Every stamp and piece of mail tells a story. In fact, each often tells multiple stories, ranging from concept to art design to production to usage, often with tales of politics, history, technology, biography, genealogy, economics, geography, disaster, and triumph. The lens of philately offers a fresh and engaging story of American history, culture, and identity, and it can also help deepen the understanding of world cultures. The William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, opened at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in September 2013, has many such stories to tell. Chief philately curator Cheryl R. Ganz guides readers through some of the gallery's nearly 20,000 objects that together illustrate the history of our nation's postal operations and postage stamps.
DISCOVER THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF AMERICA THROUGH ITS BEAUTIFUL AND DIVERSE POSTAGE STAMPS IN THIS EXUBERANT AND ALWAYS CHARMING HISTORY.
In A History of America in Thirty-six Postage Stamps, Chris West explores America's own rich philatelic history. From George Washington's dour gaze to the charging buffalo of the western frontier and Lindbergh's soaring biplane, American stamps are a vivid window into our country's extraordinary and distinctive past. With the always accessible and spirited West as your guide, discover the remarkable breadth of America's short history through a fresh lens.
On their own, stamps can be curiosities, even artistic marvels; in this book, stamps become a window into the larger sweep of history.
These are the stories of fifty countries that once existed but have now have been erased from the map. Varying vastly in size and shape, location and longevity, they are united by one fact: all of them endured long enough to issue their own stamps.
Some of their names, such as Biafra or New Brunswick, will be relatively familiar. Others, such as Labuan, Tannu Tuva, and Inini, are far less recognizable. But all of these lost nations have stories to tell, whether they were as short- lived as Eastern Karelia, which lasted only a few weeks during the Soviet- Finnish War of 1922, or as long- lasting as the Orange Free State, a Boer Republic that celebrated fifty years as an independent state in the late 1800s. Their broad spectrum reflects the entire history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with its ideologies, imperialism, waves of immigration, and conflicts both major and minor.
The motifs and symbols chosen for stamps have always served as a form of national self- presentation, an expression of the aims and ambitions of the ruling authorities. Drawing on fiction and eye- witness accounts as well as historical sources, Bjorn Berge's witty text casts an unconventional eye on these lesser- known nations. Nowherelands is a different kind of history book that will intrigue anyone keen to understand what makes a nation a nation.
When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. In 2014, this tiny square of faded red paper sold at Sotheby's for nearly $10 million, the largest amount ever paid for a postage stamp at auction. Through the stories of the eccentric characters who have bought, owned, and sold the One-Cent Magenta in the years in between, James Barron delivers a fascinating tale of global history and immense wealth, and of the human desire to collect. One-cent magentas were provisional stamps, printed quickly when a shipment of official stamps from London did not arrive in British Guiana. They were mostly thrown out with the newspapers; one stamp survived. The singular One-Cent Magenta has had nine owners since a twelve-year-old boy rediscovered it in 1873. He soon sold it for what would be $17 today. Among later owners was a wealthy French nobleman who hid the stamp from almost everyone; a businessman who traveled with the stamp in a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist; and John E. du Pont, who died while serving a thirty-year sentence for the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz. The One-Cent Magenta explores the intersection of obsessive pursuits and great affluence and asks why we want most what is most rare.
When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. In 2014, this tiny square of faded red paper sold at Sotheby's for nearly $9.5 million, the largest amount ever paid for a postage stamp at auction. Through the stories of the eccentric characters who have bought, owned, and sold the one-cent magenta in the years in between, James Barron delivers a fascinating tale of global history and immense wealth, and of the human desire to collect.
One-cent magentas were provisional stamps, printed quickly in what was then British Guiana when a shipment of official stamps from London did not arrive. They were intended for periodicals, and most were thrown out with the newspapers. But one stamp survived. The singular one-cent magenta has had only nine owners since a twelve-year-old boy discovered it in 1873 as he sorted through papers in his uncle's house. He soon sold it for what would be $17 today. (That's been called the worst stamp deal in history.) Among later owners was a fabulously wealthy Frenchman who hid the stamp from almost everyone (even King George V of England couldn't get a peek); a businessman who traveled with the stamp in a briefcase he handcuffed to his wrist; and John E. du Pont, an heir to the chemical fortune, who died while serving a thirty-year sentence for the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz.
Recommended for fans of Nicholas A. Basbanes, Susan Orlean, and Simon Winchester, The One-Cent Magenta explores the intersection of obsessive pursuits and great affluence and asks why we want most what is most rare.
This is the ultimate guide to getting the most out of the world's most popular hobby, with countless examples of rare, vivid and historical stamps spanning almost two centuries, plus advice on price and guidance about acquisition.An in-depth introduction traces the evolution of the postal services, from the Roman mail coaches rushing to the forefront of fighting to souvenir Zeppelin issues, and the advent of rail, boat and air as methods of mass delivery.The book dissects the modern-day adhesive stamp, to help collectors understand the value of their own collection and the importance of preserving stamps. Different methods of collecting, and the practical aspects of building and maintaining a collection, are covered in detail.There are also step-by-step instructions on how to retain the quality of stamps while mounting them for display, and guidance on entering the stamp buyer's marketplace, whether attending exhibitions and stamp fairs, or using an on-line auction site.A global directory of stamps from more than 200 countries will inspire readers to collect their own. Read some of the fascinating stories behind the world's most sought-after stamps, from the famous commemoratives of American presidents to issues from some of the most remotest post offices in the world.Stamps trace the character and history of the country from which they originate, and this encyclopedic visual directory, with 3000 images, is a valuable record of some of the most interesting, beautiful and bizarre examples ever created.A comprehensive directory of the world's greatest stamps, including photographs of over 3000 stamps from more than 200 countriesAn expert guide to understanding and acquiring wonderful stamps, by one of the world's foremost collectorsA thorough introduction to the evolution of the adhesive stamp and other philatelic material allows the beginner or experienced enthusiast to understand both the history and value of their collectionThe stories behind the flaws, incidents and propaganda that created some of the world's most collectable stampsDifferent methods of collecting stamps are explained, with tips on how to research, organize and extend a collection through contact with the stamp buyer's marketStep-by-step instructions on mounting, displaying and preserving stamps, with examples of useful tools and accessories
Including the beautiful pieces in the author's own collection under various themes such as 'The Wonders of Nature, ' 'Traditional Dances, ' 'Knights, ' or 'The Space Conquest', this work shows how each culture illustrates its major historical events as well as actions of daily li