The History of Stamp Collecting Part 23 – Postage Stamp Polka

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In the first edition of the German magazine ‘Das Magazin für Briefmarken-Sammler’ from May 1863, there was an advertisement which announced the appearance of the “Briefmarken-Polka für das Pianoforte” (The Postage Stamp Polka for the Pianoforte) by J. V. Hamm, with images of 42 colourful stamps, published by C.F.W. Siegel in Leipzig.

Not particularly exceptional, apart from the fact that on the front cover of this sheet-music the depicted stamps were printed so perfectly that when they were cut out and placed on letters they looked like the genuine article. Before too long the philatelic press was warning buyers of the ‘Stamp Polka’ sheet music against the illegal use of these front cover stamps.

The Amsterdam Public Library is in possession of a copy. The composer Johann Valentin Hamm lived from 1811 to 1874.

Philately has often been a source of inspiration for music:

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