Inheriting a hundred year’s worth of stamp collecting is no weekend commitment. There are probably a million stamps to sort through (no joke). They are contained in the handcrafted, custom sized wood boxes and in binders and journals.
My dad saved everything. The crappy stamp that is covered in glue, has been mounted three times and is nearly unrecognizable because of the heavy cancellation and shoddy scotch tape repair job – it’s in there. His level of stamp hoarding comes with both perks and hurdles.
The sheer mass of the collection is overwhelming but it’s been taken care of so well that there is a high level of trust in the work he’s done so far. I love seeing my dad’s brain all laid out through the work he has done. His attention to detail, patience, love of history – it’s all here for me to enjoy. Definite perk. Filtering through thousands of stamps to make sense of it all…hurdle.
The basic approach applies to all countries but I’ll start with Canada since it’s by far the largest collection:
- Sort through used stamps in wooden boxes to add/upgrade contents of the personal collection
- Itemize remaining used stamps to prepare for sale
- Sort through new stamps in boxes and binders to add/upgrade contents of the personal collection
- Itemize any new stamps that will be re-sold
- Move on to new country
I’ve already sorted through the first box of Canada used stamps. It contains numbers 0-465 and I’ve come across a few wrinkles in my plan. First is that I don’t know anything. I am stamp illiterate. Every time I dive in I learn something new that makes me want to go back over my stamps. I thought sorting through the keep/don’t keep stamps would be easy but I was wrong. So, so wrong!!
I’ll add to this as I go but here’s what I’ve come across so far: