evolved over three quarters of a century. 'I started collecting stamps when I was five years old. 70 years have passed already. When I was 13, I was already a serious stamp collector. I founded two philatelic societies at university,' he said.
After World War II, he left general collecting behind, concentrating on British Colonials and Japan Classics. He formed important collections of New Brunswick, Novas Scotia and Trinidad. But if Kanai is famous for one thing, it is his outstanding collection of early Mauritius, formed over a period of 40 years.
Kanai joins a long list of renowned philatelists who collected on the subject of Mauritius, from W.A.S. Westoby (1815-1899), through King George V, up to Louise Boyd Dale (1913-1967), who inherited a fine collection from her father Alfred Lichtenstein.
Greatest Mauritius collection
But Kanai arguably held the greatest collection of them all. He explained: 'I was interested in how many Mauritius Post Office stamps I could collect among 27 pieces existing. I owned six Post Office stamps, and it is the greatest number ever to be owned held by one person in the world'.
These highly valuable stamps (1d reds and 2d blues) were printed in September 1847, on the instructions of the wife of the Governor of Mauritius Lady Gomm, who wanted stamps for envelopes containing invitations to her fancy dress ball. The words 'Post Office', rather than 'Post Paid', had erroneously been entered in the left tablet by engraver Joseph Osmond Barnard. With the date of the ball fast advancing, the order was given for the stamps to be printed, error and all.
His Mauritius collection was auctioned by David Feldman in 1993, much to the delight (and relief) of collectors around the world. Kanai recalled: 'I sold my collection of Mauritius only to satisfy the collectors who are dreaming to own one of these beautiful stamps'.
Kanai is not only a collector, but also a scholar, having written books on classic issues of both Mauritius and Japan. His research on Classic Japan has been extensive: 'It is natural that one collects one's own country, with the difference that I decided to do it well, and go into deep studies of most issues'.
His favourite Japanese stamp design is the Cherry Blossom series, 6 Sen, on native paper, with the 'syllabic 1'. This stamp was shown on cover in Kanai's book Hosun-no-Miryoku. The same book tells the story of his most troublesome purchase: 'The most difficult piece to acquire in my Classic Japan was the 20 Sen, native paper, syllabic 1, from the Caspary Collection. It was difficult to make remittance under the control of exchanging Yen into foreign currency, by the government after World War II'.
While Kanai managed eventually to purchase this item, a precious cover bearing two pieces of Mauritius Post Office, eluded him. The one that got away was part of the Dale Lichtenstein Collection, offered in Harmers of New York in 1968. This purchase would clearly have been a cherry on the already rich Mauritius cake.
Considering his excellence as a collector and scholar, it is no surprise that Kanai has been awarded a list of honors, including the Blue Ribbon Medal of Honor from the Japanese Emperor in 1991. He has received a host of gold medals for his philately, and Grand Prix awards for collections of three different countries. But the achievement of which he is rightly most proud, is the National Grand Prix for his Finland Collection, awarded in Helsinki in 1988.
But the man who has become something of a legend in his own lifetime has not stopped there. He continues to make his detailed researches into Classic Japan and encourages others to do the same: 'The philatelic culture of Japan is behind other countries. I hope Japanese philatelists make the culture of Japan advance further. I am endeavoring to do so through my life'.
Although born in Thailand Pichai Buranasombati - known simply as 'Pichai' - spent many of his formative years in Great Britain and developed an early love for British stamps. In March 2001 his stunning collection of Great Britain early line engraved issues (1840-41) went under the hammer at auction in London, closing a chapter in his long love affair with early Great Britain issues.
Pichai recalled: 'I started collecting at the age of 10 when I was attending prep school in England where everybody had to have a hobby, and it was predominantly philately. My father as a going away to boarding school present bought my first stamp for me - a Penny Black. Suddenly I found out that I was the only one in school who owned a Penny Black. Everybody took a look at it with awe and admiration. My second major acquisition was a Twopence Blue to commemorate my father's first annual visit and I have never stopped collecting since'.
