Saturday 28 October 2023

105 Bucks of Fun! Kingston October Stamp Show

Kingston Stamp Club's October Stamp Show was held today at Crossroads United Church on Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard. I went with my requisite two reuseable shopping bags which did not go home unfilled. My second stop was Roy Lingen's table at which Roy had a suitably situated box of $5 grab bags. I picked up around 15 to give me a winter's worth, and Roy kindly gave me a volume discount! I've since checked them all out: I selected mostly off paper, but there are some real goodies in here! More of my haul:
My third stop was a dealer's table (sorry, didn't get the name to link to) where I found a jam-packed stockbook of US (top right, below) and a stock page full. Again, the dealer gave a volume discount.
But my first stop was the huge spread of consignment tables at the Kingston Stamp Club end of the hall. Constantly refreshed, and in some dire cases repriced by Val during my visit there, I found the cigar box of my dreams (above, including neat in-the-lid artwork!). And below, some ready-to-use album pages (very similar to the ones I've been making, shown in my previous post), a small stockbook of Canada corner blocks, three black stock pages or groupings of British Commonwealth, and another super grab bag. I intend to post my finds from the two club grab bags in an upcoming post. (Though I was hoping to keep my purchases to my previous 80-buck limit, that $10 grouping of Commonwealth pages seemed just to good to pass up, thereby putting me over the top!)
Except for Roy, most of the dealers were in the courteous but ho-hum variety and one even commented on his wish to liquidate his entire stock due to his age. I've discussed this syndrome in a previous post. The venue was good, ample parking and well-attended show although I failed to find a fifth Harris Traveler album, despite checking in with Roy, Val and what I could see at other dealers' tables. I'm currently completing country pages and placing them in a file folder. When it comes time to albumize those pages, I'll do an appreciation of remaining space in my four albums and go from there. Until then, it's sorting time!

Sunday 22 October 2023

(My) Stamp Pages Through the Ages

As I've been continuing my albumizing crusade up to about the M-countries, I've had a chance to look back on the four Traveler albums I've filled. There are probably about two albums' worth of original Traveler pages spread across all four binders, at least one of which I bought without pages inside. Originally, like any early collector, I was most likely to collect common stamps that matched the illustrations Mr. H.E. Harris, who it is noted inside the album personally designed the album pages, put on the pages. Then, I'd fill in the blank spaces with more modern or higher-value stamps. I went to my second of four Travelers to snap photos of some sample pages. The top photos shows a good example of an original Traveler album page that I've been able to completely fill with Ghana.
I was able to print some of my own pages, at least a decade or two ago, using a template I found online. However, it's difficult to estimate while randomly printing pages just how many you'll need for a given country's stamps. The template comprised a title block, border, and quadrille background, leaving me free to arrange stamps as I liked. Again, the page gets filled (above) with only a little white-space. I purchased blank quadrille album pages from Canadian Wholesale Supply for a time, both heavy and light paper stock. I'd write in the country name in pencil, again freely arranging in rows on each page:
Let's travel down a slippery slope a few pages later to Greece. This is again a Traveler page, obverse of the main country page, and again filled:
A few years ago, with template pages and a catalogue in hand, I was able to space the stamps out a little and write in some details on some of the older issues. This was during the long period when I was accumulating stamps, but paralyzed by not being able to check for duplicates and albumize them. I was just filling zip-loc bags labelled for each country. And, this was before I had several years' accumulation of stamps from exchanges that really outweighed the comparatively few stamps I had albumized up to that point. I've since checked each zip-loc bags stamps against each other for duplicates, then checked those against what was already in the album pages. Lots of duplicates emerged for exchanges!
State-of-the-art, almost to the extreme. Looking back on some of the quadrilled pages, there is so little white-space that it's a little claustrophobic! At this point, with a recent incursion into South and Central America, I'll be getting back to albumizing from the N-countries onwards. The four Travelers are quite full, so I'm now looking for a fifth! Placing more stamps per page at least cuts down on the number of pages and gives the viewer lots to look at. 

Or to quote an auction listing, "Nothing particular valuable in this collector's album, just a LOT of stamps!"


Tuesday 17 October 2023

Look What the [Stamp]cat Dragged In!

Every so often on my journey to restore the fun of philately into what is increasingly a stodgy, money-driven, unattainable and inaccessible, only-experts-need-apply-old-retired-guy-in-his-basement-with-dusty-old-albums hobby, I encounter a fellow traveller who successfully fights the inertia and keeps travails in the mail enjoyable. Such is StampCat (Lisa) from the GTA. A regular Youtuber, StampCat often features mail-call videos that are well-paced, well-produced and the polar opposite of many philatelic videos. I thought I would send in a mailing to say 'hi' and 'thanks'. It was nice to see it in MailDay#10 - It's Caturday Morning Mail posted three days ago.
Writing on some decidedly-unprototypical scrapbook paper as stationery (above), on the other side I endeavoured to find an alphabetical compendium of stamps from my duplicates. A non-conventional presentation which was a good exercise for me. It got me going through my duplicates, which I'm always trying to improve and streamline. My cardboard mailer exterior included a hand-drawn facsimile of the StampCat logo:
It was a treat to be 'mentioned-in-despatches' by a fellow collector who is also trying to stay above the dusty world of really boring philately and bringing new life to this old hobby of ours!
In the same mail-call video, another collector sent in a set I hadn't seen before. Hong Kong stamp-on-stamp featuring my favourite stamp, namely the Hong Kong mythical phoenix (I initially typo'd this as 'Hong King' but it does in fact feature King George VI!).
This also illustrates a nice feature of many StampCat videos - holding the stamp with tongs up to the camera and in-focus. Takes a lot of editing and the proper use of techology to get these results!