I was not one of those stamp collector kids that inherit the hobby from their grandparents. I started collecting stamps (as well as riding a bike) while studying Graphic Design in Portugal.
Where I grew up there weren’t a lot of antiques fairs, at least I don’t recall going to any. While studying at University in Caldas da Rainha there was an antiques fair at the city park every second Sunday of the month, and it was there I came across this affordable hobby.
I bought stamps from a man that would sell them at 13 cents each — the more you’d get, the cheaper they were. I had no knowledge of stamp values, so I would just browse his stamps and pick them based on what I thought was beautiful, interesting, or sometimes funny or dumb.
Initially, I had no specific boundaries or a set goal. I didn’t know that there are people who collect stamps following a system — only cars, flowers, mushrooms or just by country. I just collected everything I liked.
As my collection grew, I started to organize them by country since my subjects were so broad; this was the easiest way to keep them in order somehow.
As with everything you collect, with time you start to find out more about the subject. I remember the first time I came across the website of Kat Ran Press, and how I felt somewhat proud that I had so many “designer stamps”. I hadn’t bought them because they were from famous designers, I had bought them because I thought they were cool.
Of course with time (and knowledge) I bought more stamps from designers I admire, which I first have seen featured on the Kat Ran Press website.
As you can see, my stamp collection is all over the place and not always in the best condition, but I am very happy with it, it is my own. I love my stamp collection!
Every time I need to mail something I always ask for stamps at the post office. It is so sad that the culture of stamps is slowly disappearing. I hate those stickers so much! 😡
However, I am always happy when countries like Germany and the Netherlands, known for their awesome stamp design tradition, still keep up their reputation and release good contemporary stamps.
If you like stamps too, I highly recommend following the Instagram accounts of @graphilately, @katranpress, @linns_stamp_news and @mintneverhinged.
And if anyone has beautiful stamps around they don’t want, send them my way. 🙂
Share your love for letters with us on Instagram or tweet at us @alphabettes_org with the hashtag #letterlove.
I happened to see your site and liked it.
I am an old man from Stockholm. From the 60’s until the mid-90’s I subscribed to stamps from the Nordic countries, Isle of Man and Monaco. It was initially because of my admiration of Czeslaw Slania (or Czesław Słania, as it should really be written). With time, however, I tired of it and stopped the subscriptions.
Now, thirty years later, I realized that my children have no interest or knowledge of the stamps, so I have started cataloguing and organizing all the stamps. with an idea that I will start selling off most of them. I scan them and every day I try to upload a stamp image or two to Flickr. You can see my Flickr album Stamps here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmUCK4oH. You can also just search for my name there and you can see all my other albums, too. Until about six months ago I just uploaded photographs, but stamps have now taken over.
If you give me your snail mail address, I can send you a few stamps that you might like.