A selection of vintage stamps from my own collection.
Vintage stamps are some of my favourite stationery ephemera.
My journey with them, I suppose, started at a young age when my sister took an interest in philately and started her own stamp collection. At the time I didn't pay much attention to it, being far more interested in other activities like trying to come to terms with split of the Spice Girls (which I'm still not fully over if I'm honest. But is anyone?). I'd watch her carefully place each stamp into her scrapbook, neatly make a note of the details and then proudly show us all.
A selection of vintage stamps included with our Paper Club subscription.
Fast forward two decades, to a now 30-year-old me (with the mindset of an 80-year-old), where I receive a letter in the post with an envelope decorated in the most ornate and beautiful vintage stamps. I stared at it for what felt like hours. There was a mixture of tropical birds, exotic flowers and heritage sites I’d never been to. It was so, so dreamy. I think about it to this day whenever I’m addressing an envelope. After making some inquiries to my parents, I was disappointed to discover they had given the scrapbook away and as such, I was on my own to start a collection.
A personal favourite: Christmas joy.
I've since collected hundreds of these little gems. I love how unique and precious each one is. Vintage stamps are easy to get hold of and are an inexpensive hobby if you want to collect them. I’m not necessarily interested in the rare ones or ones with high value, it’s more the colourful ones with unique imagery that are the ones I’ll hold onto for keepsies.
If you're planning to use them for envelope decoration (which I strongly advice because they will make your recipient swoon like never before) then the key thing to remember is to separate them from your real stamp so that you don’t confuse your postal service. Your mailperson will thank you for it and so will you once you know it's arrived safely.
There's lots of places that sell vintage stamps all over the world. Once things start to reopen, I'm looking forward to visiting the Strand Stamp Fair in London, which is a monthly gathering of vintage and rare stamp collectors as well as postal history dealers.
Sign up to our Paper Club where you'll often find a selection of vintage stamps as as well as other stationery delights.