After nine years of studying in England Pichai went to New York University in the US to study for the bachelor, master and PhD in Philosophy in education and administration. Despite his almost lifelong love for stamps it has really been in the past 12 years - since he met his wife Yaovanee Nirandara - that Pichai's philatelic star has really risen. He recalled: 'We have formed many great collections such as Straits Settlements (winner of the Grand Prix National in Singapore '95), Burma: under Indian postal administration (winner of the Grand Prix National in Indepex '97), Classic Siam (winner of a Large Gold medal at Bangkok '93), Siam: middle period (winner of a Large Gold at Singapore '95) and many revenue collections'.
This philatelic, and romantic, partnership is very important to Pichai: 'A great collection has to be planned. It is like putting the jigsaw into place and it is more fun when you have somebody to share your aspirations. If things do not go according to the plan then you must make alternatives that will achieve the same grandeur'.
Pichai's array of awards began back in 1993 with his first ever exhibit. He recounted: 'It was at F.I.A.P. (Federation of International Asian Philately) exhibition in Surabaya, Indonesia 1993 that I won with my classic Siam collection a Large Gold medal with a special prize'.
As for sources of inspiration for his philately Pichai explained that they came from his homeland and from Great Britain. 'My strength comes from the Philatelists Association of Thailand whose members are very supportive of my philatelic endeavours. My source of inspiration is the Royal Philatelic Society of London whose members are true philatelic friends with great philatelic knowledge'.
In many ways Pichai has had the best of both philatelic worlds combining his origins with Asian collections with his British schooling helping to establish a fascination with the trailblazing Great Britain issues of the 1840s. He said: 'Thai philatelic items always have a special place in my heart, and the first of issue of Siam is truly reflected the great design of the One Penny Black in that the name of the country had been deliberately left out. The item that I like the most is the original hand painted essay by Waterlow and Sons specifically for postage purpose'.
We asked him about his favourite items from the Great Britain early line-engraved issues. Pichai explained: 'For Great Britain stamps I like the large mint block as well as the largest used block of the One Penny Black. For covers I am very fond of the VR usage. The mint block of 24 was the reconstruction of a block of 18 plus a strip of six'. Reconstructing the left sheet margin mint block of 24 proved a tricky exercise for Pichai: 'The block of 18 (ex-Daisy collection) was acquired in a London auction house while the latter (strip of six) was spotted in New York - it is a small miracle that enabled them to be reunited'. As far as an overall number one British stamp Pichai said simply: 'Nothing beats the One Penny Black!'
Pichai's collection was the cause of some controversy during Stamp Show 2000 in London when it was poised to win the Grand Prix by a country mile. An objection was raised about an 1840 2d Blue cover (bearing a strip of five and a single 2d blue dated February 1841 and addressed to New York, USA) which had evidently been repaired and sold to Pichai without telling him of the repair. Clearly this wasn't a pleasant experience. We asked him did he ever think a philatelic item had been a bad investment. He replied: 'I only buy the best items available. I don't mind paying higher for quality items. However I feel that when I spend real money I should get genuine items in return. I hate dishonest people in general but I detest or despise them the most when they are involved in philately. These people take the fun out of our hobby and kill philately'.
When quizzed on what he would buy if there was any item he could afford or have Pichai became philosophical: 'You cannot have everything in life and the key is to enjoy what you have and make the most of it. I really enjoyed my collection and was excited finding the items, in many ways all over the world'. Don't be surprised to see the name Pichai popping up again soon with a new collection, perhaps from a different part of the world.
It wasn't until 1917 that the collection which today belongs to His Serene Highness Prince Rainier III of Monaco began to take shape. That year it was bought by Prince Albert I of Monaco from the late Reverend G.G. Barber - an English pastor who lived in Monaco. Barber had gathered many philatelic rarities such as various postmarks used on covers to Monaco and to Menton, the Sardinian and French issues cancelled in the Principality from 1851 to 1885, and the first Monaco stamps issued with the head of Prince Charles III in 1885. The collection included different varieties of shades and essays for some of the earliest Monagesque issues.
Prince Louis II further enriched this private collection and bought a beautiful lot of mint first issues of the reign Charles III and of Albert I from the great collector Albin Harnish. Back in 1937 Prince Louis II created the 'Office Des Emissions de Timbres-Poste' ( Monaco Philatelic Bureau and Post Office) which was commissioned to take great care with supplying all of the philatelic issues to emanate from Monaco.
