Stamp Collecting as a Pastime eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 72 pages of information about Stamp Collecting as a Pastime.
nowadays retain their general collections, so far as they have gone with them, and upon their basis give play to their specialist inclinations.  That is to say, they single out a country, and work at that exclusively on specialist lines; and when they tire of that country, or exhaust it so far as their means allow, they have in their general collection the nucleus of another country with which to build up another specialist collection.  On this plan a collector can always be working in sympathy and on the lines of the fashionable country of the day.  He can take up and open out whatever country happens to be the vogue.  In this way a neglected country every now and again comes to the front, and the nucleus of that country which may be found in the general collection may suddenly acquire an interest and a value never dreamt of.  A recent case in point is that of the Orange Free State.  Its stamps went a-begging for purchasers.  Then trouble, and unrest, and war brought them into notice, and now the almost worthless have become valuable, and the pence have run into shillings, and the shillings into pounds.

For many persons, however, limitations and exclusions are necessary from the start.  In their case a choice must be made, and the safest choice will be that of the British Colonies, or, if a still more restricted line must be drawn, one of the Continental groups of Colonies.  A glance at a priced catalogue will be the best guide for selection.  If it must be an economical selection, the catalogue will speak for itself.  There is abundant choice in every direction.  There are colonies with few and simple and inexpensive issues, and there are others that require ample means and patient research.  But the cheapest countries, from an expenditure point of view, are foreign countries—­such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, German Empire, Italy, Chili, China, and so on.

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XV.

Great Collections.

Great collections of postage stamps, like great collections of pictures, in these days acquire an international rank and reputation.  The great stamp collections of to-day are in a few hands, and have been built up by lavish wealth and lavish industry.  Wealth alone will not suffice to gather together a really great philatelic collection.  There must be patient research, and there can be no research apart from that full knowledge which comes only to the industrious and painstaking Philatelist.  The gem that is wanted to complete the finest page in the rich man’s collection has not unfrequently to be personally sought for in the byways, the alleys, and lanes of stamp collecting; and despite the keenest search of the wealthy, it sometimes, after all, falls by grim mischance into the laboriously gathered collection of the man of very limited means.

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Stamp Collecting as a Pastime from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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