Philately – hobby for leisure, pleasure and knowledge
INTRODUCTION – Collectibles
Collection of Articles of Interest by people has been observed from time immemorial. People collect Gold & Silver articles and jewelry, Ivory, Swords, guns, Brass & Bronze, Art & paintings, STAMPS & LABELS, even cars and two wheelers and the likes. As time advanced the list expanded. But the passion for a few collectibles are time lasting.
HUMAN GREGARIOUSITY & COMMUNICATION
The human beings as a race are GREGARIOUS and live in societies. Their advanced sense has resulted in effective communication within and between societies. As this ability to communicate is the key factor to the gregarious nature of human society, the ways of communication improved in leaps and bounds as civilization advanced. Speech and languages developed and villages and countries formed and writing also evolved in different languages. As the distance between human societies increased the need for NON-VERBAL communication increased. People resorted to written communication by sending them through people , horseman and even birds (homing pigeons and other birds). This type of written communication involved cost. The communication needs of rulers of a country increased to keep in touch with their representatives in different part of a country. The cost of communication kept on increasing and there arose a time, communications between countries became essential.
Many , especially business community used the communication systems asking the recipients to pay for the dispatch. Some countries started organized system of communication as they felt it to be a profitable venture. But. many receivers refused to accept the dispatch at the receiving end. The solution was soon fund by introducing PREPAID mailing system.
EARLY HISTORY OF STAMPED MAILS
A comparatively small country like ENGLAND , was able to colonise a number of countries in a short period of tome starting late 15th century. They needed cheaper communication system on a mass scale. In order to achieve their goal, they appointed Sir Rowland Hill to suggest POSTAL REFORMS. As a result of his report, the British government started PENNT POST system in 1840. The result was the issue of the WORLD’s FIRST POSTAGE STAMP, the “PENNY BLACK”. This Postal system was soon introduced in different colonies and British sold the idea to other countries as well mainly with the intention of trade.
Once structured, Postal system came into pace, the term PHILATELY , came into existence, PHILOS means LOVING ; ATELOS means PAID. The postage stamps permitted, letters to be delivered free of charge to the receiver.
Collecting stamps new and used are carried out by millions of people around the world, irrespective of age. The hobby of collecting stamps is very popular among school children But very few of them graduate as a PHILATELIST. Now a days collectors not only collect Stamps , but also other philatelic materials such as postal stationery, First day covers, cancellations, miniature sheets , study postal history etc.
Thus we see ,”PHILATELY IS AN ORGANISED COLLECTION AND PRESENTATION OF PHILATELIC MATERIALS.”
TYPES OF STAMPS
PHILATELY MAY BE CLASSIFIED AS FOLLOWS:
This consists of all aspects of postage stamps. It is based on collecting all items of philatelic importance production of stamps, colour codes, designer, size etc.
Postage stamps used or mints
Water marks, perforations, kind of paper used, printing process.
Essay and proof of adopted or rejected designs.
Postal forgeries, defects, fiscal stamps, defective, etc.
This category could be further subdivided into countries, continents. Traditional philately relies on the knowledge of the individual philatelist on his material.
This is a mixture of documents and other postal items, which are used by postal service; official, local or private. Exhibits of postal history show postal routes, rates, posts markings and their evolution. The exhibits consists of used covers, used postal stationery, used postage stamps and postal documents arranged in a lucid manner telling a great story in postal history and illustrate the postal service as a whole.
Letter sheets including telegrams
Envelopes, ordinary, registered and insured.
Wrappers and printed forms of various kinds.
Stationery used for receipts, certificate of post, Money order, Postal orders, and other documents bearing post marks or stamp designs.
This is mainly documents transported by Air. These include,
Official and semi official stamps issued specially for AIR MAIL.
All types of postal marks, labels concerned with AERIAL TRANSPORT.
Leaflets, messages, and news papers dropped from air as a way of normal postal delivery during occasions when postal service on ground is affected by calamities.
Mail recovered from air craft accidents and incidents involving airplanes.
This is built using philatelic materials on historical, technical and scientific aspects related to space research and space programmes. This will also include the aspects of Astronomy in relation to space research , manned space programmes etc.
This section consists of exhibits on philatelic literature such as Pamphlets , books, monographs, research articles, philatelic exhibition catalogues, philatelic periodicals etc,.
This section is one of the most popular and widely used one especially by young philatelists. The exhibitors selects a theme based on the picture on the stamp or other aspects on the stamp and collects similar ones from various countries release on the same theme. Some themes that are usually used are BIRDS, DOGS, MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, MAPS on stamps etc. Some have used themes such as EYES.
The exhibitor is required to show his/her knowledge on different aspects of philately such as , paper used for the stamp, process of printing, number of perforations, water mark, colour code etc,.
Thematic aspect also requires showing the knowledge of the exhibitor on the theme. In case of birds, its name common& scientific, type such as aquatic, flightless, nocturnal , raptor etc. , The exhibition of birds may be arranged in the form of the factual classification as in Biology.
A philatelist is expected to blend the above two aspects in a thematic exhibition and bring a balance between them. Subject knowledge is given greater importance in thematic exhibition.
This involves the collection of stamps specific to a country and arranging them on some philatelic terms such as shapes, chronological, types , commemoration, definitive’s, service etc. This requires a systematic search using catalogues and collection. At times one may find the same country collection with its old and new names or before split or after split as we find now a days. Russia(USSR) has split, Germany has united. Hence you may find two different sets of stamps.
This is mixed theme philatelic exhibit , involving picture post card and stamp. This involves the aspect that the picture on the post card and the stamp must have some specific relation. The stamp affixed should be valid and be affixed on the view side of the post card. The size of the post card should be 90 X 140 mm , minimum and 105 X 148 mm , maximum. Picture post cards with mere reproduction of postage stamp are not allowed. The pictorial design of the cancellation and the place should have a close and direct connection with the stamp and the picture on the post card.
Article by Mr. R Venkata Ramanan. Chennai based educational consultant. See linkedIn profile.
R Venkata Ramanan
Padmini V Ramanan Educational Resource Centre
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