14 October 2011
The 2011 launch of the A to Z of the UK stamps saw PM David Cameron pose for pictures outside 10 Downing Street, which appears on one of the twelve 1st class values. The publicity photo got Stamp & Coin Mart editor Matt Hill thinking, is having your very own house on a stamp something we could all aspire to? Could your life be the theme for your own collection? ...
We might not all live in famous houses, work in notable buildings or have any right to appear on a stamp ourselves, but collecting stamps relating to your own life isn't just for the likes of Prime Ministers and members of the Royal Family. It may be a little self-centred, but the 'my life' theme isn't as far fetched as it sounds.
I don't have too much in common with David Cameron, but like him I am lucky enough to own a stamp showing a house in which I once lived. Born in Jersey, my family lived for a short period at Howard Davis Farm which appeared on a Jersey stamp in October 1985. I lived there for the first year of my life, and you can even see my bedroom window, I am reliably informed, on the 34p value. It's a nice addition to my collection even if the connection is personal and not obvious to anyone else.
Despite this satisfying item taking pride of place in my album, I have never considered collecting more stamps relating to my life so far. But perhaps this wouldn't be as difficult as it first seems. Certainly many collectors choose a theme based on their career, since they have the knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject to form a high quality collection. So for me a sideline of stamps relating to journalism would fit into the 'me' theme.
Other houses in which I lived might not be significant enough to appear on stamps, but certainly locations could be sought - I live near York, so the 1969 5d value showing York Minster helps tell my life story. And what about favourite music (see the Pink Floyd stamp from January 2010), favourite sports (there are countless football stamps to choose from) or favourite writers (see the USA’s 1979 stamp showing John Steinbeck).
Such a collection may seem a little egocentric, but such a collection could be rewarding, even if you just kept it to yourself. So enough about me, which stamps could you add to describe your life story? The stamp autobiography starts here!
What do you think? Discuss this topic on the Stamp & Coin Mart forum.
Read more 'Thoughts on Thematics' in every issue of Stamp & Coin Mart.