Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vintage Stamp Catalogue

I don’t really plan on buying vintage books when I go thrift shopping (and I certainly don’t need them), but it tends to be one of the things that I inevitably get. I picked up United States Stamp Catalogue Specialized from 1948 that I took a cursory look at before I bought it (for a whopping $1); I took a closer look at it when I got home and was impressed by the wealth of images in it.

I’ve never collected stamps, but I can see what the fascination is with them. Some stamps are topical while others are historical and refer to specific people or important events, like presidents, wars and statehoods. Some stamps are serious while others are more celebratory in nature, involving holidays, sports and special events. The topic as well as the time period the stamps are made can influence the design aesthetic of those stamps; and the designer in me appreciates that any art created must fit on such a tiny canvas.

So I had a fun time looking over this book that contains postage stamps from 1847 to 1947, air post stamps, special delivery stamps, stamped envelopes, local stamps and telegraph stamps (just to name a few). The book is printed in black and white, so it unfortunately doesn’t show any colors the stamps may be in, but it’s still a nice reference to have that shows a range of stamp types and styles.

Here are some examples of the stamps found in the book:

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