Since his accession to the throne in 1949 H.S.H. the Prince Rainier III has taken a very active role in all the philatelic issues produced by the principality - right down to choosing the subject, the size and format, and the careful checking of the colour proofs. A Monegasque stamp can't be issued until it has been officially sanctioned by the Prince.
Prince Rainier believes that stamps are a constant embodiment of a nation's heritage and development. Indeed he is quoted as saying that stamps are: 'The best ambassador of a country'. The Prince has added many important pieces and covers in the last 50 years and has personally ensured that all the philatelic items have been classified correctly and in chronological order. The Prince's philatelic collection is divided into three main periods:-
A Consultative Committee for Prince Rainier's philatelic collection was formed in 1977 to develop and promote the collection. Prince Rainier heads the Committee, Andre Palmero is its President and Michel Granero is the Secretary. Like any other collector Prince Rainier treats it as a very personal possession, although it will pass to Prince Albert when he comes to the throne. In recent years the Committee has widened the make-up of the collection to include fiscal stamps. The Monegasque issues are housed in more than 100 big format albums. In the albums they are classified in chronological order in many categories - size, die, colour die, and essays.
The very valuable albums incorporate cancellations of Sardinian and French stamps on and off cover during the periods that those territories administered Monaco's postal services. Amongst the albums are the best known multiples and the majority of repertoire varieties of Monaco stamps. Together they constitute an unequalled study of the stamps of Monaco and an unrivalled reference library. The collection covers more than two centuries of postal history with stamps, postmarks (and cancellations) used under the diverse postal regimes up to the present day.
Prince Rainier has a real passion for stamps and for each new set extensive notes are taken on how many have been printed and sold, and the rest are then destroyed. This helps other Monaco collectors as they can know the exact printing number of each set as indicated in the Yvert & Tellier catalogue.
The most expensive piece of Monegasque philately is a strip of five of the famous 5fr stamp of Charles III. Just over 1,000 pieces exist and the Prince has several including the strips of five copies in mint condition. Such a strip is worth over £250,000. The 5fr Charles III issues exist only as singles or at maximum in strips of five. Postal counter clerks at the time were told for security reasons to split the sheets into strips of five. The strips in Prince Rainier's collection are probably unique as only unmounted mint strips and single copies come up in exhibitions or sales.
According to Michel Granero despite the fact that the collection is almost complete, Prince Rainier is acutely aware of exactly what is missing and he is always on the lookout to fill spaces. Prince Rainier never ceases to improve the collection and is said to be 'delighted' if he finds a new piece. Every page in the collection is especially designed in gold letter writing with his name, coat-of-arms and gold edging.
Errors and varieties
A number of errors and varieties exist despite the fact that the Monaco Post Office takes great care to discover them. Indeed, according to his close philatelic advisors Prince Rainier's interest is also captured by errors. There are some very good examples of Monaco errors in the collection. They include 1920 overprints with the 'C' of the value inverted, Monaco issues are equally known with an overprint or a double overprint, colour varieties in many shades on the normal stamps, and more recently with the stamp 'Moscow 98' perforation fault on ONU block.
There have also been printing variety faults caused through a bad cut of rubber, colour dissociation or by using the wrong ink, and an unissued stamp which is nevertheless in circulation! The 'Seven Centuries of History - the Princes' block from 1997 displays an error at the moment of printing because the names of the Princes were mixed up. This error was not withdrawn. Despite some Monaco errors in the collection it's fair to say that Prince Rainier's stamp collection is probably the best in the world personally compiled by a truly dedicated philatelist.
Since 1985, I've had an abiding passion for penguins - through continent and career changes. Since the days of the first Polar explorers, the penguin has been burnt into the collective minds of the Western World. Although true that they were, and are, known to the native peoples of the Southern Hemisphere, the squat waddler in dinner dress is known to us all.
Penguins branched off the avian tree of evolution early on in the piece, around 50 million years age. The Southern waters, from the Equator South, are their home and this has always been true. The fossils we have, have been found in New Zealand, Australia and South America. The fossil record points to super penguins over one and half metres in height and weighing over 70kg.
At present they range from a height of 40cm (the Little Blue) to 130cm (the Emperor) which weighs around 38kg before the winter fast. The 17 extant species are distributed from the Equator (the Galapagos) to the wastes of the Antarctic Ice, (the Emperor and the Adelie). Most of the species live in the sub-Antarctic and temperate zones, being most populous on the Falklands and Tristan da Cunha. Hence there have been many penguin philatelic issues from these territories.
Penguins form a substantial part of the diet for orca, fur seals, leopard seals and their eggs feed sheathbill, cats and rats. In their turn, the penguin eats enormous amounts of krill (a prawn-like crustacean, also eaten by whales), squid and fish. Therefore the whaling industry has an effect of penguin populations. The fewer whales there are, the more krill there is available for penguins to eat.
The Discovery II expeditions worked extensively on the krill populations of the times. Through this connection I use a cover of the South Georgia 2 1/2d overprint, which was needed for the foreign rate (mainly to Norway) after the South Georgia post office ran out of 2d and 1/2d stamps. Only a dozen were sold on the first day and under 1,200 were sold at all, including those to collectors. A neat inclusion of a great rarity. Whaling itself forms a great possibility for collecting, but where possible, I've tried to work in classical pieces to increase the 'seriousness' of a thematic collection.
The other obvious connection between whales and penguins is the Falklands issue of 1927, which had a whaler, a whale and two penguins at essay stage, changing to the image we now know at die proof stage. The 4d was issued later and is a brilliant orange, there are changes of colour perfs etc which make a fascinating specialist study, now so important to glean essential points out of thematic juries.
One of the other fascinating Falklands penguin stories is that of the 1933 centenary issue 5 shilling. The 5/- value features a lovely penguin in engraved glory. It proved to be so popular another 12 sheets were printed and sent to the Postmistress, Maud Carey. Fortunately for us, the yellow was mis-mixed to a yellow orange shade which is now much scarcer than the original.
It was the great 18th century naturalist Carl von Linne, or Linnaeus, was the man who created the binomial system of nomenclature we use today - it gives us the family tree of all living things, including penguins. The King and Emperor are the largest of the 17 species and are recognisable by their large size and ear patches. The King is slightly smaller and having a comma-shaped orange patch. The medium sized species are the Gentoo, the Chipstrap and the Adelie; named for Dumont d'Urville's wife. All are sub to fully Antarctic, monochrome and medium in size but form a large chunk of the over numbers in the penguin stakes.
The Crested penguins, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Royal et al are the most decorated of the group, having elaborate yellow crests and being slate and white similar to the gentoo. There are six species. The next in the taxonomy is the Yellow-eyed which is also the most endangered, being threatened by habitat destruction and predation of its young and eggs.
The Little Blue is also from New Zealand and Australia where it's called the Fairy penguin. The last group are the four tropical penguins - the African, the Humbolt, the Magellanic and the Galapagos. All are banded, black and white and have fleshy pink wattles at the base of their beaks. Most of these species have juveniles which are non-descript and brown, the yearlings are the first to show specific differation. and if you're considering approaching them during moult, don't. The worst temper in the animal kingdom is contained in a moulting penguin. This is an aspect of penguin life not depicted philatelically, for obvious reasons. Not only are they bad-tempered but profoundly disarrayed!
The indigenous populations of the Southern hemisphere have harvested penguins for their own uses for as many years as pre-history records. The Fuegeans of Tierra del fuego used penguin oil for lamps but mainly treated them as textiles, making footwear, cloaks and leather from them. The Maori of New Zealand ate the Little Blue penguin, as is witnessed by the post office of Kororarika (literally 'tasty blue penguin'). This office was a outlier of Sydney GPO and had four marks; handling mainly missionaries' mail. It was destroyed in 1844 and the main office was transferred to Auckland.
In terms of penguins as a larder item there is both the possibility of flesh and eggs. Penguin as meat has been consumed by all the early expeditions to the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic. Nordeskjold of the 'Antarctica' wrote that they are: 'Breast of penguin and dried vegetables, salted penguin and beans' and all manner of penguin up to and almost including sushi of Adelie! Captain Scott noted that it was better than salt pork (again) but not much to write home about.
