Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Collectors’ Quotes

2013_08_06 stamps

“I collect old portraits. They're all just interesting pictures of people, and you just kind of wonder who they were and what they were. There's a guy - I don't know who he is, but he's wearing a suit. He's got his arms folded, and he looks like he sold insurance or something. I'm just wondering why someone painted him.
”Ellen DeGeneres

 

“I collect records. And cats. I don't have any cats right now. But if I'm taking a walk and I see a cat, I'm happy.”
"Haruki Murakami

 

“I don't collect any memorabilia. I wish I'd have kept everything I had. But who knew you had to keep it. Just gave it away. And we lost so much and we didn't look after a lot of it.”
Ringo Starr

 

“But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them.”
Christopher Columbus

 

“I collect watches because I'm always late, and I need to know exactly how late I'm going to be - in order to come up with a good excuse.”
Colin Hanks

 

“I've always been an obsessive collector of things. Richard Briers collects stamps. I collect cars and guns, which are much more expensive, and much more difficult to store.”
Michael Gambon

- - -

I spent a weekend out at the House again. Two years we’ve spent rummaging through that house, and there are still surprises hiding… I’ve told you before that I found lots of still valid stamps 1½-2 years ago while going through dad’s study. About three months ago I decided to use those for postcrossing (link to my first post about that back in May).  

This weekend I decided to look through some boxes we found later, also related to dad’s stamp collection. They seemed to contain mostly first-day covers and foreign stamps. The main reason I started looking through them was that I was curious if there might also be some postcards. Very few of those – BUT in among all the envelopes of foreign stamps (mostly from the rest of the Nordic countries) I found more unused Swedish stamps as well. And when I say more, I mean lots. Probably at least as many more as those already found!

I can maybe (sort of) understand the kind of stamp collecting where you put “one of each” into albums in some sort of order. Here, however, we are talking stamps kept in their original little semitransparent envelopes (usually two of each issue/booklet), each stored with the brochure they were ordered from, in the envelope they came in; and the envelopes in boxes; and the boxes stacked in a wardrobe…

I’m not a stamp collector. I may be committing some kind of sacrilege, but what I do with stamps is (re)sort  them according to nominal value, and some perhaps according to topic – so that I know where to find them when I want to use them.

Now please excuse me. I have some postcards to write…

16 comments:

  1. you may be using something that is really valuable, you should check before you lick and use...from all the quotes here the world is full of collectors.. i am in the minority

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    1. Sandra, there are some blocks or booklets of stamps that are obviously special issues and those I'll probably be holding on to for a while. There are still more than enough "common" ones to keep me happily postcrossing for years without getting obsessive about checking the current value of each one before I send them out into the world on new adventures. ;)

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  2. Well, this is quite a pretty collection. And I love the quotes, especially the one from Ringo, you never know. Many years ago, when I was in my 30's, I started buying albums and collecting stamps. But it quickly became so boring! There is an old saying here "Look at their collection", and that means the person will be really boring. AND it is a hobby that you cannot share with anyone, because who can think of anything worse than looking at someone's stamps? Postcards are so much better, and FUN to look at.

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    1. I agree with you Ginny :) I also enjoy trying to find stamps that match the picture on the postcard, or something that the receiver has expressed an interest in. In my opinion it's the combination that is the best way to make both the card and the stamps "unique" :)

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  3. Have I been forgetting to tell you how gorgeous your lavender flowers and background is? Maybe my favorite you have ever created! It is wonderful, beautiful, and even calming.

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    1. The flowers in the header are willowherb. Very common here, especially along railways. One of our Swedish names for them (rallarros) would translate "navvy rose".

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  4. Oh dear! The only things I am actively collecting are The Sims games, Harry Potter books & films (finished), and a few series of books I particularly like. Well, maybe you could say that I collect dresses, but actually, there aren't that many in my wardrobe, and the ones that are there are worn regularly. If they aren't worn in a year, I donate them to some charity or other.
    Collections are usually about STUFF, and I feel better the less STUFF I surround myself with :-)

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    1. Meike, the state my dad's study was in at the end would make even a keen collector feel "stuffocated" (=suffocated by STUFF...). You'd have turned in the doorway - I did often enough! (huge room, and not a bare surface anywhere) It got out of hand gradually with declining health and old age.

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  5. I think it would be a good idea to take some photos of what you have found and then to contact a stamp and coin dealer in a big city. Or a historian. Or an antique dealer. Or even a pawn shop. The things you have found were important to your father so they may be important to a museum or private citizen. Perhaps you could do some research on the internet, even look on ebay to find out values. It might be that this was a form of saving to be inherited by your father's children. The stamp collection is an outward material sign of his thoughts and values.
    Then make sure your Will describes what is to be done with the things that are part of your life. It is better when there are no difficult decisions to make regarding possessions following a death.

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    1. Louise, as I said we've been "at it" for two years. The only heirs are my brother and I. We talk. We know what the other takes home etc. Last summer we had a whole truck full of stuff shipped off to a national railway museum. (Dad wrote four book on railway history.) Several boxes have also gone to a local history society. (Granddad was a journalist with special interest in local history.) Etc etc. I've blogged about all this before. We're getting close to the point now where we'll draw the line and leave "the rest" of the clearout to some antiques/junk dealer before we put the house itself up for sale.

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  6. I'm sure some of the stamps that you found are valuable. I believe your dad had a keen eye where his stamp collection was concerned.
    As suggested above, check out the value/worth of the stamps in your collection and maybe a historical museum or avid collector will be more than willing to take them off your hands.
    Wishing you luck.
    Loved the collectors' quotes.

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    1. I'm half regretting I ever wrote this post ;) Virginia (and everyone!): The really OLD stamps have been taken care of (my brother has them). The ones mentioned in this and a previous post are all such that dad subscribed to from the postal services (and sometimes he also bought extra booklets for use that never got used). There are none among these that he traded privately (like from other collectors) because they were rare.

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    2. Didn't mean to upset you with my comment at all. Just wanted to help you with the disposal of the stamps, but it seems that you have it all under control.
      I'm glad you wrote this post. It reminded me of my Dad's stamp collection and also of my past stamp collecting days when I was growing up. I had penpals from all over the world. Now I have blog friends like you that live all around the world.

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    3. Not upset Viriginia :) it just seemed to me that maybe I had not made myself clear enough in the blog post, as it resulted in so many "concerned" comments. It will take me years to use up all these stamps anyway; which means plenty of time to also investigate if there are collectors willing to pay more than nominal value for some of them.
      I had lots of penpals all of the world too back in my teens and youth; still in touch with a few. It was an old penpal of mine who first got me into blogging, by the way! :)

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  7. I have never understood stamp collecting. In fact, apart from something inherently useful like my music collection, I can't really se the point in collecting at all. Having said that there is a certain irony in the fact that my (long-dead) father-in-law was an authority on New Zealand stamps.

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    1. Dad tried to get me interested when I was little, but I never really could see the point either. If I do decide to set aside some to keep it will be because I like them as artwork. But what I like best is to use them!

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