Plenty of time to decide on stamp speciality during coronavirus lockdown

Neil Smith, a member of Chichester and District Philatelic Society, talks about finding his speciality in the world of stamp collecting...

Friday, 17th April 2020, 3:01 pm

I am a stamp collector in search of a speciality.

I joined the Chichester Stamp Club with nine fairly incomplete stamp albums and no real idea of what to do. From the club membership and presentations, the clear message was to ‘specialise’.

Like many, I started collecting as a child having been bought a stamp album and 1,000 assorted stamps one Christmas.

Page 55 from Neil Smith's German album

Apart from the process of sorting, ordering and sticking stamps into my album, it introduced me to geography, a wider world, foreign currencies and peoples.

I stopped collecting stamps in my twenties but held on to my albums, thinking it might be something to take up again in retirement. Well here I am!

At first sight , a review my albums provides no clear front runner for specialism.

However, Covid-19 is providing plenty of time to think about that.

Many years ago, I was gifted two pre-World War Two stamp albums.

Firstly, a Stanley Gibbons – The Imperial Postage Stamp Album (1927) and the other, a Schaubek (1935) German stamp album, ostensibly looted from a bomb site in Berlin.

Neither are in particularly a pristine condition and are in no way complete.

I have now adopted these as my specialism.

I am currently working to reduce the number of stamp albums I possess, by redistributing stamps from my wider collection and populating my pre-war albums.

From my endeavours to date I have adopted as a speciality within my speciality, the collection of stamps from a more focussed area: Nederland – 1913 – 1928, as Page 55 of my German album is almost complete.

However, my specialisms will remain under regular review.

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