The Samovar

Our collecting interests

nik - 3/2/2012 at 22:40

Over the years I've been noticing that philatelists, in addition to collecting stamps and covers often collect other types of memorabilia, like cinderellas and postcards. There are even those, who have coin, or paper currency collections in addition to their philatelic holdings. Perhaps we get bored with just one subject, or maybe our hunt for new knowledge draws us into neighboring areas of collecting. Whatever the reasons - it seems that at least some of us are pretty omnivorous when it comes to hobbies. In my case, I mostly concentrate on vignettes, postcards (for their front sides), and stamps. Geographically, the collection encompasses much more than Russia, but the Russian dimension is present in all three of the indicated areas of collecting - erinophelia, deltiology, and philately. I know a few other Rossica colleagues who also have a wide range of interests. But I do not know, how widespread this phenomenon is within our ranks. It would be interesting to find out.
The reason for my curiosity is a desire to see if our Society may be inclined to expand its horizons (and membership) to include some published research into postcard history as well. In the last few years stamp bourses have been attracting postcard dealers, which indicates that combined collecting of stamps and postcards is gaining ground. Exhibits at philatelic shows also seem to include quite a few postcards that are used to illustrate a subject, rather than provide information on postal fees, routing, and markings. So, I ask: what do you think? Can Rossica cast a wider net to include deltiology as well, or would it be better to remain focused exclusively on the traditional areas of philately? The floor is yours -

Unhinged - 3/3/2012 at 14:49

I'm all for it. I'd like to see more on things like patriotic postal stationery, too. As long as the main thrust of the topic is related to things used by the Russian/Soviet postal system, I think it fits in with what Rossica is for.

You are not alone

verny - 3/7/2012 at 11:44

I for one would welcome this being one of those omnivores who coming to philately from a historical interest has built a collection of what these days would be called social philately. like most i started with stamps and then branched out into postal history and postcards, my love of both Russian history and contextualising my collecting and displays then led to the acquisition of what is now a substantial collection of maps, documents, prints, period photographs, period newspapers, fiscals, charity labels, matchbox labels and I even bought a collection of tsarist winebottle labels that surfaced in the early 90's amongst which were several period labels of piper-Heidseck champagne - which now grace my Russian Civil war collection - in his cadet days it was the favourite tipple of one Baron Peter Wrangel.
Whilst this may all sound rather esoteric to the strict philatelist there are suprising crossovers. For example The well known war bonds cinderellas produced during WW1 were also reproduced as postcards, advertisements in periodicals, the cover of Ogonek, full sized posters and even a centre spread of all designs in another magazine. In my postcard collection is a postcard showing the opening of an orphanage for the children of fallen soldiers - in my cinderella collection are 'flag day' tokens raising the funds that built it and in my postal history collection an envelope with a cinderella sold for the same purpose afixed.
In similar vein Richard Zarinch the well known stamp designer also engraved currency plates and illustrated books and postcards. ....and so on.
Another thing I have learnt is that the study of one type of collectable can often provide insight into another completely different area. Now however I can sense my post morphing into an article and had better stop.

Oh and another thing..

verny - 3/7/2012 at 11:51

Of course having just posted I then had another thought...not all my Russian collectables are paper based and I have built up a small but respectable collection of other postal memorabillia. This includes postal service buttons and badges, imperial and Soviet date cancellers, a Soviet postal sack, telegraphers key, copies of postal regulations, internal circulars, photos of postal workers, postboxes etc.
Is there anyone else out there who collects this kind of material?
If so I would love to get in touch.

GregMirsky - 3/8/2012 at 14:44

From your list I collect anything that related to literature. So postal regulations, documents, etc. are definitely "in the scope" for me.

Maxime Citerne - 3/9/2012 at 02:34

Nice thread!

I find of the utmost interest anything that can enhance the presentation/understanding/historical context of my stamps & postal history collection.

Not only these 'out of the catalogue' material are interesting, in my opinion they constitute a forte for any serious (or less serious!) collector. In fact, aren't any illustrated postcard or similar material a kind of postal history items?

For instance, I find wonderful to 'back up' my Ship Mail collection with postcards of the relevant steamships ... or with receipts from the relevant companies ... the difference -maybe- between a standard collection and a lively one.

Or, to take another example, to illustrate a Port Arthur cover with a postcart of its Fort. It makes much more sense and gives a lot of extra 'spicies' to the selected field.

And what about a map of a Gubernya to illustrate a Zemstvo selection? :)

verny - 4/10/2012 at 08:18

I'm glad to see that there are some like minds out there in the ether and most certainly there is a rich vein of information that can be tapped into. For example the last comment from Maxime regarding Zemstva reminded me that I have amongst my postcards a collection of pictures of post offices and Zemstva administrative buildings.
The next question is how to take this forward....perhaps some illustrations and more organised information on what is out there.