Saturday, 9 March 2013

On Possessions, Stuff, Things.

I just moved house.
Well, to be exact, I moved back into my place after two years of house-sitting my mother's much nicer little house a couple of miles away. We, my brothers, sister, and I, were trying to sell it, and I was living there in much nicer leafy suburbs than my own. Last weekend, we finally did the move-out, it's sold, furniture and things apportioned, sales at auction, which brings me around to my subject, Stuff. Things. Kipple. 
The debris of a life.

As you may recall, I blogged some old family photographs. In the same closet were the boxes of my dad's stamps. He started collecting stamps when he started work, in a business which exported all over the world, and by the time I was eight or nine years old, I had a stamp album, a Stanley Gibbons catalogue, a lot of little tissue paper stamp-hinges, and a fascination for these little coloured patches of paper, these world travellers from far-off places and times.

A stamp-collection is a poor-man's art gallery.

My father collected for over seventy years.

I bought stamps for him, on my travels.

History on the pages.

The Shah of Persia

Tristan Da Cunha

The Falklands Islands

Palestinian Stamps

Saar, a short-lived republic.

Boxes of Unsorted Stamps

East Germany

And so, about seven boxes of stamps, albums, first-day covers went out to the auction valuers, and we're told they might bring in a hundred and twenty pounds. Pah! For that I'll have them back, frame a few. I value them, personally, at more than that. 
But here I am, in the midst of trying to downsize my possessions to start a new life in another country, and I'm getting bogged down by stamps. 

Am I crazy?
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  1. Crazy?
    Well how exactly should we answer that? Hmmm, we need to think about that carefully. I know, we will let RDG decide!

    The stamps are interesting, although I stopped collecting them 50 years ago.
    The German and others may well be worth more, or possibly if sold on eBay? I would check with some other authority myself. Using some framed is good!

    The residue of a home is sad and interesting at the same time. Keep the memories.

  2. Stick them in the land rover and bring them across! You will wish you had.

    Ya can't throw the little devils out -- I have a drawer of Australian stamps from a person my girl corresponds with there in Allora. She always seems to stick on ten stamps when one would do, just tempting me.

  3. It's so easy to become waylaid and engrossed when coming across such items of memorabilia...don't feel guilty...enjoy the memories that are stirred because of it.

    1. And I meant to's not grit in the gears...but a spoke in the wheel, perhaps! ;)

  4. My daughter still has the stamp collection I started, and she added to...

  5. King George V collected stamps as his main hobby. Possibly because his face was on so many!

  6. As a lifelong stamp collector, I will reassure you that you're not crazy. If you ever do want to monetize them, I would suggest bypassing the auction house and taking some of the boxes to a local stamp collectors club. I have been president of mine, and we not infrequently have families coming in asking what to do with material that has been passed on to them. Whether you have anything truly valuable or not depends mostly on what your father put into them; if he just accumulated everyday stamps off letters and bought penny stamps for the fun of it, then the accumulation will likely not contain any surprise treasures. But if he "invested" in significant purchases, it would be worth while to get 3-4 opinions from members of a local club.


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