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As a young child I collected stamps. I have relatively recently reentered the hobby to be astonished at the orgasmically high prices that many are willing to pay for seemingly common stamps (condition rarities), some of which on a dollar per ounce basis are more expensive than many well known works of art. In view of these valuations, I fully expected to find that the standard of care given to philatelic items to be the same or better than that given to our larger sized paper cousins (i.e. painting, prints). Whether from seeming indifference or ignorance, such does not appear to be the case.
I posit that if our hobby is to ever survive and/or be of interest to those that presently think of it as something a bunch of old men with magnifying glasses looking a "little" pieces of paper in the dark do, a paradigm shift within our community needs to occur with regard to the way we think of and treat our collections. Why is it that "big" pieces of paper are treated with so much respect, is it perhaps in part because of the built up base of knowledge that those in the fields of art have accumulated with regard to care of their collections? Is it perhaps because the respect with which "expensive" art is treated and the acknowledgement that for it to retain its value it needs to be cared for? Is it time for our "Stamp Art" to be respected and treated with the same consideration?
The pages of this web site chronicle some of my explorations on the topic, as well as some of my opinions. You can ignore my opinions if you wish, but I hope that in the process of making your decision a "seed of knowledge" may have been planted that will germinate in time for our hobby to survive and grow with a vigor that we can only imagine.