Saturday, February 25, 2012

And now what...?

After acquiring my first bit of a collection last week, the question arises - what next?  At the same stamp club auction from whence came my cover, I also acquired this 1961 hardbound book by the editors of Gibbons Stamp Monthly originally written in 1933. It has some good advise expressed in a slightly formal tone. "Let your aim be to have a collection which does not allow the beholder to miss its strong points, and yet has the good manners not to shout them blatantly at him." There is advise on mounting, arranging, hinging, storing, labeling (calligraphy how-tos "never allow the pen to run half dry"), etc.

The advice I did not find in the book is how to maintain my enthusiasm beyond the acquisition of this one particular piece.  Perhaps I just don't have the collecting gene - the ability to sustain enthusiasm in a directed fashion over time. ?? Maybe it's time to "back-burner" the process.  What I do know is that the immediate problem is simply proper storage before I determine what's next.  Right now my lovely cover is still in the sleeve in which I purchased it, propped on the piano.  I want to keep it where I see it lest I forget it is a beginning, not an end.

I'm looking forward to purusing the next stamp club auction. Perhaps it will be where I'll find more inspiration.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

First Philatelic Excitement

Last Friday was the meeting of the Webster Groves Stamp Club. I like to attend these meetings with my husband because I like the people there and find the programs interesting. 

However, not really collecting anything myself, the stamp auctions at the beginning of the meeting are a space-filler for me  - or so they were until last Friday.  Wayne said, "I'm going to bid on a lot for you.  Come see Lot #4."  I couldn't believe my eyes!!  The above cover (Lot #4) has deep personal resonance for me.  We just recently moved from Wisconsin to St. Louis (the card is from a company in St. Louis to an address in Milwaukee, Wisc.)  A central story of our move involved bringing our old upright piano (against all logistical sense) with us because it means heart and home to me.  But the first thing that caught my eye was "Kunkel Bros." as my maiden, and now middle, name is "Kunkel."

Acquiring this cover became necessary!! There was no doubt in my mind that whatever the cost, this was my item.  When the auction began, it was no longer a space-filler for me, but something highly and personally interesting.  Others made bids on Lot#4, none of them for the same reasons as I, but Wayne prevailed and I have the beginnings of a collection I am most interested in.

Surprising to me, one thing quickly leads to another.  I noticed the cover has a back stamp with arrival time and date -- it took only 18 hours for this letter to reach the destination post office - unheard of speed in the 21st century, but somehow achievable over 100 years ago. Now I want to find out how -- did the cover travel by train? -- via mail car?  There is philatelic research ahead for me.

 I can also see if there is a family connection.  The Kunkel genealogy has been extensively researched and these brothers arrived in St. Louis about the same time my great-grandmother homesteaded in Nebraska.  

Oh yes, it also has a very nice St. Louis World's Fair cancellation.  Interestingly, the last thing I even noticed was the stamp.  There is one, isn't there?

What will be next?  I really don't know, but I find I'm now interested in getting to stamp club meetings early enough to look over the auction items and see what else may catch my interest.