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A current topic of interest in the media these days is hoarding. I suppose, considering the horrors money and stocks have gone through recently, possessing stuff at least gives one the feeling that one has something.

Stamp collectors have the stuff and the somethings that are similar to securities (issued, as they are by governments) and provide liquidity as they are salable at a moment's notice to a ready and enthusiastic clientele.

But don't forget that the sale of your stamps is dependent upon many things. Condition, rarity, demand (are they scarce enough to be strongly sought after?), as well as other considerations, will all affect your success when you go to sell.

Avoid a Mish-Mosh Stamp Accumulation
One important factor that is often overlooked by the collector is organization. If you've been more a hoarder (perhaps more correctly an accumulator when one speaks of stamps) it might have a real impact on your reselling success. After all, if a buyer can't see your material, on what can he base his offer to you?

Especially when you try to sell to stamp dealers, you must make sure everything is there to be easily seen. If it is otherwise, any premium items hidden in the mix will potentially be missed and uncounted. (This applies to bulk stamps and covers, packed in boxes and bags, what old-time dealers one called mish-mosh. On the other hand, if you are offering stamps in albums I assume you know what's in them, and can point out better items to a dealer, so he offers a better price.)

A Famous Stamp Accumulator
There have been accumulators of note, among them Colonel E.H.R. Green, son of Hetty Green, the so-called Witch of Wall Street. With his remarkable wealth, he is said to have bought the entire stock of stamp stores on the spot. His appearance on Nassau Street in NYC, center of stamp dealing for many years, would send dealers to their vaults to get out their finest material for Green to consider. Today he is best known as the buyer of the Inverted Jenny sheet, or as most non-collectors know it, the upside down airplane stamp.

Green's accumulation, when sold at auction, was featured in multiple sessions and realized stunning prices. The material's realizations were somewhat based -- beyond what the philatelic items may have been worth according to the catalog value -- on the fame of the former owner, a true star in the philatelic world at the time.

The Allure of Unorganized Stamps
If you are trying to sell to other collectors sometimes a messy lot of stamps and covers can do quite well. You can find ads in the philatelic press and online for Mystery Lots and Unsearched Collections. Part of the hype is that these are unsearched and that the buyer has an opportunity to find a treasure. Just don't forget the expression "One person's treasure is another's trash" and consider what you're going in for when you purchase a Mystery Lot.

Even if they are over-hyped they are yet another pleasure of the hobby. And yes, sometimes one can find an item that is far from a treasure but can nevertheless be of enough value that it alone can make the experience worthwhile.

Clean Up a Family Stamp Collection
When all is said and done, there are times of financial trouble, such as we are currently going through, when interest in simpler and cheaper pastimes is always welcome. Those who have an untended stamp collection in the family may go to the closet and get it out. They may consider their options -- some may take up the hobby.

But with the price of a movie and its ephemeral entertainment, the relatively inexpensive cost of stamps may start to look like an option for pleasant diversion. But if no one is interested in taking up the hobby, there should be no compunction in selling and tipping your hat to grandpa -- or whoever it originally belonged to -- in thanks for the windfall.

If it is not in the best state of organization, you'll be doing yourself a favor by cleaning it up, making sure it has a good appearance, with the stamps well organized properly placed in the album, whether on pre-printed pages or arranged logically by country or topic in a stock book. Doing so will prove to be well worth your time.

Source https://www.thesprucecrafts.com

Published in News
Sunday, 12 August 2018 00:00

Top Japanese collector Hiroyuki Kanai

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’.

Elusive cover
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 honours, including the Blue Ribbon Medal of Honour 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 endeavouring to do so through my life’.

Source: Coney Stamps

Published in Stamp Collectors