In the late 1970s a fascinating series of articles written by Mr. K. Kouwenberg about the history of Stamp Collecting, appeared in the Dutch magazine Philatelie. This series has been the source of inspiration for PostBeeld owner Rob Smit to rewrite the history of stamp collecting in instalments. This is Part 9.
France, and especially Paris, was undoubtedly the cradle of philately. But as mentioned earlier in this series, in 1862 the philately virus began to rapidly spread worldwide. Stamp collecting was flourishing in Great Britain, the country where the first postage stamp was issued 22 years earlier.
On December 9, 1840, Frederick W. Booty was born. He lived in Brighton, was a painter by profession and together with his father collected stamps.
In early 1861 they received a large bag full of stamps from an acquaintance. After these were sorted Frederick compiled a catalogue.
This catalogue was published in April 1862 and was the first in the English language. The edition consisted of 500 pieces. The demand for the catalogue was so great that in August a second edition was issued. However, Booty did not put his name to these editions. On the title page was the declaration “By a Stamp Collector”.”
In the same year a third and fourth edition was also published. These came complete with his name on the front cover and for the fourth edition, entitled “The Stamp Collectors Guide”, his profession came in handy as he drew 200 of the included images – making this the oldest English-language illustrated stamp catalogue to be published.
In the English magazine ‘The Bookseller’ the third edition was advertised for 1 shilling.
It was once the last we’ve seen of Booty. In 1864 he left home and has, to my knowledge, never looked for stamps.
And that is virtually all we know about the important part Booty played in “TheHistory of Stamp Collecting”. In 1864 he left home, and possibly lost interest in the hobby and concentrated more on his artwork.
Frederick mostly painted landscapes, cityscapes and seascapes. Frederick W. Booty died on 9 December 1924.
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