Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 105

We are all too pat to classify fellow collectors into rigid categories and then picture them according to our own conception of the category. For instance, if we say “He is a collector of German stamps,” the person who uses Scott’s Specialty series is likely to decide that the German collectors must be filling spaces in the same type of album. Topical collectors are automatically classified as being uninterested in philately but closely associated with art collectors. This packaging of collectors is 100% wrong. There are no exactly alike collections or collectors.

I have just returned from a trip during which I closely inspected the holdings of 121 collectors and accumulators. Each collection was distinctive in its contents, form of housing, purpose, quality and scope. Of course several used the same albums, but never in quite the same way. Even those patterned collectors, U.S. Plate Block enthusiasts, managed to achieve considerable variety in their presentations.

You cannot picture the typical collection any more than the typical collector can be imagined. The diversity in our fellow philatelists constitutes one of our hobby’s greatest virtues. And it ensures too, that no matter how “far out” a collection might be, somewhere there is a market for it.

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