Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Collecting : my collection 03a

Collecting should be fun, and the financial part should always come on the last place.
First you should enjoy obtaining your stamps/coins/notes/... without wondering if a set is complete or not. Quality of an item doen't matter at first, and damaged items can be replaced by better ones later on.

That's how collections start, that's how collectors start.

In fact if there weren't catalogues, people would be happier, as they would not know what they DONT HAVE and only what they HAVE.
But of course the purpose of a catalogue is not only to know how small your collection is, or how worthless the stamps you have in that collection.
No, a catalogue is a treasure, a 'Fundgrübe', a history book, a cook book, a manco list provider, ...
a holy book,... !

Having such a 'holy book' depends mainly on the place you were born.
And for most people it' s often the only 'holy book' they read.
Sad, because every catalogue has its own value, it's own truth and it's on (dis)advantages.
Those who have read all those books can decide what book is best according their needs.

in this third part of 'my collection' I will try to tell you more about catalogues, their (dis)advantages, their use ...

But first things first ...
who started the fire ?

As we all should know, the first stamp was emitted in the United Kingdom, in 1840.
The 'black penny' was the first stamp that was put on a letter, to pay and prove it was paid, for sending letters.

And this is the country where I like to start.

John Gray was the first 'philatelist'. When the black penny was sold on May 6, 1840, he bought a couple of stamps to keep them. He collected stamps from all over the world and in 1861 he was the first to emit a kind of catalogue, named the Hand Catalogue of Postage Stamps.

John Edward Gray
In this first work, there were no pictures and the 'catalogue' wasn't ment to be used as a reference for individuals either.

first 'catalogue 1961'

There were 5 editions of this catalogue (second edition in the picture).
On auctions, a copy like this one for 1,000 USD is a bargain :-)

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