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23 May 2013

Tunisian postage stamps

Here are some more beautiful stamps to add to my previous blog posts about Tunisian postage stamps.  Having recently read up a little about philately, which is the study of stamps, I realise that I am drawn to what is known as "thematic philately" which is the study of the image depicted on the stamp. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I never knew that there was far more to philately than just collecting stamps. 
Philately is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items. Philately involves more than just stamp collecting, which does not necessarily involve the study of stamps. It is possible to be a philatelist without owning any stamps.  For instance, the stamps being studied may be very rare, or reside only in museums.
 
Traditional philately is the study of the technical aspects of stamp production and stamp identification, including:

The stamp design process;
The paper used (wove, laid, etc., and including watermarks);
The method of printing (engraving, typography, etc.);
The gum;
The method of separation (perforation, rouletting);
Any overprints on the stamp;
Any security markings, under prints or perforated initials ("perfins"); and,
  • Thematic philately also known as topical philately, is the study of what is depicted on the stamps.
  • Postal history studies the postal systems and how they operate and, or, the study of postage stamps and covers and associated material illustrating historical episodes of postal systems both before and after the introduction of the adhesive stamps.
  • Aerophilately is the branch of Postal history that specializes in the study of airmail.
  • Postal stationery includes stamped envelopes, postal cards, letter sheets, aérogrammes (air letter sheets) and wrappers, most of which have an embossed or imprinted stamp or indicia indicating the prepayment of postage.
  • Philatelic literature documents the results of philatelic study and includes thousands of books and periodicals.
  • Revenue philately is the study of stamps used to collect taxes or fees on such things as, legal documents, court fees, receipts, tobacco, alcoholic drinks, drugs and medicines, playing cards, hunting licenses and newspapers.
 
 
Whilst some people may mock the activities of a philatelist wrongly thinking that the collection and study of stamps and its related paraphernalia is somehow out of date and harks back to a previous time in history, others in the know realise that there is a demand and a market for this activity. 
 
I was interested to see a video clip on the BBC website recently entitled, "Stamp collecting big business in Asia".  The video clip includes an interview with a Mr Keith Heddle who is the group investment director of the UK-based company Stanley Gibbons who are experts in rare stamps.
Here is a link to this video clip for your information:

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