Topical or Thematic Stamp Collecting
Topical or thematic stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps relating to a particular subject or concept. While many of the earliest postage stamps had images of reigning monarchs or coats of arms, in the twentieth century stamps took on a wider range of designs. Modern postage stamps reflect subjects ranging from famous people to modes of transportation to historical events to animals. This diversity in subjects shown on postage stamps has led to many stamp collectors being topical or thematic focused. By 1949, topical stamp collecting had become so popular that The American Topical Association (ATA) was founded and it is now the largest philatelic society devoted specifically to topical stamp collecting. Having a special interest in one type of subject, stamp collectors specialize in stamps of that particular subject. This web site is topical or thematic focused on postage stamps that depict animals, thus the name: ”Animals on Stamps”.
Brief History of Animals on Postage Stamps
Bears and beavers were among the first animals to appear on postage stamps. On April 23, 1851, the Province of Canada issued its first stamp, now known as the “Threepenny Beaver”. Designed by Sir Sandford Fleming, Canada’s first stamp depicted a beaver in an oval frame. This is considered the first official postage stamp to have an animal as its subject. However, the “St. Louis Bears” are a set of provisional stamps first issued by the St. Louis Post office in 1845, before the United States Post Office had started to issue postage stamps. These stamps used an image of the Great Seal of Missouri, which shows two standing bears holding a heraldic disc. The St. Louis Bears stamps were issued originally as 5 cent and 10 cent stamps, later the copper plates were modified to produce 20 cent stamps as well. Currently, there are many countries in the world that regularly issue postage stamps with different animals and wildlife on their face.
Animals on Stamps is fun for everyone. Learn about stamp collecting and learn about the wildlife of the world at the same time. So have fun and enjoy the Animals on Stamps.
Collecting Wildlife Stamps, or How to Build a Zoo in Your Stamp Collection
Stamp collecting, called “the hobby of kings and the king of hobbies” is one of the world’s most popular hobbies. According to Linn’s Stamp News there are more than 5 million stamp collectors in the United States and there are thought to be over 100 million stamp collectors worldwide. Many stamp collectors choose to organize their stamp collection around a specific theme, such as ships, trains, airplanes, horses, etc. this is called topical or thematic stamp collecting. Topical stamp collecting is becoming more and more popular in the philatelic community. Collecting stamps containing images of animals is gaining popularity among topical stamp collectors. Collecting wildlife stamps is especially popular with stamp collectors who are also animal lovers.
Collecting animals on stamps is also a fun way to encourage stamp collecting with children. Collecting wildlife stamps is a fun way to learn the names of animals and their natural histories. It is also a great way for children to learn about endangered species of animals, which have become particularly popular subjects on postage stamps worldwide.
The World Wildlife Fund (“WWF”) has partnered with a number of different countries to issue stamps featuring endangered animals from all over the world. The proceeds from the sale of WWF stamps has been uses to fund wildlife conservation projects around the world.
Postage stamps can always be obtained directly from the postal service of the respective country, although generally only current releases are available. Topical stamp collectors are an important source of income for some small countries who issue postage stamps featuring attractive topical designs that are desired by stamp collectors. These countries produce postage stamps that exceed their own postal needs, selling many of their postage stamps to stamp collectors throughout the world. Some of the more popular topics include butterflies, birds, dogs, cats, aviation, ships, and space travel. There are also special services available that will secure newly issued postage stamps from different countries for the stamp collector.
Older postage stamps can be obtained from other stamp collectors or from stamp dealers. Many stamp dealers carry postal stamps featuring wildlife. Some stamp dealers even specialize in topical stamps and carry a wide range of wildlife stamps from around the world. Zoos, natural history museums, and national parks sometimes sell packages of postage stamps featuring animals, as well as, wildlife postcards as souvenirs.
Collecting wildlife stamps can take many forms. Some collectors specialize in bird stamps. Some stamp collectors collect only butterfly stamps. Some stamp collectors enjoy collecting stamps featuring prehistoric animals or fossils. Many stamp collectors collect all types of wildlife stamps. The good news is that there are numerous postal stamps worldwide that feature wildlife so there is something for every interest.
If you decide to collect wildlife postage stamps you can create your own little zoo. You can arrange your collection geographically by country, which is typically, in the stamp collecting hobby. However, you can also arrange your collection by animal class (i.e. mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, mollusks, insects, etc.). Whichever way you choose, it is easy to create your own zoo on stamps. And it is easy to grow your postage stamp zoo as large as you want. Another advantage to a postage stamp zoo is that it does not require any feeding and you do not have to clean up after the animals. Enjoy your wildlife stamps!