Preprinted labels as collected by philatelists come in three broad categories: postage stamps, revenues, and Cinderellas. Postage stamps are collected by all philatelists. They are the major stamp issues of each country and are issued for the prepayment of postage. Postage Stamps are listed in many major worldwide catalogs. Collecting postage stamps has a long history and is very popular. Revenues are stamps that are issued to pay taxes, not postage. However, some countries allow the use of some stamps for both purposes; when this happens, the stamps are called Postal Fiscals and are collected by stamp collectors either mint or with postal, not revenue, cancels. Revenue collecting was once very popular and rivaled postage stamp collecting. It is very much of a niche area of the hobby now. Outside of the US philatelic domain, collecting of Revenue stamps is very unusual.

Cinderellas have always been the poor sister of philately (hence the name for these types of stamps— really one of the best monikers that you can imagine). Cinderellas are simply defined as privately produced labels which are the shape and size of postage stamps. They range from Christmas and Easter Seals to stamp exhibition labels to S&H green stamps. Many collectors add some Cinderellas to the specialty collections that they maintain, but almost no one collects Cinderellas exclusively. Part of the reason is that the definition of Cinderellas is so expansive that the range of what can be collected is nearly unlimited. Another problem is the non-Official aspect of Cinderellas— there are so many varieties. And the lack of catalogs makes collecting these stamps daunting. Collectors don’t know what was issued or what each piece may be worth.


Cinderella collecting by itself has never been very popular. Years ago there was a collector in Florida who had been an executive with Aramco for most of his life in Saudi Arabia, spending most of the 1950s in that country. By his account, life there 
was dull, and he turned to Cinderella collecting mainly because there were no Cinderellas in Saudi Arabia (there were virtually no stamps then as commerce and literacy was limited), and he could keep up a busy correspondence from abroad bringing in his Cinderella stamps, spending lots of time (which he had in abundance) and spending little money (usually in short supply). Few people collect Cinderellas, so they were cheap, and over the decades the collector assembled hundreds of volumes of Cinderellas at very little cost. When we sold his collection in the 1970s it was the most significant collection of Cinderellas to ever come on the market. We haven’t seen a decent one since.
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