I have Antarctic covers amongst my penguin material including a distinctive penguin cancellation from the SY Aurora on its second Antarctic cruise, and a cover from Captain Colbert from the British National Antarctic Expedition of 1902 (which created a penguin label for its post). Also, Chile has issued Emperor penguin stamps which were said to be the diet of the early Antarctic explorers.
My collection also includes proposed penguin designs for Falkland Island George Edward VIII stamps; a variety of other Falkland essays; and an official free cover signed by Ernest Shackleton, written on the SY Aurora after rescue. It includes the phrase: 'I have a penguin for you' and may be the only mail of this expedition.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt -or more popularly known as "F.D.R."- was a leader, in many respects. Being the thirty-second president of the United States of America, he led the country through the struggle of the Great Depression, the tragedy of World War II, and provided as a role model for those suffering from infantile paralysis (polio). It's no surprise that a man who ran the country with such vigor and dedication would pursue his personal hobbies with the same spirit. Ever since he was eight years old, F.D.R. had a passion for stamp collecting that traveled with him his entire life, giving him renowned status in the world of philately.
Roosevelt's parents were involved in the business of shipping and trading with countries all over the world. Naturally, this exposed the boy to countless varieties of stamps. This is, essentially, what sparked his interest in collecting, which included any and every type of stamp he came across. He was known for constantly bothering his relatives to send him all sorts of stamps, from all over the world.
In 1921, Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio, after visiting a Boy Scout camp. One of the major things that got him through his trying time of hardship, pain, and suffering was his intent focus on his stamp collection. In 1928, the same year he was elected Governor of New York, he also became a life member of the American Philatelic Society. The news of his hobby really hit the public four years later, when he became President of the United States of America. His influence in the world of philately brought it new levels of popularity and began to set trends among the people of the American nation.
Roosevelt used his stamps to gain knowledge of the world during the time of World War II, as he traveled the globe. Not a place did he go where his infamous trunk of stamps did not follow, devoutly studied and observed by him, each day. His stamps were his companions for the remainder of his life. On April 12, 1945, Roosevelt approved the design for a new commemorative stamp titled "Toward United Nations." Later that day, while posing for a portrait, he died, suffering from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. It is said, though, that the President did not leave the earth before spending an hour solemnly taking pleasure in the enduring comfort of his stamps.
Clyde Jennings cut his philatelic teeth at the knees of his mother back in the 1920s and by the start of the next decade he was winning awards as a junior philatelic exhibitor at shows in his hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia. This legendary philatelist---whose 80th birthday was celebrated by over 250 of his closest friends at a huge "roast" in Sarasota, Florida---is one of our hobby's most honored. But it is in the field of off-the-cuff humor where Jennings truly shines...for he is certainly philately's most flamboyant character!
Flamboyant? Here is a man who has a closet containing more than 100 colorful sport coats in colors that virtually defy the rainbow. And he's quick to point out that, no matter what color sport coat he may be wearing, he is also simultaneously using the same color of underwear!
Clyde has been knocking us dead for most of the past half century. And he's beloved for a brand of humor that makes him perhaps the most sought after speaker at any philatelic affair. Receiving a letter from him is as much fun as reading the Sunday funnies...and enjoying an evening with him at dinner during a stamp show is more fun than listening to old Jack Benny radio programs. Philately is the greatest jor of his life...and he firmly believes that, without humor, the hobby ain't no fun at all.
But there's a serious side to Clyde, as well...for he has risen to be given the hobby's highest honors---richly deserved because Mr. Jennings is a true expert philatelist. His knowledge of early United States stamps is virtually without peer...and his experience as a championship philatelic exhibitor and respected judge is also almost without match. In 1989, he received the coveted John N. Luff Award from the American Philatelic Society, our pastime's highest honor. And in earlier years he served as president of the venerable Society of Philatelic Americans.
Today, Clyde continues to travel to many major stamp shows, usually accompanied by his loving companion, Frances, and a participant in philatelic activities that would leave a man half his age gasping for breath.
Clyde's great philatelic love is his support of Arizona's Postal History Foundation, an organization that devotes all of its time introducing stamp collecting to kids. In honor of his late wife, Clyde set up the Fran Jenning Memorial Fund, which among other things, helps finance the National Youth Exhibiting Championships.
