Times Change

Collectors of current material hate stamps and covers that are produced for a philatelic purpose. When Sven Hedin needed funding for a China expedition that he was planning, he convinced the Chinese government to issue stamps commemorating the planned trip. These stamps were sold to the public and the funds received were used to finance the trip. Collectors naturally balked and for decades the Sven Hedin set from China was eschewed by philatelists. The same is true of the long circa 1900 sets from various French and Portuguese colonies that were issued with little purpose but to obtain philatelic bucks. In the 1950s, collectors laughed at Inhambane and French India. Surely, if these specks of geopolitical aspirations needed stamps at all they didn’t need hundreds of different ones. But time heals all wounds and the stamps that my grandfather wouldn’t put in his album now have avid collectors eagerly bidding up prices. Even the Bhutan record stamps of the 1960’s which were beyond even scoffing about have its adherents. As each generation passes in this hobby, the next generation forgets the philatelic objections of the previous and yesterday’s crap is today’s classics.

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