New here and hope to learn from others here too.
I am interested in Manchurian related material: postal material, currency and documents. Have been collecting for 9 years.
Looking forward to experiencing from this forum.
When I was a kid, say around 11-12 years old, I wanted to be a stamp dealer. I had been collecting since age 8, subscribed to Western Stamp Collector, was a member of the West Covina, CA Stamp Club (It was a thriving club, approx. 20-30 members a meeting in the early '70s) and had just joined the Junior Stamp Dealers Association. I had arrived; I knew it all. I wheeled a 40-drawer screw holder case that I converted into a stamp chest in a radio-flyer wagon into the club. Guys would look through my stuff and buy a few stamps per meeting. I probably made 11-12c a meeting- kinda like today.
As the years went by, I lost interest in stamps, and took up history and historical boardgames. Eventually I graduated w/ a dual degree in Poli Sci and History from Cal St., San Bernardino. About this time, my interest in stamps returned, partially as a vehicle to learn more about the Middle East, which I specialized in. A few years later, I became ill and during my convalescence, I started to deal stamps once again as a weekender. Then eBay emerged, and I became 'munchstamps" in 1998. In the meantime, I also became a librarian, married another librarian (we're divorced now), and again fell away from stamps, but the hobby was only dormant for me. I became a member of CSS during my new phase, in which I find myself convalescing once again from major surgery. I really doubt I'll fall away from philately this time. AARP is at my doorstep- that says it all.
Why China? Why not? Well maybe I shouldn't be so glib. I've always felt China wasn't for me due to perceived costs of collecting China and complications w/ the Chinese alphabet. But as a dealer, I find it hard to ignore, as I've noted that philately is growing in the "Eastern" part of the world, while in the US and Europe, it is stagnating.
It was exactly the problem with the unknown pitfalls of Chinese stamps that I ran into trouble tonight. I was notified by a CSS member that I was selling a forgery of the Chinese Martyrs Reissue of 1940. I was selling an imperf stamp of the set, supposedly Scott #433a. The gentleman informed me the stamp pictured was not a 433 because the Martyr shown on the stamp was in fact not a martyr at all, but someone else. Ouch! I have a 100% rating on eBay, and pride myself in my honesty and accuracy in my descriptions on eBay.
So here I am before you to not only introduce myself, but to apologize for listing this stamp. The stamp hopefully will go into the forgery files of the CSS, but I can not but wonder if Jim Maxwell will put it throw it in a drawer marked "Martyrs Forgeries Junque" which is almost completely full.
Lesson learned for today: Haste and ignorance may make you next picture in CSS "Stamps to Watch Out For" column.
Good to be here.
Craig (Munch) Martin (Don't tell anyone about that childhood nickname.)
Any help will be appreciated.
I have been collecting stamps on and off most of my life and a few years ago I finally decided to specialize in something. I choose Manchukuo. I have really enjoyed collecting and researching Manchukuo stamps and I have been lucky enough to stumble across some fairly nice material. I have also made some good friends along the way!
Don't know your level of collecting, but we all can benefit from reading and rereading references.
Might I suggest you get a copy of Fundamentals of Philately by L.N. Williams. That is an excellent book on the basics and advanced practices of how stamps are made. Lots more there, but this is the reference in the US. 800 + pages, so lots more. Available through the APS, and probably used copies available online or through stamp dealers that handle books.
But caution you about the Liberated Area Stamps (LAS) and forgeries/fakes/bogus/etc. There are more of them every day. I am an experitizer for both the CSS and APS for PRC, but not the LAS. Just too much. So I take advantage of the CSS expertization program. And that from a collector who has been collecting them (LAS) seriously for 20+ years, more than 30 years overall. Of course, some might say I am slow if after 20 years I still am not sure. Not that, just that those doing this work are that good, and also as a collector you see them so seldom.
But don't get chased off, it is a great collecting area and a most important and interesting area of world history. The LAS has better than 3000 seperate issues, and so many varieties it is impossible to count. More being discovered as we type.
Happy hunting and very best of luck.
Except for a very brief period when I was about 10, I never collected stamps. Very quicky after receiving Ken's collection it became clear that I should either sell it or maintain and further develop it. I decided to keep it and immediately joined the China Stamp Society. I then set out to understand the nature and scope of Ken's collection. It can best be described as two collections: the Liberated Areas Collection and the PRC Collection. The Liberated Areas collection has been the most difficult for me to understand because of my complete lack of knowledge of the Chinese language. After a great deal of page turning and squinting through a magnifying glass I understood that Ken's collection was organized according to his Yang's catalog of liberated Areas Stamps. This collection is patchy and will require a great deal of effort and study to fill in. The PRC collection is much more complete and I purchased the Posts and Telecom Press 2009 "Postage Stamps Catalogue of The People's Republic of China" to better understand that part of the collection. I also purchased a Scott's catalogue because it seems to be the standard way to refer to specific stamps. With some anxiety, I am starting to fill in gaps in the PRC collection.
Apart from my new identity as a stamp collector, I am a retired professor of communication, I worked in professional and academic theatre for many years, and I currently work part time for the Census Bureau. I also collect finger tops.
I look forward to exploring this forum and learning about this collection.
Anyway, I'll be trying to post some of the collections and hopefully get more information or better still, send to CSS for ID and maybe...just maybe...hit the pot