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 27.

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Stamps from Montenegro 2008.

Naturally, the ease with which one can communicate with people worldwide via email and other modern instant messaging systems has its advantages, but these methods have caused a great decline in the act of physically writing a letter and sending the item to another person via a postal delivery service. The big question is if, and when, will the postage stamp as we know it cease to exist? And what, if any, effect will this have on the value of stamp collections in the future?

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Among the hundreds of stamps added daily to PostBeeld’s stock are those shown below in this article.

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In the December 1863 edition of ‘Das Magazin für Briefmarken-Sammler’ (The Magazine for Stamp Collectors) is an ad from Jeanne Wed.(Widow) Elb in Dresden offering albums, stamps and catalogues for sale. This stamp trade was driven by her but was owned by her son Ferdinand Elb.

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In 2005 an unusual set of stamps was issued by the Royal Mail. They were issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of The Magic Circle, a society of magicians founded in London in 1905 by a small group of amateurs and professionals. What was unusual was the design of the five stamps. They featured optical illusions that included a jumping rabbit and disappearing dots.

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Alexander Baillieu was born in 1842. His father was a well-known antiquarian in Paris, also selling reprints of rare books. Alexander had collected stamps from an early age. It was probably in 1861, when collecting became popular, that his father advised him to sell parts of his collection in the store. On the first day, he sold stamps worth 27 Francs.

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Just added to stock at PostBeeld are some interesting stamps from the Dutch Dependencies. The Queen Wilhelmina 1901 Curacao overprints below are among them.

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It’s happened before and it will happen again – postage stamps being used as a medium for propaganda. Recently, North Korea exercised “The month of the fight against American imperialism” and also commemorated the beginning of the Korean War (1950-53).

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The Postal Services Palace here on the left was built on the place of Constantin Vodă Inn, in Romania’s capital Bucharest, between 1894 and 1900. The imposing neoclassical edifice served as headquarters of the Romanian Post Office until 1971, when it became Romania’s National History Museum.

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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.

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