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Incredible Chinese Zodiac Stamps

In what year were you born? It may tell you more about your own personality than you'd think - at least, according to the Chinese Zodiac.

The Chinese Zodiac is based off of a twelve-year lunar cycle with roots in Chinese folklore - and unsurprisingly, it is a great source of material for stamps and stamp collectors across the world. In fact, one of China's most famous stamps, the Golden Monkey stamp, was issued in 1980, the Year of the Monkey. Although five million stamps were issued, the not-so-rare Golden Monkey has been highly sought after by collectors and non-collectors alike - and therefore is a common target for forgeries!

Dive into the Golden Monkey stamp and Chinese Zodiac stamp issues with Exploring Stamps on Youtube. I can guarantee you'll learn something new . . . you may even find out that you were born in the Year of the Rat, (like me), which makes you (me) quick-witted and resourceful. Thanks, Exploring Stamps - I knew that already, but it's nice to be affirmed.

About Exploring Stamps

Graham Beck has been the host and producer of the Exploring Stamps YouTube channel since 2016. The online video channel is dedicated to the promotion of philately through short entertaining videos. Since the channel’s launch, Graham has attracted over half a million views and gained a global following of almost 7000 subscribers. Graham’s interest in philately started as a child growing up in South Africa where he enjoyed collecting new issues with friends. After rediscovering the hobby as an adult, he began producing videos to share his passion with others while demonstrating what stamp collecting has to offer. From Apollo missions to Icelandic Volcanos, the channel has covered a number of fascinating topics related to philately, often involving travel and special video effects. Graham is based in New Jersey with his wife Laura who eagerly takes part behind the scenes with her nifty camera work.

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Source: stamps.org

Published in News
Sunday, 12 August 2018 00:00

H.E. Harris

(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.

Source: coneysstamps.com

Published in Stamp Collectors
Sunday, 12 August 2018 00:00

Clyde Jennings

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.

Source: Coney Stamps

Published in Stamp Collectors

Stamp collecting has shaken off its fusty image to become the latest old-fashioned hobby enjoying a surge in popularity.

Young Londoners, artists and famous names are starting collections, and stamp dealers have reported a big rise in sales. Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood are among the collectors.

The Royal Philatelic Society said it had noticed a significant rise in membership, and eBay reports a 30 per cent increase in sales of stamps in the past month. The online retailer says sales of books on the pastime are up 93  per cent in the past week.

Stanley Gibbons, the world's leading stamp dealership, said custom had increased by nearly a quarter in the past year and its membership had grown among young people.

James Swyer, the company's marketing coordinator, said: "A recently circulated project brief to London art colleges saw a surge of interest from budding designers, highlighting the relevance of the hobby in modern culture." Sharapova, 22, has collected stamps since she was a child.

"It is something introduced to me when I was very young," she said. "I have been very lucky over the years to travel to some amazing countries and I always try to collect stamps from every place I go. I am hoping one day that I will be able to hand my collection over to my kids." Collectors said the hobby was following in the footsteps of cheaper pastimes such as knitting, gardening and cupcake-baking, which have both enjoyed a resurgence.

Artist Phillipa England, who uses stamps as part of her work, which she sells online, said: "It's a cheap hobby. People are looking for things that are interesting but affordable, especially during recession. They are going back to old crafts like knitting, crocheting, and stamp collecting's part of that."

Dealers say social networking sites and online retailers have made it easier for collectors to discuss their hobby and to buy and sell.

There are about 50 million stamp collectors worldwide, but very few stamps are worth more than a few pounds.

The Queen's head ... and Shakespeare's too

* 2.5 million people in Britain — 5.4 per cent of the population — collect stamps.

* The world's rarest stamp is the 1c British Guiana of 1856, now valued at more than $1 million (£606,800).

* In 1996 the Treskilling Yellow, from Sweden, sold for $2.5 million.

* In 1964, William Shakespeare became the first person other than royalty to appear on a British stamp.

* The UK is the only country that does not carry its name on stamps.

* The standard monarch stamp, the Machin Definitive, is the most reproduced image in history.

* The biggest selling single special was the Princess Diana memorial issue. Some of the Welsh language presentation packs have sold for hundreds of pounds.

* With an average increase in value of 10 per cent a year — 36.8 per cent last year — stamps are among best investments of the last 100 years, ahead of bonds, silver and gold.

Published in Stamp Collectors

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'.

Siam collections

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'.

Source: coneysstamps.com

Published in Stamp Collectors
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