Collectors and collections evolve with the postal system

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association convention, held in Toronto.
For me, one of the best parts of getting to a stamp event is that it gives me the chance to spend time talking to stamp collectors. A publication such as Canadian Stamp News is unique in that the readers are defined by interest, not by geography, so being able to chat with my readers is always a rare pleasure. Sometimes shows or sales seem to have themes, something has recently happened or is about to happen, or there is a hot item on the bourse floor. In this case, the message seemed to be about the fun of collecting.

As always, I am impressed by the diversity that stamp collectors show in their hobby. Garfield Portch, for instance, filled me in on his work plating OHMS overprints. His research has raised questions about how the overprints were done, and opened the door to the possibility that before long we will know the plate position of an issue just by picking out a few details. I find that sort of research pretty impressive, especially when someone explains it in a way that makes it all seem so simple. Other collectors were willing to talk about other interests, and a few always bring along a treasure or two to share. As usual, the variety is impressive.

There are still a few generalist collectors out there, and while they may not be aspiring for the sort of completeness that was possible in the early days of collecting, they have a lot of fun doing what they can. Other collectors are focusing on topicals or thematics, an area that I think may offer some of the most fun for a modest investment. Finally, I spent a bit of time talking about the now-fascinating kiosk stamps. Now that Canada Post has ended its kiosk experiment, at least for the time being, we can assume that it is possible to summarize the series and put together some collecting objectives.

Many are showing interest in putting together a collection of the various rates postally used on cover.
I suspect that the short duration of the kiosk program, and the fact that it wasn’t incredibly popular, means that putting together such a collection could prove a daunting challenge. Already these items are turning up on various online venues, and while the prices are not particularly high, it is still a market that is finding its feet. For that reason, Ian Robertson has put together some information in the issue which complements the coverage that I have done over the past few months. We also have another piece in the works from another author that promises to be the most definitive work on the subject to date.

That coupled with several other sources, such as the Elizabethan Study Group, opens the door to being able to set down exactly what would be needed to make a complete collection. There will still be plenty of opportunities to seek out unique covers, particularly in the international rate, where volumes are low, and most left Canada never to return. It’s the sort of project that may take a lot more time than money, and could ultimately be quite a collecting challenge. As I have said, the hobby is all about having fun, and it’s exciting to discover that a 2013 issue can offer so much pleasure to so many.

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