Can there ever be a thing of too many postage stamps? I’m testing my limit that’s for sure. I’ve had a couple of shoe boxes of loose stamps at home that I use in my art. Honestly, I don’t need anymore, but when an opportunity presented itself for me to potentially get more interesting (meaning vintage) stamps, I couldn’t pass it up. I came home with another two shoe boxes of stamps from my local stamp club. But honestly, what’s the worst that can happen when you reach postage stamp overload? You share with other stamp-enthusiast artists, and you create more art projects, that’s what.
The box that keeps on giving
This past week I picked up a box of loose, vintage postage stamps, from my local stamp club.
At the bottom of the box, unbeknownst to me when I bought it, was row upon row of tiny stamp bundles. As I began taking them out to inspect, I found that the thread had broken off on many of them and so the stack were in danger of scattering. Carefully, I began removing them and making stacks on my dining room table.
The stamps are old and somewhat brittle. It seems to me that the box was in a place warm and dry, like a garage perhaps, and that’s how they lost their flexibility. Though there are lots of different international stamps in the shoe box, the bundles consist of only two stamp designs. Both are from Denmark and are “definitives”.
A definitive stamp is a postage stamp that is part of the regular issue of a country’s stamps, available for sale by the post office for an extended period of time and designed to serve the everyday postal needs of the country. – Wikipedia
These Danish definitives were issued between 1870 and 1904. After seeing so many postmarks, I learned to decipher dates.
My kids watched me make piles of loose stamps and wondered what I was doing. After I explained that I was going to make bundles out of the loose stamps, they decided they wanted to help me too. Both wanted a few bundles to keep of their own. I readily agreed.
With my little helpers, we bundled a grand total of 68 sets of Danish stamps.
We stopped there, once the cigar box was full. I placed the rest of the loose stamps in a resealable sandwich bag.
Have you lost your mind?
You might be thinking, what will you do with a cigar box of stamp bundles? Why would you waste your time doing such a thing as bundling used stamps? As one person who commented on my photos I posted on Instagram: Keep the bundled ones for a “shrine to postal beauty”. I like that idea. Also, many are going to my friend Pamela, who does indeed have her own shrine to postal beauty including this awesome set of stamp bundles.