Stamp Hunting in Summer

Stamps may be considered a little out of season when the sun pours down on our Panama, and the clear blue sky free from clouds (as the Sydney, type I, plate I, has no sign of watermark) is harmony itself with the green trees and merry flowing river. Such surroundings take us from our stamp albums and indoor occupations and lead to far off fields in search of the necessary change from our usual occupations.

But still an enthusiastic stamp collector can profit by his summer rambles in the strange parts and yet not allow the sunshine to dim his philatelic optic.

During my own rambles I mingle stamp hunts with other pleasures, and by looking up dealers’ addresses in various towns, and watching for displays of stamps for sale, I have many times been pleased that I have not forgotten my stamps during the summer.

Frequently I have dropped across other collectors in these stamp shops, and on more than one occasion, a chat has ripened into years of friendship, and in many desirable exchanges of duplicates.

On the Continent, I have met many British and American collectors, and I well remember spending an afternoon in a cigar shop and stamp bureau in Dammthorstrasse, Hamburg, and meeting there a jovial Englishman, who “put me on” something exceedingly good in another part of the city. Through an American cousin met under similar circumstances, I obtained my five rarest “Ceylon” which led me to make a specialty of that country.

Every collector would not deign to enter a sweet stuff shop where a few dirty stamps are offered for sale, but through making enquiries at a shop of this class, I once picked up a nice used copy of the 2/- brown.

I remember, too, taking shelter from a storm by purchasing a few picture cards from a stationer’s shop, at a watering place last summer. There were several sheets of stamps hanging up for sale, and on enquiring if the shopkeeper had anything of better value, I was shown a book of superb unused Norway and Sweden. After making a purchase of several shillings, the stationer gave me the address of the owner, as he believed he had other stamps for disposal. I duly called at the address given, and during my stay in the town made several other calls, and by the time I came away I had added many nice things to my collection.

These instances I give to show the opportunities many collectors must miss by entirely losing their philatelic interest at this time of year.

Although I myself may have been exceptionally fortunate, there is no reason why others, equally energetic, may not hunt up something during their trips that would afterwards recall pleasant recollections of their holiday.