>Shed archeology

>It’s amazing some of the things you find when cleaning out the shed.

We were decluttering – sorta – the other day and found a large container full of old stamp albums: my sibs and mine from when we were children (hadn’t touched them since the beginning of secondary school, I think), S.’s from his childhood, and the stamp book he’d inherited from his father. Along with the albums were envelopes and bags full of loose and cut out stamps.

We’ve spent bits and pieces of recents days soaking, drying and roughly sorting them. Our collection is obviously Australia- and Malaysia-heavy, with fair representation from Singapore, the UK and USA. We also have an oddly high number of Spanish and South American (Argentinian in particular) stamps courtesy of my mother’s old bosses.

I love the older engraved stamps, and simpler block designs. Even as stamp collecting n00bs, we’re disapproving of the self-adhesive ones that are churned out (in Australia) these days. You can’t soak and dry those – you need to use solvents to dissolve the ‘sticker’ glue. It’s just not right.

Also, I’m not a fan of the lolly-coloured, photographic designs they often have now. IMO, they don’t have the striking lines of yore.

Below are a few of the ones I’ve particularly liked.

1. Swedish beetle stamps:

2. New Zealand seahorse:


3. Sarawak, old-school:


4. Tiger on old-school Malaya stamp:

5. Greek mer-man?


6. Eire stamp (part of a very cool series):

7. Australian Colombo plan stamp:

I’ve become enamoured of the way old stamps look on-screen (yes, weird…move on…), so this may be the first of a series of “gee, here are some stamps I think are cool” kind of posts. The scanning actual captures the texture of the engraving rather nicely, as well as the cancellations and scalloped edges. We have some stamps with old-style ‘perfs’ (perforations) that spell out “OS”, and I’m finding myself at sites such as The Complete Guide to Stamp Collecting.

Oh, I can just see you rushing back.

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3 thoughts on “>Shed archeology

  1. ej 15/09/2008 / 11:10 am

    >My mum gave one of my collections away to a neighbourhood kid when she thought I lost interest. I used to post myself letters because i thought that used stamps were more valuable than unused stamps. I had stamps from countries that no longer exist, east germany, USSR…ahh i am rushing backoh its me, lbw

  2. tseen 18/09/2008 / 4:42 am

    >Hi MatthewOh goody! One keenster! 😀 Will inflict more on you soon.—-Heya EJIt’s fun to have stamps from “dead countries” (as the philatelists call them, apparently). We’ve got heaps of “Malaya” and a scattering of Rhodesia. I’m surprised our stamp albums weren’t turfed out at some point. We had, literally, not touched them for about 15 yrs straight. Now, we’re contemplating what kind of storage we’ll be using for them and which kind of stamp-tweezers to get… 😉

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