Topical stamp collecting

Topical stamp collecting

Topical or thematic stamp collecting is the practice of collecting postage stamps relating to a particular subject or concept. Topics may include almost anything, from birds on stamps, to famous physicians, to the history of southwest England.

While the earliest stamps simply depicted busts of reigning monarchs, important figures, or coats of arms, the continuing need for new types of stamps, plus the desire to inject some variety, prompted postal administrations to develop new designs that drew upon their nations' cultures, as well as nature. Bears appeared on provisional stamps of St. Louis in 1845, while the beaver was featured on the earliest stamps of Canada. More than 150 years later, the variety of designs on stamps is simply staggering, amounting to at least 100,00 distinct designs, and giving topical collectors plenty to do.

In fact, there are now so many types that traditional topics for collecting, such as "ships" or "birds", have become nearly impossible to complete, and topical collectors may specialize further, such as by looking for only square-rigged sailing ships, or only flightless birds.

Since most types of stamp designs are commonly available and inexpensive, acquiring them is mostly a matter of poring over the stamp catalog looking for relevant types, and learning enough about the topic to recognize subtle connections. The American Topical Association and others have published lists of larger topics.

Topical collections are a recognized category for competitive exhibition.

Popular topics

*People on stamps
*Maps on stamps
*Birds on stamps
*Insects on stamps
*Ships on stamps
*Stamps on stamps
*Chess on stamps
*Textiles on stamps
*Rugby on stamps
* Animals
** Birds
** Cats and/or Wild Felines
** Elephants
** Butterflies
* Astronauts
* Automobiles
* Baseball
* Black history
* Conchology: seashell stamps
* Certain sports; Olympic games
* Children
* Dinosaurs
* Ecology, National Parks
* Explorers
* Holidays
* Geology, geologists
* Lighthouses
* Marilyn Monroe
* Medical
* Mountains
* Plants
** Flowers
** Trees
** Botanists
** Biologists
* Planes
* Racing
* Railroads
* Religion
* Sailing, ships
* Science, scientists
* Space
* Transportation
* Volcanos
* Women


* Richard McP. Cabeen, "Standard Handbook of Stamp Collecting" (Harper & Row, 1979), pp. 83-88

External links

* [ American Topical Association]
* [ - The Feline Philately Homepage]
* [ Rugby]
* [ SOSCC, Stamps on Stamps Collectors Club]
* [ Textiles]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stamp collecting — is the collecting of postage stamps and related objects, such as covers (envelopes or packages with stamps on them). It is one of the world s most popular hobbies, with estimates of the number of collectors ranging up to 20 million in the United… …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas stamp — This 1973 Christmas stamp of Canada features a dove as Christmas ornament. Many nations of the world issue Christmas stamps, postage stamps with a Christmas theme and intended for use on seasonal mail such as Christmas cards. These stamps are… …   Wikipedia

  • Железнодорожная филателия — Пример цельной вещи  маркированной почтовой карточки заказа железнодорожных билетов …   Википедия

  • List of birds on stamps — Birds on stamps is a common theme in philately and a popular subject for topical stamp collectors. Birds started appearing on stamps by 1845 in Switzerland with Basel Dove, and after, by 1875, when Japan issued a series of stamps bearing stylized …   Wikipedia

  • List of people on stamps — Since 1840, when the Penny Black featured a profile of Queen Victoria, it has been a tradition worldwide for nations to honor individuals on their postage stamps. Typical choices include monarchs, important figures of history, politicians,… …   Wikipedia

  • Maximaphily — is a branch of philately involving the study and creation of maximum cards.[1] It is one of eleven classifications of philately recognised by the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) and therefore has its own FIP Commission. The FIP… …   Wikipedia

  • List of ships on stamps — Many nations have depicted ships on stamps, since ships have long been a means of transporting the mail over long distances. Ships are also symbols of economic or military prowess, and in some cases specific ships are associated with events of… …   Wikipedia

  • Insects on stamps — Almost every country has featured insects on stamps. Insect related topics such as the mosquito eradication programme of the 1960s (anti malaria) as well as graphic designs based on insects have also also* Topical stamp… …   Wikipedia

  • Philatelic investment — Philatelic Investment, the investment of funds in collectible postage stamps for the purpose of realizing a profit, is a recent phenomenon when compared to other traditional investment endeavours. Investing in rare stamps is not for the novice.… …   Wikipedia

  • Philately — is the study and collecting of revenue and postage stamps. This includes the design, production and uses of stamps after they are authorized for issue, usually by government officials such as postal authorities. Philately is the distinct activity …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.