No one on earth is a more devoted fan of stamp collecting.
(January 21, 1902 – December 29, 1977) Boston
He was a philatelist and a pioneering stamp dealer who through his company, H.E. Harris & Co., popularized philately for many Americans, especially children. Harris began selling stamps at the age of 14 and eventually built one of the largest stamp businesses in the world.
Harris advertised extensively in popular non-philatelic magazines as well as philatelic journals throughout the world, promoting both himself and the stamp collecting hobby.
Harris used the radio show, "Ivory Stamp Club of the Air," and its popular host "Captain Tim" Healy to promote his business and stamp collecting. He supplied albums and stamps to the millions of listeners, thereby increasing the popularity of stamp collecting to the general public.
Harris also successfully promoted the hobby and his own company through his widely distributed booklets containing stories of famous collectors, famous rare stamps, and stamps with unusual human-interest stories. One of his most popular booklets was his The Stamp Finder, which helped novice and general collectors alike identify unusual stamps.
Over time, Harris's ads, offering a quantity of stamps for a small amount of money (usually ten cents) on condition additional stamps were sent on approval, became ubiquitous in many magazines and comic books. Harris's company, which was based in Boston, sent out millions of informational booklets and stamp approvals, all over the world. While the company was noted for selling low-cost packets of stamps, it also sold rarities as well.
Harris won international applause from the philatelic community for his action in the famous “Thatcher Ferry Bridge” case. His quick action in November 1962 prevented Canal Zone postal officials from flooding the market with deliberate misprints of the October 12, 1962 Canal Zone stamp issued for the opening of the Thatcher Ferry Bridge (now the Bridge of the Americas) over the Panama Canal. Several sheets (of Scott No. 157) were accidently printed with the silver ink, and thus the bridge, missing, and one sheet had reached the hands of a stamp collector. U.S. Postmaster General Day took steps to issue "missing bridge" reprints of the Canal Zone stamp to collectors as he had done in the case of the U.S. Dag Hammerskjold "inverted background" stamp (Scott No. 1204, issued October 23, 1962), flooding the market with the error.
With the APS acting in support, Harris eventually won his law suit against the Canal Zone government in 1965. He prevented it from reprinting the “missing bridge” error; the three sheets in its possession were transferred to government institutions. Harris received the Luff Award in 1966 for Exceptional Contributions to Philately.
Harris was elected posthumously to the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame in 1979.
Carl Einar Pelander was noted for his expertise on Scandinavian stamps and received a Fieandt Memorial medal in 1960 from the Finnish Philatelic Society for doing an original research on the stamps of Finland and for promoting Finnish philately.
Philip Ward Jr. was a world famous stamp dealer, known for buying and selling collectors stamps, including the rarest stamps which are classic issues of the world. He had an exceptional collection of match and medicine stamps and his widely known collection was the U.S. Revenues, which had the only complete set of inverted centers. He was the first person to recognize the importance of first day covers and then created the many of the rarest and earliest.
William Woodbury Hicks was a renowned specialist and founder of the Three cent 1851-1857 Unit of the American Philatelic Society. He built the largest and most complete collection of U.S railroad cancels from the 1830s to 1861.
Harry Weiss was an editor of the Weekly Philatelic Gossip in the 1930s and the most prominent philatelic columnist of his time. His column comprised stories on hobbies, new stamps, and hot tips. He organized the Midwest Philatelic Laboratory in 1946, which had technical equipments and offered a wide range of services for stamp collectors. Services include, stamp appraisals, expertization, mounting and even suggested ways for the successful outlook of collections.
George Ward Linn is a known stamp collector, journalist, dealer who own the George W. Linn Company and famous for his "Linn's Weekly Stamp News". Some of his stamp specimens have been among the rarest and most valuable among the philatelists. He traveled the world in search for old, rare and obsolete issues of stamps, even the ones with much historic interest.
Louise Boyd Dale is considered to be the most distinguished stamp collector in America. She was the first woman to be appointed as judge for an international philatelic exhibition. She became the first American woman to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelist and was also appointed to the jury of the London International Stamp exhibition.
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