A well-known collection, full of rare stamps of the value of from L5 to L50, has been largely formed by the fortunate possessor out of stamps for which he paid 2s. per dozen just a little over twenty years ago.
A leading collector once conceived the idea of scouring the little-visited country towns of Spain for rare old Spanish stamps, and a most successful hunt he made of it. He secured most valuable and unsuspected hauls of unused and used blocks and pairs of rare Portuguese; but before returning home he decided to treat himself to a trip to Morocco, and during that ill-fated extension of his tour he lost nearly the whole of his patient garnerings of rare Spanish stamps, for during an inland trip some very unphilatelic Bedouins swooped down on his escort in the desert and carried off the whole of his baggage. He, being some distance ahead of his escort, escaped, and brought home only a few samples of the grand things he had found and lost.
In all forms of collecting the hunt for bargains adds zest to the game, and probably more so in stamps than in any other hobby, not even excepting old china; and, as in other lines of collecting, the bargain hunter must be equipped with the expert knowledge of the specialist if he would sweep into his net at bargain prices the unsuspected gems to be found now and again in the philatelic mart. Many a keen stamp collector turns his years of wide experience to good account as a bargain hunter, and at least one innocent amateur is credited with netting a revenue which would make many a flourishing merchant green with envy.
Many a match has probably been due to stamp collecting. Not long ago we were told of a young lady who wrote to an official in a distant colony for a few of the current stamps issued from his office. The stamps were forwarded and a correspondence ensued. There was eventually an exchange of photographs, and finally the official applied for leave, returned home, and married his stamp collecting correspondent.
Truly the scope of the stamp collector for pleasure, for profit, and for romance is as wide as the most imaginative could desire.
Philatelic Societies and their Work.
Most of the great cities of Europe, the British Colonies, and the United States have their Philatelic Societies. They are associations of stamp collectors for the study of postage stamps, their history, engraving, and printing; the detection and prevention of forgeries and frauds; the preparation and publication of papers and works bearing upon postal issues; the display and exhibition of stamps, and the exchange of duplicates.