Talking with my BFF the other day lead to her talking about her interest in the design of postage stamps, not that she was a collector of those things and that was inspiration enough for this post.
That strip of stamps came recently on a compact disc I had bough from a guy in Poland, Europe which caught my eye as most mail today commercially doesn't have stamps on but instead is put in a machine that marks you have paid the mailing fees for it and often things from other countries around the world are interesting.
Stamps generally come in two forms, those which are fairly plain in appearance with fixed designs on them such as the British 'definitive' ones with the Queen's head
that have a long period in production and other more decorative ones
that commemorate events or show things such as historic events,
buildings, transportation, nature and seasonal events such as Christmas.
I started a collection when I was ten years old starting with inherited stamp albums of the hard back book design with fixed pages per country some of which went back to the mid nineteenth century when it came to British Stamps including a complete unused set of the present Queen's Coronation issued stamps.
It wasn't long getting into my mid teens that I moved into the loose-leaf binder kind of stamp album so I could set the pages out as I wished, making better use to present them in a more attractive way only feature entries by theme and countries I wanted.
Around this period, I used by buy mixed bags of stamps from my local store and visit a specialist dealer from time to time buying direct from him specific issues I wanted in my collection.
To aid with this I would borrow the Stanley Gibbon's guidebook that listed all World-wide stamps and make notes in a pocket book of those that interested me.
Around this time I collected religiously British "First Day Covers" that were a stiff card envelope with all of a commemorative set of stamps on that would by stamped with a special first day of issue stamp and later on Presentation Packs that had the stamps pre-mounted in a